Run Nos. 1441 & 1442
Venue: Oulton Broad Holiday Village
Beer: Adnams, the whole range, Greenjacks
Location: Oulton Broad
Hare(s): My Lil’
Membership: Celebrating the Second 1K on Herts!
There is a fine line between genius & madness, so when it comes to driving to Beccles, setting the Trail for the Saturday before getting to the venue & then going to set a Pub-Crawl Trail that was as long as a daylight Trail, then the decision is yours!
While My Lil’ set about laying the Saturday Trail, Hyena & the RA went over to the Bear & Bells, after having sampled a couple of Ales there they decided to explore more of Bungay for other suitable drinking holes. After a bit of walking around it was soon established that the best Pubs in town were down further down by the marina.
On their travels they came along to the Oak where they could have another Ale, some of the locals at the Bar were offered a Jägerbomb from the small pyramid of them on the Bar, these didn’t look real but once they had been given to Hyena & the RA for free, these two soon realised that they were the real thing. Having necked these, resulting in Hyena in a jowl wobbling huuurrhgghh! It was time to have more of a wander but since no more Real Ale Bars were found it was back to the Bear & Bells before going on back to meet up with the Hare.
Most arrived at the same time, even though it wasn’t planned that way. Twonk was late & it wasn’t because he was with Panda & Junior on their little oblivion tour via Ipswich. Unmentionable explained that Twonk was delayed as he had trouble with his horn [On his car pebbledash! - Ed] It started going off intermittently before just sounding constantly!
In Willow A there was a problem with the lack of hot water, a quick look revealed that the boiler pressure was too low, this was soon fixed in an efficient manner by the local handyman. Hyena could now have a shower!
The Friday Pub-crawl would start behind schedule, but amazingly quite a lot of the Pack didn’t take the Windsock option of calling a taxi to take him & Tops to the Mariner’s Rest. For those who did venture out on foot, the first part of the Trail would led the Pack through the grounds of Broadlands camp, going by the Clubhouse Bar & on around the edge of the quay to make its way out by a small park, which is being restored.
The Trail passed by the Waverney, the Lady of the Lake, over the bridge & then the boarded up Hotel, finally the lure of the temptation of popping in to a Pub that wasn’t to be on the Trail. The Arrows pointed down a footpath that leads through an underpass beside the large swing bridge, this route would take the Hash on along through a series of back passages [Oooh – err! Pebbledash – Ed] alleyways along through the boat yards & factory units that line the north bank of the Lake Lothing part of the Waverney
Halfway along to the Mariner’s Rest the footpath crossed over the railway, by way of a steep set of steps up a concrete footbridge, even now the path didn’t really improve as the light faded, it just meant that the Pack couldn’t see the litter strewn areas as it headed further east.
At one point, around three quarters of the way to the first Pub, a white light could be seen up on the left, but this turned out not to be a housing estate, or any kind of civilization, which could be home to a Public House, it was instead one of the lights for a rather large cemetery!! The RA was sure that if anyone wanted to look at where they had been walking, then they could do so by looking at Iwouldnotgodownthatdarkalleyaloneatnight.com!
Eventually the Trail came out by a park area & crossed over Peto way as the Trail finally arrived at some civilisation as the Dust led on through a housing estate & then down another alleyway to descend down to the Mariner’s Rest. The RA said “No wonder the Mariner had to rest if he walked that far!”
Was it worth the trek down all those dodgy looking alleys & passage ways? Especially if like Skip you were full of cold? Yes it was! The Ale was superb & for sustenance T-B-T OBE supplied a couple of large bags of peanuts, as it was two for a pound behind the Bar! As the slow, steady stream of Hasher’s made their way through the door, there was a running theme in the conversation about the distance covered in the twilight to darkness to reach the destination.
Some hadn’t been in the Mariners that long before it was soon time to move on, the Hare leaving before the rest to set the Trail to the next Pub, which was not as far to walk to but it did involve going up Hill road, is this the only Hill in Suffolk? Probably & that’s why it needs to named? Anyhow the Trail would lead on a convoluted route around the back streets of the Roman Hill area of Lowestoft to reach the Stanford Arms.
Here the RA could just about see the clip on the hand-pump for the ‘Jack the Ripper’ Ale, but with steamed up glasses he only saw the 8% ABV after the mist had cleared from his lenses, his choice of two pints was soon changed to the first pint being split in to two halves as Hyena may have struggled with a pint of strong Ale. In the end the RA had a second half of what is a deceptively easy to drink Ale.
This Pub was recently purchased by Greenjacks Brewery & they have done a marvellous job in renovating it & changing it, it also helps to have a great Landlord, & they have that in this wonderful Pub. Ketchup was particularly impressed with the shiny polished pipe work in the gents, he told the Landlord, who replied “Clean pipes in the lavatory mean clean pipes in the cellar!”
Back out into the cold dark night & the Trail would continue to weave its way around the maze like route take the Pack around to the Triangle, the Hare was seen to be sporting one of the Pubs’ T-shirts all around the Trail. This is a great Music Pub, it seems like that there is something happening every day here, Unmentionable pointed out to Twonk that an Irish Folk group they have seen were performing there.
Some stopped for food around this point, Smartarse went for the chips while others went for a Chinese. There were plenty of other food outlets but most of them were shut! There wasn’t much room in the Triangle & the Pack eventually managed to get wedged in one corner of the back Bar.
Back out on the streets & part of the Pack went astray, all by mistake, but valuable drinking time a wasted as they made their way by the First & Last, no Real Ale on tap soon scared most off of going in there but this didn’t stop the Guinness swilling Panda & Lager guzzling Junior popping in there, the rest moved on to the next Bar.
By now hunger was setting in with those who hadn’t stopped o eat earlier, the RA & Able disappeared for a Pizza from the Pizza place around the Corner, which they eventually found after being given some dodgy directions form the others who had already been in there. Hyena was offered a couple of slices to keep him going.
By now the Pack were getting slightly wobbly, TBT OBE shuffled off to the gents, but something went wrong when he went to wash his hands, apparently there was a problem with the tap & he ended up with a huge wet patch over his crotch when the taps sprayed out high pressure water to soak him, that was his excuse & he was sticking with it as he tried to towel himself off!
The Pack were still a fair way out from base-camp, so it was a cab back, but some had a bit of a wait outside for the third trip, this didn’t materialized until a mini bus was despatched, this had the remainder hanging about outside while the Pub was locked up after closing time. Unfortunately where this Pub is based, it is in a narrow street of terraced homes which doesn’t help & they can’t get a late license, which for some of the Hash wasn’t a bad thing as they were on their last legs!
Others were going to carry on with the drinking as they headed over the road from the Holiday camp, to the Flying Dutchman. Party Animal for one was raring for Karaoke, she ended up dancing with Ketchup & TBT OBE, the latter having much more stamina than his ‘Hash Son’!
Morning had broken & some where awoken by Paxo paying them a visit to deal out the weekend’s celebration polo shirts. Panda, Mr A & Junior went around for breakfast at Willow A. Junior said that he was happy with just some toast, but if there were beans going he’d have them as well. Since Paxo & My Lil’ had gone to the trouble of cooking the ‘Full Monty’ then there was soon a sausage, a couple of bits of bacon going on Junior’s plate as well. He drew the line at having tomato & mushrooms!
Both Panda & Junior were then quite amazed that they could not believe it was not butter that they were spreading on their toast! It was rather like being stuck in a bad TV advert! Still it could have been for Fox’s bis-quits!
The Pack began to assemble for the Saturday Trail. This would involve getting the two hourly Train from just across the Site. Simple enough you would think, but Junior & Panda were on the wrong side of the tracks & it’s only a single line, but they were heading toward the hairdressers that now resides in what was part of the Station on the Broadlands side of the tracks. A few shouts managed to get hem to cross the red brick bridge & join the rest.
The Train arrived & everyone boarded, the view from out of the window was pretty good, once they homes of Oulton Broad were left behind, as the panorama was over the broads. As the wet lands changed to drier fields, a heard of Deer were seen running alongside the Train, needless to say that No Eye Deer didn’t spot this!
Saturday’s Trail would start after the short Train trip to Beccles, then a short walk up for the Circle to be held in Market Square. It was pointed out to TBT OBE that Cauliflower’s on sale from the barrows here were only 48 pence!
Once Paxo had called the Circle together, after a bit of prompting from the former GM, the Pack were welcomed to this auspicious weekend. Then the Hare was called forward to explain what the Pack could expect out on the Trail, it was a shame that some of the Pack hadn’t circled up as some were AWOL in the local chemists.
There was an alternative Trail, that was mentioned & that was to stick with Windsock, Tops, Twonk, Unmentionable & Junior, who were going to do a tour of Beccles’ drinking establishments, some of them would not be seen until the Pack returned to Broadlands. Junior’s return would be by Taxi after he missed the two hourly train back!!
The Trail began by passing through a narrow passageway between Post Office & another building, out on footpath to Ballygate road, which led down by a couple of curious buildings, one of which was the ornate Beccles Museum, which was once a school & this is constructed out of various types of brick to give a unique pattern to it.
Dust led out to a CHK by the B1062, where there is a figure paying homage to Elisabeth the First who granted Beccles it’s Charter in 1584.
The Trail took the Keenies off on a loop around on Grange road & then Ringsfield road to lead behind a local School, some of those who took the Short Cut would stop off & purchase some cakes from a charity stall run by local parents of the School, the chocolate orange ones seemed to be the most popular.
The Trail turned westward as it reached the first of an S-bend in the road, a short way to the second bend & the Trail took to a footpath on a farm track off of this. The weather couldn’t have been finer as the Hash made their way out over the beautiful, verdant farm land. The Trail did go up a hill, this rise in gradient led Mark E Mark to comment on this not being the norm in Suffolk!
At Lodge Farm there was a split at a CHK there, while the Keenies all took to a loop around behind it, the Hare marked a short cut down through the farm yard on a footpath leading northward. On the way from the Farm yard the SCBs were privileged to see an old American WWII car, the white Stars on the beige coloured paint work gave this away.
Once down Lodge farm lane, the Trail came out on to a small lane off of the Bungay road, Dust led the Pack through a Small Holding between this lane & the Bungay road. On the way through the veg plot & by the free-range turkeys & chickens it came out to cross the Bungay road at Barsham Bridge.
The next stretch of the Trail would be a long stretch over a ploughed field, the going over which was extremely hard, only a few were keen enough to run this, while the rest walked over the sandy soil that was pretty hard to run across, not that this stopped Ketchup & Mark E Mark.
It was on this point that the RA suffered a blowout on his left trainer as the sole came loose, this would pick up the loose sandy soil like it was tilling the earth! This now amused those around the RA as it slowed his hobbling down further!
Once the Pack had left the awkward soil & had taken to a green strip that led on behind a large property, as the Trail progressed behind the stunning Saxon Church of The Most Holy Trinity, this small church built in three sections has a round brick tower at one end of the central thatched roofed of the main Church building, then a lower pantiled roof for the last section.
Interestingly on the interior, one of the walls bears the famous signal of “England Expects Every Man Will Do His Duty” signal flags as this was the Church where Nelson’s mother was baptised. It also contains a rare terracotta table tomb.
The Trail left the Church & headed out over a couple of green pastures, a few of the Pack took their eye off of the ball & missed where the Dust left the last paddock on a slight curving route back out on to the Bungay road. The Likes of Able, Hyena, Paxo, T-B-T OBE & Fliptop all followed where the RA had mistakenly gone down to a farm gate. Out on Lock’s lane, beyond the five bar gate in the end hedgerow, Dust was found leading away to the North.
As Able & the RA made their way down this lane, with the rest in tow, they found a T! So, they turned about to head up to the Bungay road where a CHK was missed out by this group. A local Farmer watched on in curiosity as the group went up to the main road & then turned back once they found the SC marked down from the missed CHK to where they had been down Lock’s lane!!!
On their second attempt along the lane to the North, the farmer came out of Nunnery farm to offer directions, once the backward & forward of the small group of the Pack was explained to the Farmer, he offered his advice to enjoy the Ale at the Beers stop, which was now not far away!
As the small group made their way down the lane, Hyena was pleased to see a pumping station at the local sewage works, it was just at this point that Smartarse joined Lock’s lane from having completed the loop around from further along the Bungay road & around to a CHK behind the west end of Nunnery farm.
The tarmac of Lock’s lane stopped just beyond the sewage works, then it became an uncapped track around to the east. The view that came in to sight was one that looks over the low level of Shipmeadow marshes. At a footpath leading Northward over the marshes a small white building could be seen in the distance, Smartarse seemed to be straying a little before picking up the correct route over toward Gledston Lock.
The marshes certainly lived up to their name as the path led on beside one of the deep, clear drainage ditches, so fresh is the water in these that there was evidence of fresh water muscles living in them as the Pack passed by the scattering of empty shells of these molluscs. The RA soon discovered that this wet land area was just as hard going with a flapping sole. He was sounding like a penguin in ‘Happy Feet!’
Eventually the Trail crossed a strangely constructed wooden footbridge that spans the ‘Limit of Navigation’ on the River Waverney. It was at this point that the Trail had moved over the county boundary from Suffolk to Norfolk, this runs along the centre of the river here.
The Pack could regroup & take in some liquid refreshment at the Lock’s Inn, a fine Pub at the end of the navigational part of the Waverney, a few boats moored & there were a couple moving back toward Beccles as if to prove this fact.
Having got a round in, Able then asked behind the Bar if they had any Duct-tape. They did, & having been served two pints of Ale & a roll of gaffer tape, the RA could now set about repairing his broken trainer with Duct-tape. Having wrapped tape around the loose sole, he then went on to wrap tape around the other shoe, ask why he had this on both, he said that he would look stupid if he had tape wrapped just around one shoe! [And he wouldn’t look stupid with both taped up? - Ed]
It was now that Mark E Mark said something about how hard it is to cycle with ears like his! This opened a ‘sluice gate’ of derogatory remarks, but Mark E Mark was not the only one to be picked on as Ketchup came in to the frame, & eventually everyone around the table was shot down, including the RA’s stupid shoes!
Ketchup was not the only one to be interested when a classic Citroen C3 arrived, a few of the blokes got up to have a look, including Fliptop as he seems to like Citroens.
Time to move on & the Pack headed back out over the Shipmeadow marshes once more, on part of the same way they had came to the Pub, but at the junction with the uncapped part of Lock’s lane, the Trail took to the easterly option. The Pack now followed the path as it ran along the bottom of the fields on a route parallel to the one of the Out Trail, this would lead by St Michaels Church that has a distinctive detached tower.
The Trail led back to the Centre of Town but some would take their eyes off of the Dust as they headed toward the Bus Station area, just before this the RA stopped off at the local Hardware Store. Here he bought a role of Duct tape of his own, as the journey back had taken its toll on the borrowed stuff wrapped around his Hash Shoes. After this it was over to the Bear & Bells.
Those who thought that the Trail would end at the Bell & Shears would now be surprised to find that no one else from the Pack were inside the Pub, nor in the rear patio garden when that was checked. After a bit of retracing of steps to locate the end of the Trail, it just seemed to just peter out in the town, it took a phone call to find out that the On Inn was now at the Caxton Club.
Finding the Caxton Club wasn’t as easy as it sounds, since it was down a narrow lane & after the asking of a couple of locals one lost group managed to locate this Club of a former printers, the works of the former large printing company have now gone & are the home to the local Tesco.
Not everyone would managed to find their way to this CAMRA approved club, Windsock, Tops & Juniors’ group never arrived, later on it found out that Junior managed to get split from this group. A call to the RA came from Sis & Psycho, they were directed to find their way to the Club. The girls headed off after a quick drink, while the chaps staid for a couple more, mainly due to the hospitality of the hosts in the Club & this needing to be repaid in kind. Which meant that the Girls missed out on the Pickled Eggs that Ketch up bought, which may not have been a bad thing!
Smartarse & a couple of the other Lads were transfixed as the footie results come in over the Club’s TV. Time was ticking by & the remainder of the Pack would have to move on if they didn’t want to miss the next Train back!
There was time to get changed before heading off toward the Club House, there was a little soiree at Chez Windsock et Tops on the way. This led to a few of the Pack getting caught out when he produced a bottle of Zwack Unicum [steady there Pebbledash! – Ed], it’s a Hungarian 40 herbal spirit based drink in an old fashioned Grenade-like bottle, we don’t normally have photo’s in the Run reports but the editor thoughts that you should see theses pair!
If the Unicum wasn’t strong enough, then a Vodka & Orange certainly was, as Windsock poured half a pint of Vodka in a glass for the unsuspecting guest & virtually he just showed it to a carton of orange juice!
More exotic drinks came out as Windsock produced a bottle of ‘Lucky Strike’ which went down well, this must be a Windsock favourite as here always seems to be a bottle of this liquor that contains real flakes of gold leaf. [Does this mean that this makes your stools rich? – Ed]
Eventually it was time to stagger off & get some food at the cub house. Most ordered food & for some it couldn’t come quick enough! A very loud the RA was told off by Lobby Lobster, it seemed that he obeyed her order to be quiet or was he just over-shadowed by the arrival of Windsock & Junior? These two were both louder than Windsock’s shirt, they soon labelled in the ‘Not really wanted in here!” category by the Staff, which soon dropped even lower to the “Your not getting any service in here, league!”
Above all of the noise, Ketchup managed to fall asleep in the clubhouse, some naughty people took advantage of this & on his bald pate he had ‘500 Runs’ marked there using a broad felt pen.
Junior was now well gone as he stumble around, he was desperately trying to
stagger away & to
dribble & spit over see the ‘Deep Purple’ tribute band,
the very one that he had tried to convince the barmaid in the Lady of the Lake
that Windsock was a member of! [Can’t see it myself, but then again the F.U.K.
Full Moon once successfully tried to pass Smartarse off as Paul McCartney! – Ed]
A few managed to make it over the Railway line to visit the Flying Dutchman & see ‘the Group’, Junior was conspicuous by his absence. It was a little disappointing in there as there was no Real Ale available, even though the signs outside have ‘Real Ales’ painted upon them. By all accounts TBT OBE & Party Animal managed to have a cracking time in there, dancing away to the music.
Sunday & another “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” round of bacon butties were much appreciated! Junior enquired from Panda about what happened the night before, Panda replied with “How the hell would I know!” [It must have been good!?– Ed] SO, neither were any wiser than the other! This short conversation made Hyena laugh, he almost broke out on the ‘Full Monty’ bray of his, but stopped a little short of the final spluttering cough!
Sunday’s Trail was set by Paxo, it started at the early time of 10:30 in order to allow the recovery Runners to get changed & walk down to the ‘On Inn’ of the Wavenery, where Sunday Lunch was to be taken later on. This headed out through the site before taking to the ancient route of ‘Angles way’. As it headed westward it passed by the oddly brightly painted pink & blue old caravans dotted about the fields behind the site, these apparently are there in protest about a failed attempt to extent the site.
On the way Able asked the RA what the birds circling over head where, where they Gulls? They were terns, & the RA added he was just glad that they weren’t Vultures, as by the state of some of the Pack they would not have the ability to be able to fend off these scavengers!
The Trail headed Westward to cross the drive to Ivy Farm, then making is way along one of the ditches that drain the marshes in to the main drain & then into the Waverney, the Trail came up to a CHK on the end of Burnt Hill lane, by White House farm, then it turned north westward to head over to White Cast Marshes.
The Dust would soon loop back to take to the main path that followed the contour of the edge of the reed marsh to lead back in to the site at a point by the Club house, it was a simple Trail that Recovery Runs should be! There was plenty of time to get changed & then walk over to the Waverney.
It was rather pleasant inside the Wavereney, tables had been reserved along one wall & have purchased one of the decent Ales on offer, the Pack slowly settled in to study the menu. After a couple of Beers it was time to step out in to the walled in backyard of the Pub, over top of the tall red brick wall was the delightful sight of the works in the harbour.
As the Circle formed, a few of the Pack noticed a washing line over at the back of the homes to the south of the Pub, on this line was a pair of ‘Brigitte Jones’ big pants, Fliptop was quick with an unguarded remark out of Sis’s earshot about these resembling her underwear! This comment about the old Bridget Jones’s on the line would come back to haunt him in the Circle.
For being the Hare on Saturday & of course for his 1,000th Run (which had already been) My Lil’ received the first Down-Down; there were plenty more to follow including……… Ketchup for completing his 500th Herts Trail, where he was presented with his 500th Run walking stick; Fliptop for ‘airing’ Sis’s underwear in public, he received one of those looks when the RA told the Pack & Sis what he had said earlier!
The RA was awarded for the loss & reattachment of his Hash Boot’s sole! TBT OBE & Party Animal were called out for their Partying & dancing over at the Flying Dutchman; Panda, Junior & Smartarse called out for finding a ‘Welcome Guest Beer’ in their abode that was nothing to do with the Hash! Hyena was out for making sure that everyone else in Willow A were awoken once he was up by thumping along the wooden floor.
Time for Lunch & the Staff at the Waverney did a sterling job, as they managed to get the roast dinners out so we were all eating at the same time. The Yorkshire puddings were all home made & most of the grub was loclally sourced, there was lots of it too & the service great. Psycho felt moved to go & thank the staff in the little kitchen. Some wondered if TBT OBE would go for the Cauliflower for Sunday Lunch? He didn’t! We left then a good tip as we parted.
Some stayed on in town, visiting the Lady of the Lake. Junior, having been in there before seemed to think that he & the largely built, tattooed Landlord & him were ‘bestest drinking buddies’ as Junior waffled on at he Bar about coming in there previously & becoming their best customer ever! (In Junior’s Mind at least!) Being Junior’s bestest drinking buddy in the whole wide world is not exactly an exclusive club, there are thousands of them out there when the old Cider-visor comes down!
Suddenly the riveting conversation stopped as Junior’s phone went off, so he stepped outside to take the phone call, while he was out on the street [He should be used to that! – Ed] the rest all got up from the table & hid around the corner, not that this bothered Junior as when he came back in, he just waffled on again to the cheesed off looking Landlord!
Time came around for the late afternoon soirée. Ketchup’s initial concerns about there being not enough of his Cheese to go around were soon dispelled as others also brought Cheeses along, as well as biscuits & Port, plus some very sour snake sweets! [It wasn’t Halloween! – Ed]
This would result in plenty of cheese on toast to start with, & to top things off Psycho had made a great cake, as she does, which was decorated with a bald headed face & a rather large sperm! [What would Freud say? More like what would Pebbledash say? – Ed] Perhaps the bald head could have been Ketchup’s to make it his 500th Celebratory cake as well as My Lil’s 1,000th It was a real hoot in the lodge.
Ketchup was very proud to have been given a large Jar of Dr Young’s Love Eggs [No Pebbledash, they are not what you are thinking of! – Ed] (Dr Young is 1-2-1 to you & me) these were to be shared out, very good they were too having just the right bite from the chillies that were in the pickling vinegar.
Along with the various Cheeses that had been cut in to little cubes, Little Hole seemed to have developed a taste for the Port, & it began to have its effect. Not that he was on his own as the wine & port worked its magic on the remainder of the Pack.
For those who were getting bleary-eyed & weren’t paying attention, there was a little naughty food fight, Mark E Mark had that ‘cheeky monkey’ grin upon his face as every so often a bit of cheese, or an olive was launched across the front room! Was it an incoming olive, or cheese straw that made suddenly woke Panda & made him spill his beer? Fortunately, as he badly juggled with his can of Guinness the contents mostly went down his own trouser legs, thus avoiding the carpet!!
Junior & Ketchup were now like two bookends, & not for the first time that weekend they were propping each other up! Ketchup had managed to lose his 500th Run Walking Stick, which not so obviously hidden behind sofa, but it was enough for the like of Ketchup & Junior not to notice!
The evening soon came & many took advantage to go off to get an early night in before setting off home in the morning. By the end of the weekend it seems that everyone was suitable impressed by the Site, the local Pubs & the Countryside, it looks like we may be back.
Well done to My Lil’ for reaching his 1,000 the Herts Trail, even if it was weeks before the event!