Merry Christmas from the GOC archive!

As we approach GOC's 50th anniversary in 2024, we are preparing to celebrate that amazing milestone – please contact GOC Chair Jim Cornwell if you are interested to get involved.

As part of that celebration, GOC Archivist Simon Ball has started sharing snippets from our Archives – the first was 10 years out on the hills 1974-1984, published in Capital Gay in 1984 to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  This time he shares snippets from the December GOC newsletters of 1975, 1976 & 1977.

If you have any items to contribute to the archives, please contact our Simon at [email protected].

December 1975

No formal GOC newsletters would be produced until the middle of 1976 but semi-regular newsheets were sent by founder Reg Connolly. For the sheet dated 19 December 1975, Reg welcomed the ten people who would be receiving the newsletter for the first time, as well as providing the results of a recent questionnaire...

  • twenty one returned questionnaires.
  • fifteen are walkers, nine of whom go camping
  • eight are cyclists, of whom two cyclecamp.
  • all London-based people want a Sunday event every 2-3 weeks
  • eleven want monthly midweek meetings
  • almost unanimous support from campers for January and February camps
  • youth hostels, club huts and BBs interested non-campers
  • coastal and canal tramps very popular
  • occasional "non-macho" trips to places like Brighton and Amsterdam got nine enthusiastic 'yes' replies
  • other ideas included... canoeing, tennis, skiing, folk-dancing, table-tennis, golf, naturism, weight training, swimming, short package tours, sailing, canal boat trips.

December 1976

The newsletter letter had expanded to four sides of A4. Reg Connolly opened the December edition with the progress of the developing club...

  • This time last year no one in their wildest dreams would have thought that by now we'd have four local sections functioning independently with events attracting anything from 6-18 people in different parts of the island. So when I say that by this time next year we should have 300 paid up members - 20 local sections and an eight page illustrated newsletter (not typed by me, hooray) don't scoff, it's more than possible - its likely if each one of us does her or his bit.

December 1977

The first illustrated front cover for the GOC newsletter (an almost identical cover would appear for the 1978 edition), this issue also was the first to feature an official titled ‘Editorial’ with the debut of editors, Alan Jones and Andrew Orchard (known occasionally as the collective, “Alandrew”).

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