eSLOWprint 134 - April 2001

Cover picture

MetrO in London May 13th!

Club Officers 2000-2001

Chair: Chris Robinson Fixtures Secretary: Andy Robinson Social Secretary: Vicky Robb Equipment Officer: Chris Fry
Secretary: Jenny Thomas Club Kit: Teresa Turner Membership: Ginny Catmur Archivist: Sue Lumas
Ladies’ Captain: Karen Jones Men’s Captain: Peter Huzan Mapping Officer and SEOA Rep.: Andy Robinson SLOWprint editor: Sarah Brown
Treasurer: Liz Armitage Publicity Officer: Paul Canham Beginners’ Rep. and Training Officer: Heather Walton SLOW Webmaster: Ed Catmur

Copy date for Issue 135 (June 2001) will be June 21st. Letters, event reports, articles, cartoons, gossip, scandal, notices, small ads, court circulars, births, deaths and marriages should be posted to Sarah Brown; electronic copies via e-mail or on floppy disk are particularly welcome.

New Members: If you are new to SLOW, you might not know about … Training: Tues. eve. (7:15 pm) training open to all, of all standards: every Tuesday at the clubhouse (Thames Hare and Hounds, Richard Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Kingston Vale); 9 pm at the ‘Robin Hood’ pub, Kingston Hill; and other venues: see the Training Diary for details.

… and Transport: we can organise lifts to events: ring any of the club’s officers, as listed above, and one of us will sort this out for you.


Despite or in spite of FMD, there is plenty to get out there and do.. And if you have sunk into your armchair there’s plenty to read with Andy’s reports on Sport Ident and being a ‘Fixer’ as well as news from BOF so you can prepare next year’s diary.

Things to do:   Training Diary: Summer Specials in Bushy Park and Oxshott Heath

                         Sport Ident: Majic Fingers at the ready on Wimbledon Common

                         North Downs Relay: get out on them there hills on 16th June

                         MetrO in London

                         Event Diary ...small but perfectly formed!


In the last issue I believe I made the mistake of wishing for better things to come in 2001 after the tragedy of having to postpone the 2000 OK Nuts event.  The rest as they say is history with the OK Nuts postponed yet again, this time due to foot and mouth restrictions.  I say 'postponed' rather than 'cancelled' as all concerned (especially planner Paul Canham) still wish to use the courses at a later date.

A brave effort was made to keep the Wimbledon Common event alive and, after consulting the Common rangers, Richmond Park officials and BOF, a well-reasoned decision was made to continue by unanimous agreement of the SLOW committee and the event officials. The event went ahead, though unfortunately the numbers attending were not as high as expected: have people written off orienteering entirely this spring and taken to doing all those DIY and garden projects we've been putting off for years?

We also held a highly enjoyable training day on Wimbledon Common the week before Easter - timed as pre-JK training.  It was a beautiful spring day and we had a warm and sunny lunchtime picnic in between some excellent training exercises. Many thanks to Chris Fry and Heather Walton for organising this session which was well appreciated by those who attended.

On the same day several club members attended a training session on using the new Sport Ident electronic punching kit.  The kit itself was distributed to clubs on that day, so SLOW is now the proud owner of enough SI equipment to run a badge event...  and we are keen to put on some events to use it! At the time of writing we are trying to put together quickly some events, which can be staged with a minimum of effort.

The colour-coded event on The Nower on 3 June has been granted permission and is likely to go ahead; however the Hill Races formerly known as Silva on the same day are in doubt, but not actually cancelled as yet.  Please check the SLOW website or the SEOA answerphone nearer the date.

Several of us made last minute arrangements to go to the Bordeaux Easter 3 day event - a great chance to catch some rays, taste some vin and dig out the old compass. Also a great opportunity to actually see some friends for the first time in a while - including Marco, Monika and Anna Bonafini running as OLG Bern/SLOW.

One of those who popped up in Bordeaux was Ed Catmur who has taken on the role of interim webmaster, until he departs for university in the summer, where I understand big sister Caroline has already lined him up as OUOC webmaster and treasurer!  Ed has been on great form recently, winning M20 at the British Nights in a time which would have placed him 3rd on M21.  He was top Brit in both night and day events in the Spring Cup in Denmark - a performance that might secure him a place in the GB Junior World Championships team (which unfortunately clashes with the Mathematics Olympiad in Washington DC, for which Ed has been chosen as a member of the British squad). He also attended GB Junior Squad training camps in Spain and France. Ed is far too modest to proclaim these successes on the website so I am doing it here instead.

We sadly have to say goodbye to Andrew and Anne Leaney who are moving back to Lancaster.  Good luck and thanks for all your contributions to SLOW over the last few years.

We will be organising once again an event for Lady Eleanor Holles school on the morning of Wednesday 23 May on Wimbledon Common - not many of us are available on week-days, so anybody who is, your help on this day would be very much appreciated.  Please contact  Andy Robinson.

The next SLOW Committee meeting will be on Tuesday 15 May at 9pm in the Robin Hood pub, at the bottom of Kingston Hill; all members are welcome to attend.

Chris Robinson


MEMBERSHIP NEWS from Membership Secretary, Ginny Catmur

With this copy of SLOWprint you should receive a new Members’ Address List. Please let me know of any errors/omissions. Welcome to the following new members:

Mike Garvin (M21), Simon Miles (M21), Neil (M35) and Charlotta (W35) Stanley, whose contact details are in the new Members’ Address List, and to Jackie Bird (W40), whose form arrived too late for her to be included in the Address List

Thank you all for renewing so promptly. I was delighted to see that the Foot and Mouth outbreak doesn’t seem to have led anyone to resign their membership! We are a hardy lot, aren’t we ...

Ginny Catmur


Dear all,
Latest news flash from the Armitage household is that baby Matthew James Anthony was born in the early hours of 22 Feb 2001, weighing in at 7lb 9oz. Mother, baby and the rest of the family are all well.
Hopefully show him off soon !     
Jeff, Liz and Family

TRAINING DIARY Chris Robinson pp Heather Walton

As Heather is rather busy at work at the moment grappling with the dioxins being emitted from cattle pyres, Andy and I have helped to pull together the following training schedule:

All sessions except 12 and 19 June start at the Thames Hare & Hounds clubhouse, Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields, Kingston Vale - near Robin Hood Gate entrance to Richmond Park.

1 May Run

8 May Hill session

15 May Run from clubhouse (committee meeting 9pm in the Robin Hood)

22 May Orienteering on Wimbledon Common.  Bring leg cover, studs and your 'magic finger' as we are experimenting with Sport-Ident. Spare 'fingers' will be available.

29 May Nice and steady - in case we've been up to anything over the bank holiday

5 June Terrain time trial

12 June Bushey Park. "Street" score event format i.e. one hour time limit with clues.  Meet at car park east of Diana Fountain. Starts 6.45 to 8.00.  Contact Frank Lyness 020 8546 9373

19 June Oxshott Heath.  Meet at Sandy Lane car park from 7.00.  O training if Alan Leakey gets permission or failing that a terrain run.

26 June Run

3 July Run


For the three children (incl. me) who turned up for this training event, it was a success.  First, in a very boggy area of Wimbledon Common, we did two courses of Orange &/or Green standard. Then a nice lunch and we enjoyed the sun for a while.  After that, we moved camp and prepared for an odds and evens relay. (This was three teams-the children were kept apart and three people per team-one map with either odd or even controls given to an elected member of the team who was to get one control. When he/she got back, the other map was given out and the other two team members went out to get one control etc.) My team won, followed by Ally McKerrow’s and Ralph Street’s.

Thanks to Chris Fry and Heather Walton for organising.

Michael May-M12

It was fun and muddy, very very muddy. I liked finding the control in the thicket though luckily there was an unmapped path virtually leading me there. The relays were exciting and I collected two controls at the end with Michael.

Ralph Street-M12


Andy Robinson

Fixer? What fixer? A quick peruse of the club officials at the front of this mag shows no such thing.  But it does put my name down under the title of Fixtures Secretary, and has done so ever since last autumn when Hon Chair thought it was a jolly good idea to combine Fixtures and Mapping and that I should do both. I muttered for a while about the South-East Chair being vacant, but a little thought made me settle for the lesser of two evils and come the AGM I was duly prodded into place as Fixtures Secretary.

But still, why "Fixer". That bit should be obvious. A few months into the combined job and especially as far as last month's Wimbledon event was concerned, "Fixer" is not only much less of a mouthful than "Fixtures and Mapping Officer" it is also seems remarkably appropriate much of the time.


The nice part of the combined job is that all strategic planning of SLOW's events and the use of our areas is in the one place.

-         The tricky part is - as ever - appointing organisers and planners to events. It is traditional at this point that the Fixtures Secretary appeals to the membership for any volunteers for these jobs to contact him. With equal tradition the membership either takes no notice of this or shrinks away saying "Not me". The Fixtures Secretary then traditionally resorts to nudging, cajoling, arm-twisting likely victims into these jobs. There has to be a better way, and I will expand on this theme in the next mag in a hope of finding it. In the meantime see "what remains to be fixed?" below to find out what I'll be targetting in the coming weeks.WHAT HAS BEEN FIXED?In the last few months we have put onthe Box Hill fell race with a record entry of 186 runnersa Senile (that's means colour-coded night event) on Pitch Hilla colour-coded on Wimbledon Common, using the new mapa training day

-         , also on Wimbledon.

All of these went well and the organisers and planners involved are entitled to feel pleased with their efforts.


With foot and mouth playing merry havoc with everyone's plans, this category is disappointingly large. The big casualty has been the Winterfold Badge Event as it has now been put off twice and that may well be terminal. Andrew Trimble (organiser) Paul Canham (planner) and Philip Robinson (controller) have all put in a huge effort - more than if an event had taken place - with as yet no tangible result. We are currently discussing possible re-scheduling for December or next April.

The other casualty was the Southern Express on the Nower and it's quite likely that the Hill Race Formerly Known As Silva might go the same way even though we have just got land permission for a colour-coded on The Nower for that day.

Incidentally, the Thames H&H Parkland Relays, which several of us have flogged round in the past, is another F&M victim.


The current plans are:

-         22 May. Sport-ident trial on Wimbledon Common as normal Tuesday training.

-         23 May. Lady Eleanor Holles School orienteering from Windmill on Wimbledon Common

-         ***3 June. The Nower. Small colour-coded.

-         ***15 July. A Frolic (small colour-coded) at a venue to be decided, probably Reigate Priory.

-         ?? October. Panathlon. Schools Event in Battersea Park.

-         ***9 December. Badge Event. Maybe Winterfold revisited. Maybe Hankley Common.

***those marked are the ones to be "fixed" i.e. planners and organisers to be appointed. So look out for that tap on the shoulder, phone call or e-mail. Or you could contact me and volunteer for something.... said he wistfully.

Andy Robinson

North Downs Way Relay        Saturday 16th June         Dick Clark

I am planning on the basis that this event will definitely take place, notwithstanding FMD. According to the Countryside Agency’s web site the Surrey sections are already looking good, Kent will probably follow a bit later. The national trails web site is also worth a look from time to time. Finally Robbo thinks it will go ahead so that must be good.

The SLOW team is taking shape but I still require a couple more runners for vacant legs, and we will certainly need to have cover for injuries and late withdrawals. So in the words of Mark Walmsley if you can “run about 8 miles cross-country and enjoy it” please let me know.

The list below is provisional, not everyone has confirmed 100%.


Dick Clark

Castle Hill

Andy Robinson


Peter Carlill


Chris Owen


Ed Catmur


Mike Farmery

Bluebell Hill

Vicky Robb

Medway Bridge (W)

? Gordon Parker

Vigo Inn

Dunton Green

Betsom Hill Farm

Jeff Armitage

A22 Bridge (E)

Karen Jones

Reigate Hill

John Dowty

Stepping Stones

Andy Jones

Newlands Corner

Alistair Irvine


? Jeremy

I’ll be in touch with each of you soon to check any requirement for maps of your section.

You can contact me as follows:

Home 01737 379894

Mobile 07956 668728

Work 020 8336 8800



Andy Robinson

Sport-ident has arrived. Literally. Several thousand quids' worth of black boxes are currently sitting at the bottom of the stairs. But...where do we go from here?

Most of you will have heard of electronic punching and how it is replacing the old control card for many events. I expect most of you will have used it. My o'ing this year has consisted of three small colour-codeds using control cards but five Badge Event upwards and a Bordeaux 3-day using Sport-Ident. So Sport-ident (SI) has already become the norm for largish events, and as the South-East's mega-order for the kit has now come through it is going to be the norm for even the smallest local events too.

It is a change that is going to affect all aspects of orienteering. There are the obvious changes:

-         how you punch at a control

-         checking of control cards in a zillionth of a second

-         results calculation and display (with split times)

and the less obvious:

-         planning courses with cross-overs  - no need to man controls and hopefully better legs and use of a forest.

-         how you enter an event - you will now fill in computer input forms.

-         how you carry control descriptions - can't write them on the card any more; have to carry them separately.

-         how you hang a control in the forest - either put kite and code on the SI post or on a separate cane.

The major benefits are expected to be:

-         a more up-to-date image by using electronic gadgetery

-         less work for event officials.

It is the aspect of the work-load of officials that I want to look more closely at. While there is no doubt the overall workload will decrease, it is not quite as simple as that.

In some areas the manpower requirement will increase:

-         in the forest (control patrol and the putting out and collection of the boxes).

-         at registration (initially while officials and competitors are both going up the learning curve)

Also the skills required of officials will be different. Some people suggest that the skill level required will be greater, but I doubt that. Being in charge of the finish at a National Event used to require skill, experience, considerable preparation time and managing a fair-size team of people. Now it will be just one person watching a thousand runners stick their majic finger in a black box.

So the skills required aren't greater; they are just different, and now we've got the kit we can get on with the business of acquiring them.

This process started a couple of weeks ago with the South-East's SI training day when  the very few (basically Andrew Leaney)  who had acquired the skills already attempted to explain them to the masses - 30 of us hopefuls including five SLOWies - Andrew Trimble, Gavin Andrews, Gordon Parker, Philip Robinson and myself.

Andrew has been the regional expert on SI having run virtually every SE event using it in the last two years. I say "has been" because he is soon moving to Lancashire. His expertise will be missed, but we need to get on with getting more people involved.

We also learnt some interesting set-up facts, like:

-         if you expect over 200 people you really need a computer network (mmm... tricky)

-         if you expect less than 100 people, you don't need a computer at all as you can store all the downloads in a master black box and do all the input and processing later at your PC in the comfort of your own home.

Like many a computer training course, you can only go so far with somebody just telling you what goes on. You only really start to learn when you have a go yourself. First out of the blocks in that respect has been Gavin Andrews and he and I are putting on...

some orienteering on Wimbledon Common on 22 May (starts from 7.15).

Gavin is doing the computer bit and I'm doing the forest bit. Please come along and have a go, and I don't just mean do some orienteering but also ask plenty of questions about how SI works.

I hope to see many of you there 

  Andy Robinson

...and by the way, all those of you who do no yet have their own dunker/dipper/majic finger whatever-you-call-it, and your orienteering is anything more than very occasional now is the time to be buying one. The 75p hire charges will start to mount up and the £15 purchase price will be worth it


                  JK and BOC

The 2001 venues for JK and BOC have been postponed until 2002. The 2002 JK is now expected to be held in the Forest of Dean from March 29th to April 1st, and the British Orienteering Championships are expected to be held at Benone Strand, Northern Ireland, on May 5th and 6th .

Entry fees received for this year’s events will either be carried forward to next year, and be exempt from any increase in fees for 2002, or be returned with a deduction of 20% to cover expenses incurred this year. Information about refunds (how to claim, etc.) will be circulated to all BOF members in the next membership mailing.

We hope to be able to designate a major event in the autumn as this year’s British Championships. Information about the rescheduling of other fixtures for this year, next year and beyond will be available when we see an end to the current crisis.

Scottish 6 Days

The Lochaber 6 Day event at Fort William, August 5th to 11th, has, as yet, not been cancelled or postponed. This part of Scotland has been free of foot and mouth disease, and the national outbreak should be fully under control by August. The closing date for entries is June 30th. What better way could there be of overcoming your springtime (orienteering) starvation? 


BOF policy is being kept under review as the situation develops, though conflicting messages are causing us difficulty. The current policy is:

No orienteering (events or training) in infected areas, until at least six weeks after the last confirmed                  instance

No orienteering (events or training) in restricted areas, including areas with closed footpaths

No orienteering (events or training) on land where livestock are or may be kept

No orienteering (events or training) without the full agreement of every landowner affected

Members are also requested not to travel through or from infected areas in order to attend                                 orienteering events

Note that this does not exclude orienteering in town parks or woods, or in forests where access restrictions have been lifted. We understand that ‘livestock’ means farm animals, but the disease is infectious among deer as well as sheep, pigs, etc., so we are surprised that the Forestry Commission has opened forests containing deer and in some cases sheep. It may be that forest users are expected to stick to roads and paths. As always, it is essential to confirm the precise use of the area with the land-owner.

But in the meantime….

The emergency does not mean that club orienteering must come to a complete halt. It is important not to go out of business until the crisis ends. That would affect clubs even more than BOF, because you are more likely to lose occasional orienteers than committed BOF members. Several clubs are running full programmes of street and/or park events. Indeed we’re told that street orienteering began in response to the 1967 outbreak. Why not run your own Park Race series with age classes, or a suitable form of handicapping so the M60s still have a chance (I’d better declare an interest). You may even find that, because other outdoor activities are restricted, street and park events are more popular than ever. Perhaps 2001 will see the real start of park orienteering in the UK?

….and afterwards

You could also be thinking now about how to regain lost ground when the emergency ends. If you’re finding yourself with time on your hands, why not be planning a promotional campaign, ready to roll out for your first real event? Local newspapers should be pleased to run an ‘Orienteers Get Back in the Forest’ feature. In fact it’s the perfect opportunity to explain the (often misunderstood) nature of our sport: that the point is precisely that we do not stick to paths, that we do get into the forests. BOF can provide all sorts of assistance, including leaflets, posters, and advice on promotion and dealing with the media, originally produced for WOC’99 but easily adapted to the current situation. Teresa Dudley, our Marketing and Membership Manager, will soon be sending you a marketing pack. Associations may want to co-ordinate and support promotion campaigns in their area.

Club Development Conference Saturday June 23rd

This will also be a theme at this year’s Club Development Conference to be held within 5 minutes walk of Derby station on Saturday June 23rd, at a cost of £5 per delegate to include coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. Book your place now with BOF office ( A detailed programme will be available shortly.

MetrO East London  2 & 3-hour urban score event Sunday 13th May 2001

Use the Tube, buses, rail and your own feet to navigate around eastern central London’s parks, streets and monuments - from Euston to Greenwich, Shoreditch to Pimlico. Entry for this event is free, but you must pre-purchase your own “Underground-Overground” London map and a Zone 1&2 Travelcard.

Location: Eastern central London. Parking in the suburbs around The Borough (Kipling Street metered parking is free on Sundays), or take public transport from Zone 2.

Start/Finish: At the Thames-side entrance to Hay’s Galleria, Thames south bank, The Borough.  Look for the control flags.  Nearest Tube station:  London Bridge.  LR Grid Ref: TQ 331 803.

Facilities: Public toilets in Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge railway station. Under cover area for marking maps.  There will be no gear storage at the start/finish area.

Map: “Undergound-Overground” London Map, 12 colours, scale approximately 1:17 500 - non-IOF.  Combined street and Tube system map with tourist information, including some bus routes. No contours. Buy your own map – pre-purchase one from dispensers at central London tube stations (see list below).  Maps cost 2 x £1 coins (exact change only).

Equipment:  As well as the map, you will need a Zone 1&2 Travelcard: £4 for the day, or £6 for the weekend.  Travelcards entitle you to unlimited Tube, bus and rail travel within the specified Zones. 

You’ll also need two large plastic map bags, a pen and cold-/wet-weather gear.

Entry: No entry fee. Registration and map-marking from 09:00. Individual and team entries

Courses: 2 & 3 hour score events. Pre-course briefing 09:45, mass start at 10:00, finishes 12:00 & 13:00.  The controls are semi-permanent features in the city – you’ll have to answer a question about each location.

Safety: Regrettably this event is NOT suitable for unaccompanied children.   All competitors compete at their own risk.

Organiser/planner: Jane Pulford (020 8451 9733), for LOK.

*            * *

The Unique “Undergound-Overground” Pocket Map dispensers:  These yellow boxes, with “London Maps” written on the sides in black, are fixed to walls on many Tube station platforms and ticket halls in central London, including:

·        On the Circle Line:  King’s Cross–St Pancras, Euston Square, Edgeware Road (ticket hall), Paddington, Notting Hill Gate, High Street Kensington, Gloucester Road (ticket hall), South Kensington, Sloane Square, Victoria, Monument (ticket hall), Tower Hill and Liverpool Street. 

·        On the Central line:  Queensway, Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and St Paul’s. 

·       Also Baker Street, Green Park and Waterloo, on the Jubilee Line platforms; Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly Line; and Charing Cross on the Northern Line platforms.

Event Diary / Obtaining Event Information

You are strongly urged to confirm these events using the following answerphone services. The SEOA website has links to SE clubs and other regions.

  SEOA (020-8948-6056):

SCOA (0118-946-4354)           Army (01256-883265) SO (01903-239186)

SAX (01303-813344) MV (01372-279295)

This list also includes BRITISH ORIENTEERING FEDERATION FIXTURES as at 23rd April 2001

BOF Fixtures List edited to show events in SEOA and neighbouring regions. Events which are definitely cancelled have been removed.

Only REGISTERED events appear on this list.

12 May

Short Race: Whitedowns MV: check answerphone and web site

13 May

TVOC limited Colour Coded Shotover, Oxford SP/564063. Ann Cummings

012357 68692

22 May.

Wimbledon Common: Sport ident practice and orienteering at the club-house

3 June

Nower limted colour-coded and hopefully the Hill Race formerly known

as Silva

16 June

North Downs Relay

24th June

SAX SE relays Trosley, Gravesend TQ/634611 Organiser TBA

15 July

Frolic at (Prob.) Reigate priory