On 19th July we held a Treasure Hunt from the church for the organ fund during the afternoon. The concept was simple - provide some clues to lead people around Stony Stratford, charge a small fee (£2 each) for adults with any number of children going free, a prize for an incentive and tea/coffee/squash and biscuits when they returned with their completed clue sheets.

Dave K dreamed up the idea as a summer Sunday afternoon family fun event and the organ fund group fell upon it eagerly. Dave devised the entire trail and did all the work leading up to the event, including advertising it at both St Mary & St Giles Junior and Russell First Schools (and we told the Year 5 and 6 pupils about it at the organ education day). On the day Dave's wife Fiona was in charge of refreshments, whilst Marian, Dave and I dished out clue sheets, marked out and in times on the sheets and kept account of how many adults we'd collected cash from at the start.

The weather was not friendly - showers and occasional sunshine throughout the afternoon, so we really didn't know if anyone would be brave enough to turn up. In the event 16 teams came along and participated, amounting to approximately 37 adults and 50 children, and despite the weather, were clearly enjoying themselves and were full of enthusiasm even when they returned with their rather damp clue sheets and fistfuls of artefacts Dave had asked them to collect (red rubber band, pine cone, 2 pence coin 1990, paper clip and holly leaf).

There was one unexpectedly missing clue which caused consternation as it is an important part of Stony Stratford's history.  It seems that the plaque commemorating the capture of the boy Prince Edward and his brother by Richard III was missing from the house formerly called the Rose & Crown Inn, and the building had been repainted.  In fact the first team to return thought we'd taken the plaque down to tease everyone!  If anyone can cast light on this mystery, it would be good to know when the plaque will be put back in its rightful place again.  Despite this, a surprising number of people still knew the answer (the date on the plaque) which just goes to show that Stony folk do notice things when they go along the High Street.

As Dave said in an email to Fr Ross afterwards:

"It was encouraging that ten of the teams participating were through the schools connection and from the feedback it appears everyone had enjoyed it enormously.  The winning team were the Day family from St Mary's Avenue who won the £25 voucher donated by John Lewis plc."

In the event we raised £137.23 from the takings on the door, donations for refreshments and a very generous donation from the main organiser and his wife who had won the raffle the day before at Haversham fete (where the band had been playing)!

Special thanks are due to Dave for the idea and all the work, Fiona and Marian for their part of helping the event run smoothly, Andrew for playing the organ at the end, everyone who turned up and joined in the fun and of course John Lewis PLC for donating the prize.  We are considering running another summer Treasure Hunt next year in early July for the organ fund.

A small bonus to the afternoon was that during the quiet period when the teams were out and about, I was able to do some drawing in which I combined the best design elements of two of the four winning logo designs by the Year 5 and 6 pupils, and have almost finished the logo design.  It was good to get the input of Dave, Marian and Andrew to the progress of the design while I was drawing - it has been hard to find a spare moment during the past couple of weeks in which to do this activity.  As soon as the design is complete, I will publish the four winning designs and the final actual logo in the blog and on the organ fund website.