Date = Sunday 1st December 2013
Run Number = 1532
Venue = Brambles
Beer = Buntingford Oatmeal Stout; Fallen Angel; London Pride; St Peter’s
Hares = Kylie
Runners = 11
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 11
Membership = Remembering Bob!
This was probably the lowest turnout of the year, on this cold morning the Pack met outside the Pub, the Hare, the RA & Hare Raiser all went to check to see if anyone had parked up in the car park behind Sainsbury’s but that was all to no avail as no one was there! So, back up the High street to circle up across the road from the Pub. Sludge got the introductions out of the way rather quickly, was this due to the time having passed 11:00Hrs or was it the chilly breeze in the air? It was then over to the Hare to hear of what the Pack could expect out there!
With little more than there may be a major road to cross & a warning about some Geese, there was not much for the Pack to work on. So, without further ado the Hare drew a CHK right there out on the pavement & from this point the Hash had to check things out. My Lil’ & Mr X headed away down the High street, having seen arrows on their way up the street earlier they thought that they knew how the Trail would street. They were wrong, as was Sparky, who decided to follow on behind them, for they hadn’t crossed over before seeing a T!
Sloppy Seconds, Paxo & TBT OBE had all chosen the opposite direction & had all followed the Hare up to the end of the High street, where at the roundabout junction with Vicarage Road it becomes Ermine Street, he arrows led them around & down Vicarage Road. 2-1-2 Maureen & Hyena followed on all the way down to the end of Vicarage Road, it was near to the small red brick pack bridge spanning the river Rib to lead over to the Wyddial road that the geese were found in a small pen [Will they still be there after Christmas? – Ed]
My Lil’ decided that he would check it out off down by the river Rib, while Paxo, Sludge, Sparky & TBT OBE started off toward the fields to the east of Buntingford, they would all be wrong as the Hare began to chalk arrows on the opposite side of Vicarage road that would lead back up to Ermine Street. Only the RA had the advantage of being at the back of the Pack at this point, which mean that he was now at the front as the Trail came back out on to Ermine Street, he was soon over to the footpath leading between the green hedges sheltering homes on one side & allotments on the other.
A CHK at the end of the footpath had options to go along the inside of another tree-lined path by the industrial units to the north, or out on to Bowling green lane where it leads to the local School, but the RA preferred looking at the continuation of the footpath directly over the end of Bowling Green lane & up out to the west as it led on by the recreation ground.
The Trail was found by Mr X & it was a long trot up this path, at the far end of the path the Trail came out near the new homes right beside the A10 by-pass, a narrow footbridge with a high arcing span took the Hash over the by-pass & out in to the open fields to the west.
Ahead of the Pack lay a long straight path over the gently sloping hillside, on the way it was noticed that this route had been run by another group, these all had worn studs on that had left lots of little holes in the surface. Perhaps a local football or Rugby team used this path for a training run? Over in the distant west the top of the Throcking Church’s tower could be seen peeping out of the golden leafed tree canopy.
A local girl out walking her dog came up the hill side, again it seems that Sludge has an affinity with dogs as the black lab made a bee-line for him & came bounding up to have a bit of a play! Once by the pooch, the FRBs headed down in to the bottom of the green valley, on the way the RA looked out over the Tire Hill & pointed out to Sludge what looked to Mr X like white Dust all the way over at the corner of the field where a track around the bottom of the hill emerges out before the A507. Sludge said that he couldn’t see that far!
My Lil’ was up for a run this morning & he passed by the GM & RA, as he did so he squeezed his little horn [Whoa! There Pebbledash – Ed] that Sparky had given him. The RA said that My Lil received a horn like that on his Herts Walking Stick, which he had over 500 Runs ago, so it’s taken another 500 for him to run around sound the small rubber bulbed bike horn!
In the bottom of the Thistley Vale an arrow was found on the concrete stanchion of a crossing point over a tributary to the river Rib. This pointed away to the south & My Lil’ was first on to this route as a track ran by the edge of the flowing tributary of Thistley Vale Brook, this turned around a right-angled corner of the field to head eastward in line with the course of the water.
Sludge suddenly slowed up as he became a bit apprehensive, for he had noticed that Hyena & 2-1-2 Maureen were both making their way over the ridge of the hill & were still heading down in to the valley & not being short cutted down the edge of the field to where My Lil was making his way up to a Bar CHK!
Meanwhile, the RA was looking skyward as he heard a small engine overhead, there up in the sky he saw what looked like Fokker Eindecker from the First World War, as it turned the markings of the Iron Cross could be seen on the side. Somehow, something about this aircraft didn’t seem quite right, later on in the Trail & the RA would fin d out exactly what was wrong.
Calls of “On back!” from the Hare could be heard echoing down to My Lil’ who was quite a way away by now! The RA turned back, as did Sludge & made their way to the low concrete crossing on the farm track up to Throcking Hall, just up the track to the west, Sparky, Sloppy Seconds, Paxo & Kylie were all seen loitering in the tree-line.
The Hare had placed a CHK here & stopped the Pack for a sweet stop, perhaps this was a good choice as My Lil’ came back from his long trip around the field, he wasn’t a happy bunny to say the least & he let the Hare know so! The sweets seemed to placate My Lil’ a little.
The Trail continued all the way up the farm track to come out on to the lane toward Throcking Hall, up on to the tarmac road & My Lil’ turned off to head southward along the lane, while Mr X was convinced that the Trail would go in to the village, sure enough it did!
Mr X found the Trail as it led up to the centre of Throcking, Sparky followed on behind the RA as they ran around all the way around the small village that is settled around a rectangular road. By the red phone box the Trail turned right, passing the village notice board. [There's nothing like a good Throcking now & again! - Ed]
The Trail now headed north-eastward to leave the village & out toward Middle Farm, as Mr X made his way out to the more open countryside of rolling Herts countryside. The Hare could see the Hare up ahead off him, with Kylie were Hyena & 2-1-2 Maureen & the RA soon caught them up just before the farmyard that has converted the former barn with accommodation blocks for holiday lettings.
As the Trail passed by the line of cottages on the left, the lane began to dip down & at the bottom of the hollow the RA could see the likes of TBT OBE scuttling along, My Lil’, Sloppy Seconds & Sludge all followed on! Mr X wanted to know how come this motley crew ahead managed to get there? It seems that the Hare had decided to appease TBT OBE, who had to be back to Buntingford for a quarter past 12, as he was going to a Dinner at his Yachting Club, & the Pack were still heading away from the On Inn.
TBT OBE had been offered up a short cut by the Hare, at this furthest point out on the Trail & so he shad no option but to Run a lot more of the Trail, but the likes of the GM, JM & Curate, who should have known better, all tagged along with TBT OBE. My Lil’ was also taking this short cut, but after his long trot out to a Bar CHK earlier he seemed to have a valid excuse as well! The Trail was now heading off to the northeast.
The Pack now began to get stretched out as the Trail stuck with the lane, most of the FRBs ignored the CHKs by the two footpaths off the road along the way around to the 90° bend up by Lower Farm. The Trail now started to drop again as the lane headed south-easterly, as they ran by the couple of terraced homes the noise of model aircraft could be heard. Another 90° turn to the northeast, & here, over the hedgerow there were a group of model aircraft enthusiasts could be seen.
Models of World War One fighter aircraft took off, flew around above the heads of the Hash as the FRBs made their way around the edge of the airfield, at a gate in the end of the hedgerow a group of model aircraft guys were busy trying to cut the chain locking it up. One wag said to the RA that he should put a spurt on if he was going to catch up with his mates, who were well each of him! The RA replied by asking if the model aircraft guys had lost the key to the lock?
After two more 90° turns the Trail continued to descend down the hillside on a long gentle drop toward the A10. Far off in the distance, the RA could see the little dots that were the rest of the Pack on their way to the dual carriage way. However, there was one little dot that had gone awry as Sparky kept to the lane, having missed the footpath off over the corner of the odd shaped field which all the others had taken.
The RA called Sparky back from his off Trail exploits out on the edge of the A10, but Sparky either did not hear the RA [Highly unlikely! – Ed] or he just ignored him to wander up to the crossing point over the A10. Caution was need to get over both lanes of the carriageway, then down the concrete steps on the Buntingford side of the bypass, there were a few overgrowing bramble runners to avoid on the way down, at the bottom of the steps & on to a footpath along the edge of a watery ditch, separating the property of the local school & the open farm fields to the north.
This uneven route was ankle turning & best walked until it came through a gap in the chain-link fence to lead a short way through the back of the school playing field’s rugby pitch. The Trail was coming near to its end, Sparky came to a halt once the footpath had gone back in to the wooded scrubby bank of the tributary. The RA found him loitering by the small wooden footbridge over the water course, just before where the On Inn was found.
The RA pointed out the path’s course, then it all came back to Sparky that on a previous Trail he had run out this way on a Falsie on a Hash from Brambles. Now the Trail led on between the school grounds & some of the factory units of the Park Farm industrial estate, coming out from under the air-conditioning units suspended up above on the factory wall & then to pass by the allotments & the footpath leading up from Ermine Street to Bowling Green lane.
Having retraced their steps back to Brambles, where TBT OBE make good his departure almost exactly on a quarter past the hour for his meal with the retiring Commodore! The rest of the Pack settled in to the Pub.
Once Hyena & 2-1-2 Maureen had finally returned, the Landlady brought out some rather nice hot sausages rolls plus the Pack got to sample some Guinness flavoured crisps, there were a few discussions about Mr X’s 1,000th & the Herts X-mas Weekend before the Down-downs were held outside.
The GM toasted the Hash, the RA asked the Pack to raise a glass in memory of ‘Bob’ the former landlord how passed away a year to the day on the Saturday. The Hare was rewarded for setting a Trail, which had quite a lot road running. Which led to a few aching knees après Trail! Hyena was out for looking like a (As My Lil’ described him as) a fat saveloy in his red waterproof but for appearing up in front of the RA & Sparky on the Trail after they had completed the loop in Throcking. Sparky was out for his going astray & wandering along the A10. Then the GM halted proceedings to award the RA a Down-Down for leaving someone in the circle the previous week while going off kilter & not giving them a Hit!
The Hashit went to My Lil’ for his ‘Spitting the dummy’ when he had a hissy-fit after bring caught out on the longest Falsie on the Trail! The Pack returned to the Bar, where Paxo spent about 40 minutes trying to explain to Sparky where the next Trail would start from! Though it may have confused Sludge, as later on the following day he would say to TBT OBE that he thought we would be starting in Harlow!