Great Moments from the Orienteering Archives


The Angel Brings Tidings of Great Joy to the Shepherds – DVO are holding a street event in Bakewell on 1st January



Newstrack is the magazine of Derwent Valley Orienteers


Editor: Neil Forrest, 40 Riber View, Close, Tansley, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5HB


Tel: (01629) 583899



Editor’s Opener


Welcome to the last Newstrack of 2007 and my first as editor. Not quite a bumper Xmas edition I am afraid as I have not been inundated with sudokus, crosswords and quizzes to edit down to manageable content, but I am sure devotees of such distractions have other sources. It is a members’ magazine however  and  contributions are  welcome from all members, old and new.


One of the delights of being a recently retired public servant is escape from the Orwellian management speak that clogs up official discourse with euphemisms, evasions and jargon. So it is with a frisson of alarm that I see creeping into discussions about the future of orienteering reference to ‘ ‘targets’,  ‘delivery’ and ‘vision statements’ etc.  Of course if we wish to tap into the funds of official bodies it helps to speak their language.  I only hope it will not frighten off people who take up a leisure time activity such as orienteering  in part as a healthy  escape from the travails of the daily grind.  As I thought about this I re-appraised my initial view of the Orienteering Anthem released on the mature of the sport at the World Masters in Austria in 2006.  It had the seemingly banal chorus line of ‘Run, run, run, Orienteering’s fun’. But on reflection it is a rather good vision statement for the sport. I just suspect though that fun is not a word in the lexicon of today’s official bodies who tend to see sport not as an enjoyable end in itself but as a route to some higher purpose like national glory or fighting obesity. Enough of my soap box for now!


The next Newstrack is planned for March 2008 so New Year’s resolutions please to supply articles.



Annual General Meeting 2007


This was held on 10 October in Sawmills Village Hall and attended by only 15 of the Club’s membership of  282.  A full set of minutes can be viewed on the DVO website –


It seems to be a common feature of organisations that AGMs are not well supported but nevertheless it would be nice if more people who identify with the sport through their local club could attend a meeting once a year to contribute to the election of officers and business discussed, or just to listen and chat socially to other club members. If you have any suggestions for an AGM format that would encourage you to attend next year please pass it on to the Club Secretary or write a letter to Newstrack.


The principal officials for 2008 who you may wish to contact on Club matters are as follows, though the full list is in the minutes.


Chairman                                              Ranald Macdonald

Secretary                                              Helen Finlayson

Fixtures Secretary                                 John Armstrong

Club Captain                                        Graham Johnston

Coaching Co-ordinator             Val Johnson

Press Officer                                        Paul Wright

Permanent Courses Organiser            Mike Godfree

Newstrack Editor                                 Neil Forrest


Thoughts from the Chair


So, here I am again as Chair, though hopefully only for this year until we find someone else willing and able to take over. We are talking to a few people and, whilst the role isn’t overly onerous, it does involve work between meetings as we are so heavily involved in development activities – more of which later.


My thanks to all those who stood for Committee posts, particularly John Armstrong, Helen Finlayson and Neil Forrest for Fixtures, Secretary and Newstrack Editor, respectively. I’d also like to give my thanks to the outgoing Chair, Derek Gale, and Secretary, Paul Beresford, both of whom have contributed so much to the Club over the last few years. Derek is also East Midlands Chair and sits on BOF Council for the region. It would be remiss of me not to also thanks the rest of the Committee for their continued hard work in making the Club such a success. It’s only a shame that the AGM attracted so few people; perhaps most of the Club seem to think it will run itself so don’t have to show an interest.


The event most in our minds at the moment is obviously the National Event at Longshaw Estate. Whilst we all thought it went well the many comments from others around the country and on Nopesport suggest it was a resounding success. My main thanks go to Margaret and Viv as Co-Organisers (“Never again!”), John Duckworth (Planner), Mark Garside (Controller) and Mike Godfree (Entries). Thanks also to all the Team Leaders and those who gave so willingly of their time, in some cases even giving up their run on the day to keep the event running smoothly. In all there were around 70 helpers on the day – a great testament to the Club. The main logistical problem was having the assembly and car park so far from the competition area but there was nothing we could do about that. Given the amount of rain in the days before the event – and the field was covered in snow at lunch time on Saturday – we were lucky to have had such a well-drained field.


The National was also the East Midlands Championships, so my congratulations to the following East Midlands DVO winners: Jessica Beresford (W10), Amy Kimberley (W12), Harriet Lawson (W14), Fiona Sellar (W50), Liz Godfree (W55),  Nathan Lawson (M10), Ben Beresford (M12), Alan Billington (M35), Andy Jackson (M40), Paul Addison (M50) and Alex Ross (M55).


At the end of October I went to the BOF Development Conference and EGM where the two main issues were the long term direction of orienteering and the competition structure. Details of these discussions will no doubt appear in Focus but there were a lot of good ideas flying around and a real sense of wanting to see the sport mover forward, though admittedly those at the conference were the diehards anyway. I have some issues with the proposed competition structure and have sent these to the Chair of the working group. The EGM was asking us to vote to replace BOF Council and Management Committee with an elected Board of Directors which seemed an eminently sensible idea to me as there were too many groups passing issues around and not making decisions. The motion was passed by the necessary two-thirds majority and will come into effect in 2008.


November also saw 16 of us back in Venice for the annual Street O event – think about it! There are two additional rules to the normal ones – no swimming and no using boats. It was as much fun as we remembered it from two years ago, though I had difficulty dodging the tourists and pigeons in St Mark’s Square! Anyone got anything interesting planned for next year? If so, why not write it up for Newstrack. We’re thinking about going to a multi-day event in Slovenia in July.


Finally, Club Development activities. There is a lot going on here and it would be nice to draw in a few more people to support us. I’ll provide a more detailed report in a future Newstrack as we met on 5 December and are due to meet again on 3 January to finalise some issues which we will discuss at the Open Meeting in January. These include having to produce club targets for British Orienteering’s Whole Sport Plan and continuing work on implementing the Club’s Development Strategy through the development of a plan as part of the Derbyshire Sport Plan. A particularly exciting venture is our bid with NOC for funds from the Community Investment Fund to establish three satellite clubs at Buxton, Chesterfield and Derby to provide some regular orienteering activity for young people and families on a weekly basis. Our work is being supported by Craig Keenan from Derbyshire Sport and Pauline Olivant, our BOF Regional Development Officer who is extremely helpful as many of us are volunteers with little time and she has all the contacts.


And finally, mentioning volunteers brings me back to the success of the team approach at Longshaw. Some time ago Derek Gale produced a paper for Committee on how better to organise the Club in terms of putting on events and other operations. I think we were a little nonplussed by it at the time but I’m now convinced that we need to look more closely at how we develop people into different roles and organise ourselves more effectively. We’ll discuss this at the December Committee and also bring it to the January Open Meeting. There are still many in the Club who seem to believe that events will suddenly appear from nowhere as with other sports and that all they have to do is turn up and compete. Unfortunately, unlike football or swimming, we don’t have many people who just dedicate themselves to being officials; we all like to compete as well. We also have to construct a new venue for each event. We could pay people to take on some of the major roles but we are notoriously reluctant as a sport to pay a realistic price for our activities – despite the amount we are prepared to pay for travel and accommodation. Whoops, I’ve got onto my soapbox again! But it is an issue BOF are looking at as well and Val Johnson, our Community Sports Coach, and I have been interviewed by Nigel Furniss, a consultant they have appointed to consider development issues. I’ll no doubt return to this topic again.


So, there is a lot going on and last time when I was Chair we came third in the Foundation for Sport and the Arts Sports Club of the Year in 2001. Perhaps we’re now positioned to do even better, though we could do with some new blood on the development side, including coaching, to help us take this forward.


I hope you all have a good Christmas and peaceful New Year


Ranald Macdonald, DVO Chair


Captain’s Slog: Stardate 2008


This month Gypsy Rose Johnson polishes her crystal ball and peers into its cloudy depths to try to fathom what 
on earth 2008 holds for DVO members. 
As the mist parts, she sees an early start to the CompassSport Cup competition on Sunday, 13th January 
(and possibly an equally early exit too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). 
At least the area is decent and not too far away - North Sherbrook & Brocton, Cannock Chase
– look on the bright side, you could, in a less fortunate world, be a member of NOC, and, as if that were not bad enough
, have to travel to Thetford.
The more DVO members that turn out, the better the chance of a decent club performance.  
Please let me know if you’d like to be part of Team DVO.  
By way of reminder, the following are the course/age class combinations: 


Compass Sport Course

Eligible Age Classes

Course Size



Men Open



Blue Women

Women Open



Blue Men

M45+ M20-



Green Women

W45+ W20-



Green Men




Short Green Veterans

M75+ W60+



Light Green   Juniors

Men/Women 18-




Men/Women 14-


We need at least three counting runners on each course, points being scored according to position. 
1st gets you 100 points so, even if you are not the fourth DVO runner on your course, you could be
sabotaging some other club’s efforts by depressing their counters’ score.  If memory serves me correctly,
DVO will bribe you by paying half your entry fee, it’s not even performance-dependant – now there’s an idea.
And now, back to the future where, as we look ahead to Easter Monday, 24th March, an early Bank Holiday
sees the JK Relays at Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, no, I’ve never heard of it before either, but DVO usually
manages a creditable showing at this, the biggest event of the British orienteering calendar.  Mark it in your diary
and watch for further details.
As Gypsy Rose strains further, she foresees trips to Scunthorpe and Colchester for Derby County next season,
but you don’t have to have much experience in the clairvoyancing department to work that one out, so let’s not
intrude too much upon private grief and jump forwards in time to Sunday, 20th April which some bright spark
possibly on secondment from the Inland Revenue, thought would be a great day to hold the
British Relay Championships
, on Culbin, some 450 miles away from Derby. 

Well, we might manage a couple of relay teams, I suppose, but neither of them will have me in them. 
What’s the point of trying to find the best relay teams in the country if you hold the event on an area as far away as
possible from where the majority of them are living, on a non-Bank holiday weekend, offering the least opportunity
for any of them actually to get there?  Answers on a postcard to anywhere but me. Graham Johnson, Club Captain

DVO Diary Dates

For full details see

Events and venues can change at short notice.  Please confirm before you set off.


Wed 19 Dec

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 21 Dec

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Tue 1 Jan



Wed 2 Jan

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 4 Jan

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 9 Jan

Belper (Sports Centre)

Training Run & Open Meeting

Fri 11 Jan

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 16 Jan

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 18 Jan

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 23 Jan

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 25 Jan

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 26 Jan


Local Event

Wed 30 Jan


Night Street-O

Fri 1 Feb

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sun 3 Feb

Calke Abbey

District Event

Wed 6 Feb

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 8 Feb

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 13 Feb

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Thu 14 Feb

Belper (Johnson's)

Fixtures Sub-Committee Meeting

Fri 15 Feb

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 20 Feb

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 22 Feb

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 23 Feb

Farley Moor

Local Event

Wed 27 Feb

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 29 Feb

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 1 Mar

Wirksworth (Town Hall)

DVO Dinner

Sun 2 Mar

Crich Chase

District Event

Wed 5 Mar

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Fri 7 Mar

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Wed 12 Mar

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Thu 13 Mar

Belper (Johnson's)

Committee Meeting

Fri 14 Mar

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit

Sat 15 Mar

Bottom Moor

Local Event

Wed 19 Mar

Belper (Johnson's)

Club Training Night

Wed 26 Mar

Allestree (Mackervoy's)

Club Training Night

Fri 28 Mar

Sawmills (Village Hall)

Circuits and Keep Fit









Friday 7.00 – 8.30pm  

Sawmills Village Hall    



Everyone welcome regardless of ability or fitness.

Why not come along and try it out. There’s no pressure, just exercise at your own pace and intensity.


Yvette Baker Final              Normanby Hall nr. Scunthorpe 2nd Dec


Following their second place in the regional round on September 30th, DVO juniors progressed to the final of this junior competition. Although not at full strength, with a number of juniors missing due to other commitments, 29 travelled north for the event. Despite the appalling weather for most of the morning there were some good performances and although we did not win, came a close 7th.


East Midland Junior Squad


With the year drawing to a close EM juniors are looking forward to next year with a full programme of training, social and orienteering events planned. As in previous years they are looking for new members so if you are second year M/W12 and regularly completing orange standard courses why not contact Val Johnson to find out more?


Coaching sessions for all DVO members.


  1. Canklow Woods (Rotherham)

Saturday 26th January (with EM Juniors)

  1. BOF Coaching Day – Southern Lake District

Saturday 12th April

+ Hampsfell C3 event on Sunday 13th April


For more details or to register an interest in any of the above please contact Val Johnson 01773 824754   or


Event Officials Needed


DVO has a full calendar of events scheduled for 2008.  In order to run these events we need members to volunteer as organisers, planners and controllers.  Many thanks to those members who have been an official in 2007 and to those who have volunteered for 2008.

The table below shows the officials who have been appointed for 2008 and, more importantly, the vacancies which we still need to fill in order for the event to go ahead.  Please consider volunteering to fill a vacancy by contacting our fixtures secretary John Armstrong:-


Phone:  01335-348238

Please give it a try even if you have no previous experience.  The C5 events are suitable for first timers as they are small scale.  We have experienced club members who will be willing to help you.



Bakewell Street-O


O/P-Steve & Sian Mead





O-Mike Godfree, P-Val Johnson



Belper Street-O


O/P-Val Johnson





O-Emily Williams, P-John Armstrong, C-John Hurley



Farley Moor





Crich Chase


O-Dave Bennett, P-Paul Addison, C-Peter Bourne


Bottom Moor




Shipley Park


O-Val Johnson, P-Ranald Macdonald





O-Dave Vincent, C-Ranald Macdonald?  PLANNER NEEDED.









P-James Allen, C-Paul Wright.  ORGANISER NEEDED.



Club Championship


O/P-Ranald Macdonald


Black Rock







O-Brian Denness, P-Derek & Jen Gale.  CONTROLLER NEEDED.







Shining Cliff


P-John Armstrong.  ORGANISER NEEDED.






First Fifth Frolic



It has become a bit of a tradition for the Wednesday training group to offer something different on those Wednesdays which are the fifth one in a month.


The first opportunity in 2008 for such an offering occurs on Wednesday 30th January 2008

On Offer

A 60 minute night street score event in


Start Location

In the car park behind the

Wheatsheaf Public House

signposted from the main thoroughfare Grid Reference SK287537


Mass start promptly at

7:15 pm


Updated map of Wirksworth


£1 per map


The map will be pre-marked with a number of controls situated at junctions within the area of the map and the number of points available at that control. The aim of the event is to collect as many points as possible by identifying and recording the letter after the first vowel on the roadsigns at the control points within 60 minutes. Those competitors taking longer than the allotted time will be fined 5 points for every minute over that time.


All competitors are invited to await the results in the comfort of the Wheatsheaf function room and partake of the tea, coffee, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages provided by that establishment. Snacks will also be available.


A small number of prizes will be available to successful competitors


The event will be organised by Alex and Evelyn Ross


Snacks and prizes provided by WEDOIT4YOU for all those jobs you never have time for. All tasks considered. Contact Alex Ross on 01629 820 193.


Dejà vu  II


Yes, it’s me again Knoll, Rocky Knoll, BOF special agent (retired, retired) – retired II.  I couldn’t let drop the investigation into the running of courses twice.  Having taken up golf in my retirement I couldn’t quite see the problem of running the same course more than once, after all I happily pursue a white ball around the same course week after week.  After visiting O and P it was a short step to stake out Q the quizling.  But whilst waiting for his return home I was surprised to find DVO’s finest turning up for a run so had to pretend that I meant to come along all the time.  Running up hill and down dally it was a struggle to keep up never mind try to interrogate anyone.  But wait, what better way to learn DVO’s secrets than quietly eavesdropping. Before I knew it I had invitations to train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Monday evening was like joining a pack of hounds after the scent of a fox.  Keeping up would have been difficult except for their habit of losing the scent and then it was just a matter of homing in on a fair imitation of a Trinity House lighthouse. But there was nothing repetitive about it. Friday evenings were repetitive enough but exhausting.  Listening was difficult above the noise of the ghetto blaster and after several weeks there was no sign of Q. Quite a sight though, all those lycra clad behinds doing press-ups.  So it was back to the Wednesday run again.  Eventually I was fit enough to start asking questions whilst still running fast enough to keep up.  One week Q dropped a clue.  The initials of the person you need are an anagram of mine.  Typical of a pub quiz addict I thought, but at least I was back on the trail. An hour with a DVO membership list left me with only one possibility.


Penetration into furthest west Derbyshire is an expedition in itself.  Eventually I found the menhir with a very feint engraving of the initials K6.  But on the drive there is a white van. Alexi Rossoff had beaten me to it.  Was he there on underground Fed business? But I was able to sneak into the house while Alexi was climbing on the roof like Santa Claus come early.  G showed me into a small room lined with bookcases full of maps stacked in untidy piles.  “Mind where you sit” G said, “the dust helps preserve the wood”. Glancing round the shelves brought memories flooding back.  Robin Wood, Rough Pitty Side even Lea Woods.  Why no modern maps though?   “Well” said G, “all our maps now are in this computer” indicating a small screen.  “When we want maps for an event I send a file to the printers by email”.  To think I used to struggle with large sheets of drafting film and pieces of Letraset, and I said this Internet thing would never catch on.

“But” continued G “everyone would like to run on different areas without paying too much but no-one wants to spend the time talking to landowners or surveying, so we have been forced to keep using the same areas.  G suggested I go to visit R who would explain even more of the problems.

I drove deeper into Derbyshire with a turn round the car park of the new emporium till I reached a yellow-brown village.  Two black & white collies greeted me, dropped a twig at my feet and looked up with such appealing anticipation that I just had to throw it for them!  When I found him R was seated on his chair beneath two golden arches surrounded by books and documents. He took one from a shelf, consulted it and proceeded to address me.



Some Differences between Orienteering in UK and New England


In the UK…

It rains a lot,

Events are advertised months in advance (generally)

There is more undergrowth

The white courses are always to the same standard (i.e. suitable for children who can orientate a map and negotiate a path junction or two)

There are lots of helpers who know what’s going on (club members often help out at several events a year)

There are lots of competitors (though fewer than 10-15 years ago)

There are hardly any new faces at events,

The competitors are getting older…

There are coaching events or coaching available at events so that people can work out what went wrong or can learn new approaches to navigational problems

The spread between first and last on a course is not so great

There is always a string course

There is information available at the event about the next few events, and how to join the club

Results appear on the club website before you’ve unloaded the car


In New England…

The sun always shines (so far…)

Events are put on by 4 or 5 people with relatively little advance planning

The forests are fast and technical (though visibility can be low)

People take bearings between controls on the white course (straight through the forest if necessary)

There are bugs, some of which carry nasty diseases

Friends and relatives get roped into helping

Maps are at proper scales – 1:15000 or 1:10000

No-one has seen a bear at an event for a while now…

Some people are happy taking over 3 hours to get around their course. Regularly.

Registration is under hard cover or indoors

There are proper toilets, hard surface car parking and water available

There is a choice of drink and usually fruit and/or biscuits at the finish

A large proportion of people at any event will be new to the sport

Hardly anyone owns an SI card, and they are rarely used.

No two people seem to wear the same O kit

The red course is difficult, and the brown course is short


Editor’s note:

This piece has been sent by former Fixtures Secretary and Newstrack editor Dai Bedwell who moved to Connecticut in the summer. It is certainly borne out by my own experience at the Nottingcook Forest regional event in New Hampshire in October. Whilst the pre-event warning about possible bow and arrow hunters was a bit alarming the cake and biscuits at the finish did compensate. East Midlands now have three expats in New England active in orienteering so the potential is there for a good relay team. Besides Dai there are Ian Finlayson formerly of DVO, based in Boston and Andy Hall of LEI also in the Boston area. You may follow the exploits of the New England Orienteers on their website < >.