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Tweet Wednesday 13th March 2019

More Snippets about 1969.....Is your Club or Association celebrating 50 years?

Clive Allen, Former British Orienteering Chairman has been again delving into British Orienteering's files and records held in the archive at The University of Sheffield. 

Here are some more snippets from British Orienteering in 1969.

  • As has already been published, British Orienteering Federation opened its first office at 3 Glenfinlas Street, Edinburgh on 1st January 1969. This was, in fact, a room in the offices where the then Hon. Treasurer of British Orienteering Federation worked. He was Roy Harris, who was elected in 1968, having previously been Hon. Treasurer of the Scottish Orienteering Association.
  • The British Orienteering Federation Executive Committee, as it was called then, decided at a meeting towards the end of 1968 to re-form its sub-committees, and a full weekend of British Orienteering Federation meetings was set up for 22-23 February 1969 in Otterburn, Northumberland. The new sub-committees were International, Competitions & Fixtures, Maps, Finance & General Purposes (later reversed to become GP & F), and Training & Development, with regional representatives for each. They first met on 23rd February.
  • The Executive Committee then met on 12th April in Crawley and 20th September in Barnard Castle. One of its members then was Carol McNeil, still going strong now as one of the best in W75. She continued as an Executive Committee member until sometime in 1970; at that time she was identified in the minutes as “women’s interest delegate and Scottish Orienteering Association”. 
  • Early in 1969 new Rules of Competition were published, and sold by British Orienteering Federation Office for 2/6d per copy.
  • The second British Junior Championships were held at Sandhurst on 25th May.
  • The first British University Championships were held on 20th April in Grizedale Forest, Lake District in conjunction with a Manchester and District Orienteering Club (MDOC) event but over separate courses. According to ‘Stop-Press’, “the courses were set to Championship standard but this was obviously far too tough for the majority of the starters and it was obvious that some had never competed before. Of the 100 men starters, 65 retired whilst only 2 out of the 12 ladies finished.” Individual winners were G Peck (time 104.18) and K Lindsay (193.27 - !). Edinburgh University won the team competition.
  • In June 1969 the Forestry Commission celebrated its Jubilee with an exhibition at Bush House near Edinburgh. British Orienteering Federation contributed a wide-ranging display, organised by Brian Jamieson, which was a huge success and attracted a great deal of attention. 
  • To quote from former British Orienteering Federation Chairman Bob Climie’s book, ‘History of the Scottish Orienteering Association’ (1990): 

    "Just prior to this a Relief Model Competition for schools was held, and a very good entry was received with the best four being used as part of the display at the Forestry Exhibition. Some schools which did not practice orienteering entered as a geographic exercise, but the majority of the entries showed a mixture of forest and open land with an orienteering course laid out in miniature. In front of each exhibit was a map of the area, and where an orienteering course was incorporated this was also shown on the map." 

    "The models became the main feature of the orienteering stand at the Exhibition because even non-orienteers could see the relationship between the map and the ground as shown on the model, and the course on the map with the course on the model." 

  • The Scottish Orienteering Association was also the organiser of the British Championships in 1969, held at Kirroughtree Forest in Galloway Forest Park near Newton Stewart, nowadays famed for its mountain-bike trails. This was said to be the first time that not all controls were manned at a major event in the UK.

Sourced from British Orienteering’s archive at the University of Sheffield.

British Orienteering Federation - First Logo
First self-inking stamp
Original-style results display

1969 - 2019: 

Is your Club or Association celebrating 50 years this year?

How is your Club or Association planning to mark this key milestone? Do please let us know!  Email:

Struggling to find key information about your Club or Association?    

British Orienteering has an archive in the Special Collections department of the Sheffield University Library, containing a large number of paper records of all kinds going back to the very start of orienteering in the UK.

These include maps and results files from almost all registered events held from the late 1960s until early 2009, and all British Orienteering Federation Council and Committee records up to the time of digitalisation. Complete sets of all national o-magazines including The Orienteer, CompassSport and Focus, and most regional magazines from their first issues until some point in the 1990s are in the archive. There is an extensive collection of books, including almost all books about orienteering ever published in the U.K.

And much else besides! An outline description of the collection can be found here, and the full archive listing and the Book List can be downloaded as pdf files.

Visits to the Special Collections department can be made by appointment; the reading room is open from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm on most weekdays. It is best to decide in advance what you want to look at, and the relevant boxes will be brought into the reading room before you arrive. Additional items can usually be brought out at short notice.

Contact and location information can be found here

Is your Club or Association celebrating 50 years in 2019?