On Saturday November 19th the York Tories descended on the city of York for our biannual attempt to honour the current Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary William Hague by drinking themselves into a stupor. The challenge, 14 pints in 12 hours. The odds of finishing, poor. The amusement of those not seriously trying to compete, immense.
The day started at 12:00hrs prompt with lunch in the Mason’s Arms on Fishergate. Many participants opted for their famous rabbit pie, a solid nutritional foundation for a legendary drinking binge. By 14:00 the our intrepid band of inebriates headed for The Postern Gate (Wetherspoon’s), the front runners having already completed four pints or the equivalent bottle of wine.
In ‘Spoon’s the participants were a little disappointed but not at all discouraged by the limited selection of ales available, the serious competitors sinking a brace of pints each before beginning the long shamble across the river. Up to this point all had gone to plan for our drunken adventurers, this was not to be the case for the rest of the day. The York Tories were then confused and frustrated by what was almost certainly a socialist plot, hatched by our dastardly foes.
The group left ‘Spoon’s and headed towards the Victoria Vaults on Nunnery lane, however most of the group for reasons that can only be attributed to the aforementioned plot proceeded to Nunnery lane via Micklegate, rather than the proscribed route around the city walls. When the navigationally frustrated individuals eventually reached Nunnery Lane they were told by the few York Tories who’d been on route and on time that the Victoria Vaults was closed and that the nearby Trafalgar Inn gave far too frosty of a reception to be considered a decent alternative. Unperturbed, the group quickly arrived at their next destination, Brigantes on Micklegate.
Good beer and good cheer were abundant in Brigantes, where the York Tories were briefly joined by an ex-chairman and Hagueathon several time completer. It’s widely believed that at the time of leaving Brigantes the leaders were on around 9 pints. The next destination was The Punch Bowl (Little ‘Spoon’s) on Blossom Street, where the society’s numbers were bolstered by reinforcements from Tories from the University of York and York St John’s.
In The Punch Bowl drinking officer Rachael Burrell and second year student Tomasz Jan Ciesla charged ahead in what was a brave but ultimately doomed sprint for the 14 pint (10 large glasses of wine) mark. Meanwhile, a friend who’d joined the group from another University succumbed to excessive alcohol consumption and was briefly hospitalised. While much progress was made by many competitors at the Punch Bowl, the society left the pub physically divided and lacking in morale. While the majority of society members moved onto Rumours and Reflex on Micklegate three officers of the society escorted one of our early finishers home after a veritable vomcano. The other early finisher lasted a little longer but was eventually disappeared and was classified as Missing: Presumed Chundered.
Later in the evening the our brave (stupid?) protagonists regrouped at Plonker’s on Cumberland street, marching towards 14 pints and midnight with a renewed zeal and in some cases incredible pace. As 23:00hrs came and went a group of four likely finishers had emerged. Two officers of the society regurgitated their drinks and with them their chances of completing the Hagueathon on twelve and a half, and thirteen and a half pints respectively. Slightly after 23:00 Computing Officer Chris Rowell completed his fourteenth pint and promptly ordered another. Shortly afterwards he was joined in the Hagueathon Hall of Fame by second year Dan Hawkridge. As the bell struck midnight the challenge was over, with two members being confirmed as completing the Hagueathon.
As the evening ended and the competitors shambled home, some thought they’d spotted the the silhouettes of people smoking cigars and celebrating something, projected on the walls of Clifford’s Tower…