Run No. 1456 1st July 2012
Venue: The Gate
Beer: Golden Harvest, Dragon’s Blood & many more!
Hare(s): Sloppy Seconds
Membership: Avoiding the Garden Shed!
As the Pack gathered in the Car Park it soon became obvious to the Herts Crew that they were going to be low on numbers, where were the regulars? Watching Cricket? [One or two were at the One Day International against the Aussies!] Essex were also low on their usual turnout, but at least the combined Packs added up to 28, not that there were that many at the very start of the Trail.
The Hare had requested that the Pack start from the Bell Street Car Park, he sent 2-1-2 Maureen around there from her ‘sentry duty’ outside of the Gate Pub, where she was directing those who didn’t know about being around at the car park, but for a while it seemed like she had managed to get lost! It turned out that she had parked in a different section of this long car park, Sloppy Seconds went & fetched her from there.
Sludge called the Circle together, getting the Herts Run number correct! He then went on to stand in for the absent Essex GM, for which he needed some prompting from the Essex part of the Pack! Sloppy was called forward to explain the Herts markings, as he went through his routine of drawing out these in one of the car parking spaces, Mark E Mark said that this would stop someone from parking there!
Things began with the Keenies being shown toward the gap in a wall for an alleyway that Runs along at the end of the car park, meanwhile the SCBs were told to stick near to the Hare! The first CHK was discovered in the gap in the wall, this was one entrance on to the footpath running east to west from London road down toward the Stort!
The consensus of the FRBs was to head off down toward the east, near the north end of the Cricket ground. The Herts RA & Hare Raiser took the alternative option & emerged out on to London road, where they saw either Pick or Mix coming back up to the alleyway in order to inform the others know that he had found Trail down the hill of London road.
The likes of Lunchbox, Casey Jones, the other Pick or Mix Twin, Fergus, Sludge, Vicky Vomit, Sparky & Mark E Mark were now on their way back from the Falsie in the other direction, along with them No Eye Deer, Tena Lady, & Lobby Lobster with Gizmo, all were taken up in the wake as the FRBs corrected their earlier mistake to emerge out on to London road.
Casey Jones & the other FRBs were soon descending London road, way down ahead of them they could see Mr X & My Lil’ had passed through the next CHK on the start off Springhall road, off of the main drag. They continued beyond this point & had found a Falsie down toward the lights & with arms out stretched to indicate it was False, they were making their way back up to Springhall road.
Pick, Mix & Casey Jones now took up the FRBing as they found the Trail leading off up Springhall road, a CHK was found by one the small cul-de-sac off of this residential road, one of the twins was caught out by looking down one of this, he was soon back as the others found the Trail continuing to the T shaped dead-end of the road where the next CHK was found.
Mr X & My Lil’ convinced the Essex FRBs that the Trail would probably drop down the footpath beside the local allotments, but as they headed off down this path the twins & Casey Jones found a T near to the Scout Hut.
A slow trudge up the hill & the proper Trail was found up to the other arm of the T shaped end of Springhall road, via a cut-through & on to a CHK on the edge of the open park area on Vantorts road, up at the north end there were a few budding Wimbledon champs out playing on the tennis courts behind the local Cricket Ground. The Pack were now catching up with the FRBs as they made their way out of the green space & on to Fairway.
The Trail twisted & turned as it led on down Fairway & then on to the long arcing road of Elm Wood, Sludge was tempted to go off down to an opening in what looked like a way out between two of the properties, on a possible route toward the open space near to the Stort Navigation? Which actually can be done, but this time it wasn’t as calls of “On!” were still coming from those further up around the road.
As the road came around to become Southbrook, it reached a bit where a narrow brook runs off to the left, there he first Held CHK was found. The twins of Pick & Mix did a naughty thing here as they went off to look for Dust & on the private road of Springall lane. They ventured up a hairpin bend up Springhall lane, however, they did come back after locating the Trail! The reason for none of the CHKs being marked, they were to be saved intact for the following night’s Full Moon! So, the Hare was having to sweep up the likes of Lobby Lobster & Dr Doolittle.
As Sloppy performed his Sweeping duties, he found Captain Nibbles & her folks, she soon spilled the beans to Vicky Vomit (Essex RA) about how her Dad had misdirected them on the way to the venue! This was manner from heaven to Mr Vomit, he being the Essex RA
Here Tena Lady said that she like Mr X’s hat, she asked him where he got it from? His reply was out at InterHash in Indonesia! This was a long way to go just for a hat in her opinion! Mr X said that he had a shirt to match, something that he would be wearing later on at the On Inn.
The Hare allowed the FRBs to resume the search for Dust & they were nearly all on as the twins & Casey Jones led the way on Springhall lane, the exception was Mr X who had gone in the opposite direction to look on a footpath where there was no Trail!
Mark E Mark cut off this hair-pin bend by taking the stepping stone route over the brook, he joined Mr X as they made their way up Springhall lane. The Trail finally left the tarmac & concrete of the streets to lead out on to the edge of the nature reserve, these two were led on by No Eye Deer’s calling of “On! On!” to follow the Dust over part of the enclosed green area, through a couple of Kissing gates to reach the uncapped end of Springhall lane.
A CHK was found on this hedged in track, the advancing Keenies found themselves picking up the Dust on the path lined with duckboards to be led out through the osier beds to the next CHK on the edge of the marsh & reed beds. Here there was a smell of sulphur lingering in the air, it doesn’t help that there is a network of sewage pipes running through the marsh, but the smell was increased when Louis jumped in to the brackish water of the reed beds! Mark E Mark was none too pleased by this!
The FRBs were now seen heading away on a long south-eastward path of duck-boards out toward the tow path of the Stort Navigation, the RA turned to Mark E Mark & said that he believed that there was a triangle of paths & the other route to the northeast could be a short cut to the proper Trail! So, it was shame that he didn’t heed his own words as he reluctantly followed on behind the FRBs!
Mark E Mark did take the short cut Mr X had predicted, as the Hare swept him & Louis up with the other SCBs, at least Mr X was far enough behind not to be dragged down the long path to a Bar CHK long the tow-path to the south!
The Trail now led northward along the towpath, passing opposite the narrow boats before Sawbridgeworth marina, on the left was the fenced off area of scrub that had ‘Subsidence’ warning signs on it. The Trail came up to Sheering Mill Lane, where a Held CHK was found by the Lock.
The Pack had a little wait for the SCBs to catch up, also it was at this point that Zing-a-long-a-max caught up with the Pack after his late start. Kylie managed to wander down Sheering Mill lane, as he intercepted the Pack on his short cut down from the Town centre.
Windsock took the opportunity at this point to take Kylie’s route backward, he had done enough of the Trail, in fact it was a lot more than he normally would do! A few of the Pack were amazed he went as far as he did!
When the Trail resumed, the Hare made sure that the Pack crossed over the Navigation & over the railway bridge to leave Hertfordshire & cross the border in to Essex. I.E. said to Mr X that she thought she knew Sawbridgeworth, but she didn’t know where she was now, Mr X pointed out that they were no longer in Sawbridgeworth but were now in Sheering!
A trot around a few of the back streets of Sheering led the Pack out via Ladywell Prospect & through the edge of the recreation ground. The Hare put in a short cut for Dr Doolittle & co, she had to be called back to take part in this with Sooty, My Lil’, Mr X, I.E. 2-1-2 Maureen. The two Trails met up again on the Lower Sheering road, where an arrow directed them to on to a footpath off over the lush green crop fields toward the M11.
I.E. talked about her time with Herts to No Eye Deer, how she & Goose left before No Eye Deer joined H4. The pace dropped to a walk on the narrow path at the edge of the wheat field, it was ideal for the knitting circle. Now it was noticeable to all that the Trail was still moving away from the venue & the time was edging toward midday!
Suddenly Mr X, having realised the time, started to put a spurt on & he was not the only one as My Lil’ did too. Mark E Mark commented that it must be serious for My Lil’ to run to anywhere he had to spend money! It was a long trot out toward the motorway before the Trail turned.
The Trail dropped northward near to the end of the field, it ran down through the crop & on to the last Held CHK nestling in the bottom of the valley. Mr X ran down to find the FRBs holding the CHK. Mr X said “Don’t get cold at the CHK, start looking for Dust!” as they Pack had been advised by the Hare at the opening Circle.
So, the Keenies started searching, with Zing-along-a-max picking up the Dust down through the overgrown tree lined path in the bottom of the valley, then the Trail came out to the open & almost doubled back to make its way up to a CHK on the edge of a higher crop field.
The FRBs were now pretty visible to those further back on the Trail, they could look down over the verdant valley to see brightly coloured shirts bobbing along on the way out to Quickberry farm. A CHK was found just before the farm yard, but it didn’t pose much of a problem as the Trail was soon found again on the long footpath down to the Lower Sheering road.
Once out on to this mina road in to Sawbo a choice of taking a Long Trail of Short Cut was written out on the tarmac path. The shorter of the options seemed to be the most popular.
The Short cut involved going back to Sheering Mill lane, Captain Nibbles & one of the Twins stopped at the previous Held CHK on the lock, Mr X arrived & explained that they should follow the lane around back up to Sawbo but then take to a series of alleyways that lead up to the local Church of Great St Mary’s. In fact the Hare had marked this & the Trail led in this way.
At the end of the Churchyard the On Inn was found before the Pack came out of the sturdy, heavy wooden Church gates & up to one end of Bell Lane. This option kept the Pack away from the property where the ‘Garden Shed’ incident that took place on a F.U.K Full Moon Pub Crawl in Sawbo a couple of years ago, the Police were nearly called by a mad man when the Pack stopped briefly outside of his front garden to admire his ‘shed’!
Mr X didn’t hang around too long in the car park, he just grabbed his bag & set off with a purposeful stride to the Pub, in order to beat the expected queue to the Bar!
Most of the Pack sat outside when they returned, there was a slight blip when a bit of drizzle passed over ahead, but the stiff breeze soon blew this way to leave it as a nice warm afternoon! The Herts GM didn’t hang around & wasn’t present by the time the Circle was called.
Down-Downs went to the Hare for a splendid Trail, that didn’t need the extra loop in the opinion of the majority! Captain Nibbles was out for blaming her father for them getting lost on the way to the venue! Windsock & Tena Lady were out as one only went to InterHash in Indonesia to get an over the InterHash shirt like Mr X’s, while the latter envied such a design!
While the Down-Downs were taking place, Mr X had the Circle pass around a postcard he bought in Uganda, at Jinga for the source of the Nile, it is sold for road safety in Uganda & features a Taxi driver who just slightly resembles someone known to the Pack, there was a laugh & smile from each of the circle as they looked at the picture on the front of the card!
Kylie was out for cocking up the plans of the Herts RA for his 1,000th Herts Run celebrations to now make it fall on a Full Moon weekend! Careless Wrister was out for completing 400 Essex Trails! Mr X was awarded the final Down-Down for his determined route march out of the car park to the On Inn!
Mr X informed the closing Circle of the whereabouts of the Next Herts Run, Sooty did likewise for Essex. Mr X then went on to say that the F.U.K. Full Moon would be at the very venue they were at now! But tomorrow night & it would use the same Hare & Trail! His final words were that for those attending the Stoggy Hag (Hoggy’s Stag) weekend on the Isle of Man, he was just as ignorant of what was supposed to be happening as everyone else who is going!