Merthyr Marathon MM1 - Guest Appearance
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This is the first in a series of geocaches aimed at exploring Merthyr Tydfil. Future caches will range in type and difficulty but the first eight will be inter-related. This cache has six parts, all within an urban area and within about a mile of each other. The first five caches are virtual: the last a small plastic canister. It is likely to take about 2 hours to complete on foot (less if you cheat and use a car as much as possible).
You have to feel a bit sorry for Merthyr Tydfil! At the forefront of the industrial revolution, its people and landscape were wantonly exploited. But perhaps the bigger tragedy is that it only woke up to its valuable heritage when much of the evidence had been lost. However, some interesting gems remain. At each virtual cache, the answers to the questions (one word) are essential to finding the final cache.
THERE IS A "WHEELCHAIR FRIENDLY" CONVERSION AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST EIGHT OF THE MERTHYR MARATHON SERIES. PLEASE CONTACT US BY EMAIL IF YOU WANT DETAILS.
Virtual Cache 1
This building and street take their name from the Works which were built just to the north in 1839 to keep pace with the demand for rails. Question 1: What surname links the building to the tobacco trade? The numbers in the construction year will be substituted by the letters abcd in future position references.
Virtual Cache 2 N 51 45.cb9 W 003 21.acb
Question 2: There were stalls here for food and clothing … and what else? The nearby stables had their façade restored by the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Trust in aebf and were converted to housing two years later. While looking at the stables, please show respect for the privacy of the residents. The Prince of Wales planted a laburnum tree on g December aeeh. If the choice for redundant buildings is between expensive preservation of an empty structure and tasteful conversion for continuing use, then the right decision seems to have been made in this case: the quotation in the opening plaque seems apt.
Virtual Cache 3 N51 45.fdd W 003 gd.e3d
Question 3: On what building did Sir Charles Berry base the design of this one? Joseph Josiah Guest and his wife, Lady Charlotte, had ten children. They helped to improve the health, education and life of workers by the provision of a school, library and church. Lady Charlotte published the first English translation of the Mabinogion. JJ Guest died in 1852 and this memorial to him was built in abci.
Virtual Cache 4 N51 45.chd Wddi ga.ddh
This building was constructed between aedj and aedf. Question 4: What did the engines feed to the furnaces? John Guest was installed as Ironmaster at the Dowlais Ironworks in 1767. Within 100 years, the Guest family had made it the biggest in the world, employing about 10,000 people, including women and children.
Virtual Cache 5 Nja hj.cga Wddi ga.agb
Following repeated vandalism, this virtual cache was relocated to a new site in April 2005. Question 5: Amidst some unusual industrial sculpture is a casting from the Dowlais Ironworks. What sort of mould is it? You may wish to note for future reference the day in September when the casting was made.
Micro Cache 6 Nja hj.ikl Wddi gg.dmn where:
k = (letters in answer 1) - (letters in answer 5)
l = (letters in answer 2) - (letters in answer 4)
m = (letters in answer 3) - (letters in answer 2)
n = (letters in answer 3) - (letters in answer 5)
The cache is in Newland Park which was created by a reclamation scheme completed in 1996. The reclamation work included the area occupied by the Dowlais Steelworks Rolling Mills, which operated between 1880 and 1930 and boasted that they produced railway lines for the world.
In keeping with the size of the container and a slightly metallic theme to this cache, the initial treasures are small coins of relatively trivial value (foreign left-over change, old UK currency, etc). It would be nice, but not essential, if this theme could be maintained.If you intend to do further Merthyr Marathon caches, do not lose clues that you have picked up on this one.
Gvtug oruvaq n srapr cbfg juvpu vf ernpurq guebhtu ghaary haqre ohfu.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum