Hash 472 – Blue Ball @ Kintbury

Date Hare Scribe
20 Sep 2015 Jeremy Keith

The day began with warnings about thick patchy fog, and certainly when I woke at 6am today, and checked outside, it was very foggy. But by 10ish it had all but cleared, leaving the way for a pleasant drive through Wanborough and Baydon to Kintbury. Our hash was at Kintbury’s The Blue Ball, a pub new to me and I think, to our Hash. No idea as to what the name refers (snooker?) but the pub was very old, and going through some necessary updating.

As we arrived and turned into the car park, it was soon apparent the car park was tiny, and we would have to turn around and find somewhere else to park. But by now two other cars had also driven into the car park behind me so this was easier said than done. For some reason, as Jeremy (our Hare) pointed out, it was unusually busy along the roadsides near the pub, but we managed to squeeze in.

There was a good turnout for the run and walk, and Terry Fennemore, who lives in Kintbury, came to say hello. Our hare went through the usual pre-hash briefing advising us of one hazard only, and the distances (3 and 4.5 miles).

We set off and were soon leaving Kintbury for the glorious countryside that surrounds it. We see a lot of different places by virtue of hashing, and many have wonderful views, points of interest etc. Around Kintbury though was just lovely; woodlands, lush green fields and rolling hills giving superb views at many points.

472 - 1

472 - 2

Near the end we came across some of the walkers, who had split up into 3 groups, and were thoroughly enjoying their walk, commenting on how well laid a trail it was.

I ran at the back with Mike and Brian, who gamely went round the long route whilst carrying a hamstring injury. Fortunately Brian has two weeks to recover now in Turkey, though I gather he plans to run along the seafront there too!

By the end of the run, the skies were mostly blue and no chance of fog!

We sat in the garden enjoying the unseasonably warm and sunny weather and Brian thanked Jeremy for what was a marvellous, well-laid hash trail.

I could not find any background on the internet for the pub’s name, but I did find some interesting local historical information about The Blue Ball from Berkshirehistory.com

“There are said to be tunnels, once used by highwaymen, that connect the church to the Blue Ball Inn. This old pub was the headquarters of the agricultural disturbances of the early nineteenth century known as the Machine or Kintbury Riots. A mad rabble paraded through Western Berkshire for several days, protesting at the lack of work and smashing farm machinery as they went. They were eventually besieged in Kintbury village and finally rounded up by Col Charles Dundas MP, of Barton Court, and Lord Craven and their men. Most of the leaders were discovered at the Blue Ball, some also at the Red Lion. One man is said to have escaped by hiding in the former inn’s huge copper! The rest were sentenced to death, but, all but one, were later reprieved and transported for life instead. The grave of the hanged man, William Winterbourne, was discovered on the south-west side of the churchyard in 1984.”

Group photo from Brian's drone on Aldbourne Green

Group photo from Brian’s drone on Aldbourne Green

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