Sunday 21st May 2006

Titterstone Clee Hill Regional Event


Planner's Comments

The courses were planned essentially for a reasonable late spring day.

Conditions on the day were very poor and I was impressed that 250 of you still competed.

Visibility at Titterstone is very important as navigation is mainly by brown features. With visibility down to only about 100 metres and rain and low temperatures, it was difficult for the spectacle wearing oldies!

My plan was to start you on the very technical slopes and then bring you back navigating by spoil heap.

Most people made many mistakes and even most course winners lost about 10 minutes. Particular legs producing problems seemed to be 130- the first control for many and 128 an apparently innocuous small re-entrant in the old quarry area, but generally the eastern slopes were the most testing. Only one course went round the main Titterstone Clee and another visited its eastern slopes before turning back.

When I last planned here, 15 years almost to the day, a policeman living on the map warned me of many of the pits being unstable. Many of these are old bell pits, some hundreds of years old, and possibly not properly capped. I tried to avoid using pits for control features.

This eastern area now has quite substantial gorse cover. The map had none shown so I had a go at mapping it. This was done largely from high vantage points and was only intended to be an approximation. Other than this the area hardly changes from one decade to the next, apart from the farmers using slightly different routes for their 4 wheel drives. It must be about the only area in the Midlands with no white.

This was my first proper go at using OCAD for course planning and I acknowledge the Roger Edwards guide, and also the controller's help in a few areas.

I hope overall, looking back at least, you enjoyed the experience.

Barry McGowan (HOC)

Organiser's Comments

At 6.30 this morning it was pleasantly sunny as I drove through Bewdley on my way to Titterstone. By 5 pm I was unloading my car at home in glorious sunshine. The weather between is perhaps best forgotten!

I am indebted to Hanson Aggregates for granting us permission to park around their installations on Titterstone and without the hard standing car park we would likely have seen our cars floating by the end of the afternoon

Looking for positives in relation to the weather conditions it did test our navigational skills to the full and at the same time it makes us appreciate those occasional fantastic calm clear and sunny Sundays like our Postensplain event in November or the LOC Graithwaite event in April.

Thank you all for turning up and making our efforts worthwhile and a special "thank you" to those of you who helped run the event despite the elements. In particular two hours working on the start or collecting in controls late in the afternoon could not have been a bundle of fun.

Charlie Nelson (HOC)

Controller's Comments

19th April
There was a steady drizzle and constant wind blowing as I met Barry to begin checking control sites. Visibility was OK even though the mist was down. I had hoped to check all sites, including alternatives should it be necessary, in one visit. By the end of 5 hours of initially running around the hill that had gradually turned into a walk I was soaked through and felling very cold. My fingers were seizing up and we hadn’t finished. I thought that Barry was happy to carry on, but I had had enough.

24th April
There was a constant wind blowing, but, thankfully, no rain as Barry and I arrived to finish checking control sites. Visibility was OK even though the mist was down (can you see a pattern emerging?). We puzzled over a few sites; checking if the site you have picked is really where you thought it was can sometimes take a long time to confirm. One or two sites not being optimum meant placing the controls for these carefully. Eventually, I decided we had finished and had to urge Barry to leave. I thought Barry was happy to carry on, but I had had enough.

20th May
There was a constant wind blowing, but, thankfully, no rain as I arrived to check control sites. Visibility was fine and I could see the top of the hill for the first time in three visits. I caught up with Barry after two hours and briefly helped him so that I could continue with my checking. I was surprised to find that he was working on his own and that this was his third day of putting out controls. What a fantastic effort!

21st May
There was rain falling out of the sky, but only a gentle breeze as I arrived to finish checking controls. The mist was already down and visibility was getting worse, as too would the rain and the wind before very long. I wasn’t worried by the visibility as it would make the courses a true test of navigational ability. The only downside was that it would also make the shorter junior courses more difficult. Ah, the weather. It was late May, but it felt like winter. Fortunately, competitors returning to the download tent were in good spirits and full of compliments. Thanks for your kindness. One gripe I must remark on was the confusion between 120 and 150 that were approximately 75 metres apart and affected at least two people that I know of. I take the point that the numbers are similar, but I must counter with the simple fact that they were on identifiably dissimilar features; 120 being on a stream junction and 150 being on a knoll. Overall, though, the event went extremely well and extremely smoothly. My thanks go to all the HOC team for making that happen, especially Charlie for his seamless organisation, and Barry for great planning. Shame about the weather.

Andy Yeates (WCH)


We are indebted to Hanson Aggregates for car parking.

Back to Titterstone Clee Hill Results Main Page

Back to home page