Run No. 1471 14th October 2012
Venue: The Strathmore Arms
Beer: Bee’r Constrictor; Cumberland, Strathmore
Location: St Paul’s Walden
Hare(s): Mr X
Membership: On Ale & Samosas!
What a glorious Day for a Hash, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as the Pack began to gather in the car park. The RA was going to try & get the Pack to park in the upper car park, but this was pointless as most of the spaces there had been taken up by those going to Worship at All Saints Church. The cynical amongst the Hash (My Lil’ for one) reckoned that the only reason there were so many going to the service was because it was where the late Queen Mother was christened!
Anyhow, one of the last to arrive was ARP & Porky Pie. While the Girls all went up to ARP & congratulated her on their Wedding, it’s the first time that they have Hashed since getting spliced, Porky Pie was on his own & a little less animated as he hid behind a pair of dark glasses. He was suffering from the after effects of a Stag Weekend, not his though!
The GM called the Circle together, having got the R*n number correct he handed things over to the Hare. Mr X told the Pack about what to look out for on Trail, these included observing ‘Hash Hush’ at a certain point as there would be horses that didn’t need scaring, plus that there would be some ‘permissive paths’ being used, he looked directly at Sludge as he warned for the Pack not to stray too far beyond any T’s if they though that they could short cut!
The last thing the Pack were warned about was ‘God Botherers’ as he directed the Pack out of the garden & through the upper car park to the first CHK on the corner opposite All Saints Church. From the CHK Fliptop choose the wrong route & found a Falsie down the uncapped by-way heading southward, Goes Quietly & Sludge began to search on the other Falsie further westward on the narrow rustic lane out to Stagenhoe.
It was down to My Lil’ & Sloppy Seconds to find the correct Trail running through the picturesque grounds of All Saints, inside the choir could be heard singing but the Pack weren’t hanging around & followed the Trail out on to the narrow lane on the other side, here the Trail turned westward before taking the FRBs up short alleyway between two fenced off gardens & out on to the edge of the fields to the north, a Bar CHK would soon stop them in their tracks. Puddles & Spillage were also caught out on this Falsie, but hadn’t progressed too far out in to the field.
The Trail was now picked up where the two lanes become one at the end of the hamlet, arrows directed the Pack north-westward in the direction of Stagenhoe, it wasn’t too far until the next CHK was found. My Lil’ was quick to dismiss the Trail running on the footpath down to Chalk wood, “I know where that goes to!” he said but once Goes Quietly, Sludge & Sloppy were turning back from the uncapped route to Stagenhoe, My Lil’ had second thoughts.
Indeed the Trail headed down the path within the spit of woodland leading down between two cattle fields to join the north end of the main Chalk wood. There was plenty of Shiggy on the way down through what is a bluebell wood at a certain time of the year, 2-1-2 Maureen found the going underfoot to be hard work & even Porky Pie managed to get by her as he attempted to run off his hangover.
The single route through the wood turned a couple of times, as the Trail veered to the west & then back to head southward between Chalk wood & Little Bury wood. As it was quite a long trot before emerging out of the southern end of the wood, the Hare had put in a Held CHK just on the other side of a kissing gate to allow access to the corner of an empty grass paddock.
Paxo was quick to let the Hare know that Sludge, My Lil’ & Zebedee hadn’t stopped to Hold the CHK! Porky Pie was not going to be among the list of sinners as he had opted to do more than hold the CHK, he was found lying out on the grass. He still looked like death warmed up [or is that Keith Richards warmed up? – Ed].
The Hare allowed the rest to continue along to the end of the field before 2-1-2 Maureen had made it to the CHK, as the Trail passed through the end of the hedge, the Hare pointed out a statue over at the opposite northeast corner, this was hard to see as the sunlight was quite dazzling through the trees. The statue is one of Sampson clubbing two philistines!
On the way down to the end of the field, two friendly dogs out for a walk took interest in the passing Hash but didn’t cause any problems. The Trail disappeared through a gap in the corner hedge of the field, then it was a sharp downhill trot on a bumpy little path to the run around the corner of a couple of horse paddocks that are perched up before the drop down the hillside to Kimpton. The Trail reached the opposite corner & then dropped down through the hedgerow to come out on to the dead-end uncapped track, this one leading from the stables in the fields before Kimpton to the south.
A CHK was found by a tree at the junction with an old steep stony track down to Kimpton, Zebedee was one who fell for the Falsie leading all the way down this route into the edge of the village where the track becomes the Valley with cottages & homes on either side. It was an arduous climb back up.
Meanwhile, My Lil’ Sludge & Fliptop had all taken the other route, obviously not wanting to lose any height as they came around the back of Bury Farm & out through another kissing gate to pick up the Trail on a footpath heading north-eastward across part of the Bury Estate. This area has been divided up into lots of small enclosures for a horse or two, each being separated by electric strapping like fences, Hash Hush was obeyed on this section of the Trail.
On the way over the Hare pointed out another statue to Ewok & Paxo, this one could just be seen over the tall green ornamental hedge lignin the route up to the St Paul’s Waldenbury House. Ewok asked the RA if he knew hat the house was, he said he didn’t but it could be where the late Queen Mother lived as a child. It did turn out to be the English home of the Bowes Lyon Family, (Scottish) Earl of Strathmore & Kinghorne, their Scottish home being Glamis Castle.
At the end of the path between the paddocks a CHK was found on a large tree stump, My Lil was quickly amongst those who found the T on the driveway off toward Michael’s Hope, My Lil’ then came back to run the other Falsie on the path back down toward Kimpton, he was soon turned around again when Fliptop & Sludge called “On!” as they ventured down the driveway to the Hitchin road.
Out of the gates & an arrow directed the Pack over the busy lane to a Held CHK on the opposite side, this time the FRBs obeyed the markings & waited for the No Eye Deer, Paxo, Ewok, ARP & Porky Pie to catch up. The Hare held the FRBs at the CHK until Pebbledash, Spillage & Puddles to come down the driveway.
Sludge went off to look over at a hedge running up the harrowed hillside, the RA pointed out the ‘No Trespassing’ sign at the end of the hedge, about this being private property, which seems daft as he also pointed out that there were now many permissive paths around here & two of these were parallel to this unavailable route to the east. Perhaps it has pheasant feeders up there?
Sloppy Seconds, Goes Quietly & My Lil’ all headed off northward along the permissive path running up the west edge of the field’s inner perimeter, they soon found a T, so it was down to Zebedee, Paxo, Ewok, ARP & Porky Pie to lead the way down to the southwest corner of the field.
While the FRBs would take to a large loop, the Hare allowed Pebbledash, Spillage & Puddles to take a short cut through the T to the North on the permissive path. Back with the FRBs & they would make their way around the field, at the far end it would head westward through long wet grass of the stewardship scheme that allows these permissive paths to be set out.
The route would come out on to Nortonstreet Lane by the local Sewage plant, once over the fallow edge of the field, the Dust would now lead the Pack up the steep uncapped by-way rising with the hill side, the Trail would rise some 105 feet over the relatively short distance up to the plateau, the Pack would feel this. There wasn’t much to see as on either side there were high hedgerows blocking any view, it was best to look down at the stony floor, especially as the shiny flints were pretty slippery.
The Hare made his way up the ‘Gallops’ on a footpath that runs up to the plateau with an avenue of trees on either side of this wide grassy strip. On the way he stopped & popped through the tree line to shout out & direct 2-1-2 Maureen on to the Short Cut, he took his advice & followed on behind the other SCBs.
This route was hard work to the top of the hill, as this was a steeper climb than the one the Pack were taking on, but the RA made it up to a CHK point just before Zebedee & Goes Quietly arrived, with Fliptop & My Lil in tow.
Goes Quietly & Fliptop went to look on the Shiggy farm track to the north, the Hare had just been talking to a couple out walking about the view down the tree-lined ‘Gallops’ that look across to Bury House at St Paul’s Waldenbury, he dropped a hint to Fliptop that he really ought to go & look at the view, but Fliptop didn’t believe the Trail would go that way!
Zebedee called “On!” from the wet grassy tract between the long line of trees down to the Hitchin road, now the Hash had a good run down the grassy slope as it descends in three distinct levels, everyone appreciated the view over to the house where the Queen Mother was born & brought up, not sure that anyone looking out of the house would have felt the same at what they could see!
At the bottom of the hill, before the road, an arrow directed the Hash northward on the permissive path on the edge of the field. After a few hundred yards later & the final CHK of the Trail was found, from here Fliptop & Zebedee were off back a short way down the lane to a footpath back over the St Paul’s Waldenbury estate, some wondered what these two were up to in the wooded start of the Path, they had clearly missed the Dust on the fencing along the edge of the driveway back in to the estate.
They were soon coming back as My Lil’ called “On!” & following the gravel route up toward the red brick wall, behind which is the Grade 1 Listed gardens, these are based on the French 17th Century Patte d’oie (Goose foot) design, a rarity these days in the world.
Before the wall arrows on the split in the driveway directed the Hash around on to the uncapped track to the north, just beyond a very stylish old house, to head up under the avenue of horse chestnuts. On the way, the Pack passed by the field that is home to a herd of Hereford cattle.
Sloppy complained about the route going uphill again, the Hare pointed out that this one was only a slight incline compared to the Nortonstreet Lane, which was the only real uphill part of the Trail. Mr X explained that he was once an honorary member of the Norfolk Mountain Rescue Team, which is twinned with a place in the Netherlands!
Halfway back toward All Saints & the On Inn was found, only a few more hundred yards & the Trail was to end at the back of the Pub, or so most thought, but Goes Quietly went off through All Saints Churchyards once again, he ignored those who called him back, they cut their losses & went for a pint!
The SCBs were already sitting out in the rear garden of the Strathmore by time the Keenies made it back in an hour & four minutes. A weary RA came out to knock together the Trash but found the breeze was too much & the pages were being blown away, even after Ewok had offered to put her fingers on it!
Mr X went to move his Beer but part of the base of the glass soon went down in to the large gap in the bench slats, sending his pint to tumble & spill half of its contents, 2-1-2 Maureen was quick to say “What a waste!” as if the RA threw half his pint away deliberately!
The choice of Ales was good, & the samosas were pretty good as well. By now Porky Pie had some colour back in his cheeks as he supped at the Ale. The RA returned from the Bar, where he had cobbled the Trash together & bought another pint! He found that the rest were now playing Conkers, No Eye Deer didn’t seem to see the fascination that kids (School boys) for years have had with playing this quintessentially British game, perhaps it is a gender thing? Or the getting bruised arms & hands?
But No Eye Deer was soon bored, she was not alone as this traditional game was soon biting in to drinking time & others who hadn’t been defeated were soon falling by the way side. Even Fliptop who seems to organise this each year was overcome with boredom & accidently broke his conker. In the end the RA & the Hare Raiser were the only two left, My Lil’ wanted to call it a draw but the RA said no. It may have to continue at a later date.
The Conkers were interrupted as the GM called the Circle together & made out he was going to award the Hare with a pint of water, before changing it to an Ale! The Curate then took over, My Lil’, Zebedee & Sludge were called forward, “Why you may ask?” said the Curate, it was for going through the Held CHK without stopping!