"Hashing - Finally a practical use for golf courses."

It has been known for new comers, or virgins as we call them, to be a trifle confused (well why else would you be here) so I will try to explain how all this hashing stuff works is supposed to work at Hursley. A circle is a gathering of harriers and harriettes called together because someone wants to say something important - yes, I know - and it's signalled by a few shouts of "Form a Circle" and it means that the hash has begun. photo of the hareThe circle will be called at about 11 o'clock in the designated pub car park to welcome any virgins to the pack, and to introduce the hares, one of whom will try to explain the markings which will have been artistically displayed on the ground inside the circle, using self-raising flour. These markings can be just about anything, but usually follow a few "Hursley" conventions viz: the blob, the line-out, the check, the regroup and the fish hook. They may also be beer stops, field checks, one-blob-checks, and occasionally, Portia cheques. The purpose of all these marks is not solely to confuse you, it also enables the hares to keep the pack together by hindering the faster runners or FRB's, as they are affectionately called, thereby allowing the rest of us to catch up. The trail will be about five or six miles long and it will have blobs of flour every so often at the side of the path, the polite thing, when you see one of these, is to shout "On, on" so that hashers behind you can carry on chatting without worrying that they're on the wrong path. It's when paths diverge that things get interesting, you might see a check, so, if you are first on the scene the right thing to do is shout "Checking" and choose a path to investigate, you need to find three blobs to be sure that you are on trail. Other hashers following might call out "Are you?" to which you reply "Looking" if you haven't found any flour yet; or "One" or "Two" if you have. A line-out will mean you've been on a false trail and you need to go back to the check. Once the on has been called, the hare will put an arrow to show late comers the right way. It might be that there is a short cut for knackered FRB's, in which case the hare will put two arrows one with an "L" by it and the other with an "S" or even "M" for medium. A fish hook, often found at the top of a hill or at the end of a long straight path, will have a number by it meaning that the first -however many it is- to reach the fish hook must turn round and run to the back of the pack before going on to find the next check, for some reason this often causes dismay and occasionally verbal abuse will be directed towards the hares. A regroup or holding check means everyone waits for the short-cutters and walkers and any other stragglers before checking out the trail. Eventually the hares will confirm, often to their surprise, that every one has found their way back to the On-Inn, and after a quick change in the car park, the serious business of hashing can begin, we are, after all, a drinking club. You then pay your respects to Hash-Cash, currently £1 (although your first run is absolutely free) and socialise until the R.A. calls for another circle. At this point you discover how easily embarrassed you are to be seen in public with those people, because the down-downs will now commence. Any indiscretion you may have let slip, any sin you might have committed, any faux pas at all will have been duly noted by our sensitive R.A. (religious adviser) and will probably be mentioned in the circle. Anyway, hares are thanked, beer is drunk, songs are sung, any-other-business is dealt with and the circle is closed for another week. Great fun. Really...You probably need to be there.