Is it a coincidence that many a discerning hare chooses a hash venue with links to the golden age of steam? In the last year alone: The Left Luggage Room, Station East, Platform 2, The Waiting Room and Bar Loco (okay maybe not that one) and maintaining the tradition on Wednesday evening the hashers gathered in The Railway Tavern.So it was all on board the 7:07 (Delayed) from Rowlands Gill stopping at Shiggy Puddle, Muddy Incline and Moist Bottom.
With the hashers choosing to eschew the media image of your typical railway enthusiasts, there was not a bobble hat, anorak or pair of thick-rimmed glasses in sight, indeed Pop was still sporting a pair of natty shorts to reveal a fine pair of pistons which would have made the Reverend Wilbert Awdry shed a tear. And so we rolled out of the Railway Tavern into the autumnal gloom with the healthy rolling stock of 13 hashers: some sleek diesel electrics, a Sprinter, a fine looking Pullman, a Flying Scotsman (thanks for showing-up Ion Dick) and a couple of old shunters. Locomotion No. 1578 was on the way!
Maybe not the rural idyll of Betjemans Metropolitan Railway with sepia views of the rural lanes of Buckinghamshire but the beautiful Derwent with soaring kites and views over the valley,pity it was so bleeding dark. With the melancholy sound of evening bells the Hash train was chugging along the turnpike road with G2S (not to be confused with HS2) showing a full head of steam through the quiet streets of Rowlands Gill behind curtains drawn.
Taking the branch line ever on upwards through all points to the rarely explored Sherburn Towers (a backwater which would have had a puzzled Portillo fingering his Bradshaw - oo-err). Then next a whistle-stop visit to the park and all aboard the HMS Venus for piratical japes (Wheres Treasure Chest, Salty Dog & Roger the Cabin Boy when you need them to bolster the storyline?).
And then leaving the garish yellow street lights suddenly we plunge down, down with Counterfit leading the way into the dark tunnel of Sherburn Woods with a mighty puff but would he come out with a tender behind???
With Highfield and Low Spen moment by moment becoming smaller and smaller until they became but a tiny spot of light and then they were gone. The Hash locomotion roared on through the dark a flooded line, shiggy, the wrong sort of leaves, a landslide an escaped panther at Friarside Junction!!! Would anything curtail the Hash Express going full throttle? Well just The Pimp emptying his boiler tubes (not in the station), and InnContinence right up the junction with his directions at the holding check.
Finally leaving the branch line for the mainline and hurtling down the Sherburn Woods Incline, back towards The Gill but, wait were losing steam, the wheels screech to a halt. An abandoned station? A dark siding? No, a bridge and a beer stop! And an opportunity for Slippery to retrieve an abandoned scooter from the burn and for Cinderella to show her prowess at hops, flips and backslides whilst avoiding the attentions of Brewdog chewing at the wheels.
Time to refill the boiler and cross-examine Tom for a possible Hash name. Tom, a Vlogger and a YouTuber on the subject of Serial Killers!!! Well thats going to be difficult!
Beers consumed, it was back on board for (Serial) Murder on the Rowlands Gill Express? Then back to the Railway Tavern -form a turntable. Charges delivered by our new RA (The Pimp) and a naming Tom now Hash name The Geordie Ripper (or Gripper to his friends). A cracking evening.
Well done Chaffing for recceing a fine trail and the hashers for turning out on a cold dark night. Finally, the train wheels wont turn without lubricant and the w*lking train wouldnt have rolled at all without our Lubric*nt. Well done Lubri the solitary wa*ker! Anyone for a pint of porter?
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