Run No. 1506 10th June
Venues: The John Bunyan
Beer: McMullens AK, Country & Cask
Location: Coleman Green
Hare(s): Porky Pie & ARP
Membership: Falling for a few Ginger Herrings!
The pack gathered outside the John Bunyan, well nearly all of them. As per usual there would be some late starters & even some really late, late comers, who would miss the Hare’s spiel & before that the GM’s introduction. Sludge welcomed the Pack to the 1506th Herts Hash, but before handing over to the Hares, Mr X was called forward as this was his 1,000th Herts Trail.
The GM presented Mr X with a Down-Down before the Trail started, & even though he would have rather savoured the Ale, ever the good egg, the RA downed the Pint before joining the rest in listening to Porky Pie’s take on what the Pack could expect out on the Trail. The Hare’s warning of busy roads to be crossed & a miserable neighbour were soon forgotten when the Hare mentioned that there was a port & cheese stop, all in honour of Mr X’s 1,000th Herts Trail.
The Hash were directed away to the footpath running through the edge of the property next door to the Pub, the Dust led over the pebble drive by the house & then on in to the outcrop of woodland beside the property. A CHK was found where another footpath breaks off to the south west from off of the north-westerly one that leads out in to the fields behind the John Bunyan, calls of “On!” soon echoed from both directions, with No Eye Deer calling out to the north & ARP encouraging Tent Packer & Sludge off though the wood.
No Eye Deer was on the correct path & soon the rest of the Hash were following on in her footsteps, the RA started off well but then had to stop & belch as the Down-Down took it’s toll. Mr.X said that he had been ‘nobbled’ by the GM! The Trail continued by the electric fence that separates the sheep from the rest of the field through to the north end, a CHK was found where Beech Hyde lane runs through a kink in its route from south to north.
No Eye Deer took to the grass track in the adjacent field, this almost seemed to be heading back toward the Pub but she would be stopped when “On!” was called by My Lil’, who was out on the Beech Hyde lane & was around the small double bend, he was off in a northerly direction toward the Marford road beyond the farm land. My Lil’ was also stopped in his tracks as he came up to a Bar CHK.
The RA was slightly miffed as he now knew that the Trail would take to the farm track he was about to search before he was fooled in to following My Lil’! He told Fliptop that he had fancied the track toward the farm, & regretted his ‘careless talk’! Sure enough the Trail was found down beside the house & off along the dusty farm track leading into Beech Hyde farm.
ARP was impressed at the sight as there was a sizable tepee in the field behind the house that sits just outside of the farmyard. The Track ran up to Dyke lane, there on the opposite side of the lane a CHK was found.
From the CHK the likes of Tent Packer, Sludge, Fliptop & Sloppy Seconds headed out over the crop field to the north, they all stopped when the Dust they had discovered led up to a T, so it was a long trot back.
Struggling once again, the RA wasn’t quite up with the other FRBs at this point, so having seen them indicate a Falsie, he decided to go off along Dyke lane toward Wheathampstead. Mr X & My Lil’ would soon be called back when “On!” was called on the footpath that cuts back toward the Coleman Green woodland!
Again this would end in a False Trail as Spotted Dick & Tent Packer were caught out, so the RA started back off down Dyke lane, there were a lot of Ginger Herrings around here! At last Dust was found toward Wheathampstead, at one point Mr X slowed up & went to look in through a gap in the hazel hedge on a path that leads through a small pine wood, but he was called back as My Lil’ continued following Dust along Dyke lane. Back out on the lane & the Trail there would end with a Bar CHK! So, Mr X would now head back to follow the rest in through the gap in the hazel hedge, now they would tag on behind Spotted Dick & Tyler as the Trail weaved its way on the meandering path between the pine trees.
The Trail came to a short drop down, at the bottom of this the Dust would lead in to the southern end of the Devil’s Dyke, which for a long time was famous for being constructed by the Belgae tribe who out up a fight against the Romans, but that has been written about in the Trash in the past, but the Devil’s Dyke seems now to be known more for the time of Fartin Martin’s stumble & fall face first in to the shiggy, to come up covered in shiggy like he was wearing a face pack!
Spotted Dick seemed to have lost all of his orientation & hadn’t realised that this was the ancient earthworks of the Belgic Oppidum, on the other side of the field to the east is the second half of the earthworks, this is known as ‘the Slad’, not until the RA explained where he was, Spotted Dick put two & two together & came up with the fact “This was the place was that what’s his name fell over!” Yes Fartin Martin’s woeful tale was again retold!
On the way through the ‘Devil’s Dyke’ the Hash made their way by the log ends that are used as stepping stones, & then over a section of new duckboards spanning the short but notoriously boggy part of the ancient monument. The Trail left by way of the ornate gate at the opposite end of the earthworks, on one of the brick pillars for the gate there is a plaque explaining that history of this ancient part of Wheathampstead, but there was no time to read this as an arrow directed the Pack straight down the end of Dyke lane to the Marford road.
Spotted Dick would not be able to stop & read the information sign either, for Tyler was soon the attention of one of the hounds out being walked by a family. Now, everyone would have thought that the Rottweiler would be the dog to have a go at him, but this wasn’t the case as it was the little white Scottie pooch that snapped at Tyler’s undercarriage, the noise was loud enough for the RA to have to stop & look back to see what the commotion behind him.
The Trail crossed the Marford road to lead by L’Olive, the former Nelson Pub, which is now an Italian restaurant at the end of the village, at least the Trail was down hill as the Dust kept the Hash on Sheepcote lane. Mr X & My Lil’ slowed up as they suspected that there would be a CHK by the footpath off through the hedge to the allotments on the left, there wasn’t! So, they continued down to the farm & then over the narrow footbridge beside the ford, though as this wasn’t exactly overflowing over the concrete pontoon they wondered why?
Over the river Lea & the dust led on by the car park for the local angling club & then on beneath the large bridge for the Cory-Wright way By-Pass above, just as they emerged from beneath the concrete & steel structure a large arrow was found on a fallen tree trunk, now decorating the side of the wide uncapped track, this arrow indicated that the Pack should turn right & then go up a short flight of steps to follow the footpath that starts off by running near to the edge of the Cory-Wright way above.
At the end of the double fenced-in path, it would turn from a south east direction by 90°to the northeast & run out through the mown strip of grass cutting directly across the enclosed field of a brown fallow crop. By now Porky Pie had caught up with the FRBs & had now passed them to get through the gate at the end of the enclosure. He then proceeded to set up the Port & Drink Stop just within the long strip of meadow beside the river Lea as it flows southward toward its final destination at the Thames.
It was all rather pleasant to be sipping Port, some of which was cringe-worthily watered down with lemonade for the drivers, & to go with this were no less than four cheeses, a Mexican Chilli, Spring onion, Ale & Mustard, finally there what Porky Pie so fetchingly described as Wenslydale with blue/purple bits in it! (cranberries). The Sun was still out & there was no breeze as the Pack stood about chatting in the lush green grass & enjoying the evening.
Eventually the peace & tranquillity of the area was broken when it was realised that Psycho & Custard were not up with the Pack, they had gone astray by not following the large arrow on the tree trunk & had continued up the uncapped lane. A sudden blast on a plastic vuvuzala disturbed the peace once again, as Zing-along-a-max came running over the enclosed field to meet the Pack.
Zing-along-a-max was questioned by Spotted Dick & Skip, had he seen Custard & Psycho? “No!” was his answer! After a little more interrogation it was established that he had run through the Devil’s Dyke, under the by-pass & the only other Hasher he had passed was Hyena, who was on his way up the steps & wasn’t far behind. So, a quick phone call to one of the ‘lost sheep’ soon established that they had missed the rather large arrow!
RA went up on a short path to the higher adjacent footpath, there he could stand upon the kissing gate & call out “On!” Zing-along-a-max also blew his vuvzala to indicate to the Harriettes where the Pack were, well had been as they didn’t hang around too long, even Skip abandoned Psycho in favour of setting off to the end of the meadow!
It had been noticed that he was walking rather gingerly & the RA didn’t question him on this as it could have been a bad case of the Chalfonts (St Giles) but in reality it was a bit of whiplash [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] from being in his stationary car when it was hit from behind by a lorry!
The Girls came in to sight at the end of the fallow field, ARP & Spotted Dick waited for them, while the RA passed by a couple out walking their dogs, that he had talked to earlier to see whether they had seen the ‘lost sheep’, which they hadn’t. The RA set off in pursuit of Hyena & passed him at the kissing gate at the end of the meadow.
The Trail now took to the long dry & dusty track that runs beside the river Lea, with a thicket hedge preventing access to the water as it flows up to Waterend, there was a CHK point on the track that peels off up the hill to head out toward Sparrowhall farm but those with local knowledge dismissed this as being to far to run, & they were correct in that assumption. The dust continued along to the south, along between the fast flowing Lea on the right & the embankment of the crop fields above to the left.
Out on to Waterend lane, the Trail emerged from the by-way opposite the ornate large Elizabethan House & gardens that sits beside the ford in the river Lea, the CHK here had been marked by the time the RA had made his way up to this point, arrows & blobs of Dust led the Hash over the dry pontoon of the ford & on up Waterend Lane. This rustic, narrow lane obviously acts like a drain at times as it is littered with stones & pebbles washed out from the fields & hedgerow.
The lane rose up between the fields & came up on to the grassy edge of the Marford road once more, a large arrow was found on a concrete utilities cover in the verge, this directed the Pack over the busy road to take to the narrow Coleman Green lane.
A little more Trail on tarmac was required as this narrow single track lane weaved its way south-westward toward the On Inn, but the last leg of the Trail would not be so straight forward, well, for those who followed the whole Trail!
To keep the Hash safely off of the narrow single lane, the Hare had placed an arrow to take the Pack off on to a footpath down the sloping fields to the southeast, this would join up with the old by-way that runs back up through the tree line to the On Inn.
As the RA headed down the edge of the field he noticed that Fliptop, Skip & Sloppy Seconds were up at the top of the crop field & were aimlessly wandering along a farm track that runs along the inside of the hedgerow beside the lane. The RA encouraged them to follow his lead as he shouted out “On! On!”
The SCBs ignored the RA, now they were looking at getting a Down-Down for this, then to compound their situation there was more shouting & a bawling of “On!” as Sludge appeared from out of the tree line down alongside the by-way at the bottom of the field. He had found the Trail running along the bottom of the field from a CHK down there, & he too was trying to get the SCBs to come down to the lower level, he too would fail!
A short drop down through the wooded embankment took only some of the Pack down on to the by-way, lined with beech & other native trees. As the Track slowly climbed up the gentle hillside in the shaded route, a very large On Inn was found on the moss covered embankment. Sludge called out “On Inn!” only to hear the SCBs echo this back to him from the three SCBs, which was a little annoying as he’s the one that usually does the short cutting.
The Trail came out through the hedged off monument of Bunyan’s chimney, which may or may not be the remains of John Bunyan’s’ cottage? Then it was straight over to the Pub, where the RA found Fliptop, Sloppy Seconds & Skip already there & making their excuses for not finishing the Trail in a fit & proper manner!
Also as the RA came in to the car park he spotted Paxo & TBT OBE make good their very late start of the Trail, it turns out that TBT OBE was supposed to drive but somehow he had broken his central locking system, which Paxo helped him fix before driving them over to arrive an hour after the rest had set off! The Real Keenies did this excellent Trail in an hour and five.
It took a little while for Psycho & Custard to catch back up with the rest, but they & ARP managed to get by Hyena on the last stretch of the Trail. As did Fartin Martin & Dragon’s Den who were also late arriving, it was heard that Farts gave a cheery two-fingered wave as he drove by the Harriettes back down Coleman Green lane, he didn’t even stop & offer them a lift!
While the rest awaited the arrival of the ‘lost sheep’, Sloppy Seconds & Fliptop went & bought several packets of mini cheddars from the Pub, which were the larger grab bag size, but this would be a futile exercise if it was meant to prevent them getting a Down-Down!
It was starting to get a bit chilly as the Pack awaited Hyena’s return, the RA wasn’t going to hang about as he wanted to change, sign the book to make his 1,000th Trail official & then get the Down-downs in. It was noticed that when TBT OBE came back with Paxo from doing a part of the Trail, he wasn’t wearing a Hash Shirt!!!
The Pack were all together at last & the GM called the Circle to order, which meant telling off the Honorary GM for chatting away! Then it was over to the RA, who called forward the Hares for setting a great Trail, which was well marked & featured a Port & Cheese stop in his honour for being the third Herts Hasher to reach a 1K!
Spotted Dick was out as his Dog Handling skills were questioned after the RA had to stop in his tracks when he heard the dog’s commotion back at the end of the Dyke!
The RA then turned his attention to the ‘Old Women’ on the Trail, looking at Psycho & Custard as they vigorously protested at being labelled such, but as the RA came to the end of the charge he went on to say that there were three of them who ignored not only the RA’s calls of “On!” but those of the GM’s toboot! So Sloppy Seconds (Snow Leopards are easy to spot against the verdant green foliage) Skip & Fliptop were all called out for their punishment.
Then Psycho & Custard were out for going astray on the Trail, when it was perfectly marked. The On Inn was the most impressive & the RA did wonder if the Hare had made it “The size of a barn door” so it could be seen when he flies over it??Finally the Hashit, well we may as well get TBT OBE embroidered on to the shiteshirt, for his late arrival & breaking his central locking system TBT OBE was resigned to the fact he would once again be the ‘keeper of