What happens on a Hash?

Hashing is a form of non-competitive cross-country running with the main objective of working up a decent thirst which is why we start the run from a pub car park (There is some element of planning in this madness!).

We meet every Monday evening at 6.45pm at a pub and go for a gentle, or not so gentle run. Afterwards, we head back to the pub for beer, food and the Hash Circle.

Just before the 'Off' the Grand Master calls the hash together in a circle. The Hares usually waffle on a bit about potential hazards on the run, like livestock, narrow roads, unfriendly landowners and other such things. The Hares then indicate the general direction for the start of the run. After that the Pack set off looking for the first signs of the trail.

The Hares will have laid the trail the previous day, or in the case of really fit Hares (a very rare beast) they will set off before the pack (a 'live' Hare) and hoped not to get caught. The idea is to lay a trail that should take about 1 hour to run by the pack therefore about 4-5 miles long on average. See How to lay a Hash.

If you don't run that far / fast DO NOT PANIC. The Hares, being cunning beasts, have laid a trail that keeps the pack together. Those hashers that are fit or youthful (known as Front Running Bastards) will obviously leg-it off much faster than the sedate pace of the elderly, infirm or just plain lazy hashers who will dawdle along. Therefore decoy or false trails (falsies) are used that are found by the FRBs, who then have to retrace their steps to find the true trail, allowing the laggards to catch up and at multiple places you can opt out of a long loop and follow the shortcut thus becoming a SCB or you can walk the whole route on the short trail. 

The Hash Run itself is a trail marked with flour. The sign of a good trail is where we all meet at the rendezvous points and at the end within about 5 minutes or so of each other.  While the run is in progress a very important hash person will be watching out for hashers breaking the hash rules.
 This is the Religious Adviser (RA) - he who will punish the miscreants later.

The end is always back at the pub where a cool-down period is observed, assisted by thirst quenching beer, lager, ale and softies for the girlies (Not necessarily the Harrietts !)

Here the Circle is called and the RA is given centre stage He/She will pontificate about the behaviour of the pack during the run and the ritual of awarding drinks known as Down-Down's to the Hares is conducted. The RA will also give a sermon often scattering inappropriate metaphors which usually fall upon deaf ears or at least are as much use as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest, They will however at intervals award down-downs for other deserving hashers like those celebrating a birthday or anniversary etc and All those guilty of a hash crime are also given a Down-Down

The Down-Down - The Sinner must consume the drink provided in the time it takes to sing a little ditty that insinuates that they have doubtful parentage. At the end of the song the Sinner must show an empty glass - if necessary - by tipping it over their heads.

The Winchester Hash is a 'family' Hash ie suitable for all ages in both the routes laid and the general behaviour of the Hashers. Current hashers ages range from 6 to well over 70 and we believe that everyone should do as much or as little as they want, short-cutters and the totally idle are well catered for.
For more about Hashing, its rules (are there any?) , customs and history look on the FAQ Page

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HASH COMMANDMENTS

  1. The first rule is: there are no rules.
  2. The Religious Advisor is always right.
  3. When the R.A. is wrong, Rule 2 applies. 
  4. No PDA, no new shoes, no mobiles, no hats in the circle.
  5. No shortcutting (unless you are unobserved).
  6. No training.
  7. The rules are not comprehensive and therefore Rule 8 applies .
  8. The R.A. can add, delete, or change any rule at anytime. etc,etc

Guidelines

  • There are NO rules in hashing
  • The W word is not to be used on the run (work)
  • Sex on the hash is banned (no holding hands)
  • Crop busting is really banned (stay on the paths)
  • Don't wear a hat in the circle
  • No short cutting (unless you won't get seen)
  • Always follow the On-On
  • Hashers exhibiting signs of competitiveness will be punished.
  • No mobiles on the Hash

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The History of Hashing

The hunting of deer, hares & foxes using hounds or beagles goes far back into British history. As does the game of hare & hounds or cross-country racing, when two runners (the 'hares') layed a paper trail which was followed by their fellow runners (the 'hounds'). It was known as "hare & hounds", "paper hunting", "paper-chaseing", "coursing", "fox-hunting", "beagling", "cross-country running" or "harriers".

  • 1867 - Thames Hares & Hounds, Roehampton, west of London, first run.
  • 1898 - There was a cross-country race between England & France in Paris.
  • 1903 - The first cross-country championship was held in Glasgow. The participants were from the many amateur athletic clubs called "harriers", which had grown up throughout the United Kingdom.

With the arrival of other sports as cricket and rugby, the game became less popular. It was revitalized in Malaya in the 1920's. The British in Malaya had developed an expensive government organization to administer the colonies or protectorates. These civil servants along with the British citizens in other occupations and businesses, produced large local expatriate communities where organized forms of ' hashing' slowly grew in popularity.

  • 1913 - The Ipoh tin fields in Malaya started; here 'harrier' clubs were formed.
  • 1923 - In Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, there took place a 'harrier' paper chase on horseback .
  • 1927 - A Harriers was formed in Kuala Lumpur with men and women runners. It ended in 1932.
  • 1932 - A Hash was started in Jahore Bahru.
  • 1934/35 - A Hash was started in Malacca"G" Gispert ran in the Malacca Hash, and Horse Thompson, one of the founding joint masters of the first HHH in Kuala Lumpur in 1938, ran with the Jahore Bahru Hash.
  • 1938 (December) The Kuala Lumpur Hash House Harriers was started by "G" Gispert, and unlike other clubs, continued, even surviving World War II. Gispert, with many of his expatriate friends, was a member of the Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur . This club had a Selangor Club Chambers which was the living quarters of single members (including married men without their wives) with a dining room or mess . This mess although it had quite good food, was referred to jokingly or mockingly as the "Hash House". With this in mind "G" named the new running club the "Hash House Harriers" or "HHH". A phrase which might have contributed to its continuing popularity.

    Some founding runners were: "G" Gispert, organizer ; Frederick "Horse" Thomson & Cecil Lee, as Joint Masters; some other runners were Eric Gavin, Morris Edgar, and John Barrett. Ronald "Torch" Bennett, on leave at the time of the first run, joined shortly afterward as On Sec. 

    These first runs of the Hash House Harriers:

    • had all male runners
    • ran on Friday
    • had an average turnout of 12
    • set a paper trail
    • drank shandies of beer & ginger beer
    • ran circular & straightish trails
    • had stencilled weekly circulars
  • 1941 (August) - 100th run of the HHH
  • 1941 (December) - run number 117 of the HHH was the last till 1946; this was two weeks after the Japanese invasion
  • 1946 (August) - Torch Bennett re-started HHH on a Monday, with many of the earlier runners.
    "G" Gispert was the only one of the founding runners killed in World War II.
  • 1947 (April) - Bordighera HHH, Italy, formed; second in world & first in Europe. Founder Gus Mackie had run with the KL HHH; closed in 1960's ,& revived in 1984.
  • 1948 (September) - 100th post-war run of HHH with Horse Thompson as co-hare.
  • 1962 (February) - Singapore became the third Hash House Harriers in the world
  • 1963 (February) - Brunei HHH formed
  • 1963 (May) - Kuching HHH formed
  • 1964 (June) - Jesselton HHH formed (1967 renamed Kota Kinabalu HHH or K2H3)
  • 1965 (January) - Ipoh HHH formed
  • 1965 (June) - Penang HHH formed
  • 1966 (March) - 1000th run for the KL HHH; this resulted in the first interclub event (by which time there were 9 other HHH clubs)
  • 1966 (November) - Brunei Hen House Harriers formed, the first women's Hash, but in 1968, the Ipoh Hash House Harriettes introduced the word "Harriettes" into the English language
  • 1967 (August) - Sydney HHH formed - Australia's first HHH
  • 1967 (August) - Hobart HHH formed - Australia's second HHH
  • 1971 - first HHH in United States, the Fort Eustis HHH
  • 1973 - 1500th KL HHH run (by which time there were 35 other HHH clubs )
  • 1977 - there were about 90 HHH clubs in 35 countries
  • 1977 (February) - New Zealand Nash Hash, organized by Wellington HHH at Lake Taupo. The first national event and first non- Malaysian based HHH event.
  • 1978 (April) - First InterHash held in Hong Kong (over 800 attended)
  • 1980 (April) - InterHash in Kuala Lumpur (1,200 attended)
  • 1982 (October) - InterHash held in Jakarta (1,190 attended)
  • 1982 (November) - 2000th run of the KL HHH
  • 1984 (April) - InterHash held in Sydney . (1,654 attended). Horse Thomson was present.
    There were about 380 clubs in 76 countries.
  • 1986 (March) - InterHash held in Pattaya Beach, Thailand . Horse Thomson was present (2,090 attended)
  • 1988 (June) - 50 years of Hashing, Kuala Lumpur. Horse Thompson was present; he was 82.
  • 1988 (July) - InterHash held in Bali. ( 2,450 attended)
  • 1990 - InterHash held in Manila (1,400)
  • 1992 - InterHash held at Phuket, Thailand (2,500 attended)
  • 1994 - InterHash held at Rotorua, New Zealand (3,650 attended)
    - about 1,100 clubs in 157 countries
  • 1996 - InterHash held at Limassol, Cyprus (3,261 attended)
  • 1997 - about 1,450 clubs in 184 countries
  • 1998 - InterHash held in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate 60 years of Hashing.
  • 2000 - InterHash held in Hobart, Australia (2,800-3000 attended)
  • 2002 - Interhash held in
  • 2004 - Interhash held in Cardiff , Wales
  • 2006 - Interhash held in Perth , Australia
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