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!

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