Dick Denton

Some sad news for those of you who remember Dick Denton - Dick passed away on October 3rd. Dick was one of the early members of SMOC and I'm sure he is still remembered by most of the longer serving members of SMOC even though he stopped orienteering some time ago. Dick was quite a pillar of the club while he was with us, and brought a lot to it.

The funeral is at the Crown Hill Crematorium in Milton Keynes (postcode MK8 0AH) at 15.30 on Tuesday 20th with a gathering at the Three Locks pub (on the canal near Heath and Reach) afterwards. The Three Locks is the scene of many SMOC get-togethers and meetings in its early days.

Dick supported the Injured Jockeys Fund and his family ask that donations can be made towards this charity in his memory.

Dorien runs for Wales at Veterans Home Internationals

Rosie wins W60S.

4 October 2015

In the first international appearance by a SMOC member, Dorien James was selected to run for Wales in the M50 category in the VHI at Llynnoedd Teifi in Ceredigion.

Dorien says of the weekend: "I was very pleased to be selected, but slightly in awe of some of the competitors! England and Scotland usually compete for the trophy, while Wales has a private battle with Ireland for third. Llynnoedd Teifi is exactly my kind of terrain - marshy moorland with lots of contours and no trees - and I knew it having competed at Croeso in 2012.

"The first day was individual long courses. My watchword was 'don't mispunch'; you score at least 1 point if you get round at all, which is better than zero for a mispunch or DNF. After a good start, straight up 10 contours and hitting control 1 exactly, I then had a disaster at control 2 where I miscounted the marshes and lost time searching on the wrong ridge. The numbers show a 5-minute mistake, but it felt like most of the morning had gone, especially since there weren't many competitors and I didn't see another soul for 20 minutes. Not how I wanted to start my international career! However, I worked hard to focus on the next control rather than thinking about the mistake, and finally got round the 7.7km course in 76:09. To my surprise, rather than being last, I was still only 7th out of the 8 starters, and as the minutes ticked by, it became clear that I had beaten one Irishman, who was both slower and had mispunched - so that was 2 points earned for Wales.

"The second day was relays and went much better. The VHI format has four MWM teams and four WMW. After my poor run, I was the middle leg in the fourth WMW team. With three teams to count, we weren't expected to score. However, I focussed hard on staying in map contact - checking at least every 100m - and managed a clean run, with a speed of 9:04 per km putting me well into the top half of competitors. Together with very strong legs from Ann Darlington and Sophie Brown, this meant that we came 10th out of 16 teams, six more points to ensure that Wales stayed ahead of Ireland.

Next year's VHI is in Northern Ireland - training starts here to beat the Irish on their own turf."

Photo: Philip Baxter

Congratulations to Robert Dove

May 2015

for his map of Rushmere being Highly Commended in the Chichester Trophy section of the 2014 Map Awards. As Robert says "Many thanks to my fellow mappers Steve Hardy, Ian McDonnell and Antonio Franco who played an important part in the survey and initial drawing." Well done all!

Rebecca wins at the East Anglian Championships

17th March 2013

Congratulations to Rebecca Nisbet for winning her class (W12) at the East Anglian Championships at Writtle Forest.

Winner of W12.

Rosie wins British Orienteering Championship 2011

Rosie wins W60S.

15th May 2011

Congratulations to Rosie Shaw for winning W60S at the British Orienteering Championships near Sheffield. She's rather proud of her prizes - a new hessian bag and a pair of wool socks!
The British Orienteering Championships weekend took place on Saturday 14th May for the individual race, followed by a relay competition on the Sunday. Both competitions were held 10km north of Sheffield.
A small but dedicated group of SMOCies made the journey up north to the championships. The rain held off for the most part with a smattering of drizzle here and there - and the sun shone too.
Full SMOC results:

M12A13James Nisbet47:45
M21E36Nicolas Gerard 133:26
M60S28John Shaw 99:49
W50S12Helen Nisbet 90:02
W50S22Ros James 140:25
W60S1 Rosie Shaw 63:49

Double win for Sacha

Rosie wins W60S.

15th February 2011

Double-award winning Sacha Fisher has won her class at the East Anglian Championships 2011 at Croxton Heath in January AND the East Anglian League for 2010. We look forward to reporting on Sacha’s continued success in 2011.
The East Anglian League is run over a series of seven events—with each club in the EA Orienteering Association nominating one event per year. At the end of the year, your overall score is determined by adding up the four best scores over the year. You must also have attended a minimum of three events to qualify for overall positions. For full details and a list of events visit the League webpage.

Rosie wins EAOA Championship 2010

Photo of EA Champs award winners.

15th March 2010

Congratulations to Rosie Shaw for winning her class at the East Anglian Championships at Donylands, Colchester on Sunday.




Grade 3 Planners Course

17th February 2010

EAOA are holding a course for people new to planning orienteering courses. It is aimed at people with limited experience who have not attended a formal course. The two-day course will cover the BOF grade-3 planner's syllabus and is aimed at anyone who wishes to plan local orienteering events like Keyne-O.

The committee is always pleased to have more members who can plan, so will pay towards course fees on the understanding that at least a Keyne-O is planned.

You don't need any formal training or qualification to plan a course, but many planners got started after a course like this one. This will give any orienteer with experience of Light Green or above, the confidence to plan an event, and is aimed at those new to planning. Some knowledge of orienteering and an understanding of the colour coded system used for courses would be useful. Experience of competing at events on courses at Light Green standard or above is sufficient for acquiring this knowledge.

Interested? More details available here.

Roger Williams gets his one hour of fame

20th August 2009

4th plinth.

You may not be aware of the One and Other Art Project which involves standing on the vacant 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square for one hour. Roger entered the draw to stand on the plinth and his number has come up Roger will be standing on The Plinth from 02:00 to 03:00 on Saturday 29th August 2009

You can see what is up there and saying about Roger by looking at – Roger’s Plinth Profile. If you are going to pledge to watch then consider having an “Icon” in jpeg form to add at the right point as it will add some variety from the Standard “Thumbs Up” icon.

Please support Roger. Good luck!

Keith Downing awarded the Bill Stevens Trophy

19th July 2009


When we formed SMOC in 1987 most of us had only competed in one or two events and therefore the experience of Roger Cole, Stan Holroyd and Keith Downing was essential. Keith became our first secretary, edited the newsletter (and wrote most of it).

We learned that Keith had orienteered since 1967 as a school boy using photocopied ordnance survey maps on which he failed to copy his course, but still managed to come third by following. Most of us don't follow that well! Keith obviously had a spirit of adventure as he went on to orienteer across England, and by the time SMOC had formed, across Europe. I can remember being very impressed that somebody should travel all the way to Estonia to get lost in a forest.

From memory and a skim through old SMOC Signals, as well as being secretary and newsletter editor, Keith has been our club chairman as well as organising and planning more club O events than I could account for, most noticeably planning the 2006 British Sprint Orienteering Championship. He was on the earliest mapping groups, helped organise and participated in the first Greensand team for the Club. He has encouraged lesser orienteers to spread their wings and go to the Scottish 6 day, Keith has always been willing to step into the breach and has the honour of being the only person to have been SMOC's chair more than once.

Keith has just been awarded the Bill Stevens Trophy. This is given each year to somebody deemed to have made a significant contribution to the East Anglian Orienteering Association. Keith's contribution goes back 21 years to when he became SMOC's first representative on the EAOA committee. With just a short break he has continued to do this task and contribute to EAOA ever since, in particular as Secretary for 6 years until he stood down at the AGM this year. However, his contribution has gone far beyond this. As well as organising and planning SMOC events, Keith has been a very reliable and prolific controller in the region.

Congratulations, Keith, on being awarded the trophy. SMOC can't think of a more deserving orienteer!

Written by Rachel Thomas and Colin Nicholson

SMOC success at Springtime in Shropshire

28th May 2009

SMOC members had some excellent performances at SINS this year. Of the six SMOCies who competed on all three days, three were second overall in their classes: Rosie Shaw (W55S), Karen Vines (W40S) and Steve Hardy (M55S). The final day was particularly strong with Rosie coming second and Karen and Steve winning their classes, Karen by a substantial margin.

Also worth a mention is Richard Pownall's excellent run on Sunday (he only did the one day) where he came 4th on M50L on the tricky terrain of Brown Clee.

Congratulations to all!

Springtime in Shropshire is three days of orienteering set in the countryside of Shropshire on the last May bank holiday. See the full results and more details about SinS here.

EAOA Championship Winners 2009

Photo of EA Champs award winners.

28th February 2009

Congratulations to James Nisbet and Mike Jones for winning their classes at the East Anglian Championships at Silverstone in February.




Robert Dove wins the Chichester Trophy

April 2007

The British Orienteering AGM was this year held at the JK. A few SMOC people attended (well John, Rosie, Karen and Steve, let's not overdo it) and the undoubted highlight was Robert Dove receiving the Chichester Trophy.

Photo of Robert receiving his award.

The Trophy is awarded annually for the best amateur cartography. Robert received the award for the map of Campbell Park which we used when SMOC hosted the 2006 British Sprint Championships. The map itself is a model of clarity but it was also the first time that the new international Sprint symbols were used in Great Britain and Robert put a lot of work into their implementation.

Unfortunately there is no award for legwork but we shouldn't overlook the work also put into revising the map by John Lewis.

The trophy itself is both interesting and appropriate. It is the compass from Gipsy Moth, the yacht in which Sir Francis Chichester made the first single handed circumference of the globe.