Run No. 1455              25thJune 2012

Venue:                          The Chequers

Beer:                             Tribute, Young's, Young's Special

Location:                      Woolmer Green

Hare(s):                         Sludge

Runners:                       22

Virgins:                          0

Visitors:                         0

Après                              2

Newies:                          0                        

Hounds:                         2

Total:                             26

Membership:               Amazed at the Secret Zoo!


It was a fairly muggy late afternoon for the arriving Pack.  The RA was the first to the Pub, with the exception of the our Glorious Leader, who was the day’s Hare & he was out repairing the Trail after he began laying it the day before but failed to finish it in one go.  The RA was going to meet the Hare Raiser coming on the bus over, but My Lil’ was let down by the bus being early at the stop that lurks almost outside his home, still he should know the ‘10 minute rule’!

Anyhow, the numbers were much improved on those of the last Herts Trail & perhaps it was down to the improvement in the recent weather?  For Spotted Dick & Custard it was a case of the fact that the Pub is almost on their doorstep, which was their incentive to turn out.

The Hare Raiser finally arrived on the bus & he was there just before the GM arrived back to call the Circle together.  Sludge welcomed the Pack to the correct Run number, before going on to explain what the Pack could expect out on the Trail.  There was mention of short cuts in the GM’s speech & these seemed to be directed mainly at T-B-T OBE, who had one leg bandaged up & it looked like he was wearing surgical stockings or Elizabethan hoes. 

T-B-T OBE had been driven over by the JM, later it would emerge that he had been out with the Herts Hash Hackers & with the use of a Golf Buggy he had got a round in!  There no chance of him going around in a Golf Buggy on the Hash, & even with all of those letters after his name he will not being lifted around in a litter either! [Falling in it is more of an option! – Ed]

The Pack were directed northward down London road to pass the near by Red Lion, another of this village’s three Pubs.  The First CHK was found a little further long on the corner of Bridge road, the RA was keen on carrying on toward the footpath opposite the Filling station across the road, but before he could join those who were also tempted to look that away, a call of “On!” echoed from down Bridge Road

Dust led the Pack on to Wych Elm Lane beyond the railway bridge at the end of the populated part of Bridge road, near to the end of which the RA spotted the Curate was peering in some of the gardens like a ‘Peeping Tom’!  He soon stopped this & continued on to follow the pack out to a CHK just beyond the west side of the bridge.

It didn’t take some of the FRBs log to suss out the Trail would head along a diagonal set path through the crop fields & on to the corner of the part of Brokers Garden wood of Mardley Heath wood.  For some reason Winston had decided that he wasn’t going to follow Fliptop, the hound had to be cajoled to join the Pack to find a CHK outside the corner of the afore mention wood.

It took a while for the Trail to be picked up once more, the RA headed out southward along the outside of the eastern edge of the wood, while Fliptop chose the opposite northern edge running along to the west.  Eventually calls of “On!” were heard from My Lil’ [Yes folks you heard right! – Ed] as the other Keenies had found Dust within the northern edge of the Mardley wood.

The next CHK was found all the way down in the opposite corner, near the bottom edge of the Legs & Stockings wood part of Mardley Heath wood.  Here a few ventured out through the underpass in the embankment for the A1 (M), with its noisy traffic roaring above the wood, those who did get out to the west side of the motorway would not find any dust.

Those, like My Lil, ARP & Porky Pie, who searched the east side struggled a bit to find the flour before they located any of the pale remnants, it seems that it had taken somewhat of a bashing from the elements & the local wildlife.  The Hare was convinced that the local Wascawy Wabbits had been at the Dust!

The Trail headed out up by one of the hollows normally used by BMX bikers to mess abou tin, but not now as these were pretty well water filled.  This was no doubt part of what remains when the area was a former pit from a time when the it was given over to gravel extraction.  Fortunately the extraction wasn’t for too long & that it only affected a small area of the heath. 

Back to the Trail & No Eye Deer found the Trail as she became the first of a second leg of FRBs to head out that way, behind her were Sloppy Seconds, Party Animal, Skip, Psycho & Little Hole as the Family ‘Nutter’ were called “On!” behind her as she made her way through the Ninningsfield part of the wood.  The Hare was now going to put the backmarkers of Sis, T-B-T OBE & Hyena on to a Short Cut.

No Eye Deer was quickly through the next CHK, she found Dust up beside the open area of the heath, which was he main extraction works of years gone by & is now an area of fallow land with wild grasses & the like to be enjoyed by the local wildlife & civilians alike.

Meanwhile Mr X had disappeared down from the CHK, he was searching down around by one of the water filled hollows, these are normally pretty dry at this time of year, but the crazy weather patterns we have these days have put pay to that! 

The Trail came out by the car park of the open area of the Nature Reserve, from a CHK there the Trail was found across the lane of Heath Road to enter the second half of the wood, once over the lane the Dust led on to the main path out to the east, but calls of ‘Hold the next Check!’ from the Hare had been heeded by My Lil’, ARP & Porky Pie as they were found calling “On to Check!” from within a small open space behind the hedgerow along this main route.

The RA was surprised to see that the youngsters of ARP & Porky Pie were both sitting on a bench!  Spotted Dick & Custard were surprised to find this little open space hidden away amongst the Hornbeams & other native broadleaf’s that were originally planted here for a supply of timber.  Fliptop told a joke while the Pack awaited the SCBs arrival, there was plenty of groans of disappointment at the punch line, more than there were from T-B-T OBE getting out of Paxo’s car!  It was dire but it did lead to a couple more jokes being recited, none of which are worthy of this weekly Trash!

The FRBs were soon scattered to the four corners of this open space in Dolesbury Firs.  My Lil’ was soon on his way back from his choice over to Aunt wood [Oh, no she wood not! - Ed] as “On!” was called by Fliptop as he & Skip led the way out down to the south, to run through Three Corner wood & there was plenty of shiggy along this stretch of the Trail.

A few made their way out through the high scrubby bank to avoid the deeper Shiggy on the way down to the CHK on the main path in the dell.  There was some confusion at the CHK down in the hollow by the exit out on to the dead end of Heathbrow road, was this due to the fact that it had all but been washed out?

My Lil’ & Fliptop had been out on the road & had found nothing, so they began searching back in the wood.  The RA arrived just in time to see them come down the tree covered bank, ARP, Porky Pie & No Eye Deer all came down from within the wood as the Hare re-set the CHK & marked it toward the opening on to Heathbrow road.

The Hare said that perhaps the FRBs had missed the arrows on the path as one resident was out cutting his hedge & perhaps the trimmings were covering the Trail?  The simple answer was No, as little further along & a very fresh looking arrow was clear to see as the Hare pointed this out to the RA!

The Pack descended down the hillside of Welwyn Heath, not that you’d know that it was a heath as it was built upon many years ago!  After a couple of 90° Turns the Trail came out on to the old A1 (Great North road) & it then crossed over at the pedestrian crossing, was this to keep the greedy ones out of the North Star?  No Eye Deer commented about the Pub to Spotted Dick, he said that it was more of a foodie place now, but it was an improvement on what it use dot be like in there!

The Trail now headed off on to the lower of the two Mardley Hill roads, the steep climb up Mardley Hill was avoided, never the less there would still be a steep climb as from the CHK found at he bottom of the junction with Oaklands Rise, the Trail rose up the narrow road that is home to some exclusive properties.

It was at this point that Mark E Mark caught up with the FRBs, Ketchup had Jaron back with him at the tail of the Pack.  Zing-a-long-a-max also appeared on the scene, he too was another later starter.

On the way up Oaklands Rise, No Eye Deer went off up Chestnut Walk but was brought back to the fold by the Hare, she now hooked up with Psycho & they chatted away as the Dust continued on up by the various little roads off of Oaklands Rise, most of which had the name Turpin in them as the infamous Dick [Whoa there Pebble Dash! - Ed] used to be carry out his no good acts of highway robbery around these parts.

Mr X mentioned the fact that a lot of the roads on this side of Mardley Heath are named after the exploits of Dick Turpin, ARP & Porky Pie seemed interested but the Curate wasn’t so as he declared that he was ‘Bored now!”  The RA presumed that he meant with the Trail?

The Trail reached the top of the hill & took to a footpath off beside one of the large detached homes to toke the Pack out in to the west edge of Harmergreen wood.  A CHK was found on the main track running behind the back of the homes, there would be no Dust found either way on this, instead the Hare had plumped for the narrower, meandering path in to amongst the broadleaf trees.

 It was fairly obvious why the Hare had chosen this option in to the wood, the route was narrowed by the encroaching nettles & this would hamper any chance of trying to avoid the large tracts of shiggy along the way!  The Pack seemed to slow as the way became more wet & claggy, it was on this next stage that the Curate told those near to him that he was now ‘Unbored!’

The RA said to the Hare that he would be happy if the Trail headed over to the east edge of Harmergreen wood & then turned left to head northward & on to the track of Bridger’s path, up by the mobile phone mast off of Robber Bottom lane.  The Hare said that he too would be happy with that route!

Now the Hash broke in to several small groups as the Dust led on through the small open areas within the woodland, some of these are used by the Scouts, at one point as the Trail went beside one of these the ground became quite uneven & impossible to run on as there was a covering of moss that disguised the ankle turning hollows beneath.

Eventually the Trail did come on to the path on the inside of the east edge of Harmergreen wood, there a couple out running gave those floundering in the last bit of shiggy a funny look.  From the CHK on the edge of the wood, Zing-a-long-a-max came back from a Falsie out toward Burnham Green, once picked up again the Trail soon hit a stony path leading down toward Robbery Bottom lane, it may have been down hill but it wasn’t comfortable underfoot.

IN the bottom of a dip in the route, a CHK was found by the end of the strip of woodland that runs down beside Robbery Bottom lane, the FRBs were soon on to this & were heading down through the Hempstall Spinney toward Mardley Hill once again.  For some, like My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead & Mr X, who have very good local knowledge of this area, they weren’t going to be lured off down toward Welwyn & so they didn’t fall for the Falsie down that way.

My Lil’ led the way up a short steep climb to the top of the narrow rustic end of Robbery Bottom lane, & then on to Bridger’s Path.  This leads up between two crop fields before entering the wooded area up by the mobile phone masts.  The RA was soon on to this as well & he would soon discover that ARP & Porky Pie were ahead of him as he turned the corner to run down by the stables.

Zing-a-long-a-max was the first of the FRBs to realise their mistake & searched back up the hill, he soon cottoned on to the fact the RA knew where he was going, & once Mr X had called “On!” Zing-a-long-a-max retreated back down the Trail to alert the others behind him!

The last bit of shade on this Trail was about to end as the path comes out on to London Road, now it was just a short Trot down the hill & back in to the Pub.  Zing-a-long-a-max soon passed by the RA, ARP & Porky Pie, as he did so he commented upon not seeing an ‘On Inn’ [Without which No Trail would be complete! – Ed].  ARP soon alerted him to the fact that it was on the opposite side of the road, but even Zing-along-a-max wouldn’t run back up to see for himself & instead took the RA’s word for it being there!

The Pack assembled in the’ Secret Zoo’ of the Pub, but the RA could only see Owls, Rabbits & Chipmunks, so they did a very good job of hiding the Elephants, Rhino & Giraffe!  Perhaps they were at the Bar?

Spotted Dick was seen lurking around outside in front of the of the Garden, he seemed oblivious to Custard calling from inside the garden, it seems like most (Men) he has selective hearing!

A little later the Pack were joined by Lofty & Bus Stop, who had been out & about exploring the lavender at Bennington Lordship.  They too enjoyed the garden, especially Bus Stop when it came to the Raptors!  Other who took a shine to the inhabitants of the Secret Zoo were Lucy & Winston, these two were soon whisked away & placed in the open back of the Fliptop mobile.

The Down-Downs didn’t begin until Ketch Up & Jaron were back, when they did the Hare was awarded his for a great Trail: My Lil’ was out for being the Hare two weeks earlier when the Down-Down were postponed, the RA was lenient as he ignored the requests from Fliptop, Skip & Sludge to award him water, this being because he Trail was so bloody wet & cold!

T-B-T OBE was out for completing 200 Herts Trails, well almost as he followed Sis & Party Animal on the Short Cut the Hare had marked.  Also out for an anniversary was Lofty for completing 50 Herts Trails, she was awarded her bag, which the RA dragged in by the shoulder strap to make it look like a dog on a lead, this was then called ‘Henry the bag’ just to confuse Henry the dog!

Porky Pie was out for wearing an orange shirt that matched his hair had Hare written on the back of it, when he clearly wasn’t the Hare!  Sloppy Seconds was out for being ‘Bored & then Unbored’ with the Trail [Sounds painful to me? – Ed]  Ketchup was out for child abuse of getting his little son to push him on a swing at the Beer festival the previous week, the RA was tempted to call Ester’s Childline before the poor mite ends up cleaning chimneys!!

Talking of Kids, Sis wanted to reiterate that Adults are welcome to campout at the Horror’s weekend, or just come up for the Saturday Trail at 11:00Hrs!

            The Pack returned to supping of Ale & many jokes about Jimmy Carr were told…………………