Run No. 1507 15th June
Venues: The Garden Beer Festival
Beers: 3 Brewers of St. Albans Golden English Ale, Classic English Ale; Bartrams Adams Ale, Cats Whisker; Billericay Mayflower Gold; Bishop Nick Ridleys Rite, 1555; Buntingford Blueberry Fields, Sunstar; Colchester Braggot, Double Brown; Dominion No Name Mild; Farmers Ales A Drop of Nelsons Blood, Pucks Folly; Felstar Summer Light, Witchcraft; Georges Wallasea Wench, Wakering Gold; Green Tye Union Jack, Hadham Gold; Harwich Town EPC 100 (Electric Palace Cinema) Lighthouse Bitter; Mersea Island Yo Boy, Island Gold; Mill Green Tess Of The Compasses, Keyworths Midseason; Red Brewery Staughton Bitter, Sundial Gold; Red Fox IPA, Hunters Gold; Saffron Blonde, Honey; Sawbridgeworth Dragons Blood, Gold Extra; Shalford Levelly Gold, Hyde Bitter; Wibblers Dengie Dark, Dengie Gold; Cromwell Oliver’s Sweetheart, Oliver’s Choice; Glebe Farm Side-R Cider; London Glider Dry Cider, Medium Cider; Wibblers Dengie Cider; Cromwell Roundhead Perry; Glebe Farm Cambridgeshire Perry
Location: Gibberd Garden
Membership: Ale & Picnic!
For the Second year on the trot the Gibberd Garden Beer Festival would be paid a visit by the Herts Hash, with a couple of visiting guests for Essex thrown in for good luck! The Trail itself would be an A to B, commencing from Harlow Mill Station at 11:10 & finishing at the Gibberd Garden Festival.
The RA & hare Raiser arrived by Train at three minutes past the hour, they found Stand in Shit also alighting from the same Train & they made their way through the series of steps & walkways to come out in to the Station car park, there Sparky, Skip, Psycho, Fliptop, Sis, Vicky Vomit & Dr Doolittle were all waiting.
Smartarse was soon on the scene, having walked down from the bus stop where the 59 from Chelmsford dropped him off, Sparky was soon inducing himself to the Smartarse & then the Vomits. Skip didn’t take long to spot Sparky’s New Shoes, Skip said that they looked sturdy enough to see Sparkly out! Sparky was none too pleased to hear this comment!
The RA knew about the New Shies before the Trail even started, as he was sent a text message by Sparky to say that he had bought them in a sale & to tell the rest of the Herts Hash it was on, it was just a shame that the RA was away at the time & he couldn’t do this until he was back & by then the sale had finished!
The Honorary GM did the ‘honours’ in introducing the Pack to the correct Run number, this left a few a little astounded as he hasn’t been called on to do this for a while!
The Hare, Ketchup, was still out there on the edge of Harlow with Jaron & they were both busy setting the Trail, so, the GM decided that as it was ten past the hour the Pack should get underway as the Beerfest opens at Noon!
Dust had already been seen by those alighting from the Trail, there was a short cut marked on the footpath route that CAMRA members had marked off on a footpath starting along side the north side of the line. This route was the most direct way of getting there & as Sparky pointed out it was only 1,000 metres to the venue on this option.
Well, what could you say about the start of the Trail? Disaster? Utter Confusion? Pants? Take your pick, but what ever you chose depends on how observant you were, for there was a Trail leading down from the Bus stop, which confused all but Smartarse, who had followed that Dust in. Skip, My Lil’ & Stand in Shit all chose to cross over the railway line to where the Short Cut option was, this would be the last the rest of the Pack would see of them!
It took awhile for Mr X & Sparky work out where the Trail really was, they were soon on to things as they picked up on the Trail, which was concealed on the opposite side of the large hedge separating the large & busy Cambridge road from the suburban backstreets on the east.
It wasn’t long before for the likes of Vicky Vomit, Dr Doolittle & Smartarse were taking the lead in finding the Trail running up the Hoo, as Mr X & the ever enthusiastic Sparky had gone astray! This road made its way up to join Priory Avenue, here the RA & Sparky again went wrong as they headed off south-eastward, & again they were called back down to join the others to take to Manor road that runs off to the south before turning south eastward.
At the initial short bend in Manor road, Mr X went off at one strategically place blob of flour by a cut-through to a green area behind the homes, there was no Dust up there. Further on where a CHK was found at the Junction the Hill, Mr X would feel a little vindicated as Vicky Vomit would also be lure doff toward the green space alL to no avail.
Vicky Vomit was called back by Smartarse & Dr Doolittle to continue up the Hill & on to a CHK by a green opposite an old Hall, here Vicky Vomit crossed over to the alleyway beside the Hall, but no Dust was found! Meanwhile Mr X was faring no better as he headed eastward away down the old High Street of Old Harlow. Eventually “On!” was called from up by the end of the shopping area of the High Street, all this delay had allowed Fliptop, Lucy & Winston to catch up with the others.
The Trail ran around the short bend in road as it becomes the Wayre & almost immediately took to a south bound footpath on an alleyway out to Chippingfield road, again it was only a short trot around the bend in this urban road to find the Dust leading on to another footpath, this one headed eastward & in to Marigold Park. Sparky was well on his way over the grass of the cricket ground, he headed out to the southeast corner of the park but came back to the Held CHK in the centre of the eastern edge of the park when the others called out “Held Check!”
With no sign of Skip, Stand in Shit or My Lil’, there was not a lot of waiting at the CHK for a regroup, so the RA headed off to the north east corner of the Park & on to a footpath alleyway out on to the end of the High Street that he had almost reached earlier on. As he emerged out near to New Road, the Hares came running up toward him, they indicated that he wasn’t on Trail & in fact Sparky had only been feet from it at the opposite corner of the Marigold Park.
A trot back to the other end of the Park & the Dust was found running through the gap in the tree-line & on to a CHK on the edge of Gilden Way, Mr X thought that as the Festival grounds were away off to the east, there was a good chance that the Trail ran along the road that way, he was wrong & Dr Doolittle called Mr X back as Smartarse called “On!” back in a westerly direction & on to a northbound footpath along the edge of a field,.
The Trail crossed the busy arterial road & ran down along side a small wooded area around a large pond, here there was a CHK that the Hare encouraged Sparky to venture off in to on a footpath by the water feature. Mr X, Vicky Vomit & Dr Doolittle all followed on, but all they found was a bench with an old bunch of yellow flowers resting on it by the pond!
Back out to the edge of the crop field & the Hare had made his way down the footpath to the Kennels of the Essex Hunt, Mr X passed by Fliptop, with his hounds just as they approached the Kennels. The resident hounds created a lot of noise with their barking at the approach of two other pooches. Smartarse was well ahead of the rest & had already found the Trail from the CHK by the Kennels, he was out in the fallow field to the east & the RA soon caught up with him.
On their way through the tall golden wispy grass, they discussed a possible alteration in the Full Moon X-CHHHannel Ferry Hash, with it being relocated from Oostende down to Alsace, as a few of the regulars on the ‘Johnny Foreigner’ side of the English Channel will be out there reconnoitring the area for Brussels 2014!
Smartarse & Mr X wandered a fair way to the northeast end of the field without finding Dust, but a look over the footbridge spanning a watery ditch revealed a CHK at the end of the footpath within the tree-line, that was parallel to the one they were on. They called out “On to Check!” to rally Sparky around from the other footpath over to the east of the field.
After a failed attempt to find Dust on the footpath leading by the tennis courts in the ornate gardens of a private residence, on their second attempt Smartarse & Mr X found the Dust leading up to grounds of the Church in Churchgate, this tranquil little rural idyll soon ended as the Trail passed beneath the Fitch gate & out on to Chruchgate Street, here Smartarse reminded Mr X about the F.U.K Full Moon Hash that was held at the Queens Head here many, many moons ago.
Sparky caught up with these two as they thought that they could out think the Hare, again it was a case of knowing the location of the On Inn would lead them off of the Trail! Instead of turning right to head down to the end of Churchgate Street, to a footpath off of where this route becomes Hobbs, they instead chose to look in the opposite northerly direction & then over to the dead end road of Mill Lane.
No Dust was found for a while & they took a rather convoluted route on a several of the footpaths down the passageways between the homes before finally correcting themselves & stumbling back on the Trail as it led out to the dead end of a part of the old Sheering road. Sparky stuck with the other two as he said something about safety in numbers!
The On Inn was found near to the Bus Stop on the new B183 to Sheering, Sparky & Mr X decided that as it was five past the hour, they would run up the windy Marsh lane that leads to Gibberd Garden, while Smartarse took a different approach of a leisurely stroll up as he was still carrying a backpack with some snacks in!
The RA & Sparky paid the entrance fees & soon found Skip, Stand in Shit & My Lil’ were all sitting outside the Marquee & enjoying the sunshine, Mr X noticed that they had been there long enough to have almost finished their first pint! He had no time to listen to their excuses until he too had an Ale in his hand!
Spermwhale & Mash Potato were also already ensconced outside in the sunshine, Smartarse soon sat with them as they had a table that he used to spread out his corn chips & dip on. Luckily he had taken them with him as the rest of the picnic food was still in Sis’s car & that was parked up in Tesco’s where she & Psycho were having a coffee!
The Bags & food arrived, & just as things were getting sorted out, a light precipitation was felt in the air. So, the Harriettes suggested going in to the marquee & setting up the picnic, which turned out to be a shrewd move for only an hour in the marquee & the heavens opened, forcing the Hash & the Public to take shelter in either the Bar area or the Marquee.
Sloppy Seconds arrived, after he had a late start, he wouldn’t be the only one as Mark E Mark & Lobby Lobster also arrived later at the venue. Sloppy looked at the magnificent spread of food on the picnic blanket & added his contribution of two packets of crisps! But it was two packets of crisps more than Spermwhale’s contribution!
Psycho had produced a rather splendid chicken in coriander, cumin & chilli, then there was her ‘all-day breakfast party less quiche with bacon, sausage & mushrooms in it. Her contribution was finishedd off with some of her excellent muffins!
Ketchup was very proud to show of his ‘Travel Cheese-board’ set, a present that someone had got him, as he set about cutting the cheddar, of the three cheeses he had brought along, the blade began to rise up through the plastic handle until it fell out! Ketchup was left feeling none too impressed, while the rest thought it was very amusing!
Talking of Cheese, Sis had a bone to pick with the RA for going against Cheese etiquette! Ketchup hadn’t heard of this, & he is Mr Cheese on the Herts Hash, but Sis thought that the RA had taken the ‘Nose end’ of the Stilton, though it turned out that Sparky had in fact nicked the very top end of the triangle of Stilton before the RA got there.
According to Debrett’s Etiquette, if Cheese presented on the table cut in to a wedge, then it should be cut in to slivers lengthways! (Even if they are far too big for the crackers the cheese is going on?) The RA & Ketchup (Herts Hash Cheese Master) will be watching out for this in the future, & you can bet your bottom dollar that Sis will be doing the same! [Will next year see us learning how to eat Quails’ eggs & Snails properly? – Ed]
Such things as Cheese protocols were not on Spermwhale’s horizon, he managed to grab someone’s sealed packet of sausage rolls, rip it open & tuck in to four joined together. Meanwhile someone else was unaware that the large handful of peas they had thrown in their mouth were actually covered in Wasabi, this green coating is made from a Japanese plant that is known as Japanese Horseradish! It was a classic!
With the Cheese faux-pas out of the way, the Hash could continue drinking the splendid Ales, Ciders & Perrys on offer that complimented them, just as another thunderstorm blew in & again the Marquees were packed with those sheltering for another brief interlude. Fortunately most of the picnicking was done by this time.
The rain did hold of & when the grey clouds had been blown away it was rather warm in the sun, some of the Hash even got to go around the Gardens & admire the many artworks & sculptures that are dotted around the grounds.
Those who remained in the tent, had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing Sloppy Seconds show of his tiger stripes, where he had been sun bathing in Africa & his (“I don’t have any fat on me!” – Sloppy Seconds) rolls of skin had stopped the tanning process across the width of his torso in several places. The RA didn’t think that Snow Leopards have stripes!
There were no Down-Downs at the venue & these will be carried forward, as the Bar was packed & there was also a £2 returnable deposit on the glasses needed for the Circle, considering most had brought food items along as well, there was no Run fee collected to help pay a little toward this.
All in all a great day was had, apart from the odd few minutes needed to be had under the shelter of the canvas. Looks like a few more will be going back again next year, book the Saturday before father’s day in to your diary for 2014!