October 7 – An afternoon of geocaching around Deal and Walmer

Deal Pier is found at last!

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We are coming to the end of our second week in Deal and today I wanted to go to some of the local church micros that we have not yet found. The first was at Blessed Mary of Walmer church which was built around 1120, originally as the private Chapel of the d’Auberville family of Walmer Court and was once within the moated boundary of that property. When collecting the numbers for the multi I got E wrong twice so then we went all through the whole thing a third time. On the third time, M realised that I was reading the number on the headstone wrongly as it was quite old and as it was very hard to distinguish. On the third time, the coordinates made much more sense and took us to somewhere sensible. We looked for a while and then suddenly M found it. A very tricky hide and we are the first people to find this since March 2018. We gave the geocache a favourite point for a great adventure.

 St Mary’s church at Walmer is a classic example of the Gothic revivalism of the Victorian era. In May 2017 we came to do this cache but didn’t find it despite the fact that the cache was definitely there. How embarrassing was that! Anyway, we collected the numbers again and as I walked to the final I remembered being here before. This time I walked straight to it and reached in to retrieve the cache in the first place I looked. Maybe we are getting better as we do so much geocaching these days. LOL Maybe! Minutes later we drive right past a traditional cache and it would have been rude not to stop. This was a nice easy find.

Then we thought we would do some geocaches on the Deal Geotrail. We parked in a free carpark and walked up the hill to the track and to GZ. We looked for ages and ages for #5 but with only five previous logs on the GPS we didn’t have as many clues as we needed and at least one of those was a DNF. We eventually had to log a DNF as well. #8 was really easy to find but it was only the lid of the cache as it must have been muggled. It is definitely in need of some tender, loving care.

 Last week we tried to find the cache on the Deal Pier but we were unable to find it so I emailed the CO to see if we could get a hint. They gave us a hint and so today we went back to the pier to have another look. There were more people about but as soon as we walked up we saw the cache. We have no idea how we could have missed it last time as we looked for it for ages.

The first Deal Pier was built in 1838 but due to decay, it lasted only until 1857 when it was washed away in a storm. The second was built in 1864, but it was badly damaged on a number of occasions by ship collisions in 1873 and 1884. Deal Council purchased the pier in 1920 for £10,000.  It was badly damaged again in 1940 by a Dutch ship, ‘Nora’, who, having been mined in the Channel eventually drifted into the pier destroying 200 feet of the ironwork. Due to the continuing threat of a German invasion from across the Channel, Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the Army to demolish Deal Pier for fear it would be used as a ‘beachhead’ by any invading German troops. Construction on a new Deal pier began in 1954, designed by Sir W.Halcrow, and cost £254,000. It is made from reinforced concrete and is 1026 feet in length and the grand opening was on held on 19th September 1957 by The Duke of Edinburgh. In 2006 Dover District Council, who own and maintain the pier, ran an invited design competition to renovate the cafe at the end of the pier as part of the pier’s Golden Jubilee in 2007. The old Cafe at the end of the pier was replaced by a new restaurant, designed by award-winning architect Niall McLaughlin and built by Barwick Construction and was opened in 2008. Deal Pier is internationally recognised as an angling venue, and although a rod charge is made for visiting fishermen, public pedestrian access is free.

According to his birth certificate Gillian’s maternal grandfather was born at 4 Campbell St in Walmer and today we went to see it and take a photograph for our records. This house was less than 500 metres away from our housesit in Deal.

During our stay in Deal two weeks ago Jill had been to Barcelona to take part in a fundraising car rally which required that they drive in cars which they had purchased for less than £200. Jill’s car was sitting outside the house and has taken part in several car rallies.