|18 Aug 2013||Viv & John||Brian|
In this modern world of family orientated rather homogeneous pub restaurants, The Goddard Arms is a rather amazing old fashioned pub. A recent article in ‘Inapub Magazine’ described the pub with this title….’If you like planes and pubs, you’ll love the Goddard Arms’. The walls are covered with pictures of aviation themes and there are draught beers called Vulcan and Concorde. What is the connection to airplanes?……well..RAF Clyffe Pypard is a former Royal Air Force station which was located close to the village of Clyffe Pypard. The airfield opened in 1941 with grass runways measuring around 1300 yards and temporary accommodation under RAF Flying Training Command before closing in 1947 but was used after this date by RAF Lyneham for accommodation and the British Army for battle practice until 1961.
The Goddard Arms is located at Clyffe Pypard and the ancient name of White Cleeve (or “Clive” in the Domesday Book) refers to the chalk escarpment that traverses the parish. Since ‘escarpment’ means ‘hill’ I expected a lot of ups and downs….. I was to be pleasantly surprised.
Arriving a couple of minutes late (we,Kathy and I, got a little lost on the way) we stumbled upon the pub (like Brigadoon) in a quiet corner of the aforementioned ‘escarpment’. Some of the notables in attendance were Lady Margaret, Vince, Navy Mike, Caroline, Val, Di, Paul and an old friend of the hash Andrew Maber-Jones and his son. Following hash protocol the hares Viv and John gave their pre-hash talk together with a demonstration of the various flour signs to be encountered and set us on our way.
We first went through the grounds and graveyard of the local church and into open country. Neither going up nor down but traversing the escarpment towards Wroughton. The runners soon came to a halt in a very large field where a search for flour forced us to spread out to the four corners until the shout of on-on got us going again. Next we trotted along a leafy lane which was still flat and easy going. Once or twice we did have some short sharp ups and down to add some spice but overall the trail was straight and flat and relentlessly away from the pub.
Viv popped up a couple times to make sure we didn’t get lost. At the far end of the trail there was a little confusion about flour and I got a little left behind, but eventually got back on track and headed back pubwards. Meeting Viv again I encountered another long/short divide. Viv said I was not to worry and no-one else had gone along the long trail. I decided that someone should, so off I set. I was glad I did. It took me through horse stabling country. One strange thing was the extraordinary height of the stiles…over five foot…. all new. The route was a little further down the escarpment and was still flat, the root (the one I didn’t see) caused me do a rather spectacular running dive which fortunately no one saw. Crossing the main Broad Town road I met Vince and
Caroline, who had missed some flour. A long run through some unrecognised cereal crop and suddenly back at the pub.
There Andrew regaled us with tales of hashing in Afghanistan and Washington DC. An extremely good atmosphere and good beer. An excellent hash by Viv and John.