Mid Essex Trophy  14/10/2007

Full of hope ........ the beginning at Great Dunmow.

But .........

So how did you do it Peter? .............

Let me start off by saying that no one was more surprised than me to learn that I had won with a time of 4:22pm.

Any photos that suggest SMUG are actually AMAZEMENT. (with a hint of smugness!)

The event started on a glorious Autumn day at the usual Dunmow site. Station A Richard Witney, put a good signal to the start but alas, a rare need for an approximate bearing was needed for Tim Parker on the B station.
I decided to head towards Chelmsford with the intent of getting past Boreham on the A12 but the usual Sunday traffic forced me to take a bearing at the entrance to Boreham House. This has a long rectangular lake that leads to the large house, once in the ownership of Ford's and it was their " Mechanised Farming Training Centre".
My bearings were 360 and 180, Tim wasn't too strong so off along the A12 and down the old A130. Expecting him to be on Hanningfield Reservoir I was surprised to get North, not SW ! at 2pm. I then drove North but off the bearing until Howe Green when the signal headed towards Sandon ( oh dear, power lines and Sub stations!). I took another bearing in Sandon (2:25 ish) and settled for what turned out to be the site.
I drove to the Sewage works gates just in time for a transmission. I was drawn to the site but unable to cover the distance in 2 mins

I wandered around the ponds but was drawn to him on the next transmission to be surprised to learn I was first in. I met Roy arriving and helpfully said " I had no idea where he was", of course I meant Richard ! !

I got back on the A12 and came off at Boreham to actually go into Boreham village and use the road to Gt Leighs so avoiding traffic. A signal was ignored as I knew exactly where he was, 90 at the start and 360 so he was on the old railway to the west of Braintree. All too easy.
I took a bearing at the end of the Leighs by-pass and it read 60 not 10 as expected ! Ah, take another 100yds further on then. Oh dear 80 now. Never mind a cross under the power lines at just South of Row Green. A nice FP with lots of cover under the power lines and no other cars !!
Now 30 minutes later having returned to the car exhausted, the bearings in the field beyond the power lines, pointed towards the Cressing HV Switching Station and Substation. Now it's 3:50 so instant decision required.
Drive via Black Notley, Bulford Mill,( there's Roy again coming towards me ! ) Cressing village and park at the Sub Station.
Richard fires up at 4pm and it is a very very weak signal ! I put it down to the set blocking, most likely site is river, luckily downhill and the set screams for mercy on approaching , an aerial was spotted, followed, lost sight of, etc.
Having ran the odd DF I know that an aerial has a minimum of 2 ends but Richard has been known to "T" off. Luckily today no Tee, the other bushes were searched and there he was.
There's Roy again, except now I have 2 stations in the bag. Poor Graham was wearing a heavy coat and was sweating for England. It was he that found  Richard whilst Roy had a gentle meander around. How do you keep your friends Roy ?

As usual there was tea at MEAD HALL, and it was offering it's usual hospitality and the spread was constantly replenished by a brace of serving wenches! ( My wife was expecting me to return with another selection of pot plants, but all I had was another Trophy, the wrong one as it turned out, welcome to old age TIM !)

Thanks to Tim and Richard for running the sites and the Mead Family for their input, starter, photographer, caterer, cook, waitressing and Andrew for doing the washing up and vacuuming up the crumbs !

Report by Jammy old git.

Thanks Peter,

Over to Richard ....

Station A G4ICP/P operator report

I set up the station at 1100 following a hearty walk with a large lead acid battery on a modified suitcase trolley. To help concealment I arranged to be dropped off by the XYL, so the car way not going to give the game away. Having chosen my “bush” to hide under I cut my way in with the seceteurs. The aerial was a random length of very thin wire, removed from a defunct transformer (I have lots of these!) at an average height of around 6 feet, i.e. just above head height.

I was actually located in a separate hedge that ran at 90 degrees to the main cover that ran down to the River Brain. The bulk of the aerial was secreted in the river area with an “invisible” link back to the TX.

{This shows Richard's location - the bearings are those plotted by Graham for Roy}

All went well and by 1420 I heard police whistles in the far distance. These steadily got louder. A little later Rosie was seen patiently following my aerial wire and proceeded to find me, proving what we all don’t like to admit, which is the person WITHOUT the DF set is usually the one to find the TX!!! She kindly told me that she had already checked the other end of the wire first!! Once Colin had been located, they were clocked in at 1444. Meantime, Ian had been seen walking passed me and confirmed my camouflage was working.

Shortly afterwards, Phil was also testing my cover following wading through the river, and was heard to say to Ian, “…he’s not here, I’ve already searched….” Some time later Phil had second thoughts and did come back and checked in at 1515, allowing a bloodied Ian to follow in his footsteps at 1516.

A peaceful interlude followed to be interrupted by the sound of someone moving very slowly closer to me. It was young Peter of the Mead team. He too was following the “no set = will find the hidden station” principle. This worked perfectly for the second time that day. He shot off to locate Dad, (Andrew) who turned up a while later looking very hot and bothered at 1543.

A further quiet spell followed to be broken by the rapid arrival of our shortly-to-be champion, Peter Larby on his second TX. He ran around me a few times and found me at 1622. Roy and Graham were also at large in the vicinity and followed in at 1629 +++, also their second station, following a most gallant effort including lots of shouting. Really chaps, I was quite worn out just watching you!!

My special thanks to Roy, Graham and Larby for heroically offering to lug the battery and TX bag back up the track for a mile or so, allowing me to fully recover the deployed aerial wire thus leaving the site in perfect condition, ready for another day!

Pictures of the A then B group getting into Tim ...



1 P Larbalestier - A 16:22 (B14:58 )

2 P Cunningham - B 16:26:55 (A 15:13)

3 I Butson - B 16:29:06 (A 15:15 )

4 A Mead - B 16:29:22 (A 15:43)

5 C Merry - A 14.44 (first in), power lines led him astray at B - not found.

6 R Emeny - B 15:23:27 - found Station A but just out of time - Ahhh!

7 G Parker DNF

And the remaining prizes ...

Thanks to Daphne, Philip, Tim and Peter for all the pictures, and to Peter and Richard for putting fingers to keyboards.

That's it folks, see you on the Snowman?