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…

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