|6 Dec 2020||Viv & John||Kevin|
This was the first hash following lockdown 2, and operated under tier 2 rules (sounds like a horse race rather than a hash) which unfortunately meant no socialising after the hash. This was also the first hash where we hashers turn up, follow the trail laid down by our wonderful hares for the day Viv and John and go home. Our venue for the day was The Prince of Wales and under current circumstances the pub was closed this Sunday lunchtime. The Prince of Wales was open the previous evening when they hosted a steak dinner for patrons. This got me thinking that maybe we should consider hosting a night time hash before dinner!
Our group (Caroline, Hilary, Kay, Lily, Julie and I) number 2 on the departures board arrived just before our departure at 10:40am. Group No.1 departed on time at 10:30am so no hold ups this time. I understand groups 3 and 4 also departed on time as scheduled by our GOM and as operated by our hares. At our briefing prior to departure John advised of the trail conditions pointing out the muddy state of his footwear that there were plenty of opportunities along the way to get as filthy dirty as he was and that we might want to consider changing into wellies. Everyone in group 2 decide to take the long trail and Viv duly briefed us in what to be aware of along the way including a solo horse in one of the fields we would be going through and the trail being of relatively flat terrain.
Our trail would take us through Shrivenham out towards Bourton, via the Ashbury Crossing the highest point of the trail, through the village of Bourton and back to Shrivenham making use of the Shrivenham circular walk.
The long trail was approximately 5½ miles and took almost 2 hours for the fast walkers and slow runners to complete due to the muddy conditions underfoot. As you would hope when you have an event with staggered departures you would expect those groups who departed at later times to eventually meet up or pass the earlier departing groups at some point in the event. In our previous hashes under various Covid rules this has not necessarily happened however on this occasion it almost worked today as group 2 met and passed group 1, group 3 caught up and passed group 1 and eventually caught up with 2 on this trail. As for group 4 they are either still hashing or took a different route as they passed neither group 2 or 3. Group 3 caught up and overtook group 2 just before reaching Bourton and were merrily on their way, however some members of group 2 (Julie, Lily and I) caught up with group 3 (Keith, Dave and Des) in Bourton where the group temporarily lost the trail. In attempting to find the flour marks Dave gave us another one of his Birleyisms (a contradictory statement of fact) “I’m very sure that’s not right way-no wait! I could be wrong!” which could have resulted in hashers going around in circles. It doesn’t seem a proper hash when Dave attends without one of his Birleyisms! The trail was picked up by Des and Keith and we were all soon on our way.
On returning to Shrivenham there was a brief moment to discuss the hash with fellow hashers socially distanced outside The Prince of Wales. We concurred our hares laid a very good trail, plenty of flour was put down to ensure we could not get lost. Although the weather was overcast, and no rain fell during the hash, the autumn weather did not detract from a lovely trail in beautiful countryside irrespective of some of the paddy field conditions. Thank you Viv and John!