Chess themed Geocache No.5 - WHITE KNIGHT (Bucks)
Your starting point is the telegraph pole next to the road at N51° 52.799 / W00° 50.434 as pictured above. This is Weir Lane, tucked away behind Whitchurch (which gets its name from the White Church up on the hill) and best reached from Market Hill. If you're struggling to find the road, here's a clear Streetmap.co.uk map of the area. I suggest this is a good place to park too. The post has some letters and numbers carved into it, in the following way:
The figures look something like this, but I've replaced the numbers with lowercase letters:
Your second location is at N51° (c-1)d.(a-1)(b-4)(d+3) / W00° (A-3)0.(d-1)(a-1)(d-2). To get there, take the footpath beside the house (possible barking dogs to make you jump) to the stile at the end, with a distant view of the Black King. Turn left here, following the edge of the field to another stile which is somewhat tucked away behind vegetation. Be careful over this one, as it was rather wobbly when I visited in July 2003. Now follow the arrow to the co-ordinates, crossing a small bridge and following a little stream (a spring known in the village as Fair Alice. Answers as to why on a postcard please) to your goal.
Now, locate the obvious object which has some numbers on it, two two digit numbers and one one digit number (I hope that makes sense) and keep a note of them. I've called the largest (i.e. highest numerical) number EF, the next largest GH and the single digit I.
Cross the busy road with care and proceed to your third waypoint, which is at N51° FH.(E+E)H(F+G) / W00° F(F-I).(F-E)(I-F)(H+I). As you cross the road you may glimpse a mock-Tudor building called The Furs at the south end of the street. There's nothing much special to see here now, which is why the cache trail doesn't visit it, but 50 years ago you could be shot for hanging about here with a note book. This was the home of a top secret government department called MD1, or as it's better known, 'Winston Churchill's Toyshop'. Here weapons for spies, saboteurs and other military exotica was designed, developed, built and tested. The locals had to put up with explosions from the complex of sheds behind the main building. Q-branch would have been proud of them!
Back to your target. If you've reached the correct location, you should be able to see three dates, all above your head. One is in a square, one on a cross above the square and one on the biggest sundial I can ever remember seeing. [ ] 16J7 / + 18KL / Sundial 18M8. On the other side of the building you'll find an unusual iron reference to Sarah Tomlin. The date on it is August the N0th 1OON. Note all these figures!
Leave this area by the exit to your left and pass a house with a rather obvious name before dropping back to the main road. Re-cross it with care to the fourth location: N51° JN.OL(N-M) / W00° J(M-N).M(K-J)J, a spot unpopular with arachnaphobics! On the wall behind the road name sign are two letters and a date: TF i-ii-iii-iv. Note these figures too. Well done, your quest is nearly at an end!
The final target, the Cache, is located at:
N51° JM.L(ii)(iii) / W00° F(b-K).(iv)c(i)
To get to to the cache, follow this quiet road to a kissing gate on the left. It might be worth taking a little detour right at a fork in the road, as the ancient market place is worth a look, I'd say. Back at the cache site, you'll find the remains of (Sir? I'd better get a Knight reference in here as well as all the White stuff) Walter Bolebec's home. He was one of the assessors of the Domesday Book, started in 1086, and was given this land by Bill the Conqueror for his efforts. When Cromwell's forces visited during the English Civil War (it never seemed all that civil to me...) they demolished it totally. The site is now overlooked by Bolebec house, once home to the painter Rex Whistler. His picture called 'The Vale From Whitchurch' was painted in the back garden. Culture as well as caching eh? You lucky people. Happy hunting!
The cache originally contained:
1x Small handy tin box
1x Blade Runner postcard
1x 2-euro coin (spend it wisely)
1x Sony Memory Stick metal keyring
2x Tealite candles
1x Art of the Phoenix Trail (Thame to Princes Risborough) leaflet
Plus the usual: Cache notice, log book, pen, pencil, all in a bag to keep them dry, or to pinch to use 'Cache In Trash Out'-ing.
While you're in the area, I suggest you check (another vague Chess reference there. Did you spot it?) out my first cache, Chess themed Geocache No.1 - BLACK ROOK (Bucks) or Chess themed Geocache No.4 - WHITE ROOK (Bucks). They're both within short driving distance.
A small experiment - Please feel free to rate your visit to this cache out of ten in your log.