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The Cache is at the site of an old coal pit which dates back to the early to mid 1700s. The workings can be clearly identified and are well worth a visit, the scenery and wildlife also make it all worth it. The coordinates supplied are for Neilston Parish Church where you start your journey.
I have lived in and around this area all my life and have often travelled along the Low Road (local name for Lochlibo Rd) and noticed these strange land forms. I recently took it upon myself to do a bit of research to find out what they were and this is how I have arrived at this cache.
It transpires that the landforms were an old coal pit which dates back to the 1700s. Working the pit for coal was abandoned after it was flooded by the nearby Loch Libo circa 1791 which resulted in the drowning of seven men. It was reported some years later in "The Scotsman", on the 23rd Of September 1843 that the pit was sealed and the water pumped out, whereupon the skeleton of what was believed to be a young man was found along with a pair of shoes and some buttons. The skeleton was subsequently removed and then interred at the Neilston Chruch yard which, incidently you will have to visit if you intend to complete this cache. See This article for the Scottish Mining report. (visit link)
If you are focussed, quiet and pay attention you will have the opportunity to see a lot of wild life in this area, over the course of my research and various visits I have occasioned on, Roe Deer, Kestrels, Sparrow Hawks, Buzzards, Owls, a variety of Finches, Tits, and finally foxes and Rabbits, I'm sure there are others that I have missed, though suffice to say there is an abundance. The Scottish Wildlife Trust have a reserve nearby which is centred on Loch Libo - (visit link) The dam is also well known for it's carp and pike fishing, (visit link) The Loch Libo site is also a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), there is more information on this is available at (visit link) So there really are a lot of different reasons for visiting this location no matter what you interests are!
The cache is a small plastic clip lock box containing a logbook and some smaller swag items. To simplify matters each of the key locations has been added as a waypoint.
Let the quest begin !
Step 1 - N 55° 47.122 W 004° 25.517 – Neilston Parish Church – A = The last connection we have with the former coal pit is the skeleton that was removed and then interred in Neilston Parish Churchyard and so it is to there you must travel for the first clue. Originally I had thought of having you rootin aboot in the churchyard however access is not always available so I didn’t think that was very fair, so instead the coordinates given should put you outside the church instead. The question is, how many times can you tell?
Step 2 - N 55° 47.122 W 004° 25.517 – Neilston Memorial – B = Standing with your back in front of time whilst still at the Church you will see a memorial standing not too distant it is there you must visit to answer this clue. How many letters are in the surname of the gentleman being commemorated?
Step 3 - N 55° 47.122 W 004° 25.517 – Neilston Memorial – C = Whilst you are visiting the memorial you should also note the number of letters in the forename of the person being commemorated
Step 4 - N 55° 45.946 W 004° 29.606 – Uplawmoor Hotel – D = At what hour do they stop serving bar meals at the weekend?
Step 5 - N 55° 45.946 W 004° 29.606 – Uplawmoor Hotel – E = On your way in how many winged “A”s on orange do you pass?
Step 6 - N 55° 45.883 W 004° 29.746 – House in Uplawmoor – F = Look up and around till you find the scary watcher, below it there are a number of windows clearly seen from the road. What is the answer when you divide the number of panes by the number of windows?
Step 7 - N 55° 45.883 W 004° 29.746 – House in Uplawmoor – G = Looking further around the green house, it is the front door you must find and the numbers on it's right. It is the number OF them not the numbers that you need.
Step 8 - N 55° 46.348 W 004° 29.488 – This clue is in the original account – H. = You can sit and ponder the answer to this whilst at ground zero admiring the views The sum of the numbers of the day in 1843 when the article was published in the Scotsman is what you need.
Step 9 - N 55° 46.348 W 004° 29.488 – Another from the account – I = How many bodies allegedly remain in the old pit?
Step 10 - N 55° 46.348 W 004° 29.488 – And finally from the account – J = In total the number you need to know is how many appear to have been reported as injured in the disaster?
Once you have found the answers to steps 1 - 7 you can make your way to ground zero, the remaining clues are a bit of basic interpretation from the original pit disaster account.
Well that the hard bit over ! All you need to do is substitute your answer into the formula below then pick your route. If you want me to validate your answers before you head off feel free to drop me an email and I'll confirm either way.
N 55° CI.AEH W 004° GB.FDJ
In researching this cache I found a number of different routes to the cache and have provided a selection of three below but I am sure you will be able to research others with the help of some maps and satellite imagery.
However be warned the routes available to access this cache are over difficult and challenging terrain in all cases. I have provided a few alternatives. But I would suggest stout footwear and a liberal application of field craft will make your task easier.
Route 1. Park at the layby waypoint listed as Lochlibo Rd. The pedestrian level crossing is approximately 70m along the road, the waypoint listed as Level Crossing. Once you have crossed the railway making sure you have closed both gates, follow a route NE parallel with the railway fence (no more than 2/4m away from it) to the waypoint listed as the Causeway. Warning conditions under foot can be very wet, there is no discernible path and the undergrowth is heavy going. Take care as you approach the Causeway waypoint as there is a small water course with an old but somewhat derelict wooden bridge which you have to cross. After this it is a pleasant stroll along the causeway to ground zero !
Route 2. Park at the layby waypoint listed as Shilford. head through the fields towards ground zero which can be clearly identified in the distance. The catch here is that the ground can be very rough and boggy in places so taking a higher line is better although this area is also preferred by some pretty big bovine beasts.
Route 3. This route but is the easiest, although the terrain is still challenging never the less. There are quite a few of the previously mentioned big bovines however it is not that long at circa 2km. The views on a clear day are tremendous. On one of our research visits we were fortunate to have a very clear day and could see The Heads of Ayr, Ailsa Craig, Arran's Goat Fell, Eaglesham Moor, Ben Lomond and Glasgow City centre from the one place, well worth it.
Ynathvfuvat ybj va gur nezf bs na byq Unjgubea haqre fbzr ebpxf.
- a view along the causeway towards ground zeroYou won't see this view in person without going to the site, I only discovered it from a satellite view. Notice the big dominant tree?
- Ground Zero in the distanceThe large tree that dominates the site can be seen clearly here. Once you have visited the site it will be a bit more obvious.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum