Run No. 1474               4th November 2012

Venue:                          The Three Horseshoes

Beer:                             Charlie Wells, Bombardier, Eagle IPA & Courage Directors

Location:                     Winkwell

Hare(s):                        Mr. X

Runners:                     7

Virgins:                        0

Visitors:                       0

Après                            0

Newies:                        0                        

Hounds:                       0

Total:                            7

Membership:              Magnificent!


                With the constant rain from the early hours of the morning & right up almost until almost when the Circle was called, the Hare was resigned to the fact that it would be a low turn out.  Sure enough, staying in bed seemed to be the preferred choice of most of the regular Pack, leaving only five of H4 braving the large puddles & water-logged roads on the route there to turn out.

Fortunately Mother & Lemming decided that they would run with H4 this week, leaving their regular Hash of Berks this week.  Up by the canal the Pack saw a group of kids hardier than most of H4, who appeared to be out on a Duke of Edinburgh award scheme & were laden down with rucksacks as they planned there route by doing some Map & Compass, not all of them looked happy to be out in the inclement weather.

The Pack weren’t going to hang around once the GM had called the small Circle together, after getting the Run number correct it was over to the Hare.  Mr X made sure that Sparky knew that there were parts of the Trail were no horns should be blown, the Herts Markings were given a quick going over for Lemming & Mother, finally a warning about flying golfing eggs being a vague possibility!  Then it was off to the tow path on the opposite side of the narrow swing bridge over the Grand Union canal at Winkwell.

The Trail began by heading Westward along the canal side, this first stretch up along by the various moored up narrow boats that are home to those who live on the waterway was a pretty dirty stretch, there were many puddles stretching across the width of the path, which also had some really good tracts of cold shiggy as well.

Lemming, Sparky, Sludge, Mother & My Lil’ all led the way up & underneath the white pack-bridge over the canal, on the opposite side they found first CHK.  By the time Paxo & Mr X had made it up to the CHK the Trail had been picked up on the narrow Sharp’s lane that leads from the bridge & out to London road that connects Hemel Hempstead to Berkhamsted.  

Having made their way out on to Sharp’s lane the Hare was surprised to see that there was a couple of huge lake like puddles covering the entire width of the lane.  Mr X stated that it wasn’t like that the day before when he spent a lot of time setting the Trail!

Paxo tried to pussy-foot around the first puddle, while Mr X just gave up & waded through to get out on to drier ground.  The Trail turned to the east as it led down toward the village of Bourne End, crossing London road to run by a local outbound & camping centre, just at the corner of this building an arrow directed the Hash up Bourne End lane.

Along the way Paxo told the RA that he had phoned his neighbours to see if they were going to come out & play on the Hash this morning, but Pepé le Pew said that he had more pressing matters!  He had a great pile of washing to iron, so he slipped in to his pinafore & donned his pink fluffy slippers instead of his Hash gear!

This quiet lane is pleasantly lined with old cottages & a few sympathetic new builds, it seemed quite rural as the Trail led out to the dead end & through the dividing gate in the lane to run along to the service road part of Upper Bourne End lane to the not so unspoilt look of the industrial estate. 

Paxo looked further ahead & beyond the A41 he could see the very high green tree topped ridge in the distance, Paxo said that he didn’t fancy climbing up that!  The Hare said he wouldn’t have to take the hardest route if he went on the short cut that would be offered up soon, so Paxo now knew what lay ahead for the real Keenies.

The Dust now came up to a CHK by a roundabout that leads from under the A41 by-pass & down to the Travel Inn & petrol station on Stoney Lane.  A few had gone off down toward the slip-road to the A41 before realising that there is no Pedestrian access down that route. 

So, it was back to the road bridge carrying the A41 high up above.  On the other side of this concrete home to many pigeons nesting up there, these flying rats littered floor with guano & feathers!  A CHK was found on a green corner on the bend in the road around to Hemel, right by the start of the dead end of continuation of the old Bourne End lane.

Lemming was the only one to get the correct route straight away as he picked up the dust on the concrete driveway down along side the A41, while Mother, My Lil’, Sparky & Sludge had all chosen to look up the old lane.  Those who had gone astray were called back by the Hare & sent on their way over the cattle grid to follow the access road along by the busy dual carriageway, the noise from which prevented them from hearing Lemming’s call of “On!” earlier on.

                Paxo & Mr X waited for the Keenies to go off over the cattle-grid before they took to the short cut up Bourne End lane as it climbs up the hill through the edge of Hanging Wood, there was a light stream of water running down the old tarmac road up toward back of HM Prison The Mount, right up in Bovingdon.  This was nothing compared to the river that the FRBs would encounter once they were beyond Vale Farm.

Just beyond the afore mentioned farm the tarmac gave way to a capped hardcore drive down to Lower Farm, which as its name suggest is located in the bottom of the valley.  To the left was a steep climb of some 150 feet in just a few hundred yards, from the CHK at a Kissing gate on a footpath before Lower Farm.   The Trail would take to this steep climb & it was on this bit that the Pack would find a river of water flowing down the path.

The exposed parts of the Trail had managed to survive the worst of the weather, while most was placed strategically on fence post, trees & even in the hedge running up the hillside.  Lemming would pull away from the others as he made it up the hillside of harrowed land, the Dust led on through the hedgerow running along the top of the ridgeway.

If the river of water flowing down the hillside was bad enough for cold Hash feet, then things didn’t improve as the footpath would lead out through a fallow field by a stretch of Coleshill Wood, this way was almost one long tract of boggy Shiggy right up until it reached a point where the Trail went through the tree-line & out along the other side, heading to the Southwest on the somewhat drier edge of another harrowed field.

Mr X & Paxo waited at the Held CHK, Lemming was the first there & he said that he had lost the others, the RA put him right that the others were someway behind him but were on the right track.  Lemming added that the climb up was pretty wet as it was like a river!  The Hare then offered up a ‘Treat’, after the Pack had been on their ‘Trick’ part of ‘Trick or Treat’!  It seems that the RA’s household didn’t have many callers at his door for Halloween, perhaps it was the Jimmy Saville style pumpkin that kept the Horrors away!

The rest of the Pack arrived & some of them sound a little grumpy at the long loop out, but having been pacified with a sweet & the fact that they were at the furthest & highest point out on the Trail the status quo was back!  Lemming was encouraged to start searching for Dust again, but he waited for the others to be ready to set off as well.

Lemming & My Lil’ set off arm in arm, which was rather dodgy looking & may have made Paxo jealous?  But they did take the right option & ignored the obvious footpath that was indicated out over by the Aerials high up on the hill, just beyond the car park of the Paint-Ball centre up there.

The Pack were now heading North-eastward down the narrow puddle strewn lane until the Trail reached a footpath in the hedgerow that leads out on to the edge of Little Hay Golf Club.  The going on the course was still waterlogged, which meant that there weren’t any Golfers out on the fairways for the Pack to annoy as they called ”On!” in making their way around the footpath sheltered in between two tree lines.

After taking a turn to the Southeast, the South & then Southeast once again, the path made its way around the back end of the Golf course, on the last part of the Path out to the Hempstead road there was a fallen tree across the way.  Mr X tried to encourage mother to leap this hurdle, but she decline as it was too high.  Mr X didn’t attempt it either when Mother challenged him to take it on.

The Trail made its way out of the gates to the Golf club & on to a CHK on edge of the Hempstead road, from here Sparky would take the wrong option as he headed away toward Bovingdon.  Meanwhile Lemming & My Lil’ were on the right track as they looked North-eastward along the roadside to find the Trail leading in to Gorsefield Wood, & a little way in to this area of Native woodland a spectacular sight was witnessed by My Lil’, the RA only arrived in time to see Lemming lying out on the floor.

While Lemming licked his wounds, his bloody fingers, & tended to his ripped jogging bottoms, My Lil’ informed the RA that Lemming had caught his foot on a protruding stump that he had failed to see, he was too busy looking at the footpath signs within the wood, apparently it was quite a spectacular dive that Luis Suarez would have been proud of as he travelled about 6 feet!  Luckily it wasn’t near to a cliff edge or Lemming would be living up to his name! [I know Lemmings don’t commit suicide by leaping off of cliffs – it was all the fault of a Disney Film! – Ed]

Lemming picked himself up & gingerly started off on the footpath that runs back on to the Golf Course, the alternative of the permissive path through the woodland was ignored.  While running through the wood, the Pack were surprised to see a large day-glo lime tent like structure that was low to the ground, this moving object was being watched over by a woman who one would presume was a responsible Adult keeping watch, the Hare knew how she felt!  These were probably the Duke of Edinburgh kids seen earlier.

The RA was hoping that Lemming was not looking in to the wood, but was watching his step as he ran out of the wood, just to make sure Lemming could see an exposed cast iron water hydrant cover, the Hare placed a blob of flour over it, just as he had done with the root stump Lemming had tripped up on.

The Pack made their way out of the wood & on to the driveway to the Golf Club’s Club House, or the Nineteenth Hole as its known in Hacking Golfing terms!  Sparky could be heard back in the wood, calling out “Are you?” even though the CHK & the Trail had been marked really well by the Hare!

Sparky caught up as the Dust led on beyond the 19th Hole & around to an outbuilding situated before the driving range, as the Hash were led over the grassy tract along side another fairway to a CHK pint by a park bench.  From here Lemming & My Lil’ went off on the wrong choice on a footpath over toward Westbrook Hay.  This left Mother & Sparky to make good on the other two’s mistake.

As Mother led the way down the hill, cutting through between two of the fairways, the rain began to fall but at least it was a light precipitation compared to earlier in the day.  Sparky would soon get by Mother as they made their way down over the wet grass to a Held CHK right by a narrow concrete footbridge over the A41.  The Hare wasn’t going to hold anyone up in the rain, not as Paxo & Sludge had just caught up as the Pack were about to reach the final leg of the Trail.

The Trail was quickly picked up over the footbridge & once on the other side it became an uncapped track which would lead on by a little nature reserve before turning the corner to come down the hedged-in path between the various horse paddocks on either side.  The Route would come out to the London Road once again, even the On Inn had just about survived.  It was just a short trot along the road toward the local garage & then to turn down the short lane to Winkwell.

Once he had caught up in the car park, Mother asked Lemming why he was the last one Inn (as did the RA later on) as he was a fair way & probably a fairway behind the rest by the end of the Trail, he didn't look too happy at hearing this for the first time, let alone a second!  Or was it the fact that because they have run with us before he knew that he would have to pay up their subs?

The Pack took refuge in the Pub, just before the rain started to get heavier.  The RA had a bit of a problem as his deodorant fly spray as it fell right under the GM’s car, where it would remain until the GM left!  Having retired into the 16th Century Pub, there was a large open fire in the Bar which was enough to warm the coldest Hash feet.  Though Lemming spent the first ten minutes inside the Pub tending to his ‘battle scars’ before joining the others in imbibing & getting warm.

There were only two Down-Downs this week, the first one was awarded by the GM to Mr X for setting a splendid Trail of just over an hour, that many had missed out on.  The other hit was awarded to the ‘flying’ Lemming who by now was patched up with bandages around his fingers, he looked as if he wouldn’t have been out of place earlier in the week at a Halloween party as a mummy!  His tripping over the stump was enough to earn him his Down-Down.