Run No. 1454 16th June 2012
Venue: Gibberd Gardens
Beer: 32 Real Ales & several Cider/Perrys
Location: Potters Bar
Membership: Supping at its best!!
It was always on the cards that this would be a low turn out, as it was on a Saturday, it would end at a Beer Festival & the weather didn’t look to clever!
The Trail began from Harlow Mill Station, this was for those who didn’t drive there, or should have taken the Train & not parked up by the Station like Sloppy Seconds did!
The RA & My Lil’ just missed a connecting Train, due to the 724 bus being slightly late. So, while they hung about at Harlow Town, Ketchup & Sloppy Seconds began the Trail, after they had looked out for the potential arrival of a Newie form Sawbridgeworth. There was no sign of Vanessa, so off these two went.
Mr X & My Lil’ weren’t that far behind them as they set off from Harlow Mill. The CAMRA Trail to the venue began on a footpath beside the side of the exit on the northbound platform, which at this point heads more in a eastwardly direction.
What a start it was as the nettles that lined the route had obviously shot up with the recent amounts of rain these parts have received of late. Apart from the obvious mass of very tall nettles, the Pack had to negotiate a skip fill of rubbish that littered the way, the first was a large suitcase that had been abandoned in an open position.
There was allsorts of other nonsense to avoid, a large old Cathode Ray Tube TV was the next biggest thing before the narrow path between the fenced-in back garden & the Railway line finally emerged out on to the A1104. The R said that they could have been down there with a scythe to clear some of the overgrown foliage!
To the left the White Horse could be seen but the Trail peeled off before reaching the Greene King Pub. The Trail crossed the road to take to a small cul-de-sac of Wheat, a short way on one side & the Trail led through a wooden fenced stile & out on to the edge of an open crop field of Wyldwood Farm.
Here two civilians asked the RA & My Lil’ if they knew they had done this route before, My Lil’ had been along this route & told them that he had, but these tow weren’t up to the walking pace of the two Hashers & they were soon left behind with their OS Map.
The Trail crossed a short wooden footbridge spanning a brook that feeds the Stort Navigation over to the north. Out in the field & it was fairly dry underfoot as the route continued eastward along by the railway line, this would drop down as the field slowly descended, while the railway continued up on an embankment. The Trail would take a sudden right-hand turn to change direction on to a southerly direction as it passed through a tunnel in the embankment for a farm track.
The short tunnel had had two long water-logged ruts running from out of either side, the floor of this was cobbled with bricks to shape it like one of Joseph Bazalgette’s London sewers. The Track now entered a wood area as it began to run on a winding route to turn northward along side the grounds of Gibberd Gardens on the left.
Eventually the Pack arrived at the entrance to the Gardens & after paying for their entry fee it was on to the Ale, the selections were all Herts & Essex Brews. A small picnic took place in the main marquee, with Angela supplying most of the goodies, as the Pack listened to the wind blow the tent panels, but the rain managed to stay off. In fact the Sun even came out at times!
Later on Ketchup, Jaron & Angela went off to explore the Gardens while the RA & Hare Raiser stayed to explore some more beers! After their walk around the Gardens to see the statues & other artworks, it was time for a kick about for Jaron & his Dad.To the RA it seemed a bit one sided as Jaron spent most of his time digging the ball out of the ditch where the ‘goal’ was supposed to be! Lucky it wasn’t the Pincey Brook that flows through part of the gardens. But then things got worse as Jaron ended up pushing Ketchup on the rope swing hanging form a large tree in the gardens!