This year’s event was again held on the Stratford upon Avon map, number 151, and jointly organised by the Coventry and Banbury direction finding clubs.
Fourteen teams assembled in the deserted village of Wolfhampcote near to Daventry. By 1330 thirteen teams had departed from the start having received usable signals from both hidden stations. Just leaving Bill Pechey remaining awaiting an emergency bearing on the southerly station.
Was located 33km south of the start at Mill House farm, just east of Adderbury, within a one acre patch of thick thorn bushes adjacent to the Oxford Canal towpath. The transmitter was located on the banks of a stream running the perimeter of the site and the aerial was around 200 foot of wire threaded through the Hawthorn bushes.
The majority of teams entered the site from the south, a one kilometre trek along the tow path. The more confident ones driving beyond the southern limits of the map.To then work their way back north and thus avoiding the potential of being delayed in Banbury.
One team however found an alternative route from the north east, using a disused railway line. To his dismay though, he was faced with a ten foot drop from the long dismantled railway bridge onto the towpath. He had to abandon the rest of his team and all hope of returning to his motor car. It was fortunate for him that he did succeed in finding the hidden transmitter.
Bill Pechey was the first to check in at 1517 being the only competitor to attempt the course south to north. He was closely followed by the eventual winner, Brian Bristow, having already found the B station. In total twelve teams found the hidden station within the duration of the contest and one competitor, Graham Jones, having first overshot the station by some distance was found waiting on the towpath as we emerged from the under growth.
Was located 17Km west of the start on the disused railway line just south of Offchurch and close to the point were the railway line crosses the Grand Union Canal.
Surprisingly, thirteen out of fourteen teams navigated to this station first. Almost all reporting very good signal strengths and accurate bearings
The two hidden stations were 34km apart and the map provided a good choice of routes. Most teams took just over an hour between checkpoints however Brian and Geoff completed the circuit in less than 54 minutes. Geoff being the faster (Was this the result of his narrow boat technology?).
More than forty direction finders met up for tea afterwards at Wroxton village hall and sat down to enjoy the traditional excellent tea.
Brian Bristow and Andrew Mead relived their afternoons' experiences. Brian Bristow was presented with the Banbury Shield with small prizes for Brian, Andrew and Rosie. Our junior members were also rewarded for their hard work during the event.
Brian Bristow tried to explain away his “conduct” at the start of the event and Phil Cunningham brought the afternoon to a fitting if somewhat noisy close when he confided that the next event, Colchester, would have an international flavour, with a certain Chris Plummer jetting in from Canada to compete.
Subject to confirmation Alan Simmons and Graham Phillips qualify for the national final
Mick Mallinson, Jenny and George Whenham on transmitter and starting duties. Ronnie, Daphne and Duncan for the excellent catering and working so hard to make it such an enjoyable day. Also to john Champion for sorting out the time clock and computer.
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