NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED
Myself and a colleague were called to a farm near Minety, Wiltshire today following reports of some mysterious white powder and markings at various points along footpaths crossing the farm. We had not heard of Hashing and it wasn’t until the runners came through and we spoke to them that we realised what was going on.
Neither the police or the farmer want to curtail your activities. However, the farmer was concerned about some of the rescue horses in the field, who are quite used to the occasional rambler but a little more wary of larger groups. Could I ask that if running through or close to livestock that you consider notifying the landowner. On this occasion the farmer would have quite happily moved the horses to another field so that you could pass through with no risk to the animals or the runners. It would also prevent other police officers standing in fields scratching their heads unnecessarily.
Police Constable _____
Community Beat Manager, Malmesbury Town Centre
Malmesbury Police Station, Burton Hill, Malmesbury, SN16 0EE.
Reducing Crime& Anti Social Behaviour in Your Neighbourhood
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED
Sent: Tuesday, 19 June 2012, 11:50
Subject: Re: Fwd: Minety 17/06/2012 [NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED/UNCLASSIFIED]
Dear Graham and Stephen
Thank you for your kind email.
I am a harriette called ‘Bones’ and have been hashing since 1982. The trails are set by different ‘hares’ each week, and they inform the hash before the run if we will be passing through livestock. We are aware that we have right of way over the footpaths, and that that manner of passing should be orderly. We do not run through or near livestock, and if this occurred the club would not support the perpetrator. The hares recce the route before laying the trail, and will contact landowners where possible, but it is not always obvious who owns the land.
Landowners vary in their reaction to us. I was gripped round the throat by a posh lady when I pointed out a footpath passed over her land, which we now refer to as ‘the Pinkney Handshake.’ We have been chased by an axe wielding farmer, had a gun discharged over our heads, and had a landrover recklessly driven through the pack at some speed. Other farmers couldn’t be more accomodating, and go out of their way to help.
I remember one farmer giving us a lift in his trailer, and then hosing us down with a high pressure hose before letting us out.
On occasions country residents feel the need to call the police. An elderly gentleman found a blob of flour outside his gate, and deduced Osama bin Laden had targeted Bushton for his next Anthrax attack. Many years ago, we strayed too near the residence of the then Northern Ireland Secretary, and a complaint was made that people were running round wearing ‘loud shirts’. This triggered quite a fast police response, and the young policewoman ran with us for some years after that.
I congratulate you on your measured response, unlike the USA (los Angeles I believe) who evacuated an entire shopping complex, called the national guard and SWAT teams, arrested the hares, and then took them to court and demanded they pay compensation and costs for the operation. Also, in Beijing, hares were again arrested, interogated and imprisoned overnight.
I am sorry you find standing around in fields unpleasant. We do this for fun, perhaps you would like to join us, and we can educate you in the pleasures (and some of the hazards) of roaming the countryside.
thank you again for being so pleasant
Hat tip to Dr. Slow Ride for passing on this delightful correspondence. The incident Bones refers to took place in New Haven, Connecticut, about six years ago, and I blogged about it here.
© 2012, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.
About Flying Booger Hash House Harrier, man about town.