Run No. 1460 30th July 2012
Venue: The Cowper Arms
Beer: AK, Hop, Skip & Jump!
Membership: Olympics have nothing on us!
There were a few late starters this week, ironically Ketchup wasn’t one of them! Amongst those who were behind schedule were the RA & My Lil’ who had just made their way back from another ‘successful’ Isca weekend, while Kylie had only just made his mind up to turn out that night, the Pack had already set off by the time they were all ready for the off.
On his way to the venue Kylie had seen which way the Pack had set off, so there was no need to search the nearby alleyway across the road. It all began by heading out under the railway bridge for the Mainline to Kings Cross. Once on the opposite side of the tracks the Dust led down Hamergreen road as it winds its way to a T-junction with New Road. The CHK there had been marked for the late comers & they were quickly on to the footpath that is almost hidden between the two gardens of a couple of properties on New Road.
The Dust led up the path that was fenced in either side to start with, the white picket fences at the front were replaced by thick hedges as the Pack made their way out to the fields to the west of Digswell. A CHK was found at the edge of the field of golden wheat, the Hare had marked a Short Cut for the Back Markers, & after a quick look out over the rolling hillside to see a few small colourful dots that were the Pack disappear in the distance, the late comers decided to take up the official Short Cut.
So, the Pack disappeared down below the upper level of the golden coloured wheat field drops in to the valley, the Late Comers headed north-eastward up the edge of the field. The FRBs encountered a CHK by the footpath that leads through the thick hedgerow & down the hillside that is home to a series of paddocks, it would over the Mimram to the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City, the route down over Digswell water was false. The other option out over the arcing footpath through the crop field to where the SCBs were was False too!
The Pack had now had no other option but to Run down further south-eastward on a path that descends some 57 meters as it heads toward the South-east, on a path above Tewin Water in the valley below. As the likes of Sludge, Porky Pie, Skip, & Ben Dover searched for the Trail at the next CHK, the Late Comers were catching up with TBT OBE & Party Animal as they came to the highest point of the hillside back up near Harmer Green.
On the way through the wheat, Kylie shouted out to the RA, who was lagging behind him, that he should “Watch out for a slug on the path, & not the Hasher one!” as large black turd like gastro-pod crawled across the way. The RA replied with an “Ooops!” when he passed over the slimy beastie!
Having got by a couple of dog walkers, as well as their dog’s eggs, the Late Comers approached the hedgerow coming up from the valley. It was here that TBT OBE seemed a little concerned that there was not a lot of Dust about, the RA reassured him that they were heading in the right direction.
As Mr X & My Lil’ led the way on the secluded end of the footpath as it comes out on to Penny Father’s lane, TBT OBE still was unsure of these two’s local knowledge. If this wasn’t enough for TBT OBE to worry about, he then became obsessed with the nettles that were hanging over the path. The RA told him that they don’t sting at this time of year, he was still unconvinced on this even when Party Animal said that she was not getting stung!
Having got beyond the nettles, some of which were at chest height, they emerged from the damp underfoot, tree enclosed path to come out on to Pennyfather’s lane. My Lil’ spotted dust on a post at the end of the tarmac section of lane, this indicated that the Pack would be coming up the uncapped farm track part from the southeast.
Now, it seems that part of the Trail had been diminished by the previous days rain, the two who had been away were oblivious to this, since down at Isca it had been really good weather! They searched up beyond a footpath off beside one of the chocolate-box cottages but found nothing. It was pretty humid still, on what was now a fine day, so a rather sweaty GM was soon on the scene as he led Porky Pie, Spotted Dick & Zing-a-long-a-max up to where the SCBs were.
ARP, Sloppy Seconds & all made it up to this point as the FRBs started searching a little way up toward the Burnham Green road, they decided that there was no Trail there just as Paxo’s calls of “On Back!” confirmed the situation. The Trail took to the previously over looked path, the Dust was eventually discovered beneath the tall hedges for the small holdings [No Pebbledash! –Ed] around this area.
This was another Path that had a few nettles encroaching on to it, there were also a few bramble sticking out to catch the unwary as the path joined the track part of Vera way. Spotted Dick, who was carrying a large white Mushroom (He’s a fungi to be with!) stopped by a kink in the path to show Jaron & Ketchup a Plastic Fox that is used in Geochaching! .
Next, the Trail would pass by the local stables, & a Hash Hush was observed, before running through to a footpath out over a large enclosed field. The Pack once more had to descend in to a valley but this time it wasn’t as much as the first one, loosing only a fraction in height before running up the opposite side. It was a long trot before the Pack came out through the end of some back gardens of the local cottages, these were full of herbs & other English flowers.
Shouts of “Gate” went up to make sure those at the rear of the Pack were vigilant enough to close a series of small wooden gates by tethering them shut with the ropes around the gate post.
The Pack would get rather strung out as the Trail led on to the outskirts of Burnham Green, with Sis getting further behind with Lucy after they went on the first part of the long Trail. Psycho & ARP were both on this but had gained ground on the FRBs.
My Lil’ seemed to get his second wind [Must be the sediment in Buzby’s Ale? – Ed] as he realised that the Trail was now taking to Burnham Green lane & had begun to turn back toward Digswell. Porky Pie had now slowed up & was overheard chatting to Spotted Dick about flying on a route that was being disrupted by thunderstorms & the subsequent delays it caused. Others now passed by them as the Trail looped around on a more direct route back Inn, but for the FRBs this would not be such a case as the Hare had other plans.
A set of arrows directed the Pack over the road & off on to a footpath that leads along the edge of a couple of paddocks & in to Harmer Green wood, it would be a slight diversion on a loop out to the wood. Meanwhile the Hare had marked & then taken a Short Cut down the Burnham Green road. This would be the most direct route back in for the SCBs, once he had marked this back the Hare then cut through to Harmergreen wood to keep an eye on the FRBs.
Back on the way to the wood, the other FRBVs were surprised when Ben Dover came back form a Falksie within the filed. Before reaching the wood, Custard said she was shocked that she was still keeping up with the FRBs, meanwhile Spotted Dick informed the RA that these Woods have recently been purchased & the owner has agreed to leave all of the permissive paths intact for the Public to use.
A left hand turn would now take the Pack down through the eastern inner edge of the woodland, now heading south the Trail passed by the clearance work by the tall rotund airshafts for the railway tunnels that run below the wood.
This southward route would move from Harmergreen wood & in to a long finger like part Lockley’s wood, there Spotted Dick & Custard would tell the RA about a Trail for the Hare & Hounds Hash [Not the Glorious H4 – Ed] they set through the wood on the other side of the railway lines, this resulted in a tractor driver going out of his way to drive over & tell them off for trespassing on the edge of the stubble.
As he made his way up the path in the wood, at a point alongside the gap between the two railway tunnels, Mr X just caught glimpse of an EWS engine going by, he failed to catch the number on the side & therefore was annoyed that the couldn’t text it to Junior just for the sake of annoying him!
The Trail was coming to an end & climbed up out of the wood to run above the open fallow area above second tunnels as it heads south to Welwyn North Station, the Pack had a commanding view over the station as they reached the end of the path right above the tunnel exit. There was only really one option here, or some thought as they came down to Harmergreen road & cut through the station to get to the Cowper Arms car park.
Skip was very vocal as he emerged from the alleyway & spotted Spotted Dick & Mr X appearing from out of the large hedge dividing the two different car parks, “Short Cutter!” he yelled & this alerted Custard to the fact she was just about to be overtaken by her husband on the last bit of the last bit of the Trail! Some of the Pack had seen the station & had just simple crossed over on the most direct route back!
The conversation started off with talk about away weekends,
The Hare seemed to have a bit of a panic on as he believed that Sis was lost on Trail, he was trying to organise a car trot go out & find her, as he believed that she was lost over at Tewin! Sis wouldn’t have appreciated Ketchup & Mr X’s chorus of “Tell Sis to go to the Rose & Crown & see Laz!” But all was well as Fliptop had managed to round Sis up & get her back before any car was dispatched on a rescue mission!
The Down-Downs went to the Hare, for a great Trail which took an hour for most of the Pack: Porky Pie was out for wearing a top with an advert for his employer on it! Fliptop was out for inappropriate timing by playing Jilted John’s Jilted John while the RA was doing the paperwork & filing his tax returns at the Essex Weekend!
Skip was out for complaining about his name being missing from the New Book from Rooted, as well as the Family Nutter defecting back to London Hash! Zing-a-long-a-max was out for ordering ham, egg & chips, without the ham, only to get charged the same price! Spotted Dick was out for foraging his own food for after the Trail!