January 2007











Great Moments from the Orienteering Archives


At the inaugural Sherwood Pines District Event, Robin Hood finds out that ‘Fight’ really does mean ‘Fight’.






Newstrack is the magazine of Derwent Valley Orienteers


Editor: Dai Bedwell, 200 Leicester Road, Loughborough, Leics LE11 2AH

Tel: (01509) 260751   email:


Thoughts from the Chair


DVO are in the middle of a quite intensive series of events we have planned.  It is part of the intention to make orienteering more local and more frequent as spelt out in our Development Plan.  You may have observed that we always put on a local event in the weekend prior to our district events.  This is to allow any newcomers who show interest to have the opportunity to repeat the experience ‘whilst the iron is hot’ or perhaps a more suitable phrase would be ‘before the shoes have dried’!  However, and I make no apologies for harping on the same old string, we are dependant upon the club volunteers to make these events happen.  As this is always a bit of a chore to find these volunteers you tend to see the same familiar faces in all the usual roles at all the events.  If anyone reading this has some suggestions on how we can easily broaden the spectrum of helpers then please speak to a member of the Committee.  We have some ideas already and will be debating these in the coming months but in the meantime we are still looking for organisers for a number of this year’s events so please step forward.


As part of our plan to involve more members in the workings of the club the Open Meeting in April will have a substantial element of ‘Entertainment’ in the agenda.  If people show interest in this then we will consider adopting this more often whenever orienteering business allows.


Putting the business of the club to one side, this is the time to get the credit cards out and plan your attempts on the major events of the year.  The JK, British Orienteering Championships and the Scottish all have their low rate cut-offs about now so I hope you have entered and we can look forward to cheering you in, whatever your position, as you emerge from the sunlit forests.


Happy Orienteering.


Derek Gale




Open Meeting – Wednesday 11th April 2007


The tradition of having open meetings each quarter continues with the next being at our new venue – Sawmills Village Hall, on the A610 between Riply and Ambergate (the venue for Friday night circuit training).


There will be opportunity for an open forum at 8pm and Paul Wright is organising a quiz afterwards.


The hall is booked from 6-45pm so that some people can go for a run beforehand.



Sports Personality of the Month (1)


Who at Allestree Park told people the start was a long way from registration and pointed it out on the map? The trouble was that he was using the Calke Park map! Yes, you’ve guessed, it was Doug Dickinson


DVO Dinner and Annual Awards


Friday 9 February 2007

Wirksworth Town Hall , 7.00 - 11.00 pm


All welcome - old timers, regular club members, friends and those new to the club- particularly families.


Adults £7.50

Juniors £3.50

Under 5's free

Pay on the night (either cash or cheques to DVO)


Soup and bread, main course (including vegetarian choice) and dessert - Catering by DVO (slightly) Limited.


Cash bar - unfortunately the town hall's licence does not allow us to take our own drinks


Please let Viv Macdonald (01629 734307 or or Val Johnson (01773 824754 or by Monday 5 February


Other Social activities


I am trying to arrange other social activities. Suggestions at the Open Meeting included;


      Go Ape (tree-top assault course in Sherwood Forest)



      Behind the scenes at Chatsworth/picnic/adventure playground

      Night at the dogs

      Ten pin bowling (Alfreton)


      Ice skating at Nottingham


If you are interested in any of these please let me know, so I can look at some dates and costs and keep you in touch - a phone number or email address would be helpful


Viv (01629 734307)"


Sports Personality of the Month (2)


Picture the scene: a chilly Monday night in mid-December. Outside “The Plough Inn” in Two Dales: the discussion on whether or not to wear a cag, and how boggy it will be along the paths and rides of Whitesprings and Farley Moor, is interrupted by a contradictory figure ambling amiably down the road to join us. Wearing only skimpy shorts for leg-cover, and yet a thick Northampton Town woolly hat on where one’s crowning glory ought to be. Removing the hat, we were sheepishly shown a right follicular fleecing: “a close shave” barely doing justice to the newly-scraped pate. “I forgot to put the usual No.3 attachment on the clippers. I didn’t look up at the mirror until I’d gone past the point of damage limitation. Oh, Val, what have I done?!” The only action left to take was to finish the job, and finish it he did – good and proper. It’s not been an ideal season for Northampton Town. They haven’t managed to find the net since October. But perhaps this could appear on the SPOTM score sheet: “G. Johnson – (o.g.)”


Editorial and Fixtures


Yes, the two subjects are related. As Derek mentions in his thoughts from the chair, we are attempting to hold a busy schedule of events with a small number of volunteers and in the absence of anyone else I’m organising the forthcoming event at Lindop. This explains why Newstrack is late being issued and hence the link!


We have high aspirations of lots of good quality events throughout Derbyshire but without volunteers then the editors red pen will start to be applied to the fixtures list. Right now we have an event in June at Kedleston and a prospective summer league that won’t happen unless we get some volunteers, and there’s a few events in the autumn before it’s time for everyone to pitch in for our National Event at Longshaw in December. Please volunteer your services, as the long-suffering few will not maintain their current level of work indefinitely.




Club Coaching Day

Saturday 10th March (day before Whitbarrow Scar National Event)

Lake District –an excellent opportunity to come and practise techniques, such as contour interpretation, in good quality terrain and just that little bit different from the East Midlands.

For all club members – orange/light green standard and above.


Book your maps now – ring or email Val Johnson.


Junior Coaching

Following the success of the East Midland Autumn programme more coaching especially for juniors is planned for the Spring (and dates are being worked out for the Summer).


Please come along – remember to ring or email Val Johnson at least a week beforehand so that suitable exercises can be planned and enough maps organised.


DVO Coaching Schedule 2007








Farley Moor

DVO Coaching Clinic



LEI, *


Coaching Session





DVO Coaching Clinic Activity -  briefing and debrief  + shadowing



EM Squad Junior Session

Bestwood, Nottingham




EM Junior Squad

Brocton, Cannock Chase




DVO C4 *

Stanton Moor

DVO Coaching Clinic

+ Junior Session



BOF Coaching Day

Lake District

Club Coaching



DVO  C5 

Poolsbrook, Chesterfield




LEI C4 *


(Nat. Forest Trophy)

Coaching Session



? NOC *


Coaching session



LEI C4 *

Bradgate Park

+ Junior Session




Riber Hillside

DVO Coaching Clinic



DVO C5 *


Coaching Session


To ensure enough maps are prepared, sessions marked * must be pre-booked,


Val Johnson

01773 824754


Welcome to New Members


A warm welcome is extended to the following new members of DVO:


Sarah Robinson of Ripley

Alan, Sue, Hannah, Sasha, Adam & Lara Wisdish of Belper

Andy Rogers of Lichfield

Murray White Of Chesterfield

Sylvia Hummel of Belper

Anthony Gell School – Wirksworth

Catherine Sellars of Allestree



Less Local Fixtures (1) – The Istanbul 5 Days 2006


In November I travelled to the Istanbul 5 day event. It was excellent fun, so I'll share some of the highlights with you.

Day 1 unfortunately cancelled - so much rain that there was a risk of a dam overflowing and flooding the forest. But the weather cleared to be a great day for sightseeing.

Day 2 sunny and warm event in a runnable forest in Asia (the other days were in Europe).

Day 3 sprint event in a city park, with some novel control sites, like underneath a bridge, the bridge being over an ornamental lake. Fortunately the lake was drained, despite it being torrential rain again.

Day 4 runnable forest, up and over spurs and re-entrants like on day 2. Except that it is now snowing, (and cold enough for the snow to settle).

For the evening of day 4 the organisers hired a ferry for a party on the Bosphorus, with barbeque and drinks included and a score event on board - each of the three decks are shown separately on the map, and proper electronic punching. Plenty of obstacles, like several hundred partying orienteers, and need to take care at the controls on the narrow ledge outside - slip or trip and you'd be in the water.

Day 5, sprint event round the Grand Bazaar. Cheat the weather by having the event indoors (although it is now sunny again). The main part of the bazaar is quite easy as it is on a grid pattern, but many of the controls were in dark corners or up narrow staircases to the first floor. Picking out the right staircase when the map is only in 2 dimensions is a challenge.


In 2007 the Istanbul 5-Days is 31st Oct – 4th Nov. see

Dave Bennett

And here is a copy (reduced) of the Ship-O map (on 3 levels):


Less Local Fixtures (2) – Autumn 2007


In the last few years several DVO members have travelled to the annual Venice Street-O event. Several of us plan to go again this year, and Mike Godfree has offered to co-ordinate entries and also to let anyone interested know when the flights become available on the Easyjet booking system (and hence the best prices). The event is on November 11th and with daily flights from East Midlands, there are various options for making a long weekend of it. Please indicate your interest to Mike Godfree on his (still relatively new) email:


Make a New Year Resolution – I will not leave litter at events.


I know, orienteers are renowned for never leaving their banana skins, Wilf’s plates, plastic cups etc. in the car park field; this is about the forest, and I don’t mean the odd dropped control description or map bag. We don’t just leave footprints, which disappear after a few days; we leave those bits of tape that mark control sites


The planner puts them there in the first place. The controller checks them, sometimes adding another colour to indicate approval. When it comes to control hanging, they are essential for a planner in a hurry, or a planner’s mate, who may have never previously visited the site.


During the event, if a control “goes missing” the tape can reassure a competitor that he/she is in the right place, and it can be reported stolen at the finish. This happened at the last event at Linacre; trouble was, the tape had been left in a similar nearby depression used at a previous event, it even seemed to have the correct number on it, When the competitor was disqualified for missing a control, naturally, she was not happy! I’ve been helping to resurvey the area, and have found numerous tapes, of random vintage and colour all over the place. I’ve also seen some in Bow Woods & Crich Chase. At Headley Heath in Surrey, the National Trust ranger actually threatened to withdraw land permission if he found any trace of our presence after an event, and he knew all about tapes.


So, next time you carry out your other Resolution of volunteering to collect in controls – take a penknife or small scissors, and remove the tapes as well. You’ll be doing a good turn for the environment and for the next person who thinks they’re at the control because there’s a tape there.

Pauline Ward


Newstrack Correspondent in Positive Review Shock


The Lincolnshire Bomber Long O – 14th January 2007


For some unaccountable reason never apparent to me, my parents moved from a house about an hour from the Lakes to the far side of Lincoln about ten years ago, but, even so, I’ve still never been able to bring myself actually to orienteer there.  To me, Lincolnshire has always had an unfinished feel about it, as if the Almighty had flattened this part of England with his celestial palette knife, intending to come back to it, but then simply got bored or forgot about it, much as the rest of the country has ever since.  I have thus never had the slightest urge to climb into a car and travel the hour and a half necessary to compete on such stirring areas as South Common or Hartsholme Country Park.


However this 17 km Long-O event provided the chance to scratch that particular itch and tick these two venues off in my I-Spy Book of Orienteering Areas, achieving the double whammy of satisfying any mild curiosity I might have so I never needed to go back and also discharging filial duties to said parents. Bingo.


Over the years, I have refined the process of arriving at the start line with the minimum of time to spare and elevated it to an art-form, but, even so, this may have been my finest hour.  It did involve changing in the car whilst on the move and a nasty moment when, whilst driving through Lincoln city centre and down to my undies, I realised my kit was still inaccessible in the boot.  Overcoming this setback and dispatching Val to registration, I completed the switch to orienteering-mode.  I then strode purposefully (well ran, panic-stricken, actually) to the minibus charged with transporting competitors to the start, clambering in just as the door slammed shut and arriving several K away at the start with three minutes to spare.


The aim of the competition was to trace a course from South Common to the Event Centre at the top of the hill in the centre of Lincoln on top of which is perched the castle and cathedral.  It was asking a lot to design a course which (a) remained challenging throughout and (b) did not involve K after K of dead running through industrial estate or housing conurbation.  Nevertheless the planner of this event achieved the feat apparently quite effortlessly.  As we traced our way through farmland, ran along riverbanks, negotiated parks and even managed some proper orienteering along the way too, not a soap-sudden car or power-washer was to be spotted.


The attraction of a Long O lies as much in adapting techniques to changing terrain as in the physical challenge necessary to survive the distance.  The former extended to making sense of a mass of black mapped on brown in an out-of-town shopping centre, where a wrong turn could find you pondering the washing machines in Comet.  It’s the closest you’ll ever get me to Matelans.  Highlight of this particular section of the course was probably  Swanholme Lakes Reserve, a complex network of narrow pathways meandering through an aquatic wilderness of lakes and lagoons.


Meanwhile, elsewhere in Lincoln, a full-blown street event going on.  And this is where the clever bit came in because after 13K of running cross country on a 1:10,000 map, the brain had suddenly to make a shift in gear to cope with a third map at 1:5000 at a time when it was least equipped to do so, and furthermore to grapple with orienteering in 3D.  Our first control was the top of a staircase leading to a bridge over the railway.  After a couple of hours searching for controls firmly attached to the ground, it is little bewildering when you realise that the next control you need is actually 30 foot above you.


In fact, the planner probably sensibly realised that we’d had enough by then as our course culminated in a gradual escalation, through a series of less-than-taxing controls, of the closest Lincolnshire has to offer to a mountain.  Although our course managed a grandstand finish through the grounds of the castle, I was left feeling that Lincoln had more to offer as an street-orienteering venue.   The Street O reportedly involved a control inside a bishop’s palace, not a place I tend to visit very often, and routes which took you through a vineyard (sadly, ditto).  If a good event should leave you wanting to come back for more, the Lincolnshire Bomber hit its target.

Graham Johnson

Captain’s Slog


The arrival of a new year brings into sharp focus three forthcoming events where DVO actually competes as a club, rather than as a motley crew of individuals, and that’s where I come in ‘cause I’m supposed to co-ordinate it all.  This means a lot of time and effort, so the more assistance you can give me, the happier I’ll be, and you wouldn’t want to see me miserable on days of the week other than Sunday, would you?


First is up the First Round of the CompassSport Cup, on Sunday, 18th March.  I can exclusively reveal that we are once again to be pitted against the might of MDOC, AIRE, SYO and EBOR, this time at Greno Woods, top side of Sheffield, which is a joy to run on as those of you who did the JK relays two years ago and the regional event last year will attest.


The subject of which area we should opt for has been the subject of lively discussion in the Johnson household (we never argue, of course).  Val reckoned we stood a better tactical chance of progressing to the Final if we’d gone for the Stapleford option where’d we have had NOC and LEI to face. Personally I’ve never been to Stapleford so my view is based purely on prejudice.  Reputedly there isn’t a contour on the map, so I can’t really see the point of it.  Personally I’d rather go out in a blaze of glory, like Butch and Sundance, in freeze-frame, slowly fading to sepia, and having enjoyed my run, than edging a dour contest on an area described by LOG themselves as ’a mess’ because of all the felling and windblown.  Let me be on the wrong side of a 4-3 goalfest than winners in a scrappy 1-0 win any day – unless it’s the Cobblers of course when I’ll take any points that are going (please).  Anyway, let’s be positive, we could be hat-trick heroes in March, stranger things have happened.  Not many, I grant you.


Then, there’s the JK Relays on Monday, 9th April at Caerwent, Chepstow.  I was beginning to get a bit nervous because, although the higher entry rate officially kicks in on 1st February, neither the club secretary not I have received the Official Entry Form, and whilst the official site is full of pretty pictures of the map and even has a useful section for results with the event still three months away, there’s nowhere to download a form from.  However panic ye not, because the relay co-ordinator tells me that they haven’t even sent out the entry form yet so it is to be assumed than the cheap(er) closing date will be extended.  I can thus do as I did last year and gather names of interested parties at the DVO dinner.  This means if anybody’s not going to said dinner and wants a relay entry, the onus is on them to contact me by phone or email, and communicate.


Finally, there’s the British Relays on Sunday, 6th May, on Pwll Du, Blaenafon.  There have been similar entry form problems here too, but at least I have now been emailed one by the organisers.  These entries can also wait until after the DVO dinner, so I shall be moving amongst you in a mysterious way as you slump in a semi-comatose state, struggling to cope with a vast intake of DVO pudding.  Not at the dinner and interested? See previous Para.


Don’t complain if you’re not in a team and haven’t bothered to get in touch.  I am quite sociable if you catch me in the right mood.

Graham Johnson, Club Captain