History of Hashing
Aberdeen Hash House Harriers (AH3) hashing history and our place in the world of hashing.
In the 1830s, English schoolboys developed a game called Hares and Hounds: "Hounds" would chase the "hares," who would leave a paper trail through woods and hills for the hounds to follow. A group of Londoners took up the game in 1867 as a way to stay in shape and adopted the name Harriers.
In 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, in what is now Malaysia, a group of ex-patriates associated with the rubber plantations started a modified paper chase in order to work up a decent thirst before retiring to the Selangor Club to eat and drink. The restaurant was known locally as the "Hash House" so naturally the name was adopted by the harriers and in contrast to other groups undertaking similar activities the name stuck. The particular genius of the founding father, A. S. Gispert, nicknamed "G", was to make the traditional hare & hounds running more fun by making it non-competitive.
The club fell into abeyance during the Second World War and re-emerged in its aftermath. This became known as the Malayan Emergency, when British and Australian troops joined in the fun. When they in turn were posted elsewhere they began new Hash House chapters and the Hash House Harriers started to spread throughout the world.
The club groups then generally became known as "Chapters" and latterly as "Kennels".
Aberdeen Hash House Harriers
It was only a matter of time before a stable hash would emerge in Aberdeen, but before this, as with all births, a gestation period had to be gone through. Early in 1980 four Dutchmen met on a cold winter's night in a suburb west of the city for the inaugural run of what was then called, "Aberdeen Haggis H3". The weather at this time was bleak and it only lasted for four (4) runs after its birth, before expiring and disappearing into the mists of time.
A few years later, on the 23rd January 1983, 27 hashers got together for the inaugural run of what is today known worldwide as the Aberdeen Hash House Harriers. The records are scant, but the hares for the day where Mark “Tortoise" Thompson and Colin “Ole Red Eyes” Maclean, who was caretaker GM until the first AGPU. It shouldn’t be a problem for anyone to work out that on the 23rd January 2019, Aberdeen H3 will be 36 years young, and with weekly runners of 40 to 50, still going strong.
In the early days it was all a bit disorganised. It wasn’t until the 10th hash, when the first AGPU was held on the 29th May 1983 that the first Grand Master, Mark “Tortoise” Thompson, was appointed. At this time Aberdeen H3 developed its own view on hashing; the North East of Scotland can be cold and wet, and so to keep warm, the hashers got stuck into shiggy! Aberdeen was labelled the shiggy capital of hashing in the UK for some time, with many AH3 Hashers being nicknamed MSA (mudslinging arseholes) by older, much wizened hashers.
On the 1st April 1984, AH3 celebrated its 50th run. Even today, some of the upside down mirror image t-shirts made for the occassion can still be seen in the circle, albeit they are a bit tighter and bulging at the seams. It is evident that some of thoseearly stalwarts are still on trail today. 12 months later on the 9th March 1985 the 100th run celebration took place.
In true hashing style, at the end of each hash, "The Hash Shit" was awarded; much in the same manner as other hashes the world over. The award was a beer-sodden t-shirt, never to be washed, accompanied by a dog-crap bandolier, both to be worn next to the skin with pride on the next hash; and it was. As with all things, hashers get older, and newer hashers are less inclined to indulge in such childish games, the Hash Shit tradition has now died out.
Aberdeen H3 has always had a close relationship with its closest neighbour Elgin H3, and on the 23rd June 1985, the first of the annual joint hashes was held. Since then, a number of hash groups have developed, offering a variety of hashing possibilities in the Aberdeen area, notably, Aberdeen Seriously Social (ASS Hash, founded by Soak), Mearns H4, and most recently, ASSTITY ( Aberdeen Seriously Social ThIrd ThursdaY of the month)...
The AH3 hashing stalwarts have attended all UK Nash Hash events since Wessex in 1985, and have laid trails at Nash Hashes in Edinburgh in 1989, Glasgow in 1999 and Perth in 2009. The AH3 claim to fame will be the 555 run (119 runners), held as a pre-lube to the UK Nash Hash at Cheltenham & Cotswold in 1993. This was the year that the Nash Hash bar didn’t open until 12 noon on the Saturday of the weekend, so we pre-plotted to have our trail to start at 10.30am from the campsite and finishing at the beer tent for 12 noon. With perfect timing the circle was held by the outdoor swimming pool with beer provided by our Nash Hash hosts.
For some years, an Inter Scottish Hash was mooted, but rather than just speak about it, an Aberdeen hasher (Shit F’brains) organised the first ever Inter Scottish Hash on the Sun 30 Jan 1994 - Harvieston Brewery, Dollar - Hare: Shit F'Brains. Over the years the name has been twisted and changed, through Inter Jock, or Inter Joke due to a print mix up and is now fondly known as Jock Hash.
There have been many big parties along the way #222, #333, #400, #500, #600 and eventually we made it to #1000, on the 13th January 2002 and then onto #1500 on the 1st May 2011 and with our 30th, and 35th birthdays.
Now its ONON to #2000 and all the parties in between.