|22 Feb 2015||Jeremy||Brian|
The big decision to be made before leaving for this hash was whether to wear rainproof running gear or to trust to KVH3’s claim that it never rains on a hash. The rain was not predicted to arrive until after midday.
So ….. okay, I took a chance …. no rain gear.
We all parked around the Aldbourne pond and it was nice to see Liz and Hilary again.
After giving his pre-hash address Jeremy sent us up the lane to the village green. I always appreciate it when the hare includes a little of the local residential areas and Aldbourne is without doubt a very pretty village nestling in a valley on the south slope of the Lambourn Downs. The green is overlooked by the parish church of St Michael. Interestingly (at least I thought so) is that Aldbourne was used as the village for a Dr Who series back in the 70’s. The village was given the name ‘Devil’s End’. St Michael’s parish church was destroyed at the climax of the series and one viewer wrote to complain about this wanton piece of destruction for the sake of drama; but the BBC had used a model for this special effect.
We ran past the church in this little village excursion and then we were heading out in a roughly south-east direction and it wasn’t long before we were going uphill. This gives us a chance to occasionally stop and admire the rolling downs (or, as in my case, get our breath back). At one point Navy Mike and I were doing just this and I remarked that though we could see for miles there was no sense of any houses or people.
At midday, almost to the minute, it started to rain. Slowly at first, so I started to put in a little more effort to get to the pub. I came to (and had to cross) a railed gallop course that I didn’t know existed.
Afterwards, as the rainfall increased I lost flour. Caught up by Mike and Viv we wasted few minutes back-tracking before being led onto a road going downhill directly to the village.
Once back at The Crown I found that most of the other hashers had got back in time to miss the rain. We occupied a nice little corner of the pub and enjoyed the après hash. I thanked Jeremy for yet again giving us a lovely trail which was well marked. Thanks Jeremy.
Kathy wanted to add a few words from the walkers’ perspective.
As pre-warned by hare Jeremy, there are no level bits around Aldbourne to lay a trail, and it took all our concentration to navigate lots of steep, deeply rutted, inclines …. and even muddier and extremely slippery declines (though, thankfully, there were few stiles to confound us).
But all’s well that ends well, and the walkers made it back in one – somewhat damp – piece, to experience a very convivial apres at The Crown in a pleasant room all to ourselves. It was great that Brian & Jacky persuaded their daughter Lucy to join us (not the best weather for a novice hasher, but she gamely brought up the rear, and seemed to enjoy the friendly atmosphere). Lucy’s daughters came along too, the ever-delightful Josie and Bella, who tackled a difficult hash with great gung-ho spirit and determination, Josie in fact finishing first with grandad Brian – way ahead of the briskly-walking trio of Liz, Caroline and Hillary. Bella kept up with mum, grannie Jackie, Annie and Kathy who weren’t far behind, and remainded cheerful throughout, rejoicing in the mud and puddles despite the challenging hills. Well done to both girls; you always add to the hash ‘happy factor’.”