Hash trip - Bewdley 2016 Friday 23rd September

on the front lawn.

It was that time of the year again. The end of September. The time when the Soopercoopermobile was dusted off and called into action for the Hash Away Weekend. Bikes were duly crammed into foot wells, CD mix tapes were argued over and finally, just after lunchtime, Sooper, Mark & I set off nice ‘n early to miss the traffic. [30 minutes later] Cue gridlock on the M40.  “It’s alright, I’m a bit tired - I’ll just sit in the back and be quiet” [3 hours later] “That didn’t work out too well then, did it eh Mark?”

Alan then chipped in with a long inflatable purple sausage, and soon the outside of the bunkhouse looked like a Telly Tubby Assault Course.

Curry in a hurry. Not The curry house was booked for 7:30pm, and such were the levels of hunger and

After a last-minute detour to Stourport-onSevern (in search of an Aldi – you always need to stop at an Aldi to stock up before a Hash Weekend….them’s the rules!) we arrived at a very pleasantly-located bunk house which, for once, contained actual bunks (memories of May’s Bike Bash, with its infamous ‘Alpine bunks’ were still fresh in the memory).

general excitement, that the majority of the hash were, for once, bang on time. That meant about 35 people were milling around in the packed reception ‘cubicle’ of one of the busiest curry houses I’ve seen for a long, long time. Sooper looked a tad disappointed at the standard of accommodation as he had already chosen to camp, and pitched his yellow dome

However, just like any self-respecting HWH3 hash, everything started late, so 7:30pm became 7:45, which became 8:00…and then….well, it’s all a bit of a haze really….

all I remember is a general air of indignancy at being charged 75p per popadom (literally 75p a pop!), food arriving late, one credit card machine per 300 people, and….oh well, it didn’t really matter that much at the end of the day, the Hash Weekend was officially underway!

the levels to which a chilli-eating competition could be taken to. Let’s just say that you taste a good chilli twice – once on the way in, and once on the way out!

Sat 24th September Overnight Quotes How did you sleep? Not too bad....if only I could have fitted onto the bed [Zac] Don’t take the milk in the side door - that’s bitty milk [general warning re Sarah’s milk for Lucy] I had a fantastic night sleep.....4 angels, no farting, no snoring [Matt R on his ‘fox in the hen coop routine, the one bloke allowed access to the girl’s bedroom on account of sleeping with Roz] How’s the gender reassignment going then Matt? [the other blokes ask jealously] To be fair, Jess was talking in her sleep a bit though [Matt]. What was she saying....Matt get off me?! [Mark]

Having said that, the devil does make work for idle hands, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a group of hashers sitting around waiting around for their food with not much else to do. The green chillis left lying around casually in plates on the table was probably a well-planned marketing campaign by the restaurant to drive drink sales, although even they probably didn’t anticipate

Keen parkrunners lead the way “The scenic undulating course starts and finishes near to the Visitor Centre” http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ wyreforest/course/ What could possibly go wrong? A beautiful morning, the dappled sunlight nudging its ways between the canopied trees, shafts of liquid gold

lighting our way on a gentle 5km jog to start the day. Or, a punishingly hilly course (there was about 10 metres of flat ground halfway round the course) over stony uneven tracks which had us all sweating buckets well before the halfway mark.

You decide. Results: Ant stormed home first in around 21:50 (baby brain forget his barcode, but did remember that he’d finished 18th overall), followed by Paul (24:15) and then yours truly (26:29) just pipping Alan (26:43) in the Boy’s Race, whilst Aud (32:41) was bullied up the final hill just as she’d stopped for a sneaky walk, with Roz (35:25) and Maggie (35:44) dueling it out at the finish. Still, an excellent effort by all, and we did also bump into some Wyre Forest hashers along the way and invited them to our Sunday Hash, such was the bonhomie we exuded. Whether they turn up or not is another matter entirely.

Hashopoly – who needs Fight Club? “Welcome to Hashopoly. The first rule of Hashopoly is: you do not talk about Hashopoly. The second rule of Hashopoly is: you do DO NOT talk about Hashopoly. Third rule of Hashopoly: after 90 minutes, someone yells stop, everybody goes limp, Hashopoly is over” It’s fair to say that the residents of Bewdley didn’t really know what had hit them, as the narrow pavements turned into some kind of high-speed dodgem course, with lycra-clad Hashers jostling for space with Saturday morning shoppers.

“Excuse me – can I ask what you’re all doing? [slightly nervous shopper to a hasher] Well, it’s a kind of a Treasure Hunt [hasher reply] But why are you all running about so much…. some of you don’t look like you might be overdoing it? [slightly less nervous shopper’s companion to panting hasher] There actually was a casualty, but for once that was nothing to do with the Hash…. in fact, the Hash saved the day as 2 noble hashers stopped and gave up their valuable time to assist an old lady who had collapsed whilst crossing the road. Did they get any plaudits for this selfless act? “Well, did you get a picture of her then? No…..well in that case I don’t believe you and the judge’s decision on this matter is final” [Roger, to an almost distraught Matt & Nikki]. Around 90 minutes later, the game drew to a close as the runners and walkers gathered back at Bewdley Bridge HQ before dispersing to the four corners of Bewdley in search of sugar, alcohol, and general sustenance (Mick managed to find all three in the shape of a pint of beer before the final whistle had hardly finished sounding on Hashopoly).

Bewdley – Interesting Facts The main High Street is called Load St derived from ‘Loade’, an old English word for ‘Ferry’ The actual High Street is beyond the church and so called because of its geographical position, high above the river Welch Gate, also beyond the church, was once a tollgate into Wales Erm, Bewdley lists one of its most famous residents as Rusty Lee, the 90’s chef from Good Morning Britain…..OK, I think we’ll stop there with our Bewdley Fact File. The Chain Gang and other sub-groups Hands up who wants to go for a bike ride

after Hashopoly? Hands up who wants to go to the pub? Hands up who wants to go and see The Flying Scotsman? The fitter/more adventurous/stupid members of the hash (delete as applicable) went off with Alan to revisit the ‘not-flat-at-all’ wonders of Wyre Forest, the more casual members (such as Mick, Barney, et al) merely carried on drinking, and a few others went off to see The Flying Scotsman. Only one group though managed to combine all 3 events, along with a ride round the perimeter of an FA Vase Cup Game involving Bewdley FC (the riverside footpath was closed) and an early fish ‘n chip supper. Step forward myself, Mark, Nikki, and Zac – brains over brawn! “It’s not often that I get to cycle past Alan….. so I was determined to savour the moment” [Roger, who had remained fresh by sitting out parkrun and Hashopoly, whilst Alan had already run himself into the ground before his own bike ride]

Hash Evening Event

“A sort of hybrid between slow-motion hopscotch and five-card poker…” When the rule for a drunken hash game starts off in that manner and then proceeds to run for over 3 pages of closely-typed ‘Rogerisms’,

you know it’s going to be hard going. Plus, with the evening already in full swing after being forced to down the contents of Kev and Kerry’s teenage drinks cabinet (all lined up on the table, like some lurid hangover-

strewn rainbow), it wasn’t long before cheating took hold, and the piles of betting money (or ‘Dribbles’) were mysteriously misappropriated. “I knew you’d cheated….because it wasn’t physically possible to win the amount of money which your team won” [Gerry, to Matt’s ‘Tornado’ team the morning after]. Kev and Kerry’s quiz had already resulted in much hilarity, especially with the ‘Guess the Hashers’ legs’ picture round, where Hels Belles was most put out to have her legs confused with Hawkeye’s. Hawkeye, to be fair, wasn’t that fussed. In any event, this all set the scene for one of Roger’s

missile was thrown, and then another, before the air was soon thick with the sound of whizzing paper bombs. My head was nearly taken off by a bag of Mini Cheddars as the game soon descended into complete anarchy, with friendly fire (and not so friendly fire) coming in from all directions directed at the cinder carriers. Mick’s team had the unenviable task of going last. By this point, Sooper had taken his penknife to Mick’s plastic piping, puncturing it repeatedly thus depriving Mick of valuable suction. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time.

finest games ever, something to do with Napoleonic cannonballs, but I prefer to call it ‘The Spanish Inquisition’, such was the level of brutality and violence. It all started very sedately, with Helen’s team very precisely sucking up ping pong balls (representing cinders) with the plastic piping provided, then carrying it over to 2 people at the other end of the room, one of whom then threw various quoits and hoops onto numbered scoring rings. Everybody watched quietly and dutifully as Roger explained the rules in the background.

Mick’s (numerous) ball gags – trying saying that quickly! Oh, Mick’s lost his suction He’s never had that many balls in his mouth before Somebody’s gone and punctured his weapon He’s definitely half-cocked

Back at the bunkhouse

The high spirits continued after the Napolenic mayhem. I think the innocuous question, ‘Could you please pass me a chocolate’ was the spark for an all-out ‘Celebrations Fight’, although at least the Quiz Winners’ prize was shared out evenly amongst the hashers…all over the bunkhouse.

Then all hell broke loose. I’m not sure who started it, but first one

Buoyed by testosterone (and I’m including the women in this one) plus with a surfeit of food left over from the evening’s takeaways, a competitive eating theme began to develop.

with Native American soundtrack provided by the rest of the hash. This was much to Sooper’s disgust who was camping out front and subsequently had to endure a torrential downpour as the heavens opened at 2:00am.

Quotes of the evening

Zac reckoned he could eat 3 jaffa cakes in one go, and after duly accomplishing that, the stakes were raised. No, I don’t actually mean ‘steaks’, but rather prawn crackers, 5 of them to be precise, although 6 did prove to be too much….once we’d resuscitated him having inhaled half of them the wrong way. Gary (still smarting from Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat earlier in the day) wanted a piece of the action and duly challenged Zac to a drinking competition….or maybe Zac, high on adrenalin, challenged Gary…it all gets rather hazy. In any event, having run out of alcohol, they were forced to compete with pints of milk. Zac lost. Milk -  it’s a stomach liner isn’t it? Yeah, but not when drunk at the end of the evening after 15 shots, 3 pints and a bottle of wine...then it becomes a stomach churner.  For his forfeit, he then had to perform a rain dance in the front garden, complete

What’s his snatch like [Hawkeye joins in a conversation late....on powerlifting] I think I’ve suddenly developed Jedi abilities! There is now a Bounty forcefield around me [Kerry shows off her quick reactions in karatechopping mini-Bounty missiles away] Did anybody keep any of the answer sheets from last night? No…probably because Jess was ripping them up and using them to arm everyone with ammunition [Hence the reason why Roger’s Napoleonic quoits game descended into glorious chaos] When you nearly get your head taken off by a pack of mini cheddars, you know you’ve really upset somebody [Matt comes in for special attention] And the winners by a country mile [voice interrupts Roger] And how does that differ from a normal mile? [another voice from the crowd]....Well it’s more of a Roger variation! There was a BIG spider in our bedroom; Jess wasn’t too happy so I had to get Zac up to get rid of it. [Nikki recounts last night’s action] Where was Matt R? [somebody enquired] Oh he was probably doing his hair or something as part of his gender reassignment programme.  [Matt R suddenly appears downstairs] So where were you Matt R, when the spiders were running amok? [pauses and thinks hard] Oh, I’m not sure….however, if there had been cows in the room, there’d have been no problems Lucy had done really well and got through the entire quiz.....until Roger started whistling [Sarah rolls her eyes You look like a TimeOut with that coloured top Aud / What’s a TimeOut? / It’s a

chocolate bar - a bit like a KitKat on steroids. That was my first and last time in a dogging van. [Nikki comes over all funny after receiving a lift in Sooper’s car, complete with velvet curtains on the floor]

Sunday 25th September

were 6 of them, proper hashers all with hash names and nice shiny printed t-shirts; Frosty, Cross Dresser, Game Bird, Shag, Doggy Style…and another one whose name I think was Gay Lord…..or maybe that was a typing error – one of the drawbacks with sending your t-shirts off to a dyslexic printer so I’m told.

It was all very quiet in the bunkhouse first think in the morning; the only sounds were Lucy being fed whilst Sarah ate her porridge and smartie mix one-handed (I’m assured that it was very nice…the porridge I mean)

Roger called the Hash to order. Or rather he stood in the middle, waved his arms around, and made Roger-type noises whilst everybody ignored him and talked amongst themselves.

Luckily, the hash had over-invested in milk, so there was still plenty leftover despite last night’s drinking games.

for another hash!

It’s 10:00am, it’s Sunday, it must be time

We were joined at Bewdley Bridge by some of the Wyre Forest Hashers whom we’d bumped into at yesterday’s parkrun; there

However, Gerry, who had been up at 6am to set a fresh hash then took to the floor and captured the Hash’s undivided attention; I think it was something about the Short being 5 miles which gave Mike and Mick minor heart attacks – only joking though! He went on to outline some of the Gerry-isms which he’d set down in stone…or flour; kissing marks, name onbacks, age onbacks, a Long, Medium, and Short runs – you name it, it was all there for all to see.

armed with a pair of secateurs (or ‘cutty cutty things’ as Roger likes to call them, trying to avoid using ‘French words’ wherever possible) to cut paths through the woods where paths had only ever previously existed in the memories of a few grizzled ‘ol locals. Cue much yelping from brambles, stinging nettles and thorns. I’m sure I saw Gerry chortling away to himself at this point…..

Wyre Forest Deviants – like ‘Deliverance’, only with better clothing “I once laid a trail in sawdust – that worked quite well until I ran out of the nice white ‘hamster’ stuff, and had to stop a random forester with a chainsaw and ask him for

This drew gasps of appreciation from Wyre Forest Hash. “Wow, we’re just lazy bastards – we never go to that much trouble! I wonder if we can reuse this hash on Thursday?” [note, Wyre Forest hash at 7:00pm, Thu evenings, if you’re ever in the area]

Up, Up, and Away With a sense of impending déjà vu, we ran through Bewdley Town Centre (for the umpteenth time this weekend) and up on various paths leading back to the Bunkhouse. Maybe this would be a Short Hash after all? No such luck. Gerry had been out first-thing

some more. Spoiler alert – brown sawdust doesn’t show up too well in the woods at night!” The Wyre Forest hashers proved amusing company, with various tales of hashes gone wrong – “Yeah, laying a trail in golf balls was novel….best not to lay

whose is whose. Then somebody goes and drops their trousers and stands there, just wearing a red party thong. He was so hairy, she thought she was feeling one of the Hash Hounds backsides! You get the picture eh? When most of the party games come from ‘Celebrity Juice’, you should know what you are letting yourself in for……so I won’t even try to explain the ‘Magnetic Crotch’ game…..no, don’t even ask me to start!


it next to a golf course though – there were hashers heading off in all directions!”. In fact, come to think of it, not many of their hashes seemed to go right, and their party games were somewhat raunchier than our ours. “We had a picture round last night - Guess the Hasher from a photo of their legs.” Ah, we play a slightly different variation on that – Whose Arse is it Anyway? That’s when a female hasher is blindfolded and has to feel the male bottoms in front of her and guess

After a foray through the woods, down muddy banks and up many a proverbial garden path (much to Hawkeye’s disgust who was attempting to follow the Longs on his bike), we arrived back at the River Severn with another of Gerry’s special Hash signs – a ‘Marker’. Knowing Mark’s love of all things watery (he’d already stood in the Severn after Hashopoly, like a wizened old druid trying to commune with nature), next to some muddy steps there was a flour sign with Mark’s name and an arrow pointing into the river. However, as Mark demurred, ‘Cross Dresser’ without hesitation, threw himself headlong into the river, thus laying down the gauntlet for HWH3. Having carefully disrobed, Mark

followed him down, but then 2 Wyre Forest hashers jumped in, and we were suddenly 3-1 down – a bit like watching Wycombe on a bad day eh Simon? The ‘game’ eventually ended in a respectable 6-6 draw; Wyre Forest did cheekily include a dog in their watery total, but then again, about 90% of their hash did take to the Severn, so I guess it evened out in the end.

Prosecco and cupcakes A beautiful run-in along the Severn led us back under Bewdley Bridge, past the riverside pubs and cafes packed with walkers, cyclists, and train spotters (no really, the place was overrun with them on account of the Flying Scotsman #Spoiler alert – it was actually ‘The Tornado’ pulling Flying Scotsman carriages), back to the car park where Rose awaited with the now customary Prosecco and cupcakes. Well, we are a Southern hash after all?! Again, the Wyre Forest hashers were extremely impressed, but no, this time there would be no leftovers for them to reuse on Thursday evening.

Back at the bunkhouse, busy as a bee Unbeknownst to all of us, Gary had been conducting a 1-man impersonation of a bumblebee back at the bunkhouse, banging on the window in an increasingly frustrated

attempt to get out [note – Hawkeye had locked the door and taken the key with him, rather than leaving it in the ‘secret location’ as we’d all been doing]. Luckily, Gary had downed enough milk the previous evening, so was not in any imminent danger of dehydration, but he must be said, he wasn’t looking quite so ‘buzzy’ this morning.

Shower-time There were the usual queues for the shower, exacerbated by Kerry’s insistence that the shower was for her exclusive use…well, maybe her room at a push, but definitely not the downstairs boy’s bunk room. Get ‘outta my showa’ [think Peggy Mitchell, chucking an errant punter out of her pub] However, this time, her threats fell on deaf ears, with some brave enough to answer back.

[loud knocking] Oy! Who’s in my showa’ ?! [voice from inside] It’s me, Sooper [angry voice from outside] Whatcha doin’ in there?! [voice from inside] I’m having a wee in your shower…. There was no comeback from Kerry at that point!

The long road home After the customary ‘Masterchef Challenge’, in which the entire remaining contents of the fridge were tipped into various cooking pots and frying pans in some sort of weird ‘Invention Test’, the washing up was completed and it was time to bid adieu to the bunkhouse and head back to civilization. For another year. All except Roger and Roz though, whose BMW had suddenly developed ‘driveshaft issues’ and refused to start again, necessitating an emergency call for a tow truck. So, after The Spanish Imposition, Roger was now subject to The German Imposition….funny how irony comes full circle eh?

Words by Matt Wright from Noble Word, [email protected] Design by Gerry Palme from The Palmer & Rose Partnership, [email protected]