The Runday Shag
Date: 10 September 2023
Hare: Petal & Tiller
Venue: Englefield Green
On On: The Beehive
GOBLIN, LEAD THEM UP AND DOWN
A report from part of the trail…
The traditional trail from the car park near the Air Force Memorial to Runnymede is down the hill, visit the historic sites, and back up the hill. Petal found this unimaginative, so we had several ups and downs again before he took us to the river. This included going up to the Kennedy Memorial (which is I believe US territory, an enclave in Britain)
when in fact Petal had meant us to go down that way instead. So we milled around feebly at the check up there until he put us out of our misery. By that time we had lost two of our more independent minded hashers; making an early return, I found Tosser and Dr Death wandering around the Green of Englefield Green, when they should have been on the banks of the Thames, awaiting the boat.
We were not numerous, which is perhaps just as well, since the car park was impossibly crowded – by the parents of young footballers. We could however find spaces in the road. Wally promised to be loquacious, but seemed more subdued than usual [not for long!]; Simple arrived late. Well, and so did Atalanta of course. Speedy Humper had brought her grand-daughter, and so did not run, but they kept up successfully. ‘IsKnees and Chastity Belt did more running than most, including the long stretch next to the river to reach the mooring point of Peay’s boat. This took hashers to the northern banks, to admire the wonderfully old yew tree in Ankerwycke (one estimate puts its age as 2500 years);
it can be visited from Wraysbury, where Lo Profile and First On once lived, though they were not with us today. You also get the ruins of a priory. And cattle, in abundance. It is a pleasant walk.
You will gather that I know the area, which I did not revisit today; uncertain of our return time, I went home to my wife.
The hare had marked a trail, but I cut across less indirectly, using paths I have included in a hash which I laid for Surrey some years ago. That, like today’s, was a right-hander; one can also set a left-hander and explore some of Englefield Green at the top, though then you will have to use some blacktop.
Anyway, full marks to Petal for an imaginative and original way of visiting an area so rich in history and interest.
Readers may be interested in an old man’s view of what has changed in Britain since Edward VIII’s time, when middle-class families had servants, and “followers” were those courting the servants. We have opened up to the world, most obviously in food. British food in my youth was absurdly limited, and “garlic” an insult; now paella, lasagne, Indian dishes,, are everyday parts of our diet. Mediterranean summer holidays are now the norm, British summer resorts absurdly expensive, the reverse of say the 1950s. (In the 19th century the Riviera was where the wealthy wintered). We have become much more multi-ethnic; you would think this all means our traditional hostility to foreigners had vanished. Alas! When I went up, some 3% of the population attended university; now it is some 43%, while manual labour is vanishing and manufacture is greatly reduced. We all want office jobs now. The contraceptive pill has changed female sexuality for ever; nudity no longer occasions comment. Homosexuality, once fiercely controversial, is now widely accepted, though it worries schoolboys. Trans women, then unknown, are now equally controversial. My ignorance of popular music prevents my saying anything sensible, though Beatles and Stones once challenged US dominance. [And the Stones are rolling on with a new album out soon.]
On On, FRB
Run 2486 Addendum
The first and, as it turned out only, boatload included Prickly Knickers, Speedy Humper & GD Ellie, Wanklesplitz and Atalanta (very concerned about Elf & Safety).
The only ones to disembark, to complete the trail, were: Belcher, Bodyshop, Le Pro, the 3 MBs*, Simple, Stevie Blunder and Wally plus, of course, Raffles & Petal. It was captained by Tiller with Teq as crew.
The voyage was not without incident. I took a tumble boarding but, with the help of Petal, disembarked safely. Wally, on the other hand, had a very wet tumble.
It was a historical treat as we took in the remains of St Mary’s Priory where King John was said to have stayed during the momentous event.
“Here the confederate Barons met King John, and having forced him to yield to the demands of his subjects they, under the pretext of securing the person of the King from the fury of the multitude, conveyed him to a small island belonging to the nuns of Ankerwyke (the island), where he signed the Magna Carta.”
“We do know from Magna Carta itself that the charter was sealed at ‘Ronimed inter Windlesoram et Stanes’ (Runnymede between Windsor and Staines), but why a water-meadow and Thames flood plain was chosen in the first place is less certain.”
Nearby, we saw the oldest tree in England, The Ankerwyke Yew which may have been over a thousand years old when the Magna Carta was signed!
We then ran through The Avenue of Silver Birches and, after another boat crossing, began the rugged climb up to the On-In. I took a nasty tumble here, not a trip but a “dry slip”, testing my camera’s ruggedness, it survived.
*Ms Bean, Mother Brown and Master Bates
OnOn, Master Bates
And another perspective…
Believe me, fellow hashers, there is NOTHING – absolutely NOTHING – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Belcher, Dr Death, Knees Up Up, FRB,
Chastity begins at home, Knees R buggered,
Blunderbus, Runner Bean, Rumbled,
Masturbates, Bodyshop, Un Pro, Simple(late)
Lord Raleigh, Tshirt and dog Sabina,
Picky Nickers, Nickerless, Veggie Queen,
Tosser, Cheating, Humpty Dumpty and Ellie,
Wanker Spits (competition for Master Bates?) Uncle Gerry, Mrs G
A Tiller Girl – captain, He’s Fallen Over – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (From Company C), Atlantic Ocean
I thought this is a good turn out for a hash as plenty of cars were there already and then Uncle Gerry appeared.
He was very angry – he had to park 100 yards away. I asked Mrs G and she said she was also VERY angry. Am I missing something? – Don’t answer that – but doesn’t a hash consist of running 4-5 miles? So why are 100 yards a problem?
We had to wait for Queen Victoria to drop off Prince Albert before we were ON ON down down the normal route.
Uncle Gerry had inconveniently parked over the flour marks but nevertheless Burper, FRB, Bodyshop, Dr Death and Veggie Queen knew the way.
Potato now shot ahead causing a traffic haphazard until we reached Englefield Park dated 1889 – it is still standing after 100+ years whereas our schools after 30 are falling down down (political point for FRB!).
This first check fooled the FRBs but the main pack wheeled left and started down down a steep descent in Cooper Hill Woods.
Rumbled acting as checking chicken marked the trail as we passed The Forest of Memories and I was then assaulted by a Razor Stop Fungus that MB stated were common for this area !!???
We were now strung out (no that’s you we need to have strung up up – UG) and we landed in open fields.
The less educated missed the Writ in Water, but I guided Ellie and friends into the concentric concrete circle.
The resulting trompe l’oreil (hashers won’t understand this but I speak fluent Latin) gave meaning to Hendrix’s “excuse me while I kiss the sky” or Hancock’s, “mirrors are silly things when you think your hands are moving forwards and right, they are going backwards and left”.
At this point I noticed Uncle Gerry ignoring the trail completely and wandering aimlessly towards Runnymede presumably to go back to the start – now this is real SCBing! He had seen the road he would have had to cross TWICE and was sore afraid.
Blunderbus kept running and missed the route uphill and took the next left and everyone followed up the mosaic steps to the top of the hill. Then I saw him asking a passer-by (who confirmed it to me), ”seen any flour?” – verbal checks are a sin in hashing.
So we back peddled from whence we came to visit the JFK memorial.
We were soon down down and looking for 12 missing jurors – “stone me Sid, where have they all gone? said Hancock. “Haven’t you heard the expression that the jury is out”.
The main pack of Un Pro, Cheating, CB, Kneesup et al (who is this character called Al? -Ed) had forged ahead- if you have enough steel and a mould from a manikin dummy it is quite easy.
I was left behind to play with Masturbates and the 2 most experienced hashers were lost for a while.
Then a boat hove into view.
Here we were welcomed by The Tiller Girl aboard her craft whilst Teq regaled us with Rule Britannia but there were no slaves around and so no reparations necessary!
Atlantic Ocean had only come along for the nautical adventure and supervising any emergency procedures if the boat sunk. Despite reportedly spending time with the SAS, on this occasion she preferred to keep her pinkies dry.
Blunder Bean then knocked over the beer a cardinal sin. Then with a cock and a hoop (they were brought along for games later) we crossed the channel and arrived on the other bank.
Here hashers showed they had little boat sense trying to climb down down without falling in the water – Potato proved he was not a sea dog!
Now only the FRBs (and more adventurous) were left – Burper, Un Pro, Bodyshop, Blunderbus, Runner Bean, Simple, Knees Up, Wally, MB and of course our 2 hairs of a dog – one called Raffles.
Simple then sorted out the next check before we came to King John’s monastery – what do they do in wet weather? And also the QEII tree. [A more conservative estimate of the tree’s age is 1,400 years and Henry VIII is believed to have met Anne Boleyn there in the 1530s.]
We needed the boat to get back and thankfully there it was.
A short perambulation over open ground and a super new wooden walkers’ bridge and up up the hill and we were back to the Air Forces Memorial and the car park. [It records the names of the 20,456 airmen who have no known grave.]
The first down down went to a special young visitor – Sponge Bob née Ellie who as there was no pineapple available had to slurp a drink instead.
The garrulous geriatric gasbag then had to have his say. He praised Petal initially and then complained how he should have been in touch with the local football fraternity and stopped them parking in OUR car park.
Tosser for mentioning walking?!!!!
Rumbled as he was delivered unceremoniously by car i.e. dumped at the start.
L T-shirt – for making a fashion statement with her posh top – Gerry wanted it to be a hash t-shirt. Then she said it was in memory of her mother as it WAS hers!! – foot and mouth?
Cheating – for parking where there was a sign “Don’t even THINK of parking here!”.
So what’s with the Atlantic Ocean – dressed like The Lady of Shalott – was she going on a hot date after the hash? – Tennyson would be inspired – the mirror in Writ in Water would have “cracked from side to side.”
Pub With No Beer
The thirsty trekkers Dr Death, Un Pro, Tosser headed for the Barley Mow and found that they were not serving real ale today as they were closing the next day. We did get some vinegar which using my influence got changed for some bottled stuff.
Uncle Gerry then turned up and when he heard about the beer situation the ire returned and moved up from his feet to create a puce face – he went looking for Petal and wished he had known about this during the down downs.
Fortunately I have local knowledge and took the few hardy folk to my pub The Beehive just down down the road. [And then, with Wally at full volume, the neighbouring tables soon cleared!]
These emerged much sooner than usual – Lord Raleigh, MB, Cheating, Uncle Gerry, Mrs G, Petal, Raffles, Nickerless and stayed until nearly closing time!
The boat trip had obviously poleaxed the main group of some 28 hashers!!!!!!!
A big thank you to TILLER who brought his boat all the way from Henley and those who made it to said boat had fun and got wet.
Un pro proved that he knows little about tennis as Borg admitted that RF is the best player that has ever been and Sampras came into being in the 1980s. A double handed grip is for baseball, cricket and golf.
On on, ‘King Wally