OUR DAY, starting with The OSH v. RSSH Annual Run, on Saturday, 5th December, 2015.
The River Severn had encroached and trespassed on our usual course for over four days and then the wind started to join in with the disruption. But we are The Hunt and we can run !
First, we discussed the course, then watched The RSSH do their Warm-Up. By 2.45pm, The Master-in-Charge of The Hunt, Peter Middleton, made his announcements in the breeze whipping around The Drum and I dedicated this Run to the memory of Ian Fraser (Ch. 1944-49), one of the Club’s Founders of 1953, who passed away on December 30th, 2014.
It was time for The Green & Gold of our vests to mingle with the boys and girls of The RSSH, along with a small herd of Staff, across a grassy Start Line, beside Central, under the gaze of a Galapagos Lizard. One of this year’s Joint Huntsmen, Ben Remnant (Ch), uttered The Cry that makes the line of 28 “Hounds” rush to The Moss Gates and away along Ashton Road. Our Captain, Oli Mott (Rb 98-03), would have no idea what an amazing sight the rest of us saw, as he led The Pack down and around the Lower Common, into the distance towards Radbrook & Port Hill Houses. Some of the ground was slippy, especially at the end of Oldham’s Gap, where a new gate prevents us going straight on over the bank.
This year, the water of The Rad was too deep to traverse and the towpath was partly covered by floodwater, so it was on down the School Bank path instead and then in front of The Pengwern, before going up Port Hill Road and retracing our steps to the finish. Oli achieved his ninth win, which breaks the long held record of a previous Captain, David Evans (DB 54-59). Huntsman Ben was only 22 seconds behind, showing good form after a period of injury. The whole pack is very grateful to Richard Hudson (M. 67-72) for making sure we all returned to the finish, now wearing his new OSH Running Vest, which would be the reason he finished 10 minutes quicker than last year. Adam Booth came in second for The OSH at 10th position and we welcomed Matthew Barnard (S 94-99) back to The School to be our third counter at 19th . Even though The RSSH did have a convincing Team Win, we all enjoyed running with them and thank the Staff for adding to the day’s competition. The Ground Staff did a great job putting up fence posts and tape around the course, while a squad of Riggites were volunteered to be course markers, for which we are very grateful. This combined effort in difficult conditions, makes all the difference to us, especially when some of us lose sight of the runner in front ! The full list of positions, times and results can be found here.
After the run, we managed to photograph a collection of 9 “Captains” of The Hunt for The Photo Album. From the left :- Adam Booth, Huntsman from 1999-2000 ; Tim Bedell (77-78) ; Oli Mott (2002-03)
; Peter Birch (70-71) ; Olivia Papaiannou (EDH), 3rd Captain of The Girls Hunt ; Matthew Barnard (98-99) ; Stuart Morgan (60-61) ; Joint Huntsman, Ben Remnant (Ch) ; Joint Huntsman, Oscar Dickins (R).
By 3.45pm, we all arrived at The Hunt Gym, in The Stott Pavilion, for a welcome spread of Tea, Sandwiches and Cakes, while exchanging memories in front of The Huntsman’s Boards and a great collection of Hunt memorabilia, before The RSSH team were awarded the winner’s trophy and our Captain, Oli, was presented with The Cup he had polished that morning !
Then it was a walk across to Kingsland House for The AGM, where The OSH and its involvement with the World was scrutinised by eleven of us for an hour and a half. This was followed by a short break before 20 guests arrived at 7.30pm for the Annual Dinner, held in The Peterson Room. We were extremely pleased to welcome Ian Fraser’s son, Giles, as our Guest of Honour and also Captain of The Girls Hunt, Olivia, and Joint Huntsmen, Oscar & Ben, who were all good company as well. Robin Brooke-Smith, the School Archivist, provided a great collection of books & notes about The Hunt, which included past Huntsmen’s historical written records. We are already looking forward to next year’s events.
More photos can be seen here.