You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘COBOC’ category.

Photocall today for the event at the end of the month

DSC_0052 DSC_0049 DSC_0053 DSC_0055


As far as I’m aware, although there’s always* been a map of Perry Hall, there’s never been one of Perry Park, so we finally put this right this year. Alison Sloman has produced maps of both at 1:5000 and a combined map at 1:7500. Once upon a time I’d envisaged combining the two areas by means of the subway under the Walsall Road, but when this was filled in, Alison came up with the excellent alternative suggestion of using the canal towpath. Unfortunately the path from Sandringham Road to the canal has now been gated, so Wednesday’s dual-park event may have been the first and the last!


I couldn’t run this event on my own so I was very  grateful to Ruth Lockley (who lives just off the map) for agreeing to be the Perry Hall starter, and she made contact with the Friends of the park and put on a little simultaneous extra score event for them too.

Meanwhile, back across the A34, thanks to Stuart Paul, ex-Harlequin and now major-domo at Birchfield Harriers, for allowing us to use their facilities (in between two major events) and for dusting off his dibber and having a go himself. 🙂


*Some people have claimed that the map of Perry Hall that was found on the Dead Sea Scrolls is in fact an early OCAD version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but I’m far from convinced.

Lots of local orienteering competitions coming up soon:
Walsall Arboretum Sun 12 May
New Hall, Sutton Sun 19 May
Sandwell Valley Wed 22 May (afternoon)
Hillfields, Solihull (evening)
Sutton Park Wed 29 May
Pooley Fields, Polesworth Wed 5 June
Elmdon, Solihull Wed 12 June
Leasowes, Halesowen Sat 15 June
Clent Hills Thu 20 June
Fibbersley, Willenhall Thu 27 June
Perry Park, Birmingham Wed 3 July
Come along and have a run/walk! Adrian 07505 381666


(…Birmingham, that is.)

COBOC have three nice little events coming up; I’m planning the first, organising the second and controlling the third…

Sutton Park (Night) 27 Feb

Hilltop 9 March

Plantsbrook Valley 24 March

This morning I was out with Ian and Bob doing the very boring job of staring at car parks and road crossings. The sun was shining though, which made it not a bad way to spend the time. 🙂

February 2013 2 093 February 2013 2 092 February 2013 2 091 February 2013 2 090 February 2013 2 089 February 2013 2 088 February 2013 2 087 February 2013 2 086

This butterfly format meant it only took just over an hour to put out all the controls needed for an event with 5 courses, the longest being 6.4 km with 18 controls. Some thought just needs to go into the siting of the common control and into the positioning of the loops in order to avoid doglegs and repeating legs.


David Williams 180
Chris McSweeny 180
Richard Dearden 170
Mike Baggott 170
Alan Halliday 150
Alan Segar 140
Ian Gamlen 130
Barry McGowan 120
Peter Langmaid 120
Bob Scott 100
Sarah Williamson 70


Thanks for coming. It went well. COBOC will be running similar event nights at the Outdoor Education Centre on the last Wednesday of each month (except December). Results:

1. Iain Embrey 42:50
2. Chris McSweeny 44:04
3. John Embrey 47:04
4. Dave Williams 53:58
5. Chris Embrey 56:57
6. Mike Baggott 59:40
7. Alan Halliday 60:40
8. Richard Dearden 70:42
9. Alan Segar mp
Medium 1
1. Ian Gamlen 57:06
2. Barry McGowan 60:19
3. Pete Carey 62:53
Medium 2
1. Marian White 47:38
2. Andy White 52:37
3. Dave Ellis 57:58
4. Mick Sadler 59:04
5. Robert Vickers 77:37
Short 1
Sheila Carey 42:43
Short 2
Sarah Williamson 42:03


The latest of my biannual Queslett events is coming up on Sunday week, the 25th. Start times 4.30-5.30 pm. This one is designed mainly for kids and beginners but there’ll be a cobbled-together course for the old hands (about 4km). For a change we’ll be using the Asda car park and all the money (£3/£1.50) will be going to Children in Need.

Meanwhile (cue fanfare) Community O arrives in the West Midlands this week with the launch of the Wednesday night sessions in Sutton Coldfield. Dave Ellis and co will be running these at Clifton Road Youth Centre (between Wyndley Leisure Centre and Town Gate) between 6 and 7.30, and your first two visits are free.

Above is my and Dave’s little bit on the back cover of the September issue of Families Birmingham and Solihull, which I think I did well to arrange. 🙂 (Thanks, Wendy!) Thousands of copies of each issue are distributed free via schools, libraries, etc.

From Cannon Hill Park – to Witton Lakes – to Handsworth Park – to Pype Hayes – to Rectory Park – every day the sun shone and the people came. Thanks for coming, and special thanks to Catherine, Andy, John, Ruth, Bob, John and Dave for helping. It went well but we know a few things now that’ll make it even better next time. 🙂

Results (rough version)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In case you’re wondering about the wisdom of putting on a seemingly random and potentially exhausting series of events, some planning has gone in to the enterprise. First of all, the week chosen is Love Parks Week. Secondly, the Parks Department are putting on tours of Witton Lakes and Rectory Park on Tuesday and Friday. Thirdly, Wednesday is Birmingham’s Be Active day. Fourthly, Cannon Hill Park is the venue for this year’s Community Games. Fifthly, the schools are breaking up and parents and children are looking for things to do. Sixthly, it’s the week before the Scottish. Seventhly, it’s an opportunity to advertise the club nights that are starting in Sutton in September – which is one reason why the events are more on the north side of the city. (The other being it’s where I live!)

Next Thursday the venue for stage 4 of the Birmingham Parks O-Ringen is Pype Hayes, whose main claim to fame these days is that the park hosts Birmingham’s November-5th bonfire every year. The orienteering map on the COBOC website was drawn in 1988, and the park is almost unrecognisable! Well, there’s still the hall, the pond and the car park…

A clue to what’s gone on can be found on the council’s website, where it says “The park is also the site of the ward’s millennium woodland.” Suffice to say, there are a lot more trees in the park today than there were in 1988. Also, they’ve recently been spending Lottery money building new footpaths to create a link between Castle Vale and Sutton.

The event on the old map will be a good excuse to practise your compass work… 🙂

Update: To give you a sporting chance, we’ve decided to use the 2004 map. We’re too kind…




June 2019
« Jul    

  • 45,781

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.