Date =                           Sunday 3rd November 2013

Run Number =           1528

Venue =                       The Cherry Trees

Location=                   Wheathampstead

Beer =                          Cobra

Hares =                        ARP

Runners =                   13

Virgin =                          0

Visitors =                       0                                        

Après Hashers =         0

Newies =                       0

Hounds =                      3

Total =                          17

Membership =            Celebrating Diwali!


            Well, there weren’t as many as expect for this turn out, seems some who promised last week to attend weren’t on hand this morning.  As the small pack discussed why other regulars weren’t present, there was a sudden outburst of laughter as it transpired that Paxo wasn’t there because he was at the ‘Gadget Show’!  The RA suggested that perhaps he was showing off his museum-piece of a mobile phone??

Anyway, away from the bricks retro mobile devices, the Hare was there promptly but quickly disappeared as she went off to check that the Trail had not been washed away by the previous day’s downpour, apparently it happened almost straight after she & Porky Pie had set it.

The GM called the Circle together dead on time, he could just be heard over the chattering of teeth on this sunny, but bitterly cold morning.  The wind was blowing straight down the Lea Valley, so the Pack were anxious to get on with things. 

When it came to the Hare informing the Pack of what to expect out there, ARP said that it was “her Trail”, going where she wanted to set it, there was a warning of horses being out on the Trail so a Hash Hush would be in order for any encounter with equines!  It seems that not everyone heard the part about having a Beer Stop at the Bull, this would give some of those with local knowledge an advantage over the rest, while others would go on by this establishment.

Without further a do, the Pack were ushered out of the car park & on out the Lower Luton road, only for just a few yards to take to Cherry Tree lane heading southward toward the river Lea.  There was a fair bit of traffic heading down the tree lined lane to Leasey Bridge.  The Trail crossed the narrow single track pack-bridge by the fishing club area & the local stables, just over this the first CHK was found by the part of the dismantled railway that used to link Wheathampstead in the east to Luton.

Sparky decided to head off further up the secluded lane as it climbed out of the valley, while every other FRB decided that they would prefer to get off of the tarmac & head off on the footpath leading away south-westerly up to Leasy Bridge Farm three quarters of the way up the hillside.  My Lil’ discovered the Trail on this route & soon the Keenies were up on to edge of the farmyard. 

Meanwhile back down on the lane TBT OBE, who was walking to save his ankle, met 2-1-2 Maureen on her way down to the On Inn.  Seems she had parked up the lane & was walking back to find out where the venue was, as she was looking for the ‘Cheery Trees’ as it was misspelt in the last Trash!

            From the CHK on the edge of the farmyard, My Lil’ thought that he had found the Trail, on the very long footpath that almost runs straight over to Wheathampstead in the east, but he would soon be turning back!  The RA had started off on the alternative path but turned back as he had heard My Lil’ calling the Falsie!

            Tent Packer was now up with Mr X & My Lil’ as they both started off over the footpath leading up to the top of the Hill, this would lead up to the Harpenden road, coming out opposite the junction by Down Green House.  As the first Keenies approached the road, they saw a pony & trap being driven toward them from Harpenden, Sparky was too busy blowing his horn to hear the RA call ‘Hash Hush’ so he got a bit of a barking at from Mr X.

            The lady out with the pony & trap turned off the main road & on to the narrow rustic Piper’s lane away to the southwest, the pack followed on in her wake.  With the small pony only moving at a gentle trot, the Lady pulled the trap over to allow Sludge, Mr X, Sparky, Tent Packer & My Lil’ to get by.  It wasn’t far beyond Pipers Stud that they came across the footpath off to the left.

            There seemed to be no sign of any remnants of a CHK by the Footpath marker, so Sparky continued on down the lane, while everyone else decided the footpath out over a field to the east of the Stud.  Dust was found out to the east & the FRBs all made their way over the enclosed field sown with a winter crop, a gap through the hedge row in the opposite corner brought them out on to the side of a fairway of Wheathampstead Golf Course.

            After a short trot along the side of a couple of the holes on the golf course, the Trail disappeared through a small patch of scrubby land & down on to Down Green lane down in to Amwell.  Sludge, Sparky & Tent Packer were all lured away in the opposite direction to the South, perhaps that was the fact that the Elephant & Castle is situated down that way?  Meanwhile My Lil’ & Mr X had both gone up the hill toward the Harpenden road once again.

            Up Down Green lane, My Lil’ spotted a footpath sign halfway up the hill & so he was soon on to the Trail turned off the lane to take to this route away through the edge of some woodland.  The RA was soon behind My Lil’, but didn’t know My Lil’ was up as he couldn’t hear any calling up front, the wind was still strong & taking the calls away with it.

The edge of the woodland the Trail passed by a tennis court at the back of a rather large property, then at the end of the footpath there was a fallen tree to negotiate & get down on to Amwell lane.  From the CHK there, it was a case of turning to the northeast & heading up to the corner where the Harpenden road becomes Brewhouse hill.  Once on top of the Hill, from where the Trail would take the Hash all the way down in to Wheathampstead, through the suburban street & passing opposite the old buildings that were once the Brewhouses, by now the wind was not a problem.

Gravity helped some of the FRBs get down the steep incline faster than others, then as the Trail approached the walled Churchyard of St Helens, it left Brewhouse lane to cut through the Churchyard & then to come out on to Wheathampstead High Street.  My Lil & Mr X both knew the route to the bottom of the hill & where the Bull Pub was, they were surprised that it had only taken them 35 minutes to get there & didn’t think that it would be open. 

So, having tried pone of the back doors, which was still locked, these two reprobates waited outside the front of the Pub for more of the Pack to arrive, when Sludge & Tent Packer made it there, they informed the other that the Pub was supposed to be open at 11:00Hrs, they soon discovered that the front door was just ajar!  Fliptop, TBT OBE & Ruth weren’t far behind the Hare to come in to the Beer Stop, but after a while it was soon to become clear that 2-1-2 Maureen & Hyena weren’t coming in to the Pub.

In the Pub those present still found the idea of Paxo at the Gadget Show to be very funny! Perhaps the Gadget Show people are in need of another Bald Presenter?  Or does Jason need a Stuntman?  Anyhow, Mr X & My Lil’ then had to share the pint that the RA had bought Hyena, the Hare was now concerned  about the two lost sheep, but others told her not to worry as Hyena knows this area well as he attends a few of the pump stations in this neck of the woods.

With the drinks finished, the Pack all set off back out on to the High Street.  The Trail crossed over the road & led the Pack out behind the old mill houses, on a back path where the millstream is taken away on its course beneath them, then it was back out on to the end of the High Street.

The Trail ran up to the roundabout & then turned Northward on to the Lower Luton road, passing by the old Trades & Labour club, which looks shut & forlorn below the road to Batford, it seems that it is now home to a car washing business.  Most thought that the Trail would have passed by the stables & allotments at the northeast of Wheathampstead & then cross the river Lea to come on to the edge of the Lower Luton road, but it was a fairly straight forward run in.

TBT OBE seemed to have the wind under his wings as he began to run this last part of the Trail, or was it because he was now sheltered form the wind, but this show of effort spurred My Lil’ on to run & pass by TBT OBE.  If this wasn’t competitive enough, Sludge & Mr X also gained ground on TBT OBE.  They finally caught up with him just before Melissa Field, a green area down to the left by the river Lea.  Beyond this the RA knew that the GM was going to try & beat TBT OBE back to the On Inn & so Mr X got just far enough ahead to beat these two to the ‘On Inn’ written on the path.

If that wasn’t enough childish competiveness, Sludge then made an effort to be the first of these three back to the Cheery Cherry Trees, but the much younger RA out on a spurt to get back by both Sludge & TBT OBE, then at the crossroads with Cherry Tree lane Mr X crossed just before a Landrover pulled up to force the others to put on the anchors & slow up!

            Hyena & 2-1-2 Maureen were found back at the Restaurant, both in fine fettle.  The Pack were now joined by Flanders & Mrs Mallet.  The Down-Downs were put off to next week, as it was a restaurant.  There were plenty of trumped up charges for the absent Hashit, but as it wasn’t there those who were being competitive on the Trail could relax!  A few were surprised to hear that No Eye Deer received the Hashit the previous week, on what were described as spurious charges from the Curate!

            The Pack waited for Ruth to come back from taking her dog back, then the buffet began.  It was a very good buffet at that & a few of the usual gannets descended like locusts of Biblical proportions.

The RA mentioned that Diwali is the Festival of lights, it marks the end of Harvest in India, the name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of deepavali which translates into "row of lamps".  

Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.  These lamps are kept on during the night & one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome.  Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits During Diwali, all the celebrants share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.