Run No. 1499 28th April 2013
Venues: The Gate
Beer: The Usual excellent selection.
Hare(s): Sloppy Seconds
Membership: Lucky there wasn’t much traffic!
On the penultimate Trail before reaching 1500th Runs, it was a tad disappointing for there to be such a low turnout. Those who did make it over to Sawbo, parked up as the weekly email stated in the Bell Street car Park, with the exception of Sparky who isn’t on T’interent & resorted to calling the RA to find out where the Pack were. After a long conversation, he decided to stay parked where he was up at the Gate.
Sparky was told that he would see Ewok, then Paxo, as they took her dad around to the Gate, which had been open since 11:00Hrs with a ‘Horse Shoe’ competition taking place (gather that was like ringing the peg!) [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed].
Anyhow, with the JM missing & time had reached 11:00Hrs, the RA stepped in to welcome Tent Packer, TBT OBE, My Lil’ & Sloppy Seconds to the 1499th Herts Hash House Harriers Run. Without further ado it was over to the Hare.
Well, Sloppy Seconds informed the Pack that the Trail was set in chalk & flour, but the naughty farmers had spoilt his plans by not marking a footpath that had crops in a field. He added that the Trail would be covering a fair way on country lanes & care should be taken as they can be dodgy with the traffic.
The Trail began with a CHK beneath the Car Park Tariff sign, all of the Pack in the car park headed to the southern end of that part of the long car parks off of Bell lane, to find another CHK just a few paces away from the first one! This was found on the east to west running alleyway beyond the end of the car Park.
My Lil’ was all full of Gloom & Doom as he set off with Mr X up the alleyway toward where it emerges on to London road, but My Lil’ was wrong as a couple of scrawny arrows were found down the alley before arriving at a CHK on London road, from there they decided to check it out down the hill & as they did so, they peered across to the west side of the street to spy the ‘On Inn’ outside of a corner building on the end of Hoestock road.
They turned back, shouting out “On Inn!” as they were called back by the Hare. Having now ‘finished the Trail’ they decided that they would cross over & head up to the alleyway beyond the Mexican Restaurant on London road, which On Her face worked at for a while. Sparky, Ewok & Paxo had all come down from the Gate & where just about to disappear down the alleyway that was sign-posted as leading to the local Catholic Church.
The Trail turned westward as it cut through the alleyway to lead out on to Sayesbury avenue, passing the Church & heading down the hillside estate, halfway down the hill a CHK was found on the junction with Rose Acres. The obvious Alleyway was checked out but brought no joy for Paxo & My Lil’, as was Chalk drive for the RA. Instead the Trail was found on back on Rose Acres to head northward along this before eventually coming out on to West road.
The Pack headed eastward back up to London road. As Sparky Tent Packer & Ewok led the way northward up the main Cambridge road from the junction, this was the last time that the Pack would see TBT OBE, for he stopped to talk to someone who used to Hash years ago.
Sparky & tent Packer ran on by an alleyway to continue further northward, Sparky was on a direct route to Cambridge but before he got too far away, these two would be turned back by a Bar CHK. Ewok was fortunate to be just far enough behind them not to be caught out. She joined Mr X & My Lil’ in taking to the footpath leading from between the homes to head out westward, the path took a quick left chicane & then continued along by the fenced off soccer pitches to the south.
It was a nice downhill stretch from the back of the grounds of Leventhorpe School & out into the farm land to the north west of Sawbridgeworth, with the weather finally reaching the ‘Spring setting’ it means that as the trees come in to blossom that the bugs & insects are now out.
The RA stopped as he soon found one large flying beasties hit him in the back of the throat, he managed to eject it just as Ewok passed by him. She thought that this was ‘charming’ but then had sympathy for the RA as she went on to say that she once had this happen & ended up with a sore throat!
There was a brisk, cool wind on the way down to where the Hare was found sitting at the end of the footpath, where it joins a path running from West road in the south, to head northward along the field’s edge. Sparky & Tent Packer were directed off to the right, they were soon away on a footpath through the spinny & out on to the footpath along the edge of the next field.
The RA was woofed by a hairy looking pooch as he emerged from within the trees to run on behind Sparky & Tent Packer, fortunately for the RA, his slowing up at the barking dog meant that he was just delayed enough to miss out on being led up another Bar CHK. Sparky & Tent Packer came back from a Bar CHK for the second time to meet back up with Mr X, Ewok & My Lil’ on the footpath the cuts diagonally away from the northbound Bar CHK.
Up in the northwest was the sight of some farm buildings, the Trail would lead all the way over to there, although there was almost a slight detour as a series of red posts cutting along a fallow strip between the crops looked as if it could be a footpath, it was probably the route of cables or pipework.
The Pack made their way through the gate in to the farm yard of Tharbies, though Sparky went astray by going through a small gate into a little orchard, whereas tent Packer & Mr X followed the footpath marker posts to go right & then left to come up to a Held CHK by the farm entrance. Here they saw a sign about ‘Private Fishing lakes’.
Sparky came back to the Trail, soon the Hare & My Lil’ arrived, then Ewok & finally Paxo for a Sweetie stop at the Held CHK. The Hare asked the RA if that the gallops beyond a five bar gate, leading back southward was part of a Bridleway that is marked at the other end of the farmland? Both the RA & Hare raiser said that if the Hare brought a map then he would know if it ran all the way northward or if it turns off on to the lane. In fact it does the latter!
There was no sign of TBT OBE, so the Hare allowed the Pack to continue & there were a few groans as it was realised that the Trail headed further way from Sawbo, as it took to the single track lane that rose up slightly as it snaked around between the fields before reaching the levels of the fields to head westward toward Allens Green.
The FRBs disappointment was compounded when they reached the first footpath sign that should have been pointing over to the south, this was where the Hare couldn’t see the direction of the footpath straight across the crop. So, the Pack were now left with heading further toward Allens Green until the next footpath over the crops was found.
On the way the Pack passed by a small brick & concrete structure in the bramble covered ditch to the right of the exposed lane. This was a troop shelter where 8 or so could take shelter in this very open area. Just beyond the shelter & the Trail turned southward up in the crop field of Brook Fields, there the going on the green track through the crops was slow in places, for the way had been churned up by horse’s hooves & was full of unseen pitfalls.
The Trail emerged on to the other lane from Allens Green, this is the busier of the two routes, being slightly wider it attracts a bit more traffic, so caution was needed as the Trail turned eastward & headed along the Allens Green lane to meet the Hare at the Junction with the lane from Tharbies, which was used by Sloppy (& marked) as a Short Cut.
By now some whished that they had continued on to the Queens head, at Allens Green! Upon seeing the Hare My Lil’ said “I don’t blame the Hare for Short Cutting if he has been this far out once already today!”
The Trail followed the tarmac of the road as it turned the right-hand bend to become Beanfield lane to run down beyond Beanfield Cottage, arrows directed the Hash straight on, avoiding the narrow Gandies Hill lane joining from the right, to continue southward toward High Wych.
By now the time was fast approaching ten two the hour. Sparky & Tent Packer were well ahead of the rest, with Mr X & My Lil’ up with the Hare & Ewok trailing slightly with Paxo. My Lil’ wasn’t keen on accepting any more sweets off of the Hare, as the Trail followed more scrawny arrows that looked as if they had been drawn out by a heavily asthmatic spider.
Finally at the junction with West road, near a sign directing customers toward the Orange Tree the Trail changed tack & headed eastward. Then to the horror of the others, Sparky & Tent Packer could be seen & heard having taken a southerly footpath over the fields from Crumps, as if this wasn’t bad enough, these two had now turned westward & were heading back to the High Wych road!
Luckily for the rest the Hare was about to put in a Short Cut, off of the southerly path from Crumps, this would also save them from passing the ditch clearing going on along the direct route on West street before passing the Orange Tree & back into Sawbo.
The RA was on a tight deadline & by now was not going to have a chance of a drink in the excellent Gate Pub, instead as he took to the footpath heading eastward from the CHK in the opposite direction that Sparky & Tent packer had left to go back to the High Wych road. Tent Packer had a brief stop by the hedge as it appear he was scaring the squirrels, before joining Sparky to head southward on the lane in to High Wych.
Halfway through the lush green meadows to the east & the RA was caught out on the Short Cut, he had looked back & indicated to the Hare which way he should go, where the Footpath goes off in a corner of the field. The Hare pointed straight on & so Mr X went that way & off of the Short Cut! He wasn’t happy at having run a fair way off Trail & by now it was Noon!
The RA was still grumbling at the Hare’s incompetence at not having a map, & was vocal about it as he finally caught up with Paxo & Ewok on the Short Cut. Not to have a map to assist in setting a Trail is daft, especially as they aren’t expensive & can even be found for free on the internet.
The Hare was making his excuses for the Trail being longer than he had expected, these were still being levelled at the local farmers [Bet they had maps? – Ed] but the rest weren’t having any of that as they began a long stretch back to Sawbridgeworth, over in the far distance to the south they could see two figures of Tent Packer & Sparky making their way along the fields edge on a footpath from High Wych to Sawbridgeworth!
Meanwhile back on the SCB’s route the JM & RA discussed the Sunday Summer Running not getting many attending, seems the idea of trying this to keep those with kids in the loop isn’t really working, another subject to be covered at the AGPU!
The SCB Trail followed the hedge & tree line down to where the two paths would converge at the edge of Sawbo, by the brook by Chalk lane footpath. The last part of the Trail was to make way up through Gilders road & then on to Hoestock to find the On Inn, which for some the second time of the day. On the way back to the Car Park the Pack saw TBT OBE, already changed & coming down London road to hand the car keys to Paxo!
The RA didn’t have time for a Beer & left Trashes to be handed out by Tent Pack & the Down-Downs were left for another day, that adds to the old Snow Leopards list of hits with his name on!