Treasures - hidden, lost and found
As a relaxing and stimulating pastime, Shaun and his wife Alison have been fortunate enough to locate many treasures hidden by huntsetters who have left clues in books, videos, audio files etc.
Shaun has acted as an adviser to several high profile media treasure hunts including the “helpmefindjon” promotion for Stella Artois and Channel 4’s TV series “The Search”.
Not all of Shaun’s treasure hunt involvement is mentioned here, this is just a sample:
In 2006, Shaun finallly located a gold casket valued at £45,000. Not before time; he had been searching for it over 14 years.
The clues were hidden in the book - 'Quest - a Zetetic Treasure Hunt' by Martyn Lambourne. Bizarrely, he first discovered the book in an unexpected place - among the assorted electronics and computers at the rather geeky “Radio Amateurs Fair” in Leicester.
The treasure was found by solving clues hidden in a series of 29 poems - the answer to each poem led to the beginning of the next, and contributed a piece towards the overall code. Shaun developed a dislike for rhyming clues, as it’s very difficult to work out what is in the poem as a clue, and what is there just to make the rhyme…
In 2002, Shaun deciphered an audio tape based hunt called 'Apple Punch', produced by the British Diabetic Association. The prize was a golden apple with removable diamond-studded leaf brooch, made by Garrard the Crown Jewellers.
In 2000, Shaun was the first to win a place in the final of the computer based hunt 'Aureum' by Dan James for Attica Interactive. The prize was a Roman gold “solidus” coin, and a place in the final to be held on an exotic Mediterranean island, chasing after a prize of £20,000 in gold. Sadly, the company running the hunt decided to abandon it before completion.
While a member of The Armchair Treasure Hunt Club, in a series of team hunts with fellow club members, Shaun won:
A life-sized solid silver eagle in the ‘Flight of Fantasy’ hunt
A small wooden and silver lute in ‘Dunnin's Loot’
A gazetteer, compass and wooden chest
A silver plaque of Scotland in Scottish Quest by Charles Cunningham
Deciphering clues in the book 'Treasure' written by Dan James for the East Midlands Tourist Board, Shaun and Alison claimed 3 solid gold coins, 3 weekend breaks and came within a hair’s breadth of claiming the £250,000 main prize.
The Pot of Gold by Tom Haze yielded the prize of a pot of 200 £1 coins
In the Dash Discovery Trail, Shaun and Alison won a place in the final to compete in a special one-off of TV’s “The Crystal Maze”.
Shaun and family won a place in the final of the Sunday Observer Treasure Hunt
Shaun has also hidden many treasures and created hunts around them, including:
Samaritans Secrets (2006)
Shaun assisted with a treasure hunt to raise money for the Samaritans charity.
Left: the final clue to Samaritans Secrets
Text4Treasure 3 (2005)
A unique treasure hunt where daily clues to the locations of treasure were transmitted to seekers via text messages.
These clues pointed to words in newspapers, and these words themselves were clues to the locations of the treasures.
Masquerade Silver Anniversary Hunt (2004)
Shaun commissioned a silver hare brooch and hid clues in a pamphlet.
Right: An image from Shaun’s Masquerade Tribute Hunt
TATHC Treasure Island themed Annual Meeting hunt, Brooksby Hall (2003)
Shaun wrote a “dinner” treasure hunt that culminated in the pirates seeking the treasure on a table-top sized “treasure island”!
Text4Treasure 1 and 2 (2003)
Questershire II (2002)
A quest around Leicestershire, UK (of course!)
TATHC Dick Turpin themed Spring Hunt, York (2002)
Smugglers' Gold (2000)
Shaun commissioned a special jewel that was valued at more than £5000. It was fashioned from every type of gold, with diamonds set within it. The jewel was eventually located in North Yorkshire, close to a favourite smugglers’ haunt.
TATHC Sherlock Holmes Spring Hunt, London (2000)
This hunt took Sherlock Holmes’ “Baker Street Gang” of treasure hunters all over London and ended, appropriately, on Baker Street.
“Nathaniel Ingleby, Victorian Time-Traveller”
Nathaniel Ingleby was the tale of a Victorian time traveller who hid proof of his travels, in the form of brass discs. By solving the clues in the story you were led to a location where the disc was hidden. The disk was inscribed with a name, which would serve as proof of the finder’s claim.
And finally, the Discovery Society
As a reward for reading this far, Shaun would like to tell you about something that is in the collection of the Discovery Society. It’s a “curious compass”. The Society has no idea of its purpose, but it certainly is curious! One day the Society may be able to make replicas so that the general public has a chance to see if they can understand its purpose.