Ike returns to Malton and Norton, North Yorkshire.

Ike was delighted with the opportunity to return to Malton & Norton and be reunited with Heather and Mark, and the Mr Men again, for more walking & Geocaching Adventures. Upon arriving, he set off to do a new Virtual Cache (they became VERY popular last year due to all the COVID-19 restrictions), and there were now some new ones to find since his last visit. Mr Happy kindly lent Ike his yellow scarf, as it was a cold day.

The first one was loosely based on the game Cluedo (Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick), and so Ike set off to walk around Norton in Derwent and look for clues. Norton is in Ryedale and borders the market town of Malton, they are separated by the River Derwent. The name Norton is derived from “north farmstead or village”, being a settlement to the north of another. In the Domesday Book Norton is listed three times, as “Nortone” in the Scard wapentake of the East Riding of Yorkshire. At the foot of the bridge between Norton and Malton in the reign of Henry II was a hospital dedicated to St Nicholas, founded by Roger de Flamvill, and governed by the canons of Malton. In 1823 Norton was in the Wapentake of Buckrose and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Population at the time was 1017. The first “clue” was Norton Hive…Ike wondered if he was going to see bees, but he soon discovered this was actually the Library, which he realised tied in well with Cluedo!

Ike likes libraries a lot, as you can learn about Geography & History in them (plus of course many other things), so a Library was a good place to start his Adventures. The next clue was at a church on the Main Street in Norton, and Ike realised it was a good one when he saw that it was “Plum Street”! Next, the Mr Men showed Ike an extremely good hotel. This was the Grand Alpine Travelbug Hotel. As well as being an actual bug hotel, it was also a dropping off point for “Travelbugs”, (moveable Geocaching game pieces). These have a special code, and you can log them online that show that you have seen them, or helped them move along.

Some of them have travelled thousands of miles, being dropped off and picked up from different geocaches. However, due to all the recent travel restrictions, Ike and the Mr Men found there were some of the same guests from 6 months ago! So they took a few guests to travel with them, and drop them in other locations, plus dropped off a couple of guests too. It was a very busy, full hotel!

After that, the Mr Men showed Ike a different type of Geocache, one he hadn’t seen last time. Many Geocachers spent the lockdowns, especially the last one as it was over the winter, solving Puzzle caches. The Mr Men are not very good at puzzles! There are a wide variety of puzzles, and it depends if they understand them! They do like the history based ones, but they discovered during the lockdowns a type of puzzle they love even more! Jigidi! This is basically an online Jigsaw puzzle, and when you complete the puzzle it gives you the coordinates for the cache! This kept the Mr Men entertained over the long lockdown winter, so they were very happy that they actually got to go and find one of the caches, that they solved the Jigsaw puzzle for. The actual cache was clever too, a “fake” stone type, that has the logbook in a little slot underneath.

Next Ike and the Mr Men went to visit Norton Pond, this had the 3rd clue for the Whodunnit Virtual Cache. The Mr Men explained that this was just the type of place they wouldn’t have gotten to see without caching, as they likely wouldn’t have gone there for any other reason, but it was a pleasant walk, very pretty and Ike got to see the ducks and a swan too.

They then walked back to the County Bridge. This bridge connects Malton and Norton, and is still one of the few places you can cross the river between the two towns. It’s also right next to the Railway Level Crossing, and can be a busy place when the barriers go down to allow the train to pass. Ike had a look at the information about the County Bridge, and this was the first of the Malton Heritage Trail that he spotted on his travels. Later in the week, he spotted a few more. After crossing the bridge, they sat on a bench, and found the cache which relates to the Bridge!

Ike had done a lot of walking by now, so he was very happy when he got up to the Shambles again, to be given permission for a ride on the Rickshaw! Though this was in Malton not India, Ike enjoyed the ride and was glad to rest his paws for a few minutes! He said it was very comfortable. (The lady who owns the Rickshaw Shop gave permission for these photos to be used on Facebook).

As they crossed over the County Bridge again, to walk back to their holiday accommodation, Ike and the Mr Men were able to watch the train pass, as the barriers were down!

They then walked onto the final stop, St Peter’s Church. This beautiful church was built in the cathedral style and it sits on the site of a Roman settlement and burial ground.

This was the spot for the final two clues of the Whodunnit, so Ike could collect his certificate for completion. He also admired the Jubilee Window, which was stain glass, and was created for the Queens Golden Jubilee. The window has the coats of arms of six community organisations. And this was the final clue of the day, Ike collected his certificate and went home to rest his paws!