Date = Sunday 29th September 2013
Run Number = 1523
Location= The Robin Hood
Beer = London Pride, Porter, Gales ESB
Hares = Lemming & Mother
Runners = 12
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 12 Berks
Aprčs Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 25
Membership = Signing in once again!
The weather was fine for this joint Trail with some Royal Berks, the Pack circled up in the Car Park just around on the High Street from the Pub. There were a couple of notable Herts Hashers missing as the clock ticked around to 11:00hrs, there was no sign of the Herts RA, the Hare Raiser or Hyena as they were on a late arriving Bus from Hemel Hempstead.
The Hares decided to wait for these three to arrive, even after the Herts RA had text the Hares not to wait for them. They really weren’t worried about the Pack hanging around as the time was ten past by the time the bus finally arrived & the three late comers had already decided that they would start the Trail & do a few CHKs then give up to go straight to the Pub! This cunning plan was soon scuppered as the Whole Pack were still waiting in the car park for them.
This week saw a better than expect turn out from H4 than is the norm when we venture this far over in our own County. Lofty was there, but Henry (the Dog) wasn’t too keen to be out for the Circle & he had to be returned to the safety of the car until the off, as the noise of the distant clay-pigeon shooting was scaring the pooch.
The late arrivals suddenly had a shock as the glanced at a figure, with his back turned to them, who looked like he could have been Windsock with his wild hair atop his tall stature. [Yeah! Right! If he was twenty years older & had put on a couple of stones! –Ed] It wasn’t the Sock!
After sorting out their baggage, the slightly despondent trio were soon with the rest to hear what the Hares had to say about the Trail. Lemming mentioned that there would be Short Cuts available, if those who wanted these should stick with Mother, while Lemming would look after the rest of the Pack! However, there was one crucial bit of information about the Trail’s hybrid markings, that were a combination of Herts & Berks, that the Pack would not hear about. Dear reader you will learn about this later.
The Trail started with the Pack finding a CHK on one of the low walls of a flower bed at the entrance of the Car Park, one of the Berks Harriettes made the mistake of calling this a circle-thingy in front of C5 (The Berks RA). The Keenies were soon led up the High Street & then off through a shopping centre by Church Square. Back out to the High Street & Mr X crossed over the pedestrian crossing where he & My Lil’ had decided that the nearby Park Gardens looked like a very good bet, they were wrong.
The Trail would be picked up on a footpath through an alleyway that led away southward, the next CHK was found at the end of the first alleyway’s termination with another one running from east to west. Now Sludge had taken up the lead by this point as he turned left to head eastward & then rapidly through another 90° turn in the path to head southward once more.
Flint walls lined the way as the route ran along by the edge of the grounds of the Mansion & the local Museum, until it was covered over by white boards of hoardings to protect the ancient walls from the work being carried out on the mock flint building of the sixties. It was long straight trot until the Trail reached the edge of the A41 Dual Carriageway by-pass.
The Trail led the Pack up the spiral concrete ramp to go over the footbridge above the by-pass, another spiral ramp on the opposite side brought the Hash down in to Tring Park. [Can I hear a phone ringing? – Ed] Mr X, My Lil’ & Sludge were all surprised that they were well out ahead of the Berks Keenies, as they were first to the CHK on the edge of the Park! TBT OBE was also up near the front of the Pack at this early stage.
Mr X chose to head off westward, toward Hastoe Lane, but was called back by Mother as the other three fanned out to take to three separate desire line paths over the open rolling heath land. A call of “On!” was heard from Sludge as he picked up the Dust to the southeast.
On his way to catch up with the other Herts FRBs, Mr X got to hear from one Berks Harriette that the previous day’s Pub Crawl was a great success & that may have been the reason for the usual Berks Keenies not living up to their normal pace!
In the bottom of the low vale in the heathland, the CHK there looked as if it had seen better days. Mother reckoned that the resident herd of Cattle had been licking it up, but they must have lost their appetite as they were all now over in the distant south area of the Park.
It took a while for the Trail to be found again, it was a long way for TBT OBE stumbled upon the Trail & this gave the Berks section of the Pack time to catch up. My Lil’ went a long way further to the south, while Mr X & Sludge had clambered up the steep grassy slope & were on their way over to the western edge of Bulls Wood.
Somehow, the Herts RA & GM found a CHK that had an L & W to indicate the Walker’s Trail & the Long Trail. They now heard calls of “On!” as well as Sparky blowing his horn from north of their position.
Up in the Northwest corner of the wood an Obelisk could be seen at the end of the wide tract among the pine trees, the RA wanted to see what this was for so he could put it in the Trash. On they way up, the other FRBs emerged from between the trees on the left where two arrows were found, both arrows pointing in different directions like an Essex Hash ‘Turkey/Eagle Spilt’ (where the Trail splits but joins again later on, with one of the options being longer than the other!).
The Trail was followed up to the Obelisk, there were no inscriptions to explain the origins of this tall stone edifice. However there was plenty of graffiti sprayed over its base. The most notable one was a ‘Save the Badgers!’ one, so it could be a monument to saving the Melinae species?
Heading away northward on one of the myriad of tracks within the plantation, the Pack would fall foul of the Hares as they would have the Keenies making their way around a long loop through the north end of the plantation to come a full 180° to head southward through the woodland.
Several CHK were found & dispatched as the Trail began to turn slightly to the southwest, those who ventured off of the intended route from these CHKs were stopped by way of a large Bar across the way that even Sparky couldn’t miss! [Oh yes he could! – Ed].
On the way into Bulls Wood, the Herts RA questioned as to why Lemming hadn’t marked the bough of a tree that spanned the width of the path, just so that Windsock’s younger stunt double wouldn’t have crowned himself? Perhaps it was the fact that Lemming couldn’t reach that high & without Mother for a piggy-back he wouldn’t be able to achieve this!
It may have been the fourth CHK up in Bulls Wood where the Trail suddenly changed tack to head almost back up on itself, to descend back down to the bottom of the valley, but halfway down the steep slope of the 40 yard drop in height, there was another Long/Walker’s Split!
Both Trails headed south-eastward, with one up in the scrubby bushes & brambles on the hillside before both climbed up to the top of the plateau once more, a CHK was found up on the Icknield Way Trail in the edge of Bishop’s Wood. My Lil & Mr X were first to meet up with Mother & she encouraged them to search through Bishop’s wood to head further to the southwest.
The Track would lead on to a CHK at the end of Bishops Wood, there these two would go wrong by looking on the footpath inside the hedged in crop field to the south, eventually they would realise that the Trail went down the lane on the west side of the hedgerow. A trot down the rustic lane brought the Trail down to a CHK point on top of a large white marker stone by the small green at Hastoe Cross, it was almost large enough to see from the previous CHK!
With this being new territory for some of Herts gang, the H4 Keenies soon went wrong as they looked up the farm track away to Wick Farm in the northeast. The two walkers out rambling thought it funny to watch Mr X & My Lil’ run by then, then turn around to scuttle back when no dust was found in that direction.
Sludge & Lemming came down from Bishop’s Wood & soon falsely accused these two of cheating! In the case of Sludge this may have been due to the fact that he had stopped doing his usual ‘second guessing the Hares’, & somehow ended up with the Berks Keenies on some more cunning loops the Hares had set them to run around?
The Trail was picked up down Hastoe lane, this took the Pack by the scenic olde worlde buildings of this little hamlet, passing Marlin Hill farm & the adjacent footpath to continue on to a Held CHK by a green triangle in Hastoe. Frustratingly after all of their running, Mr X, My Lil’ & Sludge were not surprised to see that Hyena was already waiting at this point in the Trail before they arrived. [How does he always do it? – Ed]
Gobblerette soon arrived & made sure that Silent but Deadly & Thumper were kept hydrated as the r*nners began to really perspire in the humidity of this sunny day. Lemming took the opportunity of this respite to explain that there would be one more Long/Walkers Spilt on the Trail, even indicating it continued on the obvious choice of the uncapped lane out beside Hastoe House.
It was all very scenic once again as the Trail finally headed nor-northeast, then at the tip of Grove Wood the spilt in the Trail was found. TBT OBE was almost going to head off on the Long Trail, but was stopped by Sludge to take to the right hand option in a direction back toward Tring. [That Phone’s ringing again! –Ed] The long Trail was best left to the likes of Sparky, Gobblerette, Thumper & Silent But Deadly from Herts, the latter of these went on this long loop out as he has to partake as well it if his brother was doing it. [Sounds competitive to me? – Ed]
As the Walkers Trail dropped down in the cutting the lane took within the wood toward Stubbings wood, the Long Trail would come down from the wooded embankment on the left, to drop down on to the flint lined path where two arrows were found, one pointing down the stony track & the other pointing up the opposite steep embankment on a path through Stubbings Wood.
Now, for the observant readers you may recall the bit about Essex Hash using a ‘Turkey/Eagle Split’ where each Trail meets up, with one being longer then the other but both will meet! This was not the case with these markings as there would only be one correct route on this Trail & the Herts RA, GM, My Lil’& TBT OBE weren’t going to be on it, they all went wrong as they continued down the stony old track to pass by Old Leigh Farm & out on to Duckmore lane.
There was no Dust down there, but it was too far along the route for the Herts group to go back up the hill & get on to the footpath through Stubbings wood & over to Hastoe lane to pass under the A41 By-Pass for the On Inn back in to Tring. [Right I am going to register with the Caller preference group to stop that bloody phone ringing! – Ed]
Meanwhile, for the lost Herts lads it would be a log trot under the A41 & come up the residential end of Duckmore lane, from there it was a turn to the east & on to Western road, which eventually would join the High Street.
Even having done a long loop to the west end of Tring, Sludge, Mr X, My Lil’ & TBT OBE were first back to the On Inn, they soon settled in & some where on to the Dark Porter! Here TBT OBE revealed that he had the Sacred Herts Hash Book, so a lot of signing in was done before the rest arrived!
TBT OBE went to take a seat at the table, but as only he can, he leant backwards on the stool only to topple backwards in to the three chaps at the table behind. One of them didn’t find it as funny as the other two, but as a Harlequins supporter he probably didn’t have much to cheer about after they were beaten at home by Saracens!
One of the next Herts arrivals was Gobblerette, who enquired about the whereabouts of her offspring, it seems that Silent But Deadly & Thumper had been caught up with the Keenies on the long Trail. Eventually they both came in, to find that they had packets of crisp waiting for them as well as their drinks. All of this was a relief for Gobblerette who was now no longer going to fill out a Missing Persons form.
The Circle was called, after a couple of refreshing pints, the two RAs ushered the Pack outside to stand by a hog roast, would the Chief Hare be awarded a Pint or placed on the spit? In the end the Pack seemed to have enjoyed the long Trail & cheered Mother & Lemming, so no spit-roasted Hares!
C5 called forward one of the Berks Harriettes, who didn’t quite describe the first CHK! Gobblerette was out for achieving 10 Herts Runs, she was joined by Silent But Deadly & Thumper for being competitive on the Hash, the two lad’s Down-Downs would end up being used in a whooshing fight (This would continue after the Circle & the result was a broken glass) which led some of the Pack to say that these two Horrors will make good Adult Hashers!
Sparky was called upon, after he told the RA about his delight in wear dry kecks, while getting changed, seems out on the Trail George was folded back on himself but that was too much information from Sparky for the Circle to listen to & his Down-Down song began!
TBT OBE was out for his skittling of the table behind him; Sludge was out for his comment about “Going on the wrong Trail!” when he ended up with the serious FRBs!