Fifteen participants took part in the 3rd Annual Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt, held on Sunday 2nd September 2007. As per last year, members of Wakefield MAG's Social Committee organised the route & question packs, and acted as event control, counting us all out and, all back in again. A huge thanks to Sue, Alan & Kelly, who spent all day looking after us all. Well done, good effort !!!!
We all met at 9:30am at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield, where we got our clues/instructions. We then had 30 minutes to work out the places to visit from the clues and calculate the best route, for this event is won and lost by map reading and navigational skills (that's why it's the Thinking Rider's ride out !!!!).
The run first took us to Wrenthorpe, and the Lofthouse Colliery Disaster Memorial. Next stop was Tingley roundabout and another memorial, this time to seven airmen who lost their lives when their Halifax bomber crashed in the area, in 1944. I'd read about this story and the local memorial before, and in 15 years of living in the area, never actually found where it was, so I was rather pleased to find it now. From Tingley, we made our way down into Dewsbury, and into the Graveyard of Dewsbury Minster. We were looking for a gravestone of Hannah Siddall for the answer to our next question. You would not believe how many Hannah's are buried in that churchyard. Hannah must have been a really popular Dewsbury name 150 years ago.
From the Minster, we made our way up to Thornhill and the golf course at Thornhill Park, which is open April to October (now committed to memory as it was one of the questions). Next stop Mitchell's practical campers at Middlestown, and then onto the old Caphouse Colliery, which is now the hugely impressive National Coal Mining Museum for England. If you have never been to this museum, or indeed, down t'pit, it is well worth a visit. Recently extended, it now includes the neighbouring Hope Colliery too. A fascinating glimpse into our magnificent industrial heritage, and the best bit, as it's a National museum, entrance is FREE (I'm so Yorkshire sometimes !!). However, as we had other places to visit and clues to find, we duly pressed on to Cannon Hall in neighbouring Barnsley.
From Cannon Hall, we hit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, home to many Henry Moore pieces (Henry Moore is a bit of a local hero, hailing from Castleford). A couple of questions to answer at the Sculpture Park, before it's on the bikes again to the Station Pub, next to the Wakefield City Farm. Unbeknown to us, there was a vintage motorcycle meet in the car park, so there were lots of Norton's, BSA's & New Imperial's, from the golden age of motorcycling, on display. My own Royal Enfield Bullet looked quite at home, even though it was built only 18 months ago in India and is therefore a complete fraud in this company !!
Our final destination prior to returning to base was the Wakefield Country Park a.k.a Pugney's. From Pugney's you can see Sandal Castle, and the spot where Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, fell on 30th December 1460, after York and his forces had left Sandal castle only to be intercepted by a larger Lancastrian force. It had been a very bad idea to pop out for a takeaway on that cold dark night !!!
The final question was 'what had all the questions in common?'. The answer was seven, as all the answers had some relationship to seven in them. Quite clever really.
The first team back didn't win, as it wasn't a race, and the points were awarded for correct interpretation of the clues, correct answers at each point, and the most number of correct tie break questions. First place went to Allen Boocock, who incidentally got the booby prize for coming last, in last years Treasure Hunt. Second place went to Lorna & Ian and third to new members Steve & Joanne, on their first Wakefield MAG rideout. Last place, and the Booby prize, went to Daz & Paul, citing early retirement through mechanical problems, or a nail in the back tyre to be more precise.
A brilliant day out, everyone had a great time, and it's well worth attending next year. Oh, and for the record, Allen would like it known that he is no longer a Loser !!!!
Steve Travis, Wakefield MAG Rep