The Committee

Rich Lay


I nervously attended my first event in January 2012 and if you had told me then, as I sat quietly in the corner barely making eye contact with anyone that I would be making arrangements to bring upwards of 2,000 people back to Yorkshire for the 10th anniversary of the UK Mega event, I would have thought you quite mad!

But that is what I have set out to do and with a team of great people we will work tirelessly to make our event as good as we can.

In fact, since that first event, I have attended nearly 200 more and they are probably now my favourite way of caching. My family and I have had great holidays around the country on the back of mega and camping events, we love going somewhere different and meeting new people. And that really is what I want to give to you. The UK Mega is now the family holiday for many cachers and that is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. But in this amazing playground we have, I am confident we will bring you to the very best that God’s own county has to offer.

Email Rich Lay

Melanie Cooke (Mel&Freddie17)


We enjoy caravanning and geocaching most weekends and school holidays. Our favourite caching day out would be a long walk with a group of fellow cachers. However, we love church micros, wherigos and adventure caches.

Freddie is often to be seen 20 feet up a tree and Mel loves tunnel caches (this has totally cured her fear of spiders)!

We also love caching abroad and one of the most interesting places we have visited to find a cache was a tiny, sleepy, beautiful village in Sicily, where parts of The Godfather were filmed!

If someone had told us 10 years ago that we would find a hobby climbing trees, crawling through tunnels and climbing mountains, we wouldn’t have believed it!

Email Melanie Cooke

Astrid Eaves (eavesclan)


We were introduced to Geocaching by a work collegue whilst living in Glasgow. It seems so long ago but was only back in Aug 2010 as an excuse to get the kids out on a ‘treasure hunt’ rather than sitting in front of the TV. It didn’t work quite as expected.

It wasn’t until May 2011 that we attended our first event and have now clocked up 9 Megas as well.

My favourite part of Geocaching is discovering the little hidden gems of the countryside that even the locals have forgotten and there is always the sitting at home with a glass of wine whilst trying to solve the many extreme puzzles ready for the next road trip.

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Derek Hindmarch (Mel&Freddie17)

Committee Member

We discovered geocaching in 2010 and soon found that it is a mix of all our hobbies, walking with our dog, traveling and exploring different places and meeting lots of people.

Geocaching takes us to wonderful places, both at home and abroad. Having a caravan makes it easy to shoot off for the weekend and discover new trails.

Geocaching is full of challenges, for example for one milestone, we climbed Ben Nevis. Another time, we found 200 caches in a day on our bikes. We also very much enjoy getting our dinghy out and finding some boat only caches.

Email Derek Hindmarch

Kevin Herbert (HairyFairies)

Committee Member

We started Geocaching in early 2010 after being introduced to it by a friend. We saw it as a means to get out and exercise but it turned into so much more.

Finding those hidden areas you never knew existed, making friends with a wide variety of people. Finding yourself in what should be ridiculous situations but they become quite normal.

Oh and those odd looks you get from passers-by.

Email Kevin Herbert

Kevin Eaves (eavesclan)

Web Designer / Shop Admin

We were introduced to Geocaching by a work collegue whilst living in Glasgow. It seems so long ago but was only back in Aug 2010 as an excuse to get the kids out on a ‘treasure hunt’ rather than sitting in front of the TV.

It didn’t work quite as expected because I got the bug a lot more than they did and spent many an hour solo trekking across the moors for the elusive rarely found bit of tupperware.

It wasn’t until May 2011 that we attended our first event and have now clocked up 9 Megas as well.

With a much busier life now we have moved to Yorkshire and the kids are getting older I now look to the hills for events or scenic spots for quality as we don’t have the time for quantity anymore.

As well as enjoying Mega events I thoroughly enjoy the Brew with a View events and the superb Mae’r lladd-dy slate mine event.

Email Kevin Eaves

Fil Northerner (FOX 661L)

Vice Chairman

I have been to most of the various Mega events as well as many of the other larger events in the UK over the last 4 years.

I have ‘found’ my favourite cache almost 100 times, GC45CC – Ye Ole Survey Monuments, and while driving up and down the country I regularly detour up to 100 miles to take in another couple of YOSM locations.

I first heard the word ‘Geocache’ back in the summer of 2004, while out on the moors with a young lady. The sun was warm, and there was no-one about, and she had this thing about doing ‘it’ outdoors, so we found a conveniently large rock to make ourselves comfortable behind… and while we were, ahem, [Censored] she said it would be just her luck if two of her work colleagues came along looking for a Geocache behind the rock.

I had no idea what she was on about so she explained about geocaching…

I didn’t take up geocaching myself for a further 5 years and I have been tempted ever since to put a cache behind that rock !

Email Fil Northerner

Bev Bradley (Firefox.3)

Venue & Fundraising Coordinator

Choosing a profile picture was so hard. In the end I decided on a picture of me and my geodog, Ted was more appropriate, in all my other pictures I’m holding an alcoholic beverage of some kind!

Actually, that already tells you a bit about me. No, I’m not alcohol reliant, but I am a very sociable person, love going to caching events particularly weekend camping ones. Hoping to get away as much as I can now that I’ve upgraded to a caravan.

My caching name is Firefox.3 and I’ve been caching since 2011, but only regularly since 2013.  I started caching as a means of getting my two boys out, now they will only come if the cache involves tree climbing or crawling through watery culverts. So my main company is Ted, my Parsons Jack Russel rescue dog, he loves caching!  I also go caching with several caching friends; love the fun and chat on a good walk in a scenic location.

Over the past 18 months I have been very active hiding caches, and enjoy reading people’s enjoyment of my hides. At just under 300 cache hides, increasing rapidly, that’s a lot of maintainance, but worth it knowing I am contributing to our wonderful hobby.

The next two years are going to be very busy for your committee members, your help and support along the way would be greatly appreciated.  Steve and I are organising the location for the Mega and I’m the single point of contact for fundraising, two huge tasks which I hope I can do justice to. We hope to make the UK Mega Yorkshire 2018 extra special and a week to remember for all the caching community, from near and far.

If you have any fundraising ideas, any questions or would just like to say hi, please drop me an email.

I look forward to meeting lots of you over the next couple of years.

Email Bev Bradley

Steve Bolam (Madyokel)

Camping Coordinator

Hi All. I started Caching on the 3rd of  March 2005 with a DNF. Slight problem was that it was under a 10ft snowdrift and there was a dead sheep at GZ. The next day got my first find at Cistercians N# 1 (GC6739). Guess I was hooked from that point.

I have had some really funny caching situations including being questioned by undercover police. I’m not a numbers cacher and try to find the ones that interest me rather than power trails.

I was a member of the first UK Mega Committee in 2008 at Harrogate. In 2012 I was again a Committee member for the UK Mega at Cartmel in the Lake District running the camping and acquired the nickname of Dobby the house elf (It’s a long story). I said that was it at that point….

So At the end of 2013 I took over the helm at Mega Piratemania the UK’s largest annual roaming camping event and I’m still at the helm now.

When the idea of the UK Mega coming back to Yorkshire was mooted I didn’t really have to think before joining the committee.

In 2014 I was given a surprise birthday party for my 50th and cachers came to it from all over the UK. I’ve made some fantastic friends caching over the years and a Mega event brings them all together at the same time.

Favourite cache of all time without doubt is the original Covert Ops GCZK7W. On my ‘to complete list’ are Little Quest GC154N9 and Alchemy Quest GCHJN4.

My picture was taken at sunrise in a special place very close to a cache placed in 2001.

Email Steve Bolam

Pete Shakles (Lensman1949)

Committee Member

I was introduced to Geocaching by a cousin (Treeline) in B.C. Canada in 2014. I have 265 finds and own 5 caches as of December 2015.

My furthest find is in Tokyo, Japan, 5387 miles from home. I recently took a 35 day cruise, visiting 12 countries and made at least one find in each port – totalling 50 finds.

My pleasure in playing the game is to find each cache and sign each log personally.

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Tracy Sockett (Citizen1)

Committee Member

Caching through the snow, wondering where to go…… o’er the fields we go” …….

At the time I was invited to join the Committee, the Yorkshire Dales was covered in white stuff, I couldn’t help thinking…..roll on Summer days…..

I’m lucky enough to be able to walk the Dales as part of my job, introducing young people to the wonders of hill and dale, both above and below, – to be able to open it  up to even more to caching and cachers…. well there was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I discovered caching whilst looking for another activity for my students and got totally hooked, now with 5 years caching and two mega’s behind me I can’t wait for the YM18.  Not sure my geohound will agree but she’s better than me at sniffing out those sneaky little micro’s……

Email Tracy Sockett