REVIEW: 26th Oil Industry Hash
By Sarah-Jane Kelland, PESGB Surrey Branch co-organiser
With the World Cup football and Wimbledon tennis over, some people might have felt at a loss for something to do on a July evening. Not us PESGB members, who met up at the White House
pub in Guildford for the 26th Oil Industry Hash taking place in the beautiful Surrey Hills; train and traffic chaos doing little to dampen our spirits whilst we waited for the off. After a short briefing on Hash protocol- basically follow a trail made by spots of flour until you get to a flour circle which signifies the need to search for where the trail goes next- we were running south as a pack along the dusty western bank of the River Wey. Suddenly the flour trail stopped, and the fitter runners disappeared in three different directions to search for the trail, before the cry of ‘On! On!’ and we were off again pounding the sandy tow path.
Up a steep slope we went, away from the river and past amused pedestrians and dog walkers alike in our pursuit of the flour trail. Alas, some runners were too eager in their quest to be out in front and somehow missed the trail completely with us following lost like a herd of sheep. A quick scramble through some brambles, a fall over a wall and the trail was found. ‘On! On!’ they cried, and we joined the aptly named Sandy Lane, with its tree tunnels a welcome treat from the heat of the summer’s evening.
It is important in life to always include those around you in whatever you do, and this is a feature of any Hash which the PESGB Surrey Branch organises. To cater for all running abilities, the Hash course split into a shorter route of approximately 8km and a longer route of 11km, enabling people to choose what they wanted to do. The shorter route took in the hamlet of Littleton, where the Shalford-1 exploration well was drilled in 1957. The longer route, ran past a holy well, situated close to the village of Artington and the picturesque Elizabethan manor at Loseley Park. Whichever route you took you were blessed with the beauty of the English countryside- rolling hills blanketed by fields of dry golden grass leading down to tranquil waterways where idling barges were watched over by towering mature trees.
As with all Hash runs in distant climes, we did make provision for a drink stop part-way along the trail. However, this one was for much-needed water bottles, provided by Reach, rather than beer, as runners mouths matched the parched state of the landscape around us. The sun starting to lower in the sky, both long and short trails headed back down the Wey and across a cow pasture for some much-needed refreshments thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and of course the chance to catch up with friends and members alike.
Our grateful thanks go to our Hare (Graham Dean) and his marshal (Bob) for laying not one, but two exciting courses to suit all running abilities. Our sincere thanks also go to the PESGB, Reach, Shearwater, SLR Consulting Ltd, and Zinc Consultants for sponsoring food, drink and water bottles. The aims of this event were outreach and to have fun with our industry colleagues. Judging by the feedback we have had and the number of people still in the pub at 10.30pm, we did achieve both. It would be great to continue the annual tradition of the oil industry Hash. If you would like to help sponsor the event next year, please let us know.
Do look at the PESGB for photos from this year’s Hash and for a video clip about the Shalford-1 well.