Hash Information


The origins and the history of Hashing


The history of Tamar Valley Hash House Harriers and some useful guidelines (there are no rules)


What is a ‘Red Dress Run’


What is the ‘Brown Gin Run’


How to set a Hash!


What the signs means, and how to respond to them



The Hash House Harriers as we know it today was founded in Malaysia by Albert Stephen Ignatius Gispert, an English chartered accountant.


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A.S.I. Gispert (1903-1942)


The first run was held in in December 1938 and the founding members included Cecil H. Lee, Frederick "Horse" Thomson, Eric Galvin, H.M. Doig, and Ronald "Torch" Bennet.  The group's name came about primarily because local authorities required legal registration of the club. While the "Kuala Lumpur Harriers" would have appeared a logical choice, "G" decided instead to use the nickname for the Selangor Club where a number of the local harriers both lived and took their meals. It seems that due to its lacklustre food, the dining room was commonly referred to as the "Hash House”.


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The Original "Hash House," Kuala Lumpur, circa 1938



The philosophy of the original Hash House Harriers from 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.



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The Drinking Club with a Running Problem

Here are a few suggestions and explanations which may help a newcomer to enjoy the Hash but first and foremost please bear in mind that hashing is supposed to be fun and don't ever take it seriously:

1.             Hashing is totally non-competitive although someone has to be first. If by some fluke you manage to  find yourself in this unfortunate position (or anywhere near it ), yell "ON, ON" until you are exhausted enough to fall back to your rightful place in the pack. These calls are not designed to help you but the poor unfortunate at the rear who can then shortcut back to the pack. The sounding of the HASH HORN achieves the same aim for all but the stone deaf.


2.             If it is your misfortune to arrive first at a check, don't sit down and rest, or stand about like a wet weed, but look for the new trail and shout "CHECKING" loud and often. If you find an X  announce "CHECK BACK" equally loudly and if you find an arrow shout “ON ON “.


3.             The "social pack" retains its superiority by the deployment of its greater intelligence. Short cutting from the rear is to be positively encouraged and a united pack is far better for warding off homicidal landowners and rabid Rottweilers as well as forcing the publican's arm if you arrive back at the pub early.


4.             Short cutting from the front is NOT ALLOWED (one of the very few firm rules of hashing - actually there are no rules!).


5.             Move at your own pace. Ignore the FRBs (FRONT RUNNING BASTARDS) who urge you to go faster. If you should fall behind, try a ‘short cut’. If your tactic is successful you may be accused by a jealous FRB of being an SCB - a SHORT CUTTING BASTARD. If so, just ignore it; such accusations merely confirm your superior abilities.


6.             Always try to keep at least one hasher between you and anything which looks at all fierce such as bulls, pit-bull terriers, landed gentry, geese and pigs.


7.             If you hear the cry "LOOKING" it means that the trail has disappeared into thin air.  This could be due to several reasons:  The Hares playing silly Bs or simply running out of dust, the trail being washed out by rain or an attack of dust blindness by the front runners. Usually in this event the pack will spread out and the trail is soon located.


8.             If you wish to know what the hell is going on up front, call "ARE YOU?" which should evoke the response "CHECKING", "CHECK BACK", "LOST DUST" or even "LOST".


9.             Please don't shout too loud near animals. They don't like it. If cows, horses or sheep appear to about to stampede,  WALK,  don't  run. An insurance claim for an animal like Desert Orchid could bankrupt the Hash insurance company let alone the Hash.  Yes, your Hash may carry insurance but remember it's for third party damages, not a personal accident policy for you.


10.         Keep your dogs on leads and away from other runners’ legs.


11.         If you damage fences or gates, try to effect some sort of repair before running on and, most important of all, NEVER LEAVE GATES OPEN.


Transgressions of this and any other "crimes" committed during the hash will be drawn to the attention of the Grand Master or Mattress who will mete out some dire punishment at the On Down.


Hash Cash of £2.00 is expected from everyone - hashers, walkers and virgins - this covers your hash and beer.


When Monday isn’t Monday unless you are knee deep in shiggy you will be encouraged to become a member - then your run totals can be recorded bringing you wondrous trophies and your hash name can be pondered.  Most hashers are named when they have done something stupid enough to earn it.


The Hash Mag is the magazine published weekly; it reports on the previous Hash and may include elements of truth, it also advertises future events.  Treat it as an honour if the Scribe Master asks you to produce the esteemed and highly valued publication.





ON ON !!!



TVH3’s first Hash was in 1981 for which we have the founder members Chris Laurence-King ‘Bloodnock’, Sara Laurence-King ‘Shortcut’ and Simon TrehaneTrehanrehan’ to thank.
Thank you!

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According to hash lore, a newcomer in San Diego was invited to a hash; unbeknownst to her it was a running group, and she attended the run in a red dress instead of running clothes. After being mocked for wearing such an outfit she ran the hash anyway. Other hashers began wearing red dresses as a joke and the tradition soon became an annual event that spread across the world.  It is now recognised as an ideal opportunity for raising funds for local charities.

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Held annually, in October, in memory of Angus Colville who loved a drop of Whisky (or Brown Gin as he called it).  Agnes was the perfect English gentleman, adventurer and sportsman.  Living in Tavistock he was actively involved with many local interest groups  including Tavistock RFC, Devon young rugby referees, Kelly college choral society, and the church choir amongst others (he’s responsible for how we sing Happy Birthday!).  Cycling to as many hashes as possible wearing odd socks and two ties, he would always choose the most wet and muddy trail, but then be modest about his achievements.  Despite discovering he was diabetic on a trans-Atlantic sail boat crossing during which he became seriously ill, he never stopped his many and varied pursuits.  Unfortunately he was mugged and killed in Guatemala  on one such adventure en-route to the airport to return to the UK.
He is remembered as our Life Pee’er.

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"The aim of the Hash is to provide healthy relaxation, combined with a modicum of exercise which develops the sense of humour. The Hash is a non-competitive Monday madness in which all men and women should be equal and which preserves the right of every person to revel in their own foolery”.

Bloodnock Chapter V Verse XII


1.        Plan a run roughly before offering your services to the Hare Master, telling him/her where you plan to run so that they can tell you if anyone else intends to run in that area.  Offer before they have to chase you!

2.        It makes sense for inexperienced Hares to help experienced Hares for a run or two to learn the ropes.

3.        Try to find an area we haven't run in recently. Work out a route on the map. Consider car parking, On Down, suitability of terrain for season/darkness, shortcuts, false trails etc. Remember that length isn't everything.

4.        In winter, stick largely to roads, well defined tracks/paths. In summer run across country keeping roads to a minimum, but still use sheep tracks etc.

5.        Walk the run, see which footpaths are ploughed up or filled with dead washing machines etc. Talk to landowners for permission to run across their land. Some landowners give useful advice.  Inform Dartmoor Ranger, if on moor. Revise run if necessary (the Forestry Commission is a Landlord!)

6.        You don't have to choose a pub for the start of the run, unless it really is the best place to start from. This is very rare! We can drive to the pub after the run.

7.        Ask pub Landlord if we can use pub for On Down. Tell him what number of people to expect, and that some will want food. Get numbers from On Sec. If the landlord won't do food, go elsewhere.

8.        Aim to keep all runners together as much as possible. Be devious; include long/short runs, loops, checks etc. To achieve this, try to include a very short run for the less fit, ill, ancient or infirm.

9.        DEADLINE TWO WEEKS BEFORE RUN Tell Hare Master and Scribe (a) Start, including grid reference/direction and (b) On Down, for inclusion in Mag.

10.    All runners should return to bucket in about one hour. Run the route to ensure that this is feasible.

11.    Leave yourself plenty of time to lay the flour/sawdust. It takes much longer than you think - all of one day! Don‘t lay the trail on the Saturday and expect it to be still there on Monday night. If you have time, inspect on the Monday and replace any flour/sawdust washed away/vandalised/eaten by slugs or animals.


12.    Lay flour/sawdust (avoid using self-raising flour, it doesn’t go very far) in blobs at regular intervals. Use lots of dust! We are supposed to be following a trail not playing hunt the dust! Make sure the- dust is very visible and will not be washed away. The dust is easier to follow, especially in the dark, if it is on the same side of the roads/tracks for the entire run, and is very close to the road edge. This includes signs.


13.    Flour/sawdust signs are:-


On! On!



Check back (on false trails)




Where the long and short runs divide


The bucket is within about 400 metres


Do not introduce new signs unless you really know what you're doing and you are going to

be at the sign to marshal.


14.    It appears that 10 to 12 checks keep the pack together fairly well.. Try to make them devious, ie,,the correct trail should not be the obvious one most of the ti.me. Check backs should not be more than 300 yards from the check. Do not hide the crosses.

15.    Do not put one check after another without an On On as it inhibits shouting and therefore slows up the slower runners.

16.    One Hare should marshal the run, preferably on foot, to deal with any confusion. The other Hare may assist with this but must be back early at the bucket, to check people in etc. First Hare to sweep up at rear of the pack.

17.    Remember that you are trying to be devious; leading them astray, not letting them wander from confusion to chaos.

18.    Make sure you have Hash signs, mugs, buckets, beer etc. This is essential! Wash dirty mugs!

19.    Check everybody in at the start and record on duplicate sheets (the Harelist can be downloaded from the website, at the bottom of the home page). Collect £2.00 and keys etc. Everyone pays £2.00 including visitors and children.

20.    Briefings should be short, loud and relevant ie, gates, sheep, dogs on leads, barbed wire etc.

21.    Check everyone in at finish, organise beer and search parties if anyone is missing.

22.    Fill in the rest of the Harelist, give the cash and one Harelist to Hash Cash, the other Harelist to the On Sec. The bucket, dirty cups, signs etc to be given to the next Hares. Clear up any litter.

23.    Please do not order any entertainment (bands, discos, buskers etc) without conferring with the Committee.

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1.        Check in and pay up then listen to the briefing (handy for recriminations later).

2.        Call On! On! Whenever you see sawdust and you are sure that you are on. Remember you are only on after seeing an arrow.

3.        Hash signs as in Hares instructions:


Means that there are false trails and you have to find the correct trail.

Means you found the wrong one. Call "Check Back"

Means you found the right one. Call "On On" loudly


Means you are nearing the end of the hash, shout "On Home" and sprint finish (smile as you arrive at the bucket anyway).


4.        Hash calls - "On On" and "Checking" are obvious. If you have just lost the sawdust but haven't come to a check you are not "Checking" but "Looking".

5.        Do some checking! Don’t leave it all to the keenies. Check in pairs, especially in the dark, so you won't miss the check back and its more fun anyway. Shout 'Checking".

6.        Break the checking circle in the right direction when the "On On" is called, to aid slower runners/latecomers. If you find the arrow make sure the Hashers behind you kick out the circle.

7.        Keep the Hasher behind you in view, especially in the winter. How would you like to be new, slow, cold, wet and lost! If you are nervous about getting lost carry a mobile phone or a whistle.

8.        Obey the country code, and keep dogs on leads at all times! We do have some sort of reputation you know!

9.        CHECK IN IN PERSON AT THE END OF THE RUN Converse politely at the bucket until all are gathered in. Search parties get quite annoyed when they find you at the On Down.

10.    If you bring newcomers make sure they understand the signs, calls etc. Run with them, introduce them to a Committee Member.



When there, don't just sit in a corner shovelling chips down your throat, chatting to the same boring old farts; get up, move about, talk to other Hashers especially newcomers. You never know, we might get an interesting one someday!

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On On