Run No. 1467 16th September 2012
Venue: Chez My Lil’
Beer: Sawbridgeworth IPA
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Hare(s): My Lil’
Membership: Not on the Great North Run!
The RA arrived to find that the Hare was preparing a mountainous pile of sausages, pakoras & samosas for the aprčs food, there was also a barrel of Ale from the Sawbo brewery. The RA left the Hare to it as he went outside to await the arrival of the 301 Bus, he wanted to make sure that Oxymoron & Kokonut alighted at the nearby bus stop.
2-1-2 Maureen turned out this morning, she let slip to the RA that she had spent ages looking at the previous week’s puzzle in the Herts Trash, where she had to work out the eight differences between the two pictures, before finally working it out! Dragons’ Den arrived with Ben, an old staffy.
Paxo came along with TBT OBE, at one point they were going to get a Bus over but found the Sunday timetable was against them. On the other hand, the other Bus was on time, depositing Kokonut & Oxymoron just as the RA was flagging it down, these two visitors were over from Northern Cyprus & were paying Herts a visit from their stay in Harpenden. It was fortunate they did turn up to boost the numbers, since the regulars were a bit scarce on the ground this week.
The small Pack circled up outside of Chez My Lil’ & the Grand Monkey welcomed everyone to the correct Run number, then after Kokonut & Oxymoron had been introduced it was down to the Hare. After the booing subsided, My Lil’ explained what the Pack could expect to find out on the rail, just when he thought that he had finished with his spiel about the Trail not being a long one, short cuts & it being marked in flour, he then was asked to go through the Herts Markings for the visitors from Northern Cyprus.
Finally the Pack were ushered away westward down to the end of Howlands, there the Trail descended to one of the entrances for the underpasses into the open sunken centre of the roundabout, there the First CHK was found. Mr X was straight out of the exit up to Chequers Field but was called back as Fliptop called “On!” back over up on Chequers, the RA was a little disappointed to go back & then find that Fliptop was coming back with arms outstretched to indicate it was a Falsie!
Back over to Chequer Field & the RA’s original thought that the Trail would run through the nearby Creswick wood plantation, on the way the RA commented on the chalk drawings of a cartoon pig & bees on the tarmac path, he wondered if the Hare had created these, but it turns out that he isn’t so artistic. [What about Piss-artistic? – Ed]
The Dust was found in the opposite direction to where the RA thought it would run, it was located over the road on the footpath running through the tree-line separating the ‘designed’ fallow land on the Chequers side to the east & the fallow land of the reclaimed former land-fill site to the west.
Oxymoron & Kokonut now put the regular Herts FRBs to shame as they led the way along the path that weaved its way through the tree-line, all before coming out on to the fallow land on the west. The Dust made its way around the outer perimeter of the area of tall, brown grasses, within which were grassy covered mounds & a few tall black air-vents that allow the gasses of the landfill to escape.
As the FRBs made their way back toward the Chequers field road, they could see 2-1-2 Maureen, Dragon’s Den, TBT OBE & Hyena making their way down to the southwest corner of the common land, near to an electricity substation for the adjacent railway line, the Keenies would run on by the tall panelled off works area & out to meet the SCBs at this corner.
The Hare waited for the Keenies to catch up by a mound of earth that over the years has been used by kids on scramble bikes, but not now. The Hare wandered on behind the Keenies as they made their way down the track between the back of the newer homes of Eddington Crescent & the thick bushy hedgerow beside the main East coast line.
It was noticed that the local kids had stacked up coppiced branches & cut up tree trunks to build rough wigwam shaped shelters up against the back of garden fence. At the end of the opposite corner of fenced off back gardens another CHK was found. From here Mr X & Fliptop continued on southward along by the railway but soon they would find a Bar CHK.
Oxymoron was on his way down toward the RA just as he turned back with arms outstretched, unlike Fliptop these two didn’t cut across the short golden stalks of stubble left after the wheat had been harvested. The RA made sure that he at least followed the proper Trail, heading westward around down beside the homes & then out on to a parallel path out to the south, on the way Oxymoron told Mr X a little about Hashing in North Cyprus.
The Trail made its way along by the hedgerow running southward, then suddenly it disappeared through a gap in the Hedge to follow the path on the opposite side, a CHK was found at the end of the field & by the time Mr X & Oxymoron had made it there they found that the Hare had marked a Short Cut along by the tree line running west to east.
2-1-2 Maureen & Dragons’ Den both took to the long loop out to the hard-core farm track for Woodhall Farm, which makes up a part of the ‘Lea Valley walk’ as this heads out under the railway bridge to the Stanborough lakes, but even the Visitors must have worked out that the Trail would turned eastward & away from the lakes on the hard capped track.
The Trail now led on to a the tarmac driveway, there another CHK was found by a footpath leading northward back over the crop fields, of course the Hare would have the Pack running back down toward the tree line where the Short Cut was put in. Again Oxymoron & Kokonut both led the way, with Sludge, Fliptop, Paxo & the RA following on
The Trail crossed a concrete area at the end of the tree-line & to continue northward along the edge of another field of stubble, as the Keenies ran on back toward the Creswick plantation a few of them glimpsed Hyena on the way out to the Woodhall lane track, most expected him to cut through the hedgerow & across the stubble to the opposite side of the enclosed field, but they were wrong as he was happy to take the long route around.
On the end of Creswick plantation a CHK was located, Kokonut fell for a Falsie within this wooded area, while Sludge fell for a Falsie on the footpath out to Chequers, the RA had other ideas & knew from his dog walking days over these parts that an unofficial route that crosses a small bit of uncultivated land & over a small ditch to cut through a gap in the hedge by a large road sign on Chequers.
Sure enough Mr X’s local knowledge proved correct & he was soon over the road to run up the tarmac alleyway between the farm land on the other side of the hedgerow to the south & the fenced off garden for the flats of Elliot Close on the left. Just as the Trail came to the side road, right before the junction where it joins Boundary lane, there was an arrow directing the Hash off to the right to head out through a gap in the hedgerow to a enclosed fallow field, just inside the field was the next CHK.
The RA was quickly over to the copse over at the southern end of the field, meanwhile Sludge had picked up a Trail running eastward around the edge of the field & he called “On!” just as Mr X also found Trail by the wood, it would be the RA who would be on the right track as he called Sludge back from a potential short cut!
The Trail made its way through the wooded area & turned eastward to emerge on the edge of a crop field, here the RA really got in to his stride as Trail continued eastward with only a slight kink in the route as the way passed through the boundary hedges separating the fields. By a wooden fenced corner of the field, the RA peered out over the adjacent one to make sure that Sludge was not up to no good & still running through this, he wasn’t, so Mr X with the Trail.
Along the top edge of the next enclosed field the RA would pass by a couple out walking their dogs, due to Mr X’s calling of “On! On!” the woman asked if he had lost his dog? When he explained what he was doing, following a Trail, she told him that there was Dust all the way out to Hollybush lane! Mr X then informed her that he was supposed to find the Trail & he didn’t want to hear any more! It didn’t really affect things as he had a pretty good idea that this would be the route the Trail would take!
Mr X continued running & made his way in to the last field before Hollybush lane, up ahead of him in this one was is brother-in-law, who was out dog walking. As he approached the two hounds he often pooch-sits, he was first growled at, probably because of his shouting out of “On!” but then when the terriers realised who it was it was a different story! Mr X stopped running for a few minutes as he talked about the previous day’s rugby.
Back on Trail & the Dust led out of the corner of the field, coming down from the field level to the lower single track rustic Hollybush lane, here a turn to the left would lead northward & on to the populated Boundary lane, an ancient route now lined with homes that was once the marker for the boundary between the Salisbury Estate of Hatfield House & that of the Manor of Digswell, or now days between Hatfield Hyde & Welwyn Garden City.
The Trail turned left again but only went a short way down Boundary lane before crossing over & taking to an alleyway off of the small cul-de-sac of Kendall Close, after getting the right option at the last few CHKs, Mr X was now going to fall foul of the Hare’s cunning & he was led out by another cut-through to Howlands where he found a Bar CHK! Mr X could have quite easily have just short cut back down Howlands, but as he’s now running again he decided to go back & do things properly.
The RA met up with Sludge, Oxymoron & Kokonut just before the cut-through, so he marked the way with some of the dust of a blob of the deceiving Trail to Howlands. The FRBs now weaved their way out through Ladygrove & were soon caught out by another Falsie, this time heading off southward through another cut-through a small cul-de-sac to Boundary lane!
Back to Ladygrove & the FRBs met up with the Hare, who was with Paxo & Fliptop, the RA informed the Hare that he could be ‘Smug with himself’ as he had caught the RA out on the last few Bar CHKs & Falsies! Fliptop was now encouraged to Run as the Keenies commented on not hearing his infamous call of “Keep on Running!”
Being near to the Hare’s Home wasn’t going to be the end of the trickery from My Lil’ as the Keenies were now led on over Linkfield & on to the cut-through to Middlefield, on Middlefield they crossed over to the next cut-through only to find another Bar CHK! Having made their way back, most of the Keenies followed the Trail out to Howlands & obeyed the arrow to cross over at the roundabout & up Leyton Street.
The Dust took the Hash up the only Street in Welwyn Garden City [You should have heard the moaning in the local press about that when it was revealed, the original policy of the Corporation of Welwyn Garden City was to have rural sounding names, so Street wasn’t allowed! – Ed]
Anyhow, Mr X was now getting back in to his stride & soon led the way on one last loop, starting off to the west & leading down Chambers Road to Lawrence Hall End, the Trail passed through the corner of the small park at the side of Lawrence Hall end, once through the small meal gate the ‘On Inn’ was found before the Trail turned through 180° to come back out on to Howlands, by the Chequers roundabout.
Mr X was overjoyed to think that he was going to be first back at the Ale [The Hash is non-competitive! – Ed] but imagine his disappointment to get back to Chez My Lil’ & find Sludge & Fliptop were already swarming around the barrel of Ale like flies around a cowpat! "We ran it!” was the reply to the RA’s question on how they got back before him? unless they could shift their bulk at a speed quicker than the RA can see, then they must have cut out the last bit of the Trail!
The Pack finally settled in & had to make a start on the mountain of food, those present then tried to work out where most of the regulars were, the Black Pudding Hash in Blackpool accounted for some, a ‘Girls weekend away’ for another, a kids do in Norfolk & the list went on! No one was on the Great North Run though, no one from Herts was even on the Great North Road in Hertfordshire!
A late arriving Sloppy Seconds was spotted by Paxo & TBT OBE, he set off to attempt to do some of the Trail, as he was on 99 Runs! At least he was safe in the knowledge that there would be plenty of food for when he did return! He wasn’t that far behind Hyena on his return!
The weather had improved from being slightly overcast to the Sun coming out, all splendidly fine for the alfresco eating & drinking! Things began when the Hare brought out plates that were piled high with chicken legs & wings, it looked as if someone raided the local KFC.
Ben thought the lure of the chicken was overpowering & over he came to investigate, not that he would get any as chicken bones aren’t recommended for hounds. Meanwhile, Kobe was a little put out having another pooch on his territory, but things settled down
Eventually the Down-Downs took place, seems the Grand Monkey was happy to eat lots before the serious bit was called upon. The GM toasted the Hash & then it was over to the RA, who by his own admission was caught out at the end of a Trail which took just 50 minutes to Run, so the Hare was justly rewarded.
Sloppy Seconds was out for his 100th Herts Trail, though there were voices of descent about the Curate only having completed 99.95% Herts Trails, Hmm! Unfortunately there was no Haberdasher on hand to present him with his tankard! Sludge & Fliptop were chastised with a Down-Down each for their short cutting. Kokonut & Oxymoron were out for completing their first Herts Trail!
The Pack settled down after the Circle, talk turned to Hashing overseas & of course the time Herts spent in Cyprus for InterHash, which was mainly spent visiting the local private hospital! Other topics were Road Rage, plus the Blackpool do with the Black Pudding Hash visiting ‘Funny Girls & the Flying Handbag’