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 to avoid naming the club after a place, which might prove a hostage to fortune later.

The Foundation

By the early 2000’s the origins of Harlequins OC had been lost in the mists of time for several years. Although a few of the original members were still around, some of the personal recollections contradicted 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 the 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

The first forty years

  • 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

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.

Years and years

2022 saw Birmingham City Centre host a Euro City Tour event.

2021 saw the sport returning after the height of Covid19 restrictions, resulting in two Club Championships in one year. The informal picnic at Hartlebury Common in June raised the question – should we move the Championships from December?

2020 was the year we encountered lockdowns. Socially distanced orienteering was possible when Covid19 restrictions allowed, thanks to the relatively new MapRun app. We negotiated the extensive guidance to hold a “normal” score event at Castlemorton Common during one of the stretches between lockdowns.

2019 feels like a distant memory and doesn’t seem to have any distinguishing features. Results are here and I’ll check the newsletters to see what I’ve forgotten.

2018 was memorable for our 50th anniversary and “the snowy JK relays”; read all about it in its very own annual review. The review was created in response to concerns expressed at the previous AGM about the demise of AdHoc.

2009 Calendar of events featuring images from 2008‘s National Event on Brown Clee

2007 saw the HOC junior team “Revision Avoidance” triumph at the Harvester relays at Penhale. They won both the Junior trophy and the B course outright. Victory was all the sweeter for including a defeat of the mighty OD juniors. Team members were Dan Hartman, Chris Embrey, Liz White, Peter Ford and Tessa Hill (running in that order). It didn’t seem to impact too badly on their exam results either!

Some past achievements


British Night Champs: Mike Baggott 3rd M65L Barry Houghton 3rd M70L Alison Sloman 1st W80

JK: Nick Abbott 3rd M45S Russ Fauset 1st M70S Alison Sloman 1st W80 Romualdis Stupelis 3rd MOpen Sprint Alison Sloman 1st W80 Sprint Barry Houghton, Russ Fauset, Brian Hughes 3rd Ultra-Vet (M/W210+) Relay


British Sprint: Alison Sloman 1st W80

British Middle: Alison Sloman 1st W80

British Champs: James Thompson 2nd M12B Tim Kienewicz 2nd M21L David Aldridge 1st M35S Andy Hemsted 1st M65 Charlie Nelson 1st M65S Rose Taylor 3rd W10A Carol Farrington 3rd W55S Alison Sloman 1st W80 Kath Atkins, Lindasy McMillan, Heather Kienewicz 1st Women's Short Relay


British Champs: Andy Hemsted 1st M65L Alison Sloman 1st W75 Eric Brown, Brian Hughes, Andy Hemsted 1st M60 Relay Arthur Mitchell, Sebastian Mitchell, Alexander Mitchell 4th Mini-Relay

JK: Tessa Hill 1st W21E Sprint Alison Sloman 2nd W75 Sprint Beata Falk, Lovisa Falk, Tessa Hill 3rd Women's Trophy Relay John Embrey, Andy Munro, Andy Hemsted 3rd M165+ Relay



British Champs: Chris Embrey 3rd M21S Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Derek Grainger 1st M70S Tessa Hill 1st W21E Penny Hemsted 3rd W70S Alison Sloman 2nd W75 Mike Baggott, Brian Hughes, Andy Hemsted 1st M60 Relay

JK: Tessa Hill 1st W21E sprint Alison Sloman 2nd W75 sprint Rob Farrington 2nd M21S Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Lynden Hartmann 2nd W55S Alison Sloman 2nd W75 Andy Hemsted, Brian Hughes, Andy Munro 3rd Veteran Men's relay


British Champs: Alison Sloman 2nd W75 Brian Hughes 3rd M65

JK: Andrew Munro 2nd M40 sprint Colin Spears 3rd M75 sprint Alison Sloman 1st W75 sprint Kath MacMillan 1st WOpen sprint Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Brian Hughes 2nd M65L Colin Spears 1st M75L Alison Sloman 2nd W75


British Champs: Tessa Hill 1st W21E Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Alison Sloman 1st W75 Tom MacKenzie 1st M20L Heather Hartmann 1st W21V Dan Hartmann 3rd M21S Lynden Hartmann 3rd W55S Suzette Spears 2nd W70S

JK: Tessa Hill 1st W21E Kath McMillan 2nd W21L Alison Sloman 2nd W75 Sebastian Mitchell 3rd White Dan Hartmann (in SHUOC team) 2nd Men's Short relay

British Night Champs: Tessa Hill 1st Women's Open


European Trail O Champs: Dennis Mews in 2nd Men's Team

British Champs: Duncan Leeson 1st M20S Dan Hartmann (as SHUOC) 3rd M21S Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Rosemary Hartmann 3rd W18S Heather Hartmann 3rd W20S Marian White 2nd W50S Lynden Hartmann 1st W55S Suzette Spears 1st W70S John Pearson/Brian Hughes/Andy Hemsted 1st M60 relay team

JK: Duncan Leeson 1st M20S Dan Hartmann (as SHUOC) 2nd M21S Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Geoff Sara 3rd M70S Lynden Hartmann 3rd W55S Penny Hemsted 3rd W65S Suzette Spears 1st W70S Andy Hemsted/Brian Hughes/John Embrey 3rd M165+ relay team


HOC 5th in their first CompassSport Cup final

World Masters: Andy Hemsted 1st M60

JK: Dan Hartmann 1st M20S Heather Hartmann 1st W20S Kath McMillan 1st W21V Dot Keeling 3rd W60S Alison Sloman 1st W70L Suzette Spears 1st W70S Rosemary Hartmann 1st Novice Trail-O (prov)

British Champs: Ant Clerici 2nd M55S Andy Hemsted 1st M60L Alison Sloman 3rd W70L Suzette Spears 2nd W70S

British Night Champs: Alison Sloman 1st W70 Andy Hemsted 1st M60

HOC win Laurie Bradley Trophy



Beata Falk voted "Junior Orienteer of the Year"

British ARDF champs: David Williams & Robert Vickers - 3.5MHz and 144MHz winners

British Champs: Val Dugmore & Penny Hemsted 1st & 2nd W65S Alison Sloman 2nd W70L

JK: Matt Evans, Peter Ford, Rob Farrington 1st, 2nd & 3rd M20S Tom Horton 2nd M21L David Williams 3rd M45S Andy Hemsted 3rd M55L Brian Hughes 3rd M60L

2008 – 40th anniversary

Logos A selection of Harlequins logos through the years.

News Archive Old news items

Photos Photo archive (old format page)