When Surrey Hash met Surrey Hash (the upstarts)!
Many, many, sleeps ago; in year 2 of our founder’s invention of Surrey Hash House Harriers, 1976 about March or April I think, a number of Plessey Addlestone employees joined a group of Home Office bods on a Hash House Harriers trail at Newlands Corner. The “invitation” was sparse on detail and yours truly, who had once “jogged” along the Thames in Pimlico and hated it, was unsure of what to wear in “the countryside”. Assuming that “the Sticks” was at least 4 inches deep in mud, he plumped for wellington boots! …. Bad decision; Newlands Corner, though certainly “in the country” was dry as a bone and very, very hilly!
The trail, of course, plunged straight down to the West, wiggled around about a bit, and up and down a bit near St Martha’s and, of course, ascended the South Face of the Downs to return. The survivors gathered around and the Hare provided a picnic! The Home Office hare, who had recently returned from an overseas posting, had “picked up” hashing and told us a little of the history; KL, Gisbert etc. and it was decided to try it all again in a week or two. A volunteer Hare was appointed, and we called ourselves …. Surrey Hash House Harriers!
In those days the “runs” started at 2 O’clock on a Sunday and after a few months of hashes, the clash with family Sunday lunch and the lack of pubs on Sunday afternoons (they closed at 2 O’clock in those days!!) led to us deciding to change to Sunday mornings, 11 O’clock.
The first such Sunday (morning) hash was in October 1976 at the Plough Coldharbour. Well I arrived with Chris Manley, about 10 to 11 I think, and met up with the rest;
Another hash appears…
We mooched about looking for the Hare, who was usually there to meet us before runs, but to no avail. Oh dear; no trail marking, no Hare, No Hash? When suddenly the Hare, Keith Strainge, broke out of some bushes and panted up to us; “It’s mayhem out there! I started laying some paper (we used computer punchings in those days, very non pc!) then came across another load of trail markings, my trail is mixed up with it, it crosses it all over the place, total disaster!”
Just then we hear a shout; “OnOn” and “Toot Toot” (a hunting horn!) and lo and behold a bunch of tough, athletic looking runners appear running and calling down OUR trail. One, maybe it was Ron (the On) Walters, had a tee shirt with “Surrey Hash” hand painted on, Oh dear what’s going on? Are they going to “bash us up”?
Well they ground to a halt because they were doing the reverse of our “out trail” which went to the landslip car park where they had started! After a short “discussion” (“we are the Surrey Hash!” “NO WE are!” etc.etc.), we decided try and follow our respective trails, their marks and paper were slightly different from ours, and we meet up afterwards at the Plough to “sort things out”.
Following our trail was just about possible, and they seemed to get around theirs and so we met up at the pub around 1 o’clock. I remember Ron Walters who seemed to be sort of in charge and Lionel Tye and Neil Thompson, who muttered conspiratorially in a corner.
It transpired that they were on run 82, we on 11. They had an “On Sec” (Jim Raper who was rich to boot!), we operated by word of mouth.
They had “Joint Masters” and a bucket for shandy, we had bugger all!
OK, we agreed; you are the Surrey Hash we will call ourselves something else.
One interesting thing; this was the first time they had gone to the pub after a hash!
They usually just had a shandy at the bucket and went home!
We started the rot, and since then Surrey Hash went to the pub! Hahahah!
They seemed to have it all organised and were soon about to have their 100th run celebration.. and they invited us!
Weybridge Hash evolves
We got together and debated our name… Addlestone Hash House Harriers? NO too common, says Tony Shore; let’s be WEYBRIDGE HHH! That’s more acceptable (and POSH!)! And so it was to be.
To be continued… (the Formula, The Plessey “association”, “Lunar Reset” etc.)
According to Tony Shore, a friend of his, Chris Fletcher, who ran with Seoul HHH from 1973-75 and returned to the UK December ’75. The “Surrey” HHH was started in the Spring of ’76, probably March with the first run at Newlands Corner.
After the “encounter” with the “real” SH3, some of us joined the SH3 and set our WH3 runs on a weekday evening, eventually settling on a Tuesday at 20:00. A number of Surrey Hash members attended some of our runs.
Briain Lee/Master Bates