Hash 584 – Iron Horse @ Wroughton

Date Hares Scribe
2 Feb 2020 Kevin & Julie Keith

I could hear the rain and the wind whistling around the eaves as I woke this morning and, not for the first time, felt a pang of sympathy for the Hares – Kevin, Julie and Lily – trudging around Wroughton in the gloom. They were due to lay the trail on the 16th, but had agreed to bring forward their hash to help out. What bad luck. Maybe the 16th will be a warm, sunny day, but somehow I doubt it. If it’s any consolation to the Hares, the 16th just might be even worse given it’s only February (though it feels like we have lived through two Winters already).

The Iron Horse car park was filling up nicely at 10.45 and although we were missing a few regular runners, numbers were kept up by some of our newer hashers from shin splints and elsewhere. Sonia was clothed in the KVH3 shorts that David had awarded her last time, and seemed unperturbed to be wearing the garish item. The reason we insist on this quaint practice are lost in the mists of time and perhaps someone can explain the origin of it to the new hashers as I know I can’t. I’m sure they will understand – not.

The Hares did not appear too wet or muddy, and apparently only on the initial 15 minutes of laying trail had there been rain; though the blustery wind had been relentless. David had battled against the prevailing wind on his bike to get there, and gamely had decided he was still going to do the long today. Good man!

Our trail was to be 5.5 or 3 miles, ignoring any blue flour being used by the North Wilts who were also hashing around Wroughton today. They had realised we were going to be there too, and had helpfully used blue-coloured flour, and let us know, which was appreciated.

Kevin led the briefing and told us it was a bit “sticky and wet” underfoot. Most walkers were sensibly in wellington boots and this was necessary as, on leaving the village, we were soon in flooded fields and ankle deep mud at the lower levels.

A group of quicker runners (Jeremy, Rob, Eleanor, Colin, Mike and Sonia, Peter, etc) were soon putting distance between themselves and David and I (and Debbie who started a bit later). It did not matter too much as they soon took a wrong path as we laggards found the trail and called them back.

Whilst regularly seeing blue dots, circles etc laid by NWHHH, I never saw any of their hashers though I gather many of the other runners did.

We ploughed on across the lower ground and then made our way uphill. The views across to Swindon are good up there and we reached the highest point on Hay Lane running towards the National Collections Centre but then turned left and down a lane and into fields moving steadily towards Elcombe, and then on past the attractive Church at Wroughton, arriving back after 1.5 hours. Away from the lower levels, the ground had been much drier and easier to traverse.

The pub were welcoming towards us. It is quite large inside and thus we were able to occupy tables in one section for the apr├ęs. Our Hares were thanked for their fine trail and the shorts were awarded by Sonia to her husband Mike, apparently to encourage him to do it again, and the horn went to David for being last – on that basis, I suppose he should just keep it.

Five of us stayed for lunch which was very much enjoyed and great value, such that I think we should hash here again sometime. Thanks Kevin, Julie and Lily for a great hash.

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