Retired Letterbox – Nice Work!

Back in June of 2003 I placed two letterboxes in woods near Tunbridge Wells. One was quickly removed. I hid it behind a wall and think the land owner probably removed it.
The other one, however, remained in place. This trip I checked on it, as you may have read in a post from a few weeks back. After 12 years it’s not in great shape. The stamp and pad are going and the pages have several forms of fungus and mold. I had planned to transplant it to America, but having watched The Strain, I’m worried that I may introduce some pathogen to the colonies.
In order to preserve all the stamps I collected from people that found it, in creating this album.

Mudsock Meanderers

You may have heard me talk about letterboxing before. If you haven’t and don’t know what it is, here’s a quick run down (via Wikipedia) –

Me stamping a log book.

Letterboxing is an outdoor hobby that combines elements of orienteering, art, and puzzle solving. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth.

Individual letterboxes contain a notebook and a rubber stamp, preferably hand carved or custom made.

Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp in their personal notebook, and leave an impression of their personal signature stamp on the letterbox’s “visitors’ book” or “logbook” — as proof of having found the box and letting other letterboxers know who has visited. Many letterboxers keep careful track of their “find count”.

We’ve found quite a few Letterboxes, both over here and over there and I even placed one in Kent about 10 years ago.

Gale and I are off to Britannia soon, to Dartmoor (among other places), the birthplace of Letterboxing.  We wanted a unique stamp, but carving is tricky and you have to be pretty good to get a decent stamp.

There it is!
Gale pointing to the location of a letterbox.

But guess what?  Gale has a 30watt laser engraver sitting in our spare bedroom. So she ordered some laser engravable rubber and dumped it on my desk with a “work this out” kind of look.

A few Googles later and a quick read of the laser manual and I powered up Corel Draw and came up with a design.
Sent it to the laser and then sat and watched a rubber stamp appear before my eyes.

We’re pretty pleased with the result and once we’ve finalized the design (Gale wants more stars) we will be ready to go find us some Letterboxes.

If you have any interest in finding Letterboxes near you, check out AtlasQuest which is not great looking, but has a lot of information on how to start.

Mudsock Meanderers was Gale’s creation. The Fish is in reference to our home town of Fishers and Mudsock is the original name for Fishers, clever huh?















Update update: And here’s my updated stamp. This is the one I’m gonna go with. The torch and stars are the state flag for Indiana.

England – Here we come.

Guest houses are booked.

Flights are booked!

And what’s more, we saved up in advance and paid cash!

No going back now.   Come September we pack our bags and off we pop for 23 days!   Yup, 23 days!!!  Thanks to Matt and Madhavi for letting me leave the store for such a long time.  I’ll bring them back some Jammie Dodgers and Monster Munch.

I’m going to blog while we’re out there.  Photos and thoughts.  As well as Facebook and instagram.  I hope you’ll all keep up with our journey.