Devon Orienteering


Peter “Biggles” Flick

For details of funeral arrangements and thanksgiving service please see below. 

Club members will be sad to hear that Peter Flick passed away this morning, 3rd May 2017, in the RD&E, Exeter. Through his hashing connections, Peter was known universally as "Biggles". He had been a long-standing member of the club and contributed whole-heartedly to tasks associated with numerous club events -and to the work of the club committee -for many years. Please see the tribute below, written by Roger Green. 

Funeral arrangements

Friday May 26th at 13.00 St Paul's Chapel, Exeter Crematorium and afterwards a buffet at a nearby venue to be confirmed.
Thanksgiving service

Tuesday 30th May at 14.00 St Andrew's Church South Tawton and afterwards food and drink, venue to be confirmed.

No Flowers. Donations in lieu in aid of the Dartmoor Railway Supporters Association.
Both services to be conducted by Canon Tim Newcombe.

Reminiscences of Peter Flick

Peter Flick was a larger than life character full of bonhomie who made his presence felt by having a powerful voice. If you wanted someone to call out names at the Start he was your man.  He was a bit of a legend in his own lifetime.

We first came in to contact with Peter Flick in the 1980’s. We had joined the Teign Valley Hash and from time to time we received a ‘Fixture List’ from somebody called ‘Biggles’. Apparently he was the hashing guru who everybody looked up to. I think he had founded Ashburton Hash House Harriers where he got his hash name, as he wore a RAF style flying helmet. He produced this small booklet called ‘Hare you well!’ which told you how to lay trails. This we consulted when finally we laid a trail for TVH3.  After we had been hashing for a few years a young orienteer from East Devon, whose real name escapes me, but was known as ‘Squit’ decided to set up another hash to be called Otter Valley H3. Many orienteers, including us, joined. We went to the first hash from Otterton and ‘Biggles’ was there to help it on its way.

After a while Biggles saw the good points of yet another activity involving the Great Outdoors and got himself involved in Orienteering. He was not a great athlete, although he had run the London Marathon in the distant past, but confined himself to the easier courses and getting involved in the running of the club.  He served as Chairman for one or two three year terms.  He also did some training and got himself a Public Service Vehicle License. He then hired 52 seater coaches and drove us to Galoppens in the New Forest and Forest of Dean.  He also drove minibuses to Wales, Sussex and Yorkshire for JK Festivals.  He was an acknowledged expert in crossing muddy fields in a loaded minibus at about 30 miles per hour. It was a bit frightening but he could do it OK.

He also used to act as a midpoint checkpoint for the Dartmoor Long O events. He had a four wheel drive Landrover which came in useful moving orienteering equipment about.

Once, a long time ago, we were invited to a special hash starting from Newton Abbot Football Stadium.  By a subterfuge Biggles was offered a lift to that evening’s hash but was diverted to the Stadium where he arrived amid a standing ovation from massed hashers from around Devon. It was Biggles’s 60th Birthday and well worth celebrating!

I remember going to Peter Flick’s 70th birthday at the Angler’s Retreat at Fingle Bridge, along with many hashers and orienteers. There was food and drink and a Hash. At this time he lived at Flood Cottage, somewhere northeast of Whiddon Down, not far from the A30. We used to go there for club committee meetings. He later moved to his cottage called ‘Copse’ at Sticklepath and we went there for his 80th birthday celebrations.

Peter had many other interests, apart from Hashing and Orienteering.  He acted as Parish Clerk for about half a dozen Devon parishes. As a result he knew a lot of landowners and he often got permission for hashes to cross their land.

Another occasional pastime of his was going with a pack of Beagles. This involves following on foot about 10 dogs, hunting for animals. I think they were after hares or rabbits but Peter Flick always said to me that they had never caught anything!

In later years he had trouble getting about and so he treated himself to a mobility scooter. Not just a scooter but an All-Terrain Scooter.  He used to take this on a trailer behind his car and meet up with similar gentlemen so they could drive around in a small convoy. I was horrified to be told by him that he had driven himself from his house in Sticklepath to some shindig or other at Gidleigh – in the dark – both ways!

Peter Flick was also a railway enthusiast.  If I was in the area I sometimes called in to see him.  Apart from chewing over the latest developments in orienteering, we spent a lot of time discussing our mutual interest in railways and I used to borrow some of his books to read.  He was involved with the operation of the Okehampton to Meldon Railway and their attempts to get occasional trains at weekends from Exeter to Okehampton.

You may wonder what Peter Flick did before he did all these interesting activities. He owned a garage, in Ashburton, I think it was.

In his later life he encouraged and enabled a lot of people, young and old, to enjoy these varied activities in the countryside. He will be missed by those who knew him and enjoyed his company.

Roger Green


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