Former British Orienteering Federation Chairman Clive Allen has spent time delving into the archives and files held at the University of Sheffield.
Clive Allen says: “One of the things I did whilst I was visiting the British Orienteering archive, after going through the 1969 editions of the newsletter issued at that time, ‘Stop Press’, was to look through the records of events for that year, and from the two sources of information I have listed the clubs that I think came into being that year and will, therefore, have their 50th anniversaries this year (2019).”
Overview of 1969 developments
- Starting in late 1968: York Youth Service under the leadership of Gerry Goodridge had introduced orienteering in the area and held an open score event in Wass Moor forest on 8th December. Planners were P Winskill and B Bushell. The winner was Tony Radford, second Roger Lott. 96 on the open course + more than 60 novices.
- On the same day, the Somerset Orienteering Association held its inaugural open event in the Quantock Hills. 54 took part + a few ‘wayfarers’.
- Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association’s (YHOA’s) first Annual General Meeting (AGM) was on 23rd January in York. At that time the only club in the region was Sheffield Shifters - now Sheffield University Orienteering Club (SHUOC). The first YHOA Newsletter (YAHOO) was published in September.
- North East Orienteering Association (NEOA) staged its second national event on 25th January in Stang Forest. At that time Kenton Kanterers (KK) was the only established club in the region.
- The first event of Dorset OA was on 26th January at Canford Heath, Poole. Poole Orienteering Club was formed towards the end of the year.
- York Youth Service event at Wheldrake on 23rd February – an open youth event incorporating the York Youth Championships. Soon after, in March, Eborienteers (EBOR) came into being. Airienteers (AIRE) was formed around the same time, holding a training event jointly with Benton Park Orienteers (a school group) in April. EBOR held a Come-And-Try-It (CATI) event at Bishopwood on 13th July, organised by Gerry Goodridge and Alan Ross, attracting 80 newcomers. AIRE’s first event organised only by themselves was also at Bishopwood on 9th November – a score event won by Rik Plumb.
- Two sidelines: a night event was held by South Ribble Orienteering Club (SROC) on 8th February at Oakbank in a temperature of -16 degrees Fahrenheit. On 23rd February KK held an event that was televised by BBC with a 7-minute report on Northern TV news.
- Derwent Valley Orienteers (DVO) had an Acting Secretary in late 1968, but formed a proper committee early in 1969 with Jenny Tennant as Chair. The first DVO national event was planned for 9th March but postponed to 6th April. John Clarke was Organiser.
- The JK in 1969 was in Kielder Forest, classic individual + relay. The JK Trophy (relay) was won by Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC) (J Barrow, G Peck, R Sloane) by 8 secs from Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club (ESOC).
- Leicestershire Orienteering Club (LEI) held its first event on 20th April.
- The first-ever horse-riding Orienteering event in the UK was organised by RMOC on western Dartmoor on 24th April.
- Lanchester Orienteers (LO, Co. Durham) was formed in March and had its first event on 18th May (venue not known).
- On 22nd May Deeside Orienteering Club (DEE) was formed at a meeting at Chester YMCA. Chairman RG Foster, Secretary MT Richardson, Treasurer M McIvor. The first event was an evening training event on 2nd July, the venue billed as being “10 miles from Chester”. Then on 10th August DEE held a score event “within 20 miles of Mold”, entry fee 3/6d.
- Dorset OA’s second event was on 25th May in Bryanston School grounds. Dorset’s ‘inaugural event’, as opposed to a training event, was on 29th June.
- The first Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association (YHOA) national event was organised by York Youth Service in Pickering Forest on 1st June.
- The 3rd British Championships, sponsored by Arthur Guinness, Son & Co. Ltd., were on 15th June “within 20 miles of Newton Stewart, Galloway”. The venue was, in fact, Kirroughtree, and winners were Mike Wells-Cole and Carol McNeill. Planner Chris James, Controller Chris Brasher.
- Patons OC, Darlington had its first event on 8th June at Silton Woods, a score event with 97 starters. Patons’ first national event was at Cropton on 28th September.
- On 5-6th July Southern Navigators (SN) travelled to Wales for a 2-day ‘Welsh investiture event’ in Bryn Engan Forest, Capel Curig, organised and planned by John Disley.
- Teesside and Cleveland OC (now CLOK) held its first event on 12th October at Hutton Woods, winner Dave Gittus, second Roger Lott.
- Eborienteers (EBOR’s) second event was at Boltby on 19th October.
- East Yorkshire OC, EYOC (now HALO), based at that time in Beverley, staged its first event “within 20 miles of Market Weighton” on 16th November, organiser Phil Wharton.
- The second November Classic (SOC) was held on 23rd November in the New Forest. The first, in 1968, had been described as “a fiasco”.
- Walton Chasers (WCH), based at Walton near Stafford, started in December. Poole OC and possibly North Gloucestershire Orienteering Club (NGOC) started at about the same time.
- By the end of the year, there were university clubs in Yorkshire and Humberside Orienteering Association (YHOA) in Bradford, Hull, Sheffield and York.
Sourced from British Orienteering’s archive at the University of Sheffield.
Do you have any additional information or clarifications, either about the clubs mentioned or about other clubs being formed in 1969? Do please let us know!