Run No. 1496 7th April 2013
Venues: The Waggoners
Beer: GK IPA, Adnams Broadside; Doombar; Tribute
Location: Ayot Green
Hare(s): Custard & Spotted Dick
Membership: Enjoying a little bit of warm weather!
Finally after what seems like an age, the Pack would have a day where it was warm enough to sit outside of the Pub, the weather had improved after all of the snow, cold & wetness we have had. The early arrivals were My Lil’, Mr X & Hyena, the first one cycled to the venue, the second one walked up the hill on the ‘slip road’ beside the A1(M), with the third driving up & giving Mr X a lift of all about 800 yards away from the Venue.
The Hares arrived & it was soon noticed that Spotted Dick was carrying a bag of no ordinary flour, the Trail had been set using chickpea flour! The flour’s taste was distinctive as the chickpea flavour came through when it was tasted. Back to the weather & Custard soon put a dampener on the talk of how pleasant the morning was, when she said that it was forecast to change & become cold & wet once more Later in the week!
The Pack gathered around the Joint Monkey to hear his welcome to the Hash, standing in for the absent GM, Paxo got the Run number correct before handing over to the Hare! There was a warning of being aware while crossing roads, it wasn’t a long Trail & then it was mentioned that the Trail was set in chickpea flour so “The Hash were going for an Indian & if they didn’t like that you could always have a Chinese!”
Having spotted flour on the bridge over the A1(M) on the way in to Ayot, a few thought that this would be the way the Trail would set off Inn. But just as he approached the brick pillars before the bridge, Mr X would find a Bar to stop any further progress. He turned back, indicating that the Trail was False, so it was a return to the Waggoners to find that some had already began to make their way down on to the footpath running on to the Brocket Estate.
The footpath headed in to the pine wood of Cat’s Gallows in a south-westerly direction, the cottage that sits on its own just within the woodland was all boarded up & no longer being habited. The Pack began to make their way further in to Brocket Estate as the Path led across on to the golf course. No Eye Deer was surprised at the attitude of one pompous golfer who asked “How many more of you lot are coming?”
On the way the RA explained to No Eye Deer that the course was put in at the expense of a lot of woodland, including the ‘Race Track’, which was ripped out to create the open area for the fairways. This all seemed to be have been done all in a very underhand way.
Sparky was doing his best for Hash & golfing relations by firstly blowing his horn to put the golfers off of their stroke when the Trail was first found that way, but much more to the annoyance of the golfing fraternity out that morning was the fact that he twice wandered off of the long footpath over to the centre of the park when there were no other paths leading off.
The footpath ran down in to the small valley & then up the other side to climb up on to the plateau, along the way the path crossed several fairways & the Pack had to be aware of flying golf balls, there were signs warning those using the path to look out for the direction of flight.
A Held CHK was found on the single tarmac road running through the estate, at a spot where three footpaths meet by the hedge hiding the tennis courts & the estate house of Brocket Hall. Sparky was still overly keen & he cut off the corner to the CHK as he spotted dust on the footpath marker post on the path leading away through the estate to the northwest, he was called back by the RA & Sparky didn’t seem happy at being brought back from what he thought was the continuation of the Trail!
There was a quite a wait at the Held CHK for Sis & Lucy to come over the fairways, Hyena brought up the rear & was a little further behind them. While waiting at the CHK, there was a remark made about women golfers that was soon nipped in the bud by comments from Ewok & Custard.
Paxo changed the subject by saying that he & Backpack had been watching the Hash Golfers that morning on TV. This caught Fliptop’s attention, perhaps he was looking forward to seeing himself on TV? But his hopes were soon turned to disappointment when Paxo said that it was an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, where the elderly characters play golf! [See what he means! – Ed]
When the Pack set off once more they chose, the one Sparky had been on before, that led off down through the hedged-in path leading down to the river Lea toward Water End, but this would be a Falsie, as would the other option the RA had chosen of carrying on around on the tarmac road that leads down to the bridge over the weir in Brocket Park.
The third option of the footpath cutting back over the fairways to the southeast was where the Trail was picked up once again, My Lil’ lead the way with Mr. X & Sparky in tow. Again it was another long stretch to be run, but at least this one way down the gentle hill all of the way over toward Lemsford, once off of the golf course the Trail led on through the grounds of Lemsford Mill. Here Mr X asked Sparky if he had ever heard the Song ‘Nellie Dean’? Sparky said that he hadn’t, which surprised the RA as it was very popular in the Music Halls at the turn of the last century.
The Mill in the lines of the song “There is an old mill by the stream, Nellie Dean” was written about this mill & was popular with Boar War Soldiers! The Dust led on over the new footbridge bridge over the River Lea to a CHK on the edge of the road through the village, here there were information boards explaining the natural history of the area, including one of the few rare Heronries in the UK, that is up in the trees behind the row of cottages on the opposite side of the river.
Mr X & My Lil’ were now relying on the local knowledge, especially as the RA drinks in the village! They were soon on down by the Sun Pub & on to an arrow directing the Hash on the old road bridge over the river Lea. The dust followed the road around the bend by the Long Arm & Short Arm to head southward & head out of the village, the Dust came out on to the first of the double roundabouts that sit either side of the A1(M). The Dust headed eastward & took the Pack under the motorway bridge & through to the other roundabout on the outskirts of the west side of Welwyn Garden City.
A Second Held CHK was found by the FRBs as they emerged from under the A1(M) here the RA said “If only I had walked around on this side of the roundabout on my way to the Pub, I would have seen the Trail!” There were fruit pastels on offer once Custard had made it to the Held CHK to hand them out. Soon the Keenies were anxious to get going again, especially those who had been to the Heineken Cup quarter final & were feeling its effects, the RA in particular found it hard to get going again from the previous stop at a Held CHK!
As Hyena would know his way from this point in the Trail, the Hare’s allowed the FRBs to start searching once again. They were soon over the ‘slip road’ that runs up to the top of Digswell Hill, the Dust was found on the start of Valley road & this would lead off of this road & on by a small pond that Winston had to drink out of. Fliptop noticed that there was plenty of frog spawn in the pond as he took Winston away from there.
The Trail entered the fallow field that sits at the south end of the Welwyn Garden City Golf Club, the Keenies were soon on to the path that runs over to the north end of the small wooded area separating the field from Valley Road. Mr X & My Lil’ missed a Bar CHK that stopped Sparkly, Fliptop & Paxo, these two continued on to the wood on a well known path that leads over the wooded ridge & then out to Valley road where the housing begins.
They picked up the Trail & were soon on Valley road to the north, they found a CHK by the bus shelter opposite the triangular green of the Links, the direct route of continuing up Valley road was where the Trail resumed. The two FRBs would now pull further away from the rest as they rapidly found the Trail off of the crossroads Junction with High Oaks, they were soon on to the climb up this road of exclusive homes.
A CHK was found half way up High Oaks, but as local knowledge kicked in the two FRBs didn’t check it out on Mannicotts as they knew that this only leads to the local Golf Club & on the other side it was a dead end, though there is another option of a footpath further up High Oaks, leading out of the dead end Dognell Green to the local Tennis Club, but this was not used.
The Trail came up to the end of High Oaks, at the T-junction with Brockswood road the third & final Held CHK was found just by the bench & bright red pillar-box that sit on the corner. Mr X & My Lil’ waited for sometime at this Held CHK but there was no sight of even Sparky! So, the RA decided that as he would have a job to get going again the two should set off, plus they knew that the Trail would probably go from here in to Brockswood.
While the two Keenies set off, Junior had made his way down in to Lemsford where he bumped in to Skip & Psycho who were on their way out after another late start from the Waggoners. Junior had a change of plan & decided to go up through Brockett Hall Golf course & meet up with the rest of the Pack at the Waggoners.
The Trail did continue down Brockswood lane & off in to the dell by the Scout Camp, the Dust came on to a CHK just inside the bottom of the Reddings plantation. My Lil’ was on to the correct choice of the two options, with the RA choosing the wrong one, My Lil’ climbed up the wooded slope to one of the main path up within Sherrards wood, a CHK up on the level was quickly dealt with by My Lil’ as the Trail turned to the west.
One last CHK was found in the edge of the Brockswood part of the woodland of SSI (Special Scientific Interest), which is home to hornbeam & other native broadleaf trees. A gang of volunteers in bright orange day-glo jackets were seen tidying up a cordoned off part of the woodland. The paths within the wood were surprisingly dry, unlike the previous weeks Trail.
The Trail ran up through Brockswood to pass the On Inn before emerging from the West edge of the wood, not far from the Red Lion on Digswell Hill, all that was left was a short trot over the road junction to cross the bridge spanning the A1(M) to get back in to Ayot Green.
The RA got the drinks in & had only just sat down when he received a txt message from Junior to ask if he was at the Waggoners, with the affirmative answer returned, the RA suggested that last time Herts Hashed from the Waggoners that it was Junior who set the Trail, which proves it was a long time ago!
The RA & My Lil’ came in for some stick from the returning Hares, for not holding the last Held CHK until the SCBs had reached that point. Others too got their tuppence–worth in, as the RA explained that he found it hard to get going if standing about for too long, & he wasn’t going to seize up at the last Held CHK
The day was still nice enough to sit outside, which by what the Barman said was where we were supposed to be, we know our place! Anyhow, various discussions about the upcoming 1500th weekend were muted, EuroHash was also mentions as well as Brussels 2014 & who else is in the Hotel as the Full Moon!
Junior arrived at the Pub, Paxo decided that he would treat him like a Virgin & explain what Hashing is all about, which was rather amusing unless you were Junior!
When it came to the Circle the RA rewarded the Hares for a good Trail of 55 Minutes for those Keenies who didn’t wait about at the last Held CHK. Before the RA could go on to the next Down-Down in his duties, the JM interjected & called on the RA & Hare raiser to step forward & have a Coke Down-Down each for not holding the CHK! The RA wasn’t too bothered as the sugar hit was only going to help the way he felt after the previous day’s Rugby.
Back to normal service & Sparky was out for his work on Hash/golfing relations, he should have been a diplomat! Ewok was out for reaching 333 Runs, she didn’t understand the connation of a triple Nelson the RA tried to explain & its superstition within England Cricket.
The Hashit went to Skip for the second week running, as that both he & Psycho were late again, but the RA found out that their temporary accommodation is about 50 yards from the previous week’s venue & they were both still late! Paxo was called out by the RA, who then let TBT OBE put the record straight about him being blamed for Paxo being late to set the Trail a couple of weeks back in St Albans!
To finish the Circle, once the following weeks Run & other business had been announced, the RA told a very corny joke.