Date =                                  Sunday 6th October 2013

Run Number =                  1524

Location=                          The White Bear

Beer =                                 Adnams Broadside

Hares =                               TBT OBE

Runners =                          10

Virgin =                                0

Visitors =                             0                                                      

Après Hashers =               0

Newies =                             0

Hounds =                            0

Total =                                10

Membership =                  Decontaminated!


                For those on the Herts Email list, they would have read this stern advice “Due to a change from the original Hare; Please be aware that you may need the following: a compass, map, GPS, torch, whistle, bivouac-bag, survival rations (Kendal Mint Cake for energy or Dark Chocolate) long bit of string, chalk!  If you're a friend of Ray Mears or Bear Grylls then you may want to ask them along as well!  Was this portent of DOOM enough to frighten a few of the regulars off?

                The RA & Hare Raiser came along on the Bus from Hertford, the Hare also hopped aboard this as it made its way out of Ware, was the Hare expecting more than one Down-Down?  Anyhow, it was a fine morning with the sun out & little to no wind in the air, which was good as these three had a 25 minute wait for the off.  At least they weren’t the first there as the GM was found in the car park of the White Bear, wondering if he had the right place!

                At one point it looked as if there would just be four of the regular Pack out for this week’s Trail, this led to the discussion about how come many of the regulars were absent & away doing other things.  Sparky was rumoured to be turning out, as he had sent the RA a text message to see whether the Post Code was correct on the Hash Trash as it gave Sparky the address of Richmond Court.  The Court is about 100 Feet from the Pub!

                Sloppy Seconds arrived, claiming that he was at death’s door with the remnants of some bout of ‘Man Flu’.  Sparky then rolled in to the car park, followed by Pebbledash, Puddles & Spillage who also pulled in.   Some of the Pack were eager to get on with it, but there was a delay as Sparky wanted everyone to wait until Tent Packer had arrived.

                Eventually Tent Packer moored his boat drove his Mercedes estate in to the car park, the Keenies were now ready to set off!  The GM did the honours with the introduction, then it was over to the Hare.  TBT OBE rambled on about it taking hours to set the Trail, then how he decided to give up on the traditional Herts markings & just set a long loop around!  There was also mention of a possible Beer Stop, if the Pub was open or a cup of tea if not!

                The Pack set off, running out on to the High Street & were soon running by the entrance to Richmond Court, heading up to the Junction with Station road.  Was the Beer Stop going to be the Bull across the road?  No!  As arrows directed the Pack around to the east toward Broxbourne Station, the Trail moved slightly away from the footpath beside the road to take to the centre of the grass of the Churchfields Recreation ground. 

Before the start of the Trail, Sparky had asked the Hare if he would get wet or muddy feet out on the Trail, the Hare reassured him that he wouldn’t!  [Ha! Don’t believe the Hare! – Ed] As the Pack followed the Dust over the grass there was still a heavy dew on the ground & Hash shoes soon became wet until they reached the northeast corner of Churchfields.

Tent Packer, Sparky & My Lil’ were all first to get back on to the tarmac path beside the road out to Nazing, they would be first to the CHK just before the Railway & New River bridges, they were quickly making their way over the double skew bridges & down to the eastern side.  Another CHK was found & from there Sparky was away over toward the sports centre that was the Broxbourne dildo Lido, where he was spotted going straight through a large T! [It wouldn’t be the last either! – Ed]

Meanwhile Mr X & Sludge had gone off through a gated off car park to discover arrows leading off to the north, Puddles was up with them as they followed the uncapped stony track around by a sign that warned of “Contaminated land! Keep out!”.  This didn’t seem to apply to the track [Or to the Pack! – Ed] & the Pack continued northward.

Now, no one knew what the ‘Contamination’ could be, My Lil’ certainly didn’t worry as he stopped to pee up by the sign & as for Tent Packer, he stopped to pick a few ripe, plump blackberries to eat!  The RA speculated on what it could be that was so terrible it had to be cordoned off, especially as the ground had a strange thick plastic sheet all around the fenced off land.  Was it asbestos?  Sludge said that it couldn’t be toxic, could it?  As it could seep in to the water course & flow down stream toward where 2-1-2 Maureen lives!

There were lots of workings along the long trot out, many parts were cordoned off & it intrigued the RA, who said that he would have to get on T’Internet to see what he could discover.  It turns out that the land is contaminated with Japanese Knotweed, a plant that can grow through concrete & tarmac.  It can devastate your home & a small bit of the plant the size of your finger nail can grow in to a full plant that can grow at a rate of around a foot a day [10 – 12 Cms Kids!]  It is illegal to cultivate this terror plant.

On the way through the fenced off areas, there were signs of some airgun usage with broken bottles & bust balloons that were used as target, the discarded compressed air cartridges gave this fact away.  The Track turned eastward by what were once slurry pits, where the warning signs warned of ‘quicksand!’ & then back to the north for the Pack to start on a stretch by the river Lynch.  It was over a mile before they reached the next CHK, just beyond a gate with another “Keep Out Contaminated Land!” sign tied to it.  It may explain why the Pack didn’t see any other people out on this tack!

The CHK was on the footpath from Dobbs Weir in the east to Hoddesdon in the west.  Sparky was first to the CHK, Sludge was the next one behind him & he saw Sparky go over the level crossing on the main line to Liverpool Street station, Sludge should have concentrated less on Sparky & looked down to see the large T by the Admiral’s Walk lake before the railway line. 

A Train passed by & even though they weren’t together, both the GM & the RA thought the same thing “Oh well that’s goodbye Sparky!” as his horn could not be heard!  [Fear not reader, Sparky & George survived to go wrong again later in the Trail! – Ed]

Mr X hollered to get Sludge & Sparky to come back, but the noise of the trains rumbling by must have masked these shouts?  Mr X & My Lil’ turned back & joined Puddles, Tent Packer & the Hare on their way out to the Essex road.  The Trail crossed straight over this & on to a path through the hedgerow that leads on to the green area by the set of weirs at ‘Dobbs weir’.

The Hare cut through over to one of the bridges, while the Keenies made their way out to the further one & then up to meet him near to the Fish & Eels Pub.  A CHK was found on the narrow humpback bridge over the Lea Navigation, here the Hare stopped the FRBs to hand out Jelly Babies & pastilles, a few decided that they would move down to the car park & keep away from the narrow bridge as a large lorry was ready to go over at the lights!

Puddles & Spillage were also up with the FRBs this point & were at the CHK before Sparky & Sludge had realised their mistake & come back, to pass by Pebbledash & Sloppy just before they reached this point in the Trail.  With Gazza’s old watering hole (the Pub Fish & Eels) not open, it was only twenty to the hour, & the offer of a cup of tea at the busy little café was also turned down in favour of continuing with the Trail.

The obvious choice was to continue southward & take to the towpath of the River Lea Navigation, it would be along trot along the stony path.  At the hesitant start, there were a few fisher-folk to disturb as the Pack made their way along this narrow path rose above the lower drive to the left, Dust was found & the Pack advanced further along the Lea.  As the FRBs did, the fisher folk thinned out & the threat of Sparky crushing rods, poles or getting tangled up in lines was soon eliminated!

Half a mile down the towpath & a CHK was found by where the drive turns south-eastward toward the Nazing Mead Sailing club, while Sparky continued along by the waterway others wondered if there would be the Beer Stop at the Sailing Club (As TBT OBE has had a Beer Stop at his Sailing Club) but it wouldn’t be a Beer Stop yet!  This is also apart of the River Lea Cycle way as it turns southward beside another of the boating lakes in this area.

At the southern end of the lake the Trail turned westward & led on back to the edge of the Navigation, where the Hare was seen trotting up ahead of Tent Packer, Sludge, My Lil & Mr X.  However there was no sign of Sparky & those behind him reckoned that he was probably well on his way to the Thames!

Another trot along the towpath led on by the long islet with its locks & bridges in the Navigation, before its course turned gently to the southwest, still there was no sight of Sparky!  Ahead lay a road bridge for the Nazing New Road & this looked like it could be turning point back in to Broxbourne.

Beside the steps up to the road level over the bridge a CHK was found, but all of the Keenies who were bunched up together seemed to decide to continue along by the Navigation.  Soon the FRBs stumbled upon an arrow to direct them off in to a fallow field to the east, some wondered if the Trail would loop around out on to the New Nazing road & then back over the bridge they had just passed below?  Nope, they should have been stopped by a Bar CHK!

My Lil’ seemed to run out of flour, this prompted Sludge, Tent Packer & Mr X to follow the blobs of dust around to the south & in to the wooded land east of the River Lea Navigation.  As they followed one of the crisscrossing paths in the scrubby land, the Dust petered out but they were heading out toward the Navigation & all seemed well.  Well, it did until Sparky came running toward from the way they were heading toward!

Now with a Sparky spanner in the works, Mr X, Tent Packer, Sludge & Sparky went back & flowed My Lil’ as he took to a path that led them on to a dead end in the woods behind some homes on the Keyser’s Estate!   It didn’t take long for them to turn tail away form the barking dogs protecting their back gardens!

While Sparky went to search back in the fields, the others decided to take matters in to their own hands & went back on the path Sparky had come up from, & this led them back to the waters edge where low & behold they found Dust!

 The course of the waterway now turned around a large elbow to head southward once more.  This last long stretch led on down to the Crown, a Pub that a few hadn’t been to for a while & as it was now midday the Keenies obeyed the Hare to hold the CHK outside the Pub. 

The FRBS were soon inside & ordering Beers, while they awaited Puddles, Spillage, Pebbledash & Sloppy Seconds to catch up.  They weren’t that far behind & seemed content to wait outside with the FRBs where the thirsty ones drunk their Ales.

Now watered, there was a temptation to cross the stone road bridge for the old Nazing road, but this was soon halted by the Hare who ushered the FRBs away down the tow path again & away from the boat centre side on the Navigation, the Dust then took the Pack over the Navigation to the opposite side via a weir & looked as if it would continue southward, but once down the ramp arrows pointed back on a hairpin in the path to lead beneath the railway bridge where a feeder for the former Mill passes underneath.

Once out from beneath the bridge, the Keenies were led off through the car park for the Boating Centre to take to a series of wooden duckboards above a swampy old area, Tent Packer said that this would have been a ripe spot for Malaria years ago. [Did Tent Packer remember Malaria being called Marsh Fever? – Ed].

It was a nice trot over new territory for the Herts Hash, some of the ponds between the reeds were carpeted in little dots of green leaves, also amongst the boggy bits were the old Horsetails, a prehistoric plant that is one of the oldest still surviving to this day.  The Dust came to the end of the wooden structure, CHK was found on a earthen path running along the bottom of the tree lined bank.

Tent Packer & Sludge tentatively followed on behind Sparky, as he was no longer blowing his horn or calling as he ran along the bottom of the tree line.  The Trail was picked up & the Keenies eventually came back out to the car park for the Boating Centre, there arrows led over to the old brick ruins of the Old Mill.

Once the Pack had viewed the ruins, the Trail resumed taking them over a narrow metal footbridge over the Millstream so they could see the ancient water-wheel close up.  After this it was a simple case of going straight up Mill lane & on to the end of Churchfields recreation ground, where they were led On in on the south side of this.
                It was warm enough for the Pack to sit outside in the Sun.  Once the Book had been sorted, apparently a few of the regulars have got their Run numbers wrong according to the GM, it was time for the Circle.  This week saw the return of the Hashit after its few weeks of absence.

Hits were awarded to the Hare, who as the RA said “Probably set his best Trail ever!”  Sparky was called out for texting the RA & doubting the Post Code in the Trash or whether his TomTom was wrong when it gave him the name of Richmond Court, which was just the other side of the Pub’s car park wall!

The RA then turned his sights on to the contaminated land & how My Lil’ made sure it was as he peed up against the fence & said that “It is contaminated now!” he was joined by Tent Packer who was out for eating the plump blackberries!  Sloppy Seconds was out for already being contaminated & struggling around with his Man Flu!

The Hashit was still on the ground & with a half left it was awarded to TBT OBE for taking the Pack over the said ‘contaminated land’, everyone one in the circle got to see the Shiteshirt as TBT OBE did a twirl to show that it now has his name embroidered across its shoulder.  No one let on & he was unaware at the time!  How many weeks before he realises this?

Hopefully no one had had any plants growing out of their Hash Boots, eh TBT OBE?