Run No. 1503                20th May 2013

Venues:                         The Fairway Tavern

Beer:                              GK Abbot, IPA; Sharpe’s Doombar

Location:                      Welwyn Garden City

Hare(s):                         My Lil’

Runners:                      14

Virgins:                           1

Visitors:                          0

Aprčs                               0

Newies:                          0                        

Hounds:                         0

Total:                            15

Membership:              Finishing in apathy!


            The numbers were a little on the low side for a Monday Trail, was it a hangover from the successful 1500th Weekend?  The GM was on hand for what could be his penultimate introduction to a Herts Hash before the AGPU, he got the run number spot on before going on to introduce the Hare, but there were a few coughs to remind him that this week Dragon’s Den’s Sister, Ellen, had come along to her first Hash.

Fliptop was notably absent this evening, apparently he was at band practise! Which led some of the Pack to wonder why the others in R & R couldn’t make do with replacing him with a Roland drum machine.  Psycho & Skip were early for a change, Psycho was straight on to the RA about the 1500th Trash, for she challenge the bit about 3D hanging on to the most Herts Trails by a Harriette.  If only the Hare Raiser had the sacred Hash Book there that day, she could have verified that she is quite a few Runs ahead of 3D.

Introductions over & the Hare seemed a bit reluctant to go through the Herts Markings for our Virgin, Ellen, so Sludge stepped in to carry out further GM duties by explaining what the Hare didn’t.

The Trail began by leaving the car park via the main entrance to take the Pack around on to the green by the roundabout off of Herns lane, here the Hare bemoaned the fact that the grass had been cut in between him setting the Trail & the Pack running it!  At least he had the sense to place blobs of flour on the trees & telegraph poles as the Hash headed out down Herns Way heading the north.

Tent Packer nearly went flying as he narrowly avoided putting one of his ‘plates of meat’ down a large hole that was disguised like a booby-trap out of Rambo, covered in clumps of the freshly cut grass clippings! He survived & set off on a loop out in to the smaller enclosed field beyond the local football club, this really only caught out Tent Packer, as those with local knowledge (especially the GM & RA) all dropped back so that they could watch the two up front run around the inside perimeter of the field, they knew full well that the Golf course lay on the opposite side of the hedgerow.

The Trail came back out through the hawthorn hedgerow on to the verge of Herns way, the dust continued down to the top of the ridge just before the landscape rolls down to the green area beside the Mundells.  Tent Packer, Sludge & Mr X were the first to find the Trail leading eastward, running along the top of the pine tree lined ridge, Kylie would tag along but he would be far enough behind not to run as far as the others when he saw then turn direction below..

The three Keenies ran out to the end of the path beside the golf course, to the point where it dips down & emerges from the trees to the common at the end of the lagoon.  Mr X had to be called back from heading over toward the B1000 as the other two found the Trail heading westward back beside the lagoon, where a few NEDS had gathered to ride their little motor bike around the common.

Kylie joined the others by short cutting down the embankment to the lagoon, he noticed the abandoned trolley & other rubbish in the water feature, at the west end of which is an oil trap with its glistening surface showing it was working.  The RA recalled the time, many moons ago when there was a raft race across this for charity.  Luckily no one was poisoned.

Anyhow, the rest of the Pack were now seen on the other part of the green that is separated by Herns way. By the time the FRBs were over to this, Mark E Mark & Ketchup had caught up with Psycho, Dragon’s Den & Ellen as they headed over the green toward Black Fan road, at the edge of which a CHK was found on the cycle route.

The Keenies all followed Sludge as they took to the cycle route & ran through the subway, Sloppy Seconds was none too happy to see the SCBs had cut across Black Fan road further up from where the Keenies had emerged by the Royal Naval Association.

It was a short uphill trot to find the Trail leading through the industrial area of Watchmead, as the Trail passed by the empty units, with the odd one with a company operating out of them, Paxo noticed the abundance of CCTV Cameras on the front of one company & commented on this, then he realised that they sell CCTV systems!

The Trail turned westward & off down over a small section that remains of the old Welwyn Garden City to Hertford railway line.  The RA said that years ago he used to work around here & cycled along this before most of it was built upon.  Kylie was sad to learn of the demise of the old line as the footpath crossed it, running behind the various warehouses around here, as it headed out in to Swallow fields the sound of pallets being shrink-wrapped could be heard.

Ketchup asked what the smell lingering in the air was, the RA pointed out that it was the Gilbertson & Page Dog food factory, since Nabisco has gone & shredded wheat is no longer made in Garden City it narrows that down.  Ketchup said it made him feel hungry, most of the others found the stink had the opposite effect! 

The Trail weaved its way around the smaller factory units in this small industrial area, the Pack passed by a recording studio, then it left Swallow fields to emerge on to Bridge road.  The Pack ran opposite a local Costcutters that is like Arkwright’s as it is open all hours! 

Now the Trail turned on to the long, arcing road of Knella road, most of the Pack did try & run this bit, even taking in the loop off on to small green area & then back to Knella road.  A couple of the locals were surprised to see that where the old derelict factory units once were at the back of Knella road, this area has now had gone & a load of new build homes had been squeezed on to it.

Back to Knella road for a short way, before a CHK was found near to a cut-through between a couple of the properties, again Tent Packer had gone wrong when he stuck to the street as the Trail took to the cut-through & emerged out on to Ridgeway, here a set of arrows directed everyone over the traffic island in to Bushey Leys wood on the opposite side, here Sloppy Seconds had stopped behind a tree to scare the squirrels!  The RA noticed this as Skip took great care to point it out!

The Trail continued easterly in to the park area beyond the Bushey Leys, here the GM slowed up to pat a puppy that was out being walked!  At the CHK in the centre of the Park, Tent Packer & Mark E Mark went astray again by looking up an alleyway to Great Break off to the south. 

The Dust took the Pack out on to the area of the park covered in wilder, unkempt grass that was covered in dandelion clocks, Skip said he hadn’t seen so many!  The RA added that there will be even more next year as the tops were kicked off, scattering the seeds as the Keenies crossed over!  It was here the Hare wondered where Sludge had gone, then his distinctive outline could be seen bobbing along behind the hedge that separates the grassy area from Black Fan road, as the GM ran along to intercept where the Trail comes out on to the cycleway/footpath on Black Fan road heading southward out of town.

Up by the Holwell part of Howick’s wood, an arrow directed Tent Packer & Mark E Mark in to the small copse, they were soon through this & back out on to Black Fan road by the time the rest had reached the straight, they were then over the main route to the A414 to follow Dust over in to the main wood.

Now the Pack were on to Green Lane, an old concrete route that was no doubt constructed for access to the old Aerodrome.  The Trail continued north-westward between Rolls wood & Blackthorn wood, up ahead of him & the the Hare was happy to see Mark E Mark, Tent Packer & especially Sludge go wrong at the next CHK near to the local allotments, as they fruitlessly searched over the green space of Moneyhole park. 

Tent Packer would get a little history lesson as the Pack headed toward the Panshanger Airstrip, which is still in use & was once a training ground as well as being a decoy for the de Havilland factory in Hatfield during World War II.

The Trail turned the few degrees as the path changed tack from northeast to east as it continued to lead in to the greater woodland of Birchall wood, here the FRBs again went wrong at the CHK there.  The Hare was glad to see they had run down in to Henry wood & had come back as he wanted the Hash to admire the carpet of Bluebells that are out a little further in Birchall wood toward the Panshanger airstrip.  The Hare put in a Short cut down through Henry wood as soon as they had come back.

As Sludge, Mark E Mark & Tent Packer headed further out in to the woodland, Mr X & My Lil’ took another official short cut, running parallel to the other.  There was now calling of “On!” coming from Sludge & Tent Packer to the east of the wood, TBT OBE & Kylie to the west & from Mr X, the Hare & Skip in the main central fire break running from south to north.

Mark E Mark ignored all of the calling & had continued over toward the Airfield, he would pick up what the Hare described as ‘the old Trail’ after he had decided to axe a part of it as it would have been too far too long for one of the first Monday Trails of the year.  While Mark E Mark was going off Trail, Ketchup was managing to gain back some ground, as he & Paxo slowly made their way through the woodland, Psycho, Dragon’s Den & Ellen weren’t far behind.

It was all rather tranquil in the wood land, the birds were chirping away in the trees & the carpet of Bluebells was a sight to behold, then suddenly it all changed as the birds began to cough & splutter after Skip let one rip!

Thankfully the Trail turned toward the north at the end of Henry wood, as the Pack began a long stretch through the long tree-line running around the perimeter’s edge of Moneyhole lane park, the going underfoot was made of chippings so it was ideal to run on, yet the humidity had added to the factor of lethargy amongst those who normally make an effort.  Tent Packer & Sludge were still keen on running, & no doubt Mark E Mark was but no one else knew where he was!

Sludge & Tent Packer went wrong, they lured Sloppy Seconds off to the right & in amongst the homes along by the Airstrip, this allowed TBT OBE appear form nowhere & trot past the Hare & other Keenies to lead the way down the path of chippings as began to turn westward.  Sludge soon found his competitive streak [No competition on the Hash! – Ed] when the RA pointed out that TBT OBE was up ahead of him!

Having run three quarters of the way around Moneyhole lane park, the Trail finally emerged from the wooded border, the Trail came out on to Sylvian way & now those without local knowledge tried to guess as to the way back to the On Inn, they were soon corrected by Mr X & the Hare as they headed up Sylvian way, turning on to north-westward road of Moors Walk at a roundabout.  The RA pointed to the Elderly People road sign to indicate that the FRBs should take that route, however the Hare was more concerned that a few of the Pack may disappear off in to Elizabeth House, an older persons complex, the Trail passed by!

The local Knowledge was handy as there are very few sign post directing to anywhere in Panshanger, considering that there is a shopping area & Doctors Surgery right in that part of town.  At the next roundabout the Trail left the streets to head north-easterly on one of the Cycle lanes linking the major roads in Panshanger.  This was quite a long straight stretch between the homes on either side, finally it came out on to Hardings, some of the Hash still thought that they had miles to go & as it was gone a quarter past they were worried about there being enough light left in the day!

Meanwhile, Snow Leopard Sloppy Seconds was already making excuses for an early exit, Sludge & TBT OBE were happy to enquire about the state of the Down-Downs he has stock-piled in the RA’s reserve, there was really no need as there are still plenty left!

With the Trail leaving Hardings & heading off northward down Hillyfields, the RA led the way down by the local school as he knew there wasn’t much more to do, as the Trail edged nearer to Bakers Grove & Bunnsfield, he pointed out the top of the tall Lombardy poplar trees that the Pack passed by near the Football Club.  As the Trail turned on to Bunnsfield the On Inn was found.  After a short trot along to the end of this street the Pack only had to walk a little way down Herns Lane & back in to the Golf Complex.

Again Psycho, Dragon’s Den & her Ellen weren’t too far behind Kylie, Ketchup & Paxo in getting back to change.  As the Pack settled in they were surprised to find that there was no book to sign!  Then Mark E Mark finally arrived back after his extra curricular Hashing activities.

Sloppy Seconds had made good his escape before the Circle was called, Skip & Psycho also took their leave, but not before Psycho claimed that she saw the RA short cutting on the Trail, she couldn’t quite explain where this was, as the RA didn’t recall any short cutting!  [Perhaps she needs to get down to Specsavers? – Ed]

Anyhow, the Hare was rewarded for what seemed like a long trail, that really could have been run in an hour if everyone else was a wee bit more energetic like Mark E Mark, Tent Packer & Sludge!  Also out was Ketchup, for forgetting to bring the photo’s of the 1500th.  Dragon’s Den’s Sister, Ellen, was out for completing her first Herts Trail, the RA tried to reassure her that they aren’t always that long!

The RA was not immune & he received a Down-Down for the non existent short cutting Psycho had purported to have seen!  Finally the Hashit, well after the 1500th Weekend it was known to nearly everyone that TBT OBE was going to keep this for another week