Member's Story - Mike Gott
“I’ve called this story ‘Lost Treasure – The Awful Truth!’ – read on and you will understand why!” – Mike Gott
Being realistic, I really wasn’t a good choice to organise the 2017 Treasure Hunt. Looking at my track record, my first attempt to take part in one at the age of 18 in my Vauxhall Firenze saw me miss a significant clue and exceed the 10 mile distance limit by 67 miles. I was presented with an in-car coffee maker for the next time I went missing!
Not long after I was out with my mates Dave (driving) and Barry on a treasure hunt organised by Grimsby’s Lloyd Cars – a firm that had started off making an amazingly innovative but under-developed light sports car in the late 40’s. They nearly went bust in the process, and only survived by turning themselves into a general engineers. We were in a Ford Escort van and Bazza and myself were stood upright in the open back doors in the name of looking for clues as Dave drove us through some sleepy Lincolnshire villages – when you’re 19 it all makes perfect sense. Anyway, Dave went over a bump – and we both fell out. He didn’t notice and we ended up sprawled in the road, right in front of a farmyard with all that brings to a road surface.
Whizz on 40-odd years, and with the MMOC Treasure Hunt dropped on our shoulders, we quickly got on with organising the route, leaving the clues to be done a few weeks before the actual date in case anything changed. Accordingly I created a template on the computer and input the route details whilst leaving large blank spaces for the questions. What could possibly go wrong? I’d even arranged everything with the pub where we were to start and finish from. They were keen to have us, it was an ideal location, on the side of a canal, good food and beer and a big car park. Just near a motorway junction too. Then it burnt down!
Taking this setback on the chin, I arranged for another pub nearby to be the new start and finish. It did of course mean that the carefully constructed route sheet needed reworking, but at least we were still in business. Accordingly, the week before I met up with Steve Rose and with him driving, we did the route and came up with the questions. These I added into the blank spaces on a copy of the route sheet on my computer. The day before the event I printed out 20 copies. At least, I thought I did!
Come the night, I had been handing out the sheets to the entrants as they rolled up at the Houghton Arms – our starting point. I’d handed out quite a few when somebody asked where the questions were. Oh no! I’d printed out 20 copies of the route with the blank spaces rather than the questions on them without realising it. It was too late to do anything about it. Everyone had a run in the country minus the stress of answering questions, ending up with a pub meal. To top it off, Louise revealed that she’d left the trophy at home……………..
I was going to leave the whole thing for dead, but have been talked into doing it – with questions this time – sometime in 2018. Many thanks, on behalf of Louise and me for the “Hard Luck” award at the AGM……………….