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EPISKOPI HASH HOUSE HARRIERS CYPRUS

(One Of The Last Gentlemen Only Hashes in The World)

Tales From The Crit'

Tales From 2559

Hares today on   Run  2859    were:

David Marks : 206  Runs: 14  Hares:  Av;15

Nick Smith : 553   Runs  59 Hares:   Av:9

Roger Smith:434  Runs 40    Hares:   Av:11

Chief Bottle washer 763 runs 93 hares Av.8

Number of Runners: 34

Returning Hashers: Ben Cooper Brian Liddell

Run Crit: and after a year or so in the walking ranks  Dave Norris returns to the run: the gist of the crit was that standards had clearly slipped during his absence with the on out being not just up hill but basically a steep hill climb, from there the run degenerated as hashers led by the hares were shortcutting while our hero staggered on following the main trail such was his dedication to hash rules. He asked the in coming On.Pres. to smarten things up and improve standards.

WalkCrit: As flour grader extraordinaire  may I firstly applaud a hare that utilises the blue trail as much as possible . It also makes perfect sense to do so, why replicate a trail near by a trail that others are laying.

The hare thoughtfully led us to the rubbish tip where we found waiting for us complete sets of skis and poles. I kid you not, god knows who left them all there. Grateful walkers helped themselves to poles but ignored the skis what use could they possibly  be ? ten minutes later we found out why they had been there as we took on what can only be described as a black  downhill slalom run  . the rest of the walk was uneventful led ably by our Japanese tour guide who merely muttered arsehole when ever any one joked with him  about some football team with a similar sounding name. During my crit a mobile phone went off. A heinous crime on the hash. The culprit was the very man who had asked for standards to improve young Norris !!!

Sport : Fittingly, a dire performance from Man Utd pushed Pep’s magnificent project over the finishing line and he has produced a sublime football team possibly the best English club team we have ever seen. But let us not forget Jurgen Klopp the king of the Kop who has guided Liverpool to the semi finals of the world’s premier club competition  and transformed James Milner and Oxlade Chamberlain in the process. They are unrecognisable as the players that played for Man City and Arsenal.

St. George, never once came anywhere near England so how did we end up with him ? Well in 1222  the then Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton  decided to really  piss  King Henry off by ignoring his choice of patron saint and picking this obscure Roman who supposedly slayed dragons for fun. When Langton popped his clogs in 1228 he was buried in open ground alongside the Cathedral . His grave was eventually covered over by a chapel as part of the Cathedral expansion and this chapel is now the regimental chapel of The Royal East Kent Regiment better known as The Buffs of Steady the Buffs fame,  a favourite phrase of Peter Hogg’s .

Now a few quotes about England :

John Cleese. “The English contribution to world cuisine - The Fried Chip “

Anon; “The reason the sun never sets on The British Empire is that you can’t trust an English public school boy in the dark” you’ve been warned Gentlemen !

Lady Alice Hillingdon wife of Charles Mills the 2nd Baron Hillingdon writing in her diary “ I am much happier now that Charles calls on my bedchamber less frequently . As it is I now endure just but two calls a week and when I hear his steps outside my door, I lie down on my bed , close my eyes, open my legs and think of England

Next Weeks Open Run: The inauguration of the new On Pres running at 12 noon

Hares: Barney Bruce, George Trotter and Laurie Mitchell

Chop: BYO food for a picnic with beers and wine provided by the Hash.

Oh and today is Hal’s last run . He is now deserting us for the Lone Star State and will not be back here till November 2019. Let’s hope a few of us are still around to meet him at the Epi Hash retirement home tiddlywinks night with cocoa served before bedtime at 9 pm .

And so to my final true tale at the crit:

Having spent over 3 years living in The Sub-Continent in the late 1980s I am still interested in anything Indian and thought on this my final crit as On. Pres I should pick something spectacular. So I thought what about a diamond but not just any diamond  the Koh-I-Noor diamond.

 As our wives always used to have tell us in bed “darling don’t worry size is not everything” and that is also true of the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

It might only be the 90th largest, but it still emerges with a very sizeable reputation.

This is one of several lessons to be learned from the story of the Koh-i-Noor diamond.  Way down the list in terms of size but, looming large in the imagination. It is probably also the world’s most dangerous diamond, described  as being “like a living, dangerous bird of prey” because so many have lost their lives over it.

 Koh-i-Noor is Persian for Mountain of Light and is first mentioned in 1628 when the Mogul ruler Shah Jahan , yes he of The Taj Mahal fame, commissioned the building of a magnificent throne to be adorned with rubies and diamonds, emeralds and pearls and at the top of the throne on the head of a magnificent peacock was the Koh-i-Noor diamond . The Peacock throne  which in the end was just a seat cost more than the Taj Mahal to build . Shah Jahan  built the Red Fort in Delhi to have the throne  as it’s centrepiece .

I first visited the Red Fort in November of 1986 on a trip to Delhi. We had been living in Bombay for 5 months in a British Airways owned apartment.  Each morning I would go down to the garage where my driver and car sat waiting. Up the ramp we would go and at the top we would stop to wait for a break in the traffic. Each day as we stopped a beggar on a kind of skate board he had made as he had no legs would  tap on the door of the car using his ringed finger to attract my attention. Now my car was a brand new Toyota and with foreign cars having to pay 300% import tax had cost a bloody fortune so rather than have this guy scratch the paintwork I had the driver  stop him  tapping and in return I would toss a few  coins out of the window in his general direction each morning.

The arrangement worked well for both of us . However in late October he disappeared from his pitch. I assumed he had found a banker coming out of one of the other apartment buildings who paid more than a poor airline executive and had voted with his er wheels.

 That November I had flown to Delhi for meetings but with sometime to spare Harish Malik my sales guy in Delhi suggest a visit to the Fort. To be honest since the British raised all but the walls  to the ground following the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 there was not much to see. So we were on our way out in search of a lunchtime beer  when I felt a tugging on my trouser leg. I looked down and there amazingly was my beggar from Bombay. I asked Harish to ask him what was he doing there. “I’m on my holidays” he replied "and as I had never been to Delhi I came on the train , but I’ll be back next week see you then” and sure enough our routine re-started the following Tuesday .

But back to the Koh-i-Noor . When Persian ruler Nader Shah  attacked Delhi in 1739 to obtain the diamond,  he slaughtered all 40,000 inhabitants . When Nader left the city accompanied by the   looted treasure it required 700 elephants, 4,000 camels and 12,000 horses to carry it. Nader took the Peacock Throne , but removed the Koh-i-Noor diamond to wear on an armband.

The Koh-i-Noor would remain away from India for 70 years. It passed between the hands of various rulers in one blood-soaked episode after another, including a king who blinded his own son and a despotic ruler whose shaved head was coronated with molten gold.

 With all this fighting between Central Asian factions, a power vacuum grew in India—and we Brits soon came to take advantage of it. We were looking for territory but also had our eye on a piece of priceless treasure The Koh-i-Noor diamond.

It was now in the hands of the Sikh King Panjit Singh and as an aside with regard to Sikhs it is important to remember that all Singhs are Sikhs but not all Sikhs  are Singhs. Think about it.

Anyway to the Lion of the Punjab as Panjit Singh was known, the diamond  seems to have held a far greater symbolism ; for he had won back almost all the Indian lands the Afghans had seized since 1739 with the Koh-i-Noor diamond on his armband.

To him and indeed  to the British it now represented power. Own the diamond and you owned India.

In 1849 The British East India Company seized the Punjab which included what is today the whole of Pakistan and most of North Western India. Then in a delightful piece of perfidious Albion on the death of Panjit Singh they  convinced the 10 year old boy king successor to happily sign away all of his lands and the Koh-i-Noor diamond. The British in the form of the East India Company finally had the diamond and  ruled all of India.

The East India Company decided to give the diamond to Queen Victoria as a present to celebrate their 250th anniversary.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond was  taken to Bombay in the trust of John Lawrence the Administrator of the Punjab who placed it in his waistcoat pocket for safe keeping . On arrival at his house in Bombay and prior to the voyage to England he sent his waistcoat to be cleaned forgetting about the diamond which his Indian dhobi wallah found in the pocket and returned to him. 

In 1852 Prince Albert had the diamond re-cut to improve it’s colour and Queen Victoria wore it as a brooch . However as her friendship with an Indian servant Abdul Karim ‘the munshie” developed and she learnt Hindu from him she refused to wear it saying it should never have been taken from India. If you haven’t seen the film Queen Victoria and Abdul  it’s well worth a peak.

Well gentlemen  should we give the diamond back? But if so to whom ?  Pakistan lays claim to it, India lays claim to it, the Sikhs lay claim to it, the Afghans lay claim to it and the Iranians lay claim to it ! Personally I like the suggestion the diamond be mounted in a trophy and that  trophy  India, Pakistan and England play cricket for every two years.

 

So that’s my lot. Back into the ranks next week and I can’t wait and I bet you can’t wait for me to be back there either.

But Gentlemen its been a real privilege to be your On Pres and despite boring you to tears each Tuesday I’ve had an absolute ball doing the research for these tales at the crit. Thank you and

 

On On the Hash

Tales From 2558

 

Hares today on   Run  2858    were: Dave Norris :1130    Runs:  180  Hares:  Av;6 Mike Blokki :   185 Runs 29  Hares:   Av:6 Ray Turford: 1192 Runs 136   Hares:   Av:9

Number of Runners: 29

Returning Hashers:  Mike 

Woods,

Guests: Nick O’Callaghan obviously a guest and indeed son of of Aubrey, and Alan Harrison ( G/O Laurie )

Run Crit: Simon Carroll. after a long run out on tarmac of all things, the run turned into a Grand Old Duke of York outing . If there was a hill the pack was going up it if there was a valley the pack were going down it and then back up it. A summer run that the fastest runner completed in 58 mins . a shite run .

WalkCrit: Well we strolled out downhill and after less than 10 minutes our leader turned and told us we had reached the point of no return which is a bit like a 747 flying to New York turning back before Bristol .No one turned back so  on we plodded and then down we went and down we went before yes you guessed it up we came and up and  up . But as a Wolves supporter who has spent the weekend celebrating promotion I can’t kick a Baggie when his team is going down so enough said. A shite walk but a great weekend for Nuno and the lads.

Sport :

Barney and Dan  have

 asked me to mention that in Rugby last Wednesday The RAF beat The Army 20-19.

And a news story to warm the cockles of birthday boy Mike Ball’s welsh heart : Rod Liddle wrote this humorous piece in the Times two weeks ago as follows :

The Welsh, or some o

f them, are moaning that a motorway bridge linking their rain-sodden valleys with the First World is to be renamed the Prince of Wales Bridge.  That wretched Plaid Cymru woman who is always on Question Time has been leading the protests. They would prefer it to be called something indecipherable with no real vowels, such as Ysgythysgymlngwchgwch Bryggy.

Now this wasn’t nearly as bad as a piece he wrote in The Spectator in 2010 when he described the Welsh TV channel S4C as ‘an epic waste of tax payers money simply to appease the sensibilities of a minority of those miserable, seaweed-munching, sheep-bothering, pinch-faced hill tribes who are perpetually bitter about having England as a next-door neighbour’.

But the BBC picked up the Times article and used it as a leader on news broadcasts and now The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, an elected position for which the incumbent, Arfon Jones of Plaid Cymru, receives a salary of £70,000 and a bottomless expense account from the public purse has instructed police to investigate Liddle for racism and language hate crime . So I guess we can expect a Cliff Richard style morning raid, helicopters and all quite soon. What ever happened to Max Boyce. 

Next Weeks Run: The St. Georges Day Run

Hares: Back by popular demand the Englands got talent last place losers David Marks with his backing group the Smith Sisters

Chop: Hani

I do hope every true born Englishman will attend and if your unlucky enough not to have the good fortune of being English true born then I hope you turn up as mark of simple, decent, respect.

For the Good Of The Hash

like London buses you wait for months and then two turn up at once so I’m delighted to tell you gentlemen we have a new member, Ian Johnson . Ian please tell us a little about yourself.  

And so to my penultimate true tale on the crit.  

It was a little before 1am on a cool night in early September 1986 when Monica Coghlan walked out of the Albion Hotel on to Gillingham Street in Victoria, with her third client of the evening.

They had just had sex in room 6a and were about to drive back in his blue Mercedes to Coghlan's patch in Shepherd Market, Mayfair.

Across the street a parked car flashed its headlights. Coghlan approached the driver's window. After a moment's conversation Coghlan and the driver walked past the Mercedes and into the hotel.

At that moment Jeffrey Archer's 14-year fall from the highest ranks of the Conservative party to Belmarsh prison began.

Jeffrey Archer was born on this day in 1940. His

father William Archer was a bigamist, fraudster and conman, who impersonated another William Archer, a deceased Army Military Medal holder and then boasted of his war record. He was at different times employed as a chewing gum salesman in New York and a mortgage broker in London, in the latter capacity being charged at the Old Bailey for a series of fraud offences.

 Archer himself went to Wellington School in Somerset but claimed he went to Wellington College the public school for Army officer’s sons.

He attended teachers training college at Oxford but stayed on in Oxford for 2 more years as if taking a degree and then claimed he had attended the University.

 So after the driver in the blue Mercedes, who had recognised Archer in the street light, had phoned the News of The Screws and they in turn phoned Archer it was unlikely he was going to put his hand up and say fair cop.

Instead he embarked on a journey that saw him engineer a complex criminal conspiracy, forge his diaries, procure false alibis and corrupt those around him. He sacrificed the reputations of his wife, his mistress, his personal assistant and his best friend to save himself at the high court in 1987.

in 1986  Archer's star was at its brightest. He was at the heart of Tory high command, and was socialising and womanising at a level he had long dreamed of.

For seven years he had lived a double life, keeping his mistress  Andrina Calquhoun in London only returning to his wife Mary at weekends. He also had 6 other girlfriends dotted around the home counties. He even had a fixer Michael Stackpoole and it was to him he turned to sort the problem out. Stackpoole arranged to met Monica under the clock at Victoria Station and there gave her something all Cypriots would understand, a large brown envelope full of £50 notes to leave the country till things quietened down. Unfortunately for Archer she was wearing a wire and three weeks later the News of the Screws published the story but without saying Archer had had sex with Monica though the inference was clear. But a week later The Daily Star did say he had and Archer sued for libel.

He now set about forging an alibi for the night of September the 10th when he was supposed to be with Monica Coghlan.

His best friend at the time was Ted Francis a TV producer and Archer had recently invested £20,000 as an angel in a documentary Ted was making on Enid Blyton the author whose every book I think I read as a child.  He met Ted at the Sambuca Restaurant and asked him to give him an alibi by saying they were together that night at the Sambuca . He told Ted he wasn’t with Monica that night  but with his mistress and didn’t want Mary his wife to find out as he had promised her and Mrs Thatcher the affair was over. As a friend Ted agreed and wrote an affidavit to that effect. Archer then bought a diary for 1986 and had his secretary rewrite every appointment for the year asking her to also write in the dinner with Ted Francis. Suspecting she was being used, the clever girl took a photo copy of the blank page and then wrote the diner date in and then took another photocopy and had the man in the shop sign both .

At the High court Monica gave a graphic account of their so called sex romp “ Of course I recognised his face” She said “  I was on top of him for the very few minutes it lasted. It was over so very quickly and to fill in time I wiped him down with tissues and chatted to him  to earn my £70”

However after a ludicrous summing up by the Judge who presented Archer as a public school and Oxford man of impeccable character the jury found for Archer and awarded him £500,000 .

In April 1990 Jeffrey and Mary Archer threw one of their monthly shepherds pie and Krug champagne buffet lunches and I hope I’m not  breaking a confidence here but Barney told me at our handover meeting that he and Lizzy intend to start regular lunches with exactly this  format for us hashers during his tenure.

Attending the Archers lunch was Ted Francis and whilst he was talking to two potential investors in another TV programme Archer came over and said “ you want to watch this crook. I lent him £20,000 in 1986 and he has never repaid me” and walked off. Francis was incensed especially as he had perjured himself for Archer . But he decided to keep his powder dry.

In the autumn of 1999, after hearing Archer had been selected as Tory candidate for London mayor, he called the publicist Max Clifford as well as Archer’s old secretary . The News of The Screws set up another wire trap and Archer  when he met Ted Francis  was recorded saying "We've got to be careful, Ted. We certainly don't want to go to a court of law with this, we’ll be done.”

Faced with this and his old secretary’s evidence  Archer admitted he had lied. At his trial the “teflon Tory “ as he was known until then was given 4 years  and, of course, London got Ken Livingston as Mayor.

But for Ted Francis the old adage revenge is a dish best served cold  could not have been truer .

 

On On the Hash

 

Tales From 2556 

 

Hares today on the RAF Centenary  Run  2855    were:Barney Bruce :608    Runs:  74  Hares:  Av;8

Trevor Kemp : 451   Runs  57 Hares:   Av:11

Jim Adair: 400 Runs   37  Hares:   Av:11

Number of Runners: ???

Returning Hashers: . Simon Carroll

Guest  Mike Hancock G/O Ian Johnson

Apologies from ex RAF hashers, Joe Oldfield, Dan Archer, Brian Kay and Rob Findlater.

Ex RAF  Hashers that obeyed the RAF motto and went through adversity to the stars Jack Blocki, Don Arnot, Dave Smith

 

Run Crit: by George Trotter  the gist of which was having been promised a run mainly on tracks almost none of the run was anywhere near a track instead the runners went up hill and down dale whilst WingCo Bruce and a small band of followers “ round up the usual suspects” did indeed walk along tracks to meet the more and more fatigued runners each time they emerged from the depth of yet another valley with cries of we’re getting cold waiting where have you been. All in all a shite run if you actually ran on it.

Walk Crit: I think Jim Adair cheated and actually did a recce as he so confidently  strode out ahead of the pack with seemingly a clear idea of where we were heading which was doubly impressive as there was not even a dusting of flour to be seen . On we strode still with Jim in the lead , talk about a Pathfinder . Air Vice Marshall Don Bennett the founder of the Pathfinders in 1943 at ripe old age of 33 would have been proud. Our leader became a little confused near the radar station possibly expecting the flack that he did indeed get from the pack. But the course was reset  on we came with the entire squadron returning without a crate hit so clearly a shite walk. 

Sport: From hubris to nemesis in just a few short days for the Australian cricket team and the shares in Kleenex must have soared as one by one the culprits cried their way through their press conferences. Weeping I guess not for what they had done but for the amazing money they are losing not playing for Australia and having their contracts to play in India ripped up by the Indian Cricket Board .

In Rugby English interest in The Champions Cup ended with Saries being outclassed by Leinster And so for the second time in the matter of a couple of weeks an English title reign has fallen prey to Irish superiority. Leinster are of course coached by one Stuart Lancaster which makes it all the more poignant for english fans  .

And at last  the Baggies have  sacked Alan Pardew who managed to win one game in the 18 he managed at the club. It means  that not only does he maintain his record of having never being relegated as a manager but that his players stole as many taxis as he won games.

For The Good Of The Hash : Firstly an award for 400 runs This hasher has run and walked about 1,300 miles though in this hasher's case it is probably far further given the times he has been lost. He has also drunk in excess of 600 litres of Keo . Gentlemen fittingly on this centenary RAF run I give you  Jim Adair.

You will be delighted to know that you only have me for two more crits. Pause for cheers of relief . The crowning of our next On Pres will take place on Tuesday May 1st at the Well of the Franks . A noontime open run and walk  followed by a BYO picnic but with beer and wine provided by the hash.

I’m now delighted to announce that rarity of events the acceptance of a new member of the Episkopi  Hash  and a man we can all relate to as his reason for joining is his wife wants him out of the house . Gentlemen please welcome Dave Hancock.  Dave tell us a little something about yourself.

And Finally Nogsie has an excellent cause for us to help him with. 

Next Weeks Run: Paramali

Hares: Jim Burke, Chris Snaith and me

Chop: Melanda Beach Bar Fish and Chips 

And so to my true tale on the crit. 

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed, by so many, to so few,” So spoke Winston Churchill  in his famous tribute to RAF Fighter Command. The phrase came to him as he was driving home  after witnessing, at Uxbridge, the high drama of the Luftwaffe’s massive attack on southern England in August 1940.

But in fact the R.A.F. owed  it’s very existence  to Winston Churchill.

In 1909 Churchill was President of the Board of Trade in the Asquith Liberal government and  a member of The Committee for Imperial Defence . On July 25th 1909 Bleriot flew the English Channel  in his monoplane flying at an average speed of 45 MPH and at a height of 250ft. The press cried from the headlines that “we are no longer an island” and that airpower was the new threat to Britain. Churchill always a man interested in new technologies pushed the Committee to form an Advisory Committee for Aeronautics under Lord Richard Haldane the man who had formed the Territorial Army and the concept of a permanent  highly trained British Expeditionary force to fight future wars on mainland Europe .

Haldane’s committee proposed the formation of a Central Flying School at Upavon in Wiltshire feeding pilots to a new group under the control of the Army and Royal Navy called The  Royal Flying Corp with both an Army and a Naval wing  but with reconnaissance and artillery spotting at its core.

In 1912 the RFC came into existence.  

However this first experiment in joined-up airpower was to last only until 1914 when Churchill by then First Lord of the Admiralty  removed the naval wing and renamed it the Royal Naval Air Service.

 The Royal Navy from that day maintained a separate air wing which in 1937 was renamed The Fleet Air Arm which must of taken some clever chap months to dream up.

Churchill declared UDI because he felt The Army were slow to realise the importance of airpower especially as an offensive weapon and that The Royal Navy which operated much further from the enemy and with a much wider roving role needed to develop the aeroplane in a purely attack role.

He was proved right as WW1 developed. The RFC under Army command only used aeroplanes for reconnaissance and artillery spotting . Any actual air fighting only took place to gain air superiority to carry out these tasks over enemy lines and to stop the enemy mounting recces of their own. Therefore the RFC were content to use planes built poorly and with few technical advances at the government owned Central Aircraft unit at Farnborough.

 By the spring 1917  the Royal Flying Corp  were experiencing horrendous loses to the far superior newly developed Fokker Monoplane with a forward mounted machine gun firing between the propeller blades ( Pause here for someone to tell a Fokker joke ).

 The Navy meanwhile had been and were buying all the privately built Sopwith Pup and Camels coming off the production lines. These they were flying with devastating effect from their newly invented aircraft carriers,   attacking both surface ships and more importantly  the new threat to Britain losing the war, German submarines.

 Then in the summer of 1917 the Germans rolled out the new Gotha bomber and began to bomb firstly the south coast towns and then London itself in broad daylight, easily brushing aside the feeble and almost non existent  air defences of the RFC  .

Faced with an outcry from both the civilians under the new threat of being bombed and the whole of the press the government panicked and insisted firstly that the Royal Navy handover the Sopwith Camel contract to the RFC and also place 7 RNAS squadrons at the Army’s  disposal to fight the new civilian bombing menace as well as sending 3 RNAS squadrons to the Western Front to stem the air losses there .

Lloyd George then did what all panicking governments do in times of trouble he formed a committee, this one under the Chairmanship former Boer guerrilla leader Field Marshal Jan Christaan Smuts. His task was to consider the future air defence of Britain and more importantly who should do it.

Smuts set up his committee at the then Cecil Hotel in The Strand and helped by Churchill now back in government as Minister of Munitions a move that was not greeted with popular acclaim the Times saying “ the appointment proves that although we have not yet invented the unsinkable ship, we have discovered the unsinkable politician. ” It still blamed the Dardanelles on Churchill,  and went on to say “whose overwhelming conceit led him to imagine he was Nelson at sea and a Napoleon on land.”

The committee   quickly came to a decision which became a white paper. Smuts felt Britain would need to fight fire with fire and so in future conflicts  would need a force of bombers independent of the Army and Navy to strike first at any aggressor  as well as a fighter force to both escort the bombers and to defend Britain from enemy bombers.

He and his committee was  very much swayed  by the general public’s romance with the new aeroplane and the men that flew them. Trench warfare was certainly not romantic and the public were weary of the endless massive losses and no victories. The Royal Navy in turn had failed to win a decisive battle against The German Grand fleet to end the war and the sailor was similarly unpopular  . By contrast, public appreciation of the aviators efforts both on the Western Front and at sea  soared as the  ideal of the knights-of-the-air took root.  Genuine acts of chivalry by pilots of both sides were widely reported and the image of the dashing cavalier airman was born.

Smuts paper suggested an independent Air Force be formed well away from the inter service rivalry of The Navy and The Army  and on April 1st 1918 the RAF was formed with it’s  headquarters at the same Cecil Hotel.

The newly formed RAF ended the First World  War as the largest air force in the world but the war in the air certainly over the trenches had been almost a private war with minimal impact upon the ground situation.

The British public however had a new hero , the man who wore a pair of golden wings on his uniform ; whilst  Winston Churchill now   Secretary of State for War, won his fight to create a new role whereby his new creation the RAF was to police the British Empire ‘on the cheap’ as Churchill described it to the delight of the Chancellor of the Exchequer . Theoretically, he said aircraft could bomb rebellious tribesman into submission  rather than sending far more expensive ground troops by sea.

On On the Hash

 

Tales From 2555 

Hares today on Run  2855    were:

Pete Moore :546    Runs: 70   Hares:  Av;8

 Brian Liddell :1350    Runs 112  Hares: 12  Av:

Hal Butt:257  Runs  28   Hares:   Av:9

Number of Runners: 30 ( runners  walkers)

Returning Hashers:Mike Bollo Ball, Rory Shannon, David McGee, Simon McCrory, Marshall Hughes.

Run Crit:  What a send off many thanks to Rory and his superb piper.

Well as promised we ran out over  pleasantly undulating terrain. Checks came checks went , the pack with the odd check back stayed together and were even joined for 3 mins at Check three by the second running hare . As i ran with sweat pouring down me I thought of the many runners who last week had come up to me at the RV insisting that I ensure we had a fire for the first summer run. A pleasant water stop by the ugliest Church in Cyprus. Then the run went downhill or indeed uphill as we climbed and climbed and climbed. The checks got fewer as the hill got steeper . Instead of water it might have been better to have had oxygen on the hill. Runners became confused as the air got thinner. Trevor saw a single blue line and called a check back, Rory and Mark ran passed a clearly marked check back and ran on for miles back down the hill. I began to wish we were on the bloody ploughed field we were avoiding. But then in the distance the sound of a lone piper and back in we came. All in all a shite run.

Walk Crit by Marshall Hughes . As a Scotsman Marshall was delighted that the walkers were piped off by the excellent Scottish piper. It reminded him ,he said, of a marathon he ran in Scotland. He recalled that on that run there was a person dressed as a chicken and another dressed as an egg . The joke that followed soared majestically  above the heads of the hashers and Marshall commented that perps it was too cerebral for the hash. More confused faces !! The walk was however deemed to be shite.

Sport: Well shock horror  drama , knock me down with a feather The Aussie cricket team has been caught cheating and to add insult to injury  the snowflake of a Captain seemed to think all he had to do, like the best man at an Aussie wedding caught in bed with the bride, was apologise and that would be that. Also can anyone explain to me why   instead of being flown to South Africa,  Ian Roy the Australian Cricket Board’s Head of Integrity hasn’t been fired  ? His job description says to ensure Cricket Australia is honest and of high moral principle. 

Mind you in 2008 Marcus Tescothick in his autography admitted that he was the go to England ball polisher in the 2005 Ashes series and that he spent the entire series sucking Murray Mints , now who remembers the Murray mints advert ? Murray Mints Murray Mints too good to hurry mints. Now I didn’t know Murray mints are a banned substance at any cricket game because constant sucking changes your saliva to the finest ball polishing agent known to man. England surprisingly won the series 2-1 thanks to the almost unplayable  reverse swing of Andrew Flintoff  and regained the Ashes after 18 years . The entire team received OBE’s though according to Trescothick they were all in the know and under instructions to always throw the ball to him . So maybe we shouldn’t crow too much about the Aussies. Though it is bloody nice sin’t it ?

And finally a question for you gentlemen . What would you least like to see coming straight at you. An Uber Driverless car, Ant McParlin’s black mini after he’s had a good lunchtime session or a Johnny Sexton up and under ball. After the Six Nations I’d plump for the last one. 

For The Good Of The Hash :

Just to let you know the

Epi Exiles H3 Reunion run in 2018 is at  Ashdown Forest, in Sussex on 30th June they have had a good response regarding this year’s reunion, with over 30 hounds indicating that they intend to come to Ashdown Forest.

Ashley has been able to book an excellent venue in Tunbridge Wells for the evening meal. There is a booking form which I can supply to any of you interested  you just have to complete and return it with the deposit  to Ralph before the deadline at the end of May.

Next Weeks Run: The Royal Air Force Centenary  Run

Hares:Barney Bruce, Joe Oldfield, Jim Adair

Chop: Platea in Pissouri Square

And so to my true tale on the crit..

There is a clothing website that caters for the many ultra right wing supporters in various countries in Europe . Now normally these have, dare one say, pithy and fairly simple  messages on them like I hate Islam or Kill a Muslim a Day but recently they have upped their game as it were and the latest tee shirt offering, which is much in vogue by British Ultras is one bearing the inscription Gulf of Patras, Lepanto, 1571 The Holy Alliance.

Now let’s be honest the individual Ultra right wing neo-Nazi type in Britain is not known for his or her outstanding intelligence especially in the field of history which apart from some basic social stuff is no longer taught in schools. So one wonders how many of them proudly wearing these tee shirts as they set off  to torch a mosque have any idea what the message actually refers to .

Now I know most of you  are nodding sagely  and clearly know all about 1571 and the battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras but let me just give you a bit of background as the whole war of which this was the deciding battle began here in Cyprus in 1570.

Since 1489 Cyprus had been a colony of the Italian State of Venice and was much prized as, not only did it’s position control the trade in the Eastern Med, but the island with a population of 160,000 was very wealthy both from trade and it’s two main crops cotton and sugar cane.

Unfortunately the local populous were also given to a bit robbery, so not much has changed in 450 years  and they would fall upon any muslim pilgrims on their way to Mecca who were sailing passed the island or were foolish enough to stop . The Turkish Ottoman Empire was less than amused and on July 3rd 1570 landed troops on the beach near Kyrenia !  Now doesn’t that seem to ring a bell . Maybe they should teach history in schools. . Nicosia fell after a 2 month siege and the Turk s slaughter every single inhabitant. Pafos fell the next month with the locals and the Venetians suffering the same fate. Marco Antonio the Venetian governor fell back on the heavily fortified town of Famagusta which withstood the siege for over a year before negotiating a surrender that guaranteed the inhabitants a safe passage to Crete which was also a Venetian held island. Out of the town gates they came and the Turks slaughtered the lot of them though poor Marco Antonio first had his ears and nose cut off  then was skinned alive and finally had his heart cut out and shown to him out before being quartered.

As you can imagine the Venetians back in Venice were less than pleased and appealed to the Pope to mount a holy war against the dastardly Muslims.

The Pope appealed  to the Empires of Spain and Genoa to help out and with the Venetians a fleet of 209 galleys were assembled.

 Now these Medieval galleys were enormous, each galley would have 25 pairs of oars with five men per oar so 250 rowers, then 50 sailors and 200 soldiers for a total of about 500 men on each one. They could row all day at 6 knots and sprint for several minutes at over 10 knots. At night they would beach their galley and cook as well as rest the rowers. Forget Ben Hur there is no record of rowers ever being chained to their oars even in Greek and Roman times nor whipped to encourage their performance and in fact in the main crews other than the Turkish Ottoman crews were from ancient times paid free men.

 The Ottoman Turks had 224 galleys manned by 50,000 oarsman who were mainly captured Christians forced into slavery.

The battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras, gentlemen, was the biggest and the last battle entirely fought by these massive rowing galleys and what an amazing sight it must have been .Each fleet came at each other in a crescent shape line abreast  . The bow cannon and musketeers would fire at an opposing galley trying to kill as many rowers and crew as possible. Once done the galley would grapple the opposition and storm aboard to finish off the job.

The battle was a close run thing for the Holy Alliance but what swung it in their favour was that whilst when the Turks took a galley the mainly free citizen rowers picked up arms and fought them with vigour when a Holy Alliance galley attacked an Ottoman one the Christian rowers immediately joined the Holy Alliance forces in attacking their captors.

At the end of the battle, the Christians had taken 137 galleys , and sunk or destroyed some 50 others. Around ten thousand Turks and other Muslims were taken prisoner, and many thousands of Christian slaves were rescued. The Christian side suffered around 7,500 deaths, the Turkish side about 30,000.

The battle effectively ended the European expansion of the Muslim Ottoman Empire which is why , if only they knew it,  the ultra right neo nazi tribes through Europe  are wearing the tee shirts . Pity they have no idea why.

And to close after England’s first innings in the First Test against New Zealand.

What did the cricket fan who went to the loo miss. the entire England innings

 and what is the height of optimism

An England batsman putting on sun screen 

On On the Hash


Tales From 2554

Hares today on  2854 the St. Patrick’s Day Grand Slam  Run were:

 Mark O’Foley : 503   Runs:   44 Hares:  Av;11

 Aubrey O’Callaghan :  130  Runs 18  Hares:   Av:7

Jimmy Carroll:1125  Runs  128   Hares:   Av:9

Number of Runners:34  ( runners  walkers)

Returning Hashers:Yours Truly, Brian Watson, Dave Hancock

Run Crit: byChris Snaith

Walk Crit by Keith Johnson

Sport: Six Nations. In the words of the poet Robert Southerby “ it t’was a famous victory “  and indeed it was. Ireland winning with consummate ease at the home of rugby and picking up the Grand slam to boot. In the other games Scotland squeezed past mighty Italy in the 79th minute and Wales and France decided to see which team could bore the crowd more over 80 minutes. As an Englishman I can only add that Ireland might want to enjoy this moment in the sun. In 2006 England finished the 6 nations in 4th place having also then lost 3 games  including a Twickenham game to Ireland but a mere 18 months later they were in The World Cup final and just a disputed foot in touch away from winning it.

For The Good Of The Hash : I was delighted to hear that there was plenty of moaning and whinging about the new signs. It just wouldn’t be our hash if change was just simply accepted would it ?  . I’m reliably told that even the old chestnut of what next women on the hash  came up . I do however agree that H3 should be on them and I will get that fixed. 

The head flour grader at The Blazing Trails Flour Company my wife Geraldine asks that hares please go to the trouble of undoing  the plastic bag that  contains the three tops with holes in and put those on the flour bottles rather than making  holes in  virgin tops . She realises this is a l bit of  extra effort for poor old elderly gentlemen , actually that’s not quite the way she described us indeed her description of the offending hares would have bought a blush to even Nogsie’s cheeks so trust me she means it . Naming and shaming will start next week gentlemen. 

Next Weeks Run: Palodia

Hares:Pete Moore, Brian Liddell and Hal Butt

Chop: Alona

And so to my true tale on the crit. with an Irish theme of course.

"The luck of the Irish" is probably a saying you've heard time and time again, most likely either around St. Patrick's Day or  when the Irish Rugby team do well. You probably thought the meaning has something to do with the extreme good fortune of the people of Ireland but originally this so called "Irish phrase" had a different connotation.

According to Edward T. O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College the term is not Irish in origin. 

"During the  great American gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth. Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression 'luck of the Irish.' Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these men succeed.”

 

On this very date in 1909 on slipway number 3 at the Harland and Wolfe shipyard in Belfast the keel of RMS Titanic was laid down .  At that time Harland and Wolfe was Belfast . Over 15,000 men were employed at the shipyard making it the biggest employer by far.

The Titanic took three years to build and on April 3rd 1912 set sail for Southampton to start her maiden voyage. The luck of the Irish didn’t, unfortunately, go with the nine Harland and Wolfe employees selected to accompany the ship to continue the work that hadn’t been completed at the yard. They all perished in the icy Atlantic Ocean when the ship went down. Nor obviously did the luck go with the ship itself especially when the Titanic’s Captain Edward John Smith decided that he needed more Atlantic watch keeping experience amongst his deck officers. He therefore decided to bring in a more experienced new Chief Officer effectively downgrading each of his present officers by one rank. At the bottom of the totem pole was David Blair the fourth officer. On April 10th just before Titanic sailed from Southampton he was told that he would not be on the maiden voyage and to pack his bags and immediately  leave the ship to join the S. S.  Majestic.

 Disappointed , he rushed to his cabin changed into his number one uniform, threw his gear into his bag and disembarked as the new Chief Officer came up the gangway. It was not until a few days later when unpacking on the Majestic in Glasgow that he found he had taken the key to Titanic’s crow’s nest locker that contained the lookout’s binoculars .

The lockouts at the court of enquiry after the sinking claimed they had not been told that binoculars were in the locker. Would they have made a difference they were asked ? Yes they replied we would have seen the iceberg earlier. How much earlier ? Enough to miss it completely they replied.

The key is now in China after being bought by a wealthy Chinese businessman in 2009 for £90,000.

But what of the luck of the other Irish passengers ?  113 of them joined in Queenstown and were in Third class where the fewest passengers survived.

They were a riotous bunch according to eye witness accounts dancing jigs each evening and drinking copious quantities. So nothing much has changed to this day has it Jimmy .

Their survival rate in Third Class was way  higher than any other nationality on board but really bolstered by the fact, again from eye witnesses, that the Irish men ensured the Irish women made their way up to the lifeboat deck, but then, stepped back once the  women were safely in a lifeboat. 60% of the Irish women survived from Third class by far the highest percentage but unfortunately only 14 Irish men got off the ship.

There are  many  stories of the Irish who did survived the Titanic

One of them has to have been Violet Jessop. She was born in Buenos Aries to Dubliner William Jessop, who had emigrated to Argentina in the 1880s to try his hand at sheep farming.

Violet had an adventurous streak and joined the White Star Line as a stewardess to see the world.Her unique claim to fame is that she was aboard all three of the White Star's three Olympic-class ships when they came to grief. She was working on board the Olympic when it had a costly collision with HMS Hawke in 1911, and six months later survived the last, ghastly hours of the Titanic. To cap everything she was also on board the Britannica in 1916 when it hit a mine in the Aegean Sea and went to the bottom.

William Clarke from Co Louth was also an extraordinarily fortunate man. No one knows how he managed to survive the Titanic, on which he served as a  stoker. Only 36 stokers, less than 20% of the 167 stokers on board, were saved, most condemned to die in the bowels of the ship. But two years later Clarke also managed to scramble from the belly of the Empress of Ireland when it was struck by another ship in the St Lawrence River. The ship sank in just 15 minutes, taking the lives of 1,014 of her 1,477 passengers and crew.

Seventeen-year-old Julia Smyth, on the other hand, always believed it was a combination of her long legs, which enabled her to jump into a lifeboat that was being lowered, and clay from the grave of St Mogue. This clay, she had been told, protected those who carried it from ever drowning.

But one not so lucky Irishman was a strapping youth of 6 2", 19-year-old Jeremiah Burke from Glanmire, Co Cork. He was the passenger who threw the despairing message in a bottle from the decks of the sinking Titanic. The message, which astonishingly washed up on the shore only a mile from his home in Ireland, read “From Titanic. Good Bye all. Jeremiah Burke.” A relative perhaps Jim ?

And now to close Jimmy Carroll was telling me before the Crit that a few years ago on St. Patrick’s Day he seriously injured himself tap-dancing. He fell into the sink and broke his ankle.

On On the Hash


 

Tales From 2549

                              Hares today on Run 2849 were

Jim Burke  : 1067   Runs:  161  Hares:  Av;7

Jim Adair  :   392 Runs  37 Hares:   Av:11

Laurie Mitchell: 752 Runs  91   Hares:   Av:8

Number of Runners: 24 (10 runners 14 wa

lkers)

Returning Hashers: Mike Blocki who is back to spend more time in Cyprus this year and  Tom McSherry making a very welcome return after being off games for several months . Great to have them both back

Run Crit: by George the thrust of which was we were at a brand new RV on the proposed golf course north of the old Paramali Village and this was an entirely new run in area that should yield many great runs

 and walks over the next few years thanks to the wide road Aristo have cut through the countryside from the B6. 

Walk Crit by Nogsie In his usual colourful language using just two adjectives throughout Nogsie graphically described the walk which started with the two hares walking off in totally different directions to lead the walk and went downhill from then on.

Sport: Six Nations. I cut my what was then 5 nations rugby teeth   on Welsh  Smash and Grab raids at Twickenham .    At my first ever visit to Twickenham was in Jan 1966 but just as we had started to celebrate Wales ran in a  try in the 78th minute to beat England . In 1968 England were cruising to a win  when Wales popped over the line in the 75th minute to again end our dreams. Then who can forget 1999 and Clive Woodward’s team losing in the last minute of injury time. Ditto in 2008 when the Welsh  crossed the line in the 79th minute again. On to  2012 and the 75th minute to break our hearts once again  and that World Cup defeat in 2015 with a  74th minute try.

So who cares if the TMO ruling on Gareth Anscome’s touch down was right or wrong at least this time the smash and grab brigands from the valleys went home empty handed .

 Ireland v Wales can be looked forward with some relish now especially for English fans.Let’s hope for some Welsh  smash and grab over there for a change.

The Italian Captain says Ireland are now his bet to win the Grand Slam but I guess if Wales Scotland or France beat his team by more than 56 points he will change his mind again. Of the other game what can I say ? Scotland could have left the pitch during the second half for a well deserved pint of heavy of two and the French would still have contrived to lose the game themselves.

For The Good Of The Hash

Awards ceremony  Mike Hillyar   completed his 900th run today.

 Over his Hashing career Mike has run 3,350 miles though that might be disputed given his slight propensity to indulge in a little short cutting a truer figure might be 900 miles !! and consumed at least 1,350 litres of Keo at the RV and 750 litres of wine at the Chop though most taverna owners would say this is very much underestimated .

Like the black boxes of old I am of the mind that the now old metal signs and the bloody great heavy boxes they are keep in have reached and probably past their sell by date.I am therefore looking at alternative signs that are much lighter and more easy to manage for we gentlemen now reaching a certain age.It is also important  that the lighter signs  come in a box that fits in the boot of a small car without damaging it and is of a weight that one person of ordinary strength might be able to manage themselves. If hashers have any ideas send them  not this time on a postcard but rather on a metal slab weighing about  10 kilos.  

Next Weeks Run: Kouris Dam

Hares:Pete Moore, Tony Flower keith Johnson

Chop:Michael’s

And so to my true tale at the crit. and  today  let’s have a look at things you will never see in Economy on aeroplanes ever again plus a few  things that are there now but will  be gone I believe within a year .

 

  1. Dressing up to go flying. People used to always put on their best bib and tucker to fly as a passenger in Economy. Men wore suits with ties and women their best dresses. Flying was then special and not like catching the local bus which it has been reduced to. Even business people except on very short flights now dress down to fly and most economy cabins today look like a competition for the worse dressed person of the year.  That said some do dress up in the hope  the check-in agent puts the three most important letters alongside their name SFU or Suitable for Upgrade . Load control at the gate if they need to upgrade and have exhausted gold and silver card passengers will  look for those magical three letters alongside a passenger’s name and the lucky person will be stopped at the boarding pass check and whisked off to receive a new card in Business or First class oh the joy.
  2. Ashtrays . Definitely a thing of the past indeed one wonders how long it will be before the anti drinking lobby and all of the PC brigade ban all booze from  flights. There is however an ashtray in every loo on even the most modern aircraft . It’s there for people who  defy the ban and light up in the smallest room. Airplane manufactures believe as long there is an ashtray they will use it rather than throw the butt if discovered and in a panic into the wastepaper bin and cause a fire.

 

  1. Colourful baggage tags, A few years ago each airline used to adorn your suitcase with their own baggage  tag . On it was your departure point your destination and your  flight number . the bottom portion was ripped off and with a stapler the check in agent would attach the baggage tag number to you boarding card. Regular travellers , wanting to show how much they travelled would keep the numerous colourful tags from various airlines attached to their bag handle and indeed airline staff used called the tags snob tags . Now there is a single standard tag that to most passengers is entirely incomprehensible consisting of bar codes and seemingly random numbers. However in these days of high security , the whereabouts of your bag has to be  known down to the container number and its position in that container in the hold . Passenger and bag must travel together. It has taken some of the fun away  from being a check in agent. I remember meeting the deputy chairman of BA off a plane at Sydney airport . A very abrasive man he took delight in telling me as we walked to baggage claim how he had enjoyed loudly dressing down the check in agent at Terminal 3 for not calling him by name throughout the whole check in process and had reduced her to floods of tears . It seemed a real surprise to him when our airport manager came running up to us as we waited by the carousel and be told his bag was now in Cape Town.

     

Now a few things that will disappear this year

 

  1. Reclining seats in economy. Most airlines are looking to buy the new seat that has a set recline built in but will go no further up nor down. This seat, in design, allows airlines to reduce the pitch from 31 inches to 29 inches between seats without they claim and noticeable difference for the passenger. Let me just say  if you believe that you’ll believe anything. Cathy Pacific already have some fitted and I can tell you from personal experience they lack almost any cushioning and once in if your not on the aisle you better have a strong bladder if the aisle passenger goes to sleep ‘cos you ain’t going anywhere.

 

  1. Free overhead bins for your carry on baggage. Ryanair already charge for carry on bags but all the American carriers not just the Low Cost Carriers are introducing reserved space in the overhead bins for which you must buy a higher priced ticket. What I think will happen is that airlines will finally wake up to the fact that charging for hold baggage is crazy as the premium that passengers are willing to pay to have carry-on baggage is far far higher rather than having to wait at airports for their bag.

 

and finally one item that will most definitely never ever be seen in Economy on any airline again.

In 1982 Continental Airlines converted part of the hold on their domestic flying DC10s  to a pub in the sky for economy class passengers. The pub had 6 stools around the bar and about 12 seats around 3 tables . One cabin crew member acted as barman and mixed the cocktails . Because the conversion took away hold space for bags and passenger seats for the circular stairway down from the passenger cabin they didn’t do the conversion on their long range DC10s .

At the time we were living in Sydney and my parents had arrived for a holiday that included a spell of baby sitting to allow Geraldine and I to take a long weekend away. We had decided on Honolulu and I had free first class tickets on Continental.

On arrival at the Continental first class check in desk the girl informed us that the scheduled aircraft had gone U.S. and they had substituted  a domestic DC10  for that day with fewer seats because of the Pub and there was no room for us. However in those far off halcyon  days of flying the Purser of the aircraft used to always come and stand at the first class desk to personally welcome the passengers. I told him how my parents had flown from all the way from London just to babysit and he went back to see  if there was anything he could do.

Back he came with what he said was probably an unacceptable solution for us. The Captain had he said agreed that for take off and landing we could use  the two crew rest seats at the back of the aircraft but for the rest of the 10 hour flight we would have to stand or sit in the pub as various  crew members would be occupying the seats to take a break. He clearly didn’t know much about us. No worries we both chorused  and so off we went to board the aircraft. 10 hours later we were, to say the least, a little tipsy indeed barely able to stagger off the aircraft. It was 7.30 in the morning as we fell down to the baggage claim area to be told our bags because of the confusion were not on the aircraft but would be on tomorrows flight. No worries we slurred and crawled out almost on all fours to hop a taxi to the Hilton Waikiki beach hotel.

On arrival there they told us our room would not be ready until 1 p.m. . Now in those days when flying on free subload tickets in First Class men had to dress in a suit and tie and ladies in a smart dress with high heels etc. So in said attire we fell back out of the Hilton and across the road to the beach where we sat on the sand and both immediately  passed out.

At about 1 pm I awoke still with my suit and tie on to find a small crowd of Americans dressed in swimsuits prodding us to see if we were dead and querying if we had maybe been washed up from an Ocean liner as we looked so smart  . I awoke Geraldine and we stood up brushing the sand off ourselves and I said in my best British accent “lovely day for the beach  isn’t it” ? as if this clearly was the way the Brits always dressed for the beach and walked back towards the Hilton leaving the Americans looking totally bemused.

On On The Hash 

 


 

 

Tales From 2548

Hares today on Run 2848 were

George Trotter  : 143   Runs: 17   Hares:  Av;8

Nick Smith  : 546  Runs 58  Hares:   Av:9

Roger Smith: Runs: 426    Hares:39   Av11

Number of Runners: 24

Returning Hashers:David McGee

Run Crit:Pete Moore

Walk Crit: As we set off following the runners I wondered why Keith Johnson was dressed like an Alpine climber circa 1935. Within minutes I found out why as we began the descent of the north face of the Eiger Like mountain goats we picked our way down to the valley floor with even the walk now stretched out down the hill. Never mind the runners obeying the holding checks the walkers were bellowed at to do the same. Still it did allowed Nogsie to loudly complain about getting cold waiting for the pack something he hasn’t been able to do since giving up running . The conversations were mainly sporting ,rugby and football but then we started the ascent and  the hare threw in a long long check back claiming that a smudge we had past 5 minutes before was three dots. Gentlemen it was a smudge. All in all a shite run.

Sport: Six nations, Scotland learnt that November friendlies are just that , Wales tossed their hat in the ring, France again found stupid penalties in front of your own goal posts hurt, Ireland discovered that dominant possession can still almost lose you the game, Italy discovered a running game that thrilled and England discovered why the Exeter Chiefs are so good. So on to next week but can someone tell me what the difference is between having MacDonalds as ITV game sponsor and say Benson and Hedges ?

Awards ceremony Tony Flower, Barney Bruce, Drew Muir 600 runs.

These guys have run 2,250 miles and consumed 950 litres of Keo

Next Weeks Run: Radio Sonde

Hares:Jim Burke, Laurie Mitchell and Jim Adair

Chop: Yianni

And so to my true tale at the crit.

On this very day  and indeed at this very hour in 1958 a British European Airways Airspeed Ambassador aircraft crashed after failing to take off from Munich airport. On board was the Manchester United football team known as  the Busby Babes.

The  Ambassador  was a British built twin piston-engined airliner that first flew on 10 July 1947 and served in small numbers through the 1950s and 1960s. It was built by the Airspeed Aircraft company in York which had been founded in 1931 by Neville Shute an aeronautical engineer who invented the retractable hydraulic undercarriage . He, of course, later went on to write hugely successful novels. BEA ordered 20 of aircraft in 1948 equipped with 47 seats and launched the aircraft on March 2nd 1952 . The aircraft became known as the Elizabethan to commemorate the succession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth the month before . The aircraft was immediately popular with travellers for it’s comfort and pressurised cabin . However their popularity was short lived as BEA began to introduce the magnificent turbo prop  Vickers Viscount and by 1956 BEA had started to sell off the fleet leaving only a few to operate regional flights and charters.

Manchester United chartered BEA’s Elizabethan registration  Zulu Uniform  to take their team to and from Belgrade where they were to play Red Star in the second leg of the new European Cup. The  decision to charter an aircraft, was a new concept then for club teams and followed troubles with scheduled aircraft in the previous round when they played in Prague.  The Elizabethan’s range meant on both sectors it needed to stop to refuel at Munich.

On Feb 3rd Captain Thain with his co-pilot Ken Rayment  Radio Officer Bill Rodgers and three cabin crew flew the aircraft down with the team, the  trainers and newspaper reporters on board .

On Feb 5th Man United drew 3-3 with Red Star  to advance to the semi finals having won the first leg in Manchester . The BEA crew all went to watch the game.

On  Feb 6th  The same travelling party plus 5 extra people including the wife and baby of the Yugoslav Air attache boarded the aircraft in sunshine . The plane made its scheduled stop in Munich to refuel, where the airport was shrouded in low cloud, rain and snow. During the descent into Munich, Captain  Thain used the aircraft’s anti-icing equipment on the wings. Once on the ground, the Manchester party disembarked for refreshments in the terminal whilst the flight crew checked the wings for signs of ice forming. none was found. At 2.20pm GMT,  the plane was cleared for take-off. However during the takeoff run power surges in the port engine , caused Captain Thain to abort the take-off. They tried a second take off with a similar result so the aircraft returned to the apron. The passengers disembarked again. The BEA engineer suggested a night stop to give him time to fix the problem  but Captain Thain who had had experience of this problem before decided to have one more try.

At 3.04pm, with snow falling steadily a third take-off was attempted. This time the plane reached V1 the time after which there is no longer enough runway to abort but seconds later despite full throttle the plane then inexplicably slowed from 117 knots back down to 103 knots .Co Pilot Rayment was heard to shout we won’t make it  and at 3.08 GMT the aircraft crashed through  the perimeter  fence and then glanced  a house. The port wing and part of the tail was torn off and the house caught fire. A tree then shattered the port side of the cockpit causing massive injuries to the co-pilot who was sitting in the Captain’s seat. The  starboard side of the fuselage then hit a wooden hut, causing a truck filled with tyres and fuel parked inside to explode and fire to break out both in the passenger cabin and on the starboard wing that was  full of aviation fuel.

Expecting a massive explosion Thain tried to free Rayment who told him to save himself but Thain stuck to his task while telling Bill Rodgers to escape.  Bill found the two cabin crew unable to open the door from the galley to the passenger cabin. He got the girls off the aircrewaft giving his jacket to one then beat the door down with an axe before dragging confused passengers out. In the wreckage Bill found first the baby and then the mother. For his bravery he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation in 1959. But like so many true heroes Bill never talked about the crash and only after his death in 1997 did his children and grandchildren discover he had even been on the aeroplane.

By the time the first emergency services arrived at the site, 21 people were dead - including seven of the players . Matt Busby and Duncan Edwards were alive but critical. Six hours after the crash the German Air Crash team arrived and finding ice on the wings of the aircraft that had sat in freezing conditions since 1508 hrs GMT decided that they had solved the cause of the accident and leaked their findings to The Times newspaper the next morning. Duncan Edwards died a week later but Matt Busby survived. The co-pilot Ken Rayment  died of his injuries a week after Edwards.

The Crash inquiry, held in West Germany, decided that the crash was caused by ice on the wings of the aircraft which had formed during the two aborted take offs and the final fatal third attempt,  and therefore Captain Thain was found negligent and culpable . Thain however believed that slush on the runway had caused the crash and that the German authorities who had failed to clear the runway were to blame not him. So following his sacking from BEA, he fought a long battle to clear his name.

In 1958 contamination on a runway such as slush was an unknown item though unsurprisingly the Canadians were making advances and had already warned of the problem when flying tricycle undercarriage aircraft. Experts at the Air Accident Investigations branch Farnborough through the early 60s conducted tests that found that less than one tenth of the slush that was  on the Munich runway that afternoon would require the Elizabethan to have needed 50% more runway to be able to take off. Based on these new findings Manchester United quietly dropped it’s negligence case against BEA. 

 At Britain’s request the West Germans opened another hearing but  refused to entertain any new witnesses and again  stuck with their original findings. Harold Wilson called for a UK investigation in 1969 which in turn cleared Thain of the blame.

Thain applied for his job back and one of the BEA pilots sitting on the board was my father.  BEA had, just after the crash, established that Captain Thain at the time of the crash and despite being the pilot in charge of the aircraft was, contrary to BEA’s operating  regulations sitting in the first officers seat and the Board felt this must have certainly affected the cockpit management of the aircraft. Who was in charge ?

Captains sit in the lefthand seat of an aircraft for several reasons, many historic. Piston engine driven propellers had a characteristic that made it easier to turn such aircraft to the left rather than right and so most taxing turns at airports are to this day to the left and visibility is therefore better for a pilot sitting in the left seat. Also aircraft flying toward one another and in danger of colliding must both turn to the right again making it easier for the pilot on the left to ensure he will miss the oncoming aircraft. Finally many pre 1950 aircraft like the Elizabethan did not have an exact replication of instruments on both pilot panels the one on the right showing less information .

Wags will also say that with passenger doors  on the left it allows the Captain to size up the girls coming on board and airport ground staff say it’s because the Captain thinks he is God and so the co pilot must sit on the right hand of God. .

Captain Thain at this second BEA hearing was again unable to satisfactorily explain why he had changed seats . The BEA enquiry turned down his request for reinstatement for his breach of operational regs. Thain as the Union rep for the pilots union BALPA always felt this was the real reason for his dismissal.

He never flew again and died of a heart attack in 1974.

Ten years and 3 months on after the crash in 1968 Man Utd managed by Matt Busby won the European Cup final with Bobby Charlton one of the survivors scoring two goals.

 

  On On The Hash 

 


Tales From 2547

 

Hares today on Run 2847 were

Aubrey  :125   Runs:  17  Hares:  Av;7

brian  : 1345 Runs   111 Hares:   Av:12

hal: 250 Runs:  27   Hares:   Av9

Number of Runners: 26

Returning Hashers:Rob Findlater

This is Joe Ward’s last run with us though he has not given up hope that like Frank Sinatra  he might once again stage a come back On On Joe.

It is also Tony Flower’s and Barney Bruce’s 600th run today   but I will be presenting their magnificent no expense spared certificates next week as the framer is on his hols at the moment . So On On Tony and Barney

Run Crit: We got what we were promised some up, some down, sound round, some JC ,some more JC . The lead hare keep us together, the second hare put in some cameo appearances at a couple of checks to show he hadn’t got lost. The front runners ran, the short cutting bastards  cut, so all in all a shite run.

Walk Crit:  Aubrey has cleverly found a way to combat people shouting out the punchline to the joke you don’t do the punchline just mumble  away a minute or so and then shout on on.

Well a few of us thought Hal was joking with his description of the walk. He wasn’t . We climbed, we scrambled, we slid, and some tumbled  as we fought our way up to the solar panels. Conversation was confined to groans, panting and cursing . The trail was  non existent and we realised Hal was winging it when we stumbled off the track to wander lonely as clouds through JC only to return to the original track 2 yards further up then where we came off it . What goes up must come down and we repeated the climb on the decent . I’m going back to running next week as you have to be far too fit to go on these walks.  All in all a shite walk

Latest news The Great Wall of Calais . The UK government has just spent £2.3 million of tax payers money building a mile long 12 foot high wall alongside N216 motorway which ends at the ferry port. The wall is designed to prevent migrants from boarding slow or stopped lorries heading for the UK.  A thoroughly sensible idea you would think but enter the Health and Safety jobsworths. What they questioned would happen if a lorry caught fire on that stretch of motorway. The wall would prevent drivers escaping and the emergency vehicles from attending. The solution is as simple as it is daft. Install  unlocked doors in the wall the work which has now been duly  completed. You couldn’t this make stuff up could you.

In New York, a Doctor who was a whistle blower on the goings on at the Clinton foundation and has been a thorn in their side for 5 years was found lying on his back with a knife protruding from his chest. The hugely successful  Doctor with three young children left no note but New York police say because there was no sign of a forced entry no further action will be taken and have deemed it a suicide. Police declined to comment on the number of suicides they find that have managed to kill themselves with a knife whilst lying on their backs on the lounge floor. Monica Lewensky was also asked for a comment but declined saying she had her mouth full .

Next Weeks Run Kouklia

Hares:George Trotter, and the Smith Sisters

Chop:  Athos why not Kouklia ?

And so to my true tale at the crit

On this day in 1972 the first I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue  episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the then BBC radio theatre on Northumberland Avenue in London. That recorded  show  was aired on BBC Radio 4 in early April and 46 years later it is still going strong.

Humphrey Littleton hosted the show which was billed as an antidote to quiz shows and the original cast consisted of Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Gardner and Willie Rushton. The programme is still known for its ridiculous rounds and crazy  games, such as Mornington Crescent, Forming a Songbook based on jobs or age,  and Word Disassociation all being played completely for laughs by the panellists who, to the untrained eye, might appear at first to be playing for points.

Wordplay and innuendo are a large part of the show's humour.

I listened quite by chance to that first ever episode and have been hooked on the show ever since. I particularly like the imaginary score keepers Samantha and Sven who are continually having to pop out of the show for  reasons that are riddled with innuendo.

The show follows a set format that always starts with a brief description of the city or town the broadcast is coming from.

For an example this  was Humph’s description of  Halifax which I understand is somewhere north of the Watford Gap Services  .

Halifax is a fine Yorkshire town boasting a rich and varied history. At the dawn of the industrial revolution Halifax was a forward thinking metropolis and had a police force even before London . As early as 1787 the town had constables on the beat who, although  armed with muskets, were considered affable and friendly though it was best not to ask one of them to get your cat out of a tree.

Percy Shaw the inventor of the cat’s eye road marking was born in Halifax in 1890. A pioneer of motoring it’s recorded that Shaw was inspired driving home one night when he spotted the reflection from eyes of a cat walking in the road. The following night the cat was walking the other way and Percy invented the first furry pencil sharpener.

From there the show normally descends into disorganised chaos with the presenter trying to reign in a group of ad-libbing comedians as they canter through the various so called formal rounds

A favourite is the  songbook round and given the age of us hashers here  are the quick fire replies the panel gave for a songbook for pensioners but as always first a little something about the scorer. Samantha was telling us she's off to help the elderly gentleman who's moving to a retirement  home from the flat beneath hers. She was always popping in to make sure everything was okay down below, and as a result, he became a surprisingly firm friend. She says it's a shame she couldn't have known him longer...

and so to the Pensioners song book

 “Stairlift to heaven"

 "We're All Going On A Saga Holiday"

“I can see clearly now the specs have come”

"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles”

“ Rainy night in Bournemouth”

"Pappa's Got a Brand New Bag"

"Staying Alive”

 

Next comes the Movie round based on the titles or lines from famous films  again with Pensioners in mind but first another story

 Samantha's popped out to visit an old gentleman friend of hers who's a notorious curmudgeon. However, she finds that if she butters him up properly she can sometimes get him to splash out.

 These are the  titles or lines picked by the team

 •           Barry Cryer offer up Deaf in Venice

•           Graeme Gardner: Fred A Stairlift and Ginger Codgers Doing the Incontinental

•           Tim Brooke-Taylor : Sean Doddery in Thunder Bowel

•           Willie Rushton: Is that your colostomy bag, or are you just pleased to see me?

And so on to the Headlines round when the panel have to come up with the newspaper  headline for an event in history like Joan of Arc Burnt at the Stake but first you know who

Samantha has to go now as she has to meet her Italian gentleman friend who is taking her for an ice-cream. Samantha says there’s nothing she enjoys more than spending the evening licking the nuts off his Neapolitan.

 But back to the panel and Joan of Arc

•           Willie Rushton: "Le Figaro: French Government Spokesman says "Smoking Can Seriously Damage Your Health""

            •           Tim Brooke-Taylor: "Daily Mail: "English Hooligans Burnt My Daughter" says Mrs. Arc"

            •           Graeme Gardner : "The Sun: Phew! What a Scorcher!"

            •           Barry Cryer: "Green News: Woodburning French Threat To Ozone Layer"

            •           Willie Rushton: "The Cricketer: England Win Ashes"

In 2015 Women’s groups complained to the BBC about the sexist remarks concerning Samantha who of course is entirely fictitious but possibly not helped by this Samanstory

Samantha has been down to Portsmouth to help out her aunt, who runs a small seaside cafe. The shop is in two halves, a tearoom facing into the town, and a sandwich bar at the rear which is reached from the docks via a narrow alley. Business at the sandwich bar had been poor for some time, due to the method of access, but once news of Samatha's arrival reached the naval crews, her back passage was constantly full of seamen….

and talking of seaman Samantha has just returned from scattering the remains of an elderly Naval gentleman friend. She says she took his ashes aboard HMS Belfast, and as his former crew stood proudly to attention, Samantha solemnly tossed them over the side..

Amazingly for the BBC they  defended the show against the Feminist groups and added that it was up to individuals to read what they would into the innocent remarks.

But as an antidote they introduce Sven a 6ft tall gay Swede who also joined in the fun.

Sven was telling us he's been looking after some local retired gentlefolk. He takes one elderly aristocrat for daily walks along the promenade, & spends hours sitting on the charming old pier.

and one with an airline bent if you catch my drift

Sven was telling us he has an exhausting job working nights driving those nice air stewards to & from the airport. His shift includes various routes, but he doesn't get off until he's been to Heathrow and Feltham.

And now "As the grubby raincoat of time opens to reveal the upright Member of Parliament, and the categorical denial of destiny is swiftly followed by the resignation letter of fate…" it is left for me to simply say

On On The Hash 

 

Tales From 2546

 

Hares today on Run 2846 were

Peter Hogg : 664  Runs:  91  Hares:  Av;7

Aubrey O’Callaghan: 124 Runs 16Hares:   Av:8

Drew Muir:  598Runs:  47 Hares:   Av12

Number of Runners:23

Returning Hashers:Me and Jimmy Carroll

Guests: none

Run Crit: by Jim Burke

What do the rain gods have against the Scots ? Every time we come here for Burn’s Night or St. Andrews it pisses down with rain and today is no exception . We ran out with regulars trying guess which of the runs we were going to do . After 2 days of rain there was little flour to follow though most checks were still visible. After running around on the flat in and out of lakes rather than puddles the hares led us up a steep bloody great escarpment with some of the worst J.C. I’ve ever seen. The only redeeming feature was by then the rain was falling so hard that it washed the blood off our arms and legs as we ran. Fearful we were off on a really long run common sense prevailed and the hares after a soggy photo shoot led us back down and back to the RV.

Highlight of the run ? Peter Hogg taking a bloody great tumble and falling arise over tit in the mud. No I tell a lie the high spot was Trevor managing to put on his €1 Kagoul waterproof on backwards and trying to drink his beer through  the hood that was blowing into his face all the time. Shite run but thanks for bringing us back after 40 mins. 

Walk Crit: We walked out following the runners and the rain came down, The track quickly turned into a swamp that even hippos might have avoided. But not Marshall who managed to slip into a pool about a foot deep . On we staggered slipping and sliding with Drew shouting directions from the back or was it the RV ? It was a quiet crew until the usual football discussions started.At least I think it was football as apparently one  Jose Mourinho doesn’t like young lads much preferring  them more mature.

The rain continued to fall and our shoes began to weigh a ton as the mud clung to the soles.

Soon the conversation turned to the lack of TV in most homes in the last few weeks after the crackdown on TV streaming boxes most of which had gone blank. Several walkers expressed concern as to who was that woman with the somewhat familiar face sitting on the other sofa   and what was hell was her name.

The rain stopped as always just as we got back. All in all a shite walk.

Sport: With a Scottish bent today.

 The World Haggis Hurling Championship begin this  Sunday at Alloway in Scotland the birthplace of Robbert Burns. Last year a new world record was set of 181 feet .  At This ancient traditional sport  a haggis is hurled by each contestant whilst standing on the top of a whisky barrel. A sporting haggis weighs 500 grams , must be made to traditional standards and is inspected to ensure no firming agents or extra skin has been added. The haggis must land intact, any haggis splitting is immediately disqualified. According to legend, haggis hurling began centuries ago after a farmer's wife grew tired of wading through a bog to bring her husband his lunch. She decided to throw his haggis across the field for him to catch it in his outstretched kilt. A well endowed young man it was not unusual for many other girls to hide behind the hedge each lunchtime.

Football, and Scotland gave us firstly the most tongue twisting football result ever  at Station Park on 22 April 1964 during a Scottish Second Division match with the  score line of Forfar 5 East Fife 4 and then  probably the greatest ever sports headline when Inverness Caledonian  staged one of Scottish football's biggest upsets by beating Celtic in the Scottish Cup at Parkhead in 2000, The Sun took inspiration from  Mary Poppins.with its sublime headline  "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic were atrocious" .

For The Good of The Hash : Accounts, you will have seen the published accounts and as intended they  they reflect a positive cash in hand balance and a beer supply to last until the middle of the year. Barney is working on a full cost analysis with the intention of reducing  the cash in hand downwards whilst ensuring all the liabilities like the insurance, the next beer order, the Saints Days, The Website costs etc  that this hash incurs are met. I am calling a meeting next week to look at ways we can spend the cash deemed to be surplus to reward regular hashers and those happy to hare.  I will report back to you once the proposals are agreed. If you have ideas  please share them with me by e-mail or with a joint master and we will happily consider those too. 

Next Weeks Run : Spitali

Hares: Aubrey O’Callaghan who is clearly chasing the hare of the year award at the Oscars in March, with Brian Liddell and Hal Butt.

Chop:  Alona

And so to my true tale at the crit with a Scottish flavour to it..

 In the late 1940’s the nationalised British European Airways took over the several  independent airlines flying the Scottish Highland and Island routes. With these airlines came several of their older more experienced  pilots and one in particular Captain Archie Muir- McKenzie who became a standout character in an airline crammed with ex RAF wartime bomber pilots who were all characters.

In the early 1950s flying was still an unknown quantity to the majority of the population , the complete opposite of today. An ideal environment for the humorist Captain Muir- Mackenzie in the DC3 aircraft he flew.

His pranks became the stuff of legend in the early days of BEA  .

Often he would board the DC3 at the rear door in full uniform but holding a white stick. Replete with dark glasses he would then tap his way up the inside of the aircraft passing more and more worried looking passengers . Minutes later the engines would roar into life and only after take off would he explain the joke to the much relieved passengers.

“would  first time fliers please hold up their hands” he would ask in his heavy Scottish brogue before take off on some flights. Up would go many hands in those days and down would come Archie from the cockpit clutching large balls of cotton wool. He would patiently explain that first timers bodies weren’t used to the air pressures inflicted on them on take off  when flying for the first time. So they needed to stuff large amounts of cotton wool in their ears and up their nose  and as the aircraft rotated off the runway to take a large breaths and then loudly exhale them for 5 minuses as the aircraft climbed. After that they would be fine.

 So off went the aircraft with the regulars  trying not to laugh as the first timers with large amounts of cotton wool protruding from nose and ears made weird trumpet noises as the plane climbed into the sky .

A favourite was to arrive on the aircraft and sit in a passenger seat with a civilian raincoat over his uniform reading a large book clearly marked How To Fly .  As the departure time neared and the cockpit door remained open with no pilot inside Archie would look around and keep glancing at his watch and then announce loudly ‘well he’s clearly not coming and this flying game looks pretty easy to me’ . With that he marched up to the cockpit  closed the door and to the alarm of the passengers the engines would start and the aircraft would start to  taxi.

Another was to tie two pieces of string one to each rear leg of his seat. He would then open the cockpit door and slowly walk back unravelling the two pieces of string until he reached the first passenger sitting in an aisle seat aisle seat he would ask the startled passenger to please hold them tight and keep them very taut so as to keep the aircraft flying straight while Archie popped to the loo. The poor passenger, with sweat now pouring down his face, would sit clutching his two pieces of string imagining that the fate of all of them lay in his hands . Passengers near by would be suitably worried and call out words of encouragement  to their newly appointed  pilot.

But it wasn’t always passengers that Archie had fun with. At Glasgow on a rare glorious summers day with not a cloud in the sky Archie went to collect the weather report from the met office for his flight to Aberdeen . To be able to see  their radar sets, the met office was in the bowels of the control tower and had no windows. On the way out of the building  having received the report showing perfect flying conditions he noticed one of the many exposed ceiling pipes was leaking water. He ran back to his car and put on his raincoat and hat and went and stood under it until he was wet. He then marched back into the Met office and throwing down the met report he said You guys are useless it’s pissing down out there. He left the two confused met guys feverishly searching their radar for rain clouds.

Finally, on a rare flight South to Northolt Airport London the home base of BEA in the early 50’s in the crew room he met a pilot in from Paris who had a case of champagne with him, a very rare sight in still heavily rationed Britain. Generously the pilot sold Archie 6 bottles at the knock down price he had paid in Paris and Archie stowed them behind his seat for the flight back to Glasgow. On approach on a nasty night with heavy rain and crosswinds the port engine failed and Archie made a credible landing but went off the concrete and onto the grass where the undercarriage collapsed in the mud.  The aircraft finally came to rest close to the perimeter road. The fire brigade were quickly on the spot and broke the cockpit door down . Are you okay Captain the anxious fireman asked . Well replied Archie the back of my shirt is soaking wet and I hope to Christ it ’s blood. 

 

On On The Hash  

 

Tales From 2543

Happy New Year

Hares today on Run 2843 were

Mike Hillyar   Runs: 891   Hares:88  Av;10

Mark Foley:   Runs491     Hares:41   Av:12

Nev Rushton:  Runs:619  Hares:92   Av:7

Number of Runners 12 Quite close to the records low of 7 in 1973

 

Run Crit:Off we set down hill with everyone guessing which of the previous run this one would follow in fact it was a mixture of all of the many that young Hillyar has laid in this area over the years. This was borne out by  by the number of bushes containing old trash that I remember when introducing flour being told endlessly always disappeared after a year ho ho . The run then followed the usual format with Mike Hilyar  as the circus  trainer and  we runners as his  performing lions with Mark as his the decoy to lead the lions up various garden paths. Long loops and even longer check backs followed and with the paucity of runners today most of us found ourselves in the various cul de sacs at some stage during the run. At the end as a finale in the Hillyar Big Top the lions were herded up and up a hill so the on in could be downhill. The audience applauded and the lions were put back in their cages to await his next run. All in all  shite. 

Walk Crit: by Bollo. a real trail was laid and despite my apprehension I actually enjoyed doing it, finding on ons and wandering up false tails etc. Nev thank you for laying it. It was enjoyable .

Sport: It promises to be an enthralling Six Nations Rugby Tourney this year with Scotland looking strong though with a pool of only about 25 players to draw from, the Irish are notoriously difficult to beat and in Murray and Sexton have the best 9 ,10 combo in the world, the French are getting back to their fast running game and the Welsh are, well, the Welsh. The winner though is of course a forgone conclusion ( at this there were shouts from the few attendees Italy Italy !!)

however,  I wonder if you missed this interesting stat, as you over indulged on drink and mince pies ? It came out over Christmas and is that  during an average professional rugby match the ball is in play for just 35mins and 25secs of the game’s 80 minutes. So rugby supporters are paying anything up to £80 to watch barely half an hour of play . Surely the time has come for the clock to be stopped whenever the ref blows his whistle for a penalty, scrum or try and not restarted until the ball is back in play ? Answers on the back of a used ticket stub please.

Last night I watched the tennis film Battle of the Sexes which tells the story of Billie Jean King and Rosemary Casals battle to get a better deal for women tennis players  in the early 1970s . it is actually a good film but, as aways, I  checked the audience reviews on the movie website Rotten Tomatoes. At the top of the page they always describe why the film has the rating it does like R no under16 etc. This one’s description was “ Contains occasional scenes of moderate sex” which I thought just about sums up one’s life really when you think about it !

For The Good of The Hash : Per Niente,  Para nada, Pour Rien, Für nichts, Gia to tipota, Za nic, Voor niets, Nihil or just plain old  nothing

Next Weeks Run :Episkopi

Hares Pete Moore , Marshall Hughes and Keith Johnson

Chop: Stables

True Tale at the Crit :

It was May 1940, and the German officer’s unit was attacking toward a village called l’Epinette, near Bethune, France. Five of his soldiers took cover behind a farmyard wall, sheltered from the fire of British rearguards covering the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force to the English Channel. Without warning, one German crumpled, the feathered tip of an arrow sticking out of his chest. From a small farm building on their flank, rifle-fire tore into the others. While he may have known that his enemy was soldiers of the Manchester Regiment, the German leader could not have known that they were led by the formidable Captain  “Mad” Jack Churchill. It was Churchill’s arrow that skewered the luckless German, while his men’s rifles accounted for the rest .

Born on this day in 1906 “Mad” Jack or “Fighting” Jack Churchill entered the British Army through Sandhurst in 1926. He saw service in the Burma rebellion in 1932 , which for PC reasons we  now have to call  the first war of independence, before resigning his commission in 1936 finding  the peacetime army too boring. He had by then become a highly accomplished bagpipe player tutored by the Pipe Major of the Cameron Highlanders in Burma.In civvy street he took up archery and became so good he represented Great Britain in the 1939 World Championships as well as being an extra in numerous films that called for bowmen. Back in the army in 1940 he added a broadsword to his bow, arrows , bagpipes and revolver and this was how he always went into battle.

After evacuation from Dunkirk where during every daylight German bombing raid he was to be seen marching up and down the beach playing his bagpipes  he not unsurprisingly joined the newly formed Commandos. He took to Commando training like a duck to water even in the icy waters of Scotland.

The Commandos’ endless training ended on December 27, 1941, with the brilliantly successful assault on the German garrison at Vaagso, the Norwegian town on Nord Fiord. Churchill commanded two companies in the attack, charged with taking out the German shore batteries on Maaloy Island. In vintage Mad Jack fashion, he stood in the lead landing craft as it forged in toward the shore, his pipes screaming The March of the Cameron Men. He then waded ashore at the head of his men, sword in hand, and charged ahead, as one account put it, “into the thick smoke, uttering warlike cries.” Maaloy and its battery fell quickly. Churchill and his men killed or took prisoner the entire garrison, including two women who, as one account of the raid genteelly put it, “might be described as camp followers.”

From Noway to Sicily in 1943 then on to the landing at Salerno the action that saw he recommended for a Victoria Cross . During the charge to seize the town of  Piegoletti  overlooking the landing beach Churchill himself was far in front of his men who had taken cover  . Sword in hand, accompanied now only by a corporal named Ruffell, he advanced into the town itself. Undiscovered by the enemy, he and Ruffell heard German soldiers digging in all around them in the gloom. The glow of a cigarette in the darkness told them the location of a German sentry post. That first  sentry post, manned by two men, was taken in silence. Jack Churchill, his sword blade gleaming in the night, appeared like a demon from the darkness, ordered “Haende hoch!” ( hands up) and got results. He gave one German prisoner to Ruffell, then slipped his revolver lanyard around the second sentry’s neck and led him off to make the rounds of the other guards. Each post, lulled into a sense of security by the voice of their captive comrade, surrendered to this fearsome apparition with a  naked sword.

Altogether, Churchill and Corporal Ruffell collected 42 prisoners, complete with their personal weapons and a mortar they were manning in the village. Churchill and his sword took the surrender of ten men in a bunch around the mortar. He and his NCO then marched the whole lot back into the British lines. As Churchill himself described the event: “I always bring my prisoners back with their weapons; it weighs them down. I just took their rifle bolts out and put them in a sack, which one of the prisoners carried. I also made them carry the mortar and all of the bombs. The rest I got to pull a farm cart with five wounded Germans in it….I maintain that, as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are senior to him he will cry ‘Jawohl’ and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently whatever the … situation. That’s why they make such marvelous soldiers…and beautifully  compliant prisoners”

However Mad Jack’s  luck finally ran out in Yugoslavia on the island of Brac.

Playing his pipes, Churchill led No 40 Commando in a night attack which reached the top of the objective but then had to fight off several German router attacks before  running of ammunition  and being forced to surrender. "You have treated us well," he wrote to the German commander after only 48 hours in captivity. "If, after the war, you are ever in England , come and have dinner with my wife and myself"; he added his telephone number. The German was one Captain Hans Thorner and later that note saved Thorner's life when the Yugoslavs wanted to have him shot as a war criminal. After the war Churchill discovered that Thorner had refused to hand him over to the SS to be shot under Hitler’s order that all Commandos fighting with partisans were to be executed. Captain Thorner did phone Mad Jack at the end of the war and they became life long friends. The German High Command thought, wrongly, that Churchill must be a relation of the Prime Minister and he was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, near Berlin, where he was chained to the floor for the entire first month until it was established that he wasn’t a useful hostage.. Once released from the chain he tunnelled out and escaped only to be captured in Austria and put in another POW camp. In 1945 this he also escaped from, and met up with the advancing American forces. Mad Jack  refused to be sent back through the lines to Britain and insisted on staying on as part of their advance.  He fought alongside them until the end of the war 3 months later.

Mad Jack Churchill picked up 2 Military crosses and 2 Distinguished Service orders as well as numerous mentions in dispatches during World War 2 .

He retired from the Army in 1954 having become the first man to ride a surf board on the severn bore.

Working in the city and commuting back to Surrey he would amaze his fellow passengers by throwing his brief case out of the window , they ,little knowing, that he was throwing it into his own back garden . “ Why carry it home from the station “ he would say if asked.

Shall we ever see his likes again ?

On On The Hash 

 

 Tales From 254?

The Hares on Run 2842 The Brighton Shiverers run were :

Jim Burke: Runs1059 Hares 160 Average:7

George Trotter:Runs137   Hares:14   Average:10

Mike Jones:    Runs:112      Hares:21   Average:5

Runners 37

Guests : 21 including harriets and from Japan Natsuo Oshima who runs on one of the five Hashes in Tokyo  

Run Crit: by Natsuo Oshima . As a great joke he did the entire Crit in Japanese though he speaks fluent English but with superb body language to illustrate the hill climb, stopping at checks and running through J.C. before finishing up the crit in English with “Shite run”.

Walk Crit by : Drew who likened the first hill climb as equal to the last time he scaled of the north face of the Eiger. The walk trail then went downhill as did the standard of the walk !!

Well welcome to 2018 and I do hope you all feel as rough as I do and if not why not.

I’m not sure where 2017 went to but it seems to have rushed past me. So here we are another year older . Still As you get older New Year’s resolutions get easier don’t they. Mine this year is that when i walk into a room to  try to remember why I’m there.

Which reminds me before Christmas George Trotter, Jim Burke and I were having a drink at Jim’s house and after chatting about this run we started  talking  about what its like getting older.

 George said, “ You know sometimes I find myself  standing in front of the refrigerator with the butter dish in my hand,, and I can't remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich."

I chimed in  with, "Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing of the stairs and can't remember whether I was on my way up or on my way down."

To which Jim  responded, " Well, unlike you two oldies ,  I don't have that problem, touch wood," and he rapped his knuckles on his wooden table , and then said, "That must be the door “ and went to answer it.  

there are Perks for Being over 60:

Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

Things you buy now won't wear out.

You can live without sex but not without your glasses.

You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.

Your favourite part of the newspaper is "50 years ago today!”

You’ve burn all your midnight oil by  9:00 p.m.

and my favourite

You have a party and the neighbours don't even realise it, let alone complain.

Now talking of getting older my mother at 95 is in a retirement village and has been  having trouble getting out of her chair after she has sat down so we have been looking a type of winged chair which  is slightly higher off the ground than normal wing chairs, they are upholstered in easy to wipe vinyl and have a lever on the side which tips the seat up to help her stand up easily.

In fact Richard Stilgoe  has written  a poem about  it   call The Caithness Self Lift Chair and this is it

The Bower in Bexhill-on-Sea provides a quiet life

For people who are shattered after years of mortal strife.

A care home for the elderly, where no-one seems to care

 And recently a test-bed for the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

The patron and the matron, one a major, one a nurse

Think old ladies are appalling, and old men even worse.

They need helping, they need lifting and there isn't cash to spare.

So they've swopped a girl called Tricia for the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

The old folks at the Bower all liked Tricia - she was nice

And she listened to their stories, though she'd heard them once or twice -

 And now she's gone, the lounge is quiet. The inmates sit and stare

Until suddenly a noise comes from the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

Mrs. Mould's forgetful, sad and paranoid and moody -

She hates that Richard Madeley and she can't abide that Judy.

 But suddenly she's flying in a shower of underwear

Propelled across the ceiling by the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

The others watch her progress - as her mighty knickers snag

On the sharp undusted antlers of a taxidermied stag.

They exchange conspiring glances - can they do it, do they dare?

For the Bower bought a dozen of the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

They open all the windows, move the chairs across the floor,

 Apart from one that Mrs. Thomas jams against the door.

 Each one sits and faces freedom, and says a silent prayer - "Lord, carry me away now on my Caithness Self-Lift Chair".

One by one the chairs spring into life, and pensioners are hurled

 Across the cliffs of Bexhill to return to the real world.

Mrs. Roberts' chute has opened, she has landed on the beach

She is joined by all the others, they enjoy a wine gum each -

They unfold their pack-up Zimmers, and they turn to face the Bower

And they shout out "Sod off, matron!" in a voice of awesome power.

 The inmates of the Bower, free from care and free as air

Unchained from sheltered living by the Caithness Self-Lift Chair.

For The Good of The Hash ?

As Always Many thanks go to Mary and Mike Bonner for once again  supplying the Glogg and that  deserves a round of applause.

A date for your diary The first Sundowners run of 2018 will be an Easter Egg hunt run and walk  at The Well of Franks on Monday April 2nd the usual format a free run at 1600hrs then  BYO drinks at the RV followed by a Chop at a local restaurant.

Tomorrow’s  Run and Walk : Near Kouris Dam

Hares: the usual  Tortoise and hare pairing  of Mike Hillyar and Mark Foley so lots of loops short cuts and check backs and the walking hare is Nev Rushton so expect a well laid walk  trail and a lengthy walk

Now at this stage I normally do a true tale at the crit but I’m getting hungry and thirsty so, as my other New Year resolution is to  attempt to raise these hash crits to higher intellectual  plane I thought I would do another poem this time about a librarian and you can’t get much more intellectual  than that

Joyce the librarian

Strict vegetarian

Forty and living with mum.

Wears sandals and glasses

Attends evening classes

And wonders if romance will come.

Though she'd never been kissed

It's not something she'd missed

Until some weeks before;

When George, a rotarian,

Handsome lotharian,

Walked through the library door.

George was unmarried

And the torch that Joyce carried

Was burning a hole in her heart

She wanted to show him

But didn't yet know him

She didn't know where to start

So with growing abhorance

She read D.H. Lawrence

To glean a few ideas . . .

Which she turned down flat

She couldn't do that

Not in a million years!!

Joyce the librarian

Strict vegetarian

Was burning with animal lust

Alarming sensations

Strange palpatations

A mix of delight and disgust

So she busied herself

Rearranging the shelf

To try to control her dreams.

Joyce the librarian

The disciplinarian

Was falling apart at the seams.

The very next day

She kept out of the way

When George returned his books

But with growing conviction

She wandered through "Fiction"

And threw him some longing looks.

And when George joined the queue

She knew just what to do,

She smiled and removed her specs . .

Then looked in horror

'Cause he'd come to borrow "

The Further Joy of Sex".

Perhaps because latterly

She'd read "Lady Chatterley"

Something just snapped in her head;

She gave herself gladly,

Wildly, madly,

To George that night in his bed.

But then just as she'd feared

George disappeared

Some other librarian to woo.

Now there's a sob in her voice

As both book and Joyce

Are a fortnight over due.

On on the Hash

At the Chop :

Some 12 brave souls entered the water in various states of trepidation but the consensus seemed to be once in it wasn’t too bad though none stayed in too long and the hot Glogg was eagerly sought once back on dry land.

Natsuo had also bought a huge bottle of saki wine which he generously poured for all those present as well as distributing various snacks he had carried from Tokyo to mark his first visit.

After most had finished eating, the hash was treated to a musical rendition of various carols by the eight members of the newly formed Epi Hash penny whistle band ( the penny whistles came from the On.Pres Christmas crackers) under the stern baton of Maestro Drew  (Mr. ‘Chuckles’) Muir    . At the end of a, from the bands point of view, triumphant O Come All Ye Faithful however, the overall feeling from the audience was that maybe the penny whistlers might need to find alternative creative outlets and disband.

 

Tales From 254?

 

The Hares on Run 2841 were :

Aubrey O’Callaghan:118 Runs 15 Hares Average:8

Pete Moore:534Runs   67Hares:   Average:8

Hal Butt: 245   Runs:  26    Hares:   Average:9

Guests :   none

Run Crit: We went off dow

nhill and thanks to a couple of check backs and a planned short cut the pack was still together at Check 4 . On the long climb up to the photo opportunity Trevor shared with us how to deadhead geraniums. He then told us how he likes to pull back the bedcovers to show Deany his Morning Glory though he says his root is very spindly and only about 2 inches long.  it seems it needs quite a lot of encouragement to grow in Cyprus but Deany likes tending to it daily.

And on that bombshell it was a good run with the pack still together  at the check before last . But  despite this being the season of goodwill to all hares one has to call it  shite.

 Walk Crit by : Ray. The choirmaster was quite strict with one of the choir boys young Master Butt the Hare who the choirmaster felt had walked him a merry dance up hill and down dale keeping the choirmaster from his Keo for far too long. Six of the best was delivered in the brief crit with the Maestro’s baton .

Quick Crit this week as we have  carol singing.

But I have to mention the glee I felt when I read that the 20 MPH speed limits imposed of country roads and towns have raised not lowered the accident rate.

The same is tr

ue of the 

Pelican crossings  installed to replace the dear old Zebra crossings. Yes, 20m of steel, cattle pen barrier either side of the crossing on both sides of the road, loud beeping and flashing noises, Nazi style commands to stand or walk, a vulgar and intrusive part of the Big State imposed on small communities, actually kills and injures more people than the simple painted  stripes on the road that they replaced. The problem has been say the DoT twofold. First shockingly was, people didn't obey the commands of the State and oh horror decided themselves when to cross the road - the younger ones even leapt over the barriers at times. Secondly (and I suspect the real reason) was that drivers seeing green lights didn't look for hazards in the same way that the glowing orange balls of Hore-Belisha's beacons induced. 

 Sport: England cricketers went down as expected  without a whimper at the WACA and it reminded me of when I stayed in Galle in Sri Lanka a few years ago. Up until the day before we arrived England had been playing Sri Lanka in a Test match at the beautiful cricket ground by the old fort. England had also lost that  Test match their wickets tumbling as the Sri Lankan spinners worked their magic . Many of The Barmy Army had been staying in the hotel we checked into and it was surprising to hear how much the staff had loved having them . The lads had paid for a bar to be put up in the sea so they could drink and keep cool, had clearly tipped well and despite the vast quantities of booze consumed  had never caused a single problem unlike the England team itself. I opened the draw of the bedside table in our room and found there   a ditty  written by I guess one of the Barmy Army which he had forgotten to take with him. It seems rather appropriate today . It was called

 The Barmy Army

 The Barmy Army marches around the world

With banners saying hello mum unfurled

Out there in the middle our team is on the floor

Nothing but a miracle can help us scrape a draw.

But we support our Country right or wrong

Even though they never  win a gong

 It isn’t easy when your team

Makes a nightmare out of a dream

It isn’t easy, patiently

Watching them snatch defeat

From the jaws of victory

 Anyone can cheer a winning side

But singing while your swallowing your pride ?

It takes a certain character

a certain type of guy

It’s just as well it’s England

That always makes us cry.

Other nations couldn’t stand the strain

Of seeing their team losing once again

 It isn’t easy when your team

Makes a nightmare out of a dream

It isn’t easy, patiently

Watching them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

 The Barmy Army marches on

Every hope of victory gone

The Barmy Army stands the test

Knowing that when it comes to losing

yes when it comes to losing

We’re the best

 For The Good of The Hash ?

A couple of themed runs for your diaries  Tuesday the 23rd of January Burns Night Run and Tuesday Feb 20th Chinese New Year run.

 Next week’s Run : The Sausage Roll run on Boxing Day. Perhaps as a first in Epi history the Tuesday run will be  an Open run. It is also a free run and, gentlemen, substantial  snacks will, as a bribe, be  provided for the brave  who turn up.

 Hares: Joe Oldfield , Virgin Hare Gary Rix and Laurie Snack man Mitchell completes the trio

 This headline from The New York Times December 12th. Another human foot washes ashore on Vancouver Island, Canada. and the story reads

 In any other part of the world, a sneaker with a human foot inside it washing ashore might be a terrifying discovery, enough to frighten residents and stir fears of a gruesome murder or a serial killer on the loose. But not in British Columbia, where these discoveries have become so common that they are tracked. This was the 13th foot to wash ashore since 2007 and the cases have caught the attention and imagination of Canadians across the country. The 12th foot was discovered in February 2016, a right foot in a black and blue New Balance sneaker that was found about 20 miles west of last Thursday’s gruesome discovery.

At first, people’s theories for how the feet came to their final resting spot ran from the logical to the hysterical. Maybe they died in a plane crash or fell overboard, some surmised. Many locals believe they are somehow associated with The Giant Lumberjack of local folklore fame that supposedly roams the wilderness areas of British Columbia eating unsuspecting tourists. His name is Paul wait for it Bunion !! But like me many think that is just plain corny ! Most likely it is that since Canada converted to the metric system people just don’t need a foot anymore !!

 and Finally a few more Air traffic control and flight crew  announcements.

 The only thing worse than a Captain who wasn’t a first officer is a first officer who was a Captain

 Air Canada pilot to Halifax Air Traffic Control “ AC 714 heavy request landing clearance to runway 25 right

 Female Air Traffic Controller “ Air Canada 714 the last time I gave an Air Canada pilot what he wanted I was on penicillin for three weeks. Expect landing clearance to Runway 06 right.”

 Southwest Cabin crew on passenger address system. In case of a sudden decompression  oxygen masks will deploy from the overhead panel to stifle you screams .

 A BA Captain on a very windy stormy day comes on the intercom at the start of the take off. “ Ladies and gentlemen you will have noticed the appalling weather conditions outside but rest assured we practice this kind of take off in training regularly . So please sit back, relax and pretend you are at Alton Towers where you would pay a fortune for the ride we are about to have getting to our cruise altitude.

 and Finally

 Newcastle Air Traffic Control Tower To Ryanair flight

“ Wow Ryanair 7412 was that a landing or were you shot down

 On on the Hash

 

 

 

 

 Tales From 2540

 

The Hares on Run 2840 were :

Trevor Kemp: Runs:438     Hares:54       Average:8

 George Trotter:   Runs 136      Hares: 14  Average:10

Jim Adair :    Runs: 387     Hares: 36      Average:10

 

Guests :  Gary Rix 

Run Crit:To get to the flour this morning I had to move the piss pot which had fallen down on to the crate. Within 5 minutes of this run I regretted  not putting in the Suzuki and by 15mins I was furious.

When Trevor told us last week that we running in an area that had hardly been used for a long time I foolishly wondered why. Now I know. Judging by the age of the flour it looked like the trail had been laid by a disgruntled Sunderland fan pissed with his teams seeming fall through two divisions in consecutive seasons  and before he heard they had held the league leaders to a draw .

In the main we went down hills too steep to run down and up hills too steep to run up . The route seemed to meander around and it was then that I was told that on his walk around this area a few Saturdays ago Trevor had got lost and the walk had to be taken over by an RAF navigator .  And on that bombshell I declare this a shite run.

Walk Crit by : Drew: Glad we weren’t on the run !

No sport this week just an article from the Irish Times:

RESIDENTS of a tiny Irish village where Viagra is manufactured have complained that fumes from a nearby factory have been giving them a hard time.

Pharmaceutical firm Pfizer have produced the erectile dysfunction drug in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork for the last two decades.

Villagers claim that Ringaskiddy’s proximity to the plant and its “love fumes” has been giving local men – and even their canine friends – enormous sexual powers.

Barmaid Debbie O’Grady told the Irish Times: “One whiff and they are stiff. We’ve been getting the love fumes for years now for free.”

Ms O’Grady’s mother, Sadie, said that living in Ringaskiddy is a blessing for men who suffer “problems in that department”, adding that there is “something in the air”.

The widower added: “I’m a flirtatious woman, a lot of us are. You just have to have a spark, that’s all. There’s always a lovely man waiting somewhere for me”.

Pfizer said in a statement that the stiff whiff was nothing more than an “amusing” myth, but there were no hard feelings.

“Our manufacturing processes have always been highly sophisticated as well as highly regulated,” they said.

Nevertheless, residents remain scared stiff that something more sinister is going on.

Psychiatric nurse Fiona Toomey, who recently returned to the village after five years in America, said that local men and dogs “walk around in a state of sexual excitement”.

“I think that Viagra must have got into the water supply,” she said.

“I’m convinced that’s what happened at the very beginning before they were so closely regulated.”

For The Good of The Hash ?

Today we who are here are honored to witness an event so rare that we will tell it to our great grandchildren for we welcome into our ranks  a new member of the Episkopi Hash. I give you Gentlemen  Gary Rix . As is customary Gary could you tell us a few words about yourself.

One for your Diary gentlemen, Jan 1st The Brighton Shivers Open Run this year at Melanda Beach. Bring the family and any house guests you have left over from their Christmas visit that you’d like to lose , bring  a picnic or better still a BBQ for the warmth of the rest of us  and sit under cover at Makkis’s pub. Gluhwein will as always be provided after the swim by Mike and Mary Bonner .

Swimming however, is not compulsory and indeed has become more of a spectator Sport in recent years.

In 1979 Don Arnot  the then On. Pres. inaugurated the first ever New Years Day run. There was no swimming then that was done on Christmas Day. He offered a stirrup cup before the start in order to give the hare his ADC a decent start. he had dressed him in a Playboy Club Bunny costume and attached 2 helium balloons to him to make him more visible . The pack of hasher hounds baying and barking with hunting horns and bugles sounding then had to chase him down as he lay a hot trail. Food for thought perhaps ?

Jim Burke is lead hare so perhaps to the music of the hunting song D’ye ken John Peel

D’ye ken Jim Burke in his bunny suit

With the hounds of the hash in hot pursuit

D’ye ken Jim Burke with his cottontail

As he runs from the hounds in the morning

Next week’s Run : The Carol Singers Run

Hares: Aubrey O’Callaghan ,Pete Moore Hal Butt

Chop: Stables

And so to my true tale at the crit

On this day in 1947 the Orient Line’s 27,000 ton ship  RMS Orcades was launched at the Harland and Wolf dockyard . She was one of the first new liners to be built after the Second World War and was built for the Australia route sailing via the Suez canal .

The new Orcades entered service in 1948 and became a poplar ship with passengers on the run to and from Sydney.

In 1964 Orcades underwent a refit that turned her into a one class  tourist ship carrying 1700 passengers and in 1967 underwent her most radical shock when a young handsome debonaire chap joined her as a Junior Assistant Purser. Me

I joined her just after the 6 day war had closed the canal and we were one of the first ships to sail to Australia around the Cape of Good Hope .

I discovered quite quickly I was entirely unsuited to the job  the key part of  which was currency exchange. Maths was not my strong suit having had three attempts just to get the O level and so while the other pursers happily pocketed money by duping passengers I was always grateful to passengers who came back with puzzled looks on their faces saying I think you might have got this wrong you’ve given us too much.

The hours were long starting at 6.30 ensuring the Good Morning sheet listnng the ships activities for that day was run off on an ancient Zerox machine  and finished with chairing a quiz show like Whats My Line at 9 pm, 7 days a week but it had it’s compensations . Outbound we carried mainly migrants seeking a new life in Australia but inbound to Tilbury we carried Aussies coming to work for a year or so in the UK and of the 1,700 on board 70% were girls between the age of 17 and 23 . All wanted to get to know an officer well if you catch my drift.

Quite quickly I ran foul of the vindictive Purser Dennis Blurton a small man of five foot two in his socks who when you were in trouble asked you to sit down whilst he stood over you. I seem to spend most of my life sitting in his office whilst being banned from various things like passenger decks, going ashore or being given extra duties. Oh the stories I could tell you. 

But after two years I like most pursers at the time having had not a day off  resigned. Blurton took great delight in telling me had had given me a reference that would ensure I would never work again. Jones he wrote has a cavalier attitude to life. Thank you sir I said probably the nicest thing anyone has ever written and left this ship assuming I would never see him again.

20 years later I found myself as Regional Manager South Asia for British Airways based in Bombay .

I often had evening drinks with the P&O guy based in Bombay . One day he phoned and said he had a senior guy from head office visiting who he had told that I was ex P&O and had said he knew me and was keen to buy me a drink. Who I asked ? Denis Blurton he replied. I don’t think so I said. Oh yes and he is really keen to met with you as you were both on the Orcades . So that evening i went to the Oberoi Hotel for beer . I walked in and I saw the local P&O guy point me out to the small guy with him. By the time I reached the table Blurton was a puce colour and just kept saying you, you, not you. Your not the one I thought you were . How on earth did you get your  job. Cavalier attitude probably I replied.

Conversation seemed to dry up so I asked who he was flying home that night.

British Airways he said. Oh what class I asked. Club he said proudly.

Would you like a First Class seat Denis I asked.

What followed was one of those great moments in life. You could actually see his mind working. A First Class seat. But no I can’t accept it from him, but a First class seat great food, great drinks fine wine. But no I can’t I mustn’t not from him. Him of all people. We’re not too full tonight Denis so I can get you 1A with 2A protected so it will be really quiet. No No you could see him thinking but oh First class.

What do you think  Denis as I’ll need to phone my airport manager. Denis sat there and finally said yes that would be lovely .

What a moment . It is true , good things really do come to he who waits.

On On The Hash

 

Tales From 2536

 

The Hares Today on Run 2836 were

Peter Hogg : Runs 660 Hares: 90 Av:

Doc Smith: Runs:561 Hares: 57 Av:

Drew Muir: Run: 592 Hares: 46 Av.

Tom McSherry: Runs1386 Hares 199 Av

Number of runners: 24

Returning Hashers ;none

Guests:none

A fire was lit and the hashers gathered around

eager I’m sure to hear the sage words of the

On.Pres. and yet another true tale at the Crit.

However the rain clouds that had been threatening

throughout the run duly opened. The hash

almost to a man said politely “ stuff this for a

lark” and adjourned in a convoy of mud splattered

vehicles for the warmth of Andreas’s log fire

leaving the On.Pres. standing on his 50th Anniversary

pedestal .

A very truncated Crit then took place after Tom

McSherry received his birthday Jock Pie with a

single candle and to go with the jug of rusty nails

also donated two litres of brandy.

Hashers there that night will have as little memory

as this On. Pres. so the adage what happened

at Andreas’s stays at Andreas’s couldn’t be truer

none can remember leaving. This On. Pres. did a

version of the Wilbrey Twist when trying to get

the pyjama trews on .https://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=VrwIoIGfFIU

At least this year we had a run and a walk as last

year’s St. Drews Day the RV and the entire trail

was washed away in torrential rain and the Chop

started at 1630 hrs.

Run Crit : Two amazing happenings today Firstly

every single hasher is coming to the Chop confirming

that we are now drinkers with a drinking problem

rather than anything else .But secondly a suggestion

that the hash might move its run and Chop

time to a 1000 hrs start and a lunchtime chop made

to a hare by a Jessie no less and on this on the Epi

Hash no less. On those two bombshells

The runners set off in a state of shock . Given the

conditions the flour had held up well and to be fair it

was a well managed run by the two hares . I could

talk about poor Trevor and his check backs , the

marshy ground and Aubrey and his several checks

but in the interest of brevity and still reeling from the

proposal of a morning start suffice to say a shite

run.

Walk Crit: by Mike Ball who in fact told a hasher

poem which I will insert here later as he hadn’t

done the walk at all due to his new knee giving him

gyp . At great personal sacrifice Jimmy Carroll also

stayed behind to offer condolences and help Mike

open his beer cans.

Sport : Rugby Union: Scotland level just after halftime

at 17-17 then played a 14 man and eventually

a 13 man Australia to record their highest victory

over a Southern hemisphere team 53-24. England

at one stage playing with 16 men on the field dispatched

the Samoans after looking quite pedestrian

in the rucks and Wales lost 18-33 against the All

Blacks proving that romance rarely if ever wins over

ruthlessness

In Cricket the fears of most of us were realised

when England lay down and capitulated to the

speed of young Mathew Starc. Odds on a whitewash

with the bookies are down to 7to2 but I’d get

a bet on soon .

Now in the words of Monty Python what have the

Scots given to us.

Well not the name Scotland that came from the

Scoti tribe who invaded what was called Caledonia

in the 6th century A.D., they were from Ireland, nor

the kilt, the Scoti bought that with them and the

word kilt is a Viking one meaning to tuck in. Certainly

not the bagpipes the Phoenicians bought

those to Ireland. The haggis? nope the first recipe

appears in England in 1615 and not in Scotland for

another century and a half, Hogmanay ? Afraid not

it is Norman French custom the Scots just nicked it.

Surely Scotch Whiskey ? no not a chance that was

first distilled in Italy in the 12th Century long before

the Scots started their industry. Ah then the telephone

? But no Alexander Bell copied someone

else’s patent at the patent office and was due to

appear in court on charges when the real inventor

luckily died . But fret not Scots , you will be remembered

for a couple of things. In 1971 at the Shish

Mahal Restaurant in Glasgow, Scottish born chef

Ali Ahmed Aslam added tomato soup to a chicken

curry and created Chicken Tikka Masala Britains

favourite dish. And in 1996 at the Haven Chip shop

in Stonehaven the owner deep fried a Mars bar

and created the Mars Bar Fried Dinner much to the

delight of customers throughout Scotland and the

horror of every Michelin starred chef.

 

Notices for the good of the Hash?

The Christmas bash and Oscar Ceremony is

booked for Wednesday 13th . €30 a head .

From now on could hashers order their

Haberdashery through the website only

please . This prevents me having loads of

bits of paper after each hash or indeed

hashers perhaps suffering from social confusion

at the end of a long Chop ordering stuff

they might not want in the cold light of day.

Equally I hasten to add your On. Pres. suffering

from a similar affliction could well mistake

the hasher or indeed just forget the order.

 

Tales From 2534

 

I feel like it’s the end of term I keep doing little jigs and laughing hysterically whilst shouting the 50th is over.I’m like Scrooge when he wakes up on Christmas Day and finds the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be didn’t kill him.

The Hares Today on Run 2834 were

Mike Hilliyar : Runs 887    Hares:87 Av:10

Mark Foley: Runs: 486    Hares:40   Av: 12

Nev Rushton: Run:617  Hares:91   Av. 7

Number of runners: 54

Returning Hashers ;

Exiles:19 you know who you are

Guests: Gary Six

Run Crit : Joe Oldfield

Walk Crit: By Jeff Thorpe

Sport;

Many years ago I spent a great deal of time standing on the terraces at Upton Park singing I’m forever blowing bubbles with a mate who eventually became Chairman of the West Ham supporters club. I would imagine he is at present turning in his grave at his  team’s antics. Predictably they have now sent for David Moyes. Same old same old. I reckon if Mrs May fell on her sword we’d send for David Moyes and he would be standing outside number 10 proclaiming “we’re in a relegation battle here “ .

I’ve only watched them once this season on the telly and the players seem barely able to break into a jog when an opponents streaks past them heading for the goal. It is easier to imagine them all, fags in hand, at half time, thumbing through a few of owner David Sullivan’s top shelf magazines than listening to any manger the board care to appoint tell them how to play football.

I’m sorry but I have never really understood the joys of  Rugby League though I did watch the movie This Sporting Life staring Richard Harris in his first major screen role. He was nominated for an Oscar and I’d loved to have been a fly on the wall when the  American judges came to watch it. No wonder he didn’t win, they could neither understand a word he said nor understand the game he was playing. Mind you  I believe  it’s the only game where the players eagerly jump into the stands to sort out any crowd trouble.

 The RL World Cup  started way back in October and goes on till December and dear old Henry Blowers Blofeld will have written a couple of books of his memoirs by then. the BBC the other day were trying to talk up  the so called  needle match between England and The Lebanon. The Lebanon ?  And if England get out of  pool A they might face the might of the USA whose players I guess have spent all their spare time watching This Sporting Life too . Though looking at their results so far it would seem they are as confused as the Oscar judges as to what game their actually playing.

Notices for the good of the Hash?

A reminder the Christmas Bash and Oscars Night are set for December 13th at the Hillview .

When Hash Words returns from his epic pub crawl of West End pubs and his canter down Whitehall I will get him to get something out so we can assess numbers.

Christmas carols around the bonfire will be on Tuesday December 19th. Hash Ash is away cruising the Caribbean so we will need another pyromaniac to stand in . Applicants on a charred postcard please .

Next Week’s Run: Episkopi

Hares:Tony Flower Pete Moore Keith Johnson

Chop: Stables Please ensure Giles gets his chicken this time guys. His wife Val tells me he was in a funk for a week.

So to my true tale at the Crit:

The winter weather in the major cities of Northwestern Europe is particularly affected by periods of fog. In the 1950s this was further exacerbated by carbon particles causing what we all knew as real pea soupers.

The airline that I joined in 1971 British European Airways as the name implies flew routes out of the UK to mainly European destinations and in particular to those self same major industrial cities. It is hardly surprising then that  during the immediate post-war period, BEA suffered a large number of accidents many of them fatal during approach and landing in poor visibility. This caused it to focus on the problems of how pilots could land safely in such conditions. A major break through came in the late 1950s with the the "monitored approach" procedure whereby one pilot is assigned the task of accurate instrument flying while the other assesses the visual cues available at decision height, before taking control to execute the landing once satisfied that the aircraft is in fact in the correct place which is rather important to say the least and on a safe trajectory for a landing. The result was a major improvement in the safety of operations in low visibility, and as a concept clearly incorporated  elements of what is now known as Crew Resource Management where the flight crew work as a team rather than the old system of the Captain in charge and the first officer his subordinate.

However BEA went on to invest heavily in the British invention of autoland for it’s new fleet of Trident aircraft.. The basic concept of autoland flows from the fact that an autopilot could be set up to track an artificial signal such as an Instrument Landing System (ILS) beam more accurately than a human pilot  could and, therefore, safely fly the aircraft down  much closer to the actual runway.

So it was that the first fully automatic landing on a commercial flight with passengers aboard was achieved on flight BE 343 on 10 June 1965, with a Trident 1 from Paris to Heathrow.

Trident 2s and 3s were eventually fitted with Cat 3A certification allowing them to land in zero visibility with the flight crew almost as surprised as the passengers when the aircraft touched down. The only issues being that once on the ground they could often have difficulty finding the follow me car let alone the actual terminal .

My own brief relationship with the Trident 2 came when I was posted as Manager to Oporto in  Northern Portugal. The aircraft served the city daily and I arrived there on one to take up the job.

 Down the steps I came to be met by Joe Vaz the then BA airport duty officer.  He introduced himself and I asked where he was from ? Goa in India he said. Ah said I, of course, an old Portuguese colony that makes sense though I did wonder why he looked quizzically at me .

After the Trident  had taken off I asked Joe to gather the Air Portugal staff who handled the aircraft under his supervision so I might say a few words of welcome . This he did and I turned to him and whispered please tell them how delighted I am to be here and how impressed I was with the efficient way they handled the turn around, I always been a good liar.

Joe stepped forward and very very slowly said in English everything I had said to him. It turned out he spoke even less Portuguese than I did .

I replaced Joe with a sales guy instead and took over the airport as part of my duties. I got to know the Trident well and it was always nice when Heathrow was out in fog to turn around the Trident and send it back to London while the Air Portugal flight sat alongside us going nowhere

Air France was a major carrier into Oporto there being more Portuguese living in Paris than in Oporto. With such a high demand for seats they, in 1981,  introduced the A300 wide body aircraft on the route. This compared to say the Trident, was a monster carrying 280 passengers and I asked the new guy running Air France if Air Portugal could handle the aircraft. Mais oui  he replied they say there is no problem . Oh dear I thought when a Portuguese says no problem you know to expect trouble.

 I happened to be out at the airport when it arrived. The massive aircraft landed dead on time and taxied to its stand away from the terminal. The bat man who guided the aircraft to the stand with a pair of table tennis bats was so scared by the size of the aircraft that he stood behind his vehicle rather than on top of it. The Air France pilot having

 some fun with him completed two full 360 degree pirouettes   just short of the stand until he moved out from behind the car .

 The steps went to the aircraft side raised to their highest elevation. They were 4 feet short of the doors. Meanwhile the baggage guys were having trouble of their own. The truck to unload the containers with the suitcases in,  had failed to arrive from Lisbon but Air Portugal had not told  Air France . So instead  they were manhandling the containers to the cargo  door and then 6 of them were carrying them one by one on their heads to the terminal building 150 metres away. Meanwhile two ladders had now arrived and were tied to the top of the steps and passengers were invited to toss their hand baggage out to be caught by three Air Portugal checkin staff brought out onto the stand and then descend the ladder to the top of the stairs and so on down to the tarmac. The whole process then had to be repeated for the out going departure. Four hours after arrival the Airbus took off for Paris and the Air France manager was crying in the bar. 

Three months later the dear old Trident was replaced on the Porto route by the B737. The pilots from the Trident fleet had converted to the B737 over a tough couple of months course and like anything new were wary of the aircraft and so were very careful.

 A big issue was that to ensure the balance or centre of gravity of an aircraft with two engines under the wing meant for a safe take off  putting weight in the forward section of the aircraft. However that was where Club class was and on the Porto route we often had few takers for that class.

On the first turn around I took the  weight and balance papers on board. The line marking the centre of G I had drawn was within the safety envelope but because of where the passengers were sitting it wasn’t perfect.

 It was unfortunately the Captain’s first commercial flight on the new aircraft and I knew him from old as a stickler of a man who would probably want  the line dead centre. No Traffic he said I can’t accept this  you’ll need to move a passenger forward. I went into the galley and did a quick calculation using the then regulation average weight of 78 kilos per passenger and decided to move one of the  passengers from seat 8C forward to seat 3C to give the Captain what he wanted. Down I went and there sitting in 8C was probably the thinest wizened little fellow you have ever seen . He can’t have been over  6 stone.

 I lent over and asked him to move up to 3C . Me he replied me ? Why? Just for take off I repeated then you can move back. My god he shouted at the top of his squeaky voice if this aircraft is so dangerous that a little thin guy like me makes so much  difference I want to get off. Other passengers around him also started to say they wanted off the aircraft.  Back to the cockpit I went. Captain we have a near riot on our hands you’ll need to get your four rings on and come back. I’ve no time for this he said I’ve got a dinner party tonight and my wife says I must be back on time tell them you made a mistake and then get us going. I made the announcement closed the doors  and 5 minutes later the B737 soared into the afternoon sky. 

On On The Hash.

 

Tales From 2529

The Hares Today on Run 2830 were

Aubrey O Callahan : Runs:109    Hares:13 Av:8 

Giles Day: Runs:506     Hares:54   Av: 9

Brian Lidell: Runs: 1333  Hares:109    Av. 12

Number of runners: 24

Returning Hashers ;Joe Ward, Paul Johnson Doc Smith

Guests: None

Run Crit : I have challenged the hares and the Runmeister to come up with five runs we haven’t done either before or in the last 5 years and 5 new restaurants. This was I believe a new RV and a new run area to boot.

 Well we promised a bit of up and down as well as JC and we got it. We also were treated to some mind games by the hares who  were marching up false trails ignoring the On On trail and running the check backs almost to the three blobs. That lasted about 4 checks until the hares ran out of puff  and then things went back to normal. We had false trails the length of a Mike Woods run , check backs so long the lead runners couldn’t hear the check back being called and On On’s where by the third blob the brave-hearts were just specs in the distance half way to Trodos Camp. 

Tom took most of the checks today and Mark spent most of his time running back past the pack having chosen one of the 500 metre falsies.

But the pack stayed together , the banter was fun, most of the running was on tracks but we all came home bearing the thorn scratches so necessary for a true hasher .

All in all a shite run

On a brighter note Trevor found the smiley face and therefore picked up the bottle of brandy donated by the hares. However he had earlier elected not to come to the Chop and so has forfeited his bottle  and those of us attending the Chop must try to remember to drink his health.

.Walk Crit  by Nev

An impassioned plea for the walking hares to start laying a proper hash trail rather than just a walk fully supported by The On. Pres. who will get feedback from the walking group over the next couple of weeks.

No Sport today just a true Air Traffic Control story and a British Airways story as well .

The crew of a British Airways 737 had made a wrong turn during taxi  and came nose to nose with another aircraft, the furious Heathrow ground controller (a woman) screamed: “ Speedbird 315 where are you going? I told you to turn right on 'Charlie' taxiway; you have turned right on 'Delta'. Stop right there" Continuing her verbal lashing of the embarrassed crew, she shouted: "You've screwed everything up. It'll take forever to sort this out. You stay right there and don't move until I tell you to. You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about a half hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you.  Do you understand?"

Naturally, the frequency went very quiet until an unknown male pilot broke the silence and asked: "Wasn't I married to you once?”

More from our "Don't get wise with us" file:

 

A United Airlines 747 captain tries to make light banter with Sydney, Australia, Approach Control ...

 

Captain: "Good morning, Sydney, this is United XXX, we're 50 miles out and have your island in sight ..."

 

Approach: "Roger, United ... you're cleared to circle the island twice, then it's okay to land."

 

 

and the  British Airways story.

A BA 747 is inbound to LHR after a long 13 hour flight  non stop from Hong Kong. The First Officer is rubbing his neck and looking miserable. The very very senior Captain who shall be nameless asks what the matter is. He says that his neck is hurting after such a long time in the seat. The Captain obviously related to this, and said "Ah yes Nigel - I often get the same trouble. I have my own way of dealing with it - works every time." “ Gosh I’d be grateful if you shared it with me "Well Nigel, I get in my new 7 series Beemer, and while I am driving home to my house on the fifth hole at Wentworth I call my new Russian wife who is 25 years my junior, to tell her to get the hot-tub ready, fix me a large Bloody Mary, and to get in the tub. Then when I get home, I jump into in the tub, have my drink, and then she massages my neck as she was a masseur when I met her in a club in London and one thing leads to another if you get my drift. You should try it with your girlfriend at your place in Slough. A couple of weeks later they are flying again, and the Captain remembers the conversation. "Well Nigel - did you try my cure for neck pain?" The First Officer replies - "Yes I did “ So the  Captain asks - "And what did you think?"  - "Well Captain, everything went just as you suggested. I have to say you have a lovely hot-tub!"

Notices for the good of the Hash?

Could I ask for hashers to please have their better halves start buying and saving 1.5 litre milk bottles again. I’m not quite sure which part of Newton's law of universal gravitation some hashers don’t understand but it is clear they squeeze the living daylights out of the bottles rather than invert them and just let the flour pour out. The Trail Blazing Flour Company based in my garage is down to probably 20 decent bottles and will need to step up production to unprecedented levels for the 50th. We desperately need about 20 extra bottles before Friday November 3rd when we make the flour for the three runs. The plan is to make flour  at about 1500 hrs and then have a post flour cocktail or two so any volunteers that would like to help please let me know.

Next Week’s Run: Church of The Warts at 1530 hrs first winter run.

Hares: George Trotter, Joe Oldfield, Jim Adair

Chop: Ampeli and lets hope it has improved since the last time when the sign on the door saying it was closed on Tuesday’s should have alerted the hares.

So to my true tale at the Crit:

When Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn wrote the  song Come Fly with Me with the great line

“If you can use some exotic booze

There's a bar in far Bombay”

Only a very few of the millions of people who listened to the LP released by Frank Sinatra could even dream of going there or could  ever imagine being able to

“ just say the words and we'll beat the birds

Down to Ac apulco Bay”.

Flying was for the very rich or for businessmen.

But on this very day in 1965 the President and founder of the iconic airline PanAm Juan Trippe had a meeting with his friend Bill Allen the President of Boeing Aircraft Corporation . At the meeting  Trippe asked Boeing to build him an aircraft at least double the size of it’s 707.

Years before Trippe had left the Wall Street company where he worked and raised capital to found his own airline. Pan Am's first flight took off on October 19, 1927, from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, in a hired Fairchild  seaplane.

Pan Am started its South American routes with flying boats in 1931. Carrying the names American Clipper, Southern Clipper, and Caribbean Clipper, they were the first of the series of 28 Clippers that symbolised Pan Am between 1931 and 1946. The British government block PanAm’s attempt to fly to the UK as Imperial Airways had no aircraft to fly the route. It was only in 1939 when they acquired a PanaM flying boat did service start.

Tippe’s vision though was travel for all and he tried throughout his career to keep lowering the seat cost per mile to allow passengers to pay less to travel. He created Tourist class and invested heavily in the early jet aircraft as they cut journey times and lowered prices by 30%. So with passenger numbers rising but airport congestion increasing due to the smallness of the aircraft he held that historic meeting.

Boeing had the year before bid for but lost a contract to build the U.S. military a large  aircraft and it was a larger version of that design that they showed Trippe

He had before this meeting been to Bristol and had seen the plans for Concorde as well as Boeing’s own supersonic aircraft design and Trippe was convinced that  big supersonic jets  would replace the 747 on passenger routes and the 747s would all become freighters . Being one of Boeing’s best customers and usually the first to order new models, he convince Boeing to put the flight deck of the 747 above the passenger cabin so a hinged nose for a front-loading cargo door could be fitted in later years.

The first design for the cockpit enclosure was a hemispherical lump atop the fuselage. This produced too much drag, so Boeing extended the aft portion  to form a teardrop. Then, in a deliberate echo of the below-deck lounge on the  Stratocruiser, Boeing’s 1940s flagship where Trippe had enjoyed many a great party in the darkened cabin with just the  flames from the piston engines lighting the space, Trippe  persuaded Boeing to turn the extra space behind the cockpit into a bar and lounge. So now you know how the 747 got it’s bubble !

For those who grew up under 747-crossed skies, it can be hard to appreciate how revolutionary the jet’s dimensions were when it first (and improbably, to many observers both then and even now) got airborne in 1969.

The inaugural model, the 747-100, was the world’s first wide-bodied airliner. The jet weighed hundreds of thousands of pounds more than its predecessors and carried almost three times as many passengers . The 747-100 was nearly twice as long as the Wright brothers’ entire first flight just 66 years before. The aircraft launched a raft of new flight technologies and had the very latest engines pushing out far more thrust than any jet engine had ever done before.

However the 747’s most lasting impact has been on everyday notions of distance and difference. The “age of mass intercontinental travel,” had arrived. Sleepy watering holes of the rich and famous were about to be developed into massive tourist resorts.

 It is not easy, in the age of the internet, to feel the same awe at the 747’s ability to shrink and connect the world. Looking back, it’s perhaps enough to marvel at the billions of reunions, migrations, exchanges and collaborations of all manner that were made possible, and more importantly   affordable, by this aircraft. Today, the equivalent of around half the planet’s population has flown on a 747. And who doesn’t shed a small tear at the start and finish of the film Love Actually which captures the essence of airline travel with all those hugs and kisses as people come together in the arrivals area at Heathrow.

But now almost all the major airlines have either announced the retirement of their 747 fleets or the planned phase out of the aircraft. One is already in a museum in Seattle. The famed  British architect Norman Foster  named the aircraft his favourite building of the 20th century and suggested that given their beauty they should become Museums in their own right or indeed restaurants.

If you hanker for the 1970s experience of dining in First Class on board a PanAm 747 then go to Los Angles and sign up to visit Air Hollywood a new restaurant concept where guests pay $197 to dine in first class in the forward section of a Pan Am 747 and $297 to dine in the upper deck lounge. Dinner, which included chateaubriand cut on a trolley in the aisle alongside your seat, is served by waitresses wearing 70s-era Pan Am flight attendant uniforms. Guests check in and have a cocktail or two in the lounge before boarding their aircraft. Friends of mine did it last week and loved every minute of the nostalgic meal and Eric and I  had experienced the real thing on a flight from Washington D.C.  in 1977.  

And finally this weekend I was reading reviews about the new biography of Princess Margaret written  by Craig Brown called Ma’am Darling. I only met Princess Margaret once and it was during my time at T4 . My office at Heathrow was shared with The Special Services team that did all the meet and greet of top celebrities , heads of Government and Royalty . Always short staffed I was happy to help them out when I wasn’t too  busy or they asked me to greet someone I was interested in meeting or when my boss who also ran that section too told  me to.

So it was that I found myself one winter’s morning in 1975 standing on the tarmac at 0630hrs waiting for a VC10 to taxi to the Heathrow South Side Royal Lounge . The aircraft had come from Bridgetown, Barbados and in a curtained off section of First Class was Princess Margaret . She was returning from a holiday spent with Roddy Lewellyn at their beachside retreat in the Caribbean . Having been on an unofficial visit and much to the displeasure of The Queen there was just a smattering  of Heathrow heavyweights meeting the aircraft but the press was in full attendance especially the photographers.

My job was to merely bow appropriately and make sure she got in the right car to send her on her way. The steps were wheeled up to the aircraft and I went up just to make sure all was well. The Purser told me HRH was shall we say socially confused or quite simply pissed but would be out in a few minutes as she was changing into winter clothes.So down I went to tell the people at the bottom of the steps that Ma’am would be a little delayed.

Margaret was know not to be an easy person to deal with especially when she’d had a few and that day she kept us few freezing on the ground along with the other  passengers sitting patiently on the aircraft waiting to continue onward to Terminal 4 to disembark themselves, for about 40 minutes before she appeared at the top of the steps.

She started down a little unsteadily but shook off the helping hand of a lady in waiting. Down she came slowly and was doing quite well as the press took photos but the fourth step before the bottom proved to be her Waterloo. Her knees buckled and she sat down and slid the final three steps landing on the tarmac with her skirt around her waist and  a fine pair of legs splayed wide. “ Oh Fuck” she shouted as we  helped her to her feet.

The press, as they did in those days, had lowered their cameras and not a single photo ever appeared. However it has remained a lasting memory for me.

On On The Hash.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2529

The Hares Today on Run 2529 were

Mike Jones: Runs: 105   Hares: 20    Av: 5

Mike Woods: Runs:179     Hares:21   Av:8

 Jim Adair: Runs:378    Hares:34    Av. 11

Number of runners: 29

Returning Hashers ; Colin Garland, Peter Duckworth, Brian Watson, Rob Findlater, Joe Oldfield

Guests:Dave Hancock guest of Laurie

Run Crit by:  Joe Oldfield         

Walk Crit :  Brian Liddell

Sport :In 1913, a guy named Max Ringelmann noticed something strange about humans. Ringelmann, a French agricultural engineer, took a rope and asked individual people to pull on it. Then he asked those same people to pull on the rope as a group. He observed that when people pulled as a group, they put in less effort than when pulling on their own.

It is  called it “the Ringelmann effect,” or social loafing.

I guess Max would have had a ball with the England soccer team who flopped across the line and into the World Cup in Russia. Victory over Mighty Slovenia came via  a scuffed last minute kick from Harry Kane.

Ringlemann reckoned that social loafing in team sports could lower a persons contribution by 50% if they were allowed to get away with it. Hence Marcus Rashford’s seeming inability in an England shirt to place a corner kick anywhere near the goal mouth or an England player. Something he performs very successfully for his club. Garath Southgate seems a nice bloke but is he forceful enough to motivate an International team. Don’t hold your breath.

Notices for the good of the Hash?

Please make sure your request for the new super glass mug are in this week.

The Monday Anniversary Run will now take place just off the Sovereign Base at Radio Sonde. I won’t bore you with details suffice to say when 150 people and 70 cars are gathered the SBA authorities have a mine field of Health and Safety hoops to step through that would have tied us up till Christmas. As an example even the Base Chief dentist has to sign the licence to okay the run.

Trafalgar Day Stuff:

At the battle, 27 British ships led by Admiral Nelson defeated 33 French and Spanish ships.The French and Spaniards lost 22 ships in the battle; all the British ships survived.

Nelson’s Column cost £47,000 to build which is equivalent to more than £4 million today.

The four panels at the bottom of Nelson’s Column which each show a scene from Nelson’s most famous battles: the Death of Nelson at Trafalgar, the Battle of the Nile, the Battle of Copenhagen and the Battle of Cape St Vincent were cast from captured French and Spanish canon at Trafalgar.

Nelson’s body was immersed in a barrel of rum for the journey back to Portsmouth after the Battle. On arrival there the barrel was found to be empty. This habit that Naval crews had of drilling into barrels using a gimlet and drinking the contents by way of straws stuck into the holes  was know as supping the monkey but after Trafalgar became known as supping Nelson’s blood.

If Hitler had successfully invaded Britain in the Second World War, he planned to move Nelson’s Column to the centre of Berlin! 

Finally the pedestrian lights on traffic signals to show when it is safe to cross are the first to feature a new Transport for London initiative . The green  lights  include two men or two women holding hands and forming a heart, and others variations include gender symbols and a transgender sign what ever that is. What  would Nelson have thought of it or Hardy for that matter.

Next Week’s Run: Kivedes

Hares: Aubrey, Giles and Brian

Chop: Lenia’s

So to my true tale at the Crit:

For five years on the Sunday closest to  October 21st I would sit in the chapel at The Nautical College Pangbourne and watch Captain Lewis D.S.O. R.N. ( Ret.)  climb up into the pulpit to deliver his Trafalgar Day sermon. It was never about Nelson always about John Arbuthnot Fisher or Jackie Fisher as he was known the man who modernised the Royal Navy and built it into a force that could taken on the German Fleet at Jutland and where “ Bugger” Lewis as he was affectionately known by the cadets first saw action as a Midshipman.

 I was going to follow his lead today but then when flipping through the Sky movies during an ad break on Sky Sports I watched a bit of The Imitation Game, the story of Alan Turing and his struggle to break the Enigma code and win the Battle of the Atlantic. Much has been written about Bletchley Park since the 1980’s when the secrecy surrounding it was finally lifted. Indeed there is a true story of a married couple who met after the war and each received an invitation to the 50th Bletchley reunion without either knowing before that the other had worked there.

But maybe you like me have wondered how the Germans had so much success in The Battle of the Atlantic that by mid 1941they  had almost brought Britain to it’s knees and ready to sue for peace.

 It was simply because Germany had broken the Royal Navy cipher codes and knew where every convoy  and indeed every single British warship was at any given time and it was all down to one man Wilhelm Tranow.

Tranow had become interested in Naval Codes as a telegraphist in The German Navy in World War One and had managed to crack the German code for fun in his spare time on board ship much to the annoyance of his Captain who tried to court martial him for time wasting . Instead he was whisked off to the German code breaking branch of the Navy and set to work on British Naval codes.

However his real chance came in 1935 when Benito Mussolini first threatened to build an Italian Empire by invading Abyssinia in the October of that year.

The Royal Navy feared an Italian preemptive strike on Malta. Naval wives and children were evacuated from the island and ships like Ajax and Exeter from the West Indies bought back to reinforce the island as well as strengthening the new Naval base at Aden closest to Abyssinia.

 The Royal Navy was ready for war against Italy and it instructed the fleet to switch to using its wartime cipher code.

During peacetime The Navy used a five digit cipher which used five numbers to denote each letter of a message and Wilhelm Tranov   had had some notable success in cracking this code over the last 20 years. In wartime the Navy used an extra four digit code on top of the five digit effectively doubling the code. Tranow quickly realised what was going on and started to try to break it.   He was not a mathematician like Turing but more used common sense to break codes. The Royal Navy might be on a war footing but Britain certainly wasn’t. British papers continued to report which warships were where and their sailing dates . Tranow was able to use this information to start breaking the code by carefully matching Naval ships to code letters. The navy  was also reporting sightings of merchant ships and Tranow used his weekly copy of The Lloyds Shipping Report that records every merchant ship movement in the world to further crack the Royal Naval code . By the end of 1936 he had done it. The code had been well and truly cracked.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 the Navy still remained ignorant of this fact and arrogant in their belief their code could never be cracked by the Germans. The Royal Navy in truth also  realised  it was very difficult  to change their code. The Germans with enigma could change theirs  each month by a simple radio transmission but the Navy needed to print the code in a book normally done at The Oxford University Press and then send one to each ship scattered throughout the world by personal courier to ensure it’s safety . A mammoth task in peace time and almost an impossibility in wartime.

So at the outbreak of hostilities the Navy just thought it was bad luck that the first convoy to sail on September 7th 1939 was met by several U boats and attacked, that it was pure co-incidence the aircraft carrier Courageous  was sunk by another U boat after she had sent a coded message to the Admiralty that she had broken down and was drifting and most famously it was just pure chance that the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer knew the exact route of Convoy HX-84 that sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia in November 1940.

 The convoy  was protected by just one armed merchantman HMS Jervis Bay and as every schoolboy of the 1950s knew,  her Captain Edward Fegen  was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as a result of this action. The citation for his award read:

"for valour in challenging hopeless odds and giving his life to save the many ships it was his duty to protect. On the 5th of November, 1940, in heavy seas, Captain Fegen, in H.M.S. Jervis Bay, was escorting thirty-eight Merchantmen. Sighting a powerful German warship he at once drew clear of the Convoy, made straight for the Enemy, and brought his ship between the Raider and her prey, so that they might scatter and escape. Crippled, in flames, unable to reply, for nearly an hour the Jervis Bay held the German's fire. So she went down: but of the Merchantmen all but  five were saved.”

However despite such bravery the Battle of The Atlantic was being lost.  By March 1941 the loses in merchant ships was unsustainable . More were going to the bottom or  damaged beyond repair  that Britain faced starvation. Churchill wrote later “ The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat threat “

 But The Royal Navy was about to make amends for gifting their own codes to the enemy. 

In 1936 the royal Navy had order a new type of destroyer , faster, better armed , rakish, streamlined and more powerful know as the Tribal Class. One such was HMS Somali who on March 4th 1941 led a commando raid on the German Lefoten Islands. As she swept in a German trawler bravely opened fire on her with the equivalent of a peashooter . Somali brought her own  guns to bear and left it a smoking wreck. After the successful raid she stopped and boarded the trawler to check for survivors . There were none but in the Captains small cabin they found a pile of papers which they bought back and these were passed on to Bletchley. Turing identified them immediately as the Enigma settings for home waters and though they were for the month before they made a huge difference to understanding the code.

If the Germans were putting Enigma machines on trawlers maybe Somali could find another one and she was dispatched  again to see if she could find another trawler. She instead found a German weather reporting vessel near Greenland. Again the crew ditched the  Enigma machine but she seized what turned out to be the current months Enigma code and again this added to Turning’s knowledge  and he and his team began to be able to read some messages and indeed helped to sink the Bismark with the information they supplied from German signals. But what they really needed was a current Enigma machine.

Step up HMS Bulldog who in May depth charged  U110 forcing her to the surface and crippling her so badly she could no longer dive. The German crew abandoned her thinking, wrongly, they had scuttled her and she was sinking.  A boat party from Bulldog was sent over and for 5 hours they searched the U-boat before bringing bought back an intact enigma machine and all the code books.

Turning like his German rival Tranow could now read all the German naval signals. In June the Navy acting on information from Bletchley sank all 11 German supply ships that were refuelling the U Boats . The Battle of the Atlantic was on it’s way to being won.

 

On On The Hash 

The Chop

In keeping with the Trafalgar Dinner tradition beef was the main course this time as a steak and kidney pie. The Immortal Memory toast was given by the On. Pres.

Mike Woods read an account of the Battle had it been fought today with all of the Health and Safety rules and Equal Opportunity laws.

The Hash then sung a rousing chorus of Sea Songs and not forgetting The Army who in 1805 realising the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope was a vital port of call on the long sea voyage to India sent an expedition to capture it.  British troops  won the Battle of Blaauwberg in January 1806, forcing the surrender of the colony. The Hash sang The British Grenadiers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2527

The Hares Today on Run 2827 were Tom McSherry: Runs:1376    Hares:198     Av:7

 Pete Moore: Runs:523     Hares:65   Av: 8

 Keith Johnson : Runs:17    Hares2    Av. 8

Number of runners: 26

Returning Hashers ; Dennis Blackburn, Pete Moore, John Cook

Guests: Graham Odd, Bob Broadbank, Geoff Davies.

 

Run Crit by: Tony Flower          

 

Walk Crit : We walked off and straight up a vertical climb admiring as we went the new luminous  green flour that had been carefully prepared by yours truly just a week before. The conversation was varied but with no Ray here soccer seemed off the agenda much to the delight of Roger who for once wasn’t defending Arsenal . Instead caravans and welsh mens choirs were the order of the day. So good was the chat that despite the luminous  green the front walkers spent most of their time having to check back having missed the trail.

Every few minutes we came across runners busy short cutting and it wasn’t  long before a few of our number called it a day and drifted away as well. The remaining were back after 50 mins, all in all a shite walk

Notices for the good of the Hash?

Barney has called a meeting of the 50th Anniversary Weekend committee for this Thursday which judging by the numbers copied in to the e mail seems to involve most of the hash. However for the few of you who,  must be grateful not to be included, I will update you next week. Let’s hope I won’t be leading in a camel.

In answer to Tony Flower’s issue with his cupboard full of china mugs, none of which, of course, have The Episkopi Hash House Harriers 50th anniversary Run written on them  I have come up with a solution. Hashers on the Active List that qualify for the Anniversary Mug but do not wish to avail themselves of  it can instead opt for 5x €5 vouchers which they can redeem over the Anniversary run weekend only. The vouchers can be used to cover the cost of the run fee on any of the runs or the bus fee if travelling on a bus laid on for the hash , or towards the cost  or indeed  for the full cost of the chop on the  Monday or Tuesday . These vouchers will be available from Hash Cash later in the month.

So we can get an idea of those wishing to have vouchers instead of the Anniversary Mug please let Barney know at the run  next Tuesday and if you are not coming next week  then e mail him . Peter will put this info up on the website  and highlight it when this bit of the crit is put  on the Tales From The Crit section as well . Now before you all start chuntering into your beers, it is €25 not to punish hashers who don’t go for the mug but because at the moment we now believe we can now get the mugs for this price as well  through the uncle of a friend who has a man who knows Nogsie . So the mug is €25 and the vouchers are €25.

 

Sport: A book written on the history of sportsmen and political protest in Britain would be a mightily small volume. It would, however, feature quite a bit on Robbie Fowler the ex Liverpool striker who once , on scoring a goal, lifted his shirt to reveal a t shirt which said “support the Liverpool dockers” . Clearly he had been misguided as the dockers were only doing what most Liverpool workers do all their lives namely striking rather than ever working. This was the same Robbie Fowler who through his wordsmith or lack of, managed to have a referee cancel a penalty he had awarded Liverpool and most famously snorted the whole of the touchline. He also bought up most of the terraced houses in Liverpool and rented them out to those self same strikers. Hence the Kop’s anthem whenever Robbie scored a goal sung to the tune  Yellow Submarine  ‘ We all live in a Robbie Fowler house…… “. British sportsmen don’t do political protest. They seem happier having threesomes with prostitutes or if in Bristol of an evening beating the crap out of ex squaddies who question their sexual tendencies.

In America sport and political protest go more or less hand in hand hence the latest American Football players protest “ taking the knee” rather than standing  during the National Anthem. It started a year ago when the quarterback with The San Francisco 49ers dropped to one knee to protest about the way African Americans or blacks are treated by white  policemen. It was a one off protest and never picked up by other players until for some reason 3 weeks ago Donald Trump tweeted that any player doing so should be fired. Quite why he did it is am mystery but them mug of what he does seems to be a mystery.

 Anyway Trump’s intervention really got the protest going and now every black player is taking the knee as the anthem starts up as the Saints and Dolphins did last Sunday in London. However  the NFL season is in full swing so not one  owner has fired a player. I think I would take the knee too except I don’t think I could get up again.

Talking of sportsmen, it is fascinating to see what they do when they finally step away from the sport the has made them great. Retirement for them is different to say mine watching daytime repeats of A Place in The Sun and Homes Under The Hammer. Take Usain Bolt . He has taken to a luxury yacht on the crystalline waters of the Caribbean with his girlfriend Kasi Bennett. Kasi, it turns out, is a most comely and very well endowed gal who likes taking selfies of herself in various stages of undress. She looks capable of bringing out a sub ten second performance in most of us, if you catch my drift !

Next Week’s Run: Cement Works

Hares: Jim Burke, Ben Cooper, Mike Jones

Chop: Michael’s Taverna

So to my true tale at the Crit:

On this day in 1953 The Duke of Gloucester stood on the tarmac at London’s Heathrow Airport and signalled away the first aircraft in what was to be  The Last Great Air Race. The destination was Christchurch in New Zealand half a world away .

The first such long distance Air Race had taken place in 1919 when the Australian government offered a prize of £10,000 or  Half a Million pounds in today’s money for the  winner of an Air race to Darwin.

Six teams started , one crashed just after take off killing all on board, another disappeared never to be found, and the winner, one of only two to complete the race, was an RAF Vickers Vimy bomber that arrived 28 days after taking off from Croydon Airport.

The runner up arrived five months later.

 

The 1953  race was divided up into sections with most of the entrants in the military jet engined section.

In the passenger transport section there were just 3 entries a Royal New Zealand Air Force Handley Page Hastings C3, a KLM DC-6 , and as a late entry a  British European Airways Vickers Viscount.

The revolutionary Viscount had entered service with BEA in April of 1953 . The 47 seater aircraft had 4 Rolls Royce Dart turboprop engines. The Viscount in it’s first 6 months of service had proved to be an incredibly popular aircraft with passengers. The turboprops were far far quieter than the old piston engines and much more reliable so delays were almost non existent. But the real selling point was the enormous windows 19 inches across and over 2 feet high they provided a panoramic view for the passengers.

The handicaps for the Passenger transport section were designed for aircraft that flew long haul routes and included the necessity of carrying a full load of passenger. The organisers despite protests from BEA, Vickers and Rolls Royce that the Viscount was a shortfall aircraft  and under pressure from the US government, the Douglas aircraft corporation and KLM refused to change them. So with no hope of winning the Section because of the handicaps  BEA, Vickers and Rolls Royce therefore decide that in order to  get maximum publicity for the aircraft  to try be the fastest in section. So the seats were stripped out of the Viscount and extra fuel tanks placed in the passenger area and all excess weight removed. 

KLM took this new British challenge very seriously realising the inherent problems with piston engined aircraft.  They placed spare engines and teams of engineers along their proposed route to try to ensure their aircraft made it to Christchurch thus ensuring they would win the handicap race.

On board their flight were 67 highly unusual passengers . All were Dutch women between the ages of 21 and 30 and all were going to New Zealand for the same single purpose.

In those days New Zealand was very much an agricultural country with large sheep stations . Most farmers and certainly most drovers were unmarried  men with little hope of meeting girls in the outback. So the New Zealand government had encouraged english speaking single girls in countries devastated by war to become pen friends to these lonely Kiwis.

The 67 girls on the KLM flight were all going to New Zealand to marry their pen friends despite never having met them in person. It was called The Brides Flight by KLM and in book written years later the author described the harrowing life many of these women lived on isolated farms with husbands they hardly knew before their wedding day .

The Viscount despite having no passengers had a few personalities on board. The BBC decided to cover the event by having their new aviation correspondent Raymond Baxter  an ex wartime Spitfire pilot fly on the Viscount , Sir Peter Masefield the BEA Managing Director was on board as Team Manager and he had come under enormous pressure from the government to have the deputy Minister of Civil Aviation come as an observer. He resisted saying  there were no passengers allowed. The Minister then asked was there job he might do and was politely told that  only  if BEA removed the steward, who was there to prepare food for the flying crew and make the bunks up etc, from the aircraft . The Minister would then be expected to take on his duties. Masefield clearly thought that would be an end to the matter but the Minister was

 made of sterner stuff and  replied he was happy to take on the job. He was John Profumo who in July of 1961, at a party at Cliveden, home of Viscount Astor,  met Christine Keeler and that meeting later brought down a government.

Capt. Bill Ballie BEA’s Chief Pilot was on board but ,as he said, he bought along a couple of young men who could actually fly the aircraft really well. The flying captain of the aircraft was one Stan Jones my father. Raymond Baxter’s, now archived, regular radio reports from on board provide one of the only remaining records of the Last Air Race . In one over Ceylon he talks of the Viscount at 22,000ft weaving it’s way around huge cumulonimbus clouds towering 40,000 feet above them whilst the navigator tried but failed to take star sights as the plane was thrown around the skies

From the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean  with a good following wind the crew decided to skip the fuel stop in Woomera and fly on to Melbourne a total flying time of 10hrs 30 minutes. However once overhead Melbourne they found that the airfield was being battered by a huge thunderstorm. Air traffic Control asked them to circle while the storm passed by but after one circuit my father declared an emergency and landed the aircraft . Just after touch down all 4 engines stopped as the fuel tanks hit empty.

The Viscount arrived in Christchurch with an elapsed time of 40 hours 43 minutes at an average speed of 305 mph. KLM landed 11 hours later but took the honours. However the publicity  generated by the  race and the return  flight which showed off the plane to  10 different airlines  proved the success Vickers, BEA , a nationalised therefore government owned airline and Rolls Royce had hoped. Vickers order book  swelled from 40 planes before the race to 160 by the time the Viscount  landed back at Heathrow in late November . I remember being allowed to stay up to listen to the crew being interviewed on the BBC Home service  programme  In Town Tonight .

Raymond Baxter and my father became life long friends as did both families.

 Ray, who by 1965 was presenting the popular BBC programme Tomorrows World, had in 1963  bought a Dunkirk boat . In 1965 he founded The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and once every 5 years the surviving boats still make the pilgrimage back to Dunkirk. I was crew on board his boat L’Orage on the 30th anniversary trip in 1970 along with an old school friend of mine who was, at that time, a first mate with BP tankers and did the navigation.

 Ray had just returned from a trip to the USA  and told us, as we sat in the Medway waiting for other old Dunkirk boats, that on approach to Los Angeles from Chicago the pilot announced that the nose wheel had failed to lower. The captain told the passengers not to worry and that they were going to circle over the ocean for a time to jettison fuel while the fire service laid a carpet of foam on the runway. He went on that whilst circling he had asked the cabin crew to serve free drinks to the passengers. On the opposite aisle to Ray sat three nuns who started to finger their rosary beads and say silent prayers as the drinks trolley arrived. Ray like many a pilot who finds himself in a difficult situation but in the hands of another pilot, was somewhat concerned and  ordered two very large brandies. The flight attendant then turned to the other seats and realised she was addressing the three nuns. Oh I’m so sorry Sisters I nearly offered you a drink and went to move on. The nun pulled her back and said. We'll all have the same as the English man please.

On On The Hash  


 

Tales From 2825

The Hares Today

 on R

un 2825 were

Peter Hogg

Runs: 651   Hares:89     Av:7

Jim Burke Runs:1047     Hares: 157  Av: 7

Mike J

ones Runs: 102   Hares 18   Av. 5

 

Number of runners: 26

Returning Hashers ; Stuart Law

Guest: Steve Harris and Geoff Davis

 

With our Second World War theme today I noticed this article the other day. The Royal Canadian Legion which is an off shot of our own British Legion were really happy with their radio commercial for it’s 2016 lottery . It was pulled from the airwaves on the first day of transmission, however, when it emerged that the background music they had selected was in fact the Nazi Party anthem. Said the then President of the Legion Harvey Shevalier “ It sounded really good when we heard it . A superb marching song but I guess extolling millions to look up and salute the swastika might not have been appropriate”

In times of war self sacrifice is a paramount virtue. New heights were achieved in 1941 by HMS Trinidad when she fired a torpedo at a German destroyer . The incident happened within the Arctic circle and the Trinidad’s crew completely overlooked the effect of the icy water on the oil in torpedo’s steering mechanism . On the Trinidad’s bridge the officers watched as it sped at 40 knots towards it’s target and then slowly became aware that the torpedo was starting to follow a curve path . In less than a minute it was pursuing a semi circular route straight into the Trinidad’s way.

Displaying the precision on which naval warfare depends the torpedo scored a direct hit on the ship’s engine room , leaving the bemused German destroyer to sail away.

Notices for the good of the Hash?

Yesterday was the closing date for replies to the questionnaire asking you to tell me what you and your better half if applicable will attend over the 50th Weekend. Most of you have replied so thank you. The Cyprus night on the Saturday is the only one where numbers are tight so if you do know of anyone intending to come that hasn’t replied to Barney tell them to get their skates on.

Mike Ball has reported in and is clearly in good spirits. After an in depth philosophical debate with himself about the merits or not of regular updates for the hash he has decided that unlike Royalty with their regular bulletins he reckons hashers have other things to worry about, like how many cans are left in the cool box, rather than a chap with a second new knee.

Suffice to say his recovery continues . His flight on Ryanair on Oct 27th is at present still  due to operate as scheduled though Michael O’Leary  has yet to get to that date in his cancelations.

Tony Flower asked what were the total costs for hashers attending all the events over the 50th Anniversary ( a total of €63  broken down €28 for Black Tie, €5 open run fee Saturday, €10 Cyprus Night , €5 run fee Monday Anniversary Run €15 chop )

He complained that his hash (Amathus) had done a similar weekend for €30 using hash funds as a subsidy. On Pres' explained that a decision had been made to use such monies on this hash to buy a commemorative mug and Jimmy Carroll advised him that this had been put to 36 members of the hash (from an Active Run List of 46 ) on August 29th and met with no objections, indeed it was fully supported. Tony said he didn’t want a mug and On Pres took the discussion away from the Crit and he and Tony shared honest opinions at a separate one on one.

 

Next Week’s Run :Sotira

Hares: Mike Hillyar, Mark Foley, Laurie Mitchell

Chop: Lenia’s

So to my true tale at the Crit:

From about the age of 7 as a treat in the summer I was often taken to The Hounslow Blue Lagoon Outdoor Lido to swim. In those far off says it billed itself as a tropical experience long before Hounslow became a suburb of Delhi. At the pool we always met a friend of my mother’s whose husband also flew for British European Airways. Most times she had her daughter Sandra with her who was some 4 years old than me but we became quite good friends she seemingly looking on me as a younger brother .

Because of our parents friendship our paths over the years crossed at various points  and we kept in touch.

In 1965 she went to work as a production assistant for her father’s brother who produced the Carry On films and on several occasions I got to take school friends and then more importantly highly impressed girl friends to Pinewood Studios to met Sid James, Hattie Jaques and the amazingly camp Kenneth Williams who reminded me of several of the housemasters at my boarding school.

 However in 1966 I went off to sea and it wasn’t until 1975 when walking down Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge on my way to one of my watering holes The Grove Tavern, that I  saw Sandra  and an older man coming out of Verbanella’s restaurant on the other side of the street. Amazingly she remembered me and came over .

The man turned out to be her husband Terrence whose look, and in his corduroy jacket with elbow patches I took for an art teacher .

Did I have a girlfriend she asked and could I come for supper so we could catch up.

So it was that a few weeks later, with said girlfriend in tow, I found myself banging on the door of a very elegant Edwardian house overlooking the River Thames in Barnes.  This was no art teacher’s house I thought as Sandra open the door.

We were ushered in to the sitting room and Sandra went off to get the drinks and find Terrence. I looked around and there on the mantlepiece was a foot high gold stylised figure of a knight holding a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. Laughingly I said to the girlfriend it looks like an Oscar and read the engraving on the base. Oliver, Best Art direction, Terrance Marsh, 1968. At the other end of the mantlepiece was another one and that one had on the inscription Dr. Zhivago which happens to be my favourite film of all time.Again Best And Direction Terrence Marsh 1965. Clutching the surprisingly heavy statue aloft and still not believing they were real I was in the middle of a tearful Oscar acceptance speech to the girlfriend thanking the milkman ,my maiden aunt and uncle Tom Cobley when Sandra and Terrence walked in. I see you’ve found my Oscars he said.

Over supper he told me all about the making of Zhivago but seemed unable or more so unwilling to help me in my quest to obtain Julie Christie’s home phone number as I felt sure she’d like a date with a British Airways sales rep. He seems less convinced.  than I.

What are you working on now I asked and he said come up and see.

He had converted his attic into a studio where he design the sets in model form. Up we went and there on a huge table in the middle of the room was a town in intricate detail with a bridge in the middle spanning what was clearly a very large river.

 Luckily on holiday earlier in the year I had read Cornelius Ryan’s book A Bridge Too Far and was able to say knowledgeably ah Arnhem. Yes he said I’m working with Dickie Attenborough on making a film of the book.

On release the film , like so many of Richard Attenborough’s films caused some controversy .

Attenborough had given the part of General “Boy” Browning to his old friend Dirk Bogarde .

It was clear from the script that Attenborough intend the film to place the failure of Market Garden firmly at the feet of the deceased Browning and the also deceased Field Marshall Montgomery whilst presenting the other leading Generals all still alive in heroic roles.  However Attenborough had not reckoned on the venom of Browning’s wife the author Daphne Du Maurier . She mounted a determined campaign to defend her husband which she aimed mainly at Dirk Bogarde who she said was completely the wrong person to play her late husband  “ my husband was no homo” she so charmingly  said .

She appealed to Earl Louis Mountbatten to stop the Royal Premier and almost succeeded in doing so .

In fact Bogarde was also furious with the way he was directed to play Browning .

 A captain in Army Intelligence ( is that misnomer ? I’ll let the ex RAF and Naval lads answer that ) during the war he knew Browning well and worked on his staff in 1943. Indeed he, and eight other intelligence officers, were sent to Arnhem by General  Montgomery  and so he was with Browning throughout the battle.

Bogarde  always harboured grudges and he and Attenborough never talked again as Bogarde felt because of him  and the angst his direction had caused in Royal circles he had lost his chance of a knighthood.

The film was never a commercial success in the USA. The Americans saw Market Garden as a complete failure that probably lengthen the war  . Montgomery saw it as 90% successful . British audiences loved the film and flocked to see it, but then we have always loved heroic failure and do it rather well. Indeed the 1st Airborne at Arnhem who expected to be relieved in 2 days did hang on for 9.

The film killed off  Digby Tatham-Warter  the umbrella man though in real life he was captured and because of his wounds taken to a German hospital in Arnhem. The next day he shinned down a drainpipe and made contact with retreating British troops.

 He wasn’t however the only eccentric on the drop at Arnhem

A British paratrooper appears twice in the take off scenes from England, holding a chicken. This is a true portrayal of the Quartermaster of the 10th Sussex Para battalion Lieutenant Joseph ‘Pat’ Glover and his pet chicken Myrtle. Originally liberated from a farm in England by Glover as part of an officers mess  bet to establish whether chickens can fly . Glover decided to prove she could by taking her on a parachute jump . Glover secured Myrtle inside a zip-up canvas bag attached to his left shoulder, and after he had jumped and his parachute opened, he unfastened the bag to release the chicken. Myrtle put her head out, saw where she was, and immediately retreated back into the bag. When Glover was approximately 50 feet from the ground, he let Myrtle go and, despite much squawking and a graceless flapping of wings, the bird was most definitely flying and made a safe landing. Glover kept Myrtle on a perch in his office and when senior officers  enquired  he would explain her away as a living rations, reasoning that he would not be a very good quartermaster if he did not plan on food shortages.

 The pair completed more jumps over the summer, and once Myrtle had completed the regulation number of practice jumps, Glover awarded her with a set of parachute wings which he secured about her neck with an elastic band

Myrtle the Parachick became an accomplished flyer, and by the time of Arnhem she could safely be released from 300 feet and would wait patiently on the ground for her master to collect her.

 Glover and Myrtle dropped on Arnhem with the 4th Parachute Brigade in the second lift that occurred on September 18th. The next day they came under sustained German machine gun fire and Myrtle was riddled with bullets whist Glover returned fire. She was buried with her parachute wings and full military honours later that night.

 

On On The Hash

 


Tales From 2824

 

The Hares Today on Run 2824 were

Dave Norris: Runs:1103    Hares: 178    Av: 6

Mike Blocki Runs: 169    Hares:26         Av: 6

Doug Clarke Runs 232  Hares22   Av.10

Number of runners: 26

Returning Hashers ;Gary Montgomery

Run Crit: I don’t know how many rehearsals took place this week before we were treated to one of the longest jokes in Hash history  but to be fair it went well and set a new standard for the hash from now on. The Hare joke is now more important than the trail indeed on this run it certainly was. We went off and at first I thought we were at Hampton Court Maze as we wound our way back and forth between hedgerows and seemingly ever decreasing circles but eventually we hit the VP which turned out to be another view of the cliffs and sea just like er that one However we were about to discover that the spirit of Pat Chapman is alive and well on the hash as we crawled around a bowel loosening  cliff face before descending into a ravine and out the other side. I must have been suffering from altitude sickness by then as I forgot the old adage of never never look a gift horse in the mouth because instead of taking the offer of a short cut back to the RV. I foolishly stayed  on the trail. Off we crawled again along another cliff face and then a brown corduroy trouser climb to the top   and guess what it nearly was a  shite run.

Walk Crit: by Laurie. On. Pres. ‘ I cannot attempt to even paraphrase the long and rambling crit by Laurie. Suffice to say it seemed to centre on the fact that he and Marshall were left hareless in the middle of nowhere with carrion eating birds circling overhead though Marshall must have felt fairly sanguine at that time as the birds clearly must have been eying up Laurie. They stumbled around it seems until they heard the runners but arrived at the water check to find the runners gone, the water drunk and just official notices telling them they were in a danger area. By then the listeners at the Crit. had mainly gone to sleep. But I as On Pres have a new Exocet missile in my amour lest any walker refuses to do a Crit. I will unleash Laurie again.

Instead of Sport today I thought a quick canter through some amusing conversations between aircraft and Air traffic Control

An American Airlines had an exceedingly long roll out along the active runway after landing with his approach speed  just a little too high and missing the first exit taxiway.

San Jose Tower controller said: "American 751 heavy, turn right at the end on the active runway, if able. If not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off of Highway 101 and make a right turn at the light to return to the airport.”

O'Hare Approach Control:  "United 329 Heavy, your traffic ahead  is a Fokker F-27, one o'clock,3 miles, eastbound."

United Captain replied : "Approach, I've always wanted to say  this...  I've got that Fokker in my sight.”

Tower: “Speedbird  702, handing you over,  please contact  Departure Control on 124.7. "

Speedbird 702: "Tower, Speedbird 702 switching to Departure 124.7 ...  by the way, after we lifted off, we saw some kind of  dead animal on the far end of the runway."

Tower: "  Easyjet 635, cleared for take-off; did you copy the report from Speedbird?" 635: "Easyjet 635, cleared for takeoff roger; and roger, we copied Speedbird and we've already notified our caterers.

Notices for the good of the Hash?

Today is the anniversary of the death of Jack Blocki and Mike would like to say just a few words followed by Dave Norris who no doubt will say even fewer words interspersed with thousands of expletives. On Pres ‘ There followed a tribute to Jack. Mike Blocki talked of the beer and port Jack must have consumed on his epic career with the hash and that didn’t include the two or three bottles he “ borrowed” from the Hash each week and returned empty the following week. Nogsie dwelt more on his RAF war record fighting to win Poland back it’s independence’

You will have seen your questionnaire about the 50th weekend. Please return it as soon as possible so we can get an idea of numbers. However and to quote Paul McCartney “ if this ever-changing world in which we’re livin’

Makes you give in and cry “ here is another change. The Monday run ,due to stunning demand from the exiled better halves, will be Open so the girls can stretch their legs and show their worth as David Coleman used to say and amazingly  the good news keeps on a coming too as yours truly has beaten down Martin at The Platea  for the Saturday November 11th all you can eat buffet plus all the excitement of the normal summer Pissouri Cyprus Night to just €10 a head. however numbers are restricted so get your questionnaires back soonest to avoid disappointment .

Finally I have an award for Giles Day who has, as he used to once on the rugby pitch, danced, shimmied , swerved, side stepped and short cutted his way since June 2004  to 500 runs at an impressive average of 38 runs a year. Val phoned today to thank the Epi Hash for all that time Giles has spent out of the house .

For this milestone the coffers of the Hash have been emptied and this magnificent piece of paper produced. Framing is of course at the expense of the hasher but Barney Bruce Enterprises are happy to quote a special price.

Next Week’s Run :Avdimou

Market Garden Run please remember to  bring your rolled umbrellas to honour Digby Tatham Warter who carried his into battle because he said he could never remember passwords but that no self respecting tommy sentry would shoot a man with an umbrella as he must be British . Each check will be named after one of the bridges and the hash pack  will imitate 30th corps heading up Hells Highway a quite fitting name for one of Peter and Jim’s runs.

Hares:Peter Hogg, Jim Burke , Me

Chop: Fama G with the final ever presentation to George and by the way it is my 100th run so the brandy is on me!

So to my true tale at the Crit:

A few weeks ago the Oval Cricket ground hosted it’s 100th Test match.

It brought back memories for me as The Oval was the ground where I watched my first Test Match .

It was in the summer of 1956, and I went on the first day to see England play the Australians .

People dressed up in those days to go to cricket games and I remember being in my new Prep School uniform resplendent with a colourful cap and armed with scorecard I had been bought outside the ground.

England won the toss and batted. Cowdrey went first ball caught behind  and Keith Miller probably the greatest all rounder the game has ever seen( more of him later) bowled  The Reverend David Shepherd and then Peter Richardson  .

 England were 66/3 when Denis Compton came out to join Peter May.

Compton, very much in the twilight of his career and like Bollo boasting a new plastic knee , scored a glorious 94 runs before being bowled by Archer. I diligently recorded every one of them on my scorecard while my father and two other BEA Captain mates fretted at the stand of 156 as they were playing their usual Test match game of only having a pint of bitter when  a wicket fell. Their humour was much restored when, after Compton was dismissed, England lost another 3 wickets in 4 overs . I went home happy having seen my boyhood heroes and in the company of 3 very jovial if slightly inebriated  BEA captains.

Denis Compton was the first real sporting superstar playing as he did cricket for Middlesex and England and soccer for Arsenal . He was the first British sportsman to make a substantial living by exploiting his sporting reputation to provide advertisements and endorsements. For many years he was the public face of the Brylcreem range as well as host of other products eager to sponsor him. He won the First Division title with Arsenal in 1937-8 and in that summer  played his first Test match for England at the age of 19 . In 1939 he scored his first century while   playing against the West Indies. But as with many other sportsmen of his generation he lost some of his best years to the Second World War. 

He served in the army in the war and in 1945 he found himself in India and was selected to play in a services game against an Australian team in Calcutta. There he met the Aussie Keith Miller and the two became lifelong friends . On the second day of the match the crowd rioted and one of the rioters who had invaded the pitch ran up to Compton and said "Mr Compton, you very good player, but  match must stop now you understand". This was a phrase which Miller gleefully would run up and say to Compton whenever he came into bat against the Aussies.

Their friendship and drinking was legendary with both during many Test matches turning up,  still in evening dress, at the ground the next day having not been to bed. Indeed when Compton won the F.A. cup with Arsenal  in 1950 his first half performance was less than inspiring and the trainer poured him a very large glass of whiskey at half time which he credits for his sparkling second half.

Compton's absent-mindedness was legendary. He turned up for the Old Trafford Test of 1955 against South Africa without his kitbag. Undaunted, he found some non matching gloves and pads lying about in the changing room and then  he sauntered into the museum at the ground , borrowed an antique bat off the display and went on to score 158 and 71.  This absent-mindedness was particularly obvious in his tendency to run out his partners at the crease: Trevor Bailey declared that 'a call for a run from Compton should be treated as no more than a basis for negotiation.'

At the end of his sporting career he got a job as cricket correspondent with The Sunday Express but was far more interest in horse racing . He sent a friend to watch the Test match at Old Trafford whilst he went to Ascot . It rained all day at Old Trafford but for a laugh his friend sent him a full report of  an imaginary day’s play which Compton happily , sent on to the sports editor and the Express published it in it’s early editions .On the Monday he was fired.

 A few years later he confided to a few Middlesex players that  his 70th birthday was coming up and they organised a birthday party jointly with the MCC . At the dinner the chief guest was called to the telephone as, said the waiter, the lady said it was very urgent . When he picked up the phone the lady said "Denis," she said, "it's me, your wife. You're not 70, you're only 69 next week.” A slightly embarrassed Compton had to go back and ask everyone to turn up again the following year.

Unfortunately I never met Denis Compton but in 1983 when I  was posted by British Airways to Sydney as Manager New South Wales I met Keith Miller or Nugget as he was known . 

As you know the Aussies are mad keen on sport and so it made sense for an airline to have a small stable of sports stars on call to attend functions in return for free tickets . BA had Bob Simpson and The Nugget from the  cricket world and a few weeks after my arrival Nugget phoned to introduce himself and offer to buy me a beer or two and a bite to eat.

We met for lunch a few days later at one of his clubs the beautiful RAC Club on Macquarie Street in Sydney. He was a super bloke, very easy going and delightful to chat to . Born in 1919 he was 64 when we met. He, like Compton, missed his best playing years during the war when he flew Mosquitos from England to bomb Germany. He was also like Compton not a great respecter of authority and nor did he think, unlike his Australian captain Donald Bradman, that winning was all.

In the 1947 Test against England at Adelaide Nugget told me “England were caught on a very sticky wicket taking lots of bounce and Bill Edrich came in. He'd had a very serious war and he’d survived and I reckoned the last thing he wanted after five years of fighting was to be flattened by a cricket ball, so I eased up. Bradman came up to me and said, 'Don't slow down, Keith. Bowl quicker.' That remark put me off Test cricket.” he said “I never felt the same way about it after that.’

Over lunch he told me about  the 1948 Ashes tour in England. Bradman  on the ship sailing over, Nugget said, told him that he was to be in bed by the 10 pm curfew during Test matches and there was to be no drinking and fraternising with Denis Compton on the tour. He reiterated it on the night before the First Test. He didn’t bowl or field at all well  that first day and England put on a decent score. That night Bradman had him in again and said. For Christ sake Miller go out and do what you would normally do tonight . So Compton and I hit the pubs and clubs  and had a great night .  The next day I took four wickets and scored 76 runs.

Miller never Captained  Australia but he did captain New South Wales and despite his first ever instruction to his fielders to “ just Scatter” he was a fine Captain .

We chatted and drank till 7 p.m. when he invited me to come and meet Bob. Sure I said thinking he meant Bob Simpson. Off we went in a taxi and the next thing I realised  we were being cleared through security at Kirribilli House on the harbourside in Sydney . Bob it turned out was the Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke and Kirribilli House his official mansion . A reformed alcoholic he sat drinking water while we drank beer though what the hell he thought of the drunken Pommie bastard I have no idea. I was certainly never invited there again .

My favourite quote of  Nugget’s  is the one he gave Michael Parkinson when he asked him about the way this generation of players talk about the pressure of playing Test cricket. “ Pressure” replied Keith Miller “is when you have a Messerschmitt 109 up your arse, playing cricket isn’t ”     

On On The Hash

 

Tales From 2823

 

The Crit :

The normal role of this crit on this hash is to fill in the gap between the beer almost running out in the cool boxes and a sensible time to leave to get to the chop and so to more beer.

However on these S

undowner runs I am very conscious that each of you will have carted to the beach enough alcohol to keep a busy pub in business for at least a week, as well as  warm the cockles of the hearts of  all the inmates of The Priory and The Betty Ford clinics, and, understandably, you are keen to return to sup some more as indeed I am. So a fairly short crit.

 

 

 

Hares on Run 2823

Peter Hogg: Runs:648  Hares:87  Av:7

Mike Jones: Runs:99  Hares:17  Av: 6

The Run Crit: Mike Woods “ There was no joke before the run so here goes the On Pres is sitting at an airport bar when he noticed a beautiful woman sitting next to him. He thought to himself, "Wow, she's so gorgeous she must be a flight attendant. But which airline does she work for?" Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and uttered the BA slogan: "To Fly. To Serve?" She gave him a blank, confused stare and he immediately thought to himself, " ooh shit, she doesn't work for BA". A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again, "Something special in the air?" She gave him the same confused look. He mentally kicked himself, and scratched American Airlines off the list. Next he tried the United slogan: "I would really love to fly your friendly skies?" This time the woman turned on him "What the f**k do you want?" The man smiled, then slumped back in his chair, and said... "ahhh, Ryanair”.

I think Peter you managed to beat my record when I played my first trail as a virgin hare. Instead of 45 mins my run turned out to be just 17 minutes. This one was less than 15 minutes !

The Walk Crit: Drew Muir “ I feel I probably shouldn’t be doing this as when I arrived I was not going to walk but instead enjoy a few drinks. However the On Pres described the walk as something  like teenage sex and off I went. We scaled a hill enjoyed some views met the runners on their short course. Walked on through the vines and then met some of the runners going around twice before a stroll down the beach . Off the beach we came up past the old mosque and then back onto the rocks to find the hares had in Canute fashion held back the sea .All in all a shite walk.”

On the drive down here today after having been cut up by a local driver I raged don’t they take driving tests here but who I wondered  is the person who  actually took and  failed their  test in the fastest time ? Well until recently it was Helen Ireland of Auburn California who failed her test after 8 seconds. That was the time it took her to mistake the accelerator for the clutch and drive through the wall of the testing school. It seemed unbeatable until Peter Thompson a Lanarkshire motor mechanic failed his test before the examiner had even got into the car. . Arriving at the test centre he saw the examiner in his office and tooted and gestured for  him to come out rather than him having to go in.  Annoyed at this summons the examiner came out and said it was illegal to sound a horn whilst stationary and failed him.

For the good of The Hash

You will have seen from the Run List that run 2825 on September 19th is The Market Garden Run. This does not mean, as our esteemed Run Meister thought, that hashers should bring their prize marrows or leeks to the RV but in fact is to commemorate the Allied operation to try to finish the Second World War before Christmas 1944 by seizing a series of bridges  up to and including the one over The Rhine at Arnheim in September 1944 . The Operation was Market – the airborne forces, who would seize and hold  the bridges and    Garden  the heavy ground forces that would relieve them and motor on into Germany itself.

So instead of marrows would hashers please bring umbrellas on that day to pay tribute to Major Digby Tatham-Warter DSO who went into battle at Arnheim with his umbrella neatly rolled up as his weapon of choice and indeed using it  captured a german light tank  single handedly .

And So To My True Tale on The Crit :

As we are on a beach let me pose you a question who is the best paid solo singer in the world ?  The answer is Jimmy Buffet he of the song Margaritaville fame . In 2016 it was estimated that Jimmy Buffet earned about $250 million.

If you had asked that question some 200 years ago the answer would have been Elizabeth Bullington a soprano opera singer billed as the best ever.

The painter Sir Joshua Reynolds painted her standing holding a music book with her flowing curls partly pinned up and partly hanging loose. She was listening to a choir of angles singing just above her.

 The composer Hayden said the portrait was an injustice as the heavenly angels would have been listening to her not the other way around, such was the beauty of her voice.

She was quite a sensation off the stage as well . A scurrilous biography of her sold out in less than a day. It contained exceedingly amorous and sexually explicit  letters written to her by her numerous lovers  including The Prince of Wales so things haven’t changed too much have they.

In a more dignified expression of her fame when on her Italian opera tour she recovered from an illness all the Church bells in Venice were rung and it seemed only fitting that as she completed  her aria at the Naples Opera House, Mount Vesuvius should erupt and shoot forth flames and lava hundreds of feet into the air.

On her triumphant return to London in 1801 both Drury Lane and Covent Garden opera houses bid for her services and then had to agree to share her one night at each for two months. She was paid a staggering £10,000 for this or £687,000 in todays money. But that is less than half a percent of what Jimmy Buffet earned. Is he really worth 200 Elizabeth Bullingtons ? and what has changed to allow singers to earn such huge amounts.

Well in 1874 Thomas Edison filed his patent for the phonograph an invention that could record a human voice and play it back on a cylinder . Now you didn’t need to go to a theatre to hear a singer. They came into your house instead.The draw back of the cylinder was that a singer had to record the song each time.  So 500 copies meant he had to  sing the song 500 times.  The big turning point came in 1894 when Emile Berliner invented the hard phonograph disc that could be mass produced .

Singers could now sing a song in a studio and the next day thousands of people could buy the record the world over.

Fast forward to 1977 and the release of Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet’s song about getting hammered whilst sitting on a beach somewhere in paradise . It struck a cord with the baby boomers , and why not ? It’s title includes a great drink, and the song, with the popular refrain 'Wastin' away again in Margaritaville,' has become an ode to the easy-living beach life,  just like us on this beach today.

The song only has 208 words and lasts less than 4 minutes and had Jimmy Buffet sung it in  Elizabeth Bullington’s time  it would have pleased a few people and then sunk without a trace.  But in 1977 with every radio station playing it worldwide  it sold millions of copies. Not on a par with the greatest selling singles like White Christmas or Yesterday but it didn’t need to, because Jimmy Buffet quickly realised the song was selling a lifestyle people hankered for in their dreams.

So he opened a bar and restaurant called Magaritaville in Key West Florida and people flocked to it.  Today there are 22 of them around the USA as well as casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Tulsa,  Margaritaville  bars on all Norwegian Caribbean cruise ships, there are restaurants at most large U.S airports as well as  huge hotels  in top Florida, the Caribbean and Mexican resorts and as I typed the Crit this morning I was listening to Margaritaville radio being streamed on to my laptop.

 His super little song about looking for a lost jigger of salt  now earns him, from this empire, over $250 million a year. Not bad for a beach bum who also wrote the classic Why Don't We Just Get Drunk and Screw

And talking of drinking. Lets go back to it.

 

On On The Hash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2822

The Hares Today on Run 2822 were

 

Tony Flower: Runs: 583       Hares: 72    Av:8 

Pete Moore Runs:522     Hares: 64        Av:8

Keith Johnson Runs13 Hares 1  Av.13

 

Number of runners: 30

Returning Hashers ;Barney Bruce, Colin Garland, Trevor Kemp, Dan Archer

Guest: none

 

 

Today’s Run

Web Site Info : My God a motorway exit number. Laurie will be delighted.

The R.V. :  Me thinks we have been this way before.

Run Crit: Me thinks we have been this way before and not so long ago  ?  Still we set off and were quickly through check one and onto check two with some pleasant running interrupted only by Trevor who kept asking me what this blue flour was all about and did I know what had happened to his trash machine. Clearly weeks and weeks under the burning sun in County Durham had fried his brain. I told him the machine had had a viking funeral one evening and that we had bought two bottles of brandy on his tab with Hash Cash. That bought him quickly back to his senses   !  From then on the run was more like a huge rollercoaster ride   as we staggered up and then almost immediately trotted down one hill after another until check 7 and the water. There  I asked Trevor, who was still worried that maybe I wasn’t joking about the brandy, how his holiday had been. Well we started with the boiler blowing up on the first night then the telly on the blink on the second night and had only got to the second week by the time we trotted into the R.V. two checks later all in all a shite run

Walk Crit: Six intrepid walkers set out following Pete. It turned out to be a short walk so this is a short crit. To be fair halfway through the walk the going got quite tough and there were cries in the ranks that this might not be one of the best ways to spend an afternoon with the mercury hovering near 40C and the beer chilling nicely back at the R.V. so numbers depleted and the walkers returned. A few of us decided to go around again but i won’t bore you with a repeat of the above.

Sport:  The England soccer team eased their way past the fearsome might of Malta and Slovakia  without it must be added the help of Geoffrey  Boycott’s gran who would, he says,  have won both games by herself playing in her pinny , and Wayne Rooney who the same Geoffrey Boycott once described as having  no more brains than a pork pie, has since early Friday morning,  now got more points than Arsenal .

 Anyway on to happier things.  Since  the hype over the Mayweather McGregor fight has now died down please  spare a thought for Harvey Gartley who holds the record as the first and only professional boxer to knock himself out. It happened in the regional heats of The Golden Gloves competition in Michigan when he was matched against Dennis Outlette. Neither had boxed in public before and were understandably nervous. Harvey started promisingly . He came out of his corner bobbing, weaving and even doing a bit of the Ali shuffle . The crowd roared him on as he closed on his opponent threw a right hook, missed him completely,  whacked himself on the chin and saw stars. The referee counted him out as he lay stunned on the canvas.

In a complete  contrast of sport ,and for the northerners amongst you, what about the least successful pigeon race ? Nothing brings more excitement to a pigeon race does it than the disappearance of all or most of the competitors. In 1978  6,745 birds were released at Preston in Lancashire . 5,545 were never seen again amid rumours that they had retired to South Devon and Cyprus and were living on the roofs of bungalows there.

things for the good of the Hash?

Dave Ward the owner of The Grape and Grain in Pissouri, whose father Joe as you all know is a member of the Hash, has 5 places left on a male only  trip to The Aphrodite Brewing Company on Thursday September 28th. He would like to open these places up to any hasher interested.

 A mini bus will leave The Grape and Grain at 11.45. returning back to the pub at about 5 p.m. .

The cost including lunch and the mini bus is €32 and the opportunity exists on arrival for guests to upgrade their ticket to drink for free all afternoon . Dave is going to let me know how much that will be .

Anyone interested in a great afternoon out sampling the various beers on offer let me know please.

The sundowners run this Friday we are at present 34 in number . If there are any of you that haven't given your food order to Peter Hogg please do . The hares are Peter and yours truly and the signs will be very minimal indeed non existent . It is the same RV as last week . Directions will be clear on the website from tomorrow they will also say no signs.

Next Week’s Run : Curium

Hares:Dave Norris

Michael Blocki

Doug Clarke

Chop: Stables

So to my true tale at the Crit:

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the tragic death of Percy Pilcher in 1899.

 Who  was he you may well  ask ?

Well Percy even though his name sounds like a Music Hall commedian was, what today, would be called an Aeronautical Engineer though in those days of course nobody had yet built and flown a powered aircraft. Percy started his career in the Royal Navy but left the sea  to become a lecturer at Glasgow University where he developed an interest in flight . In 1896 with his third  glider  called the Hawk, Percy Pilcher  broke the world distance record when he flew his glider 250 m (820 ft)  near Lutterworth in Leicestershire.

He then set his sight on powered flight and went into partnership with Walter Wilson, who incidentally was later  to be credited as the inventor of the tank . While Wilson worked on the newly invented internal combustion  engine  Percy  Pilcher attempted to master the four concepts of flight, lift ,the way that the flow of air around wing-shaped structures keeps aeroplanes aloft. Drag, the friction  that comes from the airframe passing through air, thrust, the force that drives the airframe forward and  weight  the mass of the airframe that tries to keep the plane on the ground.  A powered plane would need more lift as it had to fly with the engine as well as the weight of a man and the aircraft itself. More lift , obviously required more wingspan. But more wingspan would require wings so long that they couldn't be supported by the plane's fuselage in the first place - a vicious circle. But Percy solved this problem with the help of an American Octave Chanute by brilliantly  stacking the wings one above the other giving far more lift without putting too much stress on the fuselage . His triplane with it’s 4 hp engine was ready for flight on September 30th 1899 .The great and the good gathered again in Leicestershire but there was a problem with the crankshaft so no powered flight that day. Pilcher, ever the showman, instead gave them a flying exhibition with his  glider, but attempting a steep turn he crashed and, later that day, died from his injuries .

Would his heavier than air plane have flown ? Well when Pilcher’s plans were re-discovered in 1998  a team of aeronautical engineering undergrads built an exact copy of it and the pilot  flew it for 1 minute 24 seconds on an almost windless day .

The Wright brothers using Percy Pilchers wing design 4 years after him in 1903 flew for just 59 seconds  using a 25 mph headwind to get better lift .

So had he lived Percy Pitcher not Wilbur Wright would now be feted as the first man to fly a powered machine

In 1979 as a young debonaire handsome young fellow  I began  my first  British Airways management job as Manager Northern Portugal and as part of the job I got my very own daily BA flight into Porto . So BA packed me off on a four month intensive course called Operations Management and Flight Planning. Basically I leant amongst other things all that Percy Pilcher had had to discover about flying all those years ago plus   jet engine performance, and by the end of the course I had to be able to give a pilot  a flight plan for his aircraft, from say Boston to London that he could put into the cockpit computer  and fly safely.

 Prior to the course I was sent  to Nairobi to work alongside a Flight Planner. Why there ? Well Nairobi airport is 5,324 feet above sea level and is hot. Aircraft jet engines hate thin hot air. They suck it in like a Hasher on a steep climb. So it is a great training airport.

Unbeknown to me till I arrived , BA was having trouble with it’s 747s out of there. Planes were arriving at Heathrow with the tops of trees in their undercarriage which they were collecting on take off from Nairobi . Clearly something was wrong maybe with Percy’s famous  lift , engine thrust or aircraft weight and so  an engineer and a top Flight Planner were on my flight down. The Flight Planner worked with the Ops team to check if there had been  mistakes  made on the calculation of engine performance or the weight and balance of those aircraft and therefore wrong  takeoff and climb speeds had been given to the pilots.

 The engineer  meanwhile first checked the water content of the aviation fuel in the silos. These were well within safety limits so that evening he stood in the shadows near the turnaround aircraft and watched the regular check being made on the fuel being pumped from the tanker onto the aircraft . The young African in  British Airways overalls took a fuel sample  and then carefully allowed some of the water at the bottom  to drop out of the pipette before adding some more fuel and doing the same until the reading was within the limits shown on the marking on the pipette. The Engineer stepped out of the shadows and asked him what the hell he was doing. Oh said the lad  the  Bwana Engineer he get very upset if too much water in the fuel. He shouts loud and calls everyone Black bastards so I tip a little water out and then show him and he very happy man and pat me on the back . What shenanigans were being done by the fuel supplier between the fuel silo and the aircraft I never found out but the problem was solved  and after a further month in Dubai sitting with more flight planners I went to London and managed 4 months later to pass my course  and returned to Porto.

There I continued my fun wheeze of upgrading Port wine growers into Club class and in grateful thanks they  in return sent me glorious cases of vintage port.

 I particularly enjoyed helping the head of my favourite port house Fonseca which at the time was run by the larger than life figure of Bruce Guimaraens. His company Fonseca still produce the superb non vintage Fonseca Bin 27 , drink it chilled on a summer’s day and it is positively moorish.

Bruce’s first floor office was literally suspended right over the River Douro and whenever I walked in to say hello he would reach into his small fridge extract 2 bottles of Bin 27 and uncorking them walk to the window and throw the corks into the river. “Won’t be needing those again” he would say and I would settle in for an amusing hour or so in his company .

 One of the stories he told me was of him   joining his first regiment after leaving Sandhurst . I believe it was the Kings African Rifles or a similar colonial regiment.

On his first dining in night he became somewhat  socially confused on a surfeit of cocktails before dinner . At dinner he drank plenty of wine as well and by the time the port arrived he was decidedly  tipsy but not, he felt, too drunk to believe in his befuddled mind that the port was definitely  going the wrong way around the table. Up he got and slurring and swaying  declared to his commanding officer at the top of the table that  his family had been in the Port business for over 200 years and  that the regiment was un doubtably passing the port the wrong way. From that night  until 1960 when  it was disbanded his was the only regiment in The British Army to pass the port anticlockwise. 

     On On The Hash

 

 

 Tales From 2821

 

The Hares Today on Run 2821 were

Jim Burke: Runs:1044        Hares:156      Av: 7

Mike Jones: Runs:98     Hares: 16        Av:6

Number of runners:36

Returning Hashers ;Pete Moore, Brian Liddell, George Trotter, Laurie Mitchell, Aubrey O’Callaghan ,Keith Johnson, Ray Jobson and Mike Hillyar

Guest: Keith Green guest of Mike Ball, Stokie guest of Aubrey O’ Callaghan , Alan Clarson Richard Clarson, Chris Little guests of Jimmy Carrol

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :As one of the hares I can only glory in its clarity

The R.V. : Can’t Beat it

Run Crit: by Mark Foley “ I don’t like doing crits indeed I loath it because I don’t enjoy public speaking and to be brutally honest I don’t think I’m much good at it and others that are far better and enjoy doing them should do it for the enjoyment of the hash. However for reasons some of you will know I’m doing it today. We ran out over there ( howls from the hash no over there ) ah yes and then we ran around there ( again howls of no the other way ) anyway the first bit was fields and hills and then I really enjoyed the second bit along the cliffs. Good open running . thank you “

Walk Crit: by Marshall Hughes Mike Jones as is his prerogative I guess asked me as we finished his walk to do the crit so here we go . We walked out along the cliffs with great views and after about 5 mins came to the stone piles and the maze . Attrition set in and three of the walkers deciding that, with so many unexpected hashers turning up for the run and walk, beer might be in short supply  headed back to the R.V.

On we walked and two more disappeared though they clearly got lost as they turned up after us at the RV. There was no mention of a hill at the briefing but there was a hill quite a big one. Up we went along the top and past a house flying the biggest Greek flag is there any other country in the world that rarely flies there own flag but always that of another ? ( Bollo from the ranks “Wales “) 50 minute walk all in all shite.

Last Tuesday at the Chop Nogsie was telling me that when other golf  players ask him what Jim Burke used to do for a living he tells them that he was a famous  human cannonball as he was the just  right size to go into the cannon. But if Jim was the best who I wondered  were the least successful human cannonballs. Well in 1972 when Jim Burke was just starting out on his career inside a cannon, Mary Connor made three fearless attempts to become the first woman to be blasted across the River Avon. On the first the cannon fired but she never reached the end of the barrel, on the second she swept gracefully halfway across the river before splashing down . For the third attempt she appeared covered in bandages having been  scrapped coming out of the barrel and this time out she  flew halfway across before landing on the inflatable rescue dingy and capsizing it ,a spectator boat had to rescue them all.

This surpasses the the previous record held by one Rita Thunderbird who remained in the cannon after the firing while her costume  floated across the River Thames. A blanket had to found before she would come out. By the way when Jim Burke retired from the business a spokesman said "We'll struggle to get another man of the same calibre.”

N.B. better quip from Drew “ actually Mike he was fired !!”

Things for the good of the Hash?

During the week of September 10th you will receive an E mail from me referring you to the website. There you will see the entire programme of the 50th laid out with, where relevant, the cost. You, along with all the exiles that have expressed an interest in coming, will be asked to let either me by e mail or  Hash Cash know in person which events and runs you intend to attend and whether you will be bringing your better half, girlfriend, boy friend or aged aunt and which events they will attend.You can do this either in person at the  run on Sept 12th or by email by Sept 16th.

There will be no deposit requirement from members but if you indicate you are attending one or both of the two main dinners on the Friday and Saturday then please understand that if you have to cancel  for any reason within 14 days of the event you,  gentlemen, will be expected to cover the cost of the meals you miss as the Hash will have paid for them .

The Minister for Transport The Right Honourable Jimmy Carroll sitting member for Pissouri advises the laying on of transport for so large a number from so many different areas would be a labour equivalent to that of  ( sisefus) Sisyphus and his rock and the cost would be  prohibitive. However should members or exiles wish to avail themselves of Jimmy’s services for private coach or mini bus hire at their own expense he has his contacts ready to provide the same .

The Hash has put aside some €1,800 euros for the event by putting aside a euro from each member that has paid for a run and some of those monies will have to be put aside for sundry expenses that occur during the course of the weekend. There was an idea that the rest of the monies might be used to encourage early bookers in the form of a subsidy of some sort but early indications are that we should be about 100 Plus  strong in numbers  which certainly for the Cyprus Night on the Saturday is right on the button.

Instead the monies will be used to provide each member of the Epi Hash on the active run list, who has run 10 times or more in the year November 13 2016 to November 13th 2017, with a 50th anniversary commemoration  china mug of a size sufficient to hold the requisite large can of KEO  and small 7 Up . The front of the blue chine mug will have the Episkopi Hash House Harriers 50th Anniversary Run, Curium   and on  the back will be your  name .  Exiles will be invited to pay the €30+ euros if they want one as they have not contributed to the fund.   Your excess monies after the cost of the Anniversary mugs and sundry expenses will go to the Hash charity  Prostate Cancer Research.

Next Week’s Run : Erimi

Hares: Pete Moore , Tony Flower, Keith Johnson

Chop: Michelle’s

So to my true tale at the Crit:

About this time in 1974 I started dating a white Kenyan girl I had met at a friend’s wedding. Her father owned large estates in those days in Kenya, Rhodesia and South Africa and was, as we say in the vernacular,   absolutely bloody loaded.

 One of the many houses the family owned around the world was a delightful  town  house in Chester Row, Belgravia the poshest part of London which she had sole use while she attended  Mrs. Hoster’s Finishing School nearby .

 My own flat in South Ken which my mother described on her one and only visit  as worse than the Black Hole of Calcutta was quickly abandoned and I moved into Chester Row .

It had the added advantage of being but 5 mins from my sales desk at the British Airways Head Office then in Victoria.

The nearest pub to the house was The Plumbers Arms a lovely small Victorian pub with a good selection of bitter and this became our local.

Unfortunately neither of us were there on that now famous Thursday night in 1974 when Veronica Duncan better known as Lady Lucan burst in to say that her husband had tried to kill her  but  had instead killed the nanny Sandra Rivers.

Lord “Lucky” Lucan as he was known had, having lost a lengthy custody battle to get his children back , decided to murder his wife . On that Thursday evening he hid in the basement kitchen expecting his wife to come down to make her usual 9 pm cup of tea but the nanny, who had cancelled her normal Thursday night off, had offered to make it instead and for her troubles was beaten to death with a lead pipe. Toffs clearly spend too much time playing Cluedo .

Lucan then tried to strangle his wife who had come down to find out why the tea was taking so long. But Veronica, was not the daughter of an Army Major for nothing and clearly knew a thing or two about street fighting. She managed to  get her right hand onto his Lordships balls and squeezed for all she was worth. He quickly decided that the better part of valour was to release his stranglehold on her and  leg it to Newhaven on the South Coast  where he disappeared . Lady Lucan, as I said, legged it to my local pub.

However, as so often in life , Lucan’s disappearance had unintended consequences  for someone else, as, at the time Lord Lucan’s tackle was in his wife’s vice like grip, Sheila Buckely had M.P. John Stonehouse's in a far more amorous hold. They were in bed planning how they could be together without him resorting to Lucky Lucan’s more drastic solution.

John Stonehouse a Labour M.P. and recently Post Master General in Harold Wilson’s cabinet was a married man but having an affair with his secretary . His debts were mounting and he was cooking the books at his business to cover them. To cap it all he was and had been , since 1960, spying for the Czech government and passing British  secrets to them in return for cash.

The plan they hatched in bed was that Stonehouse would fake his own death and disappear to Australia  and after a period of time Sheila would also slip away and join him.

On November 20th 1974 whilst in Florida he left a pile of clothes on Miami Beach and using a passport he had obtained by stealing the identity of one of his dead constituents  he flew via the West Coast to Australia.

On arrival in Melbourne he set about accessing the 36 different bank accounts he had secretly opened in different names. As Clive Mindon he deposited money at The Bank of New Zealand . It was unfortunate for him that the male cashier he used was dating a girl from the Bank of New South Wales  up the road and when he went to take her for lunch he saw the same guy now calling himself John Markham drawing out money there.

Over lunch they decided to tell the police and popped into the nearest station and here was where John Stonehouse’s luck really ran out .

Lord Lucan had recently  been supposedly sighted on Bondi Beach  in Sydney and the Australian police forces were on high alert. When the cashiers told the police officer the mysterious guy spoke with a Pommie accent every policeman in the Station could see himself soon to be on every TV news programme and selling his life story for millions as The Man that Caught Lord Lucan.

They quickly traced Stonehouse through the two Banks to a block of flats and after following him for a few days arrested him on Christmas Eve . In the cell they asked him to pull down his trousers to look for the scar Lord Lucan was known to have on his leg but oh so disappointingly for the guys there wasn’t one.

 However Stonehouse did have a book of matches from a hotel on Miami Beach and quite quickly they put two and two together and realised they had a man who wasn’t even supposed to be missing the drowned Member of Parliament John Stonehouse .

He was extradited to the U.K. to face 21 counts of deception and fraud . Stonehouse elected to  conducted his own defence which  must have gone swimmingly well as he received the maximum sentence allowable of 7 years in The Scrubs.

However his luck did change  in 1980 when  Margaret Thatcher  on the advice of MI6 decided not to prosecute him for spying after a Czech defector named him as their  top spy.

 MI6 who had finally outed Anthony Blunt earlier that year as a member of the Cambridge spy ring, thought prosecuting Stonehouse  would make the Americans yet again think London was little more than the Kremlin’s best Branch Office .

And what of  my lovely, rich, girl friend? Well her father and I finally met over a very pleasant dinner when I was politely told that I had had a good innings but it was now time to draw  stumps and retire from the game. She went off to  to work in one of his companies and I went back to the Black Hole of Calcutta in South Kensington and left the delights of Belgravia.

As an aside, several years ago married friends of mine John and Adrienne Corbishley came into an inheritance and bought a flat on Eaton Square in Belgravia . She proudly wrote to her sister giving their new, very posh, address and saying how she had fulfilled a lifetime ambition. A few days later the newspapers announced that  the Aga Khan had bought in Eaton Square and her sister then wrote back to her  saying “ you poor dears I see the Pakis are already moving in  “

On On The Hash

At the Chop

When I phoned George at FamaG and told him we were 34 for the chop there was a long pause and then he said how many ? 34 I replied and I think he dropped the phone. What a turn out for the last hash chop there.

He clearly phoned all his family to then turn to and lend a hand and he hot footed it to the local butcher to get in more chops rapido

Even so 4 at a time on his single grill the meal took at long time to serve. Almost an hour for the last person to be served and it had to be Drew ! He stood when his arrived and suggested the hash stood for grace before exclaiming ah but you have all finished.

A presentation was made to George and in return his family thanked the Hash for years of memories they will never forget. George then gave the Hash 2 bottles of brandy to consume ensuring that that last night probably has been forgotten this morning. Finally, after many tearful speeches coupled with lustful gloating by a number senior hashers towards George's youngest daughter. "Raymondo" auctioned  his collection of Hash silver....namely the awful tin mugs which have resided in the FamaG since Ray was On Pres', raising 70 Euros for this years Hash Charity.  

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2820

The Pre Run Briefing

 

The Run: 14 checks  water out there somewhere and lets hope we find it. Bit of everything except no hills indeed no bumps or any form of climb at all. Flat is the word to describe this run

The Walk: Just as flat . The entire walk is laid in pink flour so no walker can get lost, (you watch them)

 

 

 

The Crit :

The Hares Today on Run 2820 were :David Marks: Runs:200         Hares: 13      Av:15

Roger Smith: Runs:409     Hares:37         Av:11

Number of runners: 16

Returning Hashers ; Mike Blocki

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :Was it me but didn’t the directions seem far more complicated than they needed to be ?

The R.V. : We’ve been here before a few times, but plenty of shade and the sound of both the sea and the motorway. excellent

Run Crit: Well we set off and quickly were at check one. On swiftly to check 2 where there was a quick false left which no one took but several choose ahead and a few of us, tipped the wink by the hare, headed right. Now as we counted blobs, the falsie was called for those going ahead.

Those of you that have done walking safaris in Africa will know that what the white hunter with you fears the most if  the ground starts to shake is not an elephant nor a rhino coming at you but the unpredictable water buffalo. The ground really shook today and we heard branches in the orange grove started to snap and crash to the ground, snorts emanated from the dense bush   and then breaking cover just ahead of us  came a-charging on a short cut from the ahead falsie both Simon Carroll and Ben Cooper what a fearful  sight.

 Off we went over ploughed fields and on to the beach . Then loads of loops , the odd check back but with the shortcuts the pack stayed together till the submariner ( Woodsy) told us that the tree line  ahead was definitely the RV and off we back runners went eager for a beer. What were we doing listening to a submariner who barley ever sees the topography ? When we got there he said oh no hang on  it’s those ones over there. Four times we reached sets of trees until he got the last one right. All in all a shite run.

Walk Crit: by Ray

We walked out led by the Hare and it being Roger the talk quickly moved to Arsenal and some bloke called Wenger. After their last performance the walkers quickly agreed that he was past his sell by date, that’s Wenger not Roger, but more on that later. We walked on and on and then on some more. It was hot and the RV and cold beer was getting further and further away. On we marched with the village of Kouklia getting clearer and clearer on the skyline and the RV hazier and hazier. Eventually the walkers called a halt and what ensued was what  these days is known as an honest and frank discussion. This resulted in the Hare being democratically overthrown and the walkers turning for home and the cold beer. So forty three  mins after leaving we were back in our seats with icy colds in our hands .  Shite walk perfect ending.

Things for the good of the Hash?

Well a little Hash History :

With 43rd anniversary on  August 15th  of  the second invasion of Cyprus by  Turkey in 1974,. What I wondered happened to the Hash during the two invasions ? So I took a look in the archives in my garage. There was a run on July 8th with  8 hashers from the 23 man run list turning up. No run took place on July 15th the day Makarios was overthrown and the first Turkish Invasion took place on July 20th

There was a run on  August 12th when 13 hashers turned up but made up  mainly of the school teachers from St Johns. The following Monday must have been cancelled when the Turks invaded and galloped south towards the Sovereign Bases and then it wasn’t  until the 9th of September that  hashes started again.

On that run by a show of hands Hashers voted to move the hash run from Mondays to Thursdays and that started on the first Thursday in October 1974.

When Commander G.J. “ Tank” Sherman R.N. became On. Pres in September 1975 ,he, without any of this democratic  show of hands stuff,  moved the Hash back to Mondays with the first one taking place  on the 6th of October 1975 . Then 2 years later  on 31st of May 1977  On Pres. Lt. Col.  Peter Morrison moved it  to Tuesday where it has remained ever since or until I do some more digging and discover it wasn't .

As an aside the On Pres, G. J. “ Tank” Sherman was a Fleet Air Arm pilot who on Feb 9th 1956 when flying a Sea Hawke collided with another Sea Hawke whilst on low flying exercise in Scotland.  Both pilots ejected using Martin-Baker ejection seats nicely linking to my crit of a few weeks ago as we now know one Epi Hash On. Pres.  had his life saved by the tests Ben Lynch did in the late 1940s.

Sport:

England crickets duly slaughtered the hapless West Indies in the First Day Night Test match in England. I’ll leave Nogsie to do the smile so we can bowl at you jokes.

Still the West Indies have nothing on The Utopians cricket XI formed in 1950 at Oxford University. They went 33 years without ever winning a game .Explaining this record, their handbook stated “ It’s not the winning but the taking part that matters. Indeed what choice do we have” They met their match however when they played The Southern Counties Universities XI in 1983 . Here was a team even more dedicated to just the taking part and victory could not be staved off despite their gallant attempts to do so. Indeed the team went on to record several more victories that season . So much so that older players appalled at this success replaced the team, and started to play again themselves in an attempt to recapture their lost verve !!

Next Week’s Run : Melanda Beach is a  Hash Splash. Bring your togs and towels.

Hares: Jim Burke, Mike Woods

Chop: FamaG for the last time with George

So to my true tale at the Crit:

In the early 1960’s during the school holidays I used to go to Oxted in Surrey and stay for a few days with a school friend. On occasions we would travel up to to London with his father on the 8.12 train in the morning . The train carriages in those days were all separate individual  compartments with a door on either side and two long  4 seater benches facing each other with a light above each seat.

My friend’s father travelled with 5 others who frequented  his local pub The George.

Four  got on with him at Oxted and the fifth person,  one stop up at Woldingham.

These were all quite big noises in their own professions and all wore the regulation bowler hat, carried a rolled umbrella , with a small rose in their jacket button hole and all had rather  worn leather briefcases from which they would pull either The Times or the Telegraph and would do the cryptic crossword on the journey up and back.

 However all had fought in the war and still retained a boyish sense of fun. So on the first of the month each religiously  put 5 shilling  into a kitty . The money was to fund firstly their annual Christmas lunch during which copious quantities of claret would be consumed. But more importantly  the remainder was to be used  to fund the fine of £5  for pulling the communication cord on the journey home after the lunch.  Straws were drawn on the journey to see who would get the pleasure  of actually pulling the cord.

But  when and why were train carriages  fitted with communication cords to stop the train ?

Well on this very day in 1864 a city banker Thomas Briggs boarded a first class compartment on the 10 p.m. train from Fenchurch Street to go to his home in Hackney Wick.

 As the train steamed through East London a lady in the next compartment was surprised to find herself being splattered with blood coming in through the open window and heard a howling which she thought was a dog in pain. On arrival at Hackney Wick she shouted to the guard who found the next compartment seats covered in blood and on the floor  a silver topped cane , a black leather bag and a battered black beaver hat .  The police were called and it wasn’t long before the driver of another train reported a lump on the tracks before the station. It was the body of Thomas Briggs and his son was called to identify him. This he did as well identifying  the silver cane and black bag as his father’s. But, he said, the hat he had never seen before, his own father possessing a very fine top hat from a  city hatter. Missing also was his fathers long gold chain and gold watch.

The nation was shocked at this first ever murder on the railways. “If a man can be murdered whilst sitting safely in a First Class compartment travelling home to his family” thundered The Telegraph “can we expect to be slain in our pew at Church next ? What is the world coming to ?”

A few days later a jeweller one John Death came forward to say he had bought a gold chain from a man with a german accent the day after the murder, putting the cash in one of his jeweller's boxes  and Briggs's son identified the chain as his fathers .

A few days after a John Mathews came forward to say his daughter had been given a box with the jewellers name on by a young German  Franz Muller who she was stepping out with. He also produced a photo of Muller.  His daughter later that day identified the black beaver hat as Mullers' .

What transpired then was probably one of the slowest murder chases in history. Muller was traced to his lodgings but had fled the day before catching a sailing ship the Victoria to New York using the money from the gold chain to buy his passage.

Two policemen then  boarded   the ironclad steamship S. S. City of Manchester and a week later arrived in New York. Three weeks after they arrived the Victoria docked having completed the same voyage but under sail . The three weeks, however , weren’t wasted  as the Union States, in the middle of their own civil war, and very upset at Britain’s tacit  support of the Confederacy, tried to block the extradition papers . They were, eventually  issued and Muller was arrested as he disembarked and returned to London. In his baggage the police found the missing gold watch and on his head the missing top hat.

He was tried,  found guilt and sentenced to be hung .

His hanging, because of the enormous publicity of this first ever railway murder, was  attended by over 40,000 people and became a very raucous affair. The drunken scenes led directly to a bill being passed in Parliament banning all future public executions in Britain.

On the scaffold Muller who had throughout his trial maintained his innocence turned to his German pastor and loudly asked for God’s forgiveness as he confessed he had indeed murdered Thomas Briggs.

It was realised that had Briggs been able to communicate with the driver and guard on the train he might well have been saved and as a result the first communication cord was introduced to train compartments in 1868.

As an aside I mentioned that on the Oxted train one of the party got on and off at Woldingham . On the 6.35 p.m. train which  they all traveled back on he would doze and always claimed that even fast asleep his subconscious  mind counted the stops and he would awake to get get off the train at his station.

The system seems to work well until one time when due to signalling issues the train came to an halt just outside Woldingham. The other five watched happily as he awoke took his briefcase and umbrella opened the door and fell out of the train onto the track. Picking himself up he clambered back into the carriage muttering “ dam silly of me” walked across to the door on the other side of the compartment  and, looking back to say goodbye, fell out onto the track on the other side.  

 

On On The Hash

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2819

The Pre Run Briefing

The Run: 7 checks, water at check 4  about a 45 min run then Grandad described what we all hoped was a fictitious run but as you will see from the run crit wasn’t ! The crit was interrupted on occasions  by Ray mentioning his amazing round of golf yesterday with a nett 65 .

The Walk: Young Joe has a map and will led the walkers

The Joke : A

 real Nogsie shocker that young Joe will use to help classmates who might have been unsure of sexual positions in the sex education class at his school.

On Out

The Crit :

The Hares Today on Run 2819 were :

Dave Norris: Runs: 1099        Hares:177      Av:6

Mike Norris: Runs: 42    Hares:8         Av:5

Joe Norris: Runs:12

   Hares:3     Av:4

Number of runners:19

Returning Hashers Mike and Joe Norris, Marshall Hughes

Guest: None

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :Well there was an address but no instructions but hey it’s August and too hot to quibble. As an Fyi the correct terminology is the most senior is called  just Norris followed by Norris Major, then Norris Minor and finally Norris Minimus

The R.V. : FamaG might be the home of the hash but this is the home of the Keo Beer and also boasts a large swimming pool and fully stocked bar. Several hashers have suggested to me that all R.V.s should now be selected on these criteria rather than being able to see the mountains, see the sea and see the motorway.

Run Crit: Well we ran out chuckling after Nogsie’s exaggerated description and guess what he wasn’t kidding. We ran across vast acres of ploughed fields , we ran through screw grass up to our armpits, we climbed through fences, we crawled under fences and pole vaulted over fences, we ran along motorway slip roads , we ran in storm drains . There were checks the length of some hares runs but with the check backs we mainly kept together and for an urban run probably par for the course, and talking of pars  has Ray mentioned his golf game to anyone yet ? So all in all a shite run .

Walk Crit: Roger

“ As the runners disappeared out of the back gate we were led out of the front gate very  ably by young Joe Norris. He had with him a map drawn by his grandfather and striding out at the front he led us around it until about the halfway point when he realised that the dear old boy had forgotten to give him the second half of the map. Wondrous thing old age isn’t it . Unfazed Joe led the walkers on around to pick up the runners trail down the aforementioned motorway slip road and to the fence hazard where we pointed out to him that we were all over 70 years old. He pointed out we could either get through it and get to the beer or walk all the way back the way we came. Amazing how agile 70 year olds can become when beer is on offer. “

Things for the good of the Hash?

The Trail Blazing Flour Company is indebted to Jimmy “fingers” Carroll who has managed to purloin three crates to hold the flour bottles. How he managed this feat is best left unsaid . Could I again ask hares not to put bottles still containing flour back in the crates with the  top with the hole still on it. Instead switch it back to the top without the hole and but the tops with holes in the plastic bag they came in.

The run on August the 29th will now be at the beach at Melanda but more importantly the Chop is to be at FamaG and those that don’t know as yet George and his wife are leaving the restaurant at the end of this month. So after many many years of hosting the hash this will be the final time the Epi Hash will be going there to be looked after by George and his family. We have a small present for George which I will present to him that evening so please do try to come along and give him a good send off.

 

Finally I have provisionally booked the Hillview Restaurant for our Christmas Black Tie event on December 13th.  I want it to be very much a Hash event this year with some awards , maybe the odd speech  and a few carols ably led by the Epi Hash House choristers  under the baton and beady eye of Ray Turford .

 

Sport: With the start of the English Premier League last weekend and given that, despite all the hype, in all probability not one of those teams will feature in the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26th 2018 it might be fun to look at some other heroic failures in the football world.

The EFL have introduced a new system of penalty shootouts this season so instead of team A then team B then team A again we have Team A then team B then team B  and then team A so A.B.B.A . which actually proved to be Chelsea’s Waterloo in the Charity Shield .( Get it Abba Waterloo. pay attention at the back please .)

I doubt the change would have helped the two teams competing in the Derby Community Cup Mickleover and Chellaston.

 A 1-1 draw after 90 minutes the teams went to a penalty shootout. Both teams then missed the first 62 penalty kicks in a feat of football that really gave supporters their monies worth as balls were scuffed, missed , blasted and ballooned over the bar or around the goal posts. Then one Dick Smith scored for Chellaston  but Mickleover were fired up and they equalised. Chellaston then went back to missing and when Sam Gadsby scored for Mickleover it was literally Mickle  over for Chellaston. The penalty shootout had lasted 92 minutes and is the first and only time that a shootout has lasted longer than the game itself.

And what about the fastest sending off ? The days are long gone when Bologna player Lorenzo was sent off  a leisurely 10 seconds after the kick off. No, no, the world is a more pacy place these days .

Lee Todd was shown a red card after just two seconds . The referee was standing next to the centre forward when he blew his whistle and Todd said “ Fuck Me ref that was loud” and was dismissed from the game  ! However even he hasn’t got the record for that goes to Keith Gillespie of Sheffield United who came on as a substitute against Reading , Gillespie ran onto the pitch and before the ref had sounded his whistle to re-start play  elbowed and flattened Stephen Hunt of Reading and was therefore  sent off in zero seconds.

Next Week’s Run : Koklia

Hares: David Marks, Roger Smith

Chop: Maria's

So to my true tale at the Crit:

On this day in 1928 the writer, theatre critic and TV personality Bernard Levin was born . To be honest I was never a great fan of Mr. Levin neither enjoying his politics nor his acerbic style of writing and interviewing . Indeed on the satirical show That Was The Week That Was in the 1960s , which aired live in those days, I was one of the millions of viewers who cheered the television set when he was punched off his stool by an enraged husband whose actress wife Levin had given a poor theatrical  review .

That said there are a couple of articles that he wrote which deserve another airing .

He was a great fan of Shakespeare and decried the fact that most people didn’t share his view of the great man’s plays. In defence he wrote this clever piece of which this is but a sample:

“If you cannot understand my argument, and declare ``It's Greek to me'', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance , laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.”

However my favourite is when as opera critic for The Times newspaper he reviewed  Sportini’s opera La Vestale in 1979 at the famous Wexford Festival in South Eastern Ireland.

But let me first set the stage ( excuse the pun) . The director wanting to provide the best visual experience for the audience given the large numbers of singers decided to use a slopping stage and to make the set more realistic covered that stage with formica tiles which whilst looking like marble have a downside in that they are also very slippery. The plan was therefore to cover them in lemon juice so the cast’s feet would stick to the floor . However on the afternoon before first night a diligent cleaning lady finding the stage sticky, cleaned and polished it.

That night the theatre was sold out and Levin with some 440 others settled in their seats to watch the opera.

The curtain went up and in all his  magnificence entered the Roman general Licinio who strode onto the stage fell flat on his back and slithered down the slope towards the footlights. Singing throughout he made several plucky attempts to get back upstage but decided in the end to stay where he was.; calculating no doubt that the next character to enter , his friend, Cinna would shortly be joining him down by the footlights.

On came Cinna who also, arms waving, hurtled down the stage and into the arms of his chum. The script had called for a friendly embrace and this they amply fulfilled clinging desperately to each other as they slipped and slid. .

The two then, still singing, worked their way gingerly along the edge of the stage like mountaineers seeking a route round an unbridgeable crevasse wrote the delighted Levin.

the pair tried to make for a pillar bearing the sacred vestal flame which they knew was embedded firmly in the stage but the three foot ascent up from the footlights  was proving impossible to them as one or other fell down.

However things improved with the entrance of the full chorus who literally throwing themselves into their roles also tried to make for the pillar which was in danger of becoming very crowded. Happily this chorus of centurions, gladiators and vestal virgins decided to form a daisy chain of mutual support  from the pillar across the stage to the side curtain with everyone clutching on to each other until they were all accommodated.

The audience was so moved by the performance most were now weeping and some struggled for breath .

Theologians tell us that the delights of the next world are eternal. Perhaps; but what is certain is that all earthly ones, alas, are temporary, and duly, after giving us a glimpse of the more enduring joy of Heaven  the entertainment came to an end when the first act of the opera did so, amid such cheering as I had never before heard in an opera house, and can never hope to hear again. In the interval before Act II, a member of the production staff walked back and forth across the stage, sprinkling it with the precious lemon nectar, and we, the audience, knew that our happiness was at an end.

 

On On The Hash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales From 2818

The Pre Run Briefing

The Run: Hot humid day after the rain last Sunday. 11 Checks today with water at check 9 ( we think) . 40 minutes of pleasant running in the Anogyra countryside

The Walk: 45mins mainly following the runners but follow the pink arrows for the loop

Stewie Glanfield: Today is the third anniversary of his death. Tales about him still abound and he was a real character on the Hash for many a year. Brandy will be drunk to his memory tonight at the Chop.

On Out

The Crit :

The Hares Today on Run 2818 were :

Peter Hogg: Runs:644         Hares:87      Av:7

Mike Jones: Runs:95     Hares: 15        Av:6

 Jimmy Carroll : Runs:1107   Hares:126      Av:9

Number of runners: 18. Returning Hashers: Giles Day, Brian Kay. Guest: Chris Clarkson ( a 3hour 15 minutes marathon runner so at last the gentlemen of the Epi Hash could measure themselves against a real runner . He was that blur on the run that went past us at every on on by the way)

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :Cracking directions though it must help having only one road in and out of ANOGYRA

The R.V. : Well, we are under a tree , not the biggest tree in this field but Peter’s favorite tree and despite the protestations of his two other  hares, as we all know, once decided, this man is not for turning.

Run Crit: Despite being a hare again this week I have thrown caution to the wind by not doing it myself  and Pat Chapman will give his final run crit. “I don’t have much to say about the run . It made use of the existing topography and rightly on a hot summer’s day was not testing at all. A gentle trot as promised . Being my last run I decided jog along in second gear enjoying the company of the other runners otherwise I might have missed the only excitement of the run when Jim Adair’s dog decided to try to mount a female goat much to the very vocal annoyance of the goat herderess (?) .”

Walk Crit: Now you might think this is a set up but not if you had heard Drew chuntering as he walked in so Drew Muir please the run crit.

“The walk set out following the runners and I was surprised to find myself seeming leading the pack  as the fastest walker, a joy I haven’t experienced for many a year. However after a time I decided that the Hare should really be guiding the flock so dropped back to allow Jimmy to the front . Within a couple of minutes we were completely lost. The sound of the runners and the bugle faded into the afternoon air and we were left, the blind leading the blind. We never did find the pink trail, we missed out on the water stop as that too remained illusive but 45 mins after leaving we stumbled back to the R.V.”

Things for the good of the Hash?

The next Sundowner run is on September 8th  at The Hashers Beach, followed by a  fish supper  at Melanda Beach Restaurant.  details will appear on the website soon.

Mike Ball has raised €325 for the hash charity following his swim  . So the totalled raised so far this year is now at just under €500 . So we are half way to our target of €1,000 .

Sport: Last week I mentioned the sportsman like behaviour of Lewis Hamilton but this week a news item caught my eye . ‘Stefano’ Varjas, a Hungarian engineer who claims to have invented the technology necessary to conceal a near-silent engine in a pedal racing bicycle, gave an interview to CBS’s 60 Minutes, in which he said he first sold his engines to an unnamed individual in 1998 for $2 million, agreeing to ten-year exclusivity and silence as part of the deal. He even gave a demonstration for the cameras of how the technology worked. This January an engine was found in the bike of the European cyclo-cross champion Femke Van den Driessche. Two months later, footage was captured using thermal cameras at two races in Italy that appeared to show heat patterns within frames and wheels consistent with the use of motors in the bikes of at least seven professional riders. Three time former Tour De France Champion Greg Le Monde confirmed that cycling authorities have known about motors for many years but will not do anything about it for fear of damaging the sport further . They even have a name for it motodoping as it achieves the same result of enhanced performance by using the engine up hills  without taking drugs.

Clearly a team that didn’t do drugs was the Rugby league side Runcorn Highfield. They went 75 games without a win between 1988 and 1991. The team was led by player manager Geoff Fletcher a man of indeterminate age who used to hang his wig in the changing room before the game. Runcorn also featured in the team the only one armed player  ever to play in the Rugby League and he was considered one of their best players. They also boasted a born again Christian who was continually sent off for violent conduct. To try improve crowd numbers Geoff Fletcher remembering the Twickenham streaker Erica Roe advertised for a girl with a 42 inch bust to do the same at their ground each home game but when there was no immediate response he said he could quite happily settle for 38inches. However by then the players had gone on strike as Runcorn refused to up their losing pay and only offered to increase  their win bonus.

Next Week’s Run : Erimi R.V. Dave’s house so bring swimmers and a towel

Hare: Dave Norris and clan.

Chop: Aphrodite Club Asian Buffet

So to my true tale at the Crit:

On this day in 1888 Valentine Henry Baker was born in North Wales and whose death in 1942 has led to date to the  saving of over 8,000 lives. His other claim to fame was that he was one of the few men that served in all three services during the First World War.

At the outbreak of WWI he volunteered for The Royal Navy and was assigned to 63rd Division The Royal Navy Brigade which regular hashers will remember from Peter Hogg’s crit and the poem about General Shute and the shite.

After being wounded with an inoperable bullet in his neck at Gallipoli, which he had in place for the rest of his life, he was discharged.

 However the Royal Welsh Fusiliers accepted him and he went back to war in 1915  in the trenches of France before volunteering  for the Royal Flying Corp Military Wing gaining his  wings in 1916 and a Military Cross 2 months later for outstanding bravery in an air battle. In 1918 he became part of the newly formed RAF winning the first ever Air Force Cross.

After the war Baker, realising the interest the public had in flying, set up a flying school at Heston Aerodrome and became known as an excellent trainer. He personally taught the future King Edward VIII , the future King George VI , Amy Johnson and an amazing woman,  Grace Drummond-Hay who had in 1929 become the first woman to circumnavigate the world on a Zeppelin airship.

But with the storm clouds of war gathering over Europe again, he sold the school in 1936 and joined with his old friend the brilliant engineer, Irishman, James Martin to form the Martin- Baker Aircraft Company to manufacture fighter aircraft that Martin designed and Baker tested .

Sadly on September 12th 1942 while testing the MB prototype 3 Baker experienced an engine seizure just after take off and whilst attempting to land in a field hit a tree stump and died in the fire despite the heroics of three farm hands.

James Martin was devastated by his friend’s death which he felt could have been avoided if he’d been able to get out of the aircraft quickly once it was  clear it was going to crash.

Martin had in 1942 already designed a canopy release for the Spitfire which used explosive bolts to shoot the canopy off allowing the pilot to roll the aircraft and literally fall out. He now  changed the whole focus of the Company and set about developing an idea he had had a few years before, namely a seat that  would rapidly eject from the aircraft with the pilot still sitting in it.

In 1944 Martin received a formal request from The Ministry of Defence  to develop his concept . The request followed the first fatality during the testing of the prototype Gloster Meteor using Frank Whittle’s jet engines ( It’s Marvellous how these crits interlink isn’t it !!) and the realisation that with this new generation of high speed  aircraft the ability of a pilot to release a cockpit canopy and clamber out onto a wing before launching himself into the air were over.

As no information was available on what effect the g-forces might have on the human body, a 16 feet  test rig was constructed at Denham airfield for readings to be taken. On 20 January 1945 a 200 pound  dummy was placed in the seat at the bottom of the rig and test fired . The readings taken ,however were inconclusive and so Martin asked if any employee would volunteer to be shot up in the air.

Step forward another Irishman Bernard  “Ben” Lynch a fitter with the company who sported a large handlebar moustache. On January 24th 1945 Ben was was fired to a height of just under 5 feet (1.5 m) with no ill effects felt. The size of the explosive charge was progressively increased until Lynch reached a height of 10 ft and declared that he was experiencing pain in his spine.

Martin worked hard to reduce the peak acceleration loads of almost 600 MPH, needed for the seat to clear the tailplane, the solution was to use a second charge firing in sequence whilst alterations to the seat would provide a posture to better protect the spine.

After 200 more firings  testing transferred to a new 65 ft rig, Ben Lynch again being the first to use it reached, in late 1945,  a height of just over 40 feet with enough upward velocity to easily clear a tailplane of a jet flying at 400 mph

Once this was achieved  airborne testing was needed and Ben Lynch again volunteered. The first mid-flight test ejection was  made on 24th July 1946.

 

 Ben ejected himself from the rear cockpit of a specially modified Meteor 3 fighter jet flying at 320 mph and at a height of 8000 ft. The whole system worked successfully and Lynch made a perfect landing . Subsequently he made a further 30 ejections, including every day at the Farnborough Air Show . It was some party trick. 

As an aside the Americans were working on an ejector seat as well but unable to find a Ben Lynch human volunteer were using drugged bears to test their seat.

In the early 1960s we as a family moved to Farnham Common in Bucks and The Royal Oak was our local pub. It was run by a friendly landlord Digby Bicknell . At one end of the public bar was a stool that was pointed out by Digby as “Ben’s seat and not to be used “ and at 6 each evening a portly  man still sporting an enormous handlebar moustache with an Irish accent and an ability to consume prodigious quantities of Guinness would sit down on the stool. This completely unassuming quietly spoken man we learnt was the man who tested the first ejection seat.   Ben suffering from severe back pain had taken early retirement from Martin-Baker , joked his 10-12 pints of Guinness a day were  purely medicinal and indeed  in those days Guinness was always on offer in NHS hospital wards.

He lived just above his means and like all of us used to cash his cheques with Digby at the pub . His, however ,Digby allowed to be post dated . By 1968 when Ben had his heart attack, Digby held about 5 months worth  of post dated cheques and was the first to his hospital bedside beating Ben’s wife by 30 minutes to find out the patient’s chances. The prognostic was good and three weeks later Ben was back on his stool in the bar clutching his new food diet which he had had his cardiologist  convert from food to pints of Guinness.

Ben’s tests have to date saved over 8,000 lives by flyers using the Martin Baker ejector seat alone . Technology has, as always, moved on with the  use of parachutes to control the emergency descent of an whole aircraft rather than just the pilot. An American company Ballistic Recovery Systems has already supplied Cessna with such a system and lives of both the pilot and the passengers have already been saved on their range of aircraft. 

So what about larger aircraft say the huge Airbus 380 will we ever be able to save the 600+ lives in the event of an emergency. Well at the moment it would require 21 chutes each the size of a football pitch to safely bring such an aircraft down to earth but say you could jettison  the wings, engines, tailplane and all the cargo etc and just bring self contained passenger pods to earth . Well there are several  companies working with the two large aircraft manufactures Boeing and Airbus  on just that idea and they confidentially predict that by 2050 aircraft fatalities will be a thing of the past.

On On The Hash

 

Tales From 2817....The MINDEN DAY RUN

 

The Pre Run Briefing on the Beach R.V.

Welcome to Run 2817 , air temperature 40C

17 hashers to go to the chop at FamaG the home of the hash.

The Run: 11 checks today with water between check 7 and 8 . Tom who, as always, ran the trail this morning at 7 a.m. says the run is 48 mins long but there are short cuts back here to the beach.

The Walk: 45 mins , carry water from the cooler

The Old Joke:

I meet an old friend yesterday who I hadn't seen for sometime. “What are you doing these days?” I asked “ Oh I’m preparing meals for the homeless, illegal immigrants, benefit fraudsters, drug addicts, piss heads and other assorted down and outs “

“ I guess you’re working in a charity centre ?” I said.

“ No” he replied “ I’m a chef at the local Weatherspoon's pub. “  On Out

 

 

 

The Crit :

The Hares Today on Run 2817 are : 

Mike Jones: Runs:94     Hares: 14        Av:7

Tom McSherry: Runs:1366     Hares:197  Av:7

Doug Clarke: Runs:227        Hares:21      Av.11

Number of runners: 21

Returning Hashers: Chris Snaith, Peter Duckworth

Guests: Keith Ford ( Peter Duckworth’s son in law), James Burke, Peter Burke and young Harry Burke ( part of the Burkes of Liverpool clan)

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :Stunning though I say so myself !!

The R.V. : It’s a beach, enough said.

Run Crit: As a hare and doing the Crit I was tempted to do the this bit of the crit myself which would have talked of  a dream run with the runners carrying Tom and me back to the R.V. shoulder high  in grateful recognition for the greatest run ever laid but instead Chris Snaith with the actual crit rather burst that bubble, calling into question the parenthood of one hare for indicating to a few hashers that  a falsie was on On On and the integrity of The On. Pres. for omitting to tell them they were happily running down a long check back. He did however like the new flour trails but all in all a shite run.

Walk Crit: Again oh the temptation to talk about how the walkers bathed Doug’s feet in cooling sea water at the end of the walk, so amazed were they at the the trail laid but instead fresh from his aquatic endeavours whilst raising an amazing €300 for the hash charity this year Prostate Research , Mike Ball    said Doug filled the walkers with confidence by informing them he had never been in the area before and would they please keep the runners in sight ( never a difficult task with some of our more physically challenged slower runners) lest the walking group got lost. The walkers  humming the tune The Grand Old Duke of York then emulated the Duke’s 10,000 men before returning to the beach. A shite walk was had by all.

Things for the good of the Hash?

You will have seen on the Run List that this run is named the Minden Day run, what is Minden Day all about ? All will be revealed at the Chop tonight .

One interesting part of the On Pres role is that the previous On Pres arrives one morning at your house and offloads box after box of archive material some going back to 1967. Being inquisitive by nature I have started to read through some of it . In 1969 for instance a run fee was introduced to cover the cost of beer etc . It was 5 UK shillings a head, the Cyprus pound was tied to the UK pound until 1972 . If one just looks at inflation that 5 shillings is today worth €4.80 almost our present fee. Hash cash points out that members looking for refunds since the €5 fee was introduced are out of luck or words to that effect !

The 25th anniversary in 1992 which incidentally was held over the last weekend of October so as not to interfere with Remembrance Day had a black Tie do at the Officers Mess. Food and booze included for £C12.50 . Again taking inflation and the conversion of the old Cyprus pound into euro means that 12.50 is now €28 the exact same price for our own Black Tie do this year. As an aside the Anniversary run was run at Curium Stadium but on the Tuesday and was male only as per the original run in 1967 . Hares for the runs over that weekend were drawn from both Dhekelia and Amathus  hashes and the Monday run was a street  run in Limassol ending at the KEO factory for beers and luncheon. Food for thought at my meeting with KEO in September.

Sport: Just briefly this week regarding the  Lewis Hamilton, chauffeur supreme!  During the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend  he requested his team mate to move over so he could get past to have a go at those damned Ferraris.  Alas, despite his heroics they held him off.  However, on the last lap 'Sir' Lewis moved over as promised and allowed his team mate to finish third thus sacrificing 3 valuable championship points.  What a pukka gent!

Stop Press, England beat South Africa at the Oval so it is on to Old Trafford on Friday for the decider. If history has anything to do with it England in their last nine home games have followed a victory with a heavy defeat so chances are this series will be drawn.

Next Week’s Run :Anogyra

Hare:Peter Hogg, Mike Jones, Jimmy Carroll

So to my true tale at the Crit:

On this day in 1983 the actor, raconteur and novelist  David Niven died at his home  up in the Alps in Switzerland.

Born in 1910 he was expelled from his prep school aged 11, ending his parents hopes of sending him to Eton, he then  failed the entrance exam to the Royal Naval College Dartmouth which used to take cadets at 13 and finally ended up at Stowe the newly opened Public School which he loved. At 18 he went to the RMA at Sandhurst and on graduating applied for a Scottish regiment. On his form, as first choice, he  requested assignment to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders or as second the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), then jokingly wrote on the form, as his third choice, "anything but the Highland Light Infantry" (because he wrote the HLI wore tartan trews rather than kilts). He was, of course, immediately assigned to the HLI, and his comments were made known to the regiment ensuring a less than rapturous welcome for the young Niven.

The regiment sailed almost immediately to Malta to form part of the garrison and Niven arrived a few nights before the social event of the year The Governor’s Fancy Dress Ball.This event that had started back in 1824 was taken very seriously by all H.M. forces officers and wives . Thousands were spent on lavish fancy dress outfits and the high spot was the grand parade at midnight. 

On the night of the Ball,  Niven and a fellow officer had been drinking dry martinis in some considerable quantity and on seeing a couple of goat skin rugs on the Mess floor decided to enter the fancy dress parade. Donning the skins they found antlers to tie on their heads and two footballs each which they tied to their trousers to simulate the goats large balls. Arriving just before midnight they entered the parade and quite quickly became aware that the Admirals, Air Vice Marshals and Brigadiers judging the event  were less than amused at the entry of two clearly drunken goats.

Undeterred they arrived in front of the judges box and Niven shouted squat to his companion . The two so called goats squatted and each released two handfuls of black olives they had taken from the Mess bar . The defecating goats were quickly seized and thrown out .

Niven didn’t enjoy life in the peacetime Army and in 1933 resigned his commission and went to Hollywood and became an actor.

One of his stories about that Golden Age of Hollywood concerned the young Walt Disney who to promote his new movie Pinocchio hired 12 male and female midgets dressed as Pinocchio who danced on the flat roof of the cinema where the premier was taking place  that night. Things went well till lunchtime when with lunch someone sent up two bottles of bourbon. The midgets soon started playing strip poker and once all were naked began dancing on the roof . Disney was less than amused and telephoned the fire brigade to get them down. This they did wonderfully well by putting the midgets into pillow cases to carry them down !

   He also became part of The Hollywood Raj a group of British actors like Rex Harrison , Stan Laurel and  British script writers one of whom was Eric Lucque who was a great drinking mate of  Niven’s.

In 1939 at the outbreak of war Niven returned to the UK and re-joined the Army as did Eric Lucque . Both took part in the D-Day landings Niven by then a Lt.Colonel and Lucque a Major and both separately with their units fought their way towards Berlin.  At the end of the war Niven returned to Hollywood while Eric Lucque demobbed in 1947 and having married and bought a house decided stay in England and join the newly formed British European Airways.

Unlike David Niven his one time drinking mate, Eric’s career with BEA was less than illustrious. He found an ideal role as a salesman, which allowed him to drink on expenses most of the day, with totally job safety  in a nationalised industry whose charter’s second clause was “it shall be run for the good of the staff.”

In 1973 an handsome, debonaire, smartly suited guy, yes me again, was promoted out of reservations and became a sales rep just as BEA merged with BOAC to become British Airways. My new desk in the sales office was alongside Eric’s and my first ever call was to go with him as he handed over to me one of his favourite accounts Gordons Gin in the City . We met there at 9.30 in the morning and by 9.43 were standing by the in house bar they had on top of the building drinking large pink gins. I still only have vague recollections of a kindly cabbie almost carrying me up the 97 stairs to my flat in South Kensington at about 4 pm.

Eric looked a lot like David Niven , the same moustache, the wrinkled forehead and a certain old world charm. He was, in his cups, and at the age of 64 a bit of a bore to us youngsters but like most  that truly  fought in World War 2 he never ever talked about his wartime  experiences . Indeed his old drinking mate Niven when pressed as to why he hadn’t written about his wartime exploits in his autobiography said that at the end of the war he had returned to the D day landing area and walked around one of the cemeteries  which had in it  27,000 graves. Niven he said to himself  those graves are 27,000 reasons why you should never talk about your own war.

A month after I became a Sales Rep the Parisian Tourist Board invited the British Airways City of London sales team of which Eric and I were members on a 3 day junket to Paris ostensibly for us to be able to better sell their city .

On the first night at Le Crazy Horse Cabaret Eric , after plenty of champagne, somehow found his way on to the stage and received a kiss from each of the semi-naked and naked girls  who waived the bouncer away as the they said Eric was so charmingly English. Indeed he returned to the table covered in lipstick and clutching various items of clothing they had given him.The Parisian Tourist Board people, however, didn’t see the funny side and threatened to cancel the trip unless  Eric was packed off back to the hotel which he duly was . 

The next morning to be honest we rather hoped Eric might stay in bed rather than possibly embarrass us on what  we hoped was the high spot of the trip a two hour wine tasting in the Paris cellar of a Loire wine grower. How very wrong we were on both counts

 In smart blazer, regimental tie and slacks he was the first on the bus .

The first half hour of the tasting was a real disappointment the very ordinary wine on offer flowed like treacle and it was clear the staff couldn’t wait to get rid of us as we clearly weren’t going to buy anything.

 Then an elderly Frenchman appeared from one of the doors and, in the dim light, studied Eric for a moment before ,uttering a torrent of French, he ran over and hugged him and kissed him on both checks whilst constantly  saying Major Lucque, Major Lucque.

 What we asked Eric was this all about. “My god” he said “I’ve just realised I  liberated this man’s vineyards from the Krauts in 1944 , small world what ?” before being hugged again.

The elderly man, clearly Le Patron, had the cellar door closed after, on Eric’s order, tossing out the two Parisian Tourist board people that had packed him off to bed the night before.

The very ordinary wine disappeared and up from the cellar came Loire wines that were nothing less than magnificent. A table was laid and a superb luncheon was served with Eric as  the guest of honour and us hangers on simply riding on his coattails .

I have  dined out on this story ever since and the long dead Eric Lucque is still very much remembered by the 5 of us that were with him that day . 

On On The Hash

 

At the Minden Day Chop.....to follow in 2018!

 

 

 

Tales From 2816

The Hares Today on Run

 2816 were: 

Nick Smith: Runs:

 531 Hares:57 , David Marks: Runs:188 (in dispute) Hares:12 (in dispute)Roger Smith: Runs:405   Hares:36

Number of runners: 19

Returning Hashers: Jim Adair, Peter Conn, Simon McCrorry andTom McSherry

 Today’s Run

 Web Site Info :Marvellously clear directions as long as the eager hasher knows his East from his West which given the sudden change of direction on the website the hares clearly didn’t !!!

The R.V. :Compact spri

ngs to mind, but plenty of shade.  Nogsie however complains was hit by an avocado and has concussion so if he seems stranger than normal you know why.

 Things for the good of the Hash?

 Next week we few, we happy few, we band of brothers start our August runs . These are what I am  calling Hash Lite with only one hare but if that lonesome hare can cajole , dupe, entice, entrap , beguile, inveigle , seduce or simply ask someone to help him and if they’re a hasher, they can also have a hare. 

The focus in August is as much on the social side of hashing whilst still taking some exercise to work up the necessary said thirst . So I thought  a run of 35- 40 mins, followed by a mellow  hour  of supping the amber liquid before hitting the chop at about 1830   ?

 Clear directions will be on the website and signage will be fairly minimal.

Walkers will need to put all their fingers and toes together as they need to count to a thousand before they set off following the blue trail, their short cuts will be shown in pink. Lots of holding checks to allow, certainly in my case, the hare to catch up . When clearly on a track look for change of direction arrows rather than lots of flour dashes. So do please come along and enjoy the conviviality that small numbers on the hash generate and I especially mean you Tom, it is great to have you back.

 Hopefully you saw on the website that Bollo will be doing his Captain Mathew Webb impersonation in the waters off Cyprus on Friday and is donating all he raises to the Hash charity Prostate Research . Bollo will you say a few words??????????

Jim Burke the CEO Of the Blazing Tails flour company would also like to say a few words??????

 Sport: Chris Froome , who must be one of the  greatest  cyclist’s ever, as the French hate him so much, won his fourth Tour De France, Indian women cricketers clearly thought that at Lords it was de rigour to emulate the England mens cricket team and collapse as they lost their last 7 wickets for just 28 runs and the England women’s team won the World Cup.  Rory McIlroy is probably regretting his decision to “ rest up’ rather than do the practise round last Wednesday as Jordan Spieth showed him what a real  fight back means as he picked up 5 shots over the last 5 holes at Royal Birkdale and finally are you guys, like me, a bit wary of all these new found so called Brits that keep appearing in British sport  draped in union jacks . I must admit I didn’t really go along with the idea of Johanna Konta being a true blooded Brit. Hungarian parents and born in Australia only moved to Britain when 12 and left immediately to learn her tennis in Florida. But  then at Wimbledon she did what all we true Brits do so well, she lost gracefully to an opponent  she had easily beaten a few months earlier namely one of the Williams brothers . So now I personally welcome her as a real Brit who knows how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, plus of course she has a great pair of legs.

 Next Week’s Run :  A Hash Splash at Paramali Beach

 Hare: Me. Shortish run and walk followed by a swim so wear your swimming togs and bring a towel and a change of clothes if you want to swim. Remember also to bring your rubbers ( shoes for the beach that is) as it is quite pebbly .

Chop: Fama G

 So to my true tale at the Crit:

 On this very day in 1976 at about 10 a.m. guests started to arrive in the new Concorde Lounge at Terminal 3 LHR and were welcomed at the door by the BA Chairman Sir Ross Stainton. He was taking a group of the Great and the Good to Washington D.C. ,  following the successful U.S. Supreme Court appeal to allow Concorde to operate there.

New York, the Blue Ribbon route, was still over a year away.

The 40 guests represented leaders of industry, City of London financiers, a few showbiz and sporting people for publicity and a smattering of names from the Aviation industry .

The freebies were supplemented by just 28 paying passengers on the scheduled flight.

Concorde on the Washington route was at the extreme of her range and a restricted payload of 68  from the normal 100 seats available was necessary in summer when  it was hot and humid as jet engines perform less effectively in such conditions.

As the guests nibbled on caviar and sipped vintage champagne one of them  a small, he was barely  5ft 2, nondescript man with white hair and in a rather scruffy suit ,  sat chain  smoking the free cigarettes on offer in the lounge, whilst working on papers from his briefcase.

At 12.30 the passengers left the lounge and boarded Concorde at Gate 3 just a 2 minute walk away. After ordering post take off drinks    they settled into their 2x2 seats and waited expectantly for their supersonic flight .

On the flight deck the pilots completed final checks and the flight engineer, because the rear 32 seats were empty, moved  fuel from the wing tanks to the rear tank to improve trim on take off. Just before 1300hrs The Captain called the Control Tower. “Speedbird Concorde 593 ready for pushback”.

Speedbird was the normal BA callsign followed by the flight number  but worldwide  AirTraffic Control had agreed to the adding of Concorde to alert them to the special characteristics of the aircraft. One such was that Concorde burnt large amounts of fuel whilst on the ground so ATC would normally expedite the taxi to the runway threshold. This they did on that day and as Concorde passed the waiting aircraft, flight crews of these competitor airlines would alert their passengers and allow them to release seat belts to view her as she passed  them.

Traffic started to slow or pull in on the A4 and  M4 to watch and at the end of runway 28R hundreds of cars and many hundreds of spectators  were already there to view the takeoff . This feature of the daily Concorde services would continue until she was withdrawn from service.

 At 1310  the Captain wound the engines up to full throttle, released the brakes , switched on the afterburners and like a rocket Concorde accelerated. At 220 mph the First Officer shouted V1 meaning Concorde was committed to fly as there now wasn’t enough runway left to abort the take off. Then at 250 mph he shouted  VR rotate and  the Captain pulled back  the stick and like a bird Concorde soared into the afternoon sky.

Just after the Staines Reservoir the afterburners were turned off for noise abatement and she cruised west as the guests enjoyed cocktails and canopies though most chose the option offered  by the cabin crew of a bottle of vintage Krug ’69 champagne and two glasses per set of seats.

Over the Bristol Channel the Captain reactivated the afterburners  and the guests felt the telltale double nudge in the their backs  as Concorde accelerated. They watched the tachometer displayed in the cabin as the speed increased as she climbed, M.95 then Mach 1 the speed of sound 676 mph, a barrier to supersonic flight broken less than 30 years before.  And still the speed went up Mach 1.75 then Mach 2 twice the speed of sound and finally Mach 2.01 , the cruising speed of this amazing aircraft ,1,325 mph.

Concorde was now travelling faster than a rifle bullet and yet passengers were enjoying a fillet steak 58,000 feet or 11 miles above sea level. Those looking out of the small windows  commented on how hot the glass was,  but were even more  amazed to clearly  see the curvature of the earth beneath them and the dark blue of space above them.  The only thing apart from the Tachometer that told them they were moving so fast was that occasionally they flew over a subsonic aeroplane like a  Boeing 747 20,000 feet below them that  almost appeared to going backwards, Cocorde  was flying over 800 miles an hour  faster than that aircraft.

The airframe had expanded by almost a foot in length due to the frictional heat  and some flight engineers in the small cockpit still made the mistake of then slipping their  briefcase behind their seat to give themselves more room  and on landing found they couldn’t remove it.

 As I said Concorde was at the limit of her operational range on the Washington sector .

Normally aircraft file a plan to their destination and select an alternative airport should they not be able to land there. Regulations state there has to be 2 hours fuel left on board to circle or fly on as well as  contingency fuel to allow for a taxi  off an active runway  on arrival at the alternate . Concorde had received permission to always flight plan to Halifax, Nova Scotia with Washington D.C. the actual destination  as the alternative. This allowed her to actually arrive with a zero fuel weight ( thats almost empty in normal speak) with just just enough fuel to taxi. So 40 mins out from Halifax the crew thoroughly checked weather at Washington, fuel burn so far, fuel available and then the Captain committed to fly on . Oblivious to all this passengers were lighting their complimentary Havana cigars and sipping Courvoisier XO  brandy. Our rather scruffy small man sitting in 10A lit his 25th cigarette of the day and returned to the complex  math problem he was solving.

At 11.55 Concorde landed at 170 mph on a hot and humid June day in Washington . The passengers were much amused to have landed one hour 15 minutes before they had taken off and chatted about this and their experiences as they walked up the finger.

 

Below them on the ground by the baggage hold stood a handsome, debonair, smartly suited young man on his first British Airways overseas posting. Yes, you guessed it, Me .

I had arrived there a  month before and on this day had been asked to oversee the unloading of the VIP group’s bags which were to go on a truck straight to the hotel. It was hardly an onerous job as the baggage handling  crew were all Teamsters union guys and if I had touched any part of a bag they were unloading they would have walked out on strike. Welcome to the land of the free, I thought.

Having stood outside in the 98% humidity  I was about to seek out the airport bar when my then Manager asked me to check the arrivals hall and make sure there were no stragglers as there seems to be one VIP limo left on the rank.

 I walked through arrivals and there near the carousel sat the rather scruffy small man smoking a cigarette. He had a Concorde label on his briefcase   .

 “Are you part of Ross Stainton’s group” I asked. “Yes” he replied “but my suitcase has not arrived”. I explained the bag situation to him and asked his name. “Oh me, I’m Frank Whittle, you’ve probably never heard of me but many years ago I had something to do with jet engines”.

I realised I was shaking the hand of the man who at the age of just 22, whilst serving in the RAF, had, after pondering the problem of how to make aircraft fly higher and faster, invented the gas turbine jet, the predecessor of every jet engine built today.

Whittle patented the idea but because the RAF had not deemed it to be a secret, his patent could be seen by rivals, including Germany, who recognised its potential and began their own jet engine programme. This enabled the Luftwaffe to win the race to develop the world’s first operational jet fighter, the Messerschmitt 262, which entered service in 1944. The Air Ministry, the RAF and the British government however were uninterested and throughout the thirties restricted funding to Whittle’s project and indeed even  after the first successful flight in 1941 by a Gloster E28 Churchill shared the jet engine design with the Americans, as the top secret part of the lend lease programme .

Hans von Ohann the developer of the German jet always accepted that, through the patent filed in London, he had used the design details shown there.  However more importantly he also said that his subsequent design was what he called dead end technology and was going nowhere. Whittle he said was the true inventor of the jet engine as his design and subsequent modifications meant his  technology was robust and could continue to develop . Von Ohann also  constantly said that "If Whittle had been given the money we were , Britain would have been six years ahead of us”. He went on to say

“If Hitler and Goering had heard in 1936 that there was a man in England who can fly at 500mph in a small experimental plane and that plane will be coming into development  as a fighter for the RAF by 1939 it is likely that World War II would not have come into being."

As I sat in that limo with Sir Frank that day watching him smoke his cigarettes and talk, I knew he was the only real VIP on that trip .

Hey, and BA had nearly left him sitting on a baggage carousel at  Washington Dulles Airport !!

 

On On The Hash

 

 

 

"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,

The Japanese don´t care to, the Chinese wouldn´t dare to,

Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one

But Englishmen detest-a siesta.

In the Philippines they have lovely screens to protect you from the glare.

In the Malay States, there are hats like plates which the Britishers won't wear.

At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,

But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun."

If you substitute 

Epi Hashers for Englishmen it about sums us up today doesn’t it? 39C on my weather station when I left home.

I promise to try and keep the crit short so more beer can be consumed especially by me.

The Hares Today on Run 2813 The Stars and Stripes Run

Pat Chapman: Runs: 428 Hares: 54  Av:8

Jim Burke: Runs:1037   Hares:155  Av:7

George Trotter: Runs: 122  Hares: 12     Av.12

Number of runners:22

Returning Hashers: Ben Cooper, Marshall

Hughes, Mike Woods.

Today’s Run

Web Site Info : Wow a blind man could have followed those directions so even an Epi hasher probably stood a chance but maybe not

The R.V. :As an airline man it is nice to be alongside the outer marker for the ILS at Paphos Airport . the lack of aircraft noise is because like hashers many pilots are short cutting bastards and join the ILS at the middle marker and thank god for this lonesome tree.

Things for the good of the Hash?

A couple of awards, so firstly

Aubrey O Callaghan has successfully navigated his way to, and has now rounded the first marker on his hopefully long voyage onboard the Epi Hash by achieving 100 runs

and Pat Chapman leaves us today after 15 years of hashing to move to East Anglia where, when the East wind blows, he will be able to smell Moscow rather than Mike Hillyer’s grass cuttings.

Pat’s first hare was on 5th of March 2003 with Pat Moore and John Telford up in Souni. It was supposed to be a 45 minute run with  5 checks . From the crit in Inside Angle it seems that the three hares, at each check,  laid so many falsies that quite quickly the run became chaotic  with hashers wandering about  trying to find any sign of the real trail and several voting with their feet and returning to the RV . However even as a virgin Hare Pat knew which side his bread was buttered, for at check 6 , yes I know they said 5 checks but it was that type of run, the hashers again searched without success until miraculously a Welsh voice was heard above the rest. The On Pres one Mike “Bollo” Ball had picked up a check and, I’m sure quite coincidently, standing right alongside him was a certain virgin hare Pat Chapman saving he and his fellow hares from the piss pot. They returned to the RV to find a party of Property Developers in the location measuring out plots of land and in fact the hash never returned to that RV which is now an housing estate.

Pat, as a Hare, did, over the years, develop a laconic style of describing what were some fairly petrifying  trails that  he had laid.  I have some  examples given to me by the few survivors of those Royal Marine  runs.

"When between checks 3 and 4, if you must trip and fall ensure you dive left. On the right is a 200 foot drop which will result in death and much embarrassment to the Hash."

"When between checks 3 and 4 ensure you always maintain 3 points of contact with the rock face, if you don't then you may die".

" Between checks 3 and 4 there is a minor obstacle involving a rockface. Assistance for the infirm will be provided.” When the Hashers arrived at the said rock face  the assistance turned out to be  a rope hanging down from the ledge above which they could  climb up. !

"Between checks 3 and 4 there is a small obstacle in the form of an expanse of water. Hashers should remove socks and shoes and place them in the boxes provided before entering the water to swim across to the other side. Hashers unable to swim that distance will unfortunately drown and next of kin will be notified."

Gentlemen of The Epi Hash please raise your glasses and the toast is Pat Chapman let him find a hill in East Anglia to climb.

Sport: Henley Royal Regatta finished on Sunday. The Americans entered 60 crews and left with no silverware at all which is always satisfying especially on July 4th ! Unfortunately the German National eight gave the British National eight a lesson in rowing but the British four repaid the gesture by trouncing the Italian four that had beaten them by 4 lengths just 3 weeks before .

Nothing much else of any consequence happened last weekend oh The British and Irish Lions beat the All Blacks ,well 14 of them. There is I understand no truth in the rumour that Sony Boy Williams will be getting a knighthood in the Queens honours list .

Andy Murray completed his warm up for Wimbledon by playing no tennis at all and then announced he was ready. Djokovic sampled the sea air in Eastbourne for the first and having been to Eastbourne myself several times I’m sure last time, and on Day 1 of Wimbledon British hope or is that hopeless Laura Robson earned £35,000 for just 67 minutes of tennis before being knocked out of the competition .  

Next Week’s run : Souni (Again)

Hares:  Mike Hillyer, Mike Woods and Brian Lidell

Chop:  Lenia’s ,gosh it seems like only a week ago since we were there doesn’t it. My god it is just a week ago

It is American Independence Day today the day Britain lost it’s 13 colonies in the new world and the seeds were sown for the French Revolution. However rather than talk about the failings of the British General Lord Howe which would fill several books and on such a hot day I thought I’d jump straight to :

and Finally

There is no doubt American English now rules the world and as Brits we surely have mixed feelings about it. English is our language and along with football, rugby, cricket , croquet , golf, ferret legging, shin kicking and underwater hockey it is what  we might be remembered for . Mind you many words we use happily today thinking them to be British words came from across the pond. Belittle came with Thomas Jefferson when he address parliament with his No taxation without representation speech. The Times thundered “ shame on you Mr Jefferson, belittle, what an expression. “ Reliable” is another when we used to use trustworthy, so is “call it a day” “easy money”, “on the level” and of course “wise guy”. . Another load of words came with the yanks in the first world war, “cakewalk”, “give the game away”, “to railroad”, “sex appeal” , “gangster”, “down and out”  and “to not give a hoot”.  In the 1960’s we got “back off” , “spin off” and “blue collar”.

However, personally, I “draw the line” , yes another Americanism , at the use of American words that have no meaning outside of America like “a ball park figure” , “Monday morning quarterbacking” and “stepping up to the plate” all heard on the BBC during  election night alone. 

At least we haven't sunk to zee instead of zed yet.

In 1977 at one in the morning Geraldine and I left a bar called the Hawke and Dove on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.  a little socially confused after a day of drinking. We had been given careful  instructions on how to find Route 50 which would get us home to Annapolis, Maryland where we lived.  Both of us promptly forgot them and we found ourselves driving in the black area south of 10th street when a cop car stopped us. The cop holstered his gun and the other cop broke his shotgun which he had aimed through the rear window when he heard my British accent ( 90% of D.C. cops are shot by motorists at night) but asked me to walk the yellow line in the middle of the road. This test I failed miserably and Geraldine was unable to get out of the car let alone walk a line.  Okay said the cop say the alphabet backwards. I think I would have had trouble saying it forwards but started off  bravely Zed. What he asked zed I replied . Your wrong its Zee no I argued in English it is zed . Where the hell have you been to get so drunk he asked. I didn’t think the Hawke and Dove carried much weight but luckily remembered that in my in tray that day had arrived an invite to the Queens Birthday party at the British Embassy. Celebrating the Queen of England’s birthday I slurred and I swear you not, both cops saluted. Where are you trying to get to he asked ? Route 50 I replied . Okay I’ll tell you what follow us and when I flash the lights turn left and it will take you onto 50. So in convoy we drove out of the black area. I turned to Geraldine and asked what instructions he had given us but neither of us could remember so when he flashed we continued to follow him. We all stopped again and the cop returned to my window. Your not making this easy mac . We are going  to turn around and when I flash turn right if you don't I’m taking you in and for Christ sake please drive carefully on Route 50.

By now I was sobering up and on the return when he flashed his lights I turned right and lived to drive another day

On On The Hash

 

 

Tales from 2012

The Hares Today on Run 2812

Aubrey O’Callaghan:  Runs:99  Hares:12   Av:8

Mike Blocki: 

Runs:163   Ha

res:25  Av:6

Laurie Mitchell: Runs:731   Hares:87      Av.8

Number of runners: 18

Today’s Run

Web Site Info : Clear instructions and the signage good. Most impressed that having cut thru Radio Sonde there was a sign to bring us into the RV

R.V. Itself :At least there’s a tree is the best I can say

Run Crit: By Jim Burke

Walk Crit: By Jimmy Carroll

Things for the good of the Hash?

As you can see I am modelling the new Hash hat   yours for only €12. We now have ladies polo shirts in various colours and sizes for €14. A Hare running shirt that wicks for €12   and new Hare T shirt will follow soon. Ship2 Shore are now working on sweatshirts for the winter but anything else hashers want can be organised. Ship2Shore can also put the Hash logo on any item of clothing you might want for a fee of €2, just pop in to the store at Limassol Marina .

Sport: Well some weekends are just best forgotten . The British and Irish Lions got a thumping  lesson in fast ball, though to be fair their own try was fantastic.

Scotland lost to Fiji 22-27 and though Wales beat Samoa 17-19  to put that win in context this was the Somoan side that were recently beaten 78-0 by the All Blacks

Sebastian Vettel decided to  have the F1 equivalent of a bar room brawl with Lewis Hamilton,

England 20/20 having snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the second game won the series on Sunday despite Willey attempting to hand it to South Africa with his final few overs and Rory McIroy spent the first three days of The Travelers tourney angrily tweeting fans who claimed he looked bored playing golf these days telling them they were wrong, not about him being bored, but in under estimating his wealth, he says it’s  $200 Million if your interested.

and finally for the good of the hash plans for August but first some verse with apologies to young Will Shakespeare  :

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

for he that runs with us in August shall be our brother,

and epi hashers away this August time,

shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

 and hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speak that ran with us this August.”

You might be wondering why Mike Hillyer hasn’t been sniffing around you like a rutting buck  asking if you can hare in August.

That’s because I’m introducing a new system for that month only. It seems somewhat daft that 3 hares lay a trail for 8-12 other hashers to run around . However nor should the 10-15 hashers left on Island be deprived of their Tuesday exercise, beers and chop .

Instead it seemed easier to use a few hashers who know an area really well to lay a 40 min trail, whilst they would normally be out walking there anyway. Those of you now looking at your feet dreading an appeal for volunteers to come forward can look up again. I have already filled every Tuesday for the month. So when the run list goes up you will see but one name as hare . Our flour trail allows us to show the angles to be explored for the On On and to indicate a holding check for, in my case, the hare to catch up. This is an experiment and we can tinker with it as we go on and decide at the end if it worked or not. Normal service will be resumed at the end of August so expect the rutting Hillyer to come down your burrow and sniff you out..

Next Week’s run :Pissouri

Hares: Jim Burke, Pat Chapman, George Trotter

Chop:  Platea

And so to this weeks true tale at  the Crit

In 1831 Edgar Allen Poe penned his famous poem called  To Helen and thousands of schoolboys like me have, over the years, had to sit and learnt it by heart . I still remember the first verse,

Helen thy beauty is to me,

Like those Nicean barks of yore

That gently o’er the perfumed sea,

the weary, way worn, wanderer bore,

To his own native shore

Poe was, of course, writing about Helen of Troy the most beautiful woman in  Ancient  Greece . You all know the story and the brilliant wheeze the Greeks came up with The Trojan Horse ; which, as an aside, gave us the expression Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. An expression that many many Brits should probably  have borne in mind when they first decided to move to Cyprus rather than leaving their brains on the tarmac at Gatwick.

The idea of the Trojan Horse as a way of getting troops into an enemy stronghold has interested military commanders ever since.

On this day June 27th 1976 Air France flight 139 , departed from Tel Aviv, Israel, carrying 246  passengers and a crew of 12. The plane flew to Athens, where it picked up an additional 58 passengers, . It departed for Paris at 12:30 pm.

 Just after takeoff, the flight was hijacked by two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , and  two Germans from the German Revolutionary Cell who had boarded in Athens. The hijackers diverted the flight first to Benghazi, and then to Entebbe where Idi Amin welcomed the plane  on June 28th.

There the hijackers issued  their demands: In addition to a ransom of $5 million  for the release of the airplane, they demanded the release of 53 Palestinian and Pro-Palestinian militants, 40 of whom were prisoners in Israel. They threatened that if these demands were not met, they would begin to kill hostages . Negotiators secured a steady release of passengers until by July 3rd,  84 Israeli passengers, 10 French passengers who despite their French passports proudly declared their Jewish heritage    and the 12 Air France crew remained in The old Terminal building at Entebbe.

However when the hijackers refused to meet with Yassar Arafat the leader of the PLO to negotiate the release of the Israeli passengers they decided on military action.

Mossad Interviewed the released passengers in Paris and obtained a clear picture of the numbers of hijackers, their weaponry and most importantly the numbers and positions of the Ugandan troops that surrounded the outside of the terminal building.

Luckily an Israeli firm had built the Terminal so Israeli commandos  practised on a replica quickly  built in Tel Aviv  .

However the big problem was how to get the  Israeli commandos  past the cordon of Ugandan troops and into the terminal to kill the hijackers. We need a Trojan Horse quipped one of the commandos . Brilliant said the commander but who would be able to pass through the cordon without question ? I know said the Mossad man  and a plan was hatched.

On July 4th taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh, the task force of 100 personnel  flew along the international flight path over the Red Sea, mostly flying at a height of no more than 100 ft to avoid radar detection. Near the south outlet of the Red Sea the 4 Hercules C-130s turned south and passed south of Djibouti. From there, they entered Ugandan air space.

With their cargo doors already open the C130s landed at Entebbe. From the first came the exact replica of Idi Amin’s black Mercedes and replicas of the two trucks that always accompanied him. 29 commandos got in the car and trucks and set off to the terminal building while the remaining forces secured the airfield , placed a cordon around the C130s and went off to blow up Idi Amin’s entire Air Force of 11 MIG fighters to prevent them following the task force.

The car and trucks passed through the cordon unopposed, The Trojan Horse had worked again.

The commandos  entered the terminal building  yelling in Hebrew and English for the hostages to lie down. Three didn’t and were shot dead. 25 minutes later the hijackers were all dead and the the hostages were out on the tarmac running for the waiting aircraft. Ugandan troops in the control tower opened fire wounding 5 commandos and killing the Israeli unit commander Jonathan Netanyahu the elder brother of the present Prime Minister of Israel.

The Israelis returned fire killing 45 Ugandan troops .

50 minutes after touching down the task force was back in the air with 102 rescued hostages and heading to Israel leaving Idi Amin his own Trojan Horse on the tarmac.

and Finally

Aubrey was telling me of problems when arriving in Sardinia on his yacht.

He said once in the crowded bay he was going back and forth through the anchorage, searching for a place to drop the hook before dark. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me.   If you find me a good spot, I will donate to the Hash charity, buy the brandy at every chop, lay flour trails happily and never mention trash again, declare my worldwide income to the Cyprus tax authorities, and never again give my crew all of the blame and none of the glory when sailing!"

Miraculously, the yacht with the best spot in the bay began pulling up anchor to leave.

Aubrey  looked up again and said, "Never mind God, I’ve found one myself."

On On The Hash

 

Tales from 2011

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tales from 2010
 

The Hares Today on Run 2810

Jim Burke:  Runs:1034      Hares:154   Av:7

Peter Hogg Runs:636      Hates:85   AV:7

Tina Burke: Runs: countless       Hares:aplenty      Av. an infinite number

 Number of runners: 28

 Today’s Run

 Web Site Info : Clear directions anyone could have found it and everyone did

 R.V. Itself : Bloody marvellous, the only decent tree in 20 sq Kilometres , you can see the sea and the motorway almost, and the wind machine over the road is  an inspiration.

 Things for the good of the Hash?

Just a couple of things now I have the wives here as you remember things whilst on Tuesdays I know I might as well be talking to the wind, and after several  Keos there is certainly  plenty of that about.

 As many of you will have seen today we are laying with flour on the runs. We were asking for 1 1/2 Litre bottles but no longer. What we would like is just the milk bottle tops so  imagine please I am Valerie Singleton and you are 8 years old and collect some milk bottle tops please just like you did for Blue Peter. Actually as an aside  Stephen Fry   when asked to describe the difference between Valerie and the Queen by a foreigner, said  "One is a remote, godlike, autocratic woman endowed with powerful charismatic charm and the other is a constitutional monarch recently played on screen by Helen Mirren."

 The other notice for you ladies  is that  Jimmy Carroll has lost all control of his senses and decided to invite hash members and their families to join him and his own family on his Latchi boat trip  on July 7th so anyone interested please get your name down before Heather hears he has gone nuts and stops him filling the boat with us drunkards.

 Your erstwhile committee moved this run  from the actual Fathers Day on  Sunday to today after a few beers at the end of a joint masters meeting. For the life of us we now can’t remember why, so welcome to Fathers Day minus 2 days !

 Some facts for Father’s Day

There are 1.5 billion fathers in the world and the world record for having the most number of children officially recorded is 69 by the first wife of Feodor Vassilyve, of Moscow. His first wife gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. Dinnertimes must have been hectic!

 In the UK 7 million Fathers Day cards will be sold this year compared to 13 million Mothers Day and the average spend on Fathers Day presents guys is 40% less than on Mothers.

 In Thailand, where lots of single Epi Hashers find solace each year playing with Thai girls oh sorry I read that wrong it should be playing golf with Thai girl caddies,  the King's Birthday also serves as National Father's Day. The celebration includes fireworks and acts of charity and honour "“ the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals. Sound a bundle of fun doesn’t it.

 However in contrast in Germany, Father’s Day, or Vatertag, is a federal holiday celebrated on  Ascension Day. Men in Germany traditionally celebrate by pulling wagons loaded with beer and liquor into the woods and getting completely and utterly wasted. These days many can’t be bothered to drag a cart about and just hit the bars and beer halls on a mammoth all day  pub crawl. They are then welcomed home by their wives and put to bed.  Sounds like a typical Tuesday to me.

 A recent poll of the off spring of fathers in the USA found these are the top 5 things they reckon they will  never hear  their  father say :

 5. Well, how ‘bout that? I’m lost! Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions.

 4.Can you turn up that music?

 3.  Here’s the remote

 2. Your Mother and I are going away for the weekend. You might want to consider throwing a party.

 And number one

I LOVE your tattoo.

 Today is June 16th and my true tale at the Crit today concerns an event that potentially changed the course of WW2 and because without women there would be no fathers  it is about a woman.

In 1918 in Oxford,  CT.  a couple of Russian migrants who had escaped the Bolshevik  revolution  gave birth to a daughter and named her Adeline. They had already much simplified their surname to Gray. Adeline went through the Oxford town education system and in 1929 went to High school there. She is remembered in the year book as a quiet, shy girl but with an adventurous streak. Her mother recalled that the family never kept an umbrella longer than a week as Adeline loved to jump off high walls and garage roofs holding the umbrella. In 1933 she and a friend went to the local movie house to see the new movie Flying Down to Rio, a movie now famous mainly for being the first film to feature the pairing of Fred Astaire with Ginger Rodgers though they were not the stars.

For those of you unfortunate enough not to have seen the film , and it’s well worth a view, the opening sequence has Fred Astaire dancing and singing on the roof of The Copacabana Palace hotel while Ginger Rodgers is overhead sitting  atop of the fuselage of a bi-plane directing a barnstorming aerial show featuring aircraft with wings loaded with attractive girls, wing walkers, and trapeze artists performing death defying feats beneath the aircraft  while parachutists free fall towards the sea. In an instance Adeline knew what she wanted to do with her life and in 1935 at 17 she graduated High School and bought a one way train ticket to Daytona Beach Florida.

She joined The Flying Aces Air Circus led by the legendary  Jessie Woods as a wing walker. Soon this shy girl from Oxford CT. was featured climbing from a speeding car on Daytona Beach going up a ladder and clambering into the front cockpit of a low flying bi-plane. Then she would  tumble out, seemingly to her death, as the plane looped the loop. However she had quickly slipped on a parachute in the cockpit and opened it to float back to the beach while the once shocked crowd now cheered her bravery . However in 1938 the Federal Aviation Act was passed in to law. It  imposed severe restrictions on low flying and required everyone to wear a parachute whilst outside an aircraft in the air . This effectively ended barnstorming for good and The Flying Aces folded.

 Adeline had made enough money to buy her own aircraft and moved to Lancaster PA. to open a parachute training school. Two years later she moved back to Oxford CT to get married and got a job at The Pioneer Parachute company in nearby Manchester whilst still teaching parachute jumping at weekends. It was the Autumn  of 1941 America was at peace but that changed on Dec. 7th when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Now it is important to remember that all parachutes then were  made of silk and 80% of the worlds silk came from Japan and China. The remaining 20% came from countries in the Far East . Japan had already invaded China and quickly seized the countries of the Far East too.

 The Allies were now cut off from their supply of raw silk but they needed thousands and thousands of parachutes for the airman fighting in Europe and the Pacific and indeed by 1942  knew they  also needed them for the largest airborne landings ever undertaken, those  on D Day 1944.

As the supply of silk began to dwindle to nothing The Pioneer Parachute Company started to test new man made synthetics and landed on nylon as a possible parachute material.  Nylon has excellent wind resistance, good elasticity, is, unlike silk, mildew resistant, and is also lightweight and dries quickly. They tested it in wind tunnels, they threw dummies out of aircraft with the new material as a parachute but the U.S. military insisted on a human test as final proof. So on June 16th 1942 at Hartford Airfield CT.  the 24 year old Adeline Gray stepped out of the front cockpit of a bi-plane as the aircraft circled at 2,500 feet. She calmly walked out onto the wing, reached the end and jumped off with the new nylon parachute on her back. On the ground 50 representatives of the military watched through binoculars. The parachute opened and she floated gently down to the ground.

The Allies had a replacement for the silk parachute ensuring the supply to the Allied airman throughout the world and making possible  the largest ever airborne assault on the European mainland on D day  and the once shy local girl Adeline Gray was an instant an international heroine.

 

and Finally

 Last year on Fathers Day my son and daughter  sent me a cheque for £100 and said Dad  buy yourself something that makes your life easier.

So I went out and bought my wife Geraldine a present.

 On On The Hash

 

 

Tales from 2809

Todays run was 4.8 kms in length with 94 metres of accent and therefore decent.  we used 278 calories approx which translates into about a can and a half of beer.

The Hares Today on Run 2809

Dave Norris:  Runs:1092      Hares:176   Av:6

Simon Marsh:A guest Hare

Doug Clarke: Runs: 222      Hares:20      Av.11

Number of runners: 24

Returning Hashers:Mac MacManus and Aubrey O’Callahan

Guests:Simon Marsh

 Today’s Run

 Web Site Info :Thanks to the Club Aphrodite advertising budget this was an easy RV to find.

 R.V. Itself : Not often we have an RV with music,  a swimming pool ,showers and loos plus we are at the home of the beer store so I guess close to paradise for hashers.

Things for the good of the Hash?

Fathers Day Run this Friday at Radio Sonde, details on the website with the menu. Let Hash Cash know today your food choices or E Mail Jim Burke by tomorrow night. Could I ask those attending to put the tables they bring together with others to make the event a real social get together.

The Trail Blazing Flour Company no longer requires bottles as we have enough but does need milk bottle tops so we can give hares a supply of tops with holes in on each run. So have your better halves please start collecting milk bottle tops. I sound like John Nettles on Blue Peter don’t I.

July 4th U.S. Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year so we will have a Stars and Stripes Run that day. Please wear something American, sport a U.S. flag or dress up as a cowboy or an Indian (Feather not spot) though these days there are more spots than feathers in the U.S. I would imagine.

Jimmy Carroll has kindly thrown open an invitation for any hashers to join him and his family and friends on a  Latchi boat trip on Friday July 7th . The official Latchi trip as part of our 50th year will be in September but if your like me and can’t get enough of these trips please let Jimmy know if you want to attend as places are limited.He also has details of approximate  pricing.

Last Weekend was a grand feast of sport. Louis Hamilton cruised home in The Canadian Grand Prix, The British and Irish Lions shook off their somnolence and beat the previously unbeaten Crusaders. This was the first time Crusaders had been kept tryless in two seasons, only the third time in 315 games they had registered so few points.

The England One Day side thrashed the old enemy Australia and sent them home early in the 50 over international cricket,

England beat the at full strength Pumas 38-34 whilst fielding 10 uncapped players the most for 61years including  Tim Curry the youngest England starter for 91years ,

Scotland beat Italy 34-13 in Singapore  ,

Ireland beat the USA 55-19, and at Hampden Park, apart from an exciting final 4 mins, the England soccer team showed us why they will not be causing too many teams sleepless nights  in Russia in 2018.

But the real excitement was in that great sporting arena called Westminster where the Vicar’s daughter single handedly managed to convince 40% of the voters that Jeremy Corbyn was a better bet than she was and Mrs MacFish had her rather pert bottom spanked by the Scottish electorate.

But if like me you find career politicians boring  here are some interesting QI facts to take your mind of politics

The average woman in Britain will spend £100,000 on make up in her lifetime

Swindon has the lowest demand for viagra of any town in the UK

Cows eat only grass but have 25,000 taste buds  twice the number we humans have.

A barnacle’s penis can be up to 20 times the length of its body.

There are no moles in Ireland ( Jimmy Carroll might not agree with that but I think this means the furry kind)

and finally of interest to hashers, sitting on the loo for 8 hours uses as many calories as jogging for one hour.

Rather than a true story today, I thought I’d reach for the other string to my bow and do a couple of naval sayings that have become part of everyday language.

Just like today, warships of the past needed discipline to be effective instruments of war . But let’s not get confused between Discipline which in Naval terms was a code of conduct for the efficient running of a ship and punishment which is the term for what was handed out to miscreants who had broken the rules. It is no surprise that a number of slang terms used ashore relate to punishments common in the age of sail.

In the Royal Navy the way a Captain could run his ship was outlined in the Articles of War and in Nelson’s time there were 36 articles loosely divided into four categories ;1) cowardice in the face of the enemy for which the punishment was always death,2) Offences against King and country such as espionage or dereliction  of duty again offenders faced death 3) for murder, assault or theft offenders normally faced death or severe punishment and 4) all other more minor offences such as blasphemy or say pissing out of the top gallants for which the punishment was lashes, and in case your interested it was 12 for pissing down onto the the main deck from up on high.

Thieving however which is one of the worst crimes on a ship was 350 lashes ensuring death before the end of the punishment.

And so to the phrase for today “over a barrel” . To have someone over a barrel is to have them at a disadvantage,  for instance from the press today Senior Tories were able to remove Mrs May’s closest advisors as they had her over a barrel after her disastrous election campaign.

Most people immediately think of a wooden barrel or cask but the phrase in the Royal Navy referred to a gun barrel . This method of punishment was also know as kissing  the gunner’s daughter, the daughter being the actual cannon barrel. This  punishment was normally reserved for midshipmen offenders and the device used was a cane or flat side of a sword not the cat of nine tails .

 The second is the word Posh: Something posh is elegant, stylish or luxurious; in Britain it also means somebody or something typical of the upper classes or according to Trevor that’s me !!

The best known and most widely believed story is that it comes from old-time ship travel from Britain to India on the packet boats run by the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company. As an aside when I joined The P&O I was clearly told their were three navies serving Britain, The P&O, The Grey Funnel Line meaning the Royal Navy and The Merchant navy in that order.

The word posh  supposedly stood for “Port Out, Starboard Home”. It is explained that somebody who had a cabin on the port side on the outward trip from Britain, and on the starboard side on the return trip from The Far East, had the benefit of shelter from the sun, on the hottest parts of the journey as the sun never comes above the Tropic of Cancer. Such cabins were reserved for the most wealthy passengers, we are told, and the P&O company stamped their tickets with the initials P.O.S.H.

The trouble is there’s absolutely no evidence for it, as no such ticket has ever been found and the P&O flatly denies any such term existed. It’s just a legend, though a very persistent one.

The most probable solution — though unprovable because slang is so rarely written down — is that it comes from London street slang for money. This may well derive from gypsies who called a halfpenny a  posh half, and then started to call  any small sum of money a posh, and then finally used it describe money in general. This is recorded from as early as 1830. Londoners started using the word and the word soon moved on to describe people with money or class or both  .So there you have it ,  a word everyone thinks has a nautical heritage but doesn’t.

 On On The Hash

 

 

 

Tales from 2808

 

In sport the British and Irish lions seemingly sleep walked past a very average New Zealand Ba Bas team, and indeed Warren Gatland confirmed over half the lions were on sleeping tablets to handle jet lag.

In cricket England overcame the might of Bangladesh to become according to the press firm favourites and in soccer Real Madrid thumped Juventus and in doing so showed how far Premiership teams have to go to ever raise that cup again.

but  50 years ago this week the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper and the magical Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. So if sport and the fact that you might wake up on Friday with Jeremy Corbin as Prime Minister depress you,  just go back and think of yourself on a boat on a river and let the trees be tangerine and the skies marmalade and if people want to know what’s for dinner tell them we’ve got marshmallow pies.

Several  of you, I guess  because of my  years with British Airways, have asked what I think about the BA computer melt down over the Half term weekend and so I thought I would just share my views on the fiasco  .

From my early managerial career with BA I was involved in what is now known as disaster management and recovery planning together with “ crisis PR”. These  days business schools teach it , consultants  sell it and virtually every company role plays it on a regular basis. There is hardly a company board now that doesn’t have a risk committee  that demand of their company executives bulletproof evidence of both a plan and regular testing of the plan in as realistic circumstances as possible. BA was very much in the vanguard of this for unfortunately an airline disaster usually means a plane has come down with resultant injuries and deaths .

In 1981 I became Manager Portugal  and was dispatched to London as one of the first employees to attend a Crisis PR course. The man running it was a up and coming BBC interviewer and absolute pussycat one Jeremy Paxman. On day one, in the morning, I did my first interview with him. He seemed sweetness and light  and asked me what I’d like to talk about and I suggested the upcoming visit of Concorde to Lisbon. Excellent he said “I’ve flown on it, what a super aircraft, I’m a huge fan”. I relaxed and remember thinking this is a doddle I wonder what's for lunch. Just before we went to live recording he asked me if I wanted to ask him any questions about the interview before we started. No I’m really looking forward to it, I said. Okay and he turned to the camera introduced me as  BA’s man in Portugal, turned back  and said Mr Jones why on earth are you bringing an aircraft that is the noisiest, most fuel inefficient , worst   polluting, waste of British tax payers money  to one of the most  beautiful and unspoilt  capitals in Europe .

For many years I kept the video of me sitting there with a stupid expression on my face with my mouth opening and closing but nothing coming out.

His course taught me five key things,

always ask the purpose of the interview, never lie, never guess, but most importantly in a crisis be visible and keep the press updated . If you let them run the story Paxman insisted your company will suffer as they will assume you have something to hid. Certainly in my days at BA, the incident room at LHR was kept at full readiness.

 As Managing Director of Brymon Airways once a year I, with my Chief Engineer, Chief Pilot and Head of Cabin Crew turn up there for a two day simulated exercise. Once settled I would receive a call saying something like a Brymon Airways Dash 8 has crashed 6 miles short of the runway at Bristol on a flight from Paris, initial reports are of no survivors . Eye witnesses report an explosion in an engine before the plane crashed.  And so the simulated exercise would start . In the room next door actual press and TV people were gathering as they used these simulations  as a training exercise for their people in interview techniques.  In another room were 20 or 30 of our staff with scripts playing bereaved relatives. Ten minutes later I was making my first statement to the press after talking to the  relatives. When I returned to the incident room a note would  informed me there had been a problem with number 2 engine that had delayed departure from Paris and Reuters were leading with that story. For 2 days we handled all kinds of issues concerning this supposed crash  handed to us every few minutes, The crew were fatigued, the engine had a history of problems, the hold showed signs of a bomb explosion, the first officer only had 28 hours experience on that aircraft . On and on it would go.  A week afterwards I went back for an all day de-brief as to how I had managed the crisis and ways I could improve.

So what went wrong this time ? Why wasn’t the Managing Director of BA visible over the weekend, why weren’t senior managers in Terminal 5 updating passengers, listening to their complaints and why were the front line staff left as much in the dark as the passengers they were trying to deal with . In Its heyday coincidentally when I worked there faced with that kind of problem, budgets went out of the window.Spend and keep spending we were taught,

Get as many managers in the terminal to support the boys and girls taking the brunt of  it.

Quickly recognise ring leaders  amongst the passengers and get them on  any airline going to their destination at any price. Once they were gone the remaining passengers were calmer and easier to talk to.

Keep visible and keep an information flow going.

But that didn’t happen .

The best explanation  I can offer on the management issue is a lack of experience. When Jeremy Paxman said to me always remember you know more about your business than the interviewer he was reflecting that the BA mangers he was training had at least 8 years airline experience. The guy today running BA’s second most import market North America was recruited from Shredded Wheat, spent a month at head office learning the business and then took up his position. He intends, he told a friend of mine still close to BA, to do the job for a couple of years and then move on to another company. Very few managers at BA have been there longer than 3 years .

As an aside did you know it costs more to make the cardboard packet they come in than the actual shredded wheat  inside ? The guy running North America does, but does he know never to trust a ground engineer when he tells you he’ll have the problem with the engine licked in an hour or so .

I know that “or so” means you start looking for hotel rooms for the passengers as the plane ain’t going nowhere.

We have just witnessed a world-scale management cock up and Senor Cruz the head of BA needs to realise it. Instead he says “ I will make sure it doesn't happen again”  but why should customers believe  him? His disaster plan if he had one didn’t work from the start and therefore it is beholden for him and several of his key executives to fall on their swords or be fired.

So why did the supremo of  IAG Willie Walsh do nothing ? Perhaps  the rumours that he intends to join Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus together as a single airline under a new name thereby doing away with  British Airways and it’s flag carrier status are indeed true as otherwise surely he would be doing more to rescue this once proud  brand .

To Fly To Serve is now just a joke of a motto .

And Finally

Talking of incidents. Before I met and married Geraldine I was dating another stewardess . She was on a Trident aircraft on approach to Paris when the flight crew reported smoke in the cockpit. They declared an emergency and Paris Air traffic diverted other aircraft to allow the Trident to land immediately. Now Tridents didn’t have self inflating slides . Instead the cabin crew member selected a couple of burly looking guys and asked them to help. Their role once the aircraft stopped  and the door was opened was to shimmy down two ropes extend the slide and hold either side of it  to allow passengers to slide down. She selected two French rugby types who both said mais oui.

The aircraft landed and stopped on the runway. She threw open the door and the big Frenchmen went down the ropes. They looked back just to wave and ran as fast as they could away from the aircraft.

On On The Hash

 

 


Tales from 2807

Firstly our charity Prostate Research now has an healthy opening balance of €130 thanks to the donations yesterday so we are up and running on our goal to raise €500 in the next year.

The Epi Hash Trail Blazing Flour Company is in full production. Jim Burke is the temporary Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Mark Foley is Snr Vice President Procurement and I am the store man as it is in my garage. We are at present producing a rather becoming lilac that goes with Jim’s new running vest though once on the ground  it might look  blue to you. To date we have had only one problem with our production line.  That was  when we used, what turned out to be, Jim’s wife Tina’s best measurer to measure out the paint powder. She seemed less that impressed to have a beautiful lilac measurer slipped back into the cupboard. We estimate 9 bottles will be required to lay an hour trail so The Trail Blazing Flour Company will provide said 18 full  milk bottles  every two weeks for the upcoming hashes. May I again just make it clear the trails we lay use the markings that we have always used other than the circle for a check with, if the hares require, an H for holding and an arrow for a change of direction in the trail. Also, please keep bringing your empty one and a half litre milk bottles to the hash each week .

The  Trail Blazing Flour Company opens up many possibilities with our ability to produce different coloured flour, not least  to mark a walking trail. I agree wholly with Ray’s comments yesterday at the On Out that walkers will only get out of the walk what they are willing to put in it and so I have asked several walkers to get me ideas on how a walking trail could be achieved and what extra effort is required by the walking hare and the two running hares on the recce and the laying days.

Once I have this I will put it to the hash as a whole. Personally, I think if people come on the hash they should expect to do a hash in the true sense of the word but let’s see how this pans out and most importantly if there is any enthusiasm for it from the walkers, who, it should be recognised now outnumber the runners on most Tuesdays.

For Your Diaries:

The Fathers Day Open Run is on Friday June 16th . Again an afternoon run at 1600 hrs  this time  around Paramali Beach. The 3 hares are Harriets to give fathers a day off. They will also lay an Open Day   walker’s trail on this day as we want  both groups to have fun on the run as the harriets will be leaving surprises for the  hashers at most checks. Hashers finding the on on and the surprise will be expected to be sporting them  on the run in to the R.V. Photos will be taken. Keo beer ,7 Up and another superb vintage trodden that morning by Nogsie and decanted into any empty bottles of wine he can find at the Erimi tip  will  be provided at the RV but BYO is very welcome too. The meal will be at Yianni’s Tavern and will feature fillet steak. Jim Burke is in intense Brexit style negotiation with Yianni (who has put his prices up to reflect not an increase in meat but his popularity) and we will have a price for you by Thursday or indeed a change of venue if Jim is faced with Yianni’s Hard Brexit ( the mind boggles) with the home of the hash young  George at Fama G eagerly waiting in the wings .

And so to the true story today,

We all know the characteristics of a German, he obeys rules, respects authority, follows orders to the letter  and most heinous of all puts towels on pool bed chairs late at night to prevent upstanding  Brits from enjoying the sun the next day.

Now I’m going to ask for some audience participation during this story guys so I want you to imagine yourselves archetypal   German Prussians , which will definitely not be too difficult for some of you I suspect.

Now in your best German accents repeat this phrase “ Ich Werde mein Kapitain” I will captain, so  again “ Ich Werde Mein Kapitain”

Now when you say it click your heels together “ Ich Werde Mein Kapitain “  

Hey, zie sprechen vie Deutsche zehr Gut Herren

Okay back to the story

One man was to manipulate those German characteristics to his own advantage with amazing results. His name was Wilhelm Voigt who lived in Kopenick in the State of Prussia. Voigt lived in a real life Catch22 situation ;  without military service which he skipped he couldn't obtain an  I.D. card and without I.D.  he couldn't work . He had spent most of his life being jailed for trying to steal I.D. cards . However during his last 8 year sentence the governor, an avid amateur  military strategist,  had taught his prisoners to drill and march so they could  re-enact  battles that Prussia had won. Voigt was a keen and attentive pupil.

On his release in 1906 he went to the local secondhand store  to buy some  clothes. But there he found a Captains uniform of the Imperial German Army which in one of those quirks of life had been left there by servants of the new mayor  of the town who had a few months before retired from the army. More of him later. Voigt bought the old uniform and leaving his very tatty clothes at the shop wore it home. He realised that he was immediately respected. People stepped off pavements to allow him to pass, soldiers smartly saluted him, he was waived  to the front of queues and civilians immediately stood up on the bus to let him sit. So with this in mind,  in his rented room that night, he concocted a plan to solve his lifelong  problem. He would commandeer some troops go to The Town Hall  take the mayor hostage and make him give him  a passport so he could go to Luxembourg where he had relatives.

The next morning back in his uniform he found a troop of 10 men being marched to barracks by a sergeant . He ordered them to halt, strutted up to them and told the quaking sergeant he was taking the men on a special mission and that he was to return to barracks .The sergeant replied ( here we go guys) ” Ich werde mein Kapitain” Next he went to the Post Office and ordered the telephonist to cancel all in coming and out going calls to the Town Hall. “ Ich werde mein Kapitain” On to the police station where he ordered the police chief to withdraw all police patrolling  within a mile around the Town Hall “ Ich werde mein Kapitain” Then to the Town Hall where he ordered 6 of his men to guard each exit no one in or out. “ ich werde mein Kapitain “. Finally he marched into the Mayor’s office and demanded he give him a passport  “ Ich werde Mein Kapitain”, except added the mayor the passports aren’t issued here anymore they are issued in Berlin ! Unfazed Voigt ordered him to open the Treasury “ Ich werde mein Kapitain” and Voigt helped himself to 4,000 Deutsch Marks equivalent to £30,000 today. Alone he marched out of the Town Hall after ordering his men to hold the it for an hour went to the railway station and disappeared. 10 days later he was arrested at another railway station but by then he was a sensation. Even most Germans and certainly the rest of Europe laughed at the idea that a fake in a uniform could run circles around the Prussians. Money was raised for the finest defence lawyer and Voigt received just a 2 years sentence

In fact  Kaiser Wilhelm ll who was as we know one kraut short of a Sauer thought that Voigt had illustrated the power and might of Prussian militarism rather than, as all others did, make it look a laughing stock  released him. This was of course the same screw loose Kaiser that led Germany into the slaughter that was the First World War. Voigt came out of prison a media star, he sold his life story to several newspapers, appeared on stage to sell out crowds in his Captain’s uniform and was hired by Barnham and Bailly circus to tour Europe, the UK and the USA. He made lots of money got his passport and retired in 1913 to Luxembourg. A year later Germany invaded and in a final twist he was detained for a week by German troops who finding his uniform seemingly hidden in the loft thought he was a real German officer who had deserted.

And Finally

 a phrase that has moved easily from The Royal Navy to everyday usage .

To chew the fat. This means to gossip or to have a friendly chit chat or a bit of a grumble. Just like the R.V. of this hash really.

On Royal Naval  warships hands were allowed to chose who they messed with ( six men being the usual number). While seated and chewing through their perhaps rather fatty food they would share gossip , news or more often than not just grumble. Sailors are notoriously fussy about their food the longer the voyage goes on and in the days of sail with no refrigeration the salt beef required more and more chewing to make it swallowable as did the grumbling and the gossip.

So To Chew the fat

and on that bombshell

On On The Hash

 

 

 

TALES FROM 2806

Welcome to the first Sundowners run.

That music by Zac Brown is the new Sundowners Club Anthem and the chorus says everything I feel about sundowners:

Got my toes in the water

Ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world

Cold beer in my hand

Life was good today

Life was good today

 

 

The Epi Hash Sundowners Club  is based entirely on feedback from hashers and more importantly their better halves. The runs will be on days that do not clash with the other two Hashes so people that attend those needn’t miss these open days. They are later in the day to enjoy the cooler temperatures rather than running and walking at mid-day, they are BYO to reflect the fact that ,wash my mouth out, not everyone on the hash open days wants to drink Keo or wine and they are catered because many wives told me they were fed up with preparing vast quantities of food and lugging it to the beach, finding that everyone had bought too much food and so lugging most of it back and throwing it away. You guys don’t take your own food on a Tuesday they said so why can’t we enjoy the meals you do. Let the bastard spend some money on me for a change. It says here pause for cheers from the girls to die down !! So I do hope you enjoy this new format.

There are three definitions of the word Sundowner .

The first is from New Zealand and is used to describe a lazy sheepdog who lets the other dogs do the work waiting only for sundown when he can get some food and shut eye.

The second is Australian and indeed we all have had experience of a Sundowner ourselves I would think. In OZ a Sundowner is someone who delays a visit to your house until sundown in the hope of getting a drink from you or better still an invitation to stay for supper. You know the type that turns up at the door a 6 p.m. clutching the two tea bags you gave him a week ago. Just thought I’d return this he says after he is over the threshold and you hear yourself saying would you like a drink ? That’s kind he says and before you know it he is settled in your own  comfortable armchair swilling down your booze.  Oh yes we have all known  a Sundowner .

The final definition is South African and is the one we are celebrating today a drink as the sun goes down often taken in pleasant and pleasing company, like today.

Sundowner  is also a great name for a boat and one of the most famous boats bearing the name Sundowner  was owned by Charles Lightoller . Those of you that have seen the film Titanic and  who hasn’t ? will recognise the name for he was the Second Officer on board the Titanic on that fateful night of April 14th 1912. Indeed Lightoller was the hero that night taking charge of getting lifeboats away, shouting women and children only, whilst ordering men out of lifeboats at the point of his unloaded pistol. He was one of the last to leap from Titanic as she started her final dive, helped 20 others clamber on board an up turned lifeboat, had them paddle to one of the few lifeboats that returned to search for survivors and  then kept his group of 79 survivors singing all night in the lifeboat to keep them awake on that freezing cold night. He was the last survivor to board the Carpathia . Quite a guy. Charles Lightoller purchase a 58 foot motor yacht which he christened Sundowner in 1929 and he and his family used her for family holidays sailing around Britain and the continent.

 During the First World war Lightoller had served with distinction in The Royal Navy, winning a DSO for shooting down a Zepplin airship and a bar to that medal for sinking a German U boat.

In the early summer of 1939 t  Royal Naval Intelligence asked him to take Sundowner to survey the coast of Germany which he and his wife did under the guise of an elderly couple on holiday on their yacht. They photographed the major German harbour and coastal defences and gave their so called holiday snaps to a grateful Royal Navy. Then on this very day in 1940 the Admiralty asked Lightoller to take Sundowner to Ramsgate with about 120 other little boats. They were to help in the evacuation of The British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk .

The 66 year old Lightoller, accompanied by his eldest son Roger and an 18 year old Sea-Scout , took the Sundowner and sailed for Dunkirk and the trapped British Expeditionary Force. Although the Sundowner had never carried more than 21 persons before, they succeeded in plucking 130 men from the beach at Dunkirk  and brought the crowded motor yacht home safely despite being attacked twice by enemy aircraft.  There was much chat on board the little boat once the Army guys realised the Skipper had been on the Titanic with several joking they should get off and take their chances back on the beach. Had they known that Lightoller had also had to take to the lifeboats when his ship HMS Oceanic sank in 1914 and again in 1918  when his command HMS Falcon was sunk at the very hour on the very same day  that Titanic had sunk 6 years earlier, they might not have sailed with such a  Jonah !! Lightoller set sail  to return to Dunkirk but the Navy  stopped him as the town was about to fall into German hands.

He was recruited back into The Royal Navy with Sundowner as part of The Small Ships Squadron looking after coastal defence was mentioned in dispatches for rescuing a downed RAF crew in the North Sea and retired finally from the Navy in 1945 at the ripe old age of 71. He died peacefully in his bed in 1952. What an amazing  life. If your ever in Ramsgate, Sundowner is now in the Harbour there as part of  the Little Ships Museum . With 50 other members of the Association of Dunkirk little ships Sundowner is returning to Dunkirk in 2020 for the 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo with the hobnail boot marks of the troops she saved still  on her decking.

And Finally a few fun cabin crew announcements from across the pond in the USA

A Southwest Airlines plane has arrived at the gate in Miami

“Folks it has been great having you flying with us today. But just like my Dad said to me the day I turned 18: it’s now time to grab your bags and get out.”

On another Southwest flight

“Ladies and gentlemen  have begun our descent. If Chicago is not your planned destination for today, it soon will be.”

and just after the doors closed on departure

“We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry working for Southwest. Unfortunately none of them are on this flight.”

 

On On the Hash

 

THE TALE FROM 2805

Today’s Run

Web Site Info :The directions were “ Run this week will be at the Pheasant Farm. Signs from the B6, follow track over Highway and then hang a left”. Please gentlemen ask yourself if a visiting hasher from abroad or a possible wannabe hasher could ever have found the RV. Indeed I asked our newest member last night and he quite understandably hadn’t an idea where the hell he was supposed to go.  

RV Itself :Windswept,Screw Grass but good views and can see Motorway.

Things for the good of the Hash?

I have  a few :

Tom McSherry phoned me to say he is on the mend. For those of you that don’t know he has had two falls whilst running. One caused by a truck almost running him down and the second after stepping on a stone. He received treatment at the hospital and the Doctor ,who couldn’t believe anyone of 77 was still running has put him off all but light exercise for at least 6 weeks. Tom hopes to be back after that .

Big Weekend for sport fans. Congrats to Scotland for winning the London 7’s beating a good England team 12-7. England however were runners up to South Africa in the overall 10 series final standing . Liverpool have Champions League football next season and George the ex On Pres asked me to mention Newcastle are back in the Premiership and Trevor asked me not to mention that Sunderland have replaced them in the Championship. Finally congrats to Mumbai Indians who won the Indian Premier League Cricket final by one run in an amazingly exciting game .

Trail blazing. We can source the flour and indeed Tony Flower reckons he can get it on the cheap and it comes with weevils as an added bonus. I gave coloured powder to the hares for this weeks run but unfortunately it wasn’t used. Still we have, can get that and will trial colours on Monday. We have plenty of milk bottles and even a crate . We now need a Hash Mash. It’s probably 45 mins work once every two weeks. Who will help the hash ? ( Says here pause while people look embarrassed stare at their feet shuffle a bit and focus on what's in their mugs. ) Are we happy for the hares to do it each week then until I find someone ? If so.. Jim quick lesson in making the stuff.

The On Pres charity for this year is for Prostate Research. I chose it because we are a gentlemen only hash and prostate cancer is a gentlemen only problem so it makes sense. I plan a series of collections and hope that over this 50th year we hashers will be able to make a fair donation to this important research. If like me you are worried about charities these days with their political agenda and huge admin costs , this one got a thumbs up from David Craig in his informative book The Great Charity Scandal.

The Sundowners Run which is a free run will be the first opportunity for attendees to contribute something for the charity. and talking of the Sundowner Run if you have tropical shirts,  straw hats etc please wear then after the run and ladies might want to wear tropical island rig too.

Yet more important information to hashers , I am indebted to THE DEBRETT’S & TATLER SCHOOL OF ETIQUETTE for the following rules on Urinal Usage

1. Thou shalt not use thy smartphone  There’s a growing trend, sadly, for slashing young men to hold their iPhallus in one hand and their iPhone in the other. Such posturing or “multi-tasking” shows a lack of class. It’s also probably unhygienic.

2. Thou shalt adhere to positioning protocol.  If you’re first to a row of urinals, choose the one furthest from the door. If you’re second in, choose the opposite end. If you’re third in, choose the middle. Try to leave at least one urinal’s gap between users.

3. Thou shalt not provide musical accompaniment.  That means no singing, humming or whistling, which is the behaviour of nervous weirdos or David Brent types. Attention-seeking when one’s penis is out of one's trousers is unacceptable. Unless… well, you know.

4. Thou shalt not maketh smalltalk.  A nod or an “alright?” is just about OK . Extended chit-chat is not OK especially if it is to make fun of the On Pres’s crit whilst  at the Chop. Or worse the On Pres’s ….well let’s not go there.

5. Thou shalt not go hands-free.  Two-handed is industry standard. One-handed will be tolerated. No-handed is the province of schoolboys pretending they’re an elephant or putting their hands on their hips and fantasising that they’re some sort of wazzing superhero. Fine and fun at home, definitely not in public.

5 More Next Week.

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today," said Admiral Beatty as he watched three of his battlecruisers blow up one by one at the Battle of Jutland. The words were classic British understatement, but 3,000 dead sailors were ample evidence that something was indeed wrong with the vessels that were neither battleships nor cruisers.

But for the cause we have to go back,  to Nelson . Now Nelson was a superb Commander but the real advantage he had over the French and Spanish fleets was the speed with which British gunners could fire their  cannon, in many cases three cannon shots to just one in reply from the enemy.  From 1805 onwards the Royal Navy was dominated by a mindset that emphasised rapidity of fire. Vice Admiral Stanley Colville, at the Battle of Jutland instructed that, "rapid and sustained fire...is essential. The danger of the charges being ignited is to be disregarded.” To manage rapid fire the door on Battlecruisers between the turret and the magazine was kept open and propellant charges were also stacked in the the turret rather than have firing delayed while  they were  carried in after each salvo . However to achieve the 32 knots also required by a Battlecruiser, the armour on the turrets was light.” Speed is armour” said First Sea Lord Jackie Fisher  as justification. This rapidity of fire continued as a naval tactic into the Second World War.

On May 22nd 1941  the mighty German Battleship  Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prince Eugene slipped their moorings and sailed north intending to pass through the Denmark Strait and out into the Atlantic to attack convoys bringing vital supplies to Britain. In their way, patrolling the Strait, were the cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk the battleship Prince of Wales and the Battlecruiser H.M.S. Hood . At 42000 tonne HMS Hood was a very large capital ship, the longest built for the Navy and only surpassed  by the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2014.  For close to two decades, the “Mighty Hood” was the world’s largest, fastest, and most famous warship. It was known as the Pride of the British navy. However by 1939 she was long in the tooth and due a massive refit to include much more armour . However this had been postponed with the onset of war.  At 5.55 a.m. on May 24th The British ships were 14 miles from  the German ships when Bismarck opened fire. Salvos of massive 15 inch shells, which weighed 2,000 lbs travelled at 2,500 feet per second and had a range of 19 miles, were exchanged and the sound of shellfire was easy heard by the residents  in Reykjarvik ,258 kms away . They thought it was a huge thunderstorm .  After just 3 minutes of battle at 05.58  a shell from the 5th salvo fired  from Bismarck penetrated the aft turret on the Hood and just like the ones at Jutland the battlecruiser blew herself apart sinking in less than 4 minutes. 1,415 men perished and just three survived. The Board of Enquiry found that the probable cause was a shell entering the magazine , probably aided by  an open door  from the turret which was common practise in combat.  This was confirmed years later when the wreck of the Hood was discovered in 2001.  Three days later on May 27th Bismarck was sunk  by the battleship King George V after being crippled by aircraft flown from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal the night before. 2,000 German seaman lost their lives.

 As an aside when I joined The Nautical College Pangbourne at 13, my seat in the chapel on Sundays was for a time alongside a plaque put there by the family of Nigel Norrington Adams R.N.R. who was at Pangbourne 1936-40 and as an Acting Midshipman went down with the Hood aged 18 years 1 month.

Bismarck’s war had lasted just 5 days and The Tirpitz only fired a few salvoes in anger   in her entire war before being sunk by 617 and 9 Squadron Lancasters in November 1944.  It is interesting to ponder that had Hitler backed Admiral Dontiz instead of Admiral Raeder and for the same cost built 100 more submarines instead of the Tirpitz and Bismarck the course of the war could have been very different. It is more than likely that by 1941 the extra U boats would have bought Britain to it’s knees and possibly suing for peace.

and finally

Most quotes I do on amusing cabin crew announcements come from the USA so I’m delighted to report that humour is alive and well  in the UK and I actually heard this on my British Airways flight last week.

The ground power unit had failed at Gatwick so the aircraft was getting very hot as  we all waited on board  to taxi out. The captain came on and apologised for the heat and advised that once he had clearance to start the engines the internal APU would kick in and start to cool the cabin. After a few more minutes  the engines started and a stewardess asked passengers to check that their air vents were open to allow the cool air to flow. As passengers started to raise their arms to check if theirs was open, a crew member at the back said on the intercom  “will all passengers that had it last night kindly raise their hands “.

On On the Hash.

 

THE TALE FROM 2804

 

I was sorry to miss Peter’s Crit last week on Buggery having spent my youth at an all boys  Public  School , that’s where us posh people go to school Trevor !!, 

So welcome to The Dambusters Run

The Hares Today on Run 2804

Barney Bruce:  Runs: 569      Hares:70      Av:8

Jim Adair: Runs:361       Hares:33      Av: 11

Laurie Mitchell: Runs: 723       Hares: 86     Av.8

Number of runners: 21

Returning Hashers: Ray Bolger, Stu Law

Guests:Alan Harrison, Paul Maynard Jeff Bryant

A few RAF stories for the Dambusters Run :

How can you tell if someone is ex RAF.  Don’t worry it’s the first thing he’ll tell you.

The Queen is inspecting 3 armed forces personnel, 1 from each of her fighting forces.She asks each one what they would do if they woke up and found a deadly camel spider in their tent on operations?The squaddie says, “I’d reach over, grab my bayonet and stab it to death!” The matelot says, “I’d reach over, grab my boot and batter it to death !” The airman says, “I’d reach over, pick up my phone, call reception and ask……..Who the hell has put a tent up in my hotel suite?”

A new Club for ex Servicemen has opened in Central London. It is owned by an ex Royal Naval Petty Officer who won £46 million on the lottery and is using the money to subsidise the drinks. An retired Army guy walks in and orders a pint of bitter.  “That will be £1 please” says the owner. “ Wow that’s fantastically cheap for the middle of London”  says the Army guy. “Tell me who are those two fellows down at the other end of the bar who are not drinking ?” “ Oh “ says the owner “ that’s Barney Bruce and Jim Adair,  retired RAF types . They’re waiting for Happy Hour .”

Things for the good of the Hash?

On Monday May 29th we have the first Sundowners Run. Meet at 1530 hrs and run at 1600 hrs BYO booze and nibbles then a meal at Melanda Beach Bar three fishy choices for the knockdown price of €12. We have 41  coming but if any of you are still in the undecided club please come along and have a fun evening under the stars then run off the hangover the next day like true hashers.

I  will this week source for next week's run and find the paint dye to get the colour that we the Epi hash will . Could I ask that next week you all bring empty milk bottles to the Hash so we can get a good supply . Until  we appoint a Hash Mash ( mashing the flour and the water with the paint dye ) the hares will source flour and mix it with the paint dyed water. It is not an onerous task the run today used just 6 bottles of liquid.

My thanks to Simon Carroll for this next news snippet which continues to show how right we are on The Epi Hash to enjoy a few beers .

Running and walking can cause muscle and joint pain especially in, shall we say, slightly older participants and the normal cure is to take a couple of pain relief tablets. How wrong we were !  A study, led by Dr. Trevor Thompson from the University of Greenwich, and published in The Medical  Journal of Pain, not, I hasten to add, to be confused with the magazine Masochists Anonymous which I know is essential reading for some members of the Hash. You know who you are ! Anyway Dr. Thompson has found that raising your blood alcohol content to the legal limit of .08%, which relates to about 4/5 beers , elevates your pain threshold significantly. This was according to a meta-analysis of 18 different studies looking at the effect of different dosages of beer on subject pain response.Based on the research, Thompson says beer  was actually shown to be more powerful than paracetamol, or any other pain reliever . So Hashers charge your glasses again if you have any nagging twinges or aches or indeed just charge them to ward off future pain.

 

Next Week’s run : Pheasant Farm

 

Hares:  Nick Smith , David Marks and Roger Smith

Chop: Hani

The story of The Dambusters is very well known and most of us will have seen the film of the same name made in 1953 . So many of the royal family wanted to attend the opening that it is still the only film ever to have had 2 royal premiers on successive nights. Amazingly the bouncing bomb was still on the top secret list in 1953.   The bombs shown in what was the original footage of the bomb test drops by a Wellington bomber during the film were altered from cylindrical to round by the Air Ministry lest the Russians copied them . And Barnes Wallis who invented the bouncing bomb also designed the Wellington bomber.

Micky Martin who later was posted to Cyprus for 3 years running the RAF Near East operation and in fact only missed running on the first ever Epi hash run by a month    flew on the raid. He had renamed his P for Peter call sign on his Lancaster to P for Popsie.  RAF slang for a pretty girl .

Other RAF slang expressions entered normal conversation at the end of the war. Gone for a Burton for example which means to go missing or to die. The expression possibly came from the Royal Navy and transferred over when the Royal Naval Air Service merged with the Army Royal Flying Corp to become the RAF in 1918. A Burton related to a Spanish Burton a very complicated system of block and tackle for lifting heavy objects in  17th Century ships . If a deckhand was missing he was probably still trying to figure out how to put it together. More likely it related to a series of advertisements run by the Burton brewing company just before the war showing groups of people with one person clearly missing. In the next picture  he was seen drinking a bottle of Burton beer in a pub with the tag Gone for a Burton. It is not, as many believe, related to Burton the tailors who made the demob suits for ex servicemen at the end of the war. The suits consisted of a jacket, trousers and a waistcoat. Burtons at the time were known by its full name of Montague Burton and the demob suit became know as The Full Monty which also entered everyday usage.

inally it is worth remembering the extraordinary losses experienced by Bomber Command of the 125,000 aircrew that went to war 45% were killed a death rate that surpassed any of the other services in either world war. The average age of the aircrew was just 20 years old.

 

On On the Hash

 

 

THE TALE FROM 2803

Margaret Clap better known as Mother or Maggie Clap, ran a coffee house from 1724 to 1726 in HolbornMiddlesex, a short distance from the City of London. Notable for running a molly house, an inn or tavern primarily frequented by homosexual men, she was also heavily involved in the ensuing legal battles after her premises were raided and shut down. While not much is known about her life, she was an important part of the gay subculture of early 18th-century England. At the time sodomy in England was a crime under the Buggery Act 1533, punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Despite this, particularly in larger cities, private homosexual activity took place. To service these actions there existed locations where men from all classes could find partners or just socialize, called molly houses, "molly" being slang for a gay man at the time. One of the most famous of these was Maggies molly house.

Maggie Clap ran a coffee house that served as a molly house for the underground homosexual community. Her house was popular during the two years of its existence, being well known within the homosexual community. She cared for her customers, and catered especially to the homosexual men who frequented it. She was known to have provided "beds in every room of the house" and commonly had "thirty or forty of such Kind of Chaps every Night, but more especially on Sunday Nights." Maggie was present during the vast majority of the molly house's operational hours, apparently only leaving to run across the street to a local tavern, to buy drinks for her customers. Because Clap had to leave the premises to retrieve alcohol to serve to her customers, it is likely that the molly house was hosted in her own private residence. Unlike other molly houses, it was not a brothel. Clap's intentions may have been based more upon pleasure than profit, judging by her goodwill towards her customers. For example, one man lodged at her house for two years and she later provided false testimony to get a man acquitted of sodomy charges. Her actions during the charges later laid against her and many of the homosexual community showed her loyalty to her customers.

In February 1726, Margaret Clap's molly house was raided by the police; around 40 of its occupants were arrested. Primarily targeted by the Society for the Reformation of Manners, the house had been under surveillance for two years. The surveillance seems to have been instigated by a collection of vengeful mollies-turned-informants. A man named Mark Patridge was outed by his lover and was then turned as an informant for the police. He led policemen into molly houses, introducing each of them as his "husband" so that they could investigate more thoroughly. Patridge was not tried in court for sodomy. Another notable informant was Thomas Newton, who frequently used entrapment to allow constables to arrest men in the act of instigating sodomy. Of the 40 arrested 35 received lengthy prison terms and 5 were hanged at Tyburn.

 

 

 THE TALE FROM 2802

Anything for the good of the Hash?

Firstly Run 2804 on May 16th . On May16th 1943 19 Lancasters took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to bomb three dams in the Ruhr Valley . The crews of those aircraft became known as The Dambusters. So the May 16th run is now the Dambusters Run. We shall have some fun on the run with this theme and again in the evening  at the Chop.

On May 29th we have the first Sundowners Run. My idea is a simple one, hashers and their friends and family meet up, take some exercise , have a few cocktails, watch the sun start to set and then head off for a meal or have it catered at the beach. Details are on the website and we need numbers saspo as Makis will open his restaurant for us and serve a fish supper if there are sufficient people . I will send an e mail out tomorrow and please reply to it.

When I became On Pres I asked what we gave the outgoing On Pres. who has served the Hash for a year or more. Nothing I was told . Well I have changed that and am delighted on behalf of you all to give this small token of our thanks to George for his 14 months as On Pres . He stepped up when no one else would take the job and has kept us royally entertained with his jokes each week as well as running the Hash. George

Now here is something of essential interest to Epi hashers.

Dr. Ron Maughan is visiting Professor at St. Andrews Uni and has completed a paper on the most  effective rehydration after exercise. For years it has been known that exercise in the heat  means the runner or walker will lose 2-3litres of body fluid an hour. To replace it is essential and the recommendation has always been water  . Ron’s research, however, concludes that this merely stimulates urine production and so little fluid is replaced. He instead tested drinks that contained sodium and potassium to slow urine loss and increase rehydration. His final recommendation gentlemen of the hash is, after 45-60 mins of exercise, to drink  at least 2 pints of lager style beer with at least 2 large handfuls of well salted nuts. I have E mailed Dr. Ron and invited him to be the honorary Doctor of Rehydration to the Epi hash. Would Peter Hogg also kindly tell the lady on The Happy Valley Hash who complained about Epi Hashers drinking too much beer on their hash that we got it right. 

As the rest of this Crit has taken sometime and I am determined to keep them short so I and of course you can enjoy more beer time. So I am skipping my true story this week as it was a long one, not tall  long. Instead I will use the second string to my bow and talk about words and expressions that have come from the Navy and now are in everyday usage.

 

The word today is hijack , to have someone else take control by use of force. With my airline hat on whilst aircraft hijacking started in 1960, the 1976 hijacking of an Air France jet to Entebbe set the tone for 2 decades of hijacks that culminated in the events of 9/11 . Where does the word come from ? Well, sailors on shore leave in American ports would be looking for ladies of the night after months at sea.  Said ladies would hail them from their upstairs window leaning out to show their wares and calling out the nickname for sailors Hi Jack, Jack Tar. Up the stairs he would eagerly go and on the darkened landing would be whacked on the head, relieved of his pay and  sold  on to another ship in need of extra hands.  He had been well and truly  hijacked .        

And Finally

Next week we will test laying a trail with dyed flour under the tutelage of Jim Burke who will provide a brief demonstration at the start of the run. But don’t worry everything stays the same guys, no fish hooks, no Geordie squares none of the strange signs from the other hashes just our style trail with flour instead of trash. Dyed flour is simple to make, easier to lay, disappears in days not years ,and as importantly  isn’t a blight on the landscape . However the big reason for the switch is that shredder technology has long ago  moved past us. The new machines, one of which we would now need to buy, reduce paper to confetti not trash, so the move is also inevitable.

On On!

 

 

 

 

THE TALE FROM 2081

63rd (Royal Naval) Division and Major General Cameron Shute

The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
"I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about".

But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.

And certain responsible critics
                                   Made haste to reply to his words
                                   Observing that his staff advisors
                                   Consisted entirely of turds.

                                   For shit may be shot at odd corners
                                   And paper supplied there to suit,
                                   But a shit would be shot without mourners
                                   If somebody shot that shit Shute

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THE TALE FROM 2800

This true story today dates back to 1910 when the British Royal Navy really did rule the waves and HMS Dreadnought was the most powerful ship afloat. However, she, her officers and crew and indeed the whole Royal Navy was soon to be reduced to a laughing stock by one man and a few of his friends.

He was Herbert De Vere Cole an inveterate prankster from his Cambridge University days.

 He and a few friends decided to have some fun with the Navy and Cole organised for an accomplice to send a telegram to HMS Dreadnought which was then moored in Portland Harbour.  The message said that the ship must be immediately  prepared for the visit of a group including The  Prince of Abyssinia one Prince Musaka and was purportedly signed by Foreign Office Under-secretary Sir Charles Harding.  Cole with his entourage then went to London's Paddington station where Cole claimed that he was "Herbert Chumlee" of the Foreign Office and demanded a special carriage to Weymouth; the stationmaster faced with a foreign office official and a group of foreigners in  flowing robes  arranged a VIP coach to be added post haste to the train to Weymouth  .

On the train De Vere Cole changed into his disguise as The Prince of Abyssinia and so, on  February 7, 1910 the Prince Musaka  and his entourage were received with full ceremonial pomp on the deck of the H.M.S. Dreadnought. The Abyssinian party acknowledged the greeting with bows as they shuffled onto the ship, and for the next forty minutes the Commander gave them a full guided tour of the vessel. The Abyssinians paused at each new marvel while murmuring the appreciative phrase "Bunga, Bunga!" in their supposed native tongue.  After bestowing fake Abyssinian medals on many of the ships officers, the royal visitors departed as "God Save the King!" played in the background.

The next day the Navy was mortified to learn that the party they had escorted around the warship had not been Abyssinian dignitaries at all. Instead it had been a group of young,  pranksters. .

By February 12 the British newspapers were full of the story of the stunt. "Bunga Bungle!"  trumpeted the National press. For a few days the Navy was the laughingstock of Britain. Sailors were greeted with cries of "Bunga, Bunga" wherever they went. The Times newspaper even suggested that the Navy should change the name of Dreadnought  to the Abyssinian.  Humiliated and furious, the Navy sent the warship out to sea until the episode blew over. It wanted to bring formal charges against the pranksters, but dropped the idea for fear that it would simply attract more publicity to the case.

In 1915 Dreadnought became the only Battleship ever to sink an enemy submarine. One of the congratulatory  telegrams received on board read Bunga Bunga signed Prince Musaka .