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England's Hardest Virtual - Back In Business


klaus23
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"Seven miles from any town, There stands Imber on the Down"

 

Have a look at this map/satellite picture hybrid.

 

To get to the Ghost Village virtual on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, you will need to walk through terrain dotted with tanks, unexploded shells and killer cows, avoiding plenty of soldiers with guns who are 'practicing'...

 

... or just wait until the roads are open, which they are currently until January 6th, pm, again during Easter and the summer sometime.

 

This isn't a bit of cache promotion, it's not even mine, but just a heads-up that this cache is back in business with new co-ords and can be done in perfect safety with landowner permission (a scary landowner with plenty of weaponry at that). It's a very strange and surreal place, and well worth the visit.

 

There's some pictures of Imber here (with slightly incorrect factual information), a pretty good Wikipedia article here, and a BBC article on the church (from the cache page) here.

 

Enjoy! ;)

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There is usually a mountain bike race over Imber Down every New Year's day (I say usually just in case it's not for the 1st time in over 10 years)

 

I did it a few times back in the day when I was a tad thinner, it is a good day out and not an issue if you are slowish as there are different lengths of course. Imber is on all the courses.

 

If it's on, it'll be in the fixtures section of any mountain bike magazine and no doubt Rutson will be able to provide a link to a successful Google search.

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I have been on Salisbury Plain more times than I care to remember, but I have never had the privilage of visiting Imber Village, it really does look a surreal place to visit.

 

I feel that on the cache page it doesn't say why you mustn't leave the track, I can tell you, you run the risk of getting your leg blown off or even killed. It is a live firing range, and despite the fact it will be cleared before it is opened to the public for the short periods of the year, live unexploded ordnance will still be present.

 

I have never been part of the clean up party for Salisbury Plain, but I have done it in Canada, despite the exstensive safety briefs that soldiers get before the clean up, I was astounded at the amount of live ammunition that soldiers loaded onto their vehicles, risking life and limb. So if experienced men will do this, can you imagine what you may inadvertantly step on if you leave the track?

 

As long as you follow the warnings, it should make it a nice location to visit. If I ever find myself near the area during an open period, I wouldn't hesitate in visiting it.

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I know what delicate negotiations the Wombles had with the Army and I feel it only right that responsible geocachers respect the wishes of both the cache owner and the Army when planning to visit this cache.

 

As it states on the cache page:

Please note that this cache is still unavailable.

 

Having negotiated an acceptable solution with the landowner which does not require people to leave the carriageway, we need to get the new coordinates. This is planned for this week now that access is open. Please wait for the cache to go live again before visiting.

 

So anybody else planning a visit, please wait until the cache is active again.

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Imber really is an amazing place, which is partly the beauty of the countryside, visiting somewhere with no permanent residents, and the serious hardware which litters the place (including the remains of many tanks). It's like driving through a film set. Or a War.

 

This is not a good place to practice Cache In, Trash Out.

 

I'm grateful to the Army who whilst concerned about the potential for injury if people did not heed the warnings, were helpful in modifying the cache so that it could be conducted in a safe fashion.

 

And also to Klaus who obtained the new coordinates after I lost the last set from the last "open" period. :)

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Cor, great photo - sounds like I'll drop down past Hereford and through Bath and down the A36. I take it the approach is the one from Warminster town centre. Across the Plain and then head for the A303.

 

Thnaks for sorting this out Dave it must have taken a great deal of work and negotiation from you, it looks like a great cache. It goes to show that a virtual can hold it's own!

Edited by Kitty Hawk
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They are not all dead tanks!

 

Some are left to make you think they are dead, but infact are very alive!

 

The best bits about Salisbury plain are the firing rangies for tanks! especially when the army are on manoveres. Yes! even when they are firing, Salisbury plain can be driven on bywyas that are left open.

 

Infact about a year ago, I had a stand off situation with a Chieftain Tank! Gun to windscreen!

It states clearly...Do not leave the bywyas, and I have seen what mess those tanks can do, so no way am I going to leave. Funnily, nor was he! I flattered my eylids and he turned to putty, moving his bl88dy great beast out of the way for me! Now thats what I call a Gentleman! (Not many of them around these days!) ;):lol:

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I worked on salisbury plain training area for several years, As you drive down the road from Gore Cross take a look at the the wind and solar panel system on the vedette this was some of of my handy work. But however i would quite often park up in Imber and have dinner. It is said that the Birds do not sing in the village i dont ever remember the birds singing whilst in the village.

 

As for the mountain bike ride this is run by Spam biking and will be on the 8th january 2006 see you there

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They are not all dead tanks!

 

Some are left to make you think they are dead, but infact are very alive!

 

Infact about a year ago, I had a stand off situation with a Chieftain Tank! Gun to windscreen!

Due to the agreement with NATO and the Russians in the early 90's, all tanks that are monuments or left as target practice must be made unusable, such as the barrel being blocked and the engine compartment filled with cement. ALL live armoured vehicles must be accounted for and easily accessible for inspection.

 

I have been on many tank ranges and military training areas, and I have never seen a live tank left unattended.

 

Also are you sure it was a Chieftain and not a Challenger or Challenger II tank?

As Chieftain as a Main Battle Tank was last used in 1995, funnily enough on Salisbury Plain. I know I had the job of stripping the communications equipment out of them.

The only Chieftain's that are still working that you may come across will be in museums and engineer vehicles that use the chassis for carrying things such as bridge layers and mine clearers, ect.

 

For those that don't know the picture above is a Cheiftan main battle tank.

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Ah Chieftans live firing at night and suddenly its daylight/nightime in less than a blink of the eye

 

Happy Days

 

"Old Recce Mechs never die but the scars do fade eventually ! :laughing:

And your ears are ringing, pants are full if you are standing too close and haven't seen the towers red flag going up, and you still don't have your ear defence on.

 

I don't know how many times that has happened and you still die from the sudden bang. :laughing:

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Went today as planned, a little disapointed at the actual village itself as it has lost any original character with the exception of the church which currently you cannot go in, or even walk around according to sign at entrance to village location. Car was so muddy from the roads, as we drove all around the area, it cost £4 at the car wash to make it looked almost presentable again. :laughing::laughing::huh:

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And your ears are ringing, pants are full if you are standing too close and haven't seen the towers red flag going up, and you still don't have your ear defence on.

 

I don't know how many times that has happened and you still die from the sudden bang. :laughing:

Indeed :huh: Happy Happy Days :laughing:

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