|THE KENNET AND AVON HASH HOUSE HARRIERS|
|Nash Hash "Big success" say Nash Hash Organising Committee||
This years Nash Hash was held at Westonbirt – just up the road from Bath and Bristol. So there was a good local turnout from K&A, Bristol and Bristol Greyhound Hashes.
Prominent local ‘soaks’, Stretch and Lightning, were major players in the organisation.
Highlights were the games, organized by Lightning, and the large food portions, su-pervised by Stretch. Readers may detect an element of sarcasm. But it was true that, despite the organizing committee, the week-end was a great success. The weather was beautiful, the runs were well planned and set in fine countryside and the venue was first rate.
And the evening events included ageing local rockers, Red Rooster, (including local hasher Cloughie) who were better, in the editors opinion than the headlining slick local soul band. Party themes (St Trinians and ‘Seventies Night’) seemed to involve most male hashers wearing skirts and stockings at some stage.
Thank goodness for the range of Bath Ales on free issue at the event, or we might not have had the calories to keep up with the pace of the weekend. Le Caniveau and Sex Goddess had particularly good value from the free bar, neither being noticeably sober the entire weekend.
For more on the K&A contribution, see overleaf. Also featured, some old write-ups, courtesey of Le Caniveau. More recent ones welcome please.
You can’t do worse than Magnum’s semi-literate efforts featured below!
K&A set one of NASH HASH runs!
Kennet & Avon Hash, along with Bristol Hash, jointly hared one of the runs at this year’s Nash Hash event. What made a good run for Nash Nash? Well, we had been asked to produce a hash up to 90 minutes long, (i.e. around 5-6 miles) an A to B run, as the hounds would be brought out by coaches from the Westonbirt site. Typically the run involved a couple of busloads of hounds, and had to avoid narrow paths and too many styles and gates which would cause a 100+ strong pack to string out. The run didn’t have to be too clever technically (that’s a stroke of luck for Le Caniveau – Ed.) as hangovers fom the previous night’s drinking sapped most hounds' energy and intelligence. But what most people wanted and got were some good views, a mixture of terrain, and some shiggy or water (a bit tough to find this summer).
An original idea to set a trail underground through the old stone workings around Box had to be abandoned due to concerns about access, numbers and safety. A new run location and route was chosen by Le Caniveau, starting from Bath Race Course and meandering indirectly downhill towards Swinford. The run was attempted on both the Saturday and the Sunday, and local hash helpers included Pinky, Sweatmonster, L’Escargot, Sewer Rat and the Fat Controller.
A beer stop (beer, water, crisps, etc – all free) was arranged about half way round and there was a generous recuperation period at the end pub in Swinford before the coaches returned the pack to the Westonbirt site.
The weather was scorching and the run was noted as one of the better of the 9 hashes arranged on each day of the Nash Hash weekend.
BATH SPA 20/K&A RUN 666.
The historic K&A run number 666 was reached at approximately the same time as the Bath 20 pub crawl, so the events were combined.
Starting at midday on 27/9/03, at the Hop Pole, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, a fluctuating number of hashers staggered around the nominal 20 pubs chosen by L’Escargot in Bath. In fact, 22 pubs were visited by most participants:
Run 617 - The Ship Inn, Keynsham
As we waited outside the pub, my body felt devoid of energy. The batteries in my torch were running it a close second, barely able to generate enough volts to get a glimmer from the 70% brighter krypton bulb. It was dark, the darkest night of the winter so far, made more so by the seasonal return to Greenwich Mean Time. The full moon had waned to a slim crescent over the last seven days, and even that had been rendered invisible by an even blanket of cumulonimbus cloud that threatened rain. The only illumination was the weak ghostly glow of the few working streetlamps, punctuated by an occasional pair of car headlamps. |
Then it was time. A few words were spoken by Joint Master Gazza until mutual misunderstanding, spreading like poison gas across a First World War battlefield, caused the sentences to tail off. Whose trail were we following tonight? A motley collection of faces looked out blankly into the darkness. Half thoughts were mumbled under breaths. At last, the silence was broken when Hallitrosis gave us the answer, the flour on her rump matched that on the seat of her car – there would be no need to call in Forensics. We set off down the hill heading east out of town. The trail blew hot and cold as it jumped from one side of the road and back again. We checked, checked, and checked again, grouping down by the bridge over the bubbling river Frome, its cold waters forming a sinister black ribbon streaked with flashes of white light dancing across the ripples. We had been here before. Experience said we should climb up the opposite side of the valley. Experience lied.
The trail doubled back across the green into town, running parallel to the river. Lightning latched on to it as if guided by a satellite tracking system, finding each new twist and turn as it then headed up the hill, between houses and down alleyways. His calls were relayed back through the elongating pack, dragging them on and on. However he was not to last the course; picked off with both the Fat Controller and Adonis in a house of ill repute. The barmaid of the New Inn was the last person to see them sober. I had picked up a false trail, and all the action had happened behind my back. If I knew then what I know now, I’m not sure I’d have had my back turned for quite so long. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but you never have it when you need it. Yet this was no time for standing still and reflecting - time moves on and the pack moves with it. I caught them up in a nondescript estate; each house looking like each other, each new turning, each new road looking the same as the one we had left. The trail continued without break, the sporadic changes in direction almost as abrupt as Toreador’s comments.
We left the estate by a small metalled road and headed out into the open countryside. The clouds had started to clear and the shapes of the constellations, dot-to-dot puzzles in the night sky for the ancient Greeks, had started to take on their familiar form. The air was growing colder as the blanket of cloud pulled back; it was time to keep moving. Our interest was taken by a network of paths through the ranks of a regiment of mixed saplings in a new plantation, but we were to find it was yet another false trail.
Eventually we reached a turning point, our zenith, our nadir. We had gone as far away as we were going to, and now it was time to call time and head back for home. First we had to negotiate a bog, the overspill of one of the little tributaries that feed the river Frome. Cold, wet feet were added to the inventory of discomfort. Then, homewards across the fields, but never in the most natural direction, and at each check, Spiderman and myself were relegated from the leading edge of the pack to the knitting circle. Then, as Syphilis and I searched another green, a spark of recognition seeded my senses. The proper trail could be left to the others; I wanted comfort, not glory. Ten minutes later I was back with Lightning, Adonis and the Fat Controller in the Ship Inn.
Run no 618 - The Queen’s Head, Willsbridge Mill.
What a lovely night for a run in east Bristol! The stars were out, the air cold and crisp, and the rain held off for the evening. Shame the GM still had a cold and we had to put up with Joint Master Gazza - and there was no sign of the hare. At least the RA was there! |
The run started in the usual way, along the river, but diverted up into the extensive 1970’s housing estate that is east Bristol. Some of the checks took us (those of us who were bothering to check that is) some time to find (very long thirds) but it did slow the front runners down and keep the pack together, giving time for the Mullets to catch up.
Actually, I can’t think of what to say about the rest of the run, 'cos it was a bit dull really, and I thought some of it looked like Yate and got confused. But there was a pleasant mix of town and country and the old railway line, so it wasn’t too bad. And we provided entertainment to the local youth (better than Eastenders at least). Shame about the hash horn though, shared between Sex Goddess and Chickpea - not only was their horn blowing pathetically fart like, but they were blowing before On was called!!! Confused the hell out of those of us who were bothering to check.
The Queen’s Head is not the most salubrious of establishments, but it has a sort of homely back room sort of feel to it. Down downs to the two dreadful hash horns and to L’Escargot (for being invisible). There were cries of "Bring back Gazza" but the RA is made of sterner stuff and ignores hapless criticism of this sort.
Stretch turned up selling lovely sexy pink Nash Hash tee shirts and I expect everyone to be wearing them next week (yes, even you Dennis).
Run no 625 - The White Hart, Bridgeyate.
The Saturday between Christmas and New Year and what would you rather do: Battle your way through the madding crowds in the sales, or get muddy, wet and slimy on a Kennet and Avon hash? No contest!|
Who cares if Next opens at 5am? I care that the hare has bothered to get out of bed early to set a fine hash for those of us who are dedicated enough to turn up on a Saturday morning. It even stopped raining for the event. Yes, seven hardy hashers plus the hare turned up on this mild and dry morning to enjoy the delights of a wet and muddy hash around farmland on the edge of the suburbs of east Bristol. Within five minutes of starting I already had wet feet by way of wading through a swollen stream, but hey, we should be used to this by now, global warming and all that...
(The Environment Agency have produced a calendar for 2003 entitled "Be prepared … because floods can happen any time..." with pictures of various parts of the south-west flooded. My particular favourite is "Flooded High Street at Midsomer Norton- 30 May 1979")
It was a soggy run through saturated farmland of nondescript character, the only distinguishing features of which were the stiles (which had either been mostly eaten, or were so old they could have been scheduled ancient monuments, and all of which were difficult to navigate). We went up a big hill, with good views over Keynsham (if there ever is a good view of Keynsham) and then down again, to fight our way through masses of brambles, which is really unfair for those of us: a) wearing shorts, or b) who had just waxed their legs. It was a good check at the bottom though, 'cos for the first time on the run Gazza went the wrong way and got stuck at the back.
The shiggy was high quality and there was a lot of it, so full marks to L’Escargot for arranging that, and overall it was a top hash, just under an hour (which makes a change from the usual 1½ hour hashes we have been having recently). The pub was full of old dears, so Battye, the Fat Controller and Gazza fitted in well, and nobody wanted to do down downs.
© Kennet and Avon Hash House Harriers, 2003