Challenge 4: ✔️ Achieved
Challenge 4: RE-ESTABLISH AN 'ORIGINAL' DARTMOOR LETTERBOX
Finally, an opportunity to add a clue to the Dartmoor Letterbox catalogue, and take a burden off my my mind brought about by a vow I made in 2014.
"...It was at Middle Tor that I carried out my good deed of the day. Middle Tor Letterbox celebrates its 30th birthday this year and was registered in the catalogue as box number 1259. Not one of the originals, but an early one nevertheless. The box was in it's cave on the East side of the tor - box broken, and full of water, stamp in pieces, book turned to pulp. I dried it out the best I could, confirmed it's identity and brought it home. I intend to renovate it and re-establish it later this year..."
- whoisthechallenger blog; "Good Friday", 18th April 2014
At number 1259, no, it isn't one of the originals, but at now 33-years-old, it is an old-timer that deserves to be back on the Moor, and not in a cupboard in my house. I had a new stamp made, which harked back to the original design. I provided it with a new clip-lock box, and (whisper it) a new ammunition can, complete with 'Dartmoor Letterbox' painted on it - to avoid confusion or concern.
An inkpad, pen and nice hard-backed visitors book rounded off the replacement unit.
A trip to Middle Tor was next on my agenda, on a hot and still May day. A short walk back to the cave under the boulder on Middle Tor's flank. Imagine my surprise to find another Letterbox had appeared to have moved in, albeit on the rock shelf above.
Middle Tor is often overlooked, and perhaps this is how the original box survived for 30 years in a relatively obvious site. Finally, and only succumbing, to the ravages of the elements and time. I'm sure I'll become a regular visitor to this Eastern peak, in my role as custodian of this box. If you have a copy of a pre-2010 Letterbox Catalogue, you'll know the clue to find it. If you purchase next year's, with any luck, it'll be back, in all it's glory.