Run No. 1473 28th October 2012
Venue: The Old Cross Tavern
Beer: Mighty Oak, Dark Isle, Old Cross, Timothy Taylor Landlord to name a few!
Membership: On Ale & Pork Pies!
Fartin Martin was spotted loitering around the entrance to the busy St Andrew’s Street car park on this cold, fresh morning. He was there to alert the arriving Pack to the entrance to the car park. The RA took over from Farts before walking back in to the Car Park in time for the GM to call the Circle together.
Tent Packer had arrived for his second Herts Hash, he asked the GM if it was a r*n & if he would need to take of his sweat shirt? Sludge informed him that it was a r*n & told him about who the day’s Hare was, he's the type of Hasher to set his second Trail in as many weeks!
Others wondered where Ketchup was? He hasn’t been seen for a while, & the RA said that Ketchup was out in a field in Northampton doing some metal detecting, apparently he’s in a club! It turns out that he didn’t find diddly-squat, not even Sir Bobby Charlton image to make up his 1970 World Cup Squad Medals, let alone the Emperor Caligula!
Some 10 minutes before the Circle formed, Paxo had shot off to set a ‘Live Trail’ & this led the GM into going through the welcoming introductions fairly quickly, the Run Number was correct & as everyone should know the Herts Markings he soon ushered the Pack away out of the car park Exit & onto St Andrew’s street. Mr X said that there was no way that the Pack would catch Paxo, even though Sparky thought he could, as Paxo knows all of the alleyways in town that he could utilize to catch out the Keenest of the Pack.
A left hand turn led the Pack down by the frontage of the old Antique shop with a stone statue of William Caxton. The Trail passed by the front of St Andrew’s Church & then straight past the alleyway running beside the Church grounds, it ran on by to reach a CHK by the start for the subway beneath the A414.
While Tent Packer took to going down the steps to look through the tunnel beneath the dual carriageway, Friar Tuck led a few around the bend into North road & away toward Hertford North Station. Both of groups of Keenies had taken the wrong options as those who were a little way back had seen Sludge go off down the alleyway beside St Andrew’s.
Having satisfied himself that he had the right option, Sludge came back to mark the Trail with some pink chalk to take the Hash down the alleyway, which would fit in well with a Ghost walk as on one side there is the Churchyard behind the low railings, & on the other is a wall that has old, weathered headstones set in to it.
The narrow path made its down to the River Lea, 2-1-2 Maureen & Psycho were two abreast at this point & this caused a little problem for the FRBs who now wanted to get by them, they had their chance as the path crossed the wide waterway to run by the small fenced off play area on the left. An arrow directed the Hash into the play area within the grounds of Hertford Castle, Mr X was soon on his way out toward the car park. Up with the RA was the Curate, Sloppy Seconds, & he informed the RA that he was parked not far from the Castle Grounds!
A CHK was found within the Walled grounds, the RA went to search up toward Castle street, but nothing was found beyond the small, neatly kept garden before the road. On the way back the RA noticed that along the old flint & stone castle walls there was a ‘perception garden’ with various plants who’s scent could be appreciated as well as being touched for their texture, but he did wonder about the roses at the end??
Back into the castle grounds & Mr X passed by Psycho, Lobby Lobster & 2-1-2 Maureen once again as he found the Trail leading out by the Six Templars Spoons’ Pub & the Hertford Theatre. Psycho, who was back with the Hash after having her knee sorted out, would break off from the rest of the Pack, she would be joined by Dragon’s Den as she went to have a coffee & rest her knee.
The Trail was indicated at being straight over the crossing on the Wash & on through the pedestrianized Maid Street. On the way the FRBs were almost caught out by an arrow off down toward the library that was partly scrubbed out, as the Hare had intended to lead the Pack down until he discovered that there was no way out. Instead the next turn in the Trail was when it came out on to Bulls Plain & there it headed northward to run down toward the Hertford Club by the River Lea.
The Pack crossed over the Lea & then were led off over the new path that runs along the edge of the Beane where it joins the Lea, to come around by the New McMullens brewery & the new Sainsbury’s that is on the adjacent old brewery site.
Fartin Martin & No Eye Deer had managed to get ahead of some of the FRBs who had gone astray earlier, but some had managed to get by these two earlier & had run out of the car park, the likes of Tent Packer & Mark E Mark were well ahead running out over the river Beane & on to the access road up a slope to Port Hill just above Cow bridge.
A turn to the North had the Pack heading up the steep Port Hill, fortunately the Trail would not climb all the way up the hill to Bengeo, but would break off & head through the wrought Iron gates for the access road leading through the wooded slope of the Warren.
A CHK was found by a set of steps in the steep wooded bank, by the time the RA arrived here Tent Packer was on his way back from searching further along the tarmac lane to the east. Mr X began to climb up the steep steps cut in to the embankment & just as the route reached a level three quarters of the way up the slope, Dust was found.
“On! Was called by Mr X & the RA was quickly followed up the slope by No Eye Deer, Friar Tuck, Sparky & Sloppy Seconds. There were plenty of tree roots poking out of the path from the trees lining the route, as the path progressed the Pack would pass by a couple of stretches where wooden fencing had been erected by the Health & Safety bods. Unless you were really p*ssed, or seriously unstable on your feet, they seemed a bit of a waste of time.
Anyhow, the narrow path started to drop slightly & the tarmac route below began to rise & both would meet where a Held CHK was found on the edge of the tarmac. Mr X & Friar Tuck were first to the Held CHK, Sparky then appeared & said to Mr X “Oh, you’re running then?” to which Mr X explained that was how he got there before Sparky! Meanwhile No Eye Deer wondered if the blight covered leaves on the floor were Ash Trees, to the RA they looked like Maple leaves.
Sludge, who was still marking the route, now arrived at the CHK & let the band of FRBs go off & search for the Dust. Sloppy Seconds & Mark E Mark didn’t want to climb back up the steep slope below Bengeo, even when the RA called “On!” from up within the wooded area they refused to leave the tarmac option. Calls of ‘Short Cutters’ from the RA still failed to get them to follow the Trail!
The Two paths would meet again, by a metal gate as the access road comes up to the outskirts of Bengeo up on the hill. The next CHK was found where the access road comes out by the wall surrounding the 11th Century St Leonard’s Church, the oldest building in Hertford. From here Mark E Mark was straight on to the correct route onto the footpath back down by the ‘Vineyards’ to Hartham Common.
Mr X & Sparky had gone off to look at the other options, as the RA was convinced that the footpath at the back of the Churchyard would be the route down to the Common, it wasn’t! Mr X turned back & on the way Sparky asked him how he knew that Mark E Mark, Skip, Sloppy Seconds & No Eye Deer had gone the other way & were all on the right track down to Hartham Common? It was elementary, as Mark E Mark, Friar Tuck & Tent Packer hadn’t come back from the path, plus there was a large flour arrow from the CHK that indicated the Trail went that way.
Having descended the slope, the path made its way around a penned off area of the common, Lobby Lobster, TBT OBE, Hyena, 2-1-2 Maureen & Farts were all ahead of the rest of the Pack after being short cutted by Sludge. The Pack crossed over one of the dyke like water courses that make up the Bean before it merges with the River Lea.
The Dust would lead away from the penned off land & over to the car park for the Hartham common leisure centre, passing by the isolated building on the way toward the River Lea Navigation. There were a few who thought that they would now head out over the large Weir that separates the River Lea from the River Lea Navigation, & that they would soon be running back through the streets of Hertford from there, but alas this would not be, for the Trail would come around on this inside of the common on a wide cinder path that runs around the course of the River Lea.
Again there were those who were still ahead of the wayward FRBs, Fartin Martin called “On!” as he followed the arcing path out of sight behind the bend on the tree-lined bank. Sludge, No Eye Deer & Mr X all passed him to follow the Dust out to the Meads. Little did the Pack know that the Hare was actually hiding just on the other side of the weir & waiting for a chance to get over the long bridge spanning the long steps of water.
At the footbridge spanning the Lea before Kings Mead, the FRBs stopped to observe the brightly dressed canoeists in the river below, who were learning how to negotiate a much smaller weir than the other one.
The Path ran around the corner of Kings Mead, then came out next to No 1 Lock on the River Lea Navigation, Sludge wondered if the Trail would head out to cross the railway line & come back Inn that way? It wouldn’t!
A CHK was found by the Lock, Mr X picked out the Trail on the opposite side down the tow path as it leads beyond the lock & the Keeper’s house in a westerly direction back toward Hertford.
It was a long trot back along the tow path, passing behind the industrial units of the Dicker Mill estate, along the way there were plenty of barges & narrow boats moored up on the opposite bank, most of which looked as if they were tied up & berthed for the winter.
A CHK opposite the Scout Hut by the bridge over the navigation briefly broke up the Run before it continued back down to the next bridge at Mill Lane, here there was no CHK, just a direct route over the Weir. On the way over this the RA saw a Spaniel in front of him & he thought that it was Louis, but he knew that Louis wasn’t with Lobby Lobster or Mark E Mark at the start of the Trail.
Someone else also thought that this hound was Louis, but instead of just saying “Hello!” Sloppy Seconds came charging up to the woman who he mistook to be Lobby Lobster, with Louis, he grabbed her & announced that he was dying for a Pee! The woman was shocked by this, & so was Soppy as realised his mistake & quickly took to his heels while apologising profusely.
Mr X continued on through a short footpath away from the Navigation, this led through a small wooded spinney & then out on to the end of the car park for Hartham Leisure Centre. The Dust would now drop down a few steps from the car park, where the Pack were only yards from earlier on. This would now take the Pack back down to the Navigation via the back street of Framp Street, passing the nearby Folly allotments.
The Trail now led on along the Navigation’s edge to find the On Inn just before the Old Barge Pub on the Folly, the RA was tempted to go in the wrong On Inn as the time was just creeping toward Noon, but instead he decried to run on & make his way back over the bridge where a maker indicates the end of the Navigation.
After following the Trail back through Bulls plain, then around to the Wash out & by the Woolpack, it seemed like an age for the lights to change before Mr X could cross over by Old Cross. Even after this wait Hyena was still going to be some time out there behind him on the Trail, & as the RA’s change of clothes were in the Hyena Mobile, it wasn’t much of a decision to go straight in to the Old Cross Tavern.
The Pack enjoyed the warmth of the open real coal fires in the Old Cross Tavern, eventually the Pack ventured out in to the cooler air of the patio garden for the Down-Downs. Sludge did the honours in toasting the Hash, then it was over to the RA.
The Hare was rewarded for a great ‘Live Trail’ of an hour for the Keenies. The RA’s attention then fell on to Mark E Mark, who short cut with Sloppy Seconds, he would be joined by Sloppy Seconds as the RA recounted to the Pack what happened to the poor woman Sloppy shocked on the common. Sparky was out for not seeing the large arrow directing the Pack away from the top of the hill near St Leonards Church.
TBT OBE was out for noticing that Mr X had been around the previous weeks Trail, he questioned him as he didn’t believe he had done the Trail, since he was away that weekend for a Wedding. The sad bastard (Mr X) had actually been around the Trail only the day before this Hash, & he showed photographic evidence to prove that he had been under the bridge, to the Held CHK & over the old Pits! He had also paid Hash Cash two weeks subs for the privilege of trying to keep his run numbers up, all in order to get back on track & get his 1,000 Herts Run out of the way in time.
The Hash returned to the Bar & a few tucked in to the splendid Pork Pies on offer, there were also Scotch Eggs to compliment the Ales. Anything with potential Farty Egg being banned for Skip!!