Date = Sunday 20th October 2013
Run Number = 1526
Venue = The Rose & Crown
Location= Trowley Bottom
Beer = Charlie Wells Bombardier, Otter
Hares = Fat Controller
Runners = 22
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 24
Membership = Hush Hush Mission!
It’s been a fair while since H4 had ventured out this way to a quaint, little old-fashioned Pub, but with the Hare & Hounds encroaching out of Beds a few of the Herts stalwarts ventured over to keep an eye on them. Even knowing the ‘Senior’ Hare’s previous form of setting long Trails, from having run with the Friends of the Mole Hash down in Kent, where Fat Controller was involved for many years, Mr X still decided that he would go over to this joint Run!
My Lil’ & Mr X came walking down from Flamstead just up the road from Trowley Bottom, of course Hyena was behind them bringing up the rear in coming down to the Pub. It seemed like a lower than normal turnout for both parties, the Herts GM was present, as was the JM but there were a few notable faces who were absent. Those who were out Friday night came to the conclusion that Fliptop wasn’t there this morning as he had done far too much gallivanting that weekend with Rugby, Band playing & what he claimed would be the Hash on Sunday!!
Anyhow, those not under thumb Circled up when called to do so, the Hare & Hounds had their Run number announced, but it was noticed that the Herts GM stayed schtum & there was no mention of the Herts Run Number! Before any more could be mentioned, the Pack had to endure some appalling jokes from Captain Fantastic with pictures of arses, made up by various keyboard characters, in honour of being in Trowley Bottom!
Finally Fat Controller & Nik Nak then came in to the Circle, where Fat Controller showed off the markings that the joint Pack would encounter on the way around. Then he dropped a bombshell about Fish-hooks, much to the distaste of some of the H4 crew. Some thought that they may be in need of ‘Discovering Nirvana’ as the Hare said the Pack they would encounter out on the Trail! Mr X wondered if the Hare had liberally sprayed himself with Teen Spirit that morning? [He’s too old to be a Teen! – Ed]
The weather had cheered up from the rain that was hammering down only an hour or so earlier, Fat Controller pointed out that this earlier precipitation had turned the light blue flour a darker shade. He also warned that it may be a bit sparse in places. Then with out further ado, Fat Controller waved his hands in the air & said “The Trail is that away!” & indicating that it could be in any direction from the Pub.
Two real choices proved to have two of the Keenies finding Dust fairly quickly, the one running straight up the hillside on a narrow lane eventually proved to be a Falsie, while the one out in the fields at the bottom of the valley proved to be correct. The FRBs would find another CHK point out in the field, the continuation of the Footpath would result in the termination of that part of the Trail.
The Choice of going up the stony crop field on Pietely Hill would prove to be correct, halfway up there was another CHK. Leroy would go wrong on the choice he take to back toward the On Inn, while the opposite direction to the northwest proved to be false as well, it was the continuation of the path up to the end of the field to the southwest was the correct choice.
The Trail led out through the hedgerow & on to the narrow Woodend Lane, at the top of the hill there were plenty of puddles strewn along the narrow lane, the ‘senior Hare’ was up with most of the FRBs & he called a halt to things at a CHK by the north corner of Scratch Wood. Captain F & Count Roadkill failed to see the water battered CHK on the edge of the lane & they were spotted to scuttling away over the fields to the northwest on a path over to the plantation of Yewtree Spring.
The Hare now showed a generous side to his nature, as he directed the rest of the Hash a T up the lane. When questioned why the Pack were going through this T, Fat Controller said that the Trail went on a loop through Scratch Wood to emerge just beyond the T &b then straight over the lane & out in to the muddy crop fields to follow on in the wake of Count Roadkill & co, who by now were disappearing in to Yew Tree Spring wood.
It was slippery trot over the crop field, for my Lil’ things were made worse when he nearly trod on Madge as she darted about all over the place, he also had to contend with Jack who also had the benefit of four-paw drive to make the shiggy route easier to negotiate, the mutts survived & they obviously don’t know of My Lil’s track record with road-kill [Not the Count! – Ed] But at least he & Sludge didn’t have to do the Fish-hook that so cruelly caught out so many of the H5 regulars!
After passing by the blue words “R YEW?” by the edge of the wood, [Was this written by a teenage texter? - Ed] the Trail led in to the plantation, over the leaf-litter & around the trees the blue dust led to the northern tip of the wood, but right on the edge of the wood an X was found, which indicted that the Trail was some where’s else in the plantation.
Sludge, who as is his way, had gone off & managed to find the route that Count Roadkill & Co had taken, he was off by water-course that is a part of the horse riding circuit. Mr X was surprised that Fat Controller didn’t have the Pack going through this! Sludge didn’t have it all his own way as his off Trail route took him through the scratchy fallen fine branches & twigs!
Out of the Wood & the Trail led on down westward to Little Wood End cottages, & then on along the track running by the northern edge of Prior’s Spring wood to come out on to the edge of Puddephat’s lane, again there was a Held CHK as the Pack regrouped long enough for the Hare to be happy. When it came to searching once again the Herts RA & Joint Monkey chose the wrong option of heading northward up the lane, apparently they wanted the Trail to go by the lake like puddles across the single carriage.
South-eastward the Pack went as the Trail was picked up as it turned south-westerly at the corner of Newlands wood, a stinky old pile of burning undergrowth left a bit of an acrid taste in the air, as the Pack made their way along the wood & then out on to a track that leads all the way down to Gaddesden Row.
Fortunately the Hare didn’t take the Pack that far as the Trail turned track & a long trot eastward along the edge of more farm land would see another Fish-hook, again My Lil’ & Sludge seemed to get away with it, unlike Forking who was on his second about turn, Count Roadkill was none too happy to hear Mr X say that there were plenty behind him & Paxo, as they began to regain ground lost earlier, they thought that Hyena was behind them, but were corrected by Rapid Withdrawal who said Hyena had already passed by!
Low & behold, as Paxo & Mr X started off on the long shiggy track they could spy a familiar rotund green shape up ahead of them. Mr X said that Hyena has a knack of walking around the Trail but somehow manages to appear, like the shopkeeper in Mr Ben, out of nowhere ahead of you!
Anyhow, the Trail would come out on to a single track lane where the Dust took the pack only a few yards down to the south. There, unlike the “R Yew?” earlier on the Trail, Count Roadkill managed to spot the BS for Beer Stop! Forking soon sniffed out the refreshment hidden just within Teakettle wood, the Herts lads question the use of the words ‘Beer Stop’ as cans of John Smiths were discovered. “I’d leave them for the tramps!” said Mr X, to which My Lil’ said “What have you got against Tramps?”
Fat Controller started his talk about Nirvana again, before leading a song about being scared in the wood, where he shat himself. Most of the Pack new this & sang along before the Hare’s ear had enough & he let the Pack continue, with the H4 FRBs leading the way down by a horse paddock where most walked in order not to scare the nags!
The Trail continued south-easterly in direction before turning north-eastward at Upper Wood farm, where a crow on a post in the hedgerow pointed the way, Mr X said that it could be made to look like a penguin if it’s breast was painted white! Fat Controller pointed out an Owl on another post behind the Pack, that he & Nik Nak thought at one point was real”
Away from the Stud [No not Fat Controller! – Ed] & the Trail would slowly turn to the north & come out on Puddephat’s lane here there was another Held CHK, near to the pond by Puddephat’s farm. Another Song from Fat Controller was enough to make the rest wish they could get a shift on, plus the time was gone noon & the Pub was open!
The Trail took the obvious route on the uncapped lane beside the farm, passing by a pet cemetery near the walled farm house, two of the H5 FRBs were soon away up the uncapped lane, with four of the Herts FRBs jockeying for position well behind them, not to be out front with the H5 Keenies, but to avoid being the fourth down this route as it is a long track & they feared another Fish-hook would lie in wait!!
There was no need to worry about another Fish-hook, for just after an elbow in the track a T put a stop for that but it was still a fair way back to find the rest of the Pack being directed by the Hares, out on to a footpath heading out in to the fields out of the uncapped lane. Strangely the footpath turned through 90° & headed away from the preferred direction, now the Pack turned from the south to the southwest!
In to Greenlane wood, the path down in among the trees was a little slippery in places, but things improved when the path within the wood turned south-eastward & then north-eastward to emerge out back in to the field on a arcing path back up to Puddephat’s lane! Two of the H5 Keenies failed to see the last Fish-hook of the Trail & they followed the contour of the field, & not seeing the route straight over the crop to the lane.
Through a gap in the hedgerow along Puddephat’s lane, & Fat Controller had the Pack stopping once more, this was no doubt due to the fact that the Hash were right next to Nirvana, yes it is the name of this part of Hertfordshire! When it came to checking things out once again, Fat Controller let some of the FRBs go to far down to the end of the lane & out on to Green lane. The off-trail FRBs were not going to come back, especially as some of them had local knowledge & knew where this lane would eventually lead!
On the way by Nirvana, Mr X tried to explain to Leroy what Nirvana was, it was either the Hindu state of mind that is on a level with being with Brahman (Supreme being) or its the late Kurt Cobain’s Grunge Group (he committed suicide) the word Nirvana means “Blown out” as in a candle.
Anyhow, while half the Pack turned in the opposite direction to head northwest, then to take to a footpath down through the fields down through Grove Farm & On Inn, Mr X & Sludge turned northward on Green lane & up to the right hand turn where it looked like there could be an alternative down to the Farm, there wasn’t.
So, having run this far, & with local knowledge from a previous run around these parts, Mr X & My Lil’ led the way out to the east & followed the lane as it turned to the northeast & then the north west, but the final bit was down hill & this encouraged them to run all the way back in to the hamlet of Trowley Bottom. They were back in the Pub, well ahead of the rest, long enough for them to finish one pint of the excellent Otter before Hyena had arrived back!!
The small Pub has two small bars, it must be one of the smallest in Hertfordshire & it is like being in someone’s cottage, it was formerly known as the Sow & Pigs, further back in the Herts GM’s day the Sow & Pigs! The current name, with its Rose & Crown sign sports the motto of the Intelligence Corp! [What were the Hash doing there then? - Ed] The Landlady laid on some excellent food, & the RA was impressed to hear that the former Landlady is still going strong at a grand old age.
Time for the Down-Downs & the threat of rain was in the air, the chance of getting wet became greater as some kind of rain dance took place. Fat Controller handed out more song sheets, to those of a certain age but Mr X, who had spied the Sheet Sludge was given question Sludge being old than 64!
The Hares were awarded their Down-Downs for a good Trail, which was pretty long! The ‘H4 Pilgrims’ for 'crashing' the Hare & Hounds Hash taking place in Hertfordshire, even if Forking thought that the Trail took in the best bits of Bedfordshire [At no point did the Trail leave Herts! – Ed] Then some wag from H5 got in "Why is it that four of them have shaved heads?" "Are they clones?"
Captain Fantastic for transcending to 29 years of wedded bliss. Shagpile for using technology while the Circle was taking place, making a feeble excuse that he had just received an urgent family call telling him that his great, great, great grandfather had just died! Kisses Anytime was awarded her 50 Runs Mug.
My Lil’ & Sludge were out for admitting to the Herts RA that they should have turned back at two of the Fish-hooks but as My Lil’ said “F*ck those stupid things!” They were joined by Hyena, for his ability to be the Shop Keeper in Mr Ben & get ahead of the Keenies!