Run No. 1494 24th March 2013
Venues: The Mermaid
Beer: Citra; Old Growler Rum Cask; Naval Gazer; Winter Spice, Yarlington Mill; Two Trees Perry
Location: St Albans
Membership: Drinking the Ciders & Perrys for the absent Harriettes!
Again the weather seems to have kept the majority of the Pack away at home in the warm, it seems that the only ones who make it out regularly in the snow are Mr X, My Lil’ & Sloppy Seconds! Even with the snow lying around in places, the roads were very clear, as those who have ‘grittertwitter’ knew. The roads were that passable even the JM had managed to get off of the top of Tower Hill in Ware, & we all know how hard that can be when the snow falls up there with only the bus route remaining open as it almost right by the JM’s house.
Anyhow, Paxo arrived with 20 minutes to go before the Trail was due to start. As he had volunteered to be the Hare, he needed to go out almost as soon a she had arrived. This week he was on his own as TBT OBE had called off his turning out & had called the Hare to let him know, but the Hare could have done with a bit more notice so he could have gone around & set the whole Trail before the meagre Pack arrived to chase him.
With Paxo off setting the Trail, Mr X & My Lil’ braved the wind that would be called braw north of the border, after they left the shelter of Paxo’s car & walked around to the Mermaid, there they found Sloppy Seconds with his 4x4 Bitzu-Basha Hogger parked in the car park. As the time approached the hour it looked as if no others would be turning out, so Mr X called the triangle together, well three can’t make a Circle! He told Sloppy that the Hare had set off & that the Trail was laid in flour, there was no more he could add!
An arrow outside of the Mermaid directed the trio over the Hatfield road & on to the end of St Peter’s road, the first CHK was found a short way down this rat-run side street, this was opposite an alleyway that runs westward by a back street & then up in to the Graveyard of St Peter’s Church. The RA chose to search up toward the Churchyard but found no Dust.
“On!” was heard from back on St Peter’s road, where My Lil’ had found the Trail as it ran its course to turn eastward as the route becomes Manor road & up to where it joins Lemsford road, on the way Sis & Fliptop waved & called out to the Keenies as they had caught up as they walked Winston & Lucy.
Mr X & My Lil were now joined by Sloppy Seconds as they followed the Trail out on to the crossroads with the Hatfield road, the Trail took them over the railway bridge & then on down to the southwest corner of Clarence Park, but a closed gate stopped the Hare’s plan of going in to the Park as this point, a sign that stated the steps down in to the park were out of access due to health & safety issues with the snow & ice. It didn’t look that bad, but who are the Hash to know of such things!
The Trail continued further eastward down Hatfield road to the next road junction set of lights, here a CHK was found by the south-eastern corner entrance to the Clarence Park. My Lil’ soon called “On!” as he had gone in to the Park by the small Italian restaurant that used to be a public toilet!
The three Keenies ran out along the eastern side of the park as the Dust led on to a CHK in the north-eastern corner of the park, in the park there were a few people out walking their dogs in the snowy winter scene. The Trio called “On!” & received some strange looks from the dog walkers, then RA picked up the Trail leading along the northern side of the park. From this side there was a good view out over the hockey pitches & bowling greens that sit before the large & ornate Pavilion.
The Dust left the shelter of the hedged in park by coming out to the corner entrance that is used by St Albans FC’s ground, the Trail ascended the stairs at the dead end of York road. The RA now led the way up the few steps & over the footbridge spanning the main line from Bedford to St Pancras, on what is affectionately known as the ‘Bed-Pan’ line. A plume of powdery snow billowed up as a Train went thundering through beneath the bridge.
Once over the line, the Trail came back out on to Lemsford road again & this time it would lead away to the north. The Trail crossed over to the shaded & more snow covered path on the opposite side, here it led up to a CHK on the start of Avenue road, again there was enough snow on the ground to slow the FRBs up a little as they took more care.
The RA was first up the road & on beyond the alleyway that leads through to Sandpit lane, where he thought that the Trail may go. He was wrong, as it continued up to the end Avenue road to where it joins Stonecross road. More arrows were found & these directed the Hash over at the busy junction to run around the frontage of the restaurant that was the Cricketers Pub, even more arrows lay ahead as the Pack were directed off down the side of the Devas Restaurant & on to strangely named ‘Snatchup Alley’ [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed], a cut-through that leads on behind the Jolly Sailor to emerge on to the Sandridge road.
Mr X was soon up the Sandridge road & found the CHK Point by the side street of Spengate, a road that was marked as a dead-end, as he continued on along toward the recreation ground on the Sandridge road he slowed up as there it began to get icy under foot, as he did so there Dust seemed to peter out as.
On his way back, & after some closer inspection as to what the off-white stuff in snow was that he had mistakenly though was flour, he had no idea as to what this was but it wasn’t Trail!
Sloppy Seconds & My Lil’ had now made up the ground that the RA had on them, they had found the Trail leading through the side road & then on though the small spur of the Limes, where someone has upset the locals by letting their pooches crap on the front gardens, so we were told by an obvious noticed pinned to a tree!
The Dust ran through the corner of the wooden fence along the side of the grounds of PPH bus depot, then on to a Heath Farm track in to the corner of Bernard’s heath wood where it comes out by the sports field. On his way into the woodland the RA spotted the Hare running out over the Recreation ground back on the Sandridge road, so he bellowed out “On! On!” to gee up the Hare!
Just within the woodland was a Held CHK, here My Lil’ & Sloppy were waiting for the RA, by this time Sis & Fliptop were quite a long way behind as the FRBs had been running non-stop & they also had a fair bit of luck in utilizing their local knowledge in finding the Trail! The three at the CHK decided to give the Hare a sporting chance at getting away, as they were sheltered in the woodland so they gave him a few minutes head start once more.
Knowing where the Trail would go, saved the Keenies from having to search too far in to the woodland, they soon picked up the Dust as it led out of the northeast part of the wood & on to a part of the recreation ground that was enclosed by hedges & tree lines. Here the Hare had scraped back the snow to allow the off-white Dust to be seen. These green open scrapes areas were rather like seeing ice-holes [Yes I said Ice-holes Pebbledash! - Ed] in the arctic where Inuit’s go seal hunting.
After avoiding the large area of frozen flood water, the Trail led up a small bank of very shiggyfied wet mud to get back out on to the edge of the Sandridge road side of the recreation ground. The Keenies ambled over to the road side, following the Dust to a Pelican Crossing but the Dust didn’t cross over, instead it continued on along to the north before peeling off on the down hill trot of Seymore avenue to the west.
Again caution was need on the descent down as the hill as it was potentially a slippery area on the snowy footpath, this was also crunchy under foot to indicate that there was ice hidden beneath. At the bottom of the hill the road joins Beech road running from east to west, here the Trail crossed this main route to the west side where the Ancient Britons built the impressive ramparts.
As the Keenies looked up ahead to the traffic-light junction by the Ancient Briton Harvester to the west, they could plainly see Paxo up ahead with a book in his hands. He was doing a little map reading to see where to go next!
Paxo was soon aware to the fact the Keenies were now right on his heels, so his plans may have drastically altered as he shot over at the lights to take to take the southbound Bernard’s Heath road back toward the City Centre. The rest all ran on in a brief attempt to catch the Hare, but the Hare wasn’t going to stop now, he wasn’t going to buy those behind him a drink if they caught him.
A CHK was found by the first path in to the east side of the woodland of Bernard’s heath that is split in two by the Bernard’s Heath road, this was the area where in the second Battle of St Albans the Lancastrians’s out-flanked Warwick the King Maker & the Yorkist Army on 17th February 1461, even the old ramparts built by the Ancient Britons was used as defence in the battle. The first battle of St Albans in May 1455 was the start of the War of the Roses was further down in the City, that one was won by the Yorkist Army.
While the RA went into the wood to find another CHK, Sloppy Seconds & My Lil’ continued on along the road to pick up the trail as it exited the woodland further up. The Hare had made good his escape back up to Stonecross road, he was aided by the fact that the chasing FRBs had to wait for the traffic to pass by a large puddle that was being splashed right across the footpath! They got safely through without getting wet & ran on to cross over just before what was the Cricketers, the trail now run a short way down St Peter’s Street before using the crossing to get over to the other side, there the Hash passed by the Alms Houses & then on through the graveyard of St Peter’s Church.
As they made their way on the diagonal Path through the Churchyard, the RA said that if he was the Hare then he would have put down the On Inn & waited behind one of the tombs in the graveyard with an arsenal of snowballs to lob at those in pursuit, but as he had found out earlier the snow was too powdery to make a decent snowball!
The On Inn was found before the path leaves the graveyard & comes out through an alleyway by what was the Liberal Club but now is the Kashu restaurant. Out on Hatfield road & the Hare was found waiting by the zebra crossing, He was knackered after being made to run the last leg of the trail.
Paxo could settle in to the Mermaid after he had changed, some of the others decided that they would change in the warmth of the pub! The Hare was told that Sis & Fliptop were somewhere out there, doing the while Trail & a lot more according to Sis when she & Fliptop finally returned. The Hare was also informed that he was close to being caught when the RA went astray by the recreation ground!
Paxo asked if the Pub did take-away drinks, not spotting the bright orange two pint tetra pack containers hanging from the Bar right next to him, he then decided that he would buy Ewok a couple of pints of Cider to take out, she had missed the Hash as she was suffering with a cold.
There were no Down-Downs this week as the RA left early, in order to try & it for a 14:00Hrs kick off, but the Pack were surprised when he returned to the Mermaid some 20 minutes later. He had made it to the Station in plenty of time, only to find that the Trains heading south had been cancelled & he wouldn’t even make the second half!! Fortunately he & My Lil’ would later on catch the top of the table clash up in the Blacksmiths’ Arms, where they had some nine Real Ales on!!
The Down-Downs were still put on hold until the next week, but there was one obvious contender for one & that was Sloppy Seconds signing his name in the sacred book, with the addition of Snow Leopard written after it!! He seems to think that he is like the graceful big cat of that name, which lives in snowy conditions!! This must add to the tally of Down-Downs he has accumulated & has in reserve.
Amongst the topics being discussed were the AGPU, & of course the weather which believe it or not was actually 20° this time last year!! Mr X’s 1,000th also came up but at the moment that has all been out on hold, I am sure something will happen but it may not be an away weekend.