Run Report 1965: The Bricklayers Arms, Shamley Green

Brilliantly unprincipled….

Scribed by Hawkeye

The chances of securing the services of a bricklayer in 2022 remain pretty low, but thankfully the possibility of a post-run beer at the Bricklayers Arms remains high. With such expectations, a thirsty pack arrived in Shamley Green for a punctual start – even Tea Cosy was ten minutes early. In truth the foretold roadworks (that did not actually materialize) prodded people into earlier than usual activity. To trail in TCs wake were Sparkly, Wally, ITB, Cynthia, Dusty, Hawkeye, TIFM, Robin Hood, Venus, Call Girl and Sorry John.

And Shamley was green and soaking up the light rain that began to fall. On the weekend that BoJo rolled back the rules on BOGOFs (Buy One Get One Free), PH3 persisted with its own version of using two hares for one run; Secret Squirrel and ah, um, er her name escapes me for now. Not sure what you get for that extra hare, certainly not in the briefing anyway – but we set off to test out the trail ahead. Having arrived from Farley Heath I had inadvertently witnessed some markings that turned out to be the outbound trail, in any case we were following the premature start of TIFM.

We looped up across the fields towards the church where the eagle-eyed were able to spot a Buzzard. If you are buzzard eyed, I have no idea what you saw. Across the road the tempo lifted as the rain didn’t and the pack spread out and headed South. I think there was some Wey & Arun canal involved and I’m pretty certain we crossed the Run Common Road before reaching the Downs Link where TIFM took TC onto a falsie and TC then missed a cross. The pack headed north dodging cyclist like a computer arcade game of old.

There had already been some (valid) grumblings about the state of kicking, and I redoubled my efforts to do less badly from here on, I know my abilities. Dusty was on a flyer and left us for…dust as we headed back under Run Common Road and to an eventual right turn where we headed into some welcome woods/shade/shelter from the rain and a small climb to make a voluntary regroup. The next thing I remember we were back on the Downs Link in furious pursuit of Dusty and TC before taking a turn (for the better) on the edge of Bramley towards Westland Farm.

At this point TC and I – having kicked a circle then run to a cross only to find that Dusty had ignored our invitation and was now well advanced again(!) – discussed the metaphysical nature of hashing. When is it right to kick a circle, or not? If you kick a circle and no one is there to see you, did it happen. Can a circle simultaneously be kicked and not-kicked aka ‘Schrodinger’s Circle’. Snapping out of such reverie we then set about catching the very real person in front of us….again.

Lords Hill Common looks like a fine place for a pub and despite my hunch that the imposing house on the green must have been one in the past, in fact Lords Hill House was a shop as per local records “Lords Hill Common was once called Parsons Common. The Parson needed a horse to get about and it had to graze somewhere. The Cokelers built Lords Hill House as their commercial centre with bakery and butchers behind the grocery and emporium for hardware and haberdashery”. Once again on the green, Dusty (aka Mr Parsons) gave us the slip, but in the end, TC was not to be denied and a concertinaed pack came jogging in across the cricket field as a disconsolate groundsman looked at the work, he’d put into preparing the wicket only for it to go to waste in the rain. A bit like how my run had felt…

VERDICT: A cracking run guys, to a plan no doubt set out by Dusty(!), the Downs Link sections were a leg stretcher and a tad more sawdust on the circles to re-mark my many failed attempts wouldn’t have gone amiss, but it was a good stretch out before the real rain came. Many thanks SS and….who was that again?, anyway many thanks SS.

UNDER THE RAINY GAZEBO: Sunday lunch was in full swing in the pub, but the hares commandeered a palatial gazebo – perfect for our needs. Sadly, no chips were available, but this disappointment was partially offset by the fine Shere Drop and less-admired Harvey’s Best, a mistake TIFM didn’t make the second time. To be clear by now Dusty had confessed that his bike journey to the venue had taken him along the Downs Link and via Westland Farm – doh! During other exchanges we learned that Wally once hoovered the Queens bedroom, SS had his (not so secret) stash of sawdust stolen/vandalised on the run today and that he was once described as ‘Brilliantly unprincipled’ by none other than the Daily Telegraph. I’ll leave you to guess what that referred to. As the rain increased from a steady drip drip, we all departed to consume the vegetables grown by Cynthia and ITB with Easily Overlooked of all people somehow managing to bang her head on a hanging basket. Now remind me, what was she doing at this run…….On on!

Run Report 1964: The Percy Arms, Chilworth

Familiarity breeds respect…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

I arrived on Sunday to find Call Girl parking outside Chilworth Primary School as apparently the Percy Arms CP was displaying signs about CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). Is that technology, progress, or none of the above…..Having lashed my two-wheel transportation to the school railings we prepared for an increasingly warm run. Next Dusty arrived by bike as did the hare. Eventually those brave enough to run the gauntlet in the CP spotted the chattering classes at the school gates and came to join us. This included Virgil, Venus, TIFM and Trip Advisor. Pis’t’man Pat rolled into a recently vacated spot by the school and our party was completed with Sorry John already beating the path.

Robin Hood’s pre-run preamble was a eulogy to legendary Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci most famous for his ‘sequence’ which is a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two that precede it. Even in the presence of former maths tutor, Dusty this seemed to fall on deaf ears. I think the intended ruse was to throw confusion on whether on this occasion the run headed to the Blackheath or St Martha’s side of town. Having cycled over St Martha’s to get to the start, Fibonacci remained an irrelevance to me.

The level crossing was crossed off from the start and we cocked our sights towards the gunpowder mills. Exiting towards Lockner Farm, we in fact took up the cross-field route and were only delayed in arriving at Postford and Waterloo Ponds by the sight of two huge hairy hogs basking in the sun. An ascent towards St Martha’s seemed in order and trailing behind Virgil and Dusty, I set about the task when Dusty kindly stepped aside to ease my passage….only then to resume a dogged pursuit close on my heels. What became apparent quite quickly was that it was in fact Tea Cosy hot in pursuit after a late start occasioned by the avid watching of the Sunday politics and calling by the local Conservative Party office on his way (ask Virgil to explain this one?!)

Sun, sand, and a sapping incline made for a welcome respite and regroup at St Martha’s the patron saint of hashing. We all gathered including Trip Advisor who complained of descending all the way on the Downs Link, having missed a cross, in which case we’d expect her to still be there now! After a brief regroup accompanied by organ music wafting from the church it was time to test our own pipes once again. Departing last, having spoken with the hare, TIFM and I were lucky enough to catch the spring call of a cuckoo. Sometimes dawdling pays off.

We crossed the road and slogged through the sand to reach the Chantries. Here PP led us on a merry dance despite having formed an advanced party to inspect the area (e.g. short-cutted!). In the end as a reasonably compact group we found our way down and to the powder mils once more to return home by the Vera well-worn path.

VERDICT: They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but in this instance, it evokes respect – as time after time, new routes and variety unfold for us. Many thanks Robin Hood

IN THE GARDEN: After the ANPR in the CP, what awaited us in the pub….Here it seems technology is making great strides and a sign expertly taped to the taps informed all-comers that orders could now only be place by downloading the App! Is that technology, progress, or none of the above…..

Ignoring such restrictions, I managed to persuade a barman to serve me a round of drinks before retiring to the garden where CG had commandeered a chalet to occupy. The temperature had remained warm, but the air got bluer and bluer as hashers emerged from the pub having being refused human service and reluctantly reaching for their mobiles. I’m tempted to say that if we’d not already got some drinks in – we’d have moved on. In the end we Percy-veered. The ale, Twickenham was very nice as were the chips and Sunday lunch procured by RH and Made Marion. In fact, the hare proved more effective than the app, able to conjure beer from a face-to-face encounter! As the beer flowed the conversation ebbed too, alighting on the concept for an obscure equine dating service ‘Horses for Zorses’ and the likely wording on PP’s tombstone which was something to the effect of ‘Here lies Graham Fagg, as surprised as you not to have succumbed to a drinking-related illness’! Usual stuff for a Sunday. On on…

Run Report 1963: Yew Tree Farm, Polseden Lacey

May day, may day……….bluebells ahead!

Scribed by Hawkeye

When Wisden and Nostradamus connived to plan the 2022 annual bluebell run important factors like long-term climate evolution, rainfall cycles and species decline had to be considered. Then SJ also worked out when he was available, and the date was set. May Day on the BH weekend turned out to be less sunny that some days, but a fine day for running if not marching.

Apparently if you saw Sorry John in half, you can track the date of annual bluebell runs back through millennia, in much the same way that you date trees. It’s something to do with chip-fat accumulation.  I’ve never been that tempted, not whilst he keeps setting runs and serving those chips! Assembling at Yew Tree Farm were Call Girl, Venus, Factor 30, Uphill Gill, TIFM, Secret Squirrel, Sparkly, Wally and Hawkeye. TIFM was a man with a plan and headed off early to fathom the hare’s route from paper rather than sawdust. The rest set off in pursuit.

We love traditional marking involving our own version of noughts and crosses and having cycled to the venue, passing the jogging Venus and UG – we should have had a good start on that puzzle. So, the fact that only Venus correctly solved the first circles said much about my ineptitude and UG’s inattention. Our briefing had foretold of a regroup at a popular spot and the possible ‘sighting’ by ear(?) of a cuckoo. Therefore, after being enveloped in a blue blanket of bluebells early on, we then approached Tanners Hatch and began the ascent towards the Ranmore Common Road and the NDW. This we achieved indirectly and without the assistance of bottled oxygen, just.

As foretold, the Downs were a busier spot and having escaped the leash, I waited awhile on a bench overlooking Westcott and gave a nodding acquaintance to passing runner and dog. Fully regrouped (sans TIFM), the onward trail beckoned and for me nature. Emerging from behind a freshly watered tree I was accosted with “Hello Andy!” and a former neighbour from Merrow. Just as well shaking hands has fallen out of fashion!

Regaining the pack, I was also overtaken by a fast jogging ‘checking chicken’ whose task was to remove the numerous arrow markers denoting an ongoing organized run on the North Downs Way. Meanwhile on the disorganized run SJ had taken us vertical to admire some more Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Emerging breathless we were now accosted by the aforementioned runner and dog who seemingly had been following the aforementioned run markers when in fact she wanted the aforementioned NDW. Keeping up…..no, neither was she. Anyway, Wally went out of his way to put her on it and harmony was restored.

Our route recrossed Ranmore Common Road as the drizzle intensified and TIFM was overhauled. Across Hogden Lane and we smelt the on in – or more bluebells to be precise as SS led the charge. Some attempted cuckoo impressionism on his part did little for his credibility or lead and we entered the final decompression zone to emerge fully relaxed as the blue bells chimed at YT Farm with 59min45sec and with 6 miles on the clock.

VERDICT: The bluebells keep popping up and SJ keeps knocking them down, well the runs do anyway. So many thanks SJ, another fine run and notch on the PH3 timeline.

IN THE KITCHEN: Zero rain during April (wot no showers!) meant that for the much-anticipated relaxation on the ‘patio with a view’ on the first day of May, we were confined to the ‘kitchen with a few’. But all the cosier for it. We were joined by the current Mrs Hawkeye who got wind of the chips and fired up the e-bike to pedal out to Polesden. In fine and canine company, we occupied all the chairs at the hare’s disposal to enjoy, tea, beer and chips in various combinations and quantities. Inevitably our conversation turned to the ‘invasive’ Hyacinthoides hispanica – Spanish bluebells, that are colonizing England, no doubt after landing in southern England in small boats. Pretty but another thing that Priti Vacant (aka Patel), is powerless to stop. And with that I departed ‘a velo’ to battle with runners still plodding along the NDW, on on.

Run Report 1959: The Merry Harriers, Hambledon

Taking the biscuit…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

The annual spring forward or daylight saving was a logical explanation as to why I had a groggy head on Sunday morning. An overconsumption of red wine the truthful one. We arrived toute á l’heure as a result of three grown men walking up and down my road trying to decide which car to ‘share’. TIFM’s van was impractical, my blood alcohol ratio implausible so we snuggled into TC’s mini. Awaiting us in a bustling car park at the Merry Harriers, were a throng of….. merry harriers consisting of Virgil, Venus, Robin Hood, Secret Squirrel and daughter now known as Morocco Mole (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmLf7_LmP6I), Sparkly, Wally, ITB, Cynthia, Sorry John, Call Girl and……..Easily Overlooked. Quasimodo was absent having recently contracted the dreaded covid, which may have been a blessing in disguise as his P&O trip to Dublin to see the Foo Fighters was starting to a look a bit shaky anyway.

I’d missed breakfast and now the pre-run briefing so set off up the hill wondering whether my feet or head were pounding harder. EO and I paused to take in the bucolic scene of a sweeping field and masticating sheep but couldn’t see any sawdust. Having got a head start on my hangover, I wasn’t prepared to let it catch up, so ploughed on regardless and was rewarded by a craftily concealed trail that took us towards the village before a cruel switchback took us up to Hilltop Farm.

You know times are hard when landowners resort to stealing your sawdust from the trail, but this landowner has form see RR1944 and “I spotted the guilty welly-clad vandal who’s only excuse was that she hoped we wouldn’t make so much noise if there were horses in the field…..well if you didn’t vandalize our trail we wouldn’t need to make so much bloody noise – idiot!” – and repeat again today. West Surrey Golf Course also stood in eerie silence as we crossed en route towards Hydon’s Ball.

Puffing and panting then dominated the aural landscape as the route went up and the already distended pack struggled up an increasing and increasingly sandy incline. Virgil and TC received scant reward for their efforts as copious circles threw one or other off the trail and allowed for the middle-distance runners to bunch up. As noted in the pub later there was one delightful upward looking vista framed by the beaming morning sun. That said, I was less enamoured than others to have the sun on my back when I had to turnaround at a cross. Emulating Juantarena, TC opened his legs and showed his (cl)ass as he summited first followed by Virgil and I. Beautifully timed, SJ arrived to join the party.

TIFM was somewhat off the pace (still changing his shoes at the start probably) so it fell to Morocco Mole to get a bit angsty about heading on (she had left her children with the current Mrs Squirrel) – and was not prepared to accept SJ’s word that no trail existed on the short cut route he’d used. No respect for their elders, these young ‘uns.

The on in was straightforward but teasing. We descended ably towards the ‘top track’ where a circle took care of TC and Hawkeye at the obvious and second most obvious choices. Therefore with Virgil and EO we headed back to the woods and then back out across a long diagonally and sunny track to the church and home. Line honours a forgone conclusion

VERDICT: From memory the distance and duration were spot on and as head clearing material, it also delivered admirably. Many thanks Dusty, a lovely run.

IN THE PUB: a sunny courtyard awaited with a variety of seating options (oh no not the comfy chair), whilst inside the collective wisdom decided to take the biscuit. More specifically Loxhill Biscuit a rather fine, light, and hoppy ale from the nearby Dunsfold Brewery. The hare provided chips but they don’t stand out in the memory to the same extent as the biscuits! Venus ‘went off on one’ about ‘boy banter’ on the hash and we watched and pondered whether a hash run had ever been cited in divorce proceedings? I guess there’s always a first time for everything. Multiple name variations for ‘new Angela’ were considered by the kangaroo court that eventually decided on Morocco Mole. And just as we were leaving TIFM recalled once spotting a Hobby (small bird of prey) in this area and made the rather brazen claim that the Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) Was in fact the reason the beloved football game of my youth was named Subbuteo; the inventor Peter Adolph had failed to get a patent to call it Hobby (his favourite bird), so called it Subbuteo instead. Another example of taking the biscuit! On On.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/birds/hobby/

Run Report 1957: Pirbright Common CP, Pirbright

Led by donkeys……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Being surrounded by heathland, we set off to Pirbright with expectations of remaining dry. We returned later fully qualified in doggy paddle and in one case with a level 1 scuba qualification. Pirbright is a little out of the normal range of hares Virgil and Venus, but the nearby ranges could be heard firing off as usual as we parked up alongside football mums and dads perhaps watching the next Phil Foden. Or not.

The eleven names on the PH3 team starting sheet were Paul Newman (goal keeper), Call Girl (left back), Tea Cosy (right back….in the car park), Wally & Trip Advisor (centre half), TIFM & Sparkly (Midfield), No Nookie & Uphill Gill (wings), Hawkeye (up front). A classic 4-4-2-1 formation. Secret Squirrel started on the bench, but clearly you can’t keep a good man down, for long. Venus provided the briefing, Virgil was gagged and confined to the car. The information of note was to expect a regroup, a GH3 style trail and markings without political bias – on both the left and the right.

At the first circle SS guessed right and left me meandering on the green. In fact, SS sset such an early ppace that we couldn’t kkeep up. But I’ll be honest any report on this run is going to be a bit vague as having just spent five minutes on Google Earth I’ve worked out we went anti-clockwise – not what I thought on the day!! I think SS relinquished his lead to the late starting TC who for the second week (not) running then pulled up at a water feature. Whereas I took the view that with less than 15 minutes gone, further hazards awaited us, so best to get on with it.

This led me to a solo ten-minute exploration of some drier heathland and what I now know to be the edge of Brookwood Cemetery (I did the falsie there), before picking up a very straight trail back towards Pirbright. Next up I became acquainted with a nice ass or two and we found some donkeys too. In fact, in short order we’d been led by donkeys, seen farabellas, llamas and pigs, the later with a very familiar face. At some point in this juncture the hares emerged from hiding as we crossed yet another flooded copse area. Here the water was deep enough for No Nookie aka No Knees to practice scuba diving and TC the long jump.

We broke away towards yet more heathland and with everyone, clocking the 50 minutes elapsed started looking for the regroup. And No Nookie for an excuse for being late for Sunday lunch. This prompted No Morals to shortcut at every opportunity until we arrived at the regroup at 1hr elapsed. Collective wisdom (yes there is some) divined the most likely direction home and with only road ahead a straightforward on in was anticipated. But there was trouble at Mill (Lane), and we headed across to Church Lane where having left the green at 11 on the hour we returned as the chimes sounded the quarter hour.

VERDICT: If this is what Virgil sets like when he has covid, gawd help us when he gets back to full fitness again! And I am also reminded that he’s a qualified swimming instructor – figures. But all said this was a proper job and a properly confusing hash. That tested everyone in some way or another. Many thanks V&V – and we hope V recovers soon.

IN THE PUB: The White Hart secured our custom and served a cracking pint of Proper Job but we didn’t chance our arm on the chips. UG and PN revealed their Cambridge Half times (<2hrs) as I forewarned that next week’s run at Hindhead might need crampons and an ice axe. I suspect excuses are already being made – you’d think I’d have learned by now. On on!

Run Report 1956: The Anchor & Horseshoes, Burpham

We were stoked……lock, park and two sets of traffic lights…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

As we celebrate international women’s day, it seemed totally appropriate that two international women of mystery set last weekend’s run when Call Girl took on the role, ably supported by Sparkly. Girl power. Arriving to stretch mind, body and soul were a gender balanced group consisting of Quasimodo, Tea Cosy, TIFM (aka TICDM), Hawkeye, ITB, Cynthia and Doggy Style. Sorry John had already made a good start on proceedings and preceded us. A forthright call to attention informed us of a regroup. And we enquired on the setting style – which was ‘Guildford’, but with a few crosses to avoid any ‘trail jumping’. Just as we were about to leave TC asked innocently about back-checks. This brought a wry smile to CG’s face…..

We encountered the first circle and first cross close to the ‘George Abbot roundabout’ and after a few minutes fannying around, fathomed that the first circle was in fact a back check! – and we headed on a run-by tour past CG’s house and round the neighbourhood before breaking out into the meadows. It’s a truth often repeated in these run reports that runs without crosses tend to make the PH3 cross, but a back-check from the start – that’s a new highwater mark!!

Another highwater mark saw the lead change as TC stopped to consider how he could carry on without getting his feet wet, whilst Hawkeye and Quasi splashed onwards. Apparently, these Muddy Waters also claimed CG’s bobble hat whilst setting and maybe got her mojo working. We ducked under the A3 and along the Wey, where further along the way a promised regroup materialized by Stoke Locks. All obviously onwards trails were explored until it dawned (on me at least) that the route had to flip back towards Guildford, courtesy of the (Surrey Advertiser) Mill.

I could probably write a good run report alone on the fact that hashers In the Bum and Doggy Style disappeared together for an hour in the countryside (!!), but they were sighted at the first regroup before the hares trail caused some cunning lingering along the canal and after that they were not seen till the pub……

Another regroup was instituted by FRB TC and yet another forced itself into the day, as runners had to wait for the (lengthy) crossings at Stoke Crossroads. A nostalgia trip through the pond and play areas of Stoke Park brought us out on to the fully exposed expanse of the Park where we regrouped for another time near to the AS/GR abode and considered our options. In the end a majority vote saw us continue and having seen the on in during my bike ride to the start, I opted to ascend Boxgrove Lane.

This was now toe to toe combat as we tried to guess which way round this urban jungle, the hares had planned for us. No mean feat for a pack of six. In short order we made it through to Merrow Woods and returned home via the underpass and George Abbott school.

VERDICT: A leg stretching and symmetrical 6.01 miles that we completed in 1.06 hours. Many thanks CG and Sparkly for twisting us around familiar ground in an unfamiliar way.

IN THE PUB: Indoor seating was needed, it still being only early March, and I high table by the dart board was reserved for our purpose. Once more we were well rewarded on the ale front, with Black Sheep extra pale ale hitting the spot and all thoughts of the back-check were dismissed as the chips appeared. Whilst we await news of half marathon results (AS in Woking, PG and UG in Cambridge), the subject turned to music and a favoured London venue in Chalk Farm. This led to Sorry John uttering the astonishing phrase…. I once did a Bah Mitsvah in the Roundhouse”. If that wasn’t amazing enough, the lucky person coming of age was lowered into the auditorium on a trapeze. On on.

Run Report 1955: The Plough, Effingham

No love lost at the Lovelace bridge……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Sometimes I return from a run with lots of scribbles in my notebook, on other occasions I return with just three words (plus the list of runners). This week it was the latter. From experience this is because I’m having such a good time ‘in the pub’ that all attention is focussed there. So, the question this week is whether the ‘Pilcrow (my first word) was worth the run. The Pilcrow in question was a rather fine hoppy pale ale from the Dorking Brewery that garnered many plaudits as we basked in the pre-spring sunshine outside the pub. The answer was yes, which was no reflection on the run….

The run itself had started shortly after the appointed hour, when the crowd had stopped petting the local cat and the hare had arrived to foretell of two regroups to come. The group with a forthcoming need to ‘re-‘ were Ayrton Senna, Virgil, Venus, ITB, Cynthia, Call Girl, Trip Advisor, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Hawkeye, Wally, Sparkly and Sorry John. The last of whom was already out on the trail.

It was a trail that led us East along Orestan Lane before taking us on a pleasant diversion along what felt like three sides of a square, some green fields and in the end brought us towards the A246. Even in these opening stages, Virgil was like a dog with a bone, forever sniffing out new opportunities. And so it was, as across the main road we began the slow ascent of the hill and with reference to my notes encountered my second word of the day, ‘golf’. Effingham Golf Club stretches across the Downs and footpaths alike, meaning you can either get a clear run or ‘catch all the lights’. We did the latter and had two regroups alongside fairways, before reaching the one marked at the top of the hill. To get there more quickly Sparkly had to invoke Club Secretary rights to clear a path and PN reduced the foursome to giggles by quipping that the backmarkers were a ‘fairway’ behind….

We all remained behind Virgil as we crested the hill and resolved to get lost in the woods. By now AS must have been tiring of my ‘…..last time we went that way, this time….’ spiel. In truth I was beginning to bore myself. Luckily for us Virgil has a fine pair of lungs and an accurate right foot meaning if we couldn’t always see him, we could hear him and follow his trail. Which was just as well as I’m not sure how the hare avoided getting lost in a zig zag route on permissive paths that in just mid-winter plumage – looked very similar.

Having made it under one bridge and past the remnants of another our final official regroup of the day was underneath yet another one (though in truth we assembled in the sun in the adjacent field). The route along and then under the bridge was somewhat confusing which brings me to my third and final scribbled word ‘love’. This was of course a Lovelace Bridge, but there seemed to be no love lost as somewhat smug hashers stood at the sunny regroup and tried to bark directions to successive runners who consistently missed the marked trail and then tried to descend the vertical embankment! Upon arriving, UG said she never listened to Virgil anyway, Venus something more unprintable.

We descended the delightful valley towards the A246 until an unwelcome circle forced us to back up and head around some housing before making is across on to Dirtham Lane. With the echo of ‘…..last time we went that way, this time….’ playing in my head, I tried to keep schtum and bide my time behind Virgil and AS, where after ignoring all possibilities to pass through Jubilee woods, I remained.

So there you have it Pilcrow Golf Love, either a perfect description for a hash run or the best Prog Rock band you never heard?! In fact if you enter these three words in to the ///what3words locator app it takes you to Rockford, Illinois, where as a result of leading the vast majority of the hash Virgil is now able to claim an all-expenses paid two-week trip. See the GM for details….

VERDICT: It was a little over two months since we ran with the same hare from the same venue, but with the obvious exception of the immediate in/out, the hare went out of his way to take us out of our way. So many thanks TC, some interesting variations and I am pretty sure some previously untrodden paths to add to my repertoire.

IN THE PUB: The beer went down well in the sunshine and was complemented by chips with garlic aioli – just as well SS was absent, as I’m pretty certain his ‘I never eat chips’ story line would have been blown this week. Some future hares (at least for the next three weeks) were organised more volunteers needed, and PH and UG were looking forward to next weeks’ Cambridge half marathon. Oh, and to clarify a worthwhile fact, the Dorking Brewery that was supplying such wonderful post-run sustenance is in fact in Capel. With a satisfying what3words locator of ///direct.idea.tasty?! On on.

Run Report 1954: The Percy Arms, Chilworth

Robin Hood, man in tights.……

Scribed by Hawkeye

A mid-life crisis can take many forms (so I’m told 😊) but, men wearing tights conjures many images in these gender fluid times. That being said the multicoloured leggings recently sported by this week’s hare Robin Hood – conjure only one image…..

Conjuring a trail from a well-worn landscape, was the challenge accepted by RH, deciphering it the challenge for Dusty, Easily Overlooked, TIFM, Hawkeye, Call Girl, Wally, Venus, Pis’t’man Pat, Uphill Gill and Sorry John. Yet again only Wally was present and Sparkly absent, whereas two weeks prior, Sparkly was present and Wally absent. This leads to only one logical conclusion, the GM’s household only possess one pair of trainers.

Maybe hoping that Secret Squirrel would attend, the hare had set a circle in the pub carpark. The pack split, the majority heading down Vera’s Path where the hare had recently been spotted returning from; and TIFM and Venus towards the railway line and Blackheath. Hawkeye ambled nonchalantly towards the railway line – no point in getting too active too soon, it’s a bit like being the first to the bar – sure you’ll be everyone’s friend but ultimately poorer for the experience. I saved my energy.

Just as I approached the corner and looked round to see where Venus and TIFM where, I heard a call from EO that the trail was in fact down Vera’s Path. Wishing to spread the bonhomie I looked towards the level crossing to call Venus and TIFM back…….just as the bells rang and the barriers descended stranding them on the far side. On a hash level is usually good, crossings often bad and level crossings disastrous! It took me 30 seconds to recover my composure enough to run (belly laughs do that to you!) and I bid farewell to the railway children. That was the most entertainment I’ve had on a hash in 2022!

Clearly such a high watermark meant that the rest of the run was going to be downhill from here on, but I had an inkling that in fact the hare had other plans. Re-joining the pack in the Powder mill area – we eventually broke out and made the slow shortcut on Blacksmiths Lane that emerges at the foot of the Chantries. The wind here was fierce and whilst I checked out a falsie towards Shalford EO took a phone call, which was clearly more appealing than the uphill trail that awaited us.

We instituted a walking regroup along the Chantries ridge to fend off hypothermia and Dusty, EO, UG and Wally joined us as TIFM and Venus met up with the errant PP and finally the running pack was complete.

It was less breezy in the woods and the hare took us on a varied selection of footpaths and trails that for me comprised a large section of a daily running route in Lockdown 2.0 Following a freshly laid trail (fresh since we set out at 11am) we crossed over towards St Martha’s where a circuitous route took the pack the same time it did PP to haul himself up the main drag. We hunkered down for another regroup to avoid the wind and were ‘entertained’ by Dusty throwing shit at us. Maybe entertainment is slightly overstating it.

Dropping down the Guildford side we ran into numerous youngsters following an orienteering course. It must have been very inspiring for them to witness that when they are old and decrepit, hash running could be an option for them. Coalescing around the pillbox, Dusty pulled a blinder by ‘losing’ the trail on the obvious Downslink path, only to find it whilst other idiots (me) explored improbable alternatives. I never saw him again until the pub. EO valiantly took a falsie as we all tried to contain the pull of gravity and avoid career ending ankle injuries on the rubble-strewn terrain.

Approaching the powder mills once more I found myself hemmed in behind PP on a very constrained path. Who knows how Venus felt with PP breathing down her neck on the same path, chaste or chased…..? The on i(o)n had many layers and nearly made me cry, but in the end the collective intelligence divined that a switchback trail by/through the stream was needed and a presumed circle was not in fact a circle, although the hare later admitted to marking it as a circle then changing it?! We returned via s’arev htap for a well-earned rest. To find SJ awaiting us on the only park bench in Chilworth. And a moment later he announced that his rain detector had picked up precipitation, before donning a cap.

VERDICT: Another exercising trail from RH that took us up the inevitable, down the inevitable but kept us guessing in between. All that said, the whole day out was worth it for the tragi-comedic look from our ‘railway children’ at the beginning of the run!

IN THE PUB: Carnivores feasted like vultures on the carcasses of dead animals in the warm interior of the Percy. Meanwhile, in the gazebo, fewer Sunday lunches were in evidence and the temperature was lower too. But the company was warm and the seats jolly comfy.  Chips were provided to accompany the copious amounts of condiments on offer washed down with a pint of TEA and EO attempted to explain ‘chair leg syndrome’. I’ve learned quite a few things in post-hash conversations, perhaps even the basics of quantitative easing, but this one escapes me. Looks like I’ll have to come back another week to find out…….On on.

Run Report 1953: Milford Cemetery Car Park, Milford

The on in was organic, in every sense……

Scribed by Hawkeye

A dreaded sunny day, so I meet you at the cemetery gates, Keats and Yeats are on your side, while Wilde is on mine….”, so wrote master lyricist Morrisey in 1986. Its fair to say that his politics and my opinion of him, have changed somewhat since then! But on this sunny Sunday as we tried to squeeze 15 cars in a space for 10 alongside the Milford cemetery gates – the weather was definitely on the ‘Wilde side’.  

Black Cat entered the car park looking somewhat flustered and complaining of a battery failure perhaps leading to a longer than planned trail. As briefings go, it wasn’t the best start but we cut the hare a bit of slack, from what we could tell he’d set the basic trail in flour  on Saturday afternoon which was then washed away by torrential rain, then set out again on Sunday morning armed with more flour and sawdust and even baking soda into the teeth of a gale, all to keep us on track……

The ‘us’ in question included TIFM, Hawkeye, Secret Squirrel, Wally, Robin Hood, Call Girl, Uphill Gill, Trip Advisor, Cynthia, ITB, Sorry John, 3s4d, Lady Chatterley, Paul Newman and Wurzel. I was caught a bit cold at the start following a conversation with CG and Wally about whether Cemetery was spelt with 3 ‘e’s or 2 ‘e’s and an ‘a’ – suffice it to say that following exhaustive research (Google) I am now confident that the landowner The Nationel Trust isn’t vory goid at spoll-chucking (see picture below). Anyway, on the day with newlyweds, newly re-joined in the pack, we set off to throw caution to the wind.

I find that level ground is a great leveller and this being a largely even heathland landscape I am less inclined to eke out an advantage when the route goes upwards. FRB duties were also evenly distributed amongst a good-sized pack. The early section of the trail was relatively easy to follow and flour soon gave way to sawdust, then to flour and sawdust. In fact, at one point we had both a flour and a sawdust circle within kicking distance that led to an abstruse discussion about the ‘Liar’s Paradox’…. only on the PH3.

Meanwhile on the old parade ground a few mobius loops led to PN, Wurzel and TA running off in different directions whilst the majority of the pack jumped from A to C ignoring B and headed South. We were quickly reunited within eyesight of the kids outdoor playground and headed away once more to take in a tour de force of the military landscape on offer, old bottle dump and all. Across Brook Road and a loop round the only significant hill of the day saw us called to attention by PN on the day’s regroup.

Back across Brook Road things began to dissolve a little when the flour, or was it baking soda trail became invisible. After some microscopic detective work we saw some remnants but in the end the pack en masse headed in the logical direction and regained the trail – no harm done. We skirted the Witley Centre in the wake of SS and then made it to the kids’ outdoor playground and a rendezvous with our hare, anxious to check on our progress.

The on in was organic, in every sense (see ‘In the pub’ section below) and I suspect the hare came close to his out trail on several occasions, but no matter the route home was off road and on track to a final stop with SJ at the memorial to mark and honour the Canadian army’s tenure in the area. Upon which several people then chose to lean and stretch (!) and SS to reflect on today’s line honours.

VERDICT: a well-constructed and rather pleasant run that only clocked in at 5.5miles, despite the hare’s concerns and which, given the recent heavy heavy rain – kept our feet dry. Many thanks Black Cat, especially given the horrendous weather…..all before the pack set forth(!) – you did us proud.

IN THE PUB: The Refectory have a big top to make Billy Smart smart and following some negotiation by the FRD (drinkers) – we secured extensive seating and 3s4d permission to hand round slices of wedding cake! The beers on offer were numerous, though according to Wurzel of varying quality – which was his ruse to have sampled three pints before sitting down to join us! The hare mortgaged his guitar to buy numerous bowls of chips which were eagerly consumed. Then the stories began…….BC had prepared by securing 3 bags of Tesco basic flour (£0.70 per bag), cometh the hour and a bag went missing, plus with large parts washed away he was forced to resort to baking soda and Tesco Organic flour (£1.79). Hence the on in was organic and no doubt the local animals/dogs could probably ‘Taste the difference’ too…On on

PS: …we still want to know where the 4th bag of flour ended up??

Run Report 1952: Denbies Vineyard, Dorking

Give us a break………!

Scribed by Hawkeye

This week Virgil experienced a winter break. It was a winter break for his beloved Tottenham, not from setting hashes. In fact, that break (and daily testing for Omicron) ensured there was no break to the PH3 routine. Our continued running was also thanks to stand-in sidekick Uphill Gill. UG was a late substitute for the usual first team starter, Venus who spent the week marking a track to trace out ‘when can I leave this f***ing house’ in Sanskrit on her Garmin. Rarely can a hare have been so keen to leave the house (I’m referring to Virgil, not Venus 😊) to set a hash. Our best wishes to the Dorking domiciled Venus – hope you can come out to play again soon……

Denbies was fizzing with Sunday morning activity as the PH3 turned out to play. Cars were sequestered in all four corners of the carpark, but the runners coalesced in the warming morning sun to be briefed on proceedings. The ‘Hashers Assembled’ included Hawkeye, Paul Newman, Factor 30, Trip Advisor, Prince Charming, Cinderella, Pis’t’man Pat, Sparkly, Cynthia and Secret Squirrel. The walking/jogging and early/late starters were Call Girl, ITB and TIFM. Robic, Woman in White and ‘New Em’, oh….…..and Black Cat crossed our path too.

The briefing promised no regroup on account of a lack of available viewpoints, which left me depressed at the thought of a morning shaded from the stunning (and rare) sun and blue sky that wrapped around us like a welcoming embrace. I managed to lead the pack off the estate but then fell victim to one of many long falsies. So, whilst I have previously chastised Venus for this, today it was UG. But there’s a common theme here – is it that they’re both from Dorking, or is it that when setting a hash with Virgil, you want to get as far away as possible………?

Hills are Virgil’s third favourite thing behind Tottenham….and Venus and by the time I recaught the pack, they were beginning the first of many ascents ahead of us. F30 and PC tackled this head on before succumbing to an UG falsie leaving me to take up the cudgels. Emerging breathless at a circle I was almost prepared to use the cudgels on PN – who having helped reccy this run, was now loitering (not so) innocently looking on. Trip Advisor slipped quietly away and followed by SS and Cynthia led us towards Ranmore Common Road and a high-speed encounter with downhill mamils. The next section proved challenging on many fronts; it was uphill again, and it was subject to vandalism (for the first time). Losing the trail or suspecting the marks were a cross I looked for salvation to ‘in the know PN’ who summoned me back to the last circle. His thinking was right but applied at the wrong spot!

In the end we made it up to what is affectionally known (by me) as ‘hospital corner’, site of my own aforementioned high-speed down mamil incident – before meeting up with the early starters and cresting the hills near Denbies House.

What happened next was the subject of much later discussion. Cresting the Downs and preparing for a downhill on in we arrived at the last cottage on the lane and had an involuntary regroup as the first 7 hashers looked for signs of a trail where presumably a circle had existed. Post run analysis suggests that the homeowner used a cordless Dyson(other brands of hoover are available 😊) to remove every trace. Give us a break! What we did find down the hill we dutifully relocated to form a three blob turn for the walkers. A minute later we arrived at another circle (missing a cross or the cross was removed en route) and made the route up from there. Here PC disappeared uphill (why?) and unearthed the correct route, inadvertently looping round back to the cottage. Poirot would have been proud.

Emerging on to the edge of the estate and some stunning views (noting the earlier bollocks about lack of viewpoints for a regroup), SS fell foul of the honeytrap direct route home. And we retuned our vision to yet another uphill section amongst the Sunday morning strollers. Give us a break! Confusing the FRBs TA, Hawkeye and F30 – we snuck into the vineyard and were then ‘treated’ to a series of ‘3 sides of a square’ or ‘2 sides of a triangle’ hashing techniques that demoted and demoralised hashers in equal measure. Give us a break! To be fair to the hares it did keep us all together, but since when has fairness to hares been any part of a run report. TIFM returned first, but on elapsed time (and being the only person to fathom the vandalised section) – Prince Charming was crowned victorious.

VERDICT: The core route was probably more like 5-5.5miles but with vandalism and a few falsies, many ran 6-6.5miles. But in good company, on pleasant terrain this is the reason we turned up, so no complaints from my side. And in the circumstances – a superhuman effort, so many thanks to Virgil and Uphill Gill, though you’re not yet forgiven for those falsies!

IN THE PUB: Only a select bunch could make it to the pub (the Stepping Stones), where passing the initiative test of driving your car through the gazebo to access the Narnia-like car park beyond was the first initiative test. Choosing Falls Gold was a far less taxing second choice. ITB and Cynthia had secured the best seats in the garden. They say the sun shines on the righteous, but it was only weak sun, so….? Anyway, BC has recently become ‘Black Coffee’ – which demonstrates some of the worst effects of long covid. The temperature was barely tolerable, so conversation was brisk and having mentioned the upcoming marriage of Lady Chatterley and 3s4d, when I next noted – we had six people in two discussion groups, one discussing cemeteries and one bullocks! And that was that as PP left to await the expected speeding ticket, clocked on his way over. Good to see he remains fast at something….On on!

Venus marking a track to trace out ‘when can I leave this f***ing house’ in Sanskrit on her Garmin!