Run No. 1466 9th September 2012
Venue: The Maltsters
Beer: McMullens AK; Country
Hare(s): Mr X
Membership: So good Sparky & George came twice!
The Hare had a few problems the day before, the least of these being that the intended On Inn no longer serves Real Ale, nor that the Windmill at the end of the lane doesn’t serve any either. So, having set the Trail he did email these who read such messages of elastictrickery! To save time in phoning around Mr X decided to mark the closed off car park to the Red Cow with “H4 Pub” & an arrow directing any late comers over the road to the Maltsters, which is almost directly opposite!
Most now knew that the Trail was going to start form the car park over the level crossing by Cheshunt Station, unfortunately Sparky wasn’t one & he claimed to be at the Red Cow before 11:00Hrs, which is surprising as Psycho, Skip & Party Animal sat in the ‘Nutter Mobile’ on the wrong side of the tracks for ages as the barriers to the level crossing were down. With GM, RA, Curate & Fliptop amongst those looking back to the Red Cow for any late comers it was odd that they didn’t spot Sparky, perhaps taking the pee out the ‘Nutters’ was the distraction.
Several Trains passed through by the time the Barriers rose, Skip & Psycho were still changing as the Grand Monkey called the Circle together, having welcomed the Pack to the correct Run Number, the Circle was handed over to Mr X as this morning’s Hare!
The Hare mentioned that he had been led astray while setting the Trail, due to a footpath having been redirected, the Trail was marked in one-sided arrows & Dust, the latter being placed on trees etc so it was off of the ground. Short Cuts were also offered before he directed the Pack northward on the footpath out of the car park & up beside the railway line & the grounds of the Youth Hostel.
Meanwhile Sparky had failed to spot any Hash markings on Windmill lane, a trip to Specsavers may be in order as he may have noticed the H4 Pub outside of the Maltsters, & the Trail leading all the way of a couple of hundred yards to the level crossing! Instead Sparky drove home to St Albans so he could call the Hierarchy as to where the Hash were??
Fartin Martin & Dragon’s Den were on their way, but they requested that the Pack started the Trail & as long as the Hare marked it they would catch up. This Hare normally make a good job of marking the Trail & the Short Cuts to get the Pack around.
It was a shady start for the Pack, the temperature being up around 29° & there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! Of course this was cool for Party Animal who had just returned from her holiday in Portugal, where it was 36°! While the talk of Sun & heat was going around, Pebble Dash & Pepé le Pew both tried to encourage Puddles to put on some Sun Block. Especially after Puddles was burnt while at Clacton the day before, while partaking of the Le Pew Family Charabanc trip to the seaside.
Sensibly What Mother Says had already sprayed Six Pack & Two X er with sun-block earlier in the Circle, Pepé le Pew got the wrong idea when What Mother Says came over to offer them a squirt of the sun-block. Anyhow I digress!
Fliptop, Sloppy Seconds, Sludge & Skip took up the gauntlet of FRBing up to the CHK by the footpath crossing over the railway lines on to Cadmore lane, no one was tempted to cross the line as an industrial area lies to the west of the tracks at this point.
Fliptop continued northward, while Sloppy Seconds choose to go over to the east, further in to the Lea Valley Park, Skip called out “Are you?” to both directions to see if anyone had found the Trail, Fliptop didn’t reply as he was on a Falsie. Sloppy Seconds was heard to reply “Onish!” to Skip’s query! Skip & the RA though that he was speaking Yiddish! [Gobbledygook? – Ed]
Eastward the Pack went, crossing the ‘Small River Lea’, which is rather like a wet ditch from here, to run on between Cheshunt Lake to the south & the North Metropolitan Pit to the north. Another CHK was soon found at the bridge over the River Lea navigation, Sludge was keen to search the tow path down below this level, while Pepé le Pew continued on eastward.
Fliptop was keen to follow Sludge & look at the narrow boats, which almost was like some kind of confirmation that the GM was on the wrong track! Indeed it was False as Pepé le Pew called “On!” from a path that leads between 70 acre lake to the north & the Police Pit, Sloppy Seconds went off in to the bushes around the northern lake as he inadvertently left the Trail after mistaking some guano for Trail markings!
The Pack progressed on by the top of Hooks Marsh Lake, between the two southern bodies of water a CHK was found. Sloppy Seconds found the path running between the Police Pit & Hooks Marsh Lake was False, Pepé le Pew, on the other hand had no such trouble as he led Puddles, Spillage & Pebbledash the correct way over the tall bridge above the expanse of water below.
Again Sloppy Seconds wasn’t sure as to where the Trail would go, he looked at more Guano & wondered if it was Trail, this time it was found upon the top of concrete side of the white bridge, but to be fair it was splattered almost in a one-sided arrow shape! The Hare certainly didn’t put it there!
Winston had to stop for a drink out of the lake, before he & Fliptop took to the high, narrow footbridge over the lakes, there was a pretty spectacular view in either direction, with only the line of pylons to spoil the sight. The Trail now encountered a CHK at the side of the car park for Hooks Marsh, Skip was keen to look off to the north, obviously hoping that the Hare was taking an anticlockwise route around the park? He was wrong as once again the Family ‘Le Pew’ made their way out of the car park & on to the dead end of Fisher’s Green lane.
As the FRBs made their way up by the immaculate front lawn outside of Fisher’s Green Farm, a few peaked through the gates to the walled grounds to see a beautifully kept garden hidden behind. Pepé le Pew was soon through the next CHK beside a Kissing gate into the end of the hedgerow & into a ploughed field, he was heading southward on a long trot down toward the north edge of the restricted area of the former Research grounds.
On the way the Hare explained to Sloppy that he got stuck in the adjacent cattle field, due to the footpath being diverted, a CHK halfway along the footpath was situated by a footpath marker post where Mr X should have come out but couldn’t due to the barbed wire preventing access. This little folly of a Falsie in to the wooded area at the bottom of the inaccessible cattle field didn’t cause any problems for Pepé.
By this point Sludge had caught up, after his earlier going awry at the previous CHKs, he was soon up with the rest of the FRBs as they came on to a nice, flatter bit of the path, away from the churned up ploughed part. As the RA was about to turn the corner to head eastward along by the Security Fence for the Research land, he glanced back to see Paxo leading the back markers.
The Pack were now getting a bit stretched out, calls of keep running from Fliptop were just lost in the ether, as he waited at the Held CHK on one of the access roads to the Research area. The Keenies couldn’t see the progress of the Back markers due to the slope in the field, as the footpath is below the level of the stubble!
While awaiting for anyone to come into sight, Pepé le Pew started to tell a story about something that occurred earlier at the Cheshunt level crossing. By Pebbledash’s laughing it was soon established it was her who sat in the car & peered through the crossing gates & utter the words “Oh look there’s No Eye Deer over there!” as she in fact looked at 2-1-2 Maureen. The RA wasn’t the only one to chuckle at this!
Fliptop was the only one to search out over toward the Crooked Mile Road, once the Hare allowed the FRBs to continue searching for the Trail, again he found no Dust & was soon coming back to join the rest in heading southward to the end of the field & though a kissing gate in to Cornmill Meadows.
A CHK was found on the opposite side of the gate, again the Keenies soon picked up the scent of the Trail as they found Dust just beyond a sculpture the had sextants & compasses carved in to it, & was entitled ‘Travel’. The Dust initially headed east toward the road, but then turned southward to lead out through part of the grid system of permissive paths in the open grassy shrub land.
The Hare marked the Short Cut to follow the edge of the restricted area, through to the edge the ‘Tree Park’ on the meadow area, here there was some much appreciated shade for the SCBs, there was a little for the FRBs who were led on a merry dance down to the centre of the open area & then back up to the tree park, again Pepé le Pew seemed to instinctively find the correct option each time.
Pepé le pew eventually went astray at one of the two options from the CHK near to the feeder to the Old River Lea, but he soon realised his mistake & doubled-back northward a little way beyond the CHK, the Hare was hiding in the trees to witness this as Pepé Le Pew led the FRBs back to the short narrow metal footbridge over a feeder by a weir in Old River Lea. Again he went wrong as he looked down the path by the feeder stream, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds were happy to hear this when they reached the Hare on the bridge, after Pepé had led them down the last Falsie!
Sludge & Sloppy made good progress on the path that followed the arching course of the old River Lea, slowly it turned from west to the south, Pebbledash, Spillage & Puddles were next down the route before Pepé le Pew made his return to the fold just before Skip & Fliptop were ‘On Trail’.
The River was pretty wide as it made it was way down by the Dragonfly sanctuary, which obviously works judging by the number of dragonflies & damsel flies that were flitting about above the river & reed beds in the various drainage ditches. The Dust led the Pack out of the enclosed area of meadow, now it took them along by the Lea’s edge through a drier area of meadow, Fliptop broke off to look at the Wake hide by more reed beds.
On the way the Hare pointed out the top of the Waltham Abbey, Pebbledash knew that King Harold, of 1066 fame, is reputedly buried there. It used to be a School trip to go there, as was visiting the Roman City of Verulamium, which she couldn’t pronounce, unlike the RA!
Over a concrete bridge for the cattle to get from one part of the meadows to the other, & the Trail made its way by some large rolled up bails of straw before coming out through another kissing gate to final Held CHK by the bridge over the Lea for the B194 ring-road. Here Puddles & Spillage would have some refreshment from the water in Pepé le Pews back pack.
The Hare was pretty lenient with the FRBs, he wasn’t going to let them hang around at the CHK longer than necessary, not since he had told Pebbledash that they were only 15 minutes away from the end of the Trail, so the Keenies were quick to resume with the Hash as they headed west ward through the north end of Waltham Abbey, passing by the imposing entrance of the Royal Gunpowder Mills.
Part of the Royal Gunpowder Mills was used for Research of rocket propellants after WW II, this is the restricted area with its odd concrete & brick bunkers the Pack had run around part of earlier. Inside the grounds of the Royal Powder Mills are a network of canals that stretched for 5 miles, fed by the Lea, that were used to bring the raw & processed materials to & from, as well transported within the Mills, there are also three iron aqueducts within the grounds that allow part of the canal system to be above the natural level of the river Lea, there are only 26 in the UK! Some of the water ways were used to feed water to power the plant.
While the FRBs were busy dashing along out of Essex, those with Paxo were soon stopped in their tracks by a call from Sparky to Paxo. Paxo was asked where the Trail was from? When it was established that Sparky was in the correct place before setting off home, he then went on to ask which way it would go when he came back to start it!
As the FRBs crossed the junction major junction, they could see a McDognuts, most didn’t see the attraction of such places but Pebbledash stood up for Puddles & Spillage when they mentioned frequenting such places, apparently they do a good fish fillet burger!
Arrows directed the Pack over the road bridge spanning the Horsemill cut & then the River Lea Navigation to descend on to the west towpath. Pepé le Pew & Sloppy Seconds were soon off northward along the canal’s edge, they were first to the CHK near to the impressive white bridge spanning the waterway, they both continued on along the towpath, but only Pepé le Pew came back when they realised that there was no dust up there, the naughty Curate wasn’t going to come back as he knew he could get Inn on this route.
Pepé le Pew deserved a medal as he returned & searched over the bridge to the east, not realising that the proper Trail headed west at the back of the magnificent White Water Rapid Centre that was Hertfordshire’s contribution to the fabulous Olympic games, the venue definitely looks like it should have a visit.
Leaving the First Olympic venue to be opened to the Public behind, the Trail cut over to the west, heading toward the Railway line, Pepé le Pew was soon back on track & he passed by Sludge & Skip, who were both now resigned to a walking pace in the heat of the day. As Sloppy Seconds came in via the canal, on his way to the On Inn, he spotted Sparky running over the bridge to the east.
Just as he crossed the Little Lea Pepé le Pew then spotted Sid, the young lad who ran with us a few years ago but is no longer so little! He was out cycling with friends & a bawling parade ground shout of “When are you going to come running with us again?” which stopped Sid in his tracks!
The Final leg of the Trail took to a shaded path running at the south end of Bowyers lake, this large expanse of water had black swans on it. The Trail turned northward as it took to the path running up along by the railway line, it was on this stretch that Mr X spotted a kingfisher perched in a tree by the lakes edge.
Pepé le Pew was the only one to take the last loop out toward the canal, but coming back on a path running northward before reaching the waterway, this was put into show off the large art-work of a chair made up of trees, it was over 10 foot tall! The last bit simple came back around by the railway line & out by the station.
The GM didn’t hang about, he was off to have lunch in Huntingdon! This left the rest to meet up in the Maltsters, with the exception of 2-1-2 Maureen, who had forgotten that we had changed the Pub & sat inside the Red Cow for 40 minutes before she was realised where everyone was!
Sitting outside on the patio garden, the majority (Who attended ARP & Porky Pie’s Wedding) were pretty impressed with the hotel & the surrounding area, many mentioned that it would be a great place to have a Hash [holiday], [Lets get Christmas & the 1500th out of the way first!]
Down-Downs were handed out by the Curate, well all but one! The Hare was rewarded for a good Trail, which was a little longer than his norm. Among the others were 2-1-2 Maureen for going to the wrong Pub for over 20 minutes! Skip, took the Circle & made sure that Sloppy Seconds had his hit for the uttering of “Onish!” while out on Trail.
Finally Sparky arrived at the On Inn, he was none too happy with the Hare. The Hare pointed out that he should have looked at the entrance to the Red Cow car park & observed that there were markings indicating that the Trail started from the Maltsters! A trip to Specsavers may be needed for Sparky!