Ye Olde Survey Monuments (GC45CC) was a travelling geocache that was owned by outforthehunt. The cache moved around the country and you could be looking for a specific survey monument, pillar, surface block, rivet or bolt. Groundspeak decided in 2017 or so that this type of cache was no longer welcome in the fold, so the cache was archived, which is a shame.

Finding a YOSM was little like trigpointing (see www.trigpointinguk.com ) except you could only log ones where the owner of the cache had randomly moved the YOSM cache to it.

It was moved a couple of times each month though, which was many more than I was ever going to get around to finding, especially seeing as the chosen locations were literally at all ends of the country.

At the point when the geocache was archived, I had attempted the following Survey Monuments in the series :

When it was archived the random trig pillar was in Cornwall, and as a result most statistics sites show me having found a cache in Cornwall, even though I haven’t.

Church Micros

Church Micros

Late in 2007 sadexploration added a new cache at a church in Earlswood and started a bit of series.

There are now over 10000 Church Micros around the country.

These celebrate a cultural history that touches pretty much every community in the UK, and has lead me to a few lovely little churches that I might otherwise have missed.

It’s a great idea, and I’ve now placed a few of my own, photos of which are interspersed below with the photos of the ones I’ve found.

You can find out a lot more about them, including stats on who’s found how many, at the Church Micros Stats Page.

So far I’ve found these ones :

While we’re on the subject, I have placed a few too:

CM3480 Herts Cheddington.jpg CM2676 MK St Peters.jpg CM3006 Beds Wilshamstead.jpg CM1323 Norfolk Ringstead.jpg CM2599 Leics Breedon-on-the-Hill.JPG CM2570 Cambs Shepreth.JPG CM0651 Herts Willian All Saints.jpg CM2253 Herts Norton.JPG CM3620 Cambs Wendy All Saints.jpg CM2372 Kent West Kingsdown St Edmunds.JPG CM0104 Kent West Kingsdown St Bernadette.JPG CM3701 Kent Woodlands.JPG CM2050 Cambs Elsworth.JPG CM3958 Bucks Aylesbury St Mary the Virgin.JPG CM0905 Cambs Tadlow.JPG CM6498 Beds Moggerhanger.JPG CM1043 Beds Westlingworth.JPG CM4750 Kent Canterbury Cathedral.JPG CM3740 Cambs Barham.JPG CM6317 Cambs Leighton Bromsword Wesleyan.JPG CM1737 Cambs Leighton Browswold.JPG CM2194 Cambs Brington.JPG CM3117 Cambs Old Weston.JPG CM2238 Cambs Bythorn.JPG CM2320 Cambs Molesworth.JPG CM7659 Beds Woburn Sands St Marys.JPG CM7657 Beds Woburn Sands Methodist.JPG CM5282 Berks Greenham.jpg CM6345 Hants Ashford Hill.JPG CM6255 Berks Shaw.JPG CM6331 Manchester St Anns.JPG CM4632 Cambs Little Gidding.JPG CM4693 Cambs Steeple Gidding.jpg CM2997 Beds Clophill New St Mary.JPG CM3397 Beds Clophill Old St Mary.JPG CM8430 Bucks Bletchley Queensway Methodist.jpg CM6361 Hants Cliddesdon.JPG CM4288 Northants Cosgrove.JPG CM4879 Hants Hartley Whitney.JPG CM6330 West Sussex Brighton St Nicholas.jpg CM3311 West Sussex Hove Methodist.jpg CM3331 West Sussex Hove Central United Reform.JPG CM3330 West Sussex Hove Holy Trinity.JPG CM3332 West Sussex Hove Sacred Heart.JPG CM3333 West Sussex Hove All Saints.JPG CM3334 West Sussex Hove St John the Baptist.JPG CM6326 Hants Old Basing.JPG CM6327 Hants Mapledurwell.jpg CM6281 Hants Popley Latter Day Saints.JPG CM6282 Hants Popley St Gabriel.JPG CM6313 Hants Basingstoke St Mary.jpg CM4492 Leics Ashby de la Zouch.JPG CM0921 Hants Hartfordbridge.JPG CM4415 Hants Eversley.JPG CM6425 Cambs Catworth St Leonards.jpg CM6426 Cambs Catworth Methodist.JPG CM1305 MK Hardmead.JPG CM7164 MK Newton Blossomville.JPG CM7168 Beds Harrold.JPG CM7169 Beds Carlton.JPG CM7165 Beds Turvey.JPG CM7167 MK Lavendon.JPG CM7050 Northants Bozeat.JPG CM7049 Northants Easton Maudit.JPG CM6579 Northants Grendon.JPG CM7163 MK Clifton Reynes.JPG CM7161 MK Ravenstone.JPG CM5598 MK Cross & Stable.JPG CM6880 Bucks Dagnall.JPG CM5560 MK Loughton Baptist.JPG CM6645 MK Great Linford.JPG CM2661 Beds Willington.JPG CM4972 Leics Long Whatton New Baptist.JPG CM4973 Leics Long Whatton Methodist.JPG CM4974 Long Whatton All Saints.JPG CM5901 Leics Osgathorpe.JPG CM4507 Leics Worthington.JPG CM5444 Leics Griffydam.JPG CM4971 Leics Diseworth.JPG CM5457 Leics Thringstone.JPG CM5608 Leics Ibstock.JPG CM5144 Leics Newton Burgoland.JPG CM6823 MK Great Brickhill (Mine).JPG CM6808 MK Little Brickhill (Mine).JPG CM3265 Northants Blatherwycke.JPG CM3248 Northants Bulwick.JPG CM6807 MK Bow Brickhill (Mine).JPG CM3731 Cambs Cockayne Hatley.JPG CM2445 Cambs Gamlingay.JPG CM3236 Cambs Hatley.JPG CM3237 Cambs East Hatley.JPG CM6343 Tyne & Wear Roker St Andrews.JPG CM3816 E Yorks Pollington cum Balne.JPG CM0109 Hants Langrish.JPG CM1957 Cambs Kingston.jpg CM3697 Cambs Barton.JPG CM4061 Cambs Barton Baptist.JPG CM0632 Cambs Hardwick.JPG CM5145 Leics Normanton le Heath.JPG CM6028 Beds Wilden Baptist.JPG CM1563 Beds Great Barford.JPG CM3030 Beds Bletsoe.jpg CM5354 Warks Welford-on-Avon.JPG CM5324 Warks Weethley.JPG CM4483 Worcs Inkberrow.JPG CM1403 Warks Arrow.JPG CM5243 Cambs Comberton Baptist.JPG CM0633 Cambs Comberton.jpg CM0631 Cambs Toft.JPG CM5245 Cambs Toft Methodist.JPG CM1958 Cambs Caldecote.jpg CM5707 MK Kents Hill.JPG CM2697 Beds Renhold.jpg CM3316 Beds Wilden.JPG CM3315 Beds Ravensden.JPG CM5469 Bucks Marsh Gibbon.JPG CM5756 Beds Hulcote.JPG CM2156 Cambs Sawtry All Saints.jpg CM4744 Cambs Sawtry Methodist.JPG CM3673 Cambs Thornhaugh.jpg CM2233 Cambs Wansford.JPG CM5406 Lincs Stamford St George.jpg CM5686 Lincs Stamford St Mary St Augustine.JPG CM5685 Lincs Stamford All Saints.JPG CM5684 Lincs Stamford St Mary.jpg CM5407 Lincs Stamford St Martins.jpg CM5183 Northants Collyweston.JPG CM2264 Rutland Ketton.JPG CM2274 Northants Wakerley.JPG CM5003 Rutland Barrowden.jpg CM5026 Derbys Ticknall.JPG CM4124 Cambs Bourn St Mary.JPG CM5244 Cambs Eltisley Methodist.JPG CM3742 Cambs Eltisley St Panionia.jpg CM1989 Cambs Caxton St Andrews.JPG CM5203 Cambs Caxton Baptist.JPG CM5473 MK Heelands.JPG CM3711 London Blackheath All Saints.JPG CM4000 London Westminster Abbey.jpg CM5143 Leics Ashby St Helens.jpg CM2746 MK New Bradwell St James.JPG CM2741 MK Newport Pagnell St Peters.jpg CM5327 MK Willen.jpg CM5325 MK Broughton.JPG CM5326 MK Milton Keynes Village.JPG CM1047 MK Woolstone.JPG CM5328 MK Woughton-on-the-Green.JPG CM5361 MK Central MK (One of Mine).JPG CM1713 MK Wavendon (One of Mine).JPG CM2534 MK Walton Hall (Mine).JPG CM5342 MK Simpson (Mine).JPG CM4729 Beds Swineshead Wesleyan.JPG CM2684 Beds Swineshead St Nicholas.JPG CM2682 Beds Shelford.JPG CM2491 Northants Hargrave.JPG CM2490 Cambs Covington.JPG CM3036 West Sussex Pyecombe.JPG CM1006 East Sussex Rottingdean.JPG CM4491 Leics Packington.JPG CM4506 Leics Coleorton.JPG CM2910 Leics Swannington.JPG CM3589 Leics Snibston.JPG CM3312 Leics Ravenstone.JPG CM4550 Leics Heather.JPG CM4200 Leics Cross Hill.JPG CM4199 Leics Thornton.JPG CM3375 Leics Desford.JPG CM3377 Leics Newbold Verdon Methodist.JPG CM3374 Leics Newbold Verdon St James.JPG CM4271 Leics Cadeby.JPG CM4272 Leics Sutton Cheney.JPG CM4611 Leics Carlton St Andrew.JPG CM4610 Leics Shackerstone.JPG CM1775 Leics Congerstone.JPG CM4609 Leics Norton Juxta Twycross.JPG CM4551 Leics Snarestone.JPG CM4608 Leics Appleby Magna.JPG CM4606 Warks No Mans Heath.JPG CM4607 Leics Stretton en le Field.jpg CM2689 Cambs Easton.JPG CM2688 Cambs Stow Longa.JPG CM2709 Cambs Spaldwick.JPG CM0647 Wilts Wroughton.JPG CM3386 Wilts Heywood.JPG CM2507 Wilts Westbury.JPG CM3809 Wilts Bratton.JPG CM3210 Wilts Imber.JPG CM4614 Oxon Great Coxwell.JPG CM2386 Cambs Ellington.JPG CM2342 Beds Oakley.JPG CM2341 Beds Pavenham.JPG CM2683 Beds Melchbourne.JPG CM3018 Notts Southwell Minster.JPG CM3625 Cambs Little Stukeley Baptist.JPG CM3623 Cambs Little Stukeley Independent.JPG CM3624 Cambs Little Stukeley St Martins.JPG CM3626 Cambs Great Stukeley St Barts.JPG CM3787 Northampton Castle Hill URC.jpg CM0937 Northampton St Peters.jpg CM3927 Northants Upton St Michaels.JPG CM1182 MK Old Wolverton.JPG CM2681 Beds Upper Dean United Reform.JPG CM2680 Beds Upper Dean All Saints.JPG CM2836 Beds Pertenhall St Peters.JPG CM3233 Cambs Kimbolton St Andrew.JPG CM2687 Cambs Tilbrook All Saints.JPG CM3565 Beds Milton Ernest.JPG CM3478 Beds Haynes Church End.JPG CM1083 Beds Segenhoe.jpg CM1562 Beds Flitwick.jpg CM2287 Northants Aldwincle All Saints.JPG CM2288 Northants Wadenhoe.JPG CM3191 Northants Pilton.JPG CM3468 Northants Aldwincle St Peters.JPG CM3101 Bucks Dinton.JPG CM2159 Bucks Whaddon.JPG CM0805 Bucks Calverton.jpg CM0942 Bucks Passenham.JPG CM3065 Northants Stanwick.jpg CM3658 Cambs Great Gidding St Michaels.JPG CM2195 Cambs Winwick.JPG CM2127 Cambs Great Gidding Baptist.JPG CM3657 Cambs Great Gidding Wesleyan.JPG CM3253 Bucks Bierton.JPG CM1679 Beds Houghton Conquest.JPG CM1812 Beds Ampthill.JPG CM2547 MK Lathbury All Saints.jpg CM1922 Cambs Meldreth.JPG CM1084 Beds Ridgmont.jpg CM2021 Beds Aspley Guise.jpg CM1185 MK Bradwell.jpg

Poundon Around

Poundon Around

My first “proper” caching day in September. The girls were all out at a running event down in Leighton Buzzard as a result of Kas having volunteered to be a marshall, so I had the day to myself.

The weather was rather nice looking for September, so I packed the normal array of everything (to ensure it stayed that way) and headed off not long after 8 am in the general direction of Buckingham.

I’d got in my mind that I could have a pop at geoff&steph’s three series – one at Poundon, one at Hillesden and one at Thornborough.

I had to stop for some motion lotion on the way, after exhausting most of a tank full going to Bracknell on Monday and Warrington on Tuesday with my new job.

So it was quite an ambitious plan, but I had no particular time constraints and so far in September I’d only found 7 caches, so I was due a few.

The caching was mainly easy, aside from the field full of cows right at the start of the Poundon circuit. I don’t like cows. They don’t like me. Enough said. Well, I suppose if they’ve been suitably prepared, grilled a bit and served with mustard, chips and a salad I quite like cows, but otherwise, you can keep them, thanks.

I didn’t quite make all three circuits. By the time I’d finished the second and sat in my car eating lunch it was nearly 4pm. I didn’t really have the time or the inclination for another couple of hours, so I decided to jack it in, via a handful of drive-bys.

So I politely retired for the day, having found over 60 caches. Less than I’d wanted, but as many as I could be bothered with.

I took my camera with me too.

Caches found on the day were :

Skiddaw September 3rd 2016

Grand Tour of Skiddaw

Open the photo gallery >>

Kas somehow got it into her mind that it would be a good-fun idea to run an ultra-marathon in Cumbria to finish off the summer holidays. The Grand Tour of Skiddaw, no less. 46 miles of “lumpy” terrain, with one rather massive “lump” in the middle. She must be mad.

Anyway, enough of that. What actually happened over the weekend then?

Kas and the girls had been away at Kas’s mum’s house in Whitburn all week and I travelled up on a very nice Pendolino from Milton Keynes to Carlisle on Friday afternoon to meet them. Technically, I’d been working all week. However I was in final throws of working out my notice with my employer, so both productivity and enthusiasm had been on the low side all week. Nana and Grandad were also driving over and were going to look after the kids on Saturday while Kas was racing. My plan was to follow Kas around a bit, essentially being alternately worried and bored, depending on how long I’d being sitting at each location.

On Friday night we had to go over to the event village at Lime House School, and this proved to be a highlight of the weekend, in a near-total-disaster sort of way. Google Maps thought it knew the way there, so we followed it. We ended up going down a road that was getting increasingly dodgy, and looked less and less like the correct direction. So at one point we stopped and turned the car around on someone’s drive. We’d been followed down there by a couple of other cars and it was a bit tight getting everyone around, so Kas tried to pull off the edge of the road to allow a descending car to get past us (there was no other way), but at this point we had a horrendous crunching noise as the car went over the top of a rock buried in the grass. Fair enough, further up the slope there was a line of rocks delineating a “don’t drive on my grass” zone, but where we were at the time there were no visible rocks. Should’ve got out to check, I suppose. The car essentially got beached on the top of it, and it took us a good half hour, and the help of a local resident (thankfully not the one who’s grass verge we’d just trashed) with a car jack to get us out. We had to lift the car wheel up off the ground far enough to dislodge the rock from underneath the skid-plate on the bottom of the car. Thankfully though, the rock was under the skid-plate and we hadn’t gone far enough through to get it trapped under any of the more delicate bits like the exhaust system. It wasn’t the best half-hour I’d ever had though.

Once we’d been through that, actually getting Kas’s running number and getting registered for the race was a piece of proverbial. We returned apparently none the worse to our hotel near Carlisle and met up with Nana and Grandad, and then quickly headed off towards central Carlisle to get dinner. Our first proposed port of call wasn’t open (and, in fact, didn’t open all night) so we continued right into the centre to walk around looking for a restaurant serving Italian food that wasn’t already fully booked for the whole night. It took us about 4 attempts, and we ended up in a nice little place called Gianni’s Pizzeria, right next to where we’d parked. It didn’t look inspiring from the outside, which is why we didn’t go in it straight away, but first impressions can be deceptive. It was pretty good.

Saturday morning saw me and Kas out of bed in darkness. It’s the first time I’d done that since last winter. Kas has been doing it every other day for months as part of her training schedule, but it was a bit out of order from my perspective. We were also far too early for breakfast at the hotel. Just as well we hadn’t paid for it. Kas had bought porridge and some cereal bars.

The drive round to Lime House School was uneventful (now we know the way) and we arrived bright and early for the event. Kas had forgotten to pick up her satellite stalk-a-racer gizmo the previous night but the event was small enough that the organisers could guess that she was one of three lady competitors who had done so, and she was therefore up and running before we really even got bedded into the place.

There were only 96 registered competitors and they were only expecting 88 of them to turn up, apparently, so it wasn’t exactly busy at the start area. We grabbed a coffee from the mobile pizza van and waited around, chatting to fellow competitors. Kas’s running buddy for the day, Paul, had also arrived. He wanted to “not go too fast” so had asked Kas if they could run together. Turned out to be a wise plan.

Anyway, by 8 am they were off. And by 8:15, so was I.

First stop for the runners was at Caldbeck, and I had an hour and a half or so to get there. That gave me plenty of time to grab three or four geocaches on the way. Kas and Paul came in somewhere in the back half of the field, had a quick drink and a photo stop and then disappeared off again.

From Caldbeck, I had decided not to try to meet them again at the car park at Latrigg, because we’d been up there a couple of times in May and I didn’t fancy trying to get Kas’s car up there, nor did I expect to be able to park there anyway. Kas’s car had already had enough adventure and excitement for one weekend. As well as it being a checkpoint for the GTOS there was a station for a different fell racing series in the same place on the same day. It was going to be busy.

So I decided to pick my way rather slowly round to Peter House Farm, which is all the way around at the access road going up to Whitewater Dash. This gave me an estimated 6 hours before Kas would pass me again, because from Caldbeck she’d got to run a further 8 miles into the fells, then up and down Skiddaw and then another 2 miles over the fields. I spent the first of those hours driving from Caldbeck and doing a handful more geocaches. I then got to Peter House Farm and waited 5 minutes in the middle of the road whilst waiting for someone else to vacate a parking space – it was one of the race organisers doing a tour round making sure the marshalls were ready. After I parked up the weather turned pretty foul, but it wasn’t predicted to get any better. It was windy and showery and quite cold. I decided to take the walk up to Whitewater Dash with my raincoat on, because I’d got plenty of time and there were a couple of geocaches up there. It was wet and windy all the way there, as I was walking into the weather. It was a little further than I thought too, but the views were great. The walk back was downhill and the wind was behind me too, so the world was much better. I also found a geocache that the previous three searchers had missed, so I felt a bit smug.

This still left me with a projected 3 hours of waiting before Kas might pass me. I’d rather shabbily not taken anything to eat or drink with me but I also didn’t want to leave just in case I couldn’t get back into the car park when I returned, so I decided to just wait and do some reading, whilst occasionally sponging use of a phone from one of the marshalls. Why? Because I had no signal, so the satellite stalk-a-runner device Kas had with her was no use at all to me. At third use of the marshall’s phone the painful truth had become apparent – I was going to be there for a couple of hours longer than Kas had predicted. She later told me this was because the weather up top was absolutely foul, and they were down to crawling pace, especially on the descent. Fair do’s. She does have a bit of previous where running down mountains is concerned.

Thankfully I had a big, fat book with me, and had also remembered to take my glasses. The book was Surface Detail, by my favourite science fiction author Iain M. Banks. I’d started reading it on the train up to Carlisle on Friday and was less than a quarter of the way through when I sat in the car to read it on Saturday. I was well past halfway when I stopped.

Kas and Paul eventually got to where I was at around 4:30 pm, looking somewhat dishevelled but in good heart. They stayed for a very short while and then scooted off again, leaving me to pick my way back round to Caldbeck for their next stop. This time I decided to go round slowly, and to stop for food. I’d spotted a cafe come art gallery in Uldale on the way in so decided to try it. The place was in an old school and I was a bit suspect as I walked in. It turned out to be really good, despite having no other customers at the time. Maybe it was good because they didn’t have any other customers. Anyway, I got soup, bread, a drink, and then a cream & jam scone and large coffee for not very much. I can live with loneliness for nice food at those prices.

My exit was delayed for a couple of minutes by some local bovine traffic passing by on the road, but I was still in plenty of time to meet Paul and Kas at Caldbeck again, this time looking somewhat more knackered than when they’d been there earlier. They arrived there between 6:30 and 7 pm, which gave them about 8 miles out of 46 left to do, with about 90 minutes of usable light at the most. They were going to finish in the dark. It’s a good job the kit list had head torches on. They didn’t stay long at Caldbeck this time – just long enough for a couple of biscuits and half a hot drink.

So off they plodded again. I watched them off and headed back to Lime House School to wait. During the course of the day the field they were using as a car park had transitioned from grassy to muddy, but there wasn’t really anywhere else to go given that Kas might be struggling to walk, so into the mud I went. I then spent another nervous hour and a half waiting for them, mooching about, trying to estimate where they were based on who else was finishing (not a reliable process over a 46 mile run) and reading a bit more of my book. Eventually it was too dark to read in the car so I went and sat in the sports hall amongst people who’d finished already.

After 8:30 I decided they couldn’t be much longer so I decided to just stand outside and wait, to make sure I was there when Kas actually finished. It didn’t take much longer and I was reassured by meeting a guy who’d been at Peter House Farm earlier, who told me he’d passed Paul and Kas just off the school site and they were probably under 10 minutes away. They were quite easy to spot coming down the hill into the finish, despite the total darkness, mainly because Kas’s headlight is about a foot lower than Paul’s.

They both looked surprisingly well for people who’d just run, walked and staggered 46 miles over rough terrain in less than pleasant weather, over a period of 13 hours. Fantastic effort, well done.

All that exertion required a bit of calming down, re-energising and refuelling though. Kas grabbed a massage, which also included a free lower leg clean, and then grabbed her free beer. We both needed to eat so we went and grabbed pizzas from the van outside. They were surprisingly good. And during the boring bits I did even more reading.

By the time Kas was ready to leave it was well after 11 pm, and we had to get out of the car park by taking a loop across the field to avoid the worst of the mud. We actually drove right around and crossed the start/finish line of the race. It was pretty much midnight when we got back to the hotel.

When we got up in the morning we were both in the mood to get full value out of a Premier Inn breakfast. We woke up a bit earlier than we thought we might and were ready early, so we dived into the restaurant and started on some eating whilst waiting for Grandad, Nana and the kids to come over. Actually, Grandad bought the girls over before him and Nana were really ready. We spent ages there and ate quite a lot.

Before driving home we made one more trip over to Lime House School to attend the awards ceremony. It was one of those “everyone who turns up gets a prize” jobs, but in a good way. Kas got a special award as a glamorous finisher.

The drive home looked initially looked like it was going to be a disaster. Someone at the event site told us that the M6 was closed near Preston. We toyed with the idea of crossing the Pennines and driving down the east coast, but as we travelled south we started noticing the overhead signs didn’t indicate much of a problem. Apparently they’d cleared it, and we were through the crash site after only 5 minutes or so of delay, so we were glad we chose not to divert. As it was a Sunday then we did hit some traffic further down, but it was on the section of the M6 south of Warrington where there’s always a queue. The always-a-queue was enhanced by the presence of some roadworks where they are “upgrading” the road to managed motorway (otherwise known as variable speed limit and speed cameras every 100 yards). It eventually took us the best part of 7 hours to get back, with me driving all the way, so by the time I got home I’d had enough of driving. I wasn’t finished though, because I had to drive the car back round to the Co-Op to buy wine.

Geocaches found over the course of the weekend were: