|26 Dec 2018||Viv & John||Mike|
I have been to every one of our Boxing Day Hashes since KVH3 was born in 1998 and without exception all were memorable and great fun. Today’s hash, however, was excellent in so many ways that I am tempted to say that it was the best ever. Why was this? Well, to start with there were more hashers than you could shake a stick at. A full turnout from Kennet Valley and a dozen or so from our friends in the North Wilts, together with families – almost all of them dressed up in fancy dress costumes which were particularly colourful and inventive. And there were lots of children – all under the age of 10 and full of Christmas excitement And the weather was just right – mild dry and a covering of cloud to keep the warmth in.
We had to be in the car park of the Brewers Arms at 1045 for the judging for the best fancy dress and at 1050 there was the extraordinary sight of roman soldiers, viking warriors, mythical beings and film stars all in a line ready to claim the prize. The landlord of the Brewers Arms very kindly agreed to be the judge and he went down the line politely enquiring who each person was and taking notes. We weren’t told who the winner was until the après, so more of that later
Viv then gave a short briefing. There was a long and a short and a medium trail ranging from 6 miles to 2.5, the going was firm to muddy and there were no hazards apart from a couple of frisky horses to which she had wisely given a wide berth. And then we were off up the hill out of Wanborough and then left off the road along a muddy path and into open countryside. Your scribe walked the short trail trying to keep up with the children. They were all over the place finding dens and having adventures and really enjoying it. After the first climb out of Wanborough the short trail lay across open fields and through woodland all relatively flat and as we came to the long/medium/short divide there was John handing out mince pies and cake and sweets (the kids loved that). A bit of entertainment was provided at this point. Just before the divide you had to go over a very high stile and then immediately down a very steep and very muddy path. I saw two people slip and travel the last few yards on their backsides to much merriment.
We were back at the pub in just over the hour and we arrived just as the first runners came in and they were full of praise for a really well planned trail. There was some indecision about whether we went to the après dressed in costume or not. In the end some did and some didn’t so the bar in the pub was a particularly colourful sight for a while. We almost filled the main area in the pub so that there was no room for any other customers, so after about half an hour the landlord offered us a room to ourselves, so we filled that instead.
As is our tradition Keith stood up to thank our hares for a splendid trail (although he initially forget who they were and thanked Margaret and John instead) and then went on to announce the winners of the best fancy dress competition as chosen by the landlord. Annie won the best ladies costume as Miss Marple and John (of Margaret and John) won the best man as Jack Sparrow. Each received the prize of a Christmas wrapped bottle of wine. I think both Annie and John were modestly surprised to win as there were so many other brilliant costumes – such as Paul and Di with their perfect Laurel and Hardy outfits and the lady from the North Wilts who came as a very authentic looking Viking warrior – and Kay looking serene and regal in her Elizabethan ladies costume and Keith looking magnificent in his Roman general rig. Evie won the children’s fancy dress (but not wine, instead a tub of Heroes chocolates) as a Harry Potter character (Hermione we believe).
Keith then went on to present two more prizes (again of wine) for meritorious services to our hash. The first went to Jeremy for his quiet efficiency in running our website for so many years and the second to David and Sue for hosting a hash at their place. With the food arriving a bit later than expected the aprés went on until about 3 but everybody stayed on chatting and enjoying the company. A memorable and hugely enjoyable hash.
Thank you Viv and John for a superb trail and thank you Keith and Kay for organising and making today’s hash such a great success.
Finally, here is a record of where we went: