|08 Feb 2015||Brian||Ainslie|
We thought we were running late for this hash, but found ourselves the 2nd or 3rd to arrive. Soon the others trened up but this was going to be a select bunch – only 7 runners (Margaret, Jon, Viv, John, Dave, Chris and Jeremy) and 5 walkers ( Kathy, Caroline, Karol, Simon, Ainslie and their dog). It was good to see Caroline without her arm bandage and back from her holiday in Oz. We had another new hasher this week – Karol, who was trying hashing for the first time.Having been forewarned to park at the top end of the car park, we all manoeuvered our cars to fit snugly at the far end so as not to get in the way of the Sunday drinkers. In the event, the walking route was fairly short and we were back in the car park shortly after opening time at 12, before the car park had started to fill up. I think there was a short & long runner’s route and I’m told the long was 5.68 miles.Brian, our hare for the day explained the ins & outs and then we were off. We walkers followed the runners up a pleasant long track behind the pub where we saw several clumps of early snowdrops.
This opened up onto a wide field overlooking the M4 and Simon, who was in the lead, told the rest of us that we’d just missed seeing a deer – I didn’t find out if any of the runners had seen it.
Right from the start , Brian had laid big clear trails of flour. Karol is Polish and has been working in Swindon for around 5 years. As we walked, we tried to explain the intricacies of hashing and hares laying trails , but when he asked ‘Is it a race?’, I think we’d failed.
The sky was a cloudless clear blue and although it was cold, it felt positively Spring like. You could see that the field had been churned up by a tractor but fortunately it was still semi-frozen from the overnight frost, as otherwise we’d have been walking in thick muddy tractor trails. We climbed up a steep bank and walked into another field, then finally at the top of the hill, were rewarded by amazing views stretching from Shrivenham and beyond in the east to J16. We ‘regrouped’ and took time to point out the landmarks – the Watchfield wind farm, GWH, David John Murray building, the high rise flats at Penhill, Nationwide and many more.
We walked through the lovely churchyard of Chiseldon Methodist Church and on through Chiseldon, passing the Chiseldon Museum in the old Chapel. A notice on the gate stated there to be Commonwealth War graves which was news to us, but sadly there wasn’t time to go in and explore. On on! I’m told that the runner’s route passed the Chiseldon Monument to WW1.
We were soon back at the pub, but this time a big flour arrow directed us across the road for a scenic route around Hodson. Towards the end, an electric fence had been placed alongside the path, making the path narrower and narrower, although as it hadn’t been switched on, we were able to clamber over it. The very last stile caused Rosie a moment of panic as she was too big to get over or under, but then Karol found a way through by walking back a few yards. Then it was back across the road to the Plough, as Annie & Mike pulled up in perfect time for the Apres Hash.
Thanks to Brian’s clear signs, we walkers hadn’t wasted time getting lost. I did hear that the runners came a bit unstuck because a car driver had parked over one of Brian’s flour markers. A thoroughly relaxing Hash.
The Plough is a big pub yet all the tables were reserved for people eating lunch, but luckily the landlady allowed us to sit at a table booked by diners who were arriving much later.
Margaret awarded the Hash hooter horn to David. The orange shorts were not presented this time as Simon had left them at home. I must correct a mistake in the mag of Hash 455, the Rose & Crown, Ashbury – Simon’s wife (coincidentally the writer of this mag) did not fall in the mud! She was just taking it very steady & slowly over some tricky slippery steep ground.
Thank you Brian for a really enjoyable hash, taking in lovely views and some new sights in an area that we thought we were familiar with, a brilliantly laid trail and beautiful weather.