Date = 11th February 2017
Run Number = 1720
Venues = The Brockley Barge, Talbot, London Beer Dispensary & the Brockley Brewery
Location = Brockley
Beer = Loads!
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 82 but a few moved around!
Virgins = 0
Visitors = F.U.K Full Moon, M*A*S*H, SLasH, London H3, Isle of Wight, Worthy Winchester, Milton Keynes to name a few!
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 82+
Membership = Paying our respects to the Hash House Harriers founding Father.
It came to be that the 75th anniversary of the death of Alberto, Stephano, Ignatius Gispert would fall on Saturday 11th February 2017, also being a Full Moon that weekend there was a slight rearrangement the F.U.K Full Moon H3 Run calendar to set a Trail with Herts H3.
A good turnout was expected with M*A*S*H, SLasH & other London Hashes backing this memorial Trail, which would also be a celebration of ASI Gispert's life & perhaps some of the ideals he stood for. The Isle of Wight, Milton Keynes, The Very Worthy Winchester & many others were represented here today, all while other Hashes around the UK held their own Memorial Trails. [From this point onward his Hash name of 'G' will be used. - Ed] It was great to see that a few, like Tablewhine & Ryde had rummage through their Hash draws & were wearing different old Hash Garments with G’s image upon them this morning.
The Brockley Barge would have would have been known to G as the Breakspears’ Arms when it was a Courage Pub run by the Penseney family until the 1938, The Brockley Barge derives its name from the fact that it sat by the Grand Surrey Canal which ran from what later became known as the Surrey Commercial Docks. The canal opened to the Old Kent Road in 1807, to Camberwell in 1810, & to Peckham in 1826. The 9 mile canal was not a success & was eventually filled in to have the railway placed upon its route.
TC had ventured out this morning, forgoing watching the Gooners on TV & getting
the Train up with My Lil’, they were not alone in being impressed by the show of
‘old faces’ who had made the effort, it was defiantly going to be a great day.
It was good to see Arseover & Daisy from Milton Keynes were able to make it to a
joint Run with Herts on the correct day & not prematurely
cuming coming a
day early like last time.
Poor Sod, Cooperman, Flossing & Mongrel travelled up from the
Isle of Wight would also help to make the day appear to fly by.
The Hare arrived back from setting the trail about 25 minutes to Noon, fortunately Windsock was at the Bar & purchased Mr X a pint. Now he met up with Smartarse, who was going to be the other Hare this morning, but unfortunately he didn’t arrive until it was too late, engineering works meant a Replacement Bus Service put pay to that & he instead had to make do at the Bar!
Mr X told Mr Arse that the original Trail had run in to a problem, a slight change of plan that morning due to the intended entry gates to the Ladywell end of the Cemetery being padlocked, which wasn't the case on the first reconnoitre! This also forced him to retrace that part of the Trail kicking out his freshly set markings & change things.
Something that did happen during setting the Trail was that while marking things out in the light snow flurry, the Hare received a message from Paxo to inform him that the Ware contingent couldn’t make it as they could not get off the top of Tower Hill in Ware because of the Snow. [It’s a running joke in Herts from a Train in Bishops Stortford that two of the Herts gang took two & a half hour to get there, & four to get home, in the snow one winter, yet there were the Ware crew who watched the local bus service go by the end of the road they live on, but still claimed that they were snowed in at such an altitude! – Ed]
It came as no surprise for the Hare to find that most of the Ware contingent had managed to get off of Mount Ware in Hertfordshire. Pebbledash was beside herself as she found out that Gispert’s name is actually pronounced as Jisspert, yes she was in full ‘Carry On mode’ with her normal euphemisms surfacing from under the school girl giggles & outright guffawing.
By Noon the Brockley Barge was pretty busy & buzzing with the large Pack assembling. At Windsock, Tops & Panda’s table the Subs were being collected, it was at this point that Windsock realized that there were not going to be enough F.U.K Full moon Trashes to go around. London’s ‘On Paper’ faired a lot better as they seemed to have a lot more copies at hand.
Mr X's voice wasn't at its best, so Windsock's infamous bellow of "Ten minutes!" was in order stir the Hash & give them the proposed time to circle up! More bellowing announcements were needed from Mr Sock as Hash bags were to be placed in the corner before the staff placed them in the cellar. This would take at least 15 minutes of drinking up time before the off.
With a lot of old faces turning out the atmosphere was one of warm friendship & the Pack would need this when they stepped outside in to the relative cold of the overcast morning, at least the snow had ceased before the off.
Spare Rib’s initial plan didn’t quite come to fruition as he wanted at first, he wanted Mr X to stand beside one Harriette who was suffering from a hangover & yell in her ear, but Mr X wanted to save his voice for later on. Never Fear Dear reader! As Windsock was near to her & he just had to ask a question, & that question was “How would you like me finger in your eye?” which instigated nearly all of the Pack to join in the singing & dancing, there were some reserved Hashers among the Hash like Sloppy Seconds who stood this one out!
GM’s were summoned forth, Tops welcomed the Pack to the Full Moon Run Number 389, while Ewok was asked to “Stand up!” as she did the same for Herts 1720, Last Tango [Yes she was there on time! – Ed] announcing London clocking up 2339 & there were other murmurings in the background that slips the Scribes mind. There was also mention of a City Hasher, Penchant, being present but he remained camouflaged in amongst the crowd.
Mr X conducted his chalk talk, mentioning it was a Trail for everyone, with the special stops at G's Birth Place marked with a BP, two Pub stops – another one that G would have known, the second a regroup for the options of a Long Trail & Short Cut to assemble out of the chilly day, all before going around to the Gispert Family Memorial near the end of the Hash, then after this the Trail would lead right by the Brockley Brewery! And if in passing, anyone just happened to lean on the double wooden doors they could pop in for a quick one, or two, instead of waiting at what would be a long queue back at the Barge if we all arrived at once.
With the announcements finished, the Hare asked for anyone near to the pelican crossing to press the button, the Pack were stunned as no sooner had a Hash pinkie pressed the button that the lights almost immediately turned red to stop the traffic!
Away by the small parade of shops opposite the Brockley Barge & the numbers of the Pack drew some surprised looks from the on-looking civilians. The Trail turned on to eastward on to Harefield Road lead up the junction with Wickham Road there the first CHK was found, either side was searched before "On!" was called straight over to the continuation of Harefield.
It was at this point when some blatant hints from Tablewhine alerted Mr X to the fact that Cooperman was sat on the bus that pulled up right beside them, even Poor Sod didn’t take the Bus but it’s the advantages of having a bus pass no doubt or a desperate need to have a Down-Down? The Hare beckoned for Cooperman to alight there.
The reason for getting Cooperman off being that at the next crossroads, by a bright red pillar-box the BP stop was found. Plenty of pictures taken with the blue door of No. 80 Breakspears' Road in the background, many said that there should be a Blue Plaque there? [We'll have to work on that! - Ed]
Chi-Su, as LH3 Edit-Hare, was quick to ask the Herts Scribe if LH3 could ‘half inch’ the Herts Run report, of course they could & it will be emailed on to them, no doubt it will pad out the LH3’s On! Paper! Out like a Victorian Penny Dreadful!
Obviously this old Victorian building is now divided in to flats, as there were 4 separate doorbells by the front door. Mr X tried to encourage Titanic DH to go & press them just before the Pack ran off, but no one wanted to play ‘Knock-down Ginger’!
Things couldn’t have been that easy for the residents of Breakspears Road during World War II but somehow they managed to survive this:
SE4 Lewisham V1 Brockley Junction Breakspeare Road/Harefield Road NE quadrant - 8 Deaths 06/07/1944 14:34
It is reported that "1-77 & 79 Breaksperes Road Severely damage 88-130/81-91/60-86/61-79/93-147 Breakspeares Road Damaged 29-59/42-58 Breakspeares Road slight damaged St Peter Church Hall 87-97Cranfield Road slight damaged 37-63/63-82 Wickham Road slightly damaged 40-110 25-79 Tressillian Road Slightly damaged 2-16-1-13 Tressillian Crescent Slightly damaged 1-11 /2-16 Drake Road Slightly damaged.
The adjacent Wickham Road took a direct hit from a V2 had 9 deaths on 11/03/1945 20:04 - 8 houses demolished and 70 severely damaged in Wickham Road, and Brockley Road. 4 houses demolished 20 severe damaged in Wickham gardens 100 houses slight damage in Breakspears and Harefield rds 60 houses slight damage in Cranfield Road 3 shops and 4 houses slight damage. – This explains why there are groups of 1950 & 60’s builds, which starkly break up the continuity of the majority of Victorian Homes, these were constructed upon the bombed out wasteland, like the home that Sloppy Seconds lived in as a kid.
From G’s birthplace the Trail continued northward, with the walkers being advised to follow Smartarse & those who wanting to do a bit more of the Trail to stick with the marked Short Cut straight up Breakspears Road.
The Keenies were led off to the west on Cranfield Road for to come around by St Peter’s Church & back on to Wickham Road, then once over the Railway bridge there was a turn to the west once again to run a short way down Geoffrey Road.
A CHK was found at the start of an uncapped byway of Wickham Mews. This ancient route had many things to see along the way, many of the garages for the homes that back on to it on either side have been painted with various imaged, from birds like pigeons & woodpeckers, to bees & then strange cartoon like characters. Some of these outbuildings were still working garages, though the old coach by one looked as if it hadn’t been moved for 20 odd years.
Meanwhile back with the SCBs on Breakspears Road Fergus & Digger had spotted an old lavatory pan on the opposite side, of course these two couldn’t resist going over to the old bathroom sitting outside of the Victorian property being renovated, like so many around this area undergoing a ‘re-Gentrification’! Fergus posed siting on the far from pristine throne, while Digger handed him a sheet of toilet paper for a photo shoot. Flushed with his success, [Yes I know! – Ed] Fergus moved on with the rest!
The next CHK on the looping Trail was found by the crossing of Ashby Road, it didn't take much to work out that the Trail continued on the next section of the mews, near the end of this a classic car underneath a tarpaulin [Looked like a Morris Minor hidden beneath. - Ed] was spotted by another lock-up garage, before the track came to a finish at the T junction with Manor Mews & a CHK was found there. This gravel track had two options of either northwest or southeast? The latter, shorter option led back to Breakspears Road & the Trail.
The Hare was found here waiting to direct Ewok, Sloppy Seconds & Paxo from Herts as they followed on behind Weeny Schnitzel to cross over to take to Lloyd Villas, a short row of more upmarket homes sheltered from the main A20 by an elevated strip of flower beds & tree line.
The Pack were now led out on to the main road as it leads south eastward down by the small Brockley Market, which is reputedly very good for the food stalls. Next feature on the Trail was an old iconic red (& now disconnected) phone box that has been given a second life as a small book swapping store. It was a magnet to Harriettes like Warbler, & even Deaf Bastard wasn’t averse to a quick thumbing through a bodice ripper [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] stopping to take a peek at the paperbacks & pose for a few pics. [Personally I’d like to have an old red phone-box as a drinks cabinet! – Ed]
The Trail swung around the corner & on to Tyrwhitt Road & there the Hash found the first Beer Stop of the Talbot, though it was hard to see this Pub under the scaffolding that Mr X said was specially put up in honour of Fergus & Digger, it was quickly nick-named the Scaffolder’s Arms!
Efficient Service here, as the Pub had been warned in advance that the Hash were coming, a nice choice of Ales welcomed the Pack, of course with a Rugby Theme there was Brains’ 6 Nations offering, Mr X avoided this & had the American IPA in order not to upset the Rugby Gods for later on!
Ketchup was now going to start on the ‘road to ruin’ as he eyed up a pint of draft Craft Beer, this would not be the last. Herts regrouped at this point, though Whatever She Says & No Eye Deer wanted to keep on moving, for they had other things to see & do in London later on.
The regroup saw a few stand outside which cleared some room at the bar, but there were some who preferred not to stop, warm up & then venture out in the cold, rather that they would carry on with ambling along the Trail, No Eye Deer & Whatever She Says were amongst this group, as were Digger, Fergus & Anonymous. So, Mr X swiftly dispatched his pint & headed off to keep an eye on the Hash ahead of the Hares, leaving Smartarse in charge of prising out the likes of Arseover Tit, Daisy, Poor Sod, Cooperman, Eager Mount, Queen Viper, Omo, Kaff!r & POG from the Talbot.
The Pack would now break up in to various sized groups, which was handy with so many turning out. Mr X caught up with No Eye Deer, Whatever She’s Says, Vicky Vomit, Dr Doolittle & Action Man, the Hare now started to mark the next Short Cut when the Trial reached northern tip of Hilly Fields Park. For Ging Gang Goolie the tarmac paths through the Parks would make pushing the buggy a little easier, even if it is one of the off-road all-terrain variety.
The Keenies took a semicircular route around the western side of the Park, by the red Pillar-box bearing the Crown & VR to indicate its Victorian age, then a trot up to the highest point some 175 feet above sea level to where the tennis courts & pavilion sit, some of the Pack like Action Man, Vicky Vomit & Mongrel followed Mr X up the Short Cut up the central tarmac path over the hill of Hilly Fields.
Hilly Fields came in to existence due to the building & urbanization of the farmland, a committee of influential people was formed, including Octavia Hill, the philanthropist & co-founder of the National Trust, in her article “Space for the People” (1883) Octavia records that when visiting tenants in Deptford one day, she noticed a vase of freshly picked flowers. Having been informed they had been picked on Hilly Fields, she set off to visit the area the same day & as a result became instrumental in raising subscriptions to save Hilly Fields from being built over.
After some lengthy, difficult negotiations the site of the park was purchased improvements were made by the London County Council. The site of the brick works was drained, levelled & marked out as a cricket pitch. A bandstand was also provided. The park was formally opened on 16 May 1896.
Back to the Trail, Mongrel was unimpressed at the market at the summit, there were just two stalls selling plants beside the café. The likes of Tablewhine, Ryde & other Keenies had come around from the tennis courts & were followed the Trail by the trig point & the small circle of standing stones [A miniature faux Avebury Ring - Ed] before they started the descent down the southeastern corner of the hill, the last bit of this was via a flight of rough old tarmac steps. It was at this point that Action Man & Vicky Vomit left the Short cut to peruse those on the Long Trail.
At the highest point the Hare pointed out the trig point out to Mongrel, saying that he was hoping Trigamist would have been present, (of course if he had been there it would have been a different story, then a CHK would have been put in but he wasn't) Mongrel then asked Mr X what a Trig point was? The Hare explained what a Triangulation point is, commonly called a Trig is used by the Ordinance Survey & the like to calculate movements in the local geography, it helps to work out that Hilly Fields is some 175 feet above sea level, & has nothing to do with having three girls on the go at the same time!
The Hare led Mongrel down the main drive from the summit that joins Eastern Road, a strange choice of name for a short road that runs from north to south! The Short Cut was marked on its way down on to Brockley Grove, a long snaking urban road that would lead out on to Brockley Road in the Crofton Park area & only a few yards from the next regroup at the London Beer Dispensary. It was long this bit that Mongrel realized that she was only yards away from her home!!
Meanwhile the Keenies, the likes of Caboose, Ewok, Ryde, Tablewhine, Lemming, Mother, Hedgehog, Rambo, Marxist, Runs 2 Eat would now get to stretch their legs as they made their way out on the longer Trail, even those following on like of Hands On, Lofty & Henry, Please Sir, Deaf Bastard, Pope, Lofty & Henry, Linford, Chi-Su, Tango & Contour it was an extra 40 minutes walking (without any checking) to add the first half an hour of the Trail.
The longer Trail would take to Vicars Hill on a steep suburban street to come around the corner on the T-junction where it joins Ladywell Road, around by the shop fronts & over the railway bridge, then to cross over Hall Road, as it now becomes, to find arrows pointing the way down an alleyway between two brick walls.
Only a short way to the a CHK by a small enclosed triangle of green space that had an erected dome-tent in the one corner by the trees & bushes, it wasn't clear if anyone was habiting this nylon abode, but if they were it would be like an igloo on this chilly afternoon.
The Hare did mention to a couple that there would be a clue in
the CHK points, with an old Full Moon trick [Only used once in a blue moon, in
case you think we use it all the time & get lost - Ed] on this Trail as to which
way to Run, Digger & Fergus would have known that as these were Full Moon CHKs
they would be in the distinctive shape of a ‘Full Moon’ but the important bit
was that the
craíc sorry Crack in the arse pointed in the direction the
Trail would take.
In need of burning off some of the strong Craft Ales, Ketchup & My Lil’ joined the likes of Big in Japan, Bhopal, Freeloader, Little Pair, Hedgehog, Not Out, Qualified Semen, Des Res, Miss Muffett Drop Shorts & more that this addled old grey-matter can recall.
The FRBs now made their way out over the wooden bridge spanning the Ravensbourne River, this would turn southward to run along by the fenced off bank of the water way as it runs from the north end along the east edge of Ladywell Fields Park, this area is a magnet for Artic Pole Walkers as well as most of the local mutts. Originally people used to come here to partake in the ‘medicinal’ waters from the Lady Well, named in honour of the Virgin Mary. The University Hospital Lewisham sits on the east side of the Ravensbourne River.
The Trail passed by a footbridge over to the hospital grounds to the east, but the arrows continued the next crossing point where a CHK was found. There was no Trail back over the Ravensbourne River & instead it followed the river's course as it moved to the southwestern corner of the park.
Picking up Dust once more as the Trail crossed over the wider access bridge to the corner of the Ladywell Arena Athletics Track, fortunately no one was inspired or tempted to do a few circuits of the track, just as G intended there should be no competition on the Hash! But just in case there were any fool hardy amongst the Pack, to keep the Pack away from such nonsense the Trail led up the spiraling corkscrew like ramp to the bridge high over the railway, then down its western counterpart to come down the helter-skelter like descent to the west side of the Park.
A CHK was found by the two options that both headed southeastward on either side of the Ravensbourne River, the Trail was picked up on the southern side of the water, before swapping sides to run along the north bank & follow this as it through a small scrubby area & then under the railway bridge to come in to southwestern & third section of Ladywell Fields divided by the two separate rail lines.
Now the Pack were faced with a climb up the long westward trot up the hill Ravensbourne Road, My Lil’ & Ketchup would need this bit, especially the latter still attempting to run off his strong craft beer. Once across the road to run the short way around on to Ravensbourne Park Crescent arrows pointed to an alley off of Bankhurst Road that leads in to Blythe Hill Fields, a smaller hidden gem of a park that sits at the highest point of the Trail at 230 Feet above Sea Level.
It was on the crown of the hill, where two tarmac paths crossed like top of a hot-cross bun that the 'View' stop was located. Sadly the overcast day didn't allow the normally great panorama overlooking the Thames skyline for the visiting Hashers, but it would have been a place that G would have known for from Victorian times onward it has been a place to ‘Walk out’ & take in the view, as Sloppy Seconds would tell you everyone brought up here has done this.
Away from the Thames ‘non-vista’ the structure of the Crystal Palace TV Transmitter, the 5th tallest structure in London could be seen away through the mist, but the heady heights would now be left behind as the Trail made its way down from the hill top to drop in to the less breezy shelter of urban valley.
It was quite a steep descent around on to the wonderfully name Stillness Road at the end of which the Trail emerged out on to Brockley Rise, a bow shaped side road off of the main Brockley Road. The FRBs were now well on their way to the London Beer Dispensary, just an awkward crossing after passing by an old School frontage.
For Warbler & Sloppy Seconds it was time to reminisce as they would appreciate the Trail for other reasons, that of being brought up around here & both received their education around these parts, which they let slip on the way around the Trail.
Smartarse would sweep up the SBCs down Brockley Grove which now joined the main Trail at the awkward junction to Beer Stop Number 2 - The London Beer Dispensary. To all intents & purposes this Bar has the look of a shop front & the inside of the London Beer Dispensary keeps with that theme, it has a Large Hogshead as part of the Bar & a good selection of Real & Craft Ales. In one side of the two font windows the SLasHers of Bulldozer, Looberty & the two boys were found, chomping away before the first of the SCBs arrived.
Here the arriving Pack were greeted by the smell of Mulled Cider, which was soon overpowered by damp Hasher, an odour that Lofty’s Henry can associate with! Some like Ewok & Pebbledash found that the Mulled Cider, like the damp Hashers, was a bit too spicy for their tastes.
However, the Milk Stout seemed very popular, almost as much as one of the books on the side which kept some in the queue to be served occupied, the Ladybird book of hangovers! Ketchup was now taking on an 8% Craft Beer on offer here, while Mad Cow was made up when he found himself a bottle of Mad Cow Imperial Stout……luckily for everyone’s sake Vicky Vomit wasn’t so fortunate in finding his namesake beer! [Doesn’t Junior drink something like that called Fosters? – Ed]
The regroup in the London Beer Dispensary put a few off of entering as there was quiet a queue with only one member of staff serving [The Hare had warned the owners on two occasions that there would be a fairly large turnout! – Ed] In order for others to move on, Mr X pointed out the Trail was marked to the Gispert Family Memorial, via the main Brockley Cemetery Gates.
Having the Trail marked to the memorial also meant those like Knickers didn’t have to hang around & could make their way there before the crowd & pay their respects in their own way. Fergus, Digger & Anonymous decided to beat the crowd as well.
For some of the Hash who were still in the London Beer Dispensary it seemed that they had a bit of a problem gender issue, as some of the confused Hashers & Harriettes did know which toilet to use, firstly one of the Harriettes burst in on Mr X as he was having a pee, her reasoning being the door had 'Lads' on it & this was misconstrued in a quick glance to have read as Ladies! On the other hand, Smartarse walked in to the Ladies, before turning on his heels & finding the correct door!
For the rest it was a case of enjoying the real Ales until the Hare was ready & armed with what looked like a Pizza Box but the regimental sticker on one side gave away the contents to some. Ryde couldn’t wait for the Hash to move on as she was feeling cold & losing the enthusiasm to run again, she managed to hang it out as Mr X gave her a quick rub on the arms to persuade her to remain just a few more minutes until the Pack moved.
Time came for the Trail to resume & it was straight on to the Cemetery, passing by Crofton Park Railway Station & up Brockley Road, with the Brockley Cemetery railings on the right until they reached the main entrance, the Hash would now make their way back along by the same Brockley Road but on the inside of the railings to the southeastern corner.
At one point Ryde & Tablewhine veered off course but were called back from wandering to the centre for the Brockley side of the Brockley & Lady Well Cemeteries, they joined the rest to where the Catholic burial area is located & Gispert's Family Memorial stands. All respectfully waking the short distance back by the way they had come up the main road, if only the disused gates in that corner could have bene opened, it would have saved some time.
The Pack got to hear that after a couple of reconnoiters by Mr X, how he managed to locate the Family Plot & Memorial with the dedication to 2nd Lieutenant AS Gispert, though on the first attempt both he & Smartarse failed to find it! They actually walked by a few times but due to the dirty grime & green lichens they failed to spot the Family name. However after finding a website called one billion graves that gives precise coordinates, on his second visit it was found. Then over the second & third visits around 4 hours of scrubbing & cleaning left the memorial in a far cleaner & more legible state.
Then Mr X poignantly announced "We normally do this in Remembrance Day in November on Herts Hash to pay our respects to those who had fallen in conflicts!” then he called Herts Hash’s very own Lance Corporal Jones [Paxo] forward to open the Pizza style box to reveal a Royal British Legion Poppy wreath, with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlander Insignia in the centre. The simple dedication on the wreath just read ‘ASI Gispert 1903 -1942 Hash House Harriers’ founding Father’
Mr X continued his speech on how all of the Hashers & Harriettes are his living legacy, which must be far better than any inscription. He asked for the Pack to respect a minutes silence in respect of G, & during this time to take the time to remember all the other Hasher who have also passed on. The silence was impeccably observed.
It was also worth noting the other inscriptions on the Family Memorial, on the opposite side one stated that G's older brother died in 1917 when HM Monitor was sunk off of Tripoli. Below G's dedication is that of his younger brother (the Fourth son) who was assassinated in Manilla in 1951. All of which said something about this family who choose to settle in the UK & what they were prepared to do for their new homeland.
A little later on Wanktlers was proud to inform Mr X that he has now paid homage at both Memorials to G, here & in Singapore, something only a few have done. With proceedings finished, the final leg of the Trail was to head back out of the main entrance wrought iron gates & nip over the Brockley Road, up ahead the still prominent & distinctive spire of St Andrews Church could be seen.
Along the way Mr X pointed out 'Sid's Plumbing Store' with its Victorian style white enameled bathtub sign over the front door, the bit that cheered the Pack up was the fact it has the iconic image of the late great Sid James' face smiling face, a beaming grin that would put a wry smile on any dour face.
Just after the local petrol station the Trail turned off of the Brockley road to run around behind the Brockley Social Club with its slightly faded appearance to take to Foxbury Road, beyond the abandoned bottles & trash to turn on to Harcourt Road where the Pack would find a B within a CHK beside the green wooden double doors to the Brockley Brewery & what a find this was.
In Brewery the Pack caught up with Tops, Windsock, Panda, Banana
Bender & Iron Lady, the Sock would announce that the Circle would be held at
16:30 back in the Brockley Barge. Then it was back to the excellent range of
Ales the Brockley Brewery have on offer, again Ketchup was on the Craft Beers
appearances percentages? – Ed] Excellent service, range of
beers & again it was nice to be able to just chat with no other distractions &
this time in setting amongst the very equipment that creates such a glorious
For Eagermount, Rambo & most of the Pack, the Brockley Brewing Company was the icing on the cake for the Trail, for Panda he reckoned that his pint of Brockley Red was as small part of his ‘One a Day’ [Not sure there is any Broccoli in the Brockley Ale! – Ed]
One of the main topics was the unforeseen effect that G has had on all our lives & the diversity of the Hashers who now share this unique camaraderie, the fact that we would never have met each other or discovered the places & seen such sights as we have without this man starting it all off. Though Mr X wonder about the camaraderie when Weeny Schnitzel came back from the Bar & had forgotten the pint of Red he was supposed to be getting him, this was soon remedied when Weeny immediately realized he had left the Hare’s pint off the round!
Lemming said to Mr X that he detected a slight tone of emotion in his voice when he was talking about G in the cemetery, there probably was as he said he knows what it’s like to have a ‘fallen relative’ buried overseas.
In their own time, with no rush, the Pack drifted back the few yards to the Brockley Barge, where many took the opportunity to eat, plus enjoy the rest of the great range of Ales there. At the Bar a former Little Sai Wan Hasher was surprised to see so many Hashers in the Bar, he was unaware of the fact that G was born right near to where he grew up. All just as Mr X was about to go around handing out a small sheet that had a bit of history about G & how the Hash began, it also included a few photos that some may never have seen before.
Cesar, the manager of the Brockley Barge arrived & was immediately a hit with the Hash, especially the Harriettes, definitely our GM. Mr X thanked him & the staff for stowing the Hash Bags while the Pack were out in the Trail.
This was also a 6 Nations Rugby day, with Ireland taking on Italy in Rome, this was on the TV's in the Barge. Ireland came out as conclusive winners, this led to Fergus, Anonymous & Digger to popping outside & pose in their Ireland Rugby tops, lining up outside the local Italian restaurant with its Italian flag decorating its doorway façade.
When it came around to the Circle, well as the Hash were in a 'spoons & the F.U.K Full Moon who collected the subs wanted to spend the lot it resulted in a table awash with glasses of Ale. Windsock gave another of his infamous bellows to bring the Circle to order in the patio garden? Here a chorus of ‘My Garden Shed’ would warm up the Circle.
Smartarse kicked things off by thanking everyone for making the effort on venturing out on the cold morning. Then he turned his attention to the Hare, thanking Mr X for all the work he had done over a series of weekends, which involved a good few hours cleaning up the Gispert Family memorial! Mr X wasn't out of the centre of the Circle for long & was back in for something spurious.
To try & make a dent in the mass of Down-Downs all the GM's & representatives for the attending Hashes, there were those who had travelled a fair way in the UK, but Blind Doug & Ring Mattress from Edinburgh beat the Isle of Wight by a few hundred miles [Not 500 Miles thought so don’t start singing! – Ed]. Though Strap On from Kampala Uganda & Serial Lubist from Burlington, Vermont USA manage dot out an extra zero upon the mileage, they would all be rewarded later.
Other notable Travelers were Warbler & Deaf Bastard (Very Worthy Winchester) Proxy, Made to Cum & Leglas (OCH3) Drop Shorts (Harvel) Des Res (High Wycombe) Arseover Tit, Daisy & (MKH3) Isle of Wight, but till there was a plethora of Hits left, which meant Smartarse, Mr X, Spare Rib & Digger would have to come up with a lot of digging deep to get through these.
Mr X had an easy to start with, the return of Diggers' Dancing Diggers' DVD, best described as JCB drivers porn, especially the Los Angeles display that have attractive girls in cropped shirts & shades controlling the machines, while the Royal Agricultural Show's driver in white lab coats!
Anonymous was out for his plan to go to watch the Shrimpers (Southend) play Millwall, the New Den is not far away, but this never happened as he stuck with the Hash & then the Rugby in the Pub. The rest of the celebrating Irish contingent were called out for their aiding in Irish/Italian relationships!
Pope was out for, well, being Pope [Say no more! – Ed] Many more were Down-Downs were handed out, too many to recall, it even got to the point when all the Hashers in the Circle wearing hats had a hit to try & make a dent in the table of Hits. [Everyone knows it should be ‘No Hats in the Circle!’ – Ed] Things became a little hazy by this point for the Scribes alcohol flooded synapses to function properly to recall who else received a Down-Down or why.
A few sneaked away from the circle a little early to watch the start of the Wales v England game, which was enthralling for many reasons. In the end the cheer from the English fans was as loud in the Pub as it would have been at the Principality Stadium on the Banks of the Taff in Caerdydd, as with 4 minutes to go & England ran back a sloppy kick up field from Wales & a couple of passes by England & Elliot Daily scored the winning Try!
By this point of the day Ketchup was head down at the table, not that Pebbledash & Ewok had anything to do with it, but the strong craft beers & the bottle of wine in front of him may have been the culprits! My Lil’ was also feeling the effects of the drink, for he failed to spot where the Herts Hash sacred Run-book had bene palmed off [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] to & only realizing its absence from his Hash-bag in the morning. Of course Digger was unfairly blamed for the missing Herts Hash book, but it would turn up at the next Trail when our very own GM ‘Discovered it’ in her Hash-bag!
As for Ketchup, he was awoken at Highbury & Isilington by Mr X & My Lil’ after which there was ‘Radio Silence’ for several hours, Mr X only picked up on this in the morning when trawling through a series of txt messages & Farcebook post with the last one from Lobby Lobster informing that Ketchup had made it back to Hertford very late, what was missing was the fact that he had fallen asleep on the train & woke up at Stevenage, fortunately the train terminated there before heading back toward London & passing through Hertford, a journey that he managed to keep awake long enough to alight at his stop on a second attempt.
Hopefully it was a Trail that G would have approved of? A bit of something for everyone, which saw a few of the old sights he would have known & even a brewery thrown in!
Alberto Esteban (Stephen) Ignacio Gispert 1903 – 1942
Known as "G" to his friends, he was born in No 80 Breakspears Road, Brockley, Kent on 31st July 1903, to Arthuro & Remedeos Gispert y de Puiguriguer, a large Catalan Spanish family.
The family were Catalan Spanish and maintained the house in Breakspears Road and at least one other in Barcelona. They moved to Brockley sometime in late 1891 or 1892. Alberto was the youngest of seven children, the third to be born in the UK.
Cecil Lee (one of the other original members of the first hash) described the young Alberto as the 'perfect English Gentleman' was brought up in a household that spoke little English.
His mother, Remedeos, spoke no English at all so the household language was Spanish. Alberto was sent to the local Roman Catholic school, St Joseph's Academy in Blackheath. It was probably here Alberto learnt the basics of non-competitive running following paper trails which was a common sport in English schools at that time.
Following his schooling Gispert joined H S Baker & Co and became a Chartered Accountant in 1928 and applied for an overseas posting with Evatt & Co (later to become Price Waterhouse) who sent him to Kuala Lumpur.
He married Eve in 1937 and his son, Simon, was born in the same year.
In 1938 he had joined the part-time militia, the Federated Malay States Volunteer Reservists, reaching the rank of Captain.
Having a fondness for "Hare and Hounds" paper-chase style runs, he gathered together a group of friends, including Ronald "Torch" Bennett, Frederick "Horse" Thompson & Cecil Lee, to form a "non-competitive" running club in Kuala Lumpur that would later become a world-wide legacy.
The 1938 charter:
To promote physical fitness among our members
To get rid of weekend hangovers
To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
"G" - a description: " no pretensions to athletic prowess, being short, rather rotund, and a bon viveur, great sense of fun, and humour, but underneath noble instincts ... he epitomises great fun , good fellowship, with solid qualities" - Cecil
Lee The philosophy of the original Hash House Harriers from
The group received its name from the Selangor Club Chambers, which due to the ‘lacklustre food’ served there was commonly referred to as the "Hash House"
The Selangor Club AKA The Hash House circa 1938
Cecil Lee (Left) & Gispert (Right) on a 1938 Trail Reconnoitre with Village Headman
This peaceful pastime was eventually cut short by the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. He was on leave in Australia when the Japanese invaded in December 1941. Although his wife and son had safely returned to England by then, "G" rushed back to Malaya and was seconded to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders regiment as a Second Lieutenant.
At approximately 4:00 a.m., while in charge of a mortar platoon, Gispert and his men were killed in action against invading Japanese forces on Dairy Farm Road, Singapore. Gispert’s body was never identified, and he is most likely buried in Singapore’s Kranji War Cemetery in one of the graves marked “All Unknown Soldiers.” His name is engraved on a memorial stone at Kranji Cemetery, along with the names of others killed during the invasion.
‘Torch’ Bennett, re-established the Hash after the war.
It wasn't until 1962 that the second Hash group was formed in Singapore. The Singapore H3 was slowly followed by others until by the time Mother Hash (Kuala Lumpur) had reached her 1500th post-war run in 1973, there were 35 "known" Hashes around the world
1969 saw Commando Forces H3 formed, the 1st in the UK, by Colonel Ray Thornton (ex-JM of Singapore Hash) it flourished in the early 1970s but due to postings it petered out.
In 1971 Westcombe Park H3 (oldest monthly Hash) was founded.
In 1974 Bicester Hash was founded (oldest Weekly UK Hash) by Colonel Ray Thornton, he later formed Donnington H3, then Looe & Liskeard Hash, all of which survive today as they became more predominantly civilian.
1975 saw Surry H3 came in to existence & in 1976 London H3 was formed.
In 1977 90 Hashes were known in 35 Countries. Clubs have continued to form (and fold) in the years since, and while an exact count is nearly impossible, there are approximately 2000 active hash clubs running in nearly every country on earth.
By the start of the 21st Century, some Hash Kennels have fold, most remain going through thick or thin & there are plenty of new ones in all types of guises.
Somewhere along the line your story fits in!
All of which brings all of us together to celebrate his life, that was cut short, but has given us this Hash camaraderie, a legacy that is far greater than any epitaph.
On! On! Mr X