"I AM NOT A NUMBER, I AM A FREE MAN!" (Bucks)
Since Dan Wilson and Ben Pid's Wetlands (3) Island Hopping (Bucks) was archived SP has been looking at this area to place a cache of his own. He recently got Dan's ok to encroach on his territory and this cache was set with Pid, in part, to remember that fine cache by.
Watermead has always reminded SP of Port Meirion in North Wales, where exteriors for The Prisoner was filmed. When he visited it in September 2004 for the second time, he rather fancied placing a cache there - but couldn't. Watermead has the advantage of being much closer to home! This cache will take about an hour to complete and is not recommended for children, or anyone 'caching alone.
Arrival. (Set the scene. Download a 22Kb midi file of the theme tune here: prisoner.mid)
Unless you're gassed and brought to The Village (of Watermead) by sinister undertakers, you'll want to park your stolen mini moke taxi around N51° 49.946 W000° 48.318, where there's ample free parking. But be careful to park in a clear space as poor parking is frowned on here (see the notices about towing your car away) and no one wants to enrage Rover.
The Old People's Home - N51° 49.968 W000° 48.297.
Turn up on a sunny day and you might find someone to play chess with, but when we visited there was just someone sanding very still here. Admire their jugs then see which creature they're with. It's a private garden but you can see it from the path:
Lion=0 / Bull=1 / Goat=2 / Dolphin=3 / Eagle=4 / Unicorn=5 / Sphynx=6 / Otter=7 / Seal=8 / Horse=9. Whatever the number, add it to THE SUM OF THE THREE NUMBERS ON THE PRISONER'S LOTUS 7's NUMBER PLATE. Call this single digit number A. Look out for a feeling of being watched by glowing eyes here.
The Bandstand - N51° 49.893 W000° 48.476.
Rather less frequently used than the one in The Prisoner, a sadly neglected bandstand on an island has X sides and Y steps up into it. HOW MANY DIFFERENT 'NUMBER 2's' APPEARED IN THE PRISONER? This two digit number is Z. X+Y+Z=a two digit number. Add those two digits together to give you B.
The Stone Boat(s) - N51° 49.929 W000° 48.455.
How many stepping stones (including any against the shore) do you need to cross, MINUS THE SUM OF THE TWO DIGITS IN THE NUMBER OF EPISODES IN THE PRISONER SERIES. This number equals C.
The Village Square - N51° 49.950 W000° 48.389.
So like Port Meirion in North Wales where The Prisoner was filmed. There's a tower (sorry, no bell), village shop (the don't sell maps of the village though - I checked) and a fountain. How many horses feature on it? WHEN THE PRISONER MET A WOMAN LIVING IN HIS FORMER HOME IN LONDON, HE GAVE HIS NAME AS PETER 'SOMEONE' - HOW MANY LETTERS WERE IN THAT SURNAME? Name MINUS Horses=D.
What's in a number? - N51° 50.009 W000° 48.411.
A home with an obvious number, but a manhole cover here has a two digit number on it, below where it says 'SLV'. Take the smaller one from the bigger one, AND ADD IT TO THE NUMBER OF THE ILLUSIVE CHARACTER WEARING A GORILLA MASK THE PRISONER MEETS IN THE FINAL EPISODE. Call this number E.
Now head to:
N51° 50.(E-D)(D-C)(B+B) / W000° 48.(A+B-D)C(A+E)
to discover the main cache's location.
To get there, escape the village! By the way, one reason this cache is listed as a puzzle is that you can't just walk to the cache. :-)
Be seeing you!
The cache originally contained:
1x Episode 1 of The Prisoner (Arrival) on DVD (with original DVD sleeve)
1x Prisoner postcard
1x Blank audio tape
1x Glass tealite candle holder
1x Lock de-icer
1x CDR with mix of indie music
1x Boxed Mini (sorry, not a moke) toy car
1x Jeep TB! Plus the usual: Cache notice, log book, pen.
The Prisoner themed swaps particularly welcome!
While you're in the area, I suggest you try Dan & Pid's Watermead Wetlands (1) and (2) or else Dan's Hidden Remains (Bucks) cache. Both are within stout-booted walking/short driving distance.
A small experiment - Please feel free to rate your visit to this cache out of ten in your log.