Forking 5oh

Friday 3 to Sunday 5 July 2015

The Aylesbury Ring

Hares: Forking Dickchair


Ready to go Phase I

Ready to go Phase II

Ready to go Phase III

Many thanks to Catch-it and Mrs Bangers who shuttled the group of walkers to the start point. Porkys Cafe in Waddesdon is both architecturally and culturally far from the eponymous manor in the same town, but convenient for conveniences. Off we set, field after field on a balmy evening looking at the hills on the horizon that would be tomorrow's walk. With a full up diary of bowls matches, Bangers arrived at Hardwick late after a steaming victory putting him in the county semi-finals. He then started walking the route backwards in the direction of the advancing hikers. About an hour into the walk a lone figure was spotted by the front foot-soldier and the group strained their eyes over the fields of Folly Farm to see their comrade. Much greeting and handshaking ensued as Bangers confidently led the group back the way he knew. With persuasion the landlord at the Bell had waived the £20-a-head cover for the piano & pasta function in the dining room, and put platters of pie, curry, crab and vegetarian fare around a bar table. Day one concluded with news of Subby & Peachers Tit putting their caravan in the field next to the tent of Count and Lady Pee.

It is a wonder how the campers survived the flashing and rumbling of the passing tropical thunderstorm. However, a noisy passing heavy train shook the earth at sparrows fart o'clock to shake them up. Eight hashers regrouped at Porkys to set off in the opposite direction. Lord Rothschild's estate contained much of the walk, so little wonder he used to patrol his land in a carriage pulled by zebras. Architecturally there was gargoyles, chimney stacks, palladian bridges and a trig point to show the highest part of the day's route. Passing Dinton Castle, a folly of a dogging spot we entered the village to the ringing of bells to welcome us. With Maseratis and Ferraris outside the church, with our floral leis around our neck we could have joined the wedding party, but went to the Seven Stars pub for beer stop number one. The rambling continued past what was once a pub named the Dinton Hermit but has since been upgraded to a house and home. At Great Kimble the Fat Controller bemoaned that at 4 in the afternoon a pub should be shut. A face appeared at the upstairs window and the landlady duly obliged to open specially for us, believing us to be Morris Dancers as we wore flowers in our hair or on our hats. Moonshine was the beer on tap, and with a freshly printed 'Fifty' the Count got in a generous as well as much needed round at The Swan. With a town that sounds like 'Bend-over' in sight, Claptrap had not the stomach for the final push and hastily exited through the trap-door. Catch-it scooped him up as we drank and ate at the Shoulder of Mutton.

FC stops for some train spotting

Capt F stops for some Horse Whispering

The Finishers

Early morning campsite activities involved watching two hot-air balloons take off in the field. Other early visitors included Captain Fantaaastic in one car and Gorjoyce with Twiczer in another. Both cars provided enough seats for conveying the party of eight to the start point. After an hour of canal-side walking it was on to a lunch stop. Forking and Count, now wearing their flowerpieces all around their hats, when asked by a passing horsewoman said they were part of a travelling Morris Dancing group. Gorjoyce was soon dancing but without hankies and bells. The Queens Head in Long Marston was the days lengthy pub stop with a BBQ. A pint or two of Olivers Island later and the penultimate section was tackled. Once past the fields of panels making up the solar farm, we encountered farm animals that hindered our direct line. Having mooo-ved into the safety of the next field it was a goodbye to Gorjoyce, Twiczer and Capt F in a taxi back to Wendover. The remaining five soon became six as wandering Bangers, again mixing his bowls and walking commitments met us in the same manner as before, by backwards walking. Hardwick couldn't come quick enough and well done to everyone who took part.