Ike stretches his legs around Malton, North Yorkshire (Part 1)

This was to be an epic walking day for Heather, Mark and Ike, together with the geo-caching Mister Men.

Ike & the Mr Men packed their sandwiches and set off quite early. First, they walked down into Malton. As it was a bit quieter at this time of the morning, Ike and the Mr Men found their first cache, by sitting on a bench on the High Street. This cache was one in the series called ‘A Fine Pair’, this is a series of caches where a red telephone box is in close proximity to a post box. This helped Ike learn something about the history of the postal service in Malton.

Grade II listed (13/01/1988) Type K6. Designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Made by Macfarlane and Co. Cast-iron. Square kiosks with domed roofs. Unperforated crowns to top panels and margin glazing to windows and doors. Recessed red posting box with two slots in plate above for Local letters Only and Other Letters. 

The large Post Office building in Wheelgate was opened for business on Monday 19 June 1911 after long continued complaints of the inadequacy of the old office at Butcher-corner.  The much-needed improvements were chiefly brought about by Mr. Ashwell, the energetic postmaster who, since arriving in Malton in 1885 literally transformed the service in the town. 

On Mr. Ashwell’s arrival in 1885, there were three town postmen, three for the country, three clerks, and three messengers. This soon increased to five town postmen and one auxiliary, four country postmen and four messengers. Originally Maltonians were favoured with one delivery a day; in 1885 there were three then four. 

After finding and signing this tiny Cache, Ike and the Mr Men walked onto find the next one. This was in the area called The Mount, and again, Ike was able to learn something about the history of this area from this cache.

The area known as The Mount was once ‘a large open place’ called Gelding Hill. Here boys played cricket, visiting circuses were held, as were poultry fairs. A meeting of the Malton Local Board of Health in April 1860 approved the plans submitted for one of two houses to be built on the Gelding Hill by Mr. R. Stabler. Most of the houses built subsequently were completed in the mid to late 1860s.

The Mount was a popular area where Maltonians could live in splendid villas with gas and water laid on.The area was positioned as a ‘well to do’ area – potentially for the wealthy professionals and tradesmen of the town.

After finding the tiny cache and admiring the big houses, Ike set off walking out of town towards the countryside. He needed to cross the Malton Bypass for the first time today, later he would cross it again, and learn something about it.

Next Ike and the Mr Men found their first “countryside” cache of the day, down a little green Lane. They liked this one, as no one was about, they could all get out and take lots of photos! They then walked on towards the next cache. This was a bit more tricky….it said it involved a tree climb, but when they reached the location, Ike and the Mr Men realised it was more like a scramble up a banking, with good handholds, because the trees were on a steep banking. Out of all the finds today, this one took the longest to find! Almost gave up, but then Ike spotted one more place to try, and there it was!

After this, they walked into the little village of Broughton for the next cache, which was another one on a bench. Broughton is a little village 1.5 miles north west of Malton, and has a population of approximately 200. It also had a bench with Broughton 2000 on it, and some very nice flower tubs nearby, all well looked after. The sun came out, so this was a good place to sit and rest the paws, plus have lunch and of course find the cache! After this refreshment, it was time to carry on walking, back tracking slightly, to reach the footpath that went through a plantation of trees. After quite a walk, Ike and the Mr Men found the next cache behind a large log! It was a HUGE box this time!

To be continued…