How it all began
Paper Chase (also known as Hare and Hounds or Chalk Chase) was a victorian game played outdoors. At the start of the game, one person is designated the ''Hare' and everyone else in the group are the 'Hounds'. The 'hare' starts off ahead of everyone else leaving behind themselves a trail of paper shreds (or chalk marks in an urban environment) which represents the scent of the hare. The hounds must chase after the hare and attempt to catch them before they reach the end of the trail.
The 'Hash House'
Fast forward to Kuala Lumpur (now Malaysia) in 1938 where a group of ex-patriates adapt paper chase in order to run up a thirst before retiring to a club known locally as the 'Hash House' for a drink. The runners (Harriers) adopted the name 'Hash House' and the 'Hash House Harriers' were born. The genius of the founding father of the group, A S Gispert, was to make the experience more fun by making it non-competitive.
Come the Second World War and it's aftermath and British and Australian troops joined in the fun (it must have been a welcome distraction). When personnel were posted elsewhere they began new 'chapters' or 'kennels' and the Hash House Harriers or simply 'Hashing' spread across the world.
Although now a fully independent hash, Didcot Hash too owes its existence to the military connection. We started over 25 years ago in 1986 (the first run was on 8 April of that year), with hashers being listed in the time honoured military tradition in descending rank order.
As hashing spread across the world many amusing words and phrases were adopted to be used in the course of hashing. You will find some of them in our Hash Dictionary.