Oh exciting! Thanks for sharing your adventure and images with us, Mark....so much appreciated! From his site, Andrew says the following:
The tins should all be buried shallow enough for you to find them with a metal detector.
In this area you would definitely NOT want to be seen with a metal detector, and I can't imagine he would have buried them deeper than what you probed, so using Knitting needles was a great idea!
I think we all agree on the path to the 'five fallen' and that as the Guards Memorial. And from there the most obvious place is the tree which sits alone and near the row of benches/seats looking towards the lake-- but since nothing was found upon first check, it's great to ask are there other options?
Your idea about the cafe might be....but that 2 of 'round tree pieces' is a definite curiosity.
Here is another image of the area: Is there another location which fits the lines of the Riddle? If not, maybe it was missed upon first try. I have asked Andrew a Six Questions, and they should be back soon. Maybe they will shed some light on things too....
Post by Mark Foster on Jan 2, 2019 23:05:44 GMT -5
Hi GB. The location was just 2.5 miles from where I live, so it wasn't far out of my way. I went expecting to find the tin, so it is a little frustrating!
I now feel that it could be this second tree, the one near the Inn The Park cafe, and not the one on the roof. That makes sense that it has to be somewhere outside the cafe, so that it is accessible 24 hours a day. I think you are correct there.
You did such a good job getting us close to the solution, but I feel that the original tree pinpointed might not be the one. I walked the grass in that section when I was there and there is a second tree near the lake, in the corner, so that tree is not ALONE on that 'field'. The tree beyond the cafe was the only one I found to be alone on its own piece of grass, but the new turf really messed up my night!
Personally I think it is buried. In the original blog post, with the first riddle, it states:
"The tins should all be buried shallow enough for you to find them with a metal detector."
So, back in the warm, I'm assuming it could be by that second tree, but I missed it with my basic probing.
Saying all that, the WEIRD circles of wood that form a '2' near your tree are still plaguing me! Oh, and I did look in all the branches of the first tree - I'm over 6 foot so I had a good rummage!
I might have to return, but I would like to know first if it is possible to find without a metal detector.
Finally, in response to another of your replies above, Buckingham Palace was not the biggest issue, as that is far enough away (though I did have to walk right past BP with a rucksack full of knitting needles!) - no, the biggest problem is that the first tree highlighted is probably no more than 500 yards away from the rear garden of Number 10 Downing Street. The occupant is rather important, so I had to be careful! Luckily the park is VERY dark. I also used a very common distraction technique for the few people who were around which involved me talking loudly to myself, waving my arms in the air, then studying the grass with a torch while humming. Anyone who was around quickly vanished - funny that!
Post by Mark Foster on Jan 2, 2019 23:30:37 GMT -5
Hi Jenny, it was fun, thanks for tipping me off!
So, yes, I think the Guards Memorial is 100% right, and it is from there onwards that it becomes a little vague. I have updated your map with what I discovered tonight:
I was convinced it would be beside Tree 1 marked above. However, I discovered that this tree does not sit alone on that 'field'. I walked right around the park carefully, twice. The only tree I found to be on its own is Tree 2, just after the cafe. Timebandit first mentions this tree. Now that GB has convinced me that is unlikely to be on the Cafe roof, I think this tree must be where it is. 'Shed Leaves' struck me as an odd line, and I think that is a reference to the wood-built cafe which is really just a posh shed. Also, as I mentioned, the benches in the park are not splayed to my eyes, but the chairs in the cafe are. So, I now take this as evidence that we should walk past the cafe to this Tree 2.
I did give this area a good scouting, but I didn't probe as extensively as I did at Tree 1. How deep do metal detectors sense a tin? I worry it is deeper than my knitting needle probing! If not, then I should return. But I'd ideally like an idea of what I'm dealing with.
Finally, I still don't understand 'sundry feathers'. Any location around the lake is likely to be associated with feathers as there are lots of water fowl on the lake, including the famous pelicans. So, I don't quite get why this is connected so specifically with the final location...
Hi Mark Foster. Thanks for mentioning me but I was thinking of an entirely different part of St. James Park. Halfway down the park is an entrance off The Mall at the intersection of Marlborough Rd. The walk goes to the bridge crossing the lake. Coming from the Guards War Memorial you must circle halfway around the park to reach here. All the trees in this area line field or the walks but one. It stands alone near a large stone or concrete circle platform in the pigeon feeding area. The "splayed seats" I think are the sunning chairs scattered around the grassy field here.
Looking at previous passes for GE satellite photography indicates they may hold concerts or stage productions here at times?? Some photos show a pavilion set up on that round platform. The only things likely around this single tree might be its "shed leaves", "splayed seats"(sunning chairs?), and "sundry feathers"(pigeons?). This tree would also be in "mornings shadow" of the larger trees lining the path on its east side. Go give it a probe mate!
Post by Mark Foster on Jan 4, 2019 12:41:35 GMT -5
Hi Timebandit. Thanks for the clarification. Now I understand which tree you mean! Originally, I felt this spot was too far away from the Memorial, but looking at it again, I think you could be right. Deckchairs - that now explains the Splayed Seats part for me! Of course...it's winter now so they are not out, but they certainly are for the rest of the year and this is the 'field' where they sit. That concrete foundation is the old bandstand and it could explain the 'round' part of the riddle. Hmm, I will try and go back, but it might not be until Monday.
Finally, I had another thought yesterday: on the tin is a Plane. A lot of the trees in this park are London Plane trees so I now wonder if this is a last clue, that the tree has to be a Plane tree. I can't tell just yet if this new tree is a Plane tree, but it is possible. I could, of course, be overthinking this part.
Bummer! Sure think it's in this park somewhere. I'll do some more looking too. It is possible that someone already has the tin, but I'd expect Andrew to publish the second riddle if so. Wouldn't seem fair to allow only one single person to work out all the clues without giving others a fighting chance. Being first to work it out is one thing, being the only person to have a chance is not.
Went looking on GE again after re-reading the riddle. I don't think it's the TREE that is 'alone' in the riddle. It is the TIN that is alone except for the splayed seats, shed leaves, and sundry feathers. It's hidden at the "base of a tree", "round a grassy field". Think it will be a matter of finding the correct tree that is around this grassy field where the deckchairs get set up. Still think it's the correct field.
The riddle indicates that is well away from the Guards Memorial since it says "beyond morning's shadow". This indicates to me that the correct tree is on the western side of the "grassy field". Morning's shadow doesn't reach it? It is in morning's sunlight? There is one tree in particular halfway down the western path through the field that appears to have no trees that could block it from morning's sunlight. One may be in direct sightline of the "eye" at this tree over distant tree tops.
Another way to say it is this tree would be beyond morning's shadow of the "eye" if the sun rose directly behind the "eye".
Last Edit: Jan 6, 2019 2:19:44 GMT -5 by timebandit
Post by Mark Foster on Jan 6, 2019 23:18:45 GMT -5
Thanks for your comments. You could indeed be correct about the tree not being alone. That would make a lot of sense after my experiences so far! I do feel that would be reckless on the part of the riddle-maker because not identifying the tree precisely means it is a very hit and miss affair without a detector - unless there is something on the ground that is a big clue when you get to the right tree!
I do feel that the grassy field with the round bandstand foundations (they are cut stone I found out) and the deckchairs is the most likely field, but there are a lot of trees there. Maybe it has to be a Plane tree as I suggested before.
Yes, "Beyond morning's shadow" I take to mean that we head west from the Memorial. It is a very short Monument, so I don't think it is a literal instruction, I think it just means keep going and go west, until we get to the field with the splayed seats. As for the Eye itself, it is quite far from the park and I don't think its shadow would fall in the park, however, it could indeed mean that we have to look for a tree with a clear sightline to the Eye. That seemed to be quite a lot of the trees in that field, but perhaps it rules out some.
In the Six Questions Andrew seems to suggest he put the area back to the way it was before he hid the tin...
I had no intention of damaging any property, so I dug as little as possible and made sure to leave things looking as I had found them.
...so I wonder if there is some clue when you find the right tree (feathers pushed into the grass I was hoping for...) or if it is down to probing all the trees. If there is no sign then it is going to be quite a task, unless we are missing something really obvious.
Could be the "sundry feathers" remark is a kicker. "Sundry" means a miscellaneous collection or mix of things of little value, so how about a tree where the pigeons tend to roost? Could be a favorite bird roost would have a much greater collection of feathers beneath it. Birds tend to choose one tree to roost and stick to it. I'd tend toward pigeon feathers as people may pick up larger feathers from the pelicans, ducks, etc. but I doubt pigeon feathers would be cared for.
Had a thought, the bird keepers house. Remember the big tree in the corner of the triangle behind the memorial? Just thinking out loud. I'd still look under the tree halfway down the walk that crosses the field. But look for a roost tree.
Post by Mark Foster on Jan 7, 2019 13:18:33 GMT -5
Yeah, the feathers bit is puzzling. I partly wonder if it was added in as confirmation that it is St James's Park, because as a clue to narrow down which tree it isn't that helpful.
The pigeons tend to roost near the lake, so they are near the bread feeders when they come into the park. The Bandstand field has a lot of feathers, mainly goose and duck from what I could tell. Like in other London Royal Parks, at certain times of the year the geese (Greylag and Egyptian geese mainly) will walk onto the grass and eat that, especially at night when there are no dogs around. I did see a lot of those feathers in this field.
The Swiss Chalet I walked past, but it is south of the memorial and not west, so I ruled out anything that side.
I also spotted last night on Google Maps that there are other fields with deckchairs in, so that has upset this idea that it has to be the bandstand field!
I'm wondering if there is an anagram or some other device in the riddle, something that will pinpoint the exact tree?
Looks like you guys had it! Awesome job! Andrew posted the solution on his site, and also provided Riddle #2. Would be still awesome to get the Tin though now (if it is still there)... (Might be a great souvenier, Mark. You deserve one for all the help you gave us all. Thank you so much for searching!)
The first riddle refers to a great, watchful eye and an hourly chime, which many of you correctly assumed to be the London Eye and Big Ben. Then you must go past Parliament Square, where there are several bronze statues, to where bird and beast meet (Birdcage Walk and Horse Guards Road). Go north to the Guards Memorial. Then go west into St. James Park, which is known for its various types of birds and is often accompanied by splayed seats for people to sit in. There is a “round” area called the Bandstand. Directly across from it is a tree standing by itself. You will find the Tin by the roots directly across from the Bandstand.