Pathfinders 2017

The May club night was the Pathfinders, thank you to Barry Lindsay & Martyn Petry, last year’s winners for organising. Next year’s event will be organised by Christine & John Ross.


1st Christine & John Ross               12 Clues 41miles
(1hr 40) tie decider

2nd Geoffrey Harkness, Martyn Petry  Kay Lindsay    12 Clues 41miles
(1hr 42)

3rd Nigel & Helen Harkness                                               12 Clues 43miles

4th Yvonne & Graham Petry, Michael Lindsay               12 Clues 44mile

5th Linda & Eric Ritchie                                                       8 Clues 45mile

6th Kieron & Jon Stynes                                                       3 Clues 41mile

Pathfinders – Competitors report

By John & Christine Ross

We left home armed with maps 85 & 86 to meet up at Westlinton layby, for 7pm, only to be told by Mark, you can’t leave for seven minutes.

Received our instructions and began plotting the route, then off we set in hot pursuit of Nigel and Helen, found the first two clues, then headed for Fergushill, had a fair idea what the answer was, but were being closely followed by Neil and his co driver.

John decided he would go a different way round the route, so off we headed, to Scaleby, but it was a waste of time as we couldn’t find the clue. Then off the Laversdale and the airport, but the navigator didn’t notice I had missed the turning until we got to Seathill, so back we went. (Never rely on me for directions). As we guessed it was the Vulcan. Continue reading

2013 Clubhouse Tour (Pathfinders) – Organisers Report

By Mark Taylor

Not a bad night for this years Pathfinders except that some were engaged getting things ready for the Pirelli/Richard Burns Foundation Rally. Should have been no contest really! Still, a turnout of 6 crews isn’t too bad and I had been concerned that entries after 19:30 wouldn’t have the daylight to get round fairly.

As always I try to test the crews. This year it was a red herring on the Grid reference at the start, spotted by our first starters Trudy & Caroline. It’s a good job I included a description of the start or I would have had a quiet night. I had a quick check of the clues to make sure I got the grid square references the right way around at least. Panic over. Continue reading

Pathfinders Results

By Geoffrey Harkness

Starting at Westlinton, nine crews plotted a route that would take them by Hopesike wood, Oakbank then across to Chapelknowe before a short loop, then back down via Englishtown to Glinger Bank. The next section was up to Evertown across to Hollows, then to Claygate and Harelaw before heading back to the finish at Skitby via Pedderhill, Slealands and the Cliff. Everybody set off in the correct direction and all got to the finish but how and by what route could be any one’s guess. Phil and Viv would have won except for the time penalties .Chris and Sue also did well but also received penalties but both crews did manage to find the last clues in the dark. John and Christine was the only other crew to get a penalty, all the other crews being penalty free. In the end it was a close finish between Dave and Mark and team Lodge but the number 1seeds came out top. Congratulations to Mark and Dave, next year’s organisers.

Results                                                  Clues                      Penalties

1st   Dave and Mark                                     10                                    0

2nd   Caroline and Jonathan                      9                                    0

3rd   Joe and Neil                                         8                                    0

4th   Nigel and Helen                                   8                                    0

5th   John and Christine                              8                                    1

6th   Phil and Viv                                           8                                    4

7th   Mike and Ian                                         7                                    0

8th   Neil and Zac                                         5                                    0

9th   Chris and Sue                                       4                                    6

View from the Top (or the pitfalls of poor preparation)

By Mark Taylor

The plan was simple. Turn up on time (not easy for this pairing) exchange the usual “pleasantries” with the Editor, then try to make a simple concept complicated! After all no-one wants to actually win this event due to the forfeit for next year.

Well I’m here to tell you it’s not all bad. There is a certain amount of pleasure gained from setting a good event and seeing the result on the competitors faces at the end as no doubt was the case this year thanks to the weather but mainly to Geoffrey’s choice of roads. There were lots of fast sections between clues to keep the drivers happy and even a bit of navigation for the co-drivers which proved beyond this correspondent as testified by most other competitors travelling the “wrong way”.

We actually followed the plan to the letter (well only 5 minutes late) and set off with a very sketchy plan. The first clue turned into a procession along Hopesike woods looking for anything that resembled the crossword clue on the page. Dave drove past some distance before telling me the registration number of a long disused van so as not to highlight its location, then off like a scalded cat. This was not in the plan but I let him off as no-one likes a procession (all F1 fans take note!).

This continued for the next few sets of clues through Oakbank, Stubby Knowe and Cadgillhead as competitors repeatedly bunched probably due to deteriorating eyesight on our part until we reached the point I had to tell Dave I had no idea how to get to the next couple of clues. It served a purpose as we both wanted/needed the time to search for clues without the other kids looking over our shoulder. This was where I came up with an old plan which worked 4 years ago in achieving the primary aim i.e. not to win but unfortunately is now called a masterstroke as it evidently all went wrong from that point.

After turning the wrong way, missing Englishtown, Glingerbank and Glenzierfoot I realised there was actually a straightforward route but it was too late to turn back. Who wants to be midfield in a procession (Michael Schumacker take note. Ha, Ha!).

We headed for Canonbie and travelled alongside the A7. Here we resorted to cheating but Dave and I are desperate (eh Caroline!). We stopped 3 innocent bystanders who were otherwise enjoying their evening asking them to help solve the clues. Dave and I disclosed our Scottish ethnicity to curry favour but for the record, they were no help but did wish us a pleasant evening all the same. Picking up the A7 for a short burst to return back towards Canonbie I thought the navigation would be easier for a while. A sign for the Hollows appeared very quickly, too quickly in fact, but those Q5’s are really rather fast! Dave performed a copy book U turn in the middle of an A road and I decided to take the turn for the Hollows after all!

For the next clue at Claygate younger readers should “look away now”. Almost at the end of this section and no clue in sight an attractive blond lady in a blue Audi Estate pulled alongside and asked us what she could get for £20! Unfortunately, as time was pressing, we had to make our excuses and left.

There were no further histrionics for the rest of the route. This took us back to Skitby via Harelawhill, Shielingmoss, High Plains and past South Sealands to the A6071 three miles south of Longtown. An excellent turnout of 9 crews fully justifying Geoffrey’s efforts. I just hope I don’t go and spoil it all next year.

Pathfinders Results

1st       Yvonne Petry & Geoffrey Harkness      11 Clues  47 Miles
2nd     Neil Thomlinson & Paul Scott               8 Clues  43 Miles
3rd      Christine & John Ross                             7 Clues  46 Miles
4th      Neil & Zach Varah                                    7 Clues  47 Miles
=         Mike Lindsay & Caroline Lodge             7 Clues  47 Miles

Spadeadam Motor Club Pathfinders 2010

By Caroline Lodge

May’s club night saw six crews setting out on the 2010 Pathfinders event. Each crew had a list of grid squares to plot and a clue to solve for each square. Crews could take any route they liked, but had a time limit to keep within and needed to try and keep their mileage as low as possible.

The answers to the clues ranged from house names, to engravings on walls, from signs and posters to members surnames.

The organiser’s route took the Longtown road out past Laversdale turn and then took the right up towards Prior Rigg, then across and down through Boltonfellend, taking in three of the fifteen squares on the way.

Then turned left at Hethersgill before dropping down to Walton. Nobody saw the engraving on the tree (it was there the night before) and one crew did try unsuccessfully to cover their tracks after trampling down some nettles at Walton Mill Bridge.

Lanercost New Bridge was the next location before crossing the A69, passing Milton Rigg Woods, on to Kirkhouse and doing a loop around Forest Head, where if you’re not careful you could be in danger of listened to or blown up. Back down through Talkin crossing the Brampton- Castle Carrock road, and to the viaduct at Gelt Woods. If the crews had taken the time to site here for a rest they would have found another answer. Continue reading