The first High Wycombe hash took place on Tuesday 5th March 1991. Mike and Gill Gilby had recently moved to High Wycombe, having previously run with Cheshire HHH; finding no local equivalent, they decided to set one up themselves, in collaboration with Robin Higgons, someone the Gilbys had run with in Cheshire who had subsequently moved to Haddenham.
Mike, as our first GM, set the first HWH3 trail of 5 miles, and following Cheshire HHH's tradition it was set with white loo paper with false trails at every check. on that fateful day five hashers - Mike & Jill Gilby, Robin Higgons, Jiff 'Aussie' Fletcher and Paul Clark - plus Halley (the first Hash dog) turned up at The Stag and Huntsmen at Hambleden and made the inaugural run.
The numbers hardly changed over the next couple of months but the people changed; some of our earliest hashers were Robert Martyr, Jim 'Raiser' Bradley, and Gerry Palmer, plus occasional visits from Gill Gilby during school holidays. The numbers remained static at around eight or so for a long time, with people coming and going.
The dawn of the internet
Once the hash got its own website, we had a sudden surge of numbers, boosting the number of regular hashers to a steady average of thirty, with a pretty good mixture of ages and sexes.
Mike Gilby RIP
Sadly our original GM, Mike Gilby, died from a heart attack in April 2004. Fittingly, he was on a hash at the time, and, in best hashing tradition, collapsed outside a pub on the way around. Mike's funeral was well-attended by members of the hash, and the following years saw an annual memorial hash held on the last Tuesday of April from the pub where he had died.
"Listen, this is important!"
Following Mike's death, regular hasher (and former Commonwealth Games competitor) David 'Benchbreaker' Griffiths assumed the GM mantle. David brought with him a series of innovations - not least his fondness for public speaking, albeit with a rich sprinkling of colourful language - and succeeded in his aim of making the hash a truly sociable group. The hash took on more members, the de facto division into 'longs' and 'shorts' became an established feature of the hash, and groups of walkers, often with dogs, were welcomed also.
Take me to your leader
Having served us loyally for eight years, in 2012 David decided that the time had come to hand on the reins of power(?), and so, through a process more arcane than the election of a new Pope, our current GM Roger Crawshaw was selected to take the helm. Roger has continued to build on David's success in growing the hash, and added a number of innovations of his own, not least his ability to ramble on at length to the bewilderment of anyone inexperienced enough to actually listen to him.
February 2010 saw our 1,000th run, which we celebrated with a 'red dress run' where, dressed as the name suggests, we collected £1,550 for the Haiti Hurricane Appeal.
In 2014 the HWH3 featured in a short piece for the BBC about Hashing, presented by sometime Wycombe Hasher Mike Bushell.
Upward and On-onward
The hash is now in a fine state of health - We regularly attract between 30-40 hashers in the summer months, and sustain numbers in the high twenties over the winter. We are a friendly bunch who always give a warm welcome to Hash 'virgins' of whatever capability, and the Tuesday night hash is an unmissable fixture in most people's diaries. As well as our weekly hashes, held come snow, rain, heat, or gloom of night, we hold a series of social events throughout the year, and an annual Hash Away Weekend where we descend upon an unsuspecting town somewhere to sample its ales, patronise its curry houses, and baffle its residents by running around early in the morning shouting "On On!"