#7 – Do the Spice Rack: Nottingham Urban Challenge with Spice East Midlands

The next instalment of the Spice Rack also involved me finding my way around an unfamiliar city, but was far less scary than Scotland’s Zombie Chase!  I joined Spice East Midlands for an ‘Urban Challenge’ in Nottingham: an afternoon Treasure Hunt, Scavenger Hunt and taking silly photos.

After a short briefing we were let loose on the city!  In our hands we held a number of questions and pictures, directing us to locations in the city where we had to solve clues to get points.  These were often things written on signposts or signs in shop windows.  Some were straightforward:  “What is ‘Off the wall’?”  Answer: Vans (poster in shoe shop window).  Some were a little more cryptic…  For example, none of the teams realised that the clue “Beginning of Welsh bling motto” was supposed to direct us to Ernest Jones jewellers to find the words which form part of their crest!

As we made our way around, we also had to collect certain items from a list (things like pens, matches, a receipt for 18p, postcards, tourist leaflets, things beginning with z – I nicked a menu from Zizzis) and also take photos of the team to fit various categories/themes: religion, water, behind bars, nature, bedtime & bathtime, hats, emergency services, on the beach, driving a bus, on a boat, in a police car or fire engine, with a celebrity and in a fairground ride.

Some were easier than we thought they might be – fortunately (and slightly randomly) there was a beach with a fairground in the centre of town which provided photo opportunities for police cars and fire engines on a children’s carousel, a boat (pirate ship) and deckchairs on the sand.  We had a very entertaining time in John Lewis trying on hats (both real and chocolate boxes), posing in the bedroom department and hiding behind some towels!  We were fortunate to encounter a display in the high street trying to encourage public transport use promoting the MANGO card (a bit like an oyster card).  I was able to persuade the man dressed as a mango to let me drive his bus…  (Not sure if that’s more or less random than having a beach in the middle of the city?)  Opportunities to meet with celebrities were somewhat limited – the best we could do was a photo with the Brian Clough statue, a solar powered pope and a white van called ‘Obi Van Kanobe’.  Scraping the barrel?  Us?!

After an entertaining couple of hours wandering about puzzling over the clues, getting creative with photo opportunities and collecting random items, we headed back to the pub to submit our answers and laugh at everyone’s photos.  An entertaining afternoon, a bit of an insight into a city I don’t know very well and as a bonus, my team won!

A selection of our very silly photos follows:

The bus... and the man dressed as a mango...

The bus… and the man dressed as a mango…

Relaxing on the beach

Relaxing on the beach

On a fairground ride

On a fairground ride

Stretching the point some more with meeting celebrities - Obi Van Kenobi!

Stretching the point some more with meeting celebrities – Obi Van Kenobi!

Glamorous hats (in John Lewis)

Glamorous hats (in John Lewis)

Hats - these ones are chocolate boxes

Hats – these ones are chocolate boxes

Meeting the emergency services

Meeting the emergency services

Driving a bus

Driving a bus

Stretching the point a bit - a solar powered pope is a celebrity, right?

Stretching the point a bit – a solar powered pope is a celebrity, right?

Meeting a celebrity - Brian Clough

Meeting a celebrity – Brian Clough

Behind bars!

Behind bars!

Behind a bar

Behind a bar

Bedtime (in John Lewis!)

Bedtime (in John Lewis!)

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