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Colony Co-op

A cache by Firth of Forth Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 8/6/2004
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

One of a series of caches along the Water of Leith walkway. Very little walking involved to do this cache, but it will tax your brain!

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The History
The Stockbridge ‘Colonies’ consist of 11 parallel streets which were built by the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company from 1861, with the aim to provide low cost housing for skilled working people. The streets are named after the founders of the company. Mortgage style loans were arranged through the company, and the earliest prices were between £130 and £250.

This is an excerpt from a newspaper article at the time the colonies were built:

Or, What Co-operation Can Do

No one who visite Edinburgh should fail to see the workmen's dwellings which have been erected there on the co-operative principle. They present a picture of comfort and an example of what judicious combination can accomplish, particularly interesting and instructive.

About seven years ago, a few earnest working men, prompted by the deplorable want of suitable housed, and a desire to improve the condition of their class, formed a Co-operative Building Company, with a capital of £10,000, in shares of £1 each.

By earnest action, the practical aid of fellow workmen was gradually obtained; and the position of the undertaking - so far as mere figures can indicate a result which embraces incalculable moral and social benefits - may be thus summed up:

- The entire capital is subscribed by 836members, 400 houses supplying healthful accommodation for at least 2,000 individuals, have been built and sold for £70,000; and an average profit of over 15 per cent has been paid every year.

Reid Terrace Old & New © Copyright: Peter Stubbs; permission obtained to reproduce

Now, the flats and houses in the colonies are des res properties that do not stay on the market for long.

The Cache
To find the cache, you will have to do some observation work. The coordinates above take you to the end of the section between Raeburn place and Glenogle Road.

There are two signs here. One says ‘Water of Leith Walkway, Deanhaugh Path, Opened 1A February 198B.
The other says ‘ In Memory of Meyer Oppenheim, Founder Water of Leith Trust January 19CD.

Walk over the Falshaw Bridge. Find the date that it opened in May 18EF.

Walk a bit further to N55 57.646 W003 12.651. On the side wall of the building on Bridge Place there is a sign with an arrow to ‘Bridge Place no G and H’.

As you pass the ends of the parallel streets of the colonies, you will see stone carvings of the various trades on the gable walls of the rows of houses. These clues relate only to the lower carvings. For each one, you need to find the name of the street for that row of buildings. The street names are unusual in that the back and front of each row of buildings has the same street name, so that houses on opposite sides of the street have different street names. All will be clear when you get there!

Using the usual A=1, B=2 C=3 etc, find the correct numbers for the following letters.
Find the stone carving depicting the stonemason’s tools: a wheelbarrow and stones.
This relates to XXXXXXXX Place (8 letters). You need the third letter to get J

Find the stone carving depicting the carpenter’s saw, hammer, chisel and plane.
This relates to XXXX Place (4 letters). You need letter 1; its value = K.

Find the carving of the painter’s ladder, brushes and paint tray.
This relates to XXXXXXXXXX Place (10 letters). You need letter 6; its value = L.

Find the carving of the architect’s scroll and measuring devices.
This relates to XXXXXXXX Place (8 letters). You need letter 2; its value = M.

Find the carving of the blacksmith’s anvil, mallet and pliers.
This relates to XXXXXXXX Place (8 letters). You need letter 5; its value = N

On one gable end, find the stone inscription that says that ‘GLENOGLE PARK’ was built by the Edinburgh Cooperative Building Company, Manager J Colville. Below it is a carving of a face and below that is another carving of what looks like a chalice, but is a setting maul, which is a wooden hammer used by masons to set the stones in place in mortar. Find the date at the top of the setting maul 18P1

The cache is situated along the next stretch of the Water of Leith Walkway. You can rejoin it by crossing a bridge at the end of Bell’s Place. There is a sign to it from Glenogle Road.
Final coordinates:
N55 57 UVW
W003 12.XYZ
U = E+F-G
V = A-N
W = H+M
X = J-(N+P)
Y = C-D+M
Z = L/2-B-P)

You can check your answers for this puzzle on

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Onfr bs gerr - rnfg fvqr

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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