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Write and Mane

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  1. Someone has just logged one of our travellers that was last reported in June 2007. Is a disappearance of nearly 8 years a record?

    This traveller started life in a race in memory of Mark "the Cat" Thompson, but went missing from the off for over a year, so got nowhere in the race. After a short period of activity around the eastern USA, it went into hibernation again, but we have decided that it is persistent enough to warrant changing its goal to "return to the UK".

    Perhaps some longer term cachers will remember Mark for his gruelling tour round the UK in a cache - his car.

  2. Cache maintenance on Christmas Day can bring a bit of magic with it.

    As I approached the cache, it started to rain and a lovely rainbow appeared, one end a few hundred metres away was planted at the cache location. So the replacement cache may look like a black plastic tub, but it is really a crock of gold - but, remember, the usual rules on exchanging items still apply!

  3. It is very annoying when these things happen, but don't give up hope. We had one trackable go missing and re-appear 18 months later. We have, however, had several disappear and never come back despite polite reminders to the cachers concerned ( do wish the one sent out in memory of a young lad would reappear, but cacher hasn't responded despite contacting them in their own language).


    Good luck and don't be discouraged!

    We would agree with that - a couple of months is too soon to panic. We had given up on one that reappeared after two years. Sadly, there are a few who don't play the game, but the majority of geocachers do and are very helpful at that.

  4. Unfortunately, the quote from the Constitution is incomplete: it goes on to say “available for inspection, at reasonable notice, by any committee member.” As for open and transparent, I believe that our Summary Final Account is, at least, the equal of that of any of our predecessor holders of the UK Mega account. And we have posted it on a public website, which we are under no obligation to do.

    Our original intention had been to notify people of the posting via an Announcement through the event listing and/or the S Wales Forum, as the official event discussion base. As it happened, both of these were removed from our use before the accounts were finalised. Through no fault of the committee, the finalisation of the accounts took longer than we would have liked. I would add that the accounts have also been subject to independent audit.

    With regard to the charitable donations, the total sum was divided equally between the five Mountain Rescue organisations operating in S Wales and the Wales Air Ambulance.

    In the absence of any direct queries about the accounts since the Mega Event, I am not sure that there is a great deal of interest in this subject, but I am happy to respond to any reasonable questions. However, I would suggest that an open forum is not the most appropriate place to do this.


    With regard to Moote's comments, this sound advice comes more than two years too late for us. We did, however, lean heavily on the experience of our predecessors … and learned a lot along the way!



    Mega Wales 2011

  5. The following is a response to the initial posting on this topic by Mollyjak (Tony) on 2nd August and his follow up on 3rd. In an effort to keep comments and responses clear, the original comments have been cut and pasted into here and are shown in italics. The responses represent a committee view, except where they were clearly personally directed at me, and are shown in normal font.


    Lilian was the original fundraiser for Mega Wales as well as organising the Scottish Mega fundraising campaign she has travelled over a thousand miles and attended a great deal of events running fundraising events to give Mega Wales a basic money pot to start with, altogether she roughly raised £3500 through her own actions.

    Lillian held the role of Fundraiser on the Committee from its first meeting in September 2009 until her resignation in October 2010. There is no doubt that she did sterling work in this role, but the accounts show that through the initiatives she led, about £2600 was raised, which has to be offset by related expenditure of around £600. So the net income was about £2000. It is wrong to suggest that the other members of the committee did not help in any way with these initiatives. As an example of this, two members of the committee can substantiate £2-300 of the net income coming entirely from their own efforts. Most committee members will have travelled over 1000 miles: for example, virtually the whole committee travelled to Perth and worked their socks off at Mega Scotland.


    It was Lilian who persuaded me to put around £2000 of our own money into commissioning the golf coin and purchasing prizes to raise funds solely for the Mega.

    The cost of obtaining the golf coins was approximately £1100. The decision for Tony to fund this was taken unilaterally without discussion with the committee: it if had been, the committee would have found the money between them rather than it falling on one couple alone. The committee ensured that the outlay was refunded as soon as the coin account could afford it, which was a few months later. All committee members were encouraged to present receipts for their expenditure at the earliest opportunity, and the outlay for prizes was refunded promptly after presentation of receipts.


    It was Lilian who arranged the lovely Harpist that you enjoyed at the Mega Event.

    It was Lilian that arranged for Dia Dragon to attend the Event for the Children.

    It was Lilian who first encouraged the creation of the Sand castle event your children enjoyed.

    And it was Lilian who arranged the purchase of the Turtle caches you enjoyed in your goody bag.

    We acknowledge Lilian's role in initially suggesting these items. After their resignation, Lilian and Tony handed over fundraising and other items that had been purchased at the committee's expense. However, they refused to pass on details of other business or contacts that they had obtained in their roles on the committee. As a consequence, we had to re-establish all links and sort out all details in respect of the above afresh and develop them through to fruition.


    It has been open season regarding my wife over the past 10 months and we have not said a word.

    We do not agree with this statement, but do not feel that the situation would be helped by a detailed counter argument.


    She was bullied on the local forum to a point that the moderator had to step in to prevent further unpleasantness.

    Lilian made statements about Mega fundraising that were not a correct reflection of the committee's agreed policy. The chairman made a corrective posting. Lilian's next post implied that he was lying, but the chairman made a measured, but light-hearted response. This was not bullying and the moderator's action in deleting the post was highly questionable.


    All this time we have remained silent as not to disrupt the Mega none of our actions can be interpreted in this way.

    There is a lot of evidence that says otherwise.


    The Mega remained the same as the day we left it before my resignation through ill health, if not a very watered down version.

    There was considerably more to do in the last 10 months before the Mega than in the preceding 13 months. We are happy to be judged on the Mega package that we put together.


    It seems that in the eyes of the outgoing committee having a serious illness and being told to prepare for the worse is a crime punishable by silence and paranoia and to this day not one member has given a reason for this deplorable behaviour.

    As Vice-chairman, I spoke to Lilian the day after their abrupt resignation. I was sympathetic and, in the circumstances clearly apparent at the time, agreed that resignation was the wisest course. This was confirmed in a friendly and sympathetic email immediately afterwards. The response to this referred to an attitude of complete contempt towards them and stated that they had nothing further to discuss with us and that there would be no further business between them and the committee.


    Without so much as a by your leave or a simple note we got expelled from the Mega forum and it was left to moderator to inform us of this, just one more example of this immature attitude.

    The forum in question was the private committee forum, which was about to discuss things like the manner of Lilian and Tony's resignation, which had not gone down well, and the immediate reaction. The request to remove them from this forum, made after the email accepting their resignations, was correct professional practice. The action was in the interests of both the committee and them. The action of the moderator in these circumstances is questionable.


    I have no problems with what anyone says about me but I love my wife very, very much and feel that she should get the recognition she deserves from cachers, without the twisted and bitter overtones that have be cast upon her. Some will now say that this is “sour grapes” or ignore the truth. Even yesterday certain committee members had told some visitors when asked about their favourite event over the weekend got told “oh Sand and Sarnies, we don’t talk about them” this is the childish ignorant way people behave. Well the Mega is now over and the gloves are off so let’s get down to the truth!!

    No comment


    After a good night sleep and some thought about what I want to achieve with this post I have come to these conclusions. I do not wish this post to degenerate into a personal attack on anyone or for it to cause division amongst cachers. For the best part the committee have put in hard work into the Mega and for that I appreciate and have told some of them personally in emails and to their faces.

    I will however save the committee some anguish and time, stating that all I really want is for the Chairman to acknowledge publically the significant work Lilian put in to the Mega until my illness became the major priority in our lives and I resigned. Nothing else, then this whole business can finish and we can get on with our lives.

    On 20/10/10, after the committee had had an emergency meeting and agreed its re-structuring, a press release was prepared and a copy sent to Lilian and Tony to check that they were happy with it. The release included the following:

    “The MEGA Committee has recently restructured following the resignation of the Chairman, Tony Maund and his wife Lilian. The Committee would like to thank Lilian and Tony for their hard work over the past year in helping to get us to where we are now. Their contributions at Committee will be missed.”

    Tony's reply, within an hour, included the following:

    “... we both find this hypocritical and would prefer as already stated not to mention us in any way, shape or form after the way our resignation and consequential silence following the event we do not wish to be used as a damage limitation exercise for your incompetence. We have decided to make no further comments in any public forum but if this is published, and our wishes ignored, then as a right to reply we will need to set the record straight in the public domain.”

    This explains the absence of a public acknowledgement from me or any other committee member.

    In my closing speech at the Mega Event, I went as far as I could within this constraint. I made it clear that my thanks went to everyone who had served on the committee and noted that some of these had made a very significant contribution. The majority of people in the Hall would not have any appreciation of what this really meant, but I am sure that anyone who has been closer to events over the past 10 months would understand who in particular this referred to. I would also note that I have not singled out any member of the committee for public thanks, as I feel that this could be divisive to the team spirit which has prevailed throughout my tenure as chairman. I hope, however, that I have not been remiss in showing appreciation personally and directly whenever and wherever appropriate.




    Mega Wales Committee

  6. After a good night sleep and some thought about what I want to achieve with this post I have come to these conclusions.

    I do not wish this post to degenerate into a personal attack on anyone or for it to cause division amongst cachers.

    For the best part the committee have put in hard work into the Mega and for that I appreciate and have told some of them personally in emails and to their faces.


    I will however save the committee some anguish and time, stating that all I really want is for the Chairman to acknowledge publically the significant work Lilian put in to the Mega until my illness became the major priority in our lives and I resigned. Nothing else, then this whole business can finish and we can get on with our lives





    Unfortunately, I am away from home for three nights, with a flaky WiFi connection now and definitely no internet for the next two nights. Also, I need access to files on my computer at home to do justice to a response to this. There will be a response, but not until the weekend, when I again have access to files on my computer at home.

    It is not nice to be subjected to such unjustified accusations and to find so many people who don't know me joining in.

    Hopefully, I will also have cooled down a bit by then, because I am seething now.


  7. Eclectic_Penguin (not Eclectic Penguin, I understand the difference and didn't think you would create a sock puppet account by merely adding an underscore and thinking 'ah HA! This will fox them :D) I understand perfectly what you wrote. I wasn't trying to force anyone elses way of caching onto you either. If you choose to walk the paths, find the cache, not sign the log and not log your finding online that is entirely your right and privilege.

    I think it's a collosal waste of time, but that's just my opinion. Do you actually find the boxes? If you're not going to sign the log nor log them online, then why bother? Why not just walk on past. Or maybe you do :) Again, that's your right and I wouldn't try and change that. Of course if you don't find the boxes, sign the logs, log online then you're not really geocaching either... you're just walking.

    You say that this is how you do it now but according to your profile you've not logged any caches. So that's how you started caching unless you went back and deleted all your find logs (in protest about something?), or you created a new account and decided to not log anything.


    I read all the logs on my caches and I appreciate the effort some people put into them. I try and make the same effort in my logs too. I try and write individual logs for all the caches I do although sometimes there's little to say when you go from one side of a field to another to collect a micro under a stile at either end. I understand why lots of people will log a series as 'See log at #1', especially if they're prolific cachers with lots of caches to log.


    And I don't feel I've twisted anything out of context, you complain about whiners and criers but that seems to be all you do too. The log books are rubbish, the logs aren't read, Groundspeak are just money grabbers, people write rubbish logs etc.


    Like Marty said, you choose to not log your finds nor sign log books. That's fine, by all means continue. But the original post was about people logging finds on caches they've not done, or falsifying find dates to qualify for challenge caches they wouldn't otherwise qualify for. If they want to, then fine, they're only really cheating themselves. However should they log a false find on one of my caches then I'll delete the log, as is my right as a cache owner. It's cheating and I don't see why I should condone it.


    And why do people always attack someone elses intelligence when they believe themselves to be right. 'My comments are obviously far too high brow for you to understand so I'll tell you so, and quote Mark Twain'. I was surprised not to see Einstein - 'Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe'. Surely that was a gimme!

    I will try to explain it again, please try to understand it once. I have numbered all your points below to make it for you check against the original please do.

    1. I said that I did not want anyone telling me how I should be doing geocaching and I did not want to tell anyone how they should geocache.

    2. I said I do not go geocaching to write in logs but more to see interesting places associated with geocaching I am just not into writing in the logs Hence I have never logged any caches.

    3. OK you could say that what I do is only walking which is the same as any other cacher except for the logging or not logging of caches. As I said I do not log any finds how can I explain it any simpler than that? And as for the profile with no logs, like I said I do not write logs but do have to log on to the site to get the cache coordinates. As for the "why bother" remark why bother doing anything, nothing we do actually matters (except to the individual at this moment in time), nothing is going to matter from the viewpoint of 100 years in the future.

    4. I only complained about the type of whiner & crier who complains how someone else is doing caching and thinks they should be made to do it differently.

    5. Good on you for making an effort in your logs. I personally like those type of logs myself where someone makes an effort.

    6. I did not say log books are rubbish I said I did not want to go to the effort of writing my name in a log book that is likely to remain unread, in my opinion, as it just contains page after page of logs such as TFTC and NLNT etc.

    7. I did not say Groundspeak are moneygrabbers I said that if you can sell 1,000,000 bugs for £5 that is a profitable business which is great. I did bet on Groundspeak maybe not caring what happens to them once they are sold and released and as many people complain on the forums Groungspeak do nothing to help lost or stranded bugs unless you`ve heard different.

    8. Thank you for saying that I can keep doing it my way and that what you don`t like people cheating. I always think of cheating as a personal values issue ie I think a persons true value is what they actually do when they know no one is watching them, nothing more nothing less and certainly not what they tell you their values are.

    9. I did not, and I did not see anyone saying you should condone cheating. Perhaps you said that for dramatic effect.

    10. I`m sorry if you felt that your intelligence was being scrutinised but when I see stupid remarks on a forum I do think "ah HA there must be stupid people around.


    Fortunately the real truth remains true whether you believe it or not. It also remains there for you to go and check against what you thought I said to what I actually said. So If you want to check points 1 through 10 above and use a little critical thinking you will discover that our thoughts are not too different and that everyone does geocaching differently. Thanks for your replies.



    Just posting the message so that it is obvious from the format of the original post heading that our lovely friend Eclectic Penguin did not make this comment

  8. Have watched this situation for a couple of days. Peak delays seem to have been around 40 mins, 0 - 10 mins seems to have been more usual at other times. However it is not clear how much this has been affected by people avoiding the area or diversions that have been imposed at various times. Also, the daytime pattern on weekdays will not be the same at weekends.

    The best advice seems to be to avoid the usual rush hour times, but still check the latest position through the link given in the initial post.

  9. Due to a lorry fire in the Brynglas Tunnels, at Newport, the M4 has been closed. Diversions are in place, but these are long and major disruption and delay are occurring. Current reports suggest that the M4 through the tunnels will not re-open before the weekend, so we would advise anyone travelling to S Wales by road to check the latest travel news before they set out. This can be found here

    If you are approaching Wales from anywhere north of the M4, the best advice is to enter Wales via the M50/A40 and then use the “Heads of the Valleys Road” (A465) to get to Swansea. If you have no practical choice but to enter Wales on the M4/M48 then listening to the latest travel advice will be essential.

  10. I was bitten by an adder while reaching under a log to retrieve a cache in Ashridge Forest 2-3

    years ago. It was early in the year, so the snake was probably half asleep and didn't inject much venom.

    My hand swelled and was pretty sore for 24 hours, but I didn't need treatment and didn't see it as a major problem. It hasn't put me off caching, but I am a bit more circumspect before putting my hand into dark places.

    While their natural shyness and fear of predators means that you don't see them that often, they are surprisingly numerous and widespread.

  11. Low saturation areas would be great as maybe the same groups could discuss how to fill the gap... What type if cache would be most wanted. Personally I love multis but there's not many of them about :( guess they don't get as much traffic, so some of my favourites are rarely found... Maybe there's a way if fixing this with traditionals around them.

    If you come to S Wales, you could try some of our multis, but don't expect an easy ride. A lot of cachers are put off by the expenditure of energy required. The hardest ones only get one or two visits a year.

    Back to the tourism aspect of the topic, the Valleys area is working very hard to regenerate itself, after the mining and heavy industry days, and tourism is an element of the future. At least one local council has incorporated geocaching into its tourism strategy and one of the talks at Mega Wales will now be on this subject. See the latest news for more on this.

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