Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

Kiss at the MEN Area - I don't have any good caching pics from my two drive-by's

Kiss at the MEN Area - I don't have any good caching pics from my two drive-by's

On Monday I was due to meet up with a childhood friend I’ve not seen for a few years to go and see Kiss at the MEN Arena. On the way I worked in just enough time for a couple of quick caches.

The first was just by M6 Junction 17 and a nice quick drive-by. The co-ords were a bit iffy but a quick scan round all the likely places nearby soon revealed the cache.

Gene Simmons about to do his firebreathing

Gene Simmons about to do his firebreathing

The next and final cache for the day was near to M6 Junction 19 and another quick find, this time with spot on co-ords.

I’d have done a cache or two in Manchester City Centre before the gig but we’ve found them all!

I met up with my old friend and we had a fabulous evening watching Kiss from about 10ft in front of the stage. I even managed to grab a souvenir towel thrown into the crowd by Gene Simmons after he did his blood spurting part of the show :-).

There's the towel I caught, about half way up the mike stand in the roof of the arena

There's the towel I caught, about half way up the mike stand in the roof of the arena

By the time the show had finished, there was no time for any caches on the way home. Not a great problem as the day was not about caching and I had managed two on the way anyway :-).

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L.S. Lowry signs the logbook (or is he sketching some matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs ;-))

L.S. Lowry signs the logbook (or is he sketching some matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs ;-))

After an excellent evening watching Kiss at the Sheffield Arena last night, Isaac and myself planned to cache our way over to the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event which was due to be held in Manchester city centre.

The only cache left between us and the M1 was a called called Phoenix, set by this huge state of a phoenix. Try as we might we could not spot the nano so reluctantly gave up and headed northwards on the M1 instead.

Peak District moorland views

Peak District moorland views

I’ve done the Woodhead Pass drive between Sheffield and Manchester many times in the past and was telling Isaac it should be really nice, with lots of great Peak District views along the way. We’d run a caches along a route Pocket Query last night so had a selection of caches to think about stopping for.

Time was a bit tight, so we just stuck to the drive-by’s and cache and dashes, although we’d have loved to go for a longer walk on the moors in this stunning, yet desolate scenery.

Isaac looks for one of the moorland caches

Isaac looks for one of the moorland caches

As we were coming down off the tops on the Manchester side we stopped to clear up a DNF from ages ago at Tintwistle. It took us a few moments to find the cache but what a fantastic hide. If you’ve not done it already, get over to Arnfield Lane – Benchmark – you won’t be disappointed.

The next cache was also a really nice one as it it set not far from where the famous painter L.S. Lowry used to live and in a little park area with a statue of Lowry sat on a bench sketching. See the photo below – we even managed to get him to draw a picture on the cache log ;-).

Isaac with L.S. Lowry

Isaac with L.S. Lowry

Once in the city centre we walked over to where the Shambles used to be and the pub that the event was at. We had a great time at the event meeting lots of old friends and quite a few newer cachers we’d not yet met but seen in many a logbook.

On the way home after the event we picked off the nearest two caches as they were (sort of ;-)) on the way.

At the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event

At the 10 Years! Manchester, UK event

Once home, we had a lovely Sunday roast dinner before I met up with Allun from the Shropshire Seekers to drive up to the 10 Years! Christleton, Chester, UK event. On the way we picked up two caches that had been set for the event and another cache that was very close to the pub.

Another excellent and well organised event followed. We had a great time and hope to start coming back to the regular events that are held at this pub. It’s been way too long since we went to the last one!

Great public art near a cache in Salford

Great public art near a cache in Salford

Not a great day in terms of numbers with only 13 finds, but two of them had unique 10 Years! icons and were really good fun. A great day out :-).

10 Years! special event icon10 Years! special event icon

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Isaac and Freya with the cache

On Sunday we were in Manchester for a return visit to the MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) as we’d not been for absolutely ages and keep seeing it mentioned on the TV. Needless to say it was well worth a trip and we really enjoyed looking round.

While we were in the area we could not resist one quick cache for the day. Castlefield was not too far away so we walked over from the museum for a quick find of the cache. A great spot for a cache and one that has been used countless times on Coronation Street on the TV.

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Manchester City Centre caching

Isaac sat next to Alan Turing at Manchester University

Yesterday we got very close to Manchester City Centre whilst out caching and I mentioned to Isaac that we must go for a wander round sometime soon as I’ve not been for ages. He suggested as Sunday was his last day of the school holidays, we should get the train into Manchester to do some caches and have a look around with perhaps a bit of shopping if we had any time left.

What a great idea as I’ve not been on the train for years and I don’t think Isaac ever has, despite him having been on the New York Subway, San Francisco’s BART and the Severn Valley steam railway nearer home! We booked our tickets online later on Saturday evening.

Great statue near the university

On Sunday we got the train to Manchester Piccadilly and absolutely loved it. The train was new, looked very clean and was really quiet yet fast. What a nice way to travel – we’ll have to do this more often. Very relaxing :-).

On arrival in Manchester our first cache just had to be the Sidetracked one just outside Piccadilly station. The GPSr’s lead us a merry dance for a while here due to all the tall buildings but eventually settled down and we went in for a quick find.

The Hilton Tower - it looks unfeasible!

During the morning we’d planned to work on a multi cache based around some alien’s that were done at various points around town using small mosaic tiles. A really neat idea for a multi and great fun to do. I won’t say much more about it here as I don’t want to spoil it for others, but I will say it’s a fab cache and the final is in a surprisingly nice place where the cache is very unlikely to get muggled.

We did all the other city centre caches as we passed them, including a couple by Manchester University. At the cache in St John’s Gardens, I pointed out the back of the houses at Granada Studios made famous on TV in Coronation Street. You could just about make them out over the walls of the studios.

Coronation Street (look closely!)

The next cache was in Albert Square by the Town Hall. The highlight of this one for both us was a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom parked outside the Town Hall and obviously involved in a wedding. We both had a good look round it – what a great car.

Rolls Royce Phantom by the Town Hall

Just a few more to do now as we’ve nearly run out of caches to do. The next one was by a bar that is in what used to be some grotty underground toilet’s when I was a teenager. I’m not sure I’d want to go drinking down there even though it looked very nice from what we could see down the stairs.

The last cache was down past the BBC building on Oxford Road and a nice quick one. From here we caught a bus to Piccadilly Gardens to go and have a look for some old fashioned record shops (Isaac’s request, not mine, but really good fun nonetheless).

We had a walk around a few more places and something to eat before it was time for our train home. On the way home the train went right past the Jodrell Bank telescope and we clocked 102mph on our Oregon!

Jodrell Bank telescope as we zoomed past at 102mph

An absolutely fabulous day out which we both loved. I really liked re-living all the places I used to go to in my teens and Isaac liked being taken to see them, plus he loved having a look around the “old fashioned” record shop he’d looked up on the internet the night before!

Only 9 finds for the day, but the day wasn’t really about caching :-).

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The Hellfire Club near Queens Park

On Saturday myself and Isaac planned a trip to North East Manchester. We decided to start off with the cache series around Boggart Hole Clough, move on to the various stand alone caches in the area before heading off to do the Rochdale Canal series and then finally the SBT series by the last junction of the M62 before it heads over the Pennines.

On the way to Boggart Hole Clough we picked up a quick cache called Claires Brothers outside a church not far from where we’d got off the motorway. Once at Boggart Hole Clough we parked up in the main car park and got the bikes out of the Jeep for the ride around the series.

Green Victorian Post Box

We started off along the northern edge of the park with several easy finds, before diverting off to a cache by a lovely Victorian post box that was painted green rather than the usual red. Just the kind of location that caching is made for as we’d easily have driven past here without even noticing it otherwise.

Next, it was back into Boggart Hole Clough to go round the rest of the caches in the series. All nice quick finds with some great hides and even an ammo box on one of them. It’s always good to see an ammo box used on a cache in such an urban location (although it was in a secluded part of the park that could easily be anywhere in the middle of the countryside).

The Hellfire Hearse

After we’d finished here, we headed off southwards to pick off various stand-alone caches. The highlights for us were:

  • A cache by the Hellfire Club – a huge dining and entertainment venue that had a very creepy looking hearse outside and ghoullies hanging from the walls outside the building. Another fab location for a cache.
  • A cache by some very urban locks on the Rochdale locks in an area I’d never have dared go into 20 years ago. It’s been cleaned up a lot since then although I have to admit it’s not our favourite part of Manchester for caching.
  • Getting lost by Isaac at this roundabout with tons of exits. We got the wrong exit twice and were very thankful we were third time lucky and were soon at the next cache after that!

Lock 75 on the Rochdale Canal

After we’d finished the stand-alone caches, we picked up a couple of easy finds in Broadhurst Clough woods before arriving at a very familiar Morrisons by the M60 not far from Oldham. We’d been here to do some other caches in the past but it also served as a great place to start the 6 Rochdale Canal caches.

Out came the bikes again and headed off down the towpath. Lots more easy finds here, including a cache in a tunnel, a cache by this unusual hydraulically lifting canal bridge and a cache near to some lovely locks with a very interesting information board nearby.

The top end of the Rochdale Canal series

After we’d finished the canal series we got back on the M60, then the M62 and were soon parking up for the SBT series near Milnrow, just off the M62 before it goes across the Pennines towards Leeds. These new caches were set around some excellent brand new cycle paths and a dream to do by bike.

All were nice easy finds apart from number 5 which we could not see anywhere. The logs implied it was a sneaky hide, but even looking in all the sneaky places we still could not spot the cache. I’d be interested to see where it is if it’s still there.

Views towards the snowy hills from the SBT series

We’d pretty much done for the day but it was still very early as we’d got through the caches a lot quicker than expected. I suggested to Isaac we head home via the two Earthcaches just outside Manchester City Centre. On the way to these we picked up a quick drive-by nano just off our route by a church.

Just as we neared the city centre we remembered there was a bargee canal cache we’ve been meaning to do for ages. It used to be a not so nice area but urban regeneration has meant the area has changed beyond recognition. The historic locks are still there but are now surrounded by very swish looking high-rise apartments and tastefully restored mill buildings. The cache was an easy find.

View of the Ancoats locks

The first Earthcache was right by the Manchester Apollo. I’ve been to tons of gigs there in my teens and twenties and so it was really nice to come back again. Isaac also enjoyed seeing the venue I saw my first gig at – Iron Maiden in about 1984 :-).

Next, we headed for the other Earthcache by Manchester University but could not resist a few easy caches around the area as we went. All quick finds with the hardest bit being finding somewhere safe to park.

Love the architecture in these new buildings

We finished the day with an impulse cache at one called ‘Most Dangerous Cache In Manchester #8’. Not the nicest of areas (that’s the whole point of the series apparently!) but a quick and easy find as the coast was clear.

42 finds for the day, glorious weather and a fun mix of urban and more rural caching. A great day out!

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