Run Report 1966: Ripley Green CP, Ripley

A hasher needs a cross, like a fish needs a ladder…….

Scribed by Hawkeye

I was a bit non-committal about last weekend’s run, not because it was being set by TIFM, or because it was in Ripley, but because I was expecting a visit from our friends in the North. As it transpired, they were flakier than me and turned up 24hrs late! Thus, with a late opening in my social calendar I made a beeline for Ripley. This turned out to be a rather sozzled bee as I navigated the rural route and mamil-clogged back-lanes from Merrow arriving too late for a convenient parking spot.

Better prepared and hence better parked were Wally, Sparkly, Call Girl, Virgil, Venus, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Trip Advisor, Pis’t’man Pat, and Lady Chatterley. Tea Cosy just abandoned his mini. The hare’s briefing was received with mixed emotions (no crosses) and the comment that “don’t worry it’s easy enough – you all know where its going”, if only that were to be true. We set off into the woodland scrub with the hare in tow. Well, more correctly with the hare leading the charge! This was supposed to be some comfort, but as TC and I soon found out after following the hare (well you would wouldn’t you) – even he didn’t know where the trail went! Only on PH3….

Perhaps as expected we exited the green across the footbridge and arrived at our first major choice of the day…to the mill or not? I was the sucker who found trouble at mill and not a lot else. Re-joining the end of the pack I reminded the hare that the weekend before on account of 1) my likely absence and 2) my likely setting of a run three weeks hence from nearby – whether the run would go towards Wisley or….. “oh, no Andy I’ll not be going that way”. A week later I was rewarded with last place in the pack for implementing that knowledge as we…..jogged up to Wisley! Karma, I guess.

RHS Wisley has some of the most pleasant and exotic planting in the whole of the UK and adjacent – some of the shittiest, weed strewn footpaths in Surrey alongside its high-level border fencing, which is somewhat ironic to say the least. At least at one point we did escape the confined footpath to get, a free-gratis view on the RHS (Right Hand Side) Wisley. We emerged on to the nether regions of Wisley Common where TC and Virgil persisted in the lead followed by UG and TA. Running parallel to some of the busiest motorway in the UK, we were somewhat perplexed to see the tranquil setting of an archery range, we left all a quiver to arrive in Wisley village only for Virgil to spot The Incredible Running Man, again out front ahead of everyone except FRBTC.

Virgil rightly put TIFM in his place (behind the pack – durr!) allowing us to continue in the running commentary on the impending end to the football season, when no doubt Venus enjoys having hubby around the house every weekend till August?! Next, we crossed one of Surrey’s most expensive golf courses, so expensive that they couldn’t afford many footpath signs. Wally emerged from the bushes at our regroup saying he’d put someone of their swing. Well, I think that’s what he said.

The regroup was voluntary, the hare had forgotten one, but TC obliged as we watched lots of messing about on the water at Pyrford Lock on a balmy hot May day. Having realized that in fact he’d not played at the £100k per annum Wisley golf course but the nearby £1 per hole Pyrford version, Virgil set off in pursuit. A further regroup occurred as TC and I tried to follow the obvious and marked footpath through waist high nettles. In hindsight this was a tad rash (and my legs still have one…) as the hare had followed custom and practice to track round the edge of the golf course.

The on in featured Walsham Lock and weir and the newly installed fish ladder. A fish ladder seems like some kind of indulgence, but on occasion are clearly essential to maintaining a quality of life for fish. Much like a cross for a bunch of hashers. TC found another gear, sufficient for he (and I) to overtake a car in the last 500yds as we emerged back onto Ripley Green and a cacophony of walkers, cyclists, kids, horses et al. Ripley en fete.

VERDICT: Well, despite some trepidation, it did the job. Having the hare run ahead of the hounds is a pet peeve and in truth the only time we really needed him (see comments about nettles), he was nowhere to be seen! But many thanks TIFM – a hare still prepared to tackle laying duties on his own, even if it means we don’t get cross(es), just occasionally cross.

AT THE PUB: Our friends in the north were due for an afternoon arrival so I wasn’t able to partake of post run refreshments. But the GM told me that “The Half Moon” was welcoming even if it meant sitting inside on such a hot day as it has no garden! But TIFM was very pleased as the chips came in large bowls and were reasonably priced. You could say ‘as cheap as chips’! On on

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