The Armchair Treasure Hunt Club
The Spade Hunts 2008-9

The Spade Hunts are due to be with to members around Halloween 2008. They take broadly the same format as the 2005 Pearl Hunts and comprises four independent regional hunts and a master hunt.

The first five solvers of each regional hunt (that's twenty in total) will either dig up or claim by post, an antiqued silver coloured spade trophy and, importantly, a clue to the master hunt. By combining the four clues from the regional hunts, the solver of the master hunt will win an antiqued golden spade trophy.

Like the Pearl Hunts the setters of the regional hunts (who are all making their hunt-setting debut) have aimed to make the regional hunts relatively easy and are again limited to two sides of A4 and have geographically restricted their hunts to a known OS Landranger map.

The Spade Hunts are open to all current members of The Armchair Treasure Hunt Club. Individual hunt setters are able to take part in regional hunts other than their own, but the master hunt setter has ruled himself out of all five hunts.

Important Note: Each regional hunt is based around a single Ordnance Survey Landranger sheet. It is important that you use a contemporary edition of the relevant map at the times the hunts were set. For reference, this is given below. The images below are taken from the Ordnance Survey website and clicking the OS link will take you directly to the OS site where the maps may be purchased online for the RRP of £6.99. Club member Charles Cunningham points out that offer OS Landranger maps for £4.89 including delivery. Amazon offer them for £5.59 including delivery.

OS Landranger Sheet 100< The Wedding Planner by Craig Jones takes place within the bounds of OS Landranger sheet 138: Kidderminster & Wyre Forest. Edition B2. Published 20 April 2007. ISBN 9780319228340. Buy from OS, Dash4It or Amazon.

Stephen Hallam and Mike Smith solved this to claim two spades and a master clue for The Fly in March 2009. Pete was hot on their heels an claimed the third spade and clue just a week later. Matt Edwards, Working with Deborah Hatton and Nick Ball followed on with a postal claim for a spade and clue in April 2009 and Roger Lintott and Frank Eastham claimed a clue by post in June 2009 but as winners of another spade hunt did not take a spade. The final spade and clue went to new member Aitch in September 2009.

Club members can participate in the bulletin board discussion here.

OS Landranger Sheet 128< Miller's Crossing by Andy McCulloch is based on OS Landranger sheet 131: Boston & Spalding. Edition D1. Published 16 October 2006. ISBN 9780319229408. Buy from OS, Dash4It or Amazon.

It took until December 2009 for Pete (with some earlier assistance from Roger Lintott and Frank Eastham) to solve this hunt and make the first successful postal claim.


Club members can participate in the bulletin board discussion here.

OS Landranger Sheet 179< A Bridge Too Far by Simon Jacobs is set within OS Landranger sheet 199: Eastbourne & Hastings. Edition D2. Published 6 June 2006. ISBN 9780319228210. Buy from OS, Dash4It or Amazon.

Almost simultaneously Sandra Young and Frank Eastham solved A Bridge Too Far in July 2009 - both with help from Roger Lintott. Only Sandra claimed a spade (by post) as both Frank and Roger already had one from The Wrong Man. Pete claimed a clue (having already won a Wedding Planner spade) in September 2009.


Club members can participate in the bulletin board discussion here.

OS Landranger Sheet 182< The Wrong Man by Robert Dickson uses OS Landranger sheet 165: Aylesbury & Leighton Buzzard. Edition D1. Published 1 July 2008. ISBN 9780319229163. Buy from OS, Dash4It or Amazon.

Club members Frank Eastham and Roger Lintott claimed the first two spades, and a clue each for The Fly on 12 November 2008, by submitting a correct solution to The Wrong Man, by email. They were closely followed by Nick Ball who worked with Deborah Hatton on the solution. Nick visited the burial spot on 18 November 2008, to claim two spades and clues. Helen Cook and Peter claimed the final buried spade on 21 November 2008.

The associated clue for The Fly was released to all members in the March 2009 newsletter (issue 98)

Club members can view the bulletin board discussion here.

OS Landranger Sheet 182< The Fly by Brian Souter is the master hunt and can be found within OS Landranger sheet 105: York & Selby. Edition C3. Published 18 December 2006. ISBN 9780319229453. Buy from OS, Dash4It or Amazon.

With three clues bagged on the other hunts, Frank Eastham and Roger Lintott agreed on a solution to The Fly in July 2009 but fell into the fly trap to discover one of four buried glass red-herrings in Lancashire. With some more work they uncovered a further message two months later but no soultion. By the end of October 2009 they had decoded The Fly and claimed the final prize when they dug up the golden spade in Yorkshire in November 2009.

Pete also solved the red herring puzzle in December 2009 and Paul Corby went to dig one up for him, leaving two behind.


Club members can participate in the bulletin board discussion here.

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