Skip to Content

The QuOnicle Chronicles

1997 (May and onwards)

Last edited: Sun 15 Sep 2013

In a series of articles for our newsletter, every couple of months Bill Vigar digged through the archives to find out what was happening in the world of QO 100 newsletters ago. Back then the QuOnicle was simply called ’Quantock Orienteers’ and was a single A4 page (occasionally with an A5 attachment).

December 1997 (no.54)

Long O

Having plugged the Long-O for several issues the editor did not find space for the results! There were only two courses, Long & Short. The Long (21.7K 1430m) was won by James Clemence of SWOC in 4:16, the Short, (a mere 17.5K, 1110m) by Chris Kelsey of BOK in 3:18.

Club O-suits

A number of people have expressed an interest in club suits. If there is enough interest an order will be placed. Cost: normal top £11-50, mesh top £14.00. trousers £8-50.

Taunton School are British Champions

A school team won the Middle/Preparatory school class in the British Schools Championship. Claire Pitman was 3rd in the W Primary class. A just reward not only for the competitors, but also for Roger & Judy Craddock who have managed school teams for many years, but are retiring at Christmas. Rachael Holmes won the W15 title with a late run, after her father had advised her not to go as the terrain wouldn't suit her. Orienteering at Taunton School Roger Craddock, supported by Judy, who has over the years established orienteering as a thriving sport at school, as well as being a mainstay of the Avon Schools organisation, will be retiring at the end of the year. Although Devon OC members themselves, Roger and Judy have pointed children and their families in the direction of QO. The committee intends to do all it can to keep orienteering alive and kicking at the school.

We failed there I'm afraid!

AGM Report

At last! two new committee members, Kevin Thompson and Richard Went, the first for a number of years. Karrimor Mountain Marathon Kielder Bill Vigar and Mike Crockett won the veterans' handicap on the Short Score course. Gary Turbidy with Norman Wright (BOK) were 4th on the same course. Foreign News Clive Allen is mapping an area in Denmark which will be used for the World Masters champs. in 1999. Jenny Bowen-Davies is working in Botswana, as a vet attached to the Wildlife section of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Publicity Person Needed

The problem of making the club's activities better known was raised at the AGM. If you think the job is worth doing and have the necessary facilities, let the Secretary know.

October 1997 (no.53)


For one last time the editor was still plugging his forthcoming Long-O LONG-O, Great Headon and Dunster, from Minehead Youth Hostel. There will be two courses: Long, 21.7km with 1400m climb and Short, 17.5km with 1100m climb. Both courses are as technically difficult as the areas allow, with an emphasis on long route choice legs.

Lots of competition success to report in this edition...


Saturday 13th September The QO team of Mike & Margaret Crockett (with Bracken), Chris Cussen, Brian Fletcher, Sue Gard (with Ben), Ted and Lennox Heath, Dave Holmes, Mark Larcombe and Chris Philip also ran steadily downhill and UP maintaining a good second place, but were unable to catch the Junior Squad who, to their great delight, smashed their own record, finishing in 8hrs. 10m 35s. This year the tide on the 4km last stretch of beach was in, causing our last leg runners to finish with wet feet in their efforts to avoid soft sand, bringing the team home in 9.27.57. The teams from Devon and KERNO battled it out behind, and were cheered in along the beach in 10.24.05 and 10.35.15 respectively.


Ruth Holmes got a special award for being the youngest competitor in the event.


14 QO members attended, those with a first 3 place were:

W10A Claire Demenis 3rd

W65 Jenny Tennant 3rd

M60L Bill Vigar 2nd (1st Brit).


England won for the seventh time in succession, helped by Bill Vigar who won M60, and six other English class winners. Scotland won the Relay by placing 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

DEVON CHALLENGE TEAM SCORE EVENT Newnham Park Brian Fletcher and Mike and Margaret Crockett won this new event on the calendar, which replaced the Devon Relays this year.

DORSET DELIGHT BADGE EVENT Wareham Forest, 7th September Six first places and three seconds came from just thirteen QO runs in the fIrst badge event of the season. Firsts for: Ruth Holmes, Rachael Holmes, Sue Gard, John Went, Brian Fletcher, Bill Vigar. Seconds for: Lennox Heath, Arthur Vince, Mike Crockett.

The editor contributed a longish, rather philosophical piece, titled CHICHEN or EGG. The theme being club sponsored training courses, it ended as follows:

Unfortunately the chicken and egg situation seems to apply to such courses. No apparent demand leads to no course being provided, and vice versa. Now QO has people capable of staging courses, but if nobody were to take up the offer of a course if one were proposed, they would naturally lose any enthusiasm for the activity. Perhaps any instruction is done better on a one to one basis? So, if you would go to either a personal performance or planning course, please let the committee know. Turn up at the AGM and say so, or tell the Editor beforehand (address below), whether the chicken or the egg comes first.

July 1997 (no.52)

The Long-O was held at Great Headon and Dunster, from Minehead Youth Hostel. There were two courses: Long, approx. 22 to 24km and Short, approx. 16 to 18km.

 There was an appeal for planners—some things never change!

 Team members were sought for the Dorest Coast Path Relay, an annual event organised by the SW Junior Squad. QO had come 2nd the previous year.

 Jenny Tennant won the Club Championships held at Culm Davy on 9th May. It was the first time QO had used this area..  Mike and Margaret Crockett, Dave and Rachael Holmes and Ted Heath were 4th in the Handicap section on the B course at the Harvester Relay.

 Former QO member Louise Crossman won a major architectural award from the RIBA for rural building design with her plans for converting redundant farm buildings in Bicknoller.

 Ruth Holmes won W10A at the National Championships to become the British Champion, adding to her successes in major events that year. QO’s 60+ relay team of Bill Vigar, Mike Crockett, and Jenny Tennant retained the trophy.  Brian Fletcher achieved Championship Badge standard in M21.

May 1997 (no. 51)

The list of forthcoming events comprised an informal event at Ham Hill, planner Kevin Thompson, it was his first attempt..

 A street score event in Taunton, to be followed by a Barbeque, organised by Ted & Lennox Heath (bring your own meat & drink - salads, bread etc will be provided).

 A Long-O at Great Headon and Dunster, planned and organised by Arthur Vince and starting from the nearby Youth Hostel. I think that was the first of the continuing series and is long remembered for a control on a 'Veg Boundary' in head high bracken.

 A Permanent Orienteering Course at Staple Hill was now open. It did not prove possible to get the Mayor of Taunton to open it as "the opening of recreational facilities during the period leading up to a general election is forbidden".

 The content of the QO library, various Orienteering related publications available for loan to members, was listed.

 The chairman, Chris Philip, thanked members who helped at the JK in Cornwall, this was pre electronic punching, so we sat in a caravan checking the punch marks on several thousand control cards.

 The Nightjars at Culm Davy caused the club champs, then planned for June, being brought foward to May.

 There was a report on a Badge event at Copley Wood, Jenny Tennant, the Organiser, started her review with "My car still smells slightly fishy", I won't expand on this.

 There was a reminder that Smoking at Events was against the rules.

 Rachael Holmes had been selected for a BOF junior tour, and there was an appeal for a team manager for the South Dorset Coast Path Relay, QO had been second the previous year.

Bill Vigar

Archived under: Miscellaneous