|28 Oct 2018||Margaret & John||Kevin|
This was our first visit to The Castle, aptly named due to its proximity to Donnington Castle. The old adage that it never rains on a hash applied today having rained cats and dogs on our last hash in South Cerney. The weather was of sunny spells although somewhat spoilt by the arctic blast, so it was a case of the walkers wrapping up for the trail ahead.
Our hares for the day John and Margaret were appreciative of the extra hour the day afforded them. Kathy enquired as to how many poles were required to assist her in navigating the slopes, I think she settled upon two, and Val was given the role of David Bailey for the day, more of that later.
Gathering round to hear instructions from our hares John admitted that he got lost laying his own trail, not sure if this the first hare getting lost when laying their trail, but was indebted to Margaret for finding him so that the trail could be completed before the commencement of the hash. John highlighted a couple of viewpoints to look out for on the way; Donnington Castle which we should pass on the way up the hill and highlighting that the best view to be had of the castle was on the way back down the hill on our return to The Castle pub, more of that view or not later; Beau House a modern oak framed home that had been empty for some while that had views looking out over Snelsmore Common – this was where the long and short divide would be marked.
We were a small group today and, unusually there were more runners than walkers with the runners’ numbers boosted by Noodle and Lily. Off the group set, with Jeremy out of the starting blocks first, running as fast as a whippet with Noodle running behind trying to catch up. The other runners following on were running in a lower gear for the hill climb and soon lost sight of Jeremy, with the walkers not far behind. Soon after the start we came across Donnington Castle on our left. For some of the runners and walkers this would be the last opportunity to see the castle as we would lose the trail at the Blackbird pub in Bagnor and return via a different route to which our hares had intended. Kay missed Donnington Castle altogether as her view on the way out was interrupted by engaging conversation and finishwd the Hash via the alternative route. Alas, there is no picture of Donnington Castle for the mag as Val was one of the walkers who lost their way. As for the runners, Jeremy got back to The Castle with plenty of time, Ainslie took the short route, leaving Keith, Julie, Lily and said scribe taking the long trail further into the woods on Snelsmore Common where we lost the trail at the car park. Upon finding the trail where flour had been laid on both the left and right sides of the path leading from the car park we were wondering if this is where John got lost. Unfortunately we remaining runners lost the trail at the Blackbird pub, took an alternative route and managed to catch up with Kathy, Kay and Val just before our return to The Castle where Kay admitted to missing the view of Donnington Castle.
Many thanks to John and Margaret for laying a very pleasant and scenic trail laid.