Treasure Hunts

A popular pastime was that of participating in treasure hunts. It was used as both a fundraising and social event. The following are examples of the clues given out to participants in days gone by. The winners were the ones with the most answers/points on returning to the starting point.

The following was in the possession of a friend.

Ballydonaghy Temperance L.O.L. No 351
Treasure Hunt, 1949

Organised by the Ladies’ Committee in connection with the building fund.

This time from Ballydonaghy
As you go round upon the way,
May you have lots of fun to-day
Upon this long June evening.

You’ll steer straight now to the Fourscore
A feather add unto your store,
To-night if full marks you would score,
A Guinea Fowl’s you’ll gather.

Instructions now are very plain,
You’ll steer right down the Cadger’s Lane
And note the mouth of every drain
That empties on this highway.

Now journey down towards the “line”
If you have got a bit of twine,
Just take a little bit of time
And give the arch’s width.

Then with the brains that you possess,
You will agree that it is best
To turn your cycle toward the west
And reach Joe Colburn’s Corners.

To-night if you are very sane
At this place you will not remain,
Just wend your way down Bailie’s Lane
And drive toward Howard Sloan’s.

In Jimmy Johnstone’s field you’ll see
Two calves quite fat and full of glee,
And if you’ll only favour me
Their ages you will reckon.

Into a forest tall and great
A rabbit once did penetrate,
Now I would ask you for to state
The length it journeyed inwards.

Before you reach Crew Orange Hall
You’ll note some trees both straight and tall,
Attention to them I would call
Just note a number on one.

A right turn take here at the Crew
And if this journey you’ll not rue
Then this is all you’ve got to do
Head straight then for Glenavy.

Some people’s surname starts with “S”
Their number you may count or Guess,
But state the number more or less
That live upon this journey.

Now in this town there is a thing
Revealing those who served the King,
Names of the fallen you will bring
Those names are highly honoured.

The number “7” you’re receiving,
How would you make this number even?
If in a prize you are believing
Subtract or add no number.

Now after all this run to-night
Perhaps you have an appetite,
Then cycle back with all your might
Right past what’s called the “Dam.”

Numbers 1 & 3 below – treasure hunt ballads – were believed to have been penned by William Scott from Fourscore, Glenavy.


Antrim Division Young Unionist Association
Treasure Hunt – 6th June, 1956

The Scrutineers reserve the right to disqualify any person unduly late.

Antrim Young Unionists to-night
Hope you’ll have lots of fun,
And that the scenery you’ll enjoy
When motoring on this run.

1. There is a name upon a sign
And it is on your way,
If you do as it does instruct
It knowledge will convey.
And there’s a town that is eight miles
Right from your starting place,
You’ll think of it and then perhaps
Toward it direct your face.
And on the road maybe you will
Be good enough to name

2. A flower – it’s bound to catch your eye,
The name is very plain.

3. Three tie rods then when passing by
Did next draw my attention,
And their position I would like
To-night that you would mention.

4. A thing a white flag does chill
You will collect if you desire
Your answers all to fill.
An article that ceased to work –
It for our sustenance stood,

5. Now the diameter you’ll note
That once did process food.
Proceed until a word named Mex
Does your attention draw,
Then take left turn and on your route
Go on without a flaw.
I saw when once upon this road
A very powerful grid.

6. The bars you’ll count if for a prize
To-night you make a “bid.”
Then from a bridge’s parapet
I watched the waters flow

7. And wondered what the distance is
Unto their bed below.
Some men are sober all the time
Or so a saying states;

8. Now name a person on the road
To which this phrase relates.
A right turn take and reach a school
Built in nineteen sixteen;
‘Bout Peter Townsend there I did

9. Some information glean.
As you go on you’ll cross the road
And it is still the main.
With caution you will there proceed
This is a warning plain.
When on this road that’s straight and long
I’ll ask a simple thing –

10. Just mention what’s in Holy Writ
The name of the first King.
Upon a treasury note, I see
That’s value for one pound
“Bank of England” and I ask

11. How often is it found?
Four “Ts” upon a gate I saw
But they’re not very plain,
Perhaps you will be good enough

12. To give the owner’s name.

13. You’ll give the name of one who did
Here at a business ply.
The place is derelict, I think
That no one can deny.
Pass by a gate that massive is

14. And on it you will count
The rods – and on your sheet you’ll state
To what they do amount.
Quite soon now you will reach the straight
Or so they name this road,
Be careful as you take right turn
Here with your precious load.
Upon this road observe a truck
It stationary is.

15. Its colour is the thing I want –
A very simple quiz.
Pursue this road and then you’ll turn
First road upon the left,
And when I think of questions now
My mind is near bereft.
Two pillars I did notice soon
Of them you can take heed
One flat and one a pointed top

16. To what place did they lead?
And farther on along this road
Imprinted on a gate
I saw some emblems what are they?

17. To what do they relate?
Then where this road does terminate
I there did see a sign
And toward the left then at this point
My car I did incline.

18. “A product of the Master Mind!”
You’ve often heard the phrase;
If you don’t get it then you may
The scruntineers amaze.
We’ve heard of old Victorian days
And I do hope you’ll find

19. A thing upon the road that will
Of bygone days remind.
A gate with missing bars I saw

20. How many missing were?
Spend little time about this spot
And then depart from there.

21. A person now deceased you’ll name,
Well known to every nation,
Pursued like one upon this road
A certain occupation.

22. A bottle with some foreign words
Is what I now desire
Think of Mid-Ulster – it’s a clue
To what you do require.
Turn left at “Highwayes” and then look
Beyond a certain gate.

23. In Roman numerals you may place
The equal of that date.

24. Tell me the colour of two hearts
That’s sure to meet your eyes;
If you don’t name them then you will
Examiners surprise.
And after this I hope that these
Instructions are quite plain,
A narrow road upon the right
When you depart the main.
33,000 then I saw
This number’s prominent

25. Its place and what it does relate
Will make me feel content.
At Rathmore I did see a door
And it reminded me

26. Of something that I had last night
When sitting at my tea.
The Hunt is ended but for you
To get a prize quite sure,

27. The oldest florin in the realm
I trust you will procure.
And from this to the starting point
Just now the way you’ll trace
And very likely you will get
Refreshments at this place.



Ballydonaghy Temperance L.O.L. 351
Ladies’ Committee Building Fund
Treasure Hunt 29th June 1955

Time allowed – Two and a quarter hours.

Now that the time has come again
To take you on a run,
Some questions you will answer then
I hope you will have fun.

Some water you will now pursue (1)
‘Tis known both far and wide,
So leave the hall behind you
And use it for your guide.

A sign that brings you to a “Halt”
Your journey you will ponder,
For right’s not right nor straight the way,
I hope you will not wander.

A tree once stood but now it lies
Beside its lower half,
So if you want to win a prize
Just measure where it’s cut off. (2)

A slow speed you will now maintain
Or you will fail to see
Some letters on a tree quite plain
Please write them down for me. (3)

Two residences on this road
They are of great renown
So as you journey on your road,
Their names may cause a frown. (4)

Before you reach a road that’s main
I’d ask you to retrace,
And of a man please give the name
Was once did own a place. (5)

Now add unto your treasure chest
A clocker if you will, (6)
Also a harp, please do your best (7)
‘Twilt give you all a thrill.

The nineteen-fourteen war
Did leave a trial of fate;
A number of survivors are (8)
Quite plain for you to state.

Up through the village you will wend
And motor on towards Ringsend.
Now I would ask you all tonight
To calculate the speed of light. (9)

A Gentleman lives near this bridge,
His name is well renowned; (10)
Amongst Glenavy’s loyal men
His photograph is found.

I ask you for a feather large (11)
One from a rooster’s tail
Maybe you’ll also bring a fern (12)
To get them long don’t fail.

Now to the right you’ll take your load,
But just before you do
Just check the number of the road (13)
That now you will pursue.

Some buildings now are desolate
But not in days of yore;
What they were used for you will state (14)
‘Twill help you raise your score.

When at the crossroads you turn right
Glenconway now should be in sight,
So I would ask you for to say
What project is yonder way? (15)

A mathematician you need not be
To do this little sum for me;
Take forty five from forty five (16)
And still leave forty Five.

And as you motor on your way
You pass a famous spot (17)
Where crowds are always bright and gay
And favourites always hot.

If in a desert I was placed
I’d be worth my weight in gold;
The man who made me, what’s his name? (18)
‘Cause I am getting old.

Now Mr. Gordon had we know
Some Friesians at the Balmoral show;
So now tonight I would insist
You add the winners to your list. (19)

We usually see them in a cage
But these tow are exempt,(20)
For they have got another job
Just guarding quite content.

It is a product of the earth.
That supplies the wants of man,
It’s other part lies ‘tween two hills,
Please get it if you can. (21)

To all indulging in the sport
The main road you will leave,
And make your way to Cidercourt
A few things to retrieve.

The colour of a peacock’s egg (22)
Is what you will define
Now at this stage you will not lag
Or you will be behind.

There are two gates along this road,
They both do open wide,
The numbers get, make no mistake, (23)
And then resume the ride.

A little house upon the way
Is in a quaint place I must say;
The owner’s name just get to-night (24)
And at the main road you’ll turn right.

Some concrete posts you now will see,
To a fence they give support,
Their number you will count for me (25)
And on your sheet report.

Now ’69 they stand in state
Upon the tired do wait;
Now what, and where do they appear? (26)
And on along the main road steer.

The letters A L T are not in view
So I would ask each one of you
To state the one that goes before (27)
And then the major road cross o’er.

This road was once a famous track
Where motor-cycle thundered;
A rider’s name you will bring back (28)
The first to break the Hundred.

Beneath two wires you will not go,
Instead go under three,
And when you’ve passed a famous drink
You’ll turn left at the “T”.

The first turn right you now will take
And o’er a bridge you’ll go,
Now I’d advise you, motor slow,
For its length you’ve got to show. (30)

Then at the next cross roads go slow
For left’s the way you’ve got to go,
Now I would ask you on this rally
The total acreage of Poplar Valley. (31)

In the year Nineteen and Fifty-three,
Upon the Fourth of April,
A person carved upon a tree
Their initials, plain for you to see. (32)

Now underneath some trees you’ll go,
They stand up tall and great
And if you’re wise you’ll motor slow,
Their name and number state. (33)

“Come cheer up my lads
Tis to glory we steer.”
These words to you all
May sound very queer;
But it’s only a line
From a world-famous song,
So just write its title, (34)
It won’t take you long.

At William Scott’s you’ll see a light
For danger to beware,
So I would ask you just tonight
The reason why it’s there. (35)

A well-known member of the Band
Has on this road a farm of land,
So just in passing ’twill be no harm
To write the name of this here farm. (36)

And now upon the way you’ll see
A thing quite out of place,
Just write down what it is for me (37)
And carry on the race.

The W.M. of 351
To cut his hay has not begun,
An implement now hangs in state,
Its name to me you will relate. (38)

Son now tonight I thank you all,
As tea awaits you in the Hall,
Where the members all are true
To our Flag: Red, White, and Blue.


The following were in handwriting beside these clues:

(1) Lough Neagh
(4) Glendona. Gobrana
(10) Dr. Mussen
(14) Flax Mill
(17) Pigeontown Race course
(20) Lyons
(24) Hilda Curry
(27) H
(29) Porter
(31) 53 acres
(33) Hearts of Oak



All reply sheets to be returned not later than 10.30 p.m.

Crumlin Young Farmers’ Club renew
Their Treasure Hunt again
And hope for everyone that these
Instructions will be plain.
Cross railway bridge and take right turn
(1) And find for me a name;
What did he do? I ask of you,
(2) To gain such widespread fame.
The road that’s next upon the right
Again you will pursue,
(3) Where you will note some symbols of
Some lovers that are true,
Pass by the rhubarb I did see
And it is massive strong
(4) And tell me unto whom you think
This rhubarb does belong.
Keep road A tow six and on it,
In time you need not lag,
But take left turn when you do pass
(5) What’s on a nation’s flag.
When you pass by E.B.N.I.
Swing left and then traverse
The road that leads unto a place
(6) That mentioned is in verse.
In a short time a bridge you’ll cross
(7) And I would like its name,
If you don’t get it on the map
Perhaps it will you shame.
There is a measure fairly large
And it’s not used for gin;
(8) I wonder what you think it holds
The name of it is “Hin”.
(9) A copy of the Highway Code
That gives each vital fact
When you are out upon the way
I hope you will collect.
And on the way quite soon you’ll reach
A place that’s named Cairn Hill.
(10) Then give its height if you do wish
Your answers all to fill.
I passed a house that conjured up
Some thoughts within my mind
Of a detective, and I trust
(11) The owner’s name you’ll find.
And after this at the cross roads
I noticed little there
So slack your speed because I think
That here you should take care.
Turn and pass by where four posts are
They’re stamped B.W.C.
And on the journey you will go
I hope from worries free.
Upon the way a gate I saw,
Two bars are slightly bent,
(12) The colour give, the owner’s name,
And then go on content.
(13) Write a word with every vowel
As the journey you traverse
In their sequence – and a word then
With them all in the reverse.
Turn left at disc that is marker 1
This leads toward Leathemstown,
B one 0 one you’ll journey on
As you go motoring round.
The Belfast Water Commissioners had
A local in the chaor;
(14) To the examiners his name
I hope you will declare.
Some big trout on the dam were caught
And bigger ones were lost;
Folk need a licence here to fish
(15) And find out now the cost.
I saw when looking at a house
A window with one pane,
(16) The present owner state and then
You will go on again.
Two pillars you will notice and
A top that is displaced,
In your reply I’m sure that you
(17) The owner will have traced.
When you see nineteen twelve turn left
(18) And give a hors’s height
In hands – and I do think this will
Most surely meet your sight.
(19) A coedian you’ve listened to
And also have enjoyed
Has artificial legs I’m told
The natural were denied.
A man within the U.F.U.
Did occupy the chair,
(20) What year was that? I hope to me
The answer you’ll declare.
Keep left again and soon you’ll see
(21) Another displaced top.
You’ll say to whom it does belong
And at it do not stop.
The figures 13-3-15
I think they are a date.
The Scrutineers would like to know
(22) Now what does them relate.
(23) I’m sure you’ve often heard the phrase
“Was it a rat I saw”
What is peculiar ‘bout it now?
There’s certainly no flaw.
A ten bob note I’ve looked upon
And wondered could you name
(24) The power that faithfully promises
To pay to me the same.
(25) A picture of a Wren I hope
Your efforts will not tax,
And after this I think you may
Just sit back and relax.
Crumlin Young Farmers once again
Thank you for your support,
And trust when on the circuit you
Have well enjoyed the sport.



McCracken Memorial Social Hour
Bye-laws and Words of Warning

1. This is Friday 13th and we take no responsibility for interference by witches, black cats, the wee folk, ghosts, spooks or the I.R.A.

2. All back-seat drivers will be required to produce a Certificate of roadworthiness.

3. The Hunt is due to finish at 10.15 and marks will be deducted at 2 per minute for lateness. 10.30 being the last time for completing the course.

4. The results and answers will be given after Supper.

5. Prizes will be awarded for the first and second and last cars.

6. Only turn when specially instructed.

Friday the 13th has come at last,
Off you go but not too fast,
Eighteen holes on the left there be
Though all of them you cannot see.

After you pass Mrs. Gray’s wee store,
Drive on for a quarter mile or more,
Turn right when you get to a cottage sweet
What is the name o’er the door so neat.

Keep on, look back
As you clean round the bend,
You’d better halt soon
Or you’ll meet your end.
Before you go under the bridge just say
Where you think the dogs go astray.

On your right there’s a chimney stack,
So now you know your on the track,
Further up please make you a call
And name the teacher who hit’s the ball.

Turn left, then right and don’t delay
Past Cloona House and on your way
A notice soon comes into sight

So take a look and start to write.

A halt sign before you now appears
So turn sharp left and watch your gears
Past a quarry now owned by …
On up the hill and now please fill in.
The number of steps at a Bungalow sweet
It certainly must be hard on their feet.

Now into a little red box you must call
There’s a great list of numbers upon the wall
These are divided in columns two
Add them up that’s what you do.

At a loyal abode by the side of the road
A purty great store was putt
Who dun the deed? Record with speed
And them jam down your futt.

You’ll come to some roads
There are three or more
And off to the left is a Garage-cum-store
What happens at 4 o’clock the Morra
Sure but it ought to be good begorra.

Leave Glenavy and fork to the right
A house with some lilac will come into sight
Turn right and two pillars of white should appear
Opposite these are some letters clear
Get out of the car and write down with all speed
To come up the Pole there is really no need.

And now you come to a cross-roads again
There was once a boy lived in Castlemain
Get out of the car and if you are clever
Find where his name is inscribed for ever.

Go straight on and then (we hope) on the right
Some silver balls will come into sight
How many are there? Count them please do
And hurry along to the next wee clue.

Next to the right at a house please say
Who do you see from a foreign country?
Take the first to your right and there on a tree?
A very clear notice is plain to see.
Write down what it says, but don’t pass this o’er,
Because of the same, there are lots and lots more.

When you get to the bottom of this wee lane
Turn to the left and proceed again.
Keep counting the notices, yes that’s right
There’s a terrible lot of dead wood in sight.

Do you see a rather unusual gate,
There’s another one too if you keep on straight,
Describe it quite briefly. We do hope that you
Chose the right one or this clue is taboo.

What lines the road that is very unlucky
If you have some in your house we think you are plucky
And on up the road something comes into view
Which is like a bride’s rule – something old – something new.

The name of the first owner now please relate
We’re sorry you had to climb over the gate
Turn left at a garage and finish your counting
The numbers by now should really be mounting
“Tenez-a-droit s’il vous plait”
You’re half way to your tea, hooray.

Now you come to a clue that is very obscure
But the date being such you have much to endure,
You will come to a bridge on which you’ll depend
To help find the use of the “Farmer’s Friend”
“Phew!” “Glad we’ve got that” now you will say
Get back in the car and proceed on you way.

On the left almost hidden by bushes and stuff
We now have a clue which is not so tough
It is something which is often used for a gate
At the Zoo or Museum, what is it please state
When you come to the cross-roads stop at the corner
The Horse Shoe Inn is owned by…

Go straight across and keep going right on
Count the telegraph poles until they’re all gone
And after you are counting give the technical word

Our next clue, we think would amuse a whole nation
Get out of the car and go into the station
And there if your clever please look round about
Tell us now where do the Rollos hand out.

Back in the car and turn to the right
Another girl’s name will come into sight
Write it down please and then proceed
It’s the first on the left that you will need.

Speed past a pump that must be cold
Till you come to a house that is fifty years old
Here your brains you will have to rattle
Why does this place make you think of a Battle.

At a Y junction turn left, not right,
And follow the kerb-stones coloured white
The happiest days of your life aren’t o’er
Our next task will take you an hour or more.

On your right is an Orange Hall
With lots of (triangle)’s count them all
Multiply this by the area of one
And now your task is nearly done
Find the square root and divide by five
And carry on if you’re still alive. (to two decimal places)

Cross a dangerous bridge but do not wait
Your next stop is at a great big gate
Don’t get out of the car, but glance inside
Count the trees on the right of the avenue wide.

The next place sounds like a doubtful joint
Who meets here – that is the point
So quickly now don’t take a hearse
We ask you now to complete this verse.

“Who by industries hand alone
Blest by Omnipotence divine……….”

Now into Lisburn we ask you to drive
Whose place was established in 1805
When you come to the lights please tell us quick
The makes of the watches from which you can pick.

That was your last clue. I’m sure you agree
It’s time you got to McCracken for tea.



1. 13 different coloured knitting needles in a rubber band
2. Broken mirror
3. Crataegus Oxyacantha
4. Luminous socks (one pair)
5. A double-decker bus
6. A St. Valentine’s Card
7. A large toe nail clipping

William’s rhyming Treasure Hunt clues are back in fashion

William Scott

William Scott from the Fourscore, Glenavy who composed the original 1956 Treasure Hunt for Crumlin Young Farmers’

The Digger recalls a well known local character who will be celebrated at an event during Crumlin Festival.

IT has been said that history often repeats itself, and there have never been truer words amongst the members of the Crumlin Young Farmers’ Club.

They have organised a treasure hunt for the evening of Wednesday 5th August as part of the Crumlin Festival Week and will be basing the clues on those put together by a well known local man for a similar event way back in 1956.

Organisations, clubs and charities are always on the lookout for novel ways of fundraising. In the past it was commonplace within the district for concerts, dances, soirees and beetle-drives. In the 1950’s and 60’s the district was alive with showbands being booked up for fundraising dances – ‘Windsor Serenaders’, ‘Kit-Kat Orchestra’, ‘Bob Crawford and his Orchestra’, ‘The Hilltoppers’, ‘Will Craig and his boys’, ‘Blue Star Band’, ‘Fred Hanna and his Band’, ‘Gay McIntyre and his B an d’ and even ‘Dave Glover and his Band’.

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