We meet on a cold winter's evening in the picturesque village of West Wycombe.
Fact; The Swan Inn is a Grade II listed building with an "Historic Pub Interior of National Importance" and is now owned by The National Trust.
GM Roger assembled the pack [Hashalator Ed's note: was the pack flat-packed?] and handed over to one of our Hares for the evening. Simon explained that flour was on the left unless it was on the right and that there were no hills or shiggy (Yeah, sure, I've heard that one before).
Then we were off, searching both ways through the 15th-16th century village until the first of the flour was found in the direction of High Wycombe. This flat, streetlamp-lit route was shortlived as we made an immediate perpendicular left turn, under the arch and into the cobblestone road that headed directly up the hill towards the Golden Ball Monument [Hashalator Ed's note: aka The Church of St Lawrence and Dashwood Mausoleum]. The pace of the hash suddenly slowed and Matt (who had only just come back from the HashSki in Austria) said that he was sure the uphill parts must have a lift somewhere? The hares were kind to us at this point and didn't make us ascend to the top of the hill; we turned right and came straight back down after only half of the vertical climb.
Back at the road we had a check at the Pedestal roundabout. Fact: This stone pedestal was erected in 1752 at a cost of £27.
The call of on-on came from Cookshall Lane so we set off on a lovely flat tarmac road only to (as before) turn off at the nearest footpath and head vertically up and across a field behind the petrol station. On-backs were now starting to bring the front runners to the back of the pack to join some of us slower ones.
After our second climb we popped out into the urban setting of Downley.
Fact: Did you know that Downley was once three hamlets, Downley being the largest, with Littleworth and Plummers Green on the south side; it was extensively built up in the 1950s and 1960s.
Pheasant Drive, Partridge Way and Curlew Close flew by. (Yep, that was a bird joke.)
Southfield Road, Middlebrook Road and Malvern Close and we were back down on the West Wycombe Road.
Fact: The West Wycombe Road is the A40 which starts in London (High Holborn) - Oxford Street is the A40 - and goes all the way to Fishguard in Wales.
Turning into Desborough Park Road and onto Grafton Street the talk on the hash was how civilised these urban Hash routes are, and why do we not do them more? Now from Grafton Street we cut through a little park known as "The Reck".
Fact: I thought I would be clever and look up an interesting fact about "The Reck", well please don't Google it as I was taken straight to a "High Wycombe Gay Cruising Areas" website as "The Reck" gets quite a big write-up. Eeekkk, delete browsing history before the Rozzers (or worse) bang on my door! [Hashalator Ed's note: no need to fear arrest, since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised gay sex between two men]
Out past Millbrook School - formally known as Mill End Road School, it was built in 1936 with the north side used for boys and the south side for girls, in 1973 it became a middle school, in 1998 it changed again and became a junior school, then in 1999 they changed its name to Millbrook.
Onto Gillets Lane and left down Chapel Lane, we then turned into the Dashwood estate, running on a gravel track and crossing over a bridge (I'm sure someone said they would run through that stream, who was that?). Out onto the A40 again and down to Simon and Louise's for a very kind beer, doughnut, and cake stop.
After a little hurumphing we make a steady trot past the ON-INN which carried us back to the pub, Fact: "The Swan Inn" has been run by the same family since 1910.
In the bar we had a great choice of local ales. There was ample 'eclectic' seating in the front bar; however Kevin did find himself on the shortest chair in the place, whereas Elvis had a prime position on the sofa in the front window (I'm guessing that happens at home too, Kev?).
Doctor Dan received his 50 Shirt with a controversial drugs test comment from the GM; Roger I'm sure Dan is no Lance Armstrong.
Very enjoyable Hash, lovely refreshments and a great Historical Pub setting to boot. Thanks Lou and Si.