Harlequins Orienteering Club was founded on April 1st at the Area Youth Office, Kinver, on 1st April 1968. The name Harlequins was given to the new club because of the foundation on All Fools Day and possibly also to avoid naming the club after a place, which might prove a hostage to fortune later.
The origins of Harlequins OC had been lost in the mists of time for several years. Although a few of the original members are still around, some of the personal recollections contradict each other. There was some confusion over whether HOC was independently founded or had evolved from the earlier Halesowen & District Orienteering Club, which ceased to exist soon after HOC came into being. Did HDOC become HOC? Did they amalgamate? Or did HDOC fold and the members join HOC? With the 40th anniversary looming, extensive research by then webmaster David Williams and AdHoc editor David Nevell, amongst others, uncovered the truth.
The results of the two Davids' research can be viewed by following the links below. The foundation webpages include scans and transcripts from documentary sources:
Foundation David Williams' webpage dated January 2006
Foundation - The Truth David Williams' follow-up webpage dated June 2007
HOC History (well, the first forty years anyway) David Nevell's four-part history of the club, first published in the January - April 2008 editions of AdHoc. Individual clubs do not exist in a vacuum and this piece puts HOC's evolution in context with the development of Orienteering in the UK.
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01 Apr 1968 - Foundation of HOC
22 Sep 1968 - First open event at Kinver
13 Jan 1969 - Effective amalgamation/absorption of HDOC
May 1969 - First Badge/National event at Wyre Forest
Apr 1970 - First club newsletter
1981 - First night street event
Apr 1983 - Newsletter titled AdHoc
1983 - First Springtime In Shropshire
1983 - First June Jaunter
1988 - First Bewdley International Mountain Marathon
c1993 - First use of OCAD
1995 - HOC has a website
1999 - Launch of SMILE (Saturday Morning Low-Key Introductory Events)
Nov 1999 - HOC's first use of SI at Ribbesford Woods
2005 - Launch of MADO Initiative