60 Years of Quiz Walks
Back in 2007 we formed a team to organise our 50th year celebrations. It worked well then so we did the same early in 2017. This time the team was made up of Chris Cooper (our founder's daughter who returned to the fold in 2009 after too long an absence) Andrew Cordani, Roger Heath, Geoff Hunt, Alan Reeves with myself again leading the team.
To help us we had the suggestion slips for celebrating our 60th year which those attending our annual lunch in November 2016 had filled in. We went with several of those suggestions, not least the one which proposed having a display of memorabilia at our forthcoming celebratory lunch in November 2017.
Chris and Andrew got us off to a great start by coming up with a striking design for our 60th anniversary logo.
Then just as in 2007 Geoff Hunt stepped in smartly to get a website company to supply logo-emblazoned T shirts and polo shirts. A number of our members then placed orders for the shirts and proudly wore them during the season's quizwalks.
This provided the springboard for the rest of the celebratory activities. All in all everyone in the team made an excellent contribution.
So now it's over to the team members themselves to tell the fascinating story of how our celebrations unfolded throughout the year.
First up is Chris Cooper. She'll write about the members' photo competition she organised in the run-up to the lunch and especially about the splendid display of memorabilia she put on at the lunch itself in celebration of 60 years of quizwalking dating back to 1957 when her father John Cooper started the whole thing off.
My partner (in crime), and co-conspirator in many Quizwalks both as organisers and competitors, Andrew and I visited the Reigate Manor Hotel to assess the space we needed and various pieces of equipment. The staff could not have been more helpful and we booked the use of tables, easels and projector plus screen.
We decided that the display should span the decades from the past up to the present.
I purchased locally two large trifold cardboard display boards which proved to be ideal for the task. We spent some time sorting through many images and researched as many names and images as possible since many faces were not familiar to us. Printing the images proved fun and one of the rooms in this house became quite inaccessible and the cat was banned from there for the time being. Judicious use of glue spots to attach images to the display boards made the process quite simple and rendered them reusable. I cannot recommend glue spots more highly.
At the lunch, we laid out some physical objects both old and new: Some "bonuses" in an old tobacco tin, a clipboard purporting to be my dad's, with the obligatory image of a leggy blonde. Quizwalks printed pencils and badges and beer mats, and actual old clues and photographs.
Andrew set up the Raspberry Pi (a credit card sized single-board computer, and not as one might think, an option on the delicious desserts section of the hotel's menu), projector, speaker and screen which ran a slideshow of the photos and included an old BBC radio interview about Quizwalking given by Roger Abbott. It played all through the lunch so no one missed anything without it being intrusive.
Again, the staff at the hotel could not have been more helpful with the layout, tables and equipment.
During the summer I was reading a book of Beatles' lyrics and the stories behind them: One anecdote made me smile, apparently Paul McCartney's dad, Jim, urged him to learn the piano because people who played the piano got invited to all the best parties. Dad (John Cooper) could play both piano and pipe organs of all sizes without sheet music. Playing by ear is a concept that is way beyond my understanding and I can't carry a tune in a bucket!
Of all the members of the Thursday Club I think I knew Derek Wilmot and Les Bradbury the best.
Derek was a loveable tease. He related to me stories of blood and gore and horror; so comfortable with him, I was not spooked at all. I remember watching him stirring a bowl of what looked like grey porridge cement-like stodge and his telling me that it was my lunch. Apparently, he and dad were putting a dolls house together for me in secret.
Les was slightly more serious but I've never forgotten him dropping a daddy long legs in my lap to my absolute horror.
Both he and his wife Reta were accomplished dancers and they rocked and rolled like characters from "Grease" while most of us less lithe creatures struggled to Twist! Les was part of the club football team, again kicking with the best of them. He was probably best remembered for his mime routines always popular at the Christmas parties. He would mime to the Figaro (Figaro, Figarooooo) aria from The Barber of Seville, which was an amazing tongue twister even in mime form.
He suffered a serious road traffic accident (he was cycling I believe) in the 1960's which laid him low for a long time. His recovery was slow but from reading his Quizwalking history and substantial Quizwalks archives that he saved, it didn't affect his indomitable spirit one iota.
Andy Wilson was a real gentleman: quietly spoken and kind. As was Frank Roberts. I remember that dad respected and thought highly of them.
I have since moved all of the images into a scrap book to take to future annual lunches. There is also a book available on Amazon called "60 years of Quizwalking" which contains mostly text and pictures from the website.
and many more photographs in our Flickr group Quiz Walks Flickr
"Red Top Clue" was the winning image from Peter Evans who was presented with a book token prize. It was not an easy choice for me as all the images were excellent in their way. However Peter's encapsulated the heart and soul of Quizwalks - a weary but happy competitor (Keith Marshall) relaxing against the very answer to the clue he was endeavouring to answer.
Names of photographers: Peter Evans, Pam Mann, Elizabeth Gurteen, Janice Spencer, Kate Kirchmair, Robert & Sue Whale, Marion Earp, Brenda Wooden and Jeremy & Joanne Norfolk.
We held other competitions apart from the photographic one I organised. Roger Heath takes up the story below.
I knew that Peter Rose (a former quizwalk organiser) had devised one or two special crosswords for us in the past. So I asked him to do the honours again and he duly obliged with this crossword.
You can access the clues Peter set here.
Then I remembered that Chris Cooper had recently given me a copy of the route-sheet, interspersed with clues, from a car treasure hunt organised by her Dad, John Cooper, probably in the early 1960s.
One clue in particular caught my eye:
A letter is left on this road sign today.
Bring back a token it matters no what
If it starts with the letter you have got.
John would have left a tin full of tokens close by the road sign in question. But the trick was to bring back and hand him a token bearing a word beginning with the letter that fitted the clue.
None of the answers to John's clues had survived. However. I instinctively felt that this clue might
be cold-case solvable even after all those years and so I decided to include it as the second puzzle in the
competition, asking people:
What letter did the word on a token have to begin with and why?
Chris and I worked out from John's directions that this clue occurred on a stretch of road east of Lingfield in Surrey, so we published for would-be solvers this map showing the road in question.
We didn't realise it at the time but the presence of Barrow Green Farm at the right edge of the map was an oblique hint to the answer to John's clue.
Not one to do things by half I decided there should be a third leg to the competition. As luck would have it I'd recently stumbled across the paperwork for an armchair quiz I set back in 1993 to coincide with the "The Fifties Walk" that Ken White and I organised along with our other halves to celebrate us both being 50.
Based round a selection of 25 clues I had set over the years since becoming a quizwalk organiser in 1959 my quiz was designed to be solvable by persistence and research without the need to have set foot on any of the walks themselves. So why not pose the same quiz to what would largely be a new generation of quizwalkers?
So that was it - a three-in-one competition with an overall total of 63 points at stake, 28 for the crossword, 10 for the John Cooper clue and 25 for my quiz from "The Fifties Walk".
And to encourage people to enter we allowed them to form teams of up to four people and to shoot for book token prizes worth £24 to the winners and £12 to the runners-up.
Here are answers to Peter Rose's crossword.
- Christmas Amble
- May Poles
- Mango Trees
- Leg Spin
- Air Dryer
- Picture Card
- John Cooper
- Ideal Homes
- Red Guard
- St Oswald Of York
All the crossword clues were solved but no all-correct entries were submitted. Two teams got 27 out of 28 right, both of them failing on 11 down to which the correct answer was Picture Card. Great minds fail alike!
As for the car treasure hunt clue, my hunch that it was cold-case solvable proved correct with two teams working out that the competitors had to bring back a token inscribed with a word beginning with the letter C.
Why? Because the sign competitors must have seen at the roadside that day - no doubt at Burrows Green Farm - was Cattle Crossing from which only the C is left after you take away all the letters in "Strong Elastic".
You don't see these signs anymore but here's what they used to look like.
Lastly, here are the answers to the quiz I set back in 1993 to coincide with "The Fifties Walk".
One team scored 24 out of 25. They missed out only on question 18, which was answered correctly by just one other team.
When the overall scores for the competition were totted up Jeremy and Joanne Norfolk came out on top and won the £24 book token. Marion Earp and her daughter Jan Spencer were runners-up and won the book token for £12.
Congratulations to them and my thanks to all who took part.
For our 50th year celebrations we restaged the original 1957 walk as far as modern footpaths (and road safety!)
would allow. For all the details see the 'History' : 'Our 50th Year' page.
The 1957 walk, shown in the map below (red), was very long and passed near several public houses that have been used many times as quiz walks venues over these 60 years.
So to celebrate our 60th year we reused five of these venues to take in some of the same countryside and paths. We added the walk details and routes (blue) to the map after each walk was held. See the 'Events' : '2017 Diary' page for the usual full report of each walk.
The original walk set out from Reigate station and involved a hard steep climb up Colley Hill. This Handicap walk from The Sportsman (circa 1532) follows mainly level paths instead, including the North Downs Way opened in 1978. The paths are different but the terrific views across Surrey are the same.
2) The Red Lion & The Dolphin (May 7th)
The Dolphin (17th century) sits in a corner of the 1957 route that almost forms a loop. Closing the loop allows us to visit The Red Lion (circa 1730) and walk through Buckland - twice winner of "Best Kept Small Village" awards.
3) The Skimmington Castle (July 23rd)
A farm 400 years ago and a pub since 1825. A popular Quizwalking venue south of Reigate Heath and its landmark windmill. The walk joins a section of the 1957 route where it passes the pub heading south and then loops around through several of the local farms.
4) The Pheasant & The Black Horse (August 27th)
Formerly "The Jolly Farmers" and before that "The Tap" (late 18th century). Another popular Quizwalking venue. The walk passes near The Black Horse and then joins a section of the 1957 route where it passes the windmill heading west and giving fine views of the surrounding area.
5) The Blue Anchor (October 1st)
The Blue Anchor is an 18th-century grade II listed public house which retains a lot of its original features. This celebration walk starts where the original 1957 walk ended on a Sunday 60 years and 2 days earlier. The 1957 walk was organised by John Cooper and Derek Wilmot. This walk was organised by Andrew Cordani and Chris Cooper. Chris is the daughter of original organiser John Cooper!
As the daughter of John Cooper, our founder, I was honoured to accept the club's invitation to devise the Quizwalk to celebrate our club's 60th Anniversary year. In this I was joined as ever by my good friend, Andrew Cordani, who is my partner-in-crime when planning Quizwalks.
Our Membership Secretary, Roger Heath, was successful in getting the Surrey Mirror to publish an article showcasing the event a week in advance of our organising it from Reigate on Sunday 1st October. His article is reproduced below.
The three pictures show my father in his pharmacist's garb outside his shop, Andrew and me outside the Tardis (that had landed in the foyer of the BBC) that we commandeered for Quizwalks, and Kiran and Zara Evans who, both in their teens, organised their first ever Quizwalk for our club in the July of our 60th Anniversary year.
My Facebook post in the morning before our walk:
"Girding my loins and backpack for the morrow - Painkillers check, papers check, camera check, apple pies (remembering dad), surprises check, money for food check, answer sheets check, kids' questions and bags, chalk, hairspray - don't ask, and plasters check, map check, cake check, tissues check, lipstick, charm, biros, smiles... all ready to go."
On the day a helpful member of staff at The Blue Anchor took some group photographs of us before the start and risked life and limb in the attempt by standing mid-road in fairly busy traffic - that is service for you.
When everyone had finally left the pub, Andrew and I relaxed and mused over the route and the clues.
We remembered that our favourite "fight club" clue had totally disappeared one week before the walk - It was for a gym called FIT HUB. It's devastating when that happens.
The clue in the first stage went:
'you don't talk about fight club'."
In stage 2, was another favourite of mine because as a visual clue it was almost invisible until you looked back from where you stood. I'd read about it somewhere in our research and so we were aware of what and where it was.
"This looks moderately humorous but hardly sounds side-splitting."
The answer was a ha-ha which is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond, although in this case this renovated feature was originally intended to keep deer from the estate.
In Stage 4, we had found a drain cover from a company called Cooper-Clarke which was too good to not use. We turned it into an anagram Crook Replace. (Andrew tells me that Cooper‑Clarke is some kind of hippy poet!)
"By hook or by crook replace the cover in an amalgam."
By Stage 6 we noted on our clue sheets that "We have now re-joined Park Lane and so are retracing the final footsteps of those who actually managed to finish the inaugural Quizwalk (or "treasure hunt" as it was known then) on 29th September 1957 and met up with John Cooper and Derek Wilmot (walk organisers) "still drinking tea" in a Reigate "caff".
At this point in our 60th Anniversary Quizwalk the weather turned very damp. One of our number had such sodden papers that he couldn't read his answers, which very certainly scuppered his results. Apart from that, from our point of view it was a successful day.
The Argentine Steak House is the site of the original cafe where John and Derek waited for the return of the competing members.
|1||Andrea Hunt, Geoff Hunt, Eleanor Hunt, Daniel Hunt||18||133||20|
|2||Cat Downman, Simon Edmands, Hayley Shillingford, Jasmyn Stich, Sola Oke||17||129||19|
|3||Joyce Heywood, Roger Heath, Darren Goodsell||18||126||18|
|4||Diane Clark, Liz Moore, Alan Hilder||16||116||17|
|5||Hazel Marshall, Kate Kirchmair, Roy Kirchmair||16||113||16|
|6||Elizabeth Gurteen, June Daniels, Brenda Watson||15||111||15|
|7||Rosie Treasure, Dave Saunders||12||83||14|
|8||John Davis, Alan Reeves||13||78||13|
|9||James Biggs, Pat Mulholland||11||67||12|
As well as celebrating 60 years of Quiz Walks, I was also celebrating 30 years of attending quizwalks, organising quizwalks, and just as importantly, attending quizwalk lunches. In ye olden days the quizwalk lunch could be accommodated in the back bar of a typical walking venue like The Chequers and The Running Horses. The 50th Anniversary year required much larger premises and our Membership Secretary, Roger Heath, brought us to the excellent Reigate Manor Hotel. The numbers of lunch attendees has increased and The Reigate Manor Hotel has become the venue of choice.
We celebrated our 60th Year as a club at the traditional End of Season Lunch held once again at the Reigate Manor Hotel in its large private function room called The Garden Room and the adjacent Study Bar. The hors d'oeuvres table, carvery, and dessert table were each as delicious as ever. This lunch was enjoyed by 50 of our members whose names you can see with this link
As well as the usual speeches and awards of the Andi'Cap trophy and the League trophies, we also revealed the 60th Anniversary competitions' winners and had several special features to celebrate the anniversary.
The display also included copies of the Quizwalk Organisers table and Organisers' Favourite Clues list updated for our 60th anniversary. Details of these are shown below.
The runners-up were Marion Earp and Jan Spencer.
...and our thanks to Peter Rose, Chris Cooper, and Roger Heath for organising the competitions, and all of you who took part.
Our old League trophy (the 3rd we’d used) had run out of space for winners, so we had a new League trophy to present. What Roger wasn't expecting was a Special Award for all his many contributions to the club over 60 years since taking part in the very first club event.
For details of the speeches and awards see links below...
Our Membership Secretary, Roger Heath, has been a prolific organiser - 86 competitive
walks by the time of the lunch and still baffling us today. Roger and Joyce have organised Xmas
Ambles as well.
Roger has also for many years had the job of finding other members to organise our walks. It can be a daunting task for even experienced walkers to find a suitable route and venue. Over the years our organisers have roamed far and wide to find us new routes and new venues, or even just a refreshing take on an old favourite. So to conclude here are the club's tributes to all of the organisers over the 60 years written by Roger himself in 2017.
I first prepared this table in 2007, our 50th anniversary year, in recognition of all the people, starting with John Cooper and Derek Wilmot in 1957, who had organised quizwalks over the years and so helped to keep the unique pastime we all enjoy going for so long.
Getting that 2007 version of the Quizwalk Organisers Table together was a bit of a slog. It involved ploughing through the late Les Bradbury's copious archive material and searching the collective memory banks of all the organisers it was still possible to contact. Our thanks to them and, of course, to Les himself.
To coincide with our 60th anniversary I thought it would be fitting to bring the table up-to-date and this I have done. The table has now been added to our Clubhouse page, and it will be updated at the end of each season as new organisers take part.
Take a look through the table. Whether you feature in it personally or not we think you'll find it provides a fascinating overview of the contribution made by our organisers down the decades.
We last did this exercise to mark our 50th anniversary in 2007. So now we have repeated the exercise ten years on and this new table has been added to our Clubhouse page.
We think that you'll enjoy looking through the table. Perhaps you'll remember some of these clues from walks that you have taken part in?