Stan ‘Grunter’ Grice
21st July 2004
Sadly Grunter passed away just before many of us at Herts Hash were preparing to head off to Cardiff to the World InterHash, he too would have been there as he was registered for this event.
Grunter was born in Toxteth, Liverpool, this of course gave him that famous wicked sense of ‘Scouse humour’ and a great patter when it came to the ‘story telling’ he was known for on Herts Hash.
He joined the RAF and spent his time in the 1960s being stationed in such exotic places as Africa and Malaysia, part of that time was spent in Borneo.
He would also partake in Hashing, firstly with the Kuching Hash, this would become one of his life-long loves. During his time out in Kuching, Grunter would take an interest in Malaysian wildlife, this would continue to fascinate him even when he had moved back to the UK.
It was while in Borneo that he met his wife, Alice. He also said that he had the best Mother-in-law in the world, since she didn’t speak English and he couldn’t speak Malay!
Grunter and Alice moved back to the UK to raise their family, and they would settle in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
It would take some time, but while on the Internet, after looking at Malaysian wildlife, Grunter would stumble across the Herts Hash website that alerted him to the fact that the Herts Hash House Harriers were on his Door-step. With the Kids now grown up, he could get back to another of his loves in life, Hashing, and he soon became an established regular incumbent with Herts.
On his first Herts Hash he turned out in an old Kuching headband, his favourite Kuching Hash Shirt from the 1970s, probably the earliest shirt that has ever been around a Herts Hash Trail?
Another part of his regular kit was his Heart Rate monitor/calorie counter, which seemed to have longer distances recorded on it and that were even further than the FRBs could have possibly had been, it probably had the wrong conversion rate for Kilometres instead of Miles as it told him that he would also burn of a terrific amount of calories, which as he said would allow him to sup an extra ale or two.
The likes of Psycho, Sis and Hyena heard many of his famous ‘Stories’ as they made their way around near the tail of the Pack, the FRBs didn’t miss out either as they would be privy to these classic anecdotes and jokes in the Bar afterwards, though obviously not as many as those who went around the Trail at Grunter’s pace.
One time he got stuck in a watery ditch while on an impromptu short cut, his uncovered legs and arms were scratched to pieces on the brambles as he unsuccessfully tried to get out the other side without the RA noticing, but made such a noise it was obvious to the whole Pack what was going on and they went back to help haul him out.
He would often bring exotic Beers along for the Hash to sample après Trail, these were mainly strong Belgian brews and they always had to be accompanied by a spicy snack, be it a small salami sausage or other tapas style treat.
At the Herts Hash 1,000th Weekend, based at the then brand new YHA in Cheshunt, he had made up his own Beer Box containing some very specialist Belgian Beers and had donated it as a prize for the Hash Raffle. These were no run off the mill Beers from a supermarket, quality Trappist Beers made this 'the must have prize'.
It was at this weekend that he showed his true Hash side, he partook in the Full Moon Black Dress Run, which took in a Karaoke Bar at the furthest point out. Later on he would show a lot more, as he took part in an impromptu ‘Midnight Naked Run’, he was a sight for sore eyes as he ran around in the buff.
One of the last Trails he did with Herts was from Our Mutual Friend in Stevenage, it was extremely memorable for a few of the regulars as they worked their way through the many Real Ales on offer, it would be a classic day. Somehow they managed to drag themselves away from the Pub, but none of them could recall who paid for the Taxi to get them to Stevenage Station. As they all parted, to go their separate ways, things would go downhill, quite literally in some cases and Grunter was one of these.
Having alighted from the Train at Hitchin, Grunter staggering over the footbridge to get home, a fairly well lit path in a descent condition, however for Grunter’s feet there was something lurking across his way that would trip him up, several times in fact! On the following Hash Trail he proudly showed off his ‘War wounds’ and he wasn’t alone as the others hadn’t fared that well either!
Grunter was one of the Few to join Herts Hash to have survived the dreaded ‘Herts Curse of Hitchin’ on his inaugural attempt, this rite of passage for many new Herts Hasher can take place whenever the Hash ran in Hitchin, or were passing through from another area. It culminated in finishing up at the Albert, where the Hash were always made welcome, what ever sate they were in!
Many of the Herts Hash wondered how he managed to logistically shift the amount of Beers from Belgium to hand out to his friends from free, since you are not supposed to talk about work on the Hash it was a puzzle for quite some time! But over time it leaked out that Grunter was one of the top engineers for TNT Airfreight, he was the guy who ultimately made the decision whether a plane was fit to fly or not.
He once told of a time when he was temporarily blinded by a high pressure leak of hydraulic fluid from an aircraft he was working, of course in his inimitable Scouse style he took it in his stride, joking about what could have been a serious accident.
Grunter had been out with his cousin, who was visiting from Australia, only the weekend before his death. It was a shock to us all.
He must have been highly respected by his employers, as one of the 'Top Suits' from TNT flew in from Belgium to speak at Grunter’s Funeral Service, the crematorium was so crowded that many paying their respects had to stand up against the inside walls.
One of his best friends from his RAF days was also there to mention only a few of the tales they got up to while stationed overseas. Mr X fulfilled Grunter's wish for someone to mention his time on the Hash House Harriers, he too could only briefly cover Grunter’s exploits with the Hash, as well as try to explain some of the idiosyncrasies associated with this particular ‘Running’ group.
Grunter was laid to rest in his favourite Kuching Hash T-shirt, his Hash shorts, socks, his Kuching head band and a pair of old Hash shoes that had seen better days.
Although not a religious man, by his request the Hash made a donation to St Margarets in Toxteth, a Church in need of repair and where his brother-in-law is the minister.