|21 Aug 2016||Margaret & John||Mike|
I like the Daneway. It is set in a deep valley and surrounded by rather wild prehistoric-looking woods and fields that look as if they haven’t been cultivated for hundreds of years. It is a hashers paradise as there are so many paths to choose false trails from. My first hash was from the Daneway about 30 years ago (or have I told everybody that about three times already?) so I was really looking forward to Margaret and John’s trail.
As we greeted each other with our usual hugs and handshakes in the car park I counted an encouraging 23 hashers – 6 runners: Brian, Viv and John, Keith, Sue and me – and 17 walkers most of whom were Paul and Di’s family including their granddaughter Chloe, who is just 6 weeks old, strapped to her father’s chest. She is lucky – she can now also say that her first hash was at the Daneway. As 11am approached we warmed up the muscles, psyched ourselves up for the challenge ahead and gathered around Margaret and John for the briefing. As if on cue the new landlady then appeared and asked us to move our cars somewhere else so that the customers who had booked meals could park and there was a 10 minute delay as good-natured hashers did as asked. Fortunately the briefing was short and by about 1120 we were on our way – through a hole in the fence and along the old canal towpath towards Sapperton Tunnel. I was in the lead all the way to the tunnel but there I was lured away on a false trail and spent the rest of the hash at the back. We then climbed from the bottom of the valley to the top on a variety of steep muddy and slippery paths hanging on to branches and helping each other up until we finally emerged from the woods and carried on climbing across a massive green meadow a bit like that one in the opening sequence of the Sound of Music film. The walkers did exactly the same climb as the runners up to this point but then took the short trail downhill to the pub while the longs followed a long anti-clockwise loop through fields and woods, gradually going downwards to the valley floor and reaching it about two miles to the west of the pub. It was then a steady trot beside the remains of the canal back to the Daneway. Viv was still not quite herself after her fall at the last hash and she kindly stayed at the back to keep me company for that last stretch.
By the time we got back everybody was sitting at benches in the garden in the sunshine and it was, as always, a thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable après. I was saddened however at the way the Daneway has changed. It has been a pub for centuries and now it’s a restaurant that tolerates those who just want a drink. Ah well -“The old order changeth and bringeth forth the new”.
Brian thanked John and Margaret for a splendid trail as is our custom and I would like to add my personal thanks too for a challenging, nostalgic and fascinating run.