Run No. 1481 23rd December 2012
Venue: The White Horse
Beer: Doom Bar, Tribute, Adnams’ Old Ale, Woodeforde’s Wherry
Hare(s): My Lil’
Membership: Survived the end of the World!
Yes there are still Pubs open & there is Shiggy to Hash through as the Mayan ‘Long Count Calendar’ completed its cycle of 13 Baktuns (5125.36 years) to reach 188.8.131.52.0 & Yes we are all still here, the Mayan calendar has reset itself after completing its great universal cycle, as most who understand these things had predicted, unfortunately the Mayans belief that the Universe is destroyed & recreated at the end of each cycle led to a lot of Doomsday Prophesies being read into this.
Anyhow! The penultimate Trail of 2013 saw the Grand Monkey return from his cruising around the Caribbean, [No not that type of cruising Pebbledash! – Ed] his trip was better than those who were on the Oriana who went down with the Norovirus!
Sludge asked if he had missed anything in the last couple of weeks? Well, there was news: 2-1-2 Maureen has had to have an operation to reset her broken wrist, then there were the Nutters who returned from their holiday in the US to find that a pipe had burst & flooded their entire house out. They are currently staying with friends as the dehumidifiers set about drying their place out!
On to some happy news, last week’s virgin Jill arrived for her second Herts Hash. She arrived just before the Circle was called, the RA was glad to hear the GM get the Run number correct. When the GM looked at him as if to confirm he had it correct, the RA said at least it was better than the previous week when it was announced some 40 Runs in the past!
This week saw two more Virgins turn out, this time in the shapes of Andy & Andrea, who arrived with Crispy Bush. They were introduced in to the Circle, just to make sure that the Pack knew what they looked like in order not to lose them on the Trail. The Hare was then called forward & his presence in the Circle was soon greeted with a few groans of discomfort! He went through drawing out on the car park floor what the Herts Markings were, for the benefit of the Virgins & the GM as he had been away for five weeks!
Sparky arrived just as the Hare was about to direct the Pack out of Lockley’s Rise car park, he claimed that he didn’t know that the Trail was starting from there, even though it had been advertised as such in the Trash, as well as email. Sparky didn’t believe any of what Paxo was trying to tell him.
The Trail started off by taking the Hash around on to Church street, right across from Rose Cottage which the RA explained was where Vincent Van Gogh’s sister used to live when she was a School Teacher in Welwyn, the legendary painter had stayed in the village.
The Trail soon took to Mill lane & headed southward to pass by the White Horse, which meant that Sparky was going back by where he had parked up. The first CHK was found by the alleyway of Mimram walk, that starts beside what was the Baron of Beef Pub, sadly no longer a boozer as it is now a private residence, this place holds some good memories for Mr X!
“On!” was called by Sparky, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds as they found Dust on Mimram walk, the RA on the other hand was not so convinced as he said to Spotted Dick & Custard that it was a Falsie last time & he fell for it hook, line & sinker.
Mr X was happy to hear that the Trail on Mimram walk was false again, as he continued down the olde worlde narrow street that is Mill lane to pass over the Mimram by the old Mill house to find a CHK at the crossroads with Prospect Place. Again Mr X backed himself to find the Trail as he crossed over to run down the dead-end continuation of Mill Lane to where it led by the local Fire Station.
The RA picked up the Trail & was soon over the Hertford road to find an arrow directing the Pack up a set of steep concrete steps cut in to the side of the wooded embankment which lead up out on to Broomfield road. Having scaled the heights to the top of the plateau, an arrow was found to direct the Pack up an alleyway to come out to a CHK on the small green space behind the Steamer Pub, on the opposite corner of the square shaped Broomfield road.
The RA was straight out on to London road & across to the opposite side from the Steamer, there he found a CHK where a group of Pensioners were standing about pondering what the Circle of flour was all about! Mr X was soon up Ottway Walk, heading toward the Welwyn Sports & Social but a T soon stopped him in his tracks & he was back to the CHK.
Mr X was joined by Sludge as the next option to be searched was the footpath on the alleyway between homes on Halls close & London road, this lead down to School lane. Fortunately they didn’t descend to the very bottom of the steps before they found a T, so after a good start the RA was now on his second false trail on the trot as these two returned to the CHK to see that it was marked southward up London Road.
The GM & RA followed the Trail up to where it branched off of London road & took to the path running along Tudor Road, this strange narrow tarmac lane leads between the back gardens with their sheds & garages of the homes on one side & the local School grounds on the other. Here the stray FRBs caught up with Crispy Bush, Andy & Andrea.
Paxo asked the RA about Hashes in the Northwest of England, from whence Andy & Andrea hail. Mr X said that he knows of the Black Pudding Hash, Lune Valley, there is now Manchester Hash & there is Wirral & Chester up in them there parts. Mr X added that he would talk more when back at the On Inn, where he would sort out an email link to the UK Hash website
A CHK was found by a footpath off to the north, running through a scrubby bit of woodland behind the reservoir within the wooded area, Spotted Dick, Custard, Sparky & Jill were all up ahead of the rest & they had found the next CHK. Now they were heading out to the west, covering the patch of waste ground before running out on to the crop field beyond, here they would find a T & would come back just as the others were heading down the old tarmac path back toward Ottway Walk. Out on to the driveway up to the sports pavilions on the playing fields the Trail moved on to the route northward over to the bowling pavilion.
Mr X led the way by the enclosed playground beside the bowls HQ & then on down a set of steps that led out on to School Lane, here the Dust entered the hedged in green area, here Sparky caught up with the RA & then over took him. As he did so, Sparky failed to spot the large arrow behind an oak tree, the RA called Sparky back so that he could make his way out on to School Lane, where the Dust led along a footpath up by the front of the row of homes up on the embankment above the lane.
By now Jill, Sludge, Sloppy seconds, Spotted Dick & Custard were back up with the likes of Mr X & Sparky as they came down the steps to take to the lane to run by the entrance to the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, then the local Pumping station.
A short way up the rustic lane, heading up Whitehill, then the Trail went through a gap in the hedgerow & on a footpath heading northward along the edge of the crop field, then at the corner of the Pumping Station grounds the Trail would follow the footpath as it turned westward to head up through the centre of the field.
Along the way Sloppy Seconds stopped to peer at the solitary oak tree, standing like a sentinel watching over the field, he wondered what the tree was doing??? The seedlings were being looked over by some rather odd, large spinning silver balls that had faces on them, these were supposed to scare the birds away.
At the crossroads with a farm track running from north to south, the next CHK was found. Sparky was soon off to the north as Jill went southward toward the Whitehill road. As these two searched for the Trail, Sloppy Seconds arrived & just hung about on the CHK! The RA tried to encourage Sloppy Seconds to take to where the footpath continues westward over the next muddy crop field. But Sloppy was reluctant to make much of an effort & as he pathetically, slowly ventured out on to the clay like soil, he was saved from anymore searching as Sparky blew his horn & called “On!”.
The RA was none too happy with Sparky, nor were the rest of the Pack who have been with Herts long enough to recall the time with the ‘Horse Incident at Bayford’! For Sparky had a pony & rider following on behind him, as he headed over the ridge & on toward Lince’s Farm. As Sparky hollered & blew his little horn [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] the RA thought of the article in the Hertford Mercury years ago, when a Horse cut its flank on a barbed-wire fence & the Hash were blamed, however this was really was nothing to do with us even though we had been in the vicinity, & the article went on to describe the runners as belong to an athletic club.
Please, please obey Hash Hush when it is called or you see someone with the arm raised up to indicate the that they are ‘On trail’ if they come across any horses being ridden or in paddocks. The Hare had forewarned the Pack of the nags on the Trail & Sparky should have used his common sense. If he does it again in the future, you have the RA’s permission to take Sparky’s horn & shove it where the ‘Sun doesn’t shine’, for we don’t want to be sued for someone’s unnecessary stupidity!
The Pony rider put a bit of a trot on to keep an eye on what was happening in front of her, she would see Sludge take Jill off through the Farm Yard, where there is no footpath at all. These two were following Sparky, who had also missed seeing the white footpath marker post at the end of one hedgerow as the track wound its way around to the east, just beyond the piles of steaming manure. Sludge & Jill were directed out of the farmyard by the Farmer from their trespassing
The Footpath takes a sudden 45° turn to the leave on track as it passed through the hedgerow to lead down the ridge on another track to the north. At a Hedgerow marking the upper fields edge, the footpath passed through a narrow gap to leave the farmer’s tracks & come out on to the east-west footpath leading over to Ryefield farm, here Mr X found the Held CHK. He gently called out a ‘Hash Hush’ as there are a series of Horse paddocks lining the edge of the footpath, separated by an Electric Fence.
Here the Hare offered out some Jellies, as the FRBs awaited Andy, Andréa & Crispy Bush to arrive. As the Hash Hush was obeyed there was a sudden, crack of a loud shotgun like bang that the horses were obviously used too, another bang echoed around the valley & these succeeded in scaring large flock of pigeons to take to the air & leave the crops.
As Spotted Dick looked out over the stunning green view across the valley, he said that he travels regularly on the Kimpton road that follows the course of the bottom of the valley, he added that he has never seen it from this angle as it looks out over toward Codicote, sitting up on the opposite side of the valley.
Sloppy Seconds then arrived, firstly the RA noticed that he now had his scarf gaily wrapped around one of his wrists, like the girls used to in the 1970’s if they supported the Bay City Rollers. If that wasn’t bad enough for a Down-Down [To add to the many he has recently accrued! – Ed] he then jumped & gave out a sharp “Ouch!” as he touched the electrified fence, no one noticed if his hair stood up when this happened!
Anyhow, he now bemoaned that the fence had no warning signs on it, which was true but if you looked closely enough he may have just spotted that the nylon strands were insulated! Sparky now rejoined the Pack, while Sludge & Jill had other ideas after the Farmer directed them out of his Farmyard, these two would not be seen again until the Pack were back in the White Horse.
When the Trail resumed, it was now obvious that Sludge & Jill would have picked up the Trail on the lane out of the Farm & down the hill to the east to head back in to Welwyn. So, the RA led the way out of the footpath & over the wide farm track to follow & diagonally path through a horse paddock, again Sparky had to be told to shut up as he was calling out “On!” while there were nags within this enclosed space!
The Footpath came out on to the lane that leads off of the farming land & down to the Kimpton road, at the junction of which was a CHK that had already been kicked through, in a direction away from the village & out along the lane as it winds its way away northward. Only a short way away from the Village before the Trail took to the Private road of Oakhill Drive, this may have been a downhill trot but it was still hard work for the RA who was suffering from the remnants of a cold!
At the bottom of the hill the Trail came out on to Fulling Mill lane, Sparky couldn’t see the Dust until the RA pointed it out on the post for the gate, that leads in to the enclosed meadow across from the narrow lane. Once through the hedgerow things would become much more confusing for Sparky. Firstly parts of the Trail had been kicked out by the unfriendly locals, the RA had the distinct advantage of knowing the exits from this low lying wetland.
If this wasn’t enough for Sparky, once he was called back to join the Hare & RA heading south-eastward on the reserve between Fulling Mill lane & the Codicote road, then Sparky’s second problem was that he soon became confused to see lots of almost perfect circles spray-painted on the way out toward the Village, he mistook these for CHKs! If he had looked a little closer, or put his foot in each, then he would have noticed that there was a dog turd in the centre of each one!!
Sparky was directed out to the far end of the small nature reserve of the meadow with the Mimram running through it, the others followed on wondering who has the time & would put in all of the effort to mark out dog turds on this green area! As Mr X & My Lil’ left the green space, the Council man was emptying the supposedly full dog turd bin by the gate out to the edge of Welwyn.
Now, having passed over the small pack bridge at the end of Fulling Mill lane, with the full Mimram rushing below, the RA may have thought that salvation was in sight, in the shape of the White Horse, & that he’s be in there at opening time, then he would be profoundly wrong. The Hare marked the Trail at the end of the High street with an SC heading back in to the old part of Welwyn, then he marked the Trail off of the roundabout & up toward the Bridge spanning the B656 toward the Clock roundabout!
As the RA trudged up toward the bridge there was going to be no sympathy toward him from the Hare, even with a tight chest & struggling to breathe by this point, the Hare just stood there like the ‘Spirit of Christmas yet to come’ silently pointed the way on what would be a cruel & evil loop.
Sparky was soon over the bridge & then disappeared from sight as he went astray, Zing-a-long-a-max finally caught up with the FRBs & he was soon ahead of them as the Trail would lead northward away from the On Inn, by way of the back streets off of Carlton Rise. Mr X protest that he knew where TC used to live & wasn’t impressed as the Trail almost doubled back as it zigzagged its way up to a Footpath that runs beside TC’s former abode!
The Trail would come out on to the Nature Reserve that sits behind the Danesbury area at the north end of Welwyn, the RA was really struggling as he made his way off of the old uncapped lane to the former Hospital, & then down over the wild grassy heathland to come out on the old bit of ‘Roman road’ behind the remains of the Clock Hotel. He pondered on how Roman it was as this soon became the closed off old tarmac lane, with old cats eyes embedded in the litter strewn route secluded by the hoardings hiding the burnt out motel?
No one else took to doing the whole route, but at least the evil Hare was happy at getting Mr X to complete it, seems My Lil’ still bears a grudge after the previous weeks’ little Falsie near to the end of the Trail at Croxley Green! [It was far easier than this horrid loop! – Ed] By the time the RA had staggered in to the car park the rest had been, changed & gone after taking the short cut!
A lonely stagger around to the On Inn & then back to the car park to get changed meant that things would be running a little late. Jill would have to leave before the Circle was called, she had to get back to plane some wood off of her door, having taken instructions from Sloppy Seconds, Sludge & Paxo as to how she could get a better entry into her property!
Meanwhile, just out of the RA’s earshot, Spotted Dick & Custard were busy working on the pack to try to get some of them to defect to the Dark-side of the Force, & join them next week at the Trail they are setting for the trespassing H5 (The Bedfordshire Hash) at the Crooked Chimney in Lemsford, even though it is near by to a few of the regular H4 gang, the consensus from the Herts Pack was not to give them a large Pack to finish off the year. Not since both Trails have been advertised for quite some weeks now, the opportunity for a Joint Trail could have been announced in plenty of time.
The Circle was called & the Hare rewarded for a good Trail for most, thought the RA was tempted to hand him a pint of water for the nasty, cynical loop at the end, but instead My Lil’ did get an Ale. Next up where the Virgins of Andy & Andrea, with Crispy Bush standing in for Andy as he was driving, Andrea did her best but was slightly eclipsed by Crispy Bush’s effort.
Sludge was called out for his short cutting, & trespassing to lead Jill astray though Lince’s farm & miss the held CHK, then the RA’s attention turned to Sloppy Seconds for the First of many Down-Downs that he has in deficit. Sloppy had his for the Bay City Roller’s Scarf, that did look a bit effeminate but also for touching the electric fence at the Held CHK!
The Pack then retired to the Bar to explain the benefits of Hashing to our two Newies, & the prospect of them joining a north-western UK Hash