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!

Run Report 1950: The Barley Mow, East Horsley

From A to Z via TC and V………

Scribed by Hawkeye

IN THE PUB: Our landlord seemed to be chopping wood, managing the bar, the fire and clearing tables – all by himself. The only downside to this superhuman effort was that the chip fryers were off ☹ But instead the hare decided to buy a shed load of crisps instead. We sat by the fire reflecting on this, munching on that as well as observing the hare’s A-Z route map and his own commentary of “great beer, average run”. At this point in proceedings the bumper turnout of runners and walkers looked to be in rude health and good humour, enjoying what we enjoy best – a cracking pint and a natter after a run. You can say what you like about the run (and there was no shortage of material!), but TIFM had pulled it off; prioritise pleasure………….

But my morning had started with some considerable pain as I watched Ben Stokes waft at balls outside the off stump before succumbing to the inevitable batting collapse and England’s trip to Australia ending in anything but Ashes. At this point a call from the hare brought me to my senses and with TIFMs usual brusque ‘bedside manner’ I was informed that he had set the run yesterday and was now out rechecking it, it was in sawdust with no falsies, exited the pub to the left and after my enquiry/suggestion was now to have a regroup.

Forty minutes later I faithfully relayed this information to the pack and stared blankly in response to all of their subsequent questions – their guess was as good if not better than mine. The pack in question consisted of ITB, Call Girl, Secret Squirrel, Easily Overlooked, Venus, Virgil, Sparkly, Wally, Trip Advisor, Hawkeye, Cynthia and Robin Hood – the latter of whom was clearly winning a bet, to have worn such advent garde leggings. Which abstract artist was featured was tricky to tell – it was either Bacon or Pollocks depending on whether he was running away of towards you! Tea Cosy was running towards us (from the familial home a mile or two away) and was clearly warmed up for the ensuing event – because as we set off, he led us along the road, along some more road and eventually off Long Reach and into Horsley Meadows.

Horsley Meadows are something of a revelation as revealed by Cynthia and ITB in their last run. And on this occasion, we slithered hither and yon with TC and Virgil taking the lead. A rather cunning section took us back on ourselves by Green Lane before dropping down to the Ripley Road and the Bridleway through the large farm where SS and I led the pack until the fast running TC caught up. This section of concrete slab road is a useful cut through on a bike but a bit monotonous on foot. Thankfully the promised regroup allowed for a brief pause and reflection on what had happened and what was yet to pass. The latter proved rather uninviting as having pounded the tarmac we now had to sink in the mud – we’re a difficult bunch to please.

TC gave us the slip once more and Virgil and I kept him in our sights until we reached Ripley Road again. Here the route became straighter than Joe Roots cover drives and we toiled on tarmac until a meeting with the hare just under the railway line. At circa 5 miles I’d assumed this was to ensure we did not miss the left turn onto a footpath and home, but instead the FRBs were invited to a right turn and to complete a loop into and back out of Hatchlands Park where Robic, Moondance, Silver and Bronze(?) aka John welcomed us. Uncertain of who had taken a shortcut and who hadn’t, we ploughed on through the massed ranks of dogs to exit Hatchlands and cross the lane up to The Street. The pub was ¼ mile to the left but some earlier confusing comments from the hare led us to try right first before joining a bemused looking TC as we homed in on our prize. In the end TC wisely opted to run home (another couple of miles!) as Virgil and I paddled through the mud on the official on in, when in hindsight sticking to the road would have been preferable to sticking in the mud. But we made it home with about 6.5 under our belts. A to Z courtesy of TC and a bit of V.

this is a nice area to run and Horsley Meadows a nice bit of variety but elsewhere the choice of paths is somewhat limited leading to some lengthy straight and/or tarmac sections. Armed with only an A-Z. The Incredible Floating Man made full use of these, and as he said himself “great beer, average run”. Nonetheless, the après is all the better for the run, many thanks TIFM.

….so BACK IN THE PUB: The ales on offer were a nice Shere Drop and a rather lovely Ranmore, which garnered most customers and was a rather nice counterpoint to Jalapeño flavoured crisps, only in Surrey eh? Some inevitable ‘dry January’ and Veganuary discussions ensued and I offered the suggestion I’d had from a friend to do a ‘damp’ January whereby you are only allowed to drink if you leave the house – which seemed to meet with approval. Not really surprising from a drinking club with a running problem that seems to have found its mojo again in 2022. Let’s hope it continues. Well at least until my run next week – on on!

Run Report 1948: Yew Tree Farm, Polesden Lacey

Twenty Twenty-Two, fine for a year….now we need the runners to match!

Scribed by Hawkeye

Hands up then…….who can remember seeing out 2020 thinking ‘thank god that’s over with’ only to repeat the whole exercise 12 months later! But on the bright side the traditional new year’s hash in 2022 was at least allowed to be a group event, whereas at this time in 2021 we were reduced to solitary (not even pod) running. So, I guess that passes as progress. Passing as the first pack of the year at Polesden Lacey were Wally, Sparkly, Virgil, Venus, Cynthia, Factor 30, Hawkeye, Uphill Gill and TIFM. TIFM had left the ranks of the walkers behind to once again set forth with the pack. The walking/jogging roster that remained contained ITB, Call Girl, Moondance and Robic. So hardly the twenty to twenty-two to match the year!

The hare had thoughtfully posted some instructions for early starters but without PP, I assume the post-box went untouched. We were advised that the worst of the mud had been avoided and a regroup provided. The hare had thankfully dispensed with ‘the first circle’ and instead dispatched us downhill into the Estate. And it wasn’t long before we were in a state as we slithered across the major tracks (currently being used for logging access) and escaped to the slightly drier footpaths. Unfortunately, this was the same MO as the plentiful ramblers, walkers and idlers that populate an NT property on a Sunday. Therefore, it made for a busy morning of nods and explanations…….and not clandestine route finding as someone implied!

We performed a pirouette to the East of the Estate before dropping down the lane, on which I’d battled earlier with dogs and prams. The newly used access to Yew Tree Farm from Ranmore is a major convenience for many, but ultimately just a ploy by the hare so that he can set more trails on the ‘main road’ with only inobservant attendees like me surprised when we run there! We ran below the house.

Along the valley our next choice was whether to continue along the valley or take an option either side, FRBs including F30, UG and Virgil did their best to find out and we jinked up the hill towards the house before dropping down again before Chapel Lane. Here thoughts turned to the promised regroup (on the edge of a field) and it duly came to pass. Virgil then depressed the group by explaining the most likely option that lay ahead which was a long and slippery climb up the valley before dropping back to Tanners Hatch and it duly came to pass.

The on in was a straight fight between a left turn and preamble around the woods before dropping down the lane, or a right turn and a jaunt across the fields with a view of the estate before entering SJ’s garden at the back. At the foot of the final climb Virgil and I agreed to go our separate ways and whoever got to the top first could have first ‘dibs’. I went right which was right and had the luxury of shuffling through the damp grass to clean the worst of the mud from my shoes as we all returned home safe.

VERDICT: It was good to get running again, and fantastic as ever to do it in the environs of Polesden. Our hare had promised a sub-five-mile route and it duly came to pass. Many thanks SJ, another great run and hopefully the mud will have subsided by the time we return for the bluebells. At the very least I’ll remember not to wear my carpet slippers to drive over in – popping in and out of the car to manage the gate, played havoc with the velour finish!

IN THE GARAGE: Before the post-run libations, Robic (now returned with Moondance) initiated a post-run stretching class which perhaps for the first time in twenty years even got TIFM involved! But, with Omicron still an existential threat the hare laid on an al fresco party in his garage! Same chips, different location. Sadly, I had to hightail it to Epsom for more seasonal overindulgence with the in-laws. But I felt all the better to have the first run of the year under my (elasticated) belt. On on

Just like a garage party in the eighties, but with chips!

Run Report 1946: Pine View Close, Chilworth and Xmas Party

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

In the build up to this weekends’ Xmas party, creativity and certainty collided as Lateral Flow Test results were posted on the What’s App group by would be partygoers. This led to speculation that Tea Cosy was pregnant and Sorry John had been taken hostage and chained to a radiator. Therefore, it was something of a relief to get out running. With a pre-start mulled wine to pep us up the pack posed for a photo. From Right to ‘oh my god no’ were Venus, Hawkeye, TIFM, Dusty, Quasimodo, Tea Cosy, Sparkly, Call Girl, Pis’t’man Pat, Black Cat and (the) Wally with the Christmas jumper!

It is unlikely that Robin Hood ever met Virgil at the gates of hell, although these days the politics du jour seem to favour robbing from the poor to give to the rich. Anyway, on this occasion Virgil had assisted RH with the trail and ran round with us…..for the sheer pleasure of it.  RH tried his now obligatory pre-run distraction but absolutely no one was buying that – even after the mulled wine. We made it onto the long stretch up to Blackheath which stretched the pack pretty long. The war memorial came and went and we headed down into the village where an enthusiastic cyclist asked us how far we were running…..who knows came the answer.

Thankfully Virgil did, and was on hand to recall me from several blind alleys. We staggered up then stumbled down the pine strewn paths until crossing Littleford Lane and a further circuit of the heath. Feeling slightly rough (hungover not covid), I pondered the existential point of hashing on this piece of heathland where despite repeated revisits I get the same outcome: lost –  aka the definition of madness doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Dusty, TC, BC and others were doing the bulk of the front running and kindly regrouped on a couple of occasions to allow the also rans to catch up. This also allowed Wally to take off his Christmas jumper (but due respect for making the effort) as due to the unseasonably warm weather things were getting sweaty. When I next looked round Rudolph was still stalking me as he’d merely removed an under layer.

In possible need of an undertaker we schlepped down to the ‘horsey farm’ and that long, undulating and scenic roll across the fields back towards Chilworth where our latest regroup did its job to ensure the festive fun finished in fine fashion.

VERDICT: Many thanks to Robin Hood and his ‘little helper’, Virgil. A timely outing to exercise the lungs, legs and prepare the liver.

AT THE PARTY: Suitably seasoned and refreshed the partygoers returned in glad rags where stomachs and numbers swelled as we were joined by Factor 30, Ayrton Senna, Ginger Rogers and Cadence, Sorry John, ITB, Cynthia, the current Mrs Hawkeye and possibly others?? Plus hostess Made Marion and family. The GM had shared concerns over the 40 pint barrel of Shere Drop (it was too much not too little), but the drinking club with a running problem lived up to its reputation. In fact I saw much fizz and much merriment all round, even from those drinking lager. At one point PP confessed to having harboured Impostor Syndrome for much of his life, which inevitably led to the thought – if this is the projection PP gives to the world…..what on earth is the real one like! Our obliging hosts then summoned forth a granddaughter who provided entertainment for and with Cadence. The customary ham was as tasty as ever and accompanied by numerous tasty treats too numerous to mention, but thanks the Sparkly, Call Girl and the other chefs for a truly impressive spread.

The most bizarre conversation of the day (and there were many!) revealed that Robin Hood has competed at a pole vault at high-level (boom boom), and not only refereed international rugby, despite claiming not to know the rules – but had also turned out for Azerbaijan…..but maybe I’d had more than a drop of the Shere by then. I ruthlessly exploited the mood enhancing drugs to secure a few ‘volunteers’ to set a run in Jan/Feb and came away from the event feeling really positive for the weeks ahead…..well I hope that’s what the feeling was!

A NOTE OF THANKS: When a party is supposed to happen (cf No.10 in 2020 when it wasn’t) – PH3 know how to make it happen. And particularly RH and MM as hosts and GMs Sparkly and Wally. I appreciate others’ contribution, but the fabulous four of hosts and organizers got us all together. So many many thanks to them – and make sure you pay Wally for any outstanding money owed! On on.

Run Report 1945: The Plough, Effingham

A very generous bunch……

Scribed by Hawkeye

They say a volunteer is worth a thousand pressed men, and I suspect that following an inclement morning staggering round the woods, Tea Cosy was wishing he’d remained amongst the horde of the unpressed. But a small and thankful pack turned up in Effingham to carry on hashing, to plough on regardless. This included TIFM, walking round on his own, ITB and Call Girl walking round together and Robin Hood, Trip Advisor, Venus, Cynthia and Hawkeye with plans to stick together. So not the most generous pack, but one determined to test Tea Cosy’s trail.

The hare made a timely appearance to chivvy up his charges and foretold of two regroups ahead. With drizzle swirling around, we headed off. The cultural highlight of the day came early on as we visited St Lawrence Church and the predictable cross, just one of many in the churchyard. The culinary highlight was obviously set to be the post-run chips, but the smell of bacon butties wafting from the nearby rugby pitches set a high bar.

We made it to the A246 and somehow made is across and onto Beech Avenue. This went uphill and despite some side temptations to which I succumbed, it kept going uphill. Venus handed over the lead to Trip Advisor who upon reaching a circle pulled the ‘I have to tie my shoelaces’ trick to set me up as FRB. But on this occasion I won out as having spotted the parallel route towards the golf course, the remainder chose to leave me to my own devices. Five minutes later, borderline hyper thermic, having crossed the golf course and having taken in all of the view at the voluntary regroup – the pack eventually caught up with me.

The next section took us out of the wind and after some initial stray running, members of this tightly knit group once again showed their generosity by letting me take the lead (!) We marked our first Lovelace Bridge of the day (under) before circumnavigating a large field by way of a very muddy path, my new trainers were not impressed. At this point CG and ITB headed on a more direct route as the ‘generous’ pack let me continue over Crocknoth Road to fanny around in Dick Focks Common. This brought two more Lovelace bridges (under and over) upon which Venus led us to the second regroup. The view from the bridge was rather vertiginous and confirms what a bastard of a hill climb the road beneath is upon two wheels!

The hare’s deviousness was not yet over and having survived elephant traps (freshly fallen leaves upon glutinous mud) we were treated to another panoramic open field and falsies that ultimately connected to the true trail! But the A246 drew us homeward and to Dirtham Lane where I spotted and hailed CG & ITB, getting the visual response that they were shortcutting. So headed into the woods once more only to join them on the on in a few minutes later. As we gathered back at the Plough it became clear that Venus and Trip Advisor running together had inadvertently taken the last shortcut claiming that they mistook Hawkeye for Call Girl. I think this left both parties perplexed. As I said not a very generous bunch!

VERDICT: a doozy of a trail. As the hare admitted, it was set for a larger pack than attended, so perhaps took us longer than intended. But those that we able to make it along were well rewarded. Many thanks to TC for keeping the plough in the furrow for another week and we career towards the end of the year 2021.

IN THE PUB: I had allotted the next two hours to reccy my forthcoming run in an area nearby so was unable to stay and instead plodded round my route in freezing rain. Therefore TC was able to report the following:

– Shere Drop

– Fat chips with aioli mayo

– Robin Hood confirms next week’s Christmas party is on

– TIFM talked about his ligament woes but still plans to at least walk hashes

– The merits of the new bottom-up pint pouring system at White Hart Lane, and whether Virgil was benefiting from it.

On on

Run Report 1944: Brook Road, Witley

The Diary of Secret Squirrel aged 13¾

Scribed by Hawkeye

Tobruk can often feature in my Sunday afternoon sofa surfing, but on this particular Sunday morning it was a call to action, answered by Tea Cosy meaning that just before 11am I found myself delivered ‘to brook’, a chilly pavement in Brook Road, Witley more precisely. Looking equally perplexed were Wally, Sparkly, Call Girl, ITB, Cynthia and Easily Overlooked. The solitary hare confessed to multiple setting assistants (now absent) spanning the generations; daughter and grandchildren. Therefore the average age of the hare’s for this run was 13¾.

We were promised a regroup plus a lot of fallen leaves. As we set off, the fallen leaves were easy to spot, the regroup and well-marked trail less so. But I for one am a big fan of autumnal colours, so it’s a small price to pay…when you get to kick leaves like a little kid! We headed towards the rail replacement service otherwise masquerading as Witley train station where the first circle of the day set the tone – and flummoxed us! In the end we crossed both the railway line and the main road and headed East on Wormley Road

To this point the marking had been ‘enthusiastic’ meaning quite generous, quite random and neither one side nor the other, we put this down to the average age of the hares but at this rate whiplash rather than sore legs was the most likely outcome of the mornings’ outing. We snuck across some common land before emerging at Hambledon Village hall then Hambledon Village shop and Hambledon Village green. With ITB and CG as reservists, the front running pack of six stuck together by necessity as much as design. We later learned that Black Cat joined the run later and got lost here which in hindsight is not a surprise.

What was a pleasant surprise were the sunny Sunday autumnal vistas that opened up to us on a couple of occasions. Moving on I backed a hunch and schlepped up Woodlands Road thinking that a visit to the Merry Harriers was in order. This never came to pass but it did lead to a lung busting but glorious regroup as the sun shone on the righteous (even though it was raining a little at the same time!) and we reflected on a great run so far.

Next I was pining for my sofa as insistent on seeing the Merry Harriers I led our (until then) merry bunch to a cross, but Cynthia and Sparkly did the same elsewhere. In the end Tea Cosy chose the most unlikely tarmac descent down Church Lane. Soon after we reached the supposed high point of the run, namely Hill Top Farm but at the same time the lowest point so far as vandalism had all but eradicated our hares’ passing. I pressed on, by now convinced that this had to be the route and was rewarded by some un-erased blobs on tree bases! Soon the front running EO 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!

We skirted past West Surrey Golf Course with the rear end of the group able to witness the local llama’s out walking. Meanwhile back at the front, with a scent of home in our nose, despite carrying an injury TC, slipped the pack but as we crossed the football pitch and then main road, he took a falsie too many and we tackled the incline behind King Edwards school. This led to a further long, narrow and upward path where there was only ever going to be one winner- the hares….who stood to watch our painful progress and welcome us home.

VERDICT: The plans of Secret Squirrel (and family) had been laid bare. Opening Pandora’s box had profound effects on the pack who made a mountain out of a molehill on several occasions and clocked 6 miles in the process. But this was a great choice of venue allowing us to access often overlooked areas and no doubt the family of Squirrels had a great morning out to boot. Many thanks SS et al.

IN THE PUB: We opted for the Merry Harriers, so my earlier wish came true in the end. This was a wise move on several fronts as the beer, chips and seating were bang in order and also because we avoided the temporary traffic lights by the White Hart that were now creating a significant tailback. Relaxing over a pint of Shere Drop we caught up with Black Cat’s latest news and return to Surrey (now in Godalming), but not before fathoming that in true Les Dawson style he’d done all parts of the hash, but not necessarily in the right order. Quasimodo’s forthcoming ‘sixtygig’ was also a topic of conversation and we left in anticipation of meeting again next weekend to party, if not run. On on!

Run Report 1941: Shalford Cricket Ground, Shalford

Soggy Sunday no problem for dusty hare……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Setting a hash in Shalford is very much like making a pizza. You have a good firm base on which to start, honed after years of practice. But like a pizza, this can become very so-so and the challenge then becomes, how to liven it up – what new toppings or twists to add to make it stand out in the memory. Such was the challenge facing Dusty last weekend. And no doubt having done his homework in preparation, he was then somewhat perturbed to wake up to a raging storm and torrential rain.

The origins of his hash name, Dusty are lost to my memory, but it is safe to say that following the morning’s downpour he was anything but. Having watched the storm pass and the glimmerings of a sunny morning emerge – a brave pack set forth. These included Virgil, Venus, Secret Squirrel, Easily Overlooked, TIFM, Wally, ITB, Cynthia, Factor 30, Hawkeye, George Michael and Timothy Taylor.

What of these last two, I hear you ask – well Timothy Taylor waited for us patiently in the pub, whereas George Michael was ever present. To tackle this hash you needed a little Faith. The hare offered a briefing that informed us that his plans had been changed due to the weather and that we could expect a regroup and wet feet, though not necessarily at the same time.

TIFM had stolen an early start, which was to our advantage not his as we merely watched him struggle to leave the green before heading over to join him. To be fair, it was a struggle as rain doused sawdust melted into the background. After a few false starts we made it past the ex-Parrot (it has ceased to be) and across the canal. I headed back towards Guildford and was rewarded but my faith was challenged as we looped along the ridge line (and pillbox) towards Artington and eventually Peasmarsh. I adopted a fingers crossed approach and with a lack of crosses (fingers excepted), at least until I hit Peasmarsh, I was repaid.

By the time we re-crossed the road back towards the navigations, the small pack was regrouped. Plenty of fallen leaves and branches had dotted our route but now a full tree blocked the canal, but not the towpath. A cunning double back towards Shalford then saw us re-meet the hare as we re-crossed the canal and headed towards Tannery Lane. As exotic toppings go this was more pineapple than pepperoni…I’d been expecting to head towards Godalming!

A regroup on the new community boardwalk was not initially spotted by front running SS, but he heard my hollering and this allowed TIFM to shuffle in at the back. What happened next was the subject of some discussion akin to whether it is acceptable to put anchovies on your pizza or not. But in the end we determined that Virgil led us most of the way home, taking the rise by Chinthurst hill then taking the p*** as he picked up the main trail on the main road. To be fair the section he missed, was something we’d rather have avoided too, taking us further away from home as it did. Therefore as we returned along the main road on the far side from where we’d approached it – Virgil’s oversight/shortcut was understandable. With the added Brucie bonus that he kept doing the falsies for us all the way home!

VERDICT:  A great run. Given the weather conditions an excellent run. To stretch the metaphor beyond its limit……a pizza with a few interesting toppings but a soggy bottom. All that said, this run once again confirmed that there’s nothing common about Shalford.

IN THE PUB: We sat outside the Queen Vic in the weak sun, thereby ensuring it was not just the pizza that had a soggy bottom. The front garden was the only option as the gazebos in the back garden were flapping like a kaftan after a night on the curry. The very patient Timothy Taylor was very worth the wait and SS even claimed his Otter tasted nice. Chips arrived to a great welcome and offered a pleasant distraction from SS who had become overly consumed with trainspotting?  Whereas Virgil needed his beer to drown his sorrows about the latest failings of his beloved Tottenham. By those standards, with my football allegiances, I should be permanently lashed. We departed for warmer climes and in EO’s case so that a man could check out her flaunches…….On On!

Run Report 1940: Send Barnes Lane Layby, Burnt Common

Mind the cap……

Scribed by Hawkeye

The last time we ran from this venue, we were in pods. This week we managed just one pod….of seven plus Sorry John beating a path ahead. The pod in question consisted of TIFM, Dusty, Blonde Party Girl, Hawkeye, Secret Squirrel, Call Girl and Robin Hood. As I arrived, Dusty was lost in misty-eyed recollections of his secret assignations with a particular young lady that took place in this very layby during 1978. Layby name, layby nature……

Despite recent torrential rain the briefing promised dry feet and in contrast to recent events a sawdust marked PH3 trail. The fact that we followed a flour arrow marking our exit from the layby and then paddled along the first footpath of the day – was an obvious irony overlooked by Wally and Sparkly, but not me. What other half-truths lay ahead? With BPG making the early running, we crossed the fields and headed past the cemetery before my radar; honed on setting trails in the area, took me to the front and what I felt was a trail destined for the Wey Navigations near the New Inn.

Ultimately the navigations came into play but not this early and thus I faced the ignominy of having to turn around and re-join the pack, this was compounded by the (visual) injury of running towards Woking as it blotted the horizon. Here and there we were met by hare and hare as the GMs delighted in our tortuous progress as cunning switchbacks kept us guessing before we escaped the village and a rendezvous with those navigations and that ‘high footbridge’. The atmosphere at the top is so rarefied that it disorientated the hares enough to forget setting a circle on the far side!

Progressing along the towpath and considering a promised regroup, it occurred to me that we could use the recently created ‘rest area’ opposite the factories on Tannery Lane, and so we did. There the collective memory of six hashers (CG was MIA) remembered celebrating someone’s birthday and whisky……? I claimed the birthday as mine. [From a look back in time, it was indeed a very kind offering of cake, hot chocolate and I assume whisky to liven it up, on the occasion of my 50th – and a run provided by these very hares!] See

Back across the navigation, past the hares and our first encounter with Prews Farm. At the point TIFM chose to stop me in my tracks, call my attention to a mushroom which he then picked and waved under my nose. When he claimed it was the deadly Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) – I was less enthused! But five yards further on I offered my own education about the numerous landfill caps sprouting up along the margin of Prews Farm – which as a former landfill is frequently monitored to ensure it not polluting the local watercourse. This explains why the whole area is a bit scruffy.

A less scruffy use of an old gravel pit was next on our agenda as we arrived at Papercourt Lake and viewed the lasers dazzling on the water in the sun by the Sailing club. Somehow Dusty and BPG allowed me to retake the lead as we sailed past Sorry John and hove to a halt on the road by Send Marsh green before returning to Prews Farm once more. The ensuing five minutes was a case of ‘tease and turn’ as the hares teased us into the (obvious?) direct route towards Broughton Hall and home, leading to the inevitable turn as time and again it was a falsie. We eventually emerged near the traffic lights in Send and some misdirection on my part by merely indicating the direction of our starting point sent Dusty off in the wrong direction.

But the last laugh was on me as having correctly found the trail to Broughton Hall Avenue and thence to the Pathway, the on in was trickily on the far side of the main road and Dusty and BPG went ahead. As in 1978, Dusty came first.

VERDICT:  A cunning run that clocked up 6 miles, but was probably closer to 5 without the falsies. One circle aside, it was expertly marked and kept us together until the on in. Many thanks to Sparkly and Wally.

IN THE PUB: We occupied the big top outside the Jovial Sailor and were expecting to see monkeys riding bicycles wearing top hats, but instead were pleased enough with some TEA and a bucket (definition: greater than a single serving) of chips. Under cross examination from Call Girl it became clear that the circle exiting Papercourt Lake was mis-kicked and/or destroyed, the fault for which the pack laid firmly at the feed of the cyclist standing by it and engrossed in a lengthy conversation. Not us guv! As the temperature dropped, so did the pack and we hope TIFM had thoroughly washed his hands as we headed for home. On on

Run Report 1938: The Anchor & Horseshoes, Burpham

G, P, S – somehow we are still not coordinated…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

Burpham bubbled to the top of the PH3 agenda and Call Girl answered that call to hare for the day. Coming from near and far were a diverse pack that varied in age from <6 to >60 but were ultimately prepared for what lay ahead. In attendance were Pis’t’man Pat, Hawkeye, A-list, Robic, Blonde Party Girl, Secret Squirrel, Tea Cosy, Wally, ADHD, Virgil, Venus, Donkey Walloper and Ginger Rogers & Ayrton Senna with our youngest recruit ‘Cadence’. All participants dismounted from their 2 or 4-wheel vehicles to start the run, but Cadence sat it out in his 3-wheel buggy.

Also out and about were Hornblower and Strumpet. No not Surrey’s most unlikely named escort service, but Sunday hares too… we were to find out. A regroup was promised as was a GH3 style trail but with some crosses?? I partnered with Virgil to the first non-cross of the day before retracing our route via Coltsfoot Drive and Burpham Parade where we’d already been headed, so far so predictable. However, as we passed behind Sutherland Park the first clues appeared.

The problem with a PH3 pack running a GH3 style trail, is that no matter how many times we’ve tried, we still don’t get it. So with the appearance of multiple three blob markings, arrows and a flour circle seemingly covered (expertly uncovered by Secret Squirrel) – we were utterly screwed! I liken it to algebra – there was a brief moment in 1977 when I fully comprehended the hieroglyphics and regimen, by 1978 it had gone. By the same token, Groper explained GH3 rules to me once in 2013 and by (late) 2013 the concepts were as familiar as an unbroken tory manifesto commitment (e.g. non-existent).

Anyway we headed back towards the Spectrum with a growing sense of foreboding, especially after en route we inspected the ‘mother of all back-checks’ and cursed the hare for her new found streak of deviousness. Then like your sad, drunk uncle falling off the off the roof in a Santa outfit-the penny dropped. There was another trail set alongside ours. Damn! Set in flour. Double damn!! Thoughts of any PH3 splinter group – the Peoples Front of Pis’toff’en perhaps were quickly dispelled as some familiar faces – Le Pro, Kelinchi,  Wankelsplitz and Shit For Brains – confirmed that this was a manifestation of the Surrey Hash. What could we do… faster, let’s try that.

And so we did and made it to a regroup beside the lake on the far side of the A3. PP was absent, but as he was ‘fresh’ from two 12hr shifts at Guildford’s premier Oktoberfest event – that was only to be expected. Actually regardless of the Oktoberfest event, it would have been expected. ADHD, running with us for the first time looked a tad bemused but as he is more familiar with GH3, our calm and logical approach was no doubt a reassurance.

With circles next to circles, blobs and arrows the good folk of Burpham could be forgiven for anticipating an imminent alien invasion. As it was we were going head-to-head with the Surrey Hash and crossed paths somewhere around Bowers Lock before crossing the A3 once more. Several runners tried to cash in their Nectar points but the on in actually took us through Weybrook Park, the Glendale Estate and past George Abbot somehow.

A general freestyle ensued but it looked like Wally took line honours. However, a subsequent stewards inquiry revealed that Ginger Rogers prevailed, as the only runner to correctly follow the trail past the allotments on the far side of the A3. Sorry Virgil – I think we called you back from that one!

VERDICT:  An interesting run given more spice by the unpredicted appearance of the Surrey Hash. It seems whether it is GH3, PH3 or SH3 – our General Positioning System has no interoperability. But many thanks to Call Girl for getting her trail laid before SH3 decided to turn up!     

IN THE PUB: A few folk needed to depart, but the remainder settled under a marquee in the garden. IPA and Guinness we consumed and after an hour in a bouncy buggy – cadence necked a quick pint of Gaviscon. Barman’s tales revealed that PP continues to apply his sense of customer service honed after many years at the Post Office – now toward his beer swilling punters. Reassuring to know that he has a bouncer to call upon for support if needed! On on.