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The Fisherman’s Cottage.
By the Kennet, Reading


Ms Whiplash, Hashgate

Urban(e) Hashers

TT2 SlipperyNipple Motormouth Florence Simple DunnyStumbler Cerberus Premature Desperate Krystyna Motox Vlad Drac SlowSucker Mr Blobby Mrs Blobby Spex LoudonTasteless Bomber Posh Tim Charlie Quack Donut Dutch Shandyman Chopstix C5 Tom Tony PP (that’s the polite version) Sarah Gareth Shirley Jon Flash Cheating ShutupWally The Tremblers Andrew Jake Grommet StinkingBishop John Samantha Nigel Zebedee Cloggs NonStick

Lashings of Tarmac

Squeak… Creak. Squeak… Creak. You know it’s not easy riding a bike quietly round the nether regions of Reading when your own nether regions are gripped tightly in shiny black leather. Ms Whiplash had simply insisted on wearing her own unique version of cycling gear when we laid the Hash trail. Yes, I know it’s not usually done but who was I to argue? A mere plaything, a chattel, a (oh the shame of it!) slave. To be used and tossed (I believe that’s the word) aside. “Lay a False up there Hashgate!” Ordered my mistress, mounted magnificently astride her sturdy machine. “And be quick about it… or you’ll feel the rough side of my tongue!” I have absolutely no doubt that at least a couple of gentlemen readers slipped suddenly into vacantly grinning reverie and drew in a sharp breath on reading those words. Well good luck to you C5 and TT2; you’re braver men than I. We wheeled through the mean streets, dropping flour (no, we did. Really!) and pausing occasionally while Ms Whiplash stropped the razor of her acid wit on the dull whetstone of some lust-crazed, slobbering chav (“Them trahsers levvuh missus? Innit?”) or laughlingly flicked a thin leather whip at the furry backside of an unsuspecting cat as it strolled off to inspect the pickings in the dustbins behind The Sam an’ Ella Fried Chicken Emporium by Cemetery (appropriately enough) Junction. Oh yes, a lot of flour was laid on the trail – past the blank-faced sentry lines of wheelie bins in the tawdry, claustrophobic back streets – in the industrial, carefully combed hi-tech wasteland of Thames Valley Park – through the flower studded meadowlands by the river and round the genteel, moneyed antiquity of Sonning. Trouble was, by the time we started Hashing it had nearly all gone!

Rain in heavy, flour-scattering bursts had lashed down in the intervening time and a lot of the trail had simply disappeared. Motormouth and I had stopped off on our way to the pub to ‘freshen’ some of the bits round Sonning. Not that it made much difference . Poor Samantha somehow missed the large ‘F’ I had re-laid by Sonning Bridge and trotted off to end up in Caversham somehow. Fortunately, she got back ok and was consoled by other half Nigel. Of course, there was absolutely no excuse for son and heir Motormouth, particularly since we had driven into Reading mainly reversing the trail with me pointing out the route and ‘freshening’ up parts, for hurtling off with the over-eager Premature and running the entire trail backwards. Unfortunately, both of them knew we would be heading for the church at Sonning on the Long trail so they just blinkered their way up there. At least SlowSucker, though not appearing to be as happy as a sandboy when he fetched up late at the Regroup, had the honesty to run all the way back from Sonning to rejoin the Pack and carry on the right way round. And he didn’t call Ms Whiplash a “silly cow” in a fit of pique like he did with another lady Hare a couple of years ago… Very restrained he was, but then he didn’t have much breath left and there were a few miles more to go.

In fact, if I had been running the Hash instead of Haring I’d have ratcheted up a mental eyebrow at the apparently never-ending swathes of tarmac unsullied by flour unrolling in front of me. I had timidly ventured to Ms Whiplash while we laid the thing that it was difficult to gauge distance on a bike and indeed that long haul up the A4 (past the Check that had disappeared) to the Sonning turn-off, followed by a further non-stop leg-jarring clatter towards Sonning churchyard was perhaps a tad lengthy. Unfortunately, unless one wished to risk dismemberment slipping across Her Majesty’s Railway (followed by a leaky night in British Transport Police cells) one had to take the long route. I do feel also that the Hares managed to come up with the rather novel innovation of laying most of the trail behind the Pack as it crashed onwards blissfully unaware of its’ direction. Witness Simple forlornly wandering lonely as a cloud in East Reading bleating plaintively, “It has to go through Palmer Park.” Then finding it didn’t. It was actually around here on the main road out of town that I had to redraw a fairly crucial Check that had just… gone. Either the rain had washed it away or the local ‘youf’ had snorted it, mistakenly expecting a cerebral rush but experiencing only a nose-tickling MacDougall’s moment followed by a hearty sneeze and a cry of, “Ar nar! I got bogies on me bling.” The trail at this point led to the 2006 outright winner of the competition, ‘Ten Top Places No-one Would Ever Want To Go’. In this case, down a very narrow, shiggy-splattered track with eye-catching (literally) brambles and nettles on one side and on the other – a gas plant carefully fashioned from concrete and rusting metalwork with an individual aroma that could fell an ox at twenty metres. Even Shandyman’s eyes watered and he’s experienced more than a few nostril-wrinkling odours in his time.

Now you may have noticed that there is a certain lack of hard-edged factual reporting in this Gobsheet and you wouldn’t be wrong. The multi-tasking requirements of leading (or even finding) the Pack, dropping flour blobs, nodding directions surreptitiously to those who need ‘em, juggling the miniscule control sliders on the recorder with a floury hand slowly turning into a giant uncooked Yorkshire Pudding and then trying to park the damn thing back into the waistband of one’s shorts without it delving ferret-like down one leg or the other while running along; oh yes, and putting up with the inane prattlings of ShutupWally, does not lead to BBC News standard of reportage. So after the damn machine switched itself off for the fifth time I rather gave up on it. It can think itself lucky it isn’t currently being gawped at by hungry, Prescott-faced chub at the bottom of the Thames… amongst the slimy weeds… enjoying the delights of a swan poo face pack… and being accidentally trodden on by a water rat with a bad case of athlete’s foot. Blasted thing.

The part of the trail I liked most was the towpath from Sonning that drifted past the bulging river laying corpulent and sated between the wide banks, like a fat businessman asleep after a corporate lunch on a divan covered in cushions. Whoops. Took a slight detour there. We Hares had also laid a detour off the towpath up a steep, slippery slope into the woods, past a couple of fierce alsations behind some chicken wire and back down a 1 in 2 mud glissade that would certainly see anyone who put a foot wrong end up in the river. ‘What fun!’ we had thought. However, we hadn’t realised quite how tired most Hashers would be by this point. Spex and Posh stumped past regally. Donut summed it up. Eyeing first the slope and then me she pronounced in no uncertain manner, “Sod that for a game of soldiers,” and carried on. Fair enough. I agreed with her completely.

We carried on to those wonderful wildflower meadows and the Nature Reserve, the sky just beginning to darken and a crescent moon hanging lazily above the calm bulk of the evening river. It was all worth it just for this. I hope the rest of you felt the same. And thanks for coming along

On On. Hashgate.

Down Downs

RA Simple presented the following :-



Style points

Tom Jake Gareth

Tonight’s new boys

Jake fairly slapped it down!


Getting quite hormonal on being accused of wearing new shoes

Calmly drank her Down Down


Not turning up last week

Not a bad half surprisingly

Ms Whiplash, Hashgate

The Hares

Beaten by a woman – not surprising since it’s this particular woman

Up and Coming



Grid Reference






Twigg Towers, Church Lane
Burghfield RG30 3TG
* Bring your own booze - & glass! *





The Lamb, Satwell RG9 4QZ
Meet Anthony Worrall-Thompson!

Lord Lucan, Wendy

Hash Fun Run – Sunday June 25th 11:00

Not only do you get to burst both lungs and a plimsoll in this race, you also get food and drink for just £5. See Motox and give him your money now.