One of the biggest events ever organised by the Birmingham University club took place 40 years ago, on 4th February 1973.

(Small) Prize Quiz: How many participants do you think there were at the event? I’ll announce the winner when I get back from Hungary. No cheating!

In ’72 they’d they put the Mermaid on at Clun, but they picked a new, closer area this time. An area that they mapped specially for the event and which has never been used since. If you read the event report you can see the reasons why, the main one being the fact that several runners went into the Out-of-Bounds area, angering the farmer. Whether the farmer has forgiven us yet, 40 years later, I’m not sure…

I guess the club committee did what I’ve sometimes done: get out your OS map and look for big blobs of green. And halfway between Kiddy and the Lickeys, there’s a nice group of woods, separated by country lanes:

chaddesley chaddesley routes buoc2 buoc1

Some titbits from the results:

In those days, as you can see, the age classes were completely different, with the oldest being M/W50. M21 was the biggest class, unlike today when it’s probably M60. (There may be some sad logic to that…)

There were quite a few clubs that don’t exist any more, like SOLOS (the Solihull club), and the schools that took part included Alsager and Tividale comps.

The winner of M21A was Mike Down of SOKI, clearing 10.5 km of wild Worcestershire woodland in 65:40. Other finishers on the elite course were T. Thornley (5th), P. Carey (19th), D. Peel (51st) and T. Foxton (59th).

On other courses we find: P. Palmer (4th M35), P. Pay (mp M35), M. Lucking (6th M17), A. Pickles (17th M15) and S. Hale (1st M12).

I hadn’t realised that the Careys started orienteering so long ago… Sheila was second on W19A, behind Beryl Blackhall.

There was a good turnout of scouts on the 4.1 km M15 course, the slowest time being an impressive 3:12:16.

I like that the M19 results include; “Also competed: A. Bailey, Retd” Clearly it wasn’t me, I was a 6 year-old, probably playing in my Congleton bedroom at the time, but I wonder who he was.

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