About the club
The Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club (HAVOC) is a small and friendly club which welcomes new members of any age and ability. Most of our members live within the London borough of Havering or the area of South Essex (e.g. Romford, Brentwood, Billericay, Basildon, Chelmsford and Southend). We encourage junior participation and, at most events there are courses suitable for all ages and experience.
The club holds regular local events on specially drawn 5-colour maps, in the forests, parks and streets. Experienced members attend events organised by other clubs all over the British Isles and abroad.
From time to time there are special Try Orienteering events which are designed for beginners. However, if you cannot get to one of these events, you are welcome to come to any local event before you join the Club.
Pre-entry is often now required for all events. Information can be found on the event details. Local events often have start times from 1030 to 1230. Courses normally close at 1430. Depending on the level of event, the cost is normally between £6-£10 for adults and £2-£5 for juniors. Dogs are often welcome at events providing they are kept under control, but if the event details do not specify this please check with the organiser before taking a dog.
If you have not orienteered before and wish to know more about orienteering, visit the British Orienteering web pages where you will find more information; you might like to start with the Newcomer's Guide which provides a useful overview of our sport.
You do not have to be competitive to take part in orienteering. However, after a few events you may wish to improve and be a little more competitive. As a starter, HAVOC, jointly with CHIG (Chigwell and Epping Forest Orienteering Club) runs a local league: SWELL (South and west Essex local league) in the forests, and an evening street league jointly with SOS (Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society). See the Leagues page for more information.
For details on how to join HAVOC, see our Membership page.
HAVOC was formed in 1973.
The following article was written back in 1994, when HAVOC was just 21.
21 Years of HAVOC
On Sunday, February 11, 1973 a small party of pupils from St Edward's School, Romford, took part in their first orienteering event at Joyden's Wood, Bexley. Their next venture was a badge event at Thetford and they became instantly hooked. Throughout the summer they traveled to events as far apart as Aberystwyth, Dartmoor and Cumbria. During that first season Gold Badges were gained by Glyn Razzel, Richard Horswill, Vincent Legg, Martin and Philip Smith and even the teacher, a certain Gerry Arber.
Their interest was not just in competing. Within weeks of starting they were making plans to run their own events, but that posed a problem:- would orienteers travel long distances to take part in events run by a group of schoolkids? The answer appeared to be to form themselves into a club, and so Havering Orienteering Club, (the South Essex part was added later), was registered on 12th April,1973.
The club's first event was held at Thorndon Park on September 16 of that year and attracted 309 entries. The entry fee was 20p for adults, and 10p for children, with extra maps 5p! Thorndon attracted the first non-school members including a local family; name of Ryder. The first badge event was held in Epping Forest S.W. the following March and the club also mapped Tunstall Forest, Suffolk, for EAOA and planned their regional badge event there in the autumn of 1974.
In 1975 Glyn Razzell and Phil Smith were selected for the BOF junior tour to Switzerland, an honour later repeated by Richard Horswill and David and Kate Ryder. 1975 also saw the arrival of the Havoc Snail emblem, suggested as a joke by one of our wayfinder members.
For its first two years the club had a rather ad-hoc organisation, after which democracy became the rule. The first elected secretary was Roy Mason, later to become BOF professional officer.
The St. Edward's connection lasted for about six years and the school group was the nucleus of club teams at championships, JK, Mammoth and White Rose Weekends, as well as trips to the Swiss Five Day events of 1976 and 1978, but as the original members left the school their places were not taken by younger pupils. Gerry concentrated more on regional teams, leading Scandinavian trips in the early eighties until ordination to the Anglican ministry led him to hang up his O-shoes. He is a life member of the club.