9US


The 9 Usual Suspects have been around since 2014, we are a group of Geocaching friends based in North West Wales of diverse ages and abilities. Our primary purpose is to get together, place caches, hold events, leave our environment in a better state than we found it and most importantly have fun. On average we hold about 20 events a year from monthly Nosh ‘n’ Natters, several Cache in Trash Outs (CITOs) and hosting the Geocaching Souvenir moments.

News & New Caches 137

We have a new traditional, a virtual and event to report since our last post:

GCAQY0Z YOSM #1086 Moel-Y-Tryfan by meltdiceberg Traditional D2/T3.5
YOSM is a new numbered series. Ye Ole Survey Monument (YOSM) is a captivating series of caches that pays homage to the remarkable legacy of OutForTheHunt’s YSM series (GC45CC). YOSM caches are strategically positioned at or near Trig Points. These triangulation stations have played a pivotal role as surveying landmarks, contributing to the mapping of expansive territories.

GCAJJEB Anglesey Column by 9 Usual Suspects Virtual D1/T2

GCAQVE7 9 Usual Suspects Celebrate Their Virtual Award by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1.5
When: Sunday 2rd June
Where: Anglesey Column
Time: 3-4pm
We are returning to the Anglesey Column to celebrate the publication of our virtual cache. Why place our virtual cache here? Because from the viewing platform at the top of the column you look out over our ‘patch’. Refreshments will be available from the cafe, but no purchases have to be made to attend this event.

Event Review

GCAPJB8 9 Usual Suspects Visit Llanfaglan Church by 9 Usual Suspects

On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon we visited the beautiful redundant St Baglan’s Church, Llanfaglan, a Grade 1 listed building now cared for by the charity Friends of Friendless Churches. To walk through the door is like taking a step back into history. Our guide, Ifor Williams, shared with us some of the secrets of this site which has been sacred for more than fifteen hundred years.

After our tour we headed down the road to the ‘pirate ship’ for a picnic accompanied with all the usual geochat and banter.

For more information and history of this lovely little church click here

Here are a few photos of the day:

News & New Caches 136

Apologies for our lack of recent post but we should now be back to normal. Two new caches have been published since our last post, both on Anglesey:

GCAQEZF The Wonderful Walk by hryaaw Traditional D2/T2
GCAQPMF Stream Dream by Whovian2829 Traditional D1.5/T2.5

Event Reminders

GCAPJB8 9 Usual Suspects Visit Llanfaglan Church by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Sunday 19th May 2024
Where: Llanfaglan Church
Time: 2.45-3.15pm

Yes, this is tomorrow!

We will be meeting our guide Ifor Williams at 2.30pm by the kissing gate at the beginning of the footpath that leads to the church. From here there is a short walk across the field to St Baglan’s. The tour will last between 30-45 minutes. After the tour we will be heading down the road to the ‘pirate ship’ for a picnic. Please bring your own food we will be supplying hot and cold soft drinks.

Please be aware that parking at our meeting point is limited, there is parking further down the road close to our picnic spot.

For anyone who has not found the multi cache there will be an opportunity to gather the information.

GC8DH3W Church Micro 12800…Llanfaglan by 9 Usual Suspects Multi D2/T1.5

May N&N

GCAPJD7 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 67 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1
When: Thursday 30th May 2024
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

News & New Caches 135

We have no new caches or events to report since our last post.

Blue Switch Day

On May 2nd, 2000 the U.S. government opened up accurate GPS technology for public use, prior to this day the technology had only been available to the US military. The very next day the first geocache was hidden and the beginning of the game we all love. Known as Blue Switch Day geocachers like to commemorate this day by finding a cache and earning a souvenir.

To earn this years Blue Switch Day souvenir simply find one geocache, attend an event, or Adventure Lab® Location between 2nd to 5th May, 2024.

Llanfaglan Church Event Update

GCAPJB8 9 Usual Suspects Visit Llanfaglan Church by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Sunday 19th May 2024
Where: Llanfaglan Church
Time: 2.45-3.15pm

We will be meeting our guide Ifor Williams at 2.30pm by the kissing gate at the beginning of the footpath that leads to the church. From here there is a short walk across the field to St Baglans. The tour will last between 30-45 minutes. For anyone who has not found the multi cache there will be an opportunity to gather the information.

GC8DH3W Church Micro 12800…Llanfaglan by 9 Usual Suspects Multi D2/T1.5

After the tour we will be heading down the road to the ‘pirate ship’ for a picnic. Please bring your own food we will be supplying hot and cold soft drinks.

News & New Caches 134

We have 3 new events and one awaiting publication to report since our last post:

GCAPJD7 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 67 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1
When: Thursday 30th May 2024
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

GCAPKWR SideTracked – Abergele & Pensarn by goldpot Event D1/T1
When: Wednesday 22nd May 2024
Where: Abergele & Pensarn railway station
Time: 11.15-11.45am

GCAPAXD SideTracked – Llanberis by stuarthowe11 Event D1/T1
When: Tuesday 2nd July 2024
Where: Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis
Time: 11.45-12.15pm

The following event is awaiting publication:

GCAPJB8 9 Usual Suspects Visit Llanfaglan Church by 9 Usual Suspects
When: Sunday 19th May 2024
Where: Llanfaglan Church
Time: 2.45-3.15pm

Please note there will be NO Nosh & Natter this month, but they will resume in May.

We are off to sunnier (hopefully) climes for a few weeks, we will keep site updated but may be slower than usual.

Llanfaglan Church Event Update

Thank you everyone who responded to our last post. We have agreed with Ifor Williams for our tour of the church to be either Saturday 18th or Sunday 19th May, to start around 2.30-3pm. Do you have a preference of which day? Please let us know through the comments or email us at talktous@9usualsuspects.uk

News & New Caches 133

Just 2 new traditional caches have been published since our last post:

GCAP46W Can you see the monument by Coxystar79 Traditional D1/T1.5
GCANYPN Porth Swtan byTheAngleseyClarkes Traditional D1/T1.5

Please note there will be NO Nosh & Natter this month, but they will resume in May.

Llanfaglan Church

GC8DH3W Church Micro 12800…Llanfaglan by 9 Usual Suspects Multi D2/T1.5

While enjoying a guided history tour of Caernarfon we met Ifor Williams who takes care of this lovely old church on behalf of the charity Friends of Friendless Churches. He has kindly offered to give us geocachers a guided tour of this fascinating church. The tour would last between 30-45 minutes. Our plan is to hold an event here, either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, to include the tour and a BBQ or picnic just down the road by the ‘pirate ship’. Are you interested? Please let us know as we need to have a rough idea of numbers before making any further plans.

Blue Switch Day

On May 2nd, 2000 the U.S. government opened up accurate GPS technology for public use, prior to this day the technology had only been available to the US military. The very next day the first geocache was hidden and the beginning of the game we all love. Known as Blue Switch Day geocachers like to commemorate this day by finding a cache and earning a souvenir.

To earn this years Blue Switch Day souvenir simply find one geocache, attend an event, or Adventure Lab® Location between 2nd to 5th May, 2024.

News & New Caches 132

We have 2 new caches to report since our last post, please note both are Premium Member Only:

GCANW2F Most Northerly Harbour in Wales by Sqaddie101 Traditional D3.5/T1.5
GCANWCC Superman’s Changing Room by MonHunter Traditional D1/T1.5

Event Review, Anglesey Column

GCAN1D5 9 Usual Suspects Visit Anglesey Column by 9 Usual Suspects

With the column reopening to the public at the beginning of the year it was only a matter of time before we hosted an event here. The column closed to the public very shortly after we moved to Nantlle. Many times we have looked up at the Marquis and said ‘I bet the views are fab from up there’. We can now confirm the views are amazing. The 115 step climb to the top was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I’m not that confident when it comes to heights but the substantially built platform and railings made you feel very safe even when looking down over the edge.

The weather was not perfect but good enough to give us some incredible views, especially of the bridges and straits. After taking lots of photos and videos we all made our way back down the steps to join the not so brave attendees for some well earned refreshments in the new cafe. Another lovely afternoon spent with our geocaching friends.

For the geocacher there are currently 2 caches here, a multi and an earthcache. We highly recommend visiting, not just the column but also the cafe as it does a very good paned and homemade cakes.

For details on opening times, prices and history of the column follow this link Anglesey Column

Here are a few photos of our day:

Virtual Cache Award Update

We would like to thank you for all the comments and ideas of where to place our Virtual Reward Cache. After visiting Anglesey Column we have decided to place the virtual cache here, from the top of the column you look out across our ‘patch’. There will be another event for the launch of the cache…. watch this space!

Naturesbyte’s favourite Caches

No. 1 – St Melangell’s Church, (GC1C1GQ) Tonibunny – 28th May 2007

A favourite Geocache of mine is an ancient religious site in Llangynog, Powys, Wales. It has both history and a peaceful setting. To say that it is remote is an understatement, the church and a very few houses can only be reached down a long track off the B4391 or via a network of footpaths that span the Berwyn Mountains.

The road to the Church

It’s one of those rare places that it has been in constant use thousands of years for worship of various deities from Bronze age to the Christian church which stands there now. As you look around the church yard there are four stately Yew trees that are at least two thousand years old predating the current structure.

One of the Yew trees

There are many gravestones the oldest dating from 1680 right up to the relatively recent burials. The age of the site was revealed when Mid-Bronze age burials were found in the churchyard on an archaeological dig to establish the age, it’s also thought that an older barrow may have existed on the site of the church itself.

Church exterior

The interior of the church bears witnesses to changing patterns of Christian worship for nearly a thousand years, the origins of Christian worship on the site dates to around the seventh or eighth century when a community of nuns led by St. Melangell (Monacella) after who, the church is named founded a convent. The original convent was a wooden structure and was replaced by a stone building in the late twelfth century to match the needs of the worshipers and the lucrative pilgrim trade, St. Melangell’s shrine (the oldest surviving Romanesque shrine in Northern Europe) offered ‘miraculous cures’ for illness and other spiritual benefits for the pilgrim. That the shrine survives to this day is exceptional.

The Shrine of St Melangell

Most British shrines were destroyed either in the Reformation, or when major religious upheavals occurred, sometimes this was as drastic as sweeping away all previous iconography, as in the ‘English’ Civil war where so many churches across Britain were gutted and used as stables, barracks or warehousing. We perceive churches as austere colourless places which in the past was far from the truth, before the reformation in the mid sixteenth century churches were painted with brightly coloured interiors depicting religious scenes for the largely illiterate congregation, traces of these paintings can be seen at various places around the church. In the reformation ‘Superstitious images’ came under attack as Henry the Eighth sought to break with the Pope and Catholic church. Up and down England & Wales, pictures of saints, screens separating clergy and congregation, relics and miracle-working statues were ripped out of parish churches and destroyed, the remoteness of this church and the small insular Welsh speaking community probably saved the shrine from destruction, tragically not the wall paintings though.

Interior of Church

Over the centuries repairs have changed the church but, on the whole the fabric and feel remains the same.

Old gates into Church dated 1765

One feature which struck a chord for me was above the cache in the Yew tree someone placed a sharpening stone in the boughs and never returned for it, it is now slowly being absorbed by the yew, which to me symbolises the timelessness of this site.

Sharpening stone left in the tree

News & New Caches 131

Happy Easter! Since our last post a new series of 6 drive-bys with a seasonal theme have been published. Please note they are all premium member only.

GCANFM7 #1 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1/T1.5
GCANFMC #2 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GCANFMK #3 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GCANFMQ #4 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GCANFMT #5 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GCANFMX #6 Easter Egg Hunt 2024 by Squaddie101 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Event Reminder

GCAN1D5 9 Usual Suspects Visit Anglesey Column by 9 Usual Suspects
When: 2.4.2024
Where: Anglesey ColumnParc Dre, Caernarfon
Time: 2-4pm

So, are you ready for the 115 step challenge to the top? Please note there is a charge to climb the steps to the viewing platform but not to attend this event.
The cost to climb to the top of the column is for adults £7.50 and for children £3.50.
Please note the climb is not recommended for children under 3 years.

GeoGuessr Souvenir

GeoGuessr, we love this game and spent many hours travelling the world playing this game in Covid lockdowns. So what is GeoGuessr? It is an interactive geography game that ‘drops’ players to random locations around the world using Google Street View, the objective being to guess where you are. Players must use their knowledge and deduction skills to guess their precise location. The more accurately a player guesses, the more points they earn.

A special limited-time collaboration between Geocaching HQ and GeoGuessr allow all geocachers a free trial of ten places inspired by real-world geocaching locations. By playing the game geocachers can earn a limited edition souvenir!

In order to earn the limited-time souvenir:

  1. Play The Geocaching Challenge between March 26–April 12 and correctly identify at least one location.
  2. Find the hidden tracking code on the completion message screen.
  3. Discover the code at Geocaching.com before April 12, 2024 to earn a special souvenir.

If you couldn’t find the hidden tracking code, don’t worry—a second tracking code will appear at the end of the game after guessing all ten locations. Discovering either tracking code will earn the souvenir.

NOTE: Geocaching HQ gives permission for these trackables to be discovered virtually.

The best experience is on desktop and this game will not appear in the GeoGuessr mobile app.

News & New Caches 130

A new virtual cache on Anglesey has been published since our last post:

GCAJGPY Wonderful Views by familykemp Virtual D1.5/T3.5

Event Reminder
GCAMVAX 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 66 by 9 Usual Suspects
When: 28.3.2024
Where: Parc Snowdonia, Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4AQ
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

Event Reviews

GCAMJH4 CITO 2024 Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T3.5
GCAMM4Z 9 Usual Suspects Cake and a Brew Event D1/T1
Saturday 23rd March saw us picking litter at our regular site Parc Dre, along the Afon Seiont and the woodland behind Tesco’s. We manage to extend this area to include part of Lon Eifion cycle path allowing attendees to find some of the caches placed for Leap Day.

Results of our Efforts

Despite the awful weather forecast of rain, sleet and snow, the day stayed dry though very cold. Surprisingly there was a very good turnout of hardy volunteers filling the trailer with all of the normal cans, bottles, fast food containers and general rubbish. After everyones hard work we regrouped at ‘base camp’ for hot drinks and cake which was accompanied by lots of geochat and general banter.

Here are a few photos:

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Drained & Exposed 

We have all admired Thomas Telford’s incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over the River Dee. Have you ever wondered what holds the water? This video may give you second thoughts about crossing the aqueduct either on foot or by boat.

For a great adventure we can highly recommend hiring a narrow boat from Anglo Welsh for a day trip from Trevor to Chirk. Cross the aqueduct, pass through the tunnels, cruise the picturesque canal, before turning at the Chirk turning point. An ideal place to have a P&P stop plus lunch at the Poachers Pocket before the return journey to Trevor. The cost of a days hire is very good value at £120 for a weekday or £180 for a weekend or Bank Holiday. Maximum of 10 passengers.

There are several geocaches and an Adventure Lab along the route.