Date = Friday 3rd to Monday 6th January 2014
Run Number = 1537/38/39
Venue = Broadlands Holiday Village; Caxton Club Beccles
Location= Oughton Broad & Beccles, Suffolk
Beer = Mainly Greenjacks or Adnams!
Hares = My Lil’, Mr X & Paxo!
Runners = 36
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 27
Membership = Celebrating Mr X’s 1,000th Runs & Herts ‘Almost Orthodox Christmas’!
Although he completed his 1,000th Herts Run some twenty weeks earlier, Mr X had been too busy studying for part of the year to get to work on his 1,000th weekend, which combined with a very busy July & August with Hash related away days & weekends’ resulted in him going for a combined event with the Herts Christmas Party Weekend.
The choice of Oulton Broad, Lowestoft
& Beccles was easy, the venue he really wanted isn’t built yet, & he was
impressed with the Broadlands Village Holiday Park & Beccles for Hashing
around. So, off we all jolly well went & some were jollier than other as they
travelled over to Suffolk. Junior managed to neck a few tins of
Fosters before his little party had met up with Panda at Ipswich!
The plan was to stop at Beccles, where Mr X would sort out the food & bag drop for Saturday Après Trail at the Caxton Club, then once that was sorted he would leave Hyena, Junior, My Lil’ & Panda at the local Spoons, while he went out & set the Trail for Saturday! The weather had different plans to start with, on the way they could see a thunder storm rolling over the flat & water logged countryside, then as they alighted at Beccles Station very loud thunder rumbled overhead.
The heavenly rumbles were soon replaced by a deafening crack as the lightening began to strike close to them, the light rain almost instantly became hail & large hail stones at that! The quintet had to scuttle off to Gaol lane as the hailstorm became harder & the stones large enough for Mr X to hold a carry-all above his head!
Those in the Caxton Club laughed as the bedraggled Hashers came in to the club, they would have to endure two pints in the Club before the rain stopped long enough for them to go to the Spoon. With things sorted, the five moved on to the Kings Head Hotel (Spoons) there Mr X left the others to imbibe for another hour & three quarters, while he went out & set the Trail.
A filthy, bedraggled Mr X returned. Self-catering breakfast for Mr X’s bookings was purchased, the staff were bemused at seeing ‘Stig of the dump’ & four alkies staggering around the shop selecting the produce 7 not go near the booze section!! After the Train back, they found that most of the others were already there, a few had discovered the Quayside Bar having a couple of Pre-Pub Crawl drinks!
Instead of a how are you from Omo, Mr
X got a “Have you got any more spaces left in any of the lodges?” after Omo had
been billeted in a Bungalow, where he had seen a spider! Unfortunately there
were no spaces left in the lodges, which left Omo in the lair of the spider’s
web. It couldn’t have been that bad or Junior wouldn’t have
crash & burned
resided there! [We all know what a wuss Junior is when it comes to Spiders! –
Having changed & freshened up from
their journey, the Pack met up in the Quayside Bar for
an aperitif a
couple of Ales before being ferried by Taxi out to the Mariner’s Rest in
Lowestoft. It took a while, but most managed to get out to a cracking little
Pub that has a great range of Ales & 15 different Ciders/Perries!
While supping the Ales, the Pack were treated to bowls of crisps from the Landlord & Landlady, this place does such a good deal that the RA bought several large bags of peanuts, that were two packets for £1. As the Ale drinkers amongst the Pack enjoyed the range on offer, having a couple of Pints each, the Landlord offered a sample of Adnam’s Tally Ho! This is a classic Barley Wine that Mr X last had when the Pack Hashed from the Tally Ho! In Barkway, it’s good stuff as it comes in at 9%. There was a lot of laughter as Skip then admitted that he had just bought a pint of this, that would learn him & would slow him down!
My Lil’ left earlier than the rest & chalked the way up & around some back streets, through a couple of dark alleyways where a few continued on by double arrows that indicated they way out to the Stanford Arms, another cracking Pub off of the beaten track. This venue does excellent pizza, as the Landlord has a proper pizza over built out the back.
On his way to the 2nd Stop, Mr X soon discovered that the Pockets of his 100 Full Moon jacket were full of crisps & on closer inspection, taste testing, he discovered that these were of the same flavour as those being given way by the Landlord & Landlady of the Mariners Rest! [What a coincidence, eh Digger? – Ed]
For some of those who were left behind at the Mariners, they didn’t need to walk the dark, cold & fresh streets of Lowestoft, as the Landlord gave then a lift to the Stanford Arms as he was “Passing by” on his way in to Town!
While most enjoyed their second Ale in this Pub, & tucking in to delicious Pizza to soak up some of the Ale, Hyena succumbed to the vast amounts he had quaffed earlier & inexplicably ‘Spat the Dummy’ at Skip, after Hyena had nicked Skip’s cap & placed it on Kylie’s head, Skip retrieved this & flicked the back of Hyena’s head with the cap! All hell let loose as Hyena’s finger was jabbed toward Skip, as well as a right tirade a pissed football hooligan from the 70’s would have been proud of!
Fortunately things simmered down & Mr X didn’t want this to mar his weekend, though a few of the Hash would not been seen after this Pub not getting as far as the Triangle.
Sis then came out with a What Happened to ‘Pete the Penguin’, which got Junior going like a scratched record, as he seems to have lost Pete once again. Junior was quick to cast his aspersions [No Pebbledash! – Ed] As the Herts RA was accused of stealing the Penguin which Junior ‘Loves’! Pete was given to him by the Guernsey Harriettes.
Mr X certainly didn’t have the toy-penguin, not after having looked after the damn thing for months on end after being entrusted with getting it from the Guernsey Harriettes to Junior! Pete was last seen after he was returned to Junior at the last Herts Christmas Dinner.
Digger couldn’t have ‘half-inched’ Pete the Penguin either, as he wasn’t event there! But it may just well be worth asking of Pete’s whereabouts when those who are going to the Alternative InterHash get to Guernsey in 2014? [Pete didn’t materialise there either, not that the Herts Away Team were on ‘the Rock’ that long to find out!!! – Ed]
Digger & Windsock were soon ‘Racking their Balls’ [Noo Pebbledash! – Ed] as the Essex Hustlers soon discovered the pool table, I leave it to you to work out which one was ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson & which was Minnesota Fats’!!
A breath of fresh air was in order & it wouldn’t get much fresher as Mr X took Hyena away to the Triangle, thinking that the exposure to the seaside ozone would do them both good! But, following the Trail they went awry & had to double back before picking it up again, with this hiatus in the Trail they also managed to find Kylie, who was looking just as lost.
Mr X got ahead of the other two & caught up with the Hare as he chalked the way up to the Triangle, somehow Kylie & Hyena managed to walk on by this music Bar. The small triangular sign may have been too small for them to spot, but the sound of music emanating from the front Bar should have been a clue?
Only part of the Hash manage dot get this far in to the Trail, Mr X decided that he would not get Hyena the strong Ale & instead got him a session Ale, those who did make it to the Trainable were split between the front & back bars, with the live music at the High Street facing Bar.
The final Pub of the crawl was supposed to be the Oak, however, as you will read later on this would not be the case! The Oak was paid a visit & the time was by now heading to Closing, most only just got a round in before ‘Last orders’ were called.
Ryde & Tablewhine arrived as the second bell went & so Ryde missed out, while Tablewhine would rely on the generosity of hand-outs from those already in the Bar who were struggling to get through what they had ordered!
Having been ferried back by either Ryde or the Taxi, a few were still thirsting for more! [Greedy Buggers- Ed] Mr X thought about going back & cracking open the port reserved for the Cheese & Port soiree on Sunday, but then decided it was worth trying the Flying Dutchman [No, not the Scottish Hasher! – Ed] across the railway line from the camp site entrance.
Fortunately there’s not a lot of traffic at that time of night, or year, as the tiddly group zig-zagged across the railway bridge, picking their way where the footpath disappears on to the road & down to the Pub. It may only be a few yards but it’s a bit precarious.
There was no real Ale in this Pub, which is a shame, but those who drink this made do with the bottled version. Junior would be at home in a Pub with mainly lagers on tap at the time, plus it was named after the infamous ghost ship that never reaches port!
Windsock eyed up the Bar & he soon spotted the bottles of homemade liqueurs that were on one of the mirrored shelves. There were a quite a few different flavours, he quickly decided that those who had ventured over to the Flying Dutchman deserved to play a game, or two, & he bought enough shots to fill a large tray!
Now, this would be a game of dare, as he didn’t tell anyone what the flavours were of these liqueurs, he kept the flavours on a piece of paper so he knew if their guesses were correct & points scored. It was like Russian roulette with spirits!
With two teams seemingly subconsciously taking sides either end of the table, the tray was put down in the centre & Windsock kept a tennis score as each player made their choice, some tentatively, before necking the shot! [All before the silly neck-nominate! – Ed]
Well, it all seemed to go well, so another round was ordered by Mr Sock! This too went down well as some had now discovered the ‘Flying Dutchman’’s homemade ‘Dutch Courage’ had worked its magic. Amongst the flavours that were down were several fruity ones, then there were the Mars Bar shots. The strangest was the Chip-shop Curry Sauce one that Mr X & Digger each picked. Maybe you could see that one at a future Hash event?
Having finished with the silly drinking games, Windsock & Digger were soon back on the pool table & this time they were being Hustled by the locals, who obviously haven’t seen the Essex Boys movie & thrashed the Hash! It was a great end to the night!
Sometime in the wee hours Hannahballs would find Junior crashed out on one of the living room sofas, & on the other one done up like a cocoon was Omo as he sheltered from the tarantula lurking in the bungalow, or had he been snare & wound up in a giant spider’s silk??
Later on Hannahballs would be awoke by a strange noise outside, emanating from a strange feral figure, it just happened to be Junior who had gone outside for a Pee & couldn’t get back through the front French window.
It was a drizzling morning outside at first light, things did not look good & Mr X was glad that he had set the Trail the day before, using plenty of flour. However, with no less than three RA’s on-hand the weather brightened up & by the time the Pack had made their way over to the Railway Station for the 10:13, there wasn’t a cloud in the Sunny skies!
A few were going to get a later Train, & they weren’t even in the Flying Dutchman early Saturday morning. It looked as if Kylie was not going to join the later travellers, as he had to go back & find his Sun Glasses which he managed & then climb up the steps one the camp side of the tracks [No Pebbledash! – Ed] then down the opposite steps to the single platform, he succeeded with time to spare.
The two carriage Train rumbled in to the station, still there was no sign of TBT OBE & he would not be boarding with the rest of the Pack as the Hash stepped up on to the carriage. The Guard wasn’t fazed by the size of the group, Mr X had a wad of pre-booked tickets & waved then at the guard.
As the 8 minute journey out to Beccles took place, a few commented on the state of the flooded fields on either side of the line, some of the farm land had small lakes on them, it didn’t look promising & Mr X’s tales of falling over twice, while trying to set the Trail the day before, only added to the potential woe!
The Train pulled up at Beccles, which is double tracked as it is a crossing point for the exchanging of the token for the single track line either side of the station. The Pack alighted & crossed over the bridge & soon came out on to the main road, over this & a short walk up Gaol Lane, which had Digger looking over his shoulder, & the Pack were at the Caxton Club, where they would leave their change of clothes.
The Hare (Mr X & Herts RA will be interchangeable from now on) set off to set the start of the Trail, he was gone for about ten minutes, which was time enough for Skip & Psycho to get out the Sherry, which was taking up room for proper drinks [Like Fijian Rum] in their drinks cabinet at home!
Once the Herts GM, Sludge, had toasted the Hash & the Pack had necked a shot of foul drink, apparently it is back in fashion! [Not in my house! – Ed] The Hare stepped forward to warn the Pack about what they could expect to see out on the Trail, after adding what the Herts Trail markings were, plus that he had fallen over twice while setting it the day before, 2-1-2 Maureen asked what she should do if she got muddy? As 2-1-2 Maureen hadn’t read the in depth & informative Hash Trash, with its excellent Itinerary on the back page, she didn’t have a change of clothes, Mr X said that they would purchase a newspaper for her to sit on!
Something that was very noticeable on this bright morning were Omo’s new Trainers, Mudclaw 300, which are available in bright Yellow, bright Red or bright Green, which reminded some of the shots at the Flying Dutchman. Omo didn’t try to hide the fact that these bright yellow Hash boots were brand new, not even a token bit of Shiggy to try & fool the RAs in to thinking that he had broken them in by rubbing some Shiggy on them, they were ‘Box-fresh’!
The Trail started out to Gaol lane & headed up toward the centre of Town, Ryde led the way & asked if the walking Pack behind “Are the best Herts can do?” It seemed like it to start with! The Trail crossed a couple of the narrow roads of this old market Town, leading up to a CHK on the edge of the town’s Market place. This was the point where the alternative Trail under the Stewardship of Junior & Windsock would depart to pop into the nearby Kings Arms [Spoons].
As the old joke goes…
Q “Where’s the Kings Arms?”
A “Up his sleeves!”
After Friday’s debacle, Hyena was encouraged to carry on with the Trail & avoid all contact with the Spoons Pub, & especially with some of those who were about to frequent such places! Hyena continued with the Pack as the Trail was picked up once more on ‘the Walk’ as it headed northward & down the prominent hill side this ancient town sits upon.
The scenic trail passed by the Church of St Michaels, this unique church has a separate Bell Tower, which is at the ‘wrong end’ of the Church after it was deemed to be too much weight (approx. 3,000 tons) which would be too much for the other end as it sits on an escarpment & it is believed the cliff would crumble!
A CHK was found near to Saltgate where the modern bus terminus now sits, it didn’t take long for the likes of Tent Packer & Sludge to get in to their stride as they picked the Trail up down Northgate, a lane that drops down from the heady height of 36 feet above sea level all the way down to sea level!.
On the way it was noticed that there were several dead end lanes that ran down to the edge of the river Waveney, it certainly was an old area of town as a lot of the larger properties along here had walled gardens & their wooden doors where like something out of a Harry Potter movie.
The next CHK was found down by a green area on a peripheral road that crosses Waveney Bridge, on the edge of the old town. The CHK was found beside one of the four signs to the village that are carved with the Figure of Queen Elizabeth granting the kneeling figure of a local, the Charter to the Fen in 1584. You have to remember that in Elizabeth’s reign, this part of England was still somewhat of a Catholic Stronghold, so, she didn’t venture to East Anglia very often, when she did she reward those who looked after her well-being.
Though what the locals really did for her Maj to deserve to be awarded a boggy marsh for was questioned, but as Mr X pointed out marshes would have produced reeds that in those days were in demand for roofing, basket making & building materials! Anyhow back to the Trail!
The Trail was picked up straight over the road & on toward Fen lane which leads up to the Quayside of this former Saxon river Port, on his way Digger was stopped by an older chap out driving his car. He asked Digger what Hash he was with? Digger explained that he was Essex & FUK Full Moon, while others were FUK Full Moon, Herts, London & Norfolk. He added that the Pack were going to finish up at the Caxton Club, as an offer for him to meet the Hash later, but sadly the elderly Hasher didn’t turn up.
Having been directed up a curving ramp by the Quayside visitor centre to a CHK on the grassy area beyond, Tent Packer almost stumbled upon the Inn Trail as he veered away from the Waveney to the west. He was called back as the others had managed to pick up the Dust on the trees leading diagonally over toward the River, as the footpath edged near to the river, the Pack were now on ground that was 3 foot above sea level & the way became more water logged until there was no escape from the Paddy field like surroundings.
All of the Pack gave up trying to keep their feet dry at this early stage in the Trail, the Hare had warned them of this as the area is probably under sea level! Anyhow, the Pack soon reached a pebble path that would lead beneath the Beccles By-pass road by the edge of the river. Having passed beneath the wide concrete structure overhead, a CHK was found in the southwest corner of the Beccles Marsh.
Ryde had gone astray from the CHK, having continued on the luxurious hard capped path alongside the Waveney, on her return she met up with Mr X & explained why he wouldn’t see Tablewhine running that morning………… apparently Tablewhine had put his back out making the Bed. Mr X resisted all sexist jokes about domestic chores, opting for a far safer “What wood was he making it from, Oak?” [Coward - Ed!]
Tablewhine was now resigned to the fact he would have to keep company with Junior, Windsock, Tops & Panda in the Spoons!
Back to the Trail & this turned southeastwardly on another hard capped path, this one running along the bottom of Calves Hurn, on a route parallel to the Beccles By-pass road, so far everything seemed to be fairly easy to run on! Once down a slippery but short embankment, the Pack found themselves on the edge of a tarmac lane, there the next CHK point was found.
Ts stopped any further progress to the east & the south, so the other option of heading northward was the only choice left. It was a fairly long trot up the route that is used to access the Sailing Club, as the lane headed further northward the less refined it became, with large potholes appearing in the tarmac until it became just the odd bit of tarmac or hard-core between the water logged potholes.
The Trail lead up between Calves Hurn to the left & Puttock Hill on the right, though quite how it is called a hill remains a bit of a mystery as it looks pretty flat out toward the fishing lakes over in the east, which lies at sea level! Even this far in to the Trail & the Pack could still avoid the water & Shiggy. The large shallow root base of a wind felled tree temporarily blocked the view to the east, obscuring the fishing lakes the Pack would pass by later on.
A CHK on a pile of old tarmac at a T Junction with a farm track off to the northeast, the RA thought that they could have used some of that old tarmac to fill some of the potholes in with? Anyhow, the likes of 2-1-2 Maureen, Hyena, My Lil’ & Fliptop, who were today’s backmarkers & walking wounded, wouldn’t get left behind after this long stretch as Sludge, Tent Packer, Ryde, Pepé le Pew all fell for the Falsie up the farm track over Hither Broad Fen.
The Keenies found the going on the farm track wasn’t easy, it was one of the spots where the Hare fell over setting the Falsie the day before, this slowed them up enough for the likes of Digger & Fergie to catch up. Seems like the cocktail shots had taken their toll on Digger at the start of the Trail?
The Hash now turned toward the Sailing Club, Mr X said that TBT OBE would have like to see this, if he had managed to get up in time to catch the Train with the rest of the Pack! Perhaps he overslept, dreaming of becoming Commodore of his local Sailing club? [Bet it was a wet dream (No Pebbledash!) as he normally capsizes! – Ed]
Somehow the Keenies had missed the flooded footpath beside the grounds of the Sailing club, instead they took the drier option of going through the five-bar gate & then up to the embankment to the Waveney’s edge. A CHK was found upon the embankment, no one headed back to the south & the mass consensus to move off to the north was to prove correct.
It was now noticeable how high the level of the Waveney was, also it was above the level of the marshes away to the east. However, the Pack would soon have to avert their eyes from the beautiful Suffolk scenery to concentrate on where they were putting their feet as the path would soon become a long tract of some of the best deep Shiggy ever.
For almost everyone it was a case of one steps forward, then a slide to the side as even the Keenest for Front Running Bastards found it impossible to get any grip, even trying to run on the edge of the embankment proved hard work. The only one who could manage to progress in any kind of normal fashion was Omo, in his safety banana skins, but would he have the last laugh??
Anyhow, as the Pack made their way alongside the river’s course from Short Meadow to Long Meadow on the east of the river, they could occasionally glance up to see the nice large white property on the opposite bank of this wide stretch of river. There was an even better red brick property high up on the hillside.
The Hare had to stop along this point as he received a call from TBT OBE, it was too risky to walk & talk at the same time without falling over [Can’t multi-task? – Ed]. TBT OBE told the RA that he had arrived at Beccles Station & asked what he should do from there? The brief answer from Mr X was “Follow the Trail of white powder!” TBT OBE was going to venture out on the Trail some 40 minutes after the main Pack, however the (Nasty) Hare wasn’t going to let on how much Shiggy there was out there either!
Halfway toward the Held CHK by the Waveney’s edge & even the likes of Crystal Balls, Sludge, Tent Packer, Pepé le Pew, Smartarse, Ryde, No Eye Deer & Hannah Balls had given up with any attempt to run in these conditions. It was now reported from the tail of the Pack that 2-1-2 Maureen had fallen over twice. Ewok dropped back to keep an eye on 2-1-2 Maureen & make sure she got through this difficult part of the Trail.
After a few sweets at the Held CHK, & once the Tail was in sight, the Hare allowed the Keenies to resume searching for the Trail. Now, the Hare had already spotted from further back on the Trail, that some had not obeyed the Held CHK.
These naughty Hashers had gone down the six foot embankment & back to no feet above sea level, crossed the narrow wooden footbridge & had spotted Dust leading away by the willow trees on the edge of the ditch separating Long Meadow from First Slat Fen, when they should have remained at the CHK!
As Tent Packer, Crystal Balls, Smartarse, Omo & Sludge all took to crossing the footbridge & then taking the southerly route, the Hare was happy to watch them clamber over the large fallen willow branch that seemed to be almost one half of the tree. This would be a Falsie & it served then right for cheating!
The Hare in a hush voice called back Hannah Balls & Kylie as he marked the way to where the Trail took to the easterly part of the tracks route. This wasn’t very long stretch, but like the other parts it was water logged & there were a couple of slippery wooden bridges that covered the dyke [Not again Pebbledash! - Ed] so the going for some was slow.
Crossing the water way, Kylie gave out a concerned “Aah, look at that poor lonely swan!” as he spotted a solitary mute swan paddling along, there was no need to fear for the avian from the Cygnus family as it had a few friends just around the corner on another of the small drainage route.
The likes of Mr Balls, Ryde, Tent Packer, Pepé le Pew & Sludge soon arrived at the next CHK, where the farm track that had weaved its way through the edge of the salt fen crossed a contrasting wide & dead straight track. This was once a Beccles to Yarmouth railway line that crossed the fens, but was shut in the 1960’s as it was too expensive to upkeep of keeping the tracks afloat with faggots [I give up Pebbledash! – Ed] & other wooden rafts beneath as it crossed the bed of alluvium peat.
At this point the Hare thought that he may take the weight off of his feet by sitting on the bench at this crossroads, but he had a change of mind & didn’t fancy the large bolts sticking out of it, or the fact that it tipped up when he touched it with his hand!
Kylie was still keen as he headed northward, back toward the Waveney, Mr Balls also took to a wrong direction as he searched slightly south of eastward. In the end Ryde found the Trail on the nice wide & considerably much drier former railway track to the southwest, with Further Broad Fen to the west & Second Salt Fen to the east. Far off in the distance the Pack could see the tower of St Michaels sitting majestically up on the hill & still bathed in sunshine!
Ahead lay a long stretch, which should have been easy to run, but with the struggle through the Shiggy earlier in the Trail & a few seemed worn out. It took a while for them to get in to their stride once again! There would also be a slight dip in this trail as it passed through an area on one side that drops to a low point of minus 3 foot below sea level.
If any of those not FRBing were worried about not keeping up with Ryde, Tent Packer or Crystal Balls, then they needn’t have worried, for the Keenies would be thrown off of the scent at the next CHK by the crossroads of the paths by the local Stables.
Both options to the east & west were searched, with Ryde going a long way along the bottom of Hither Broad Fen to the west & Mr Balls toward Rush Fen to the east! The middle order were almost up to the CHK before Tent Packer realised that they should go directly through the stable yard. It was now pointed out to Omo that his New Shoes would have Horse Shiggy on them, where the stables had been mucked out!
The Pack had one last tract of Shiggy to go, as in places the churned up track to the stables would offer this up, this route turned slightly to the west as it led on to the fishing lakes, a CHK was found to the east of the lakes but no one ventured off of the main track, which the Trail was on as it led to the southeast corner of the fenced off lakes area.
A CHK was found on a large pile of old railway sleeper, & nothing like an old sleeper draws Kylie’s attention. Mr Balls was about to cross over the railway line that had brought the Pack to Beccles, when “On!” was called from further around on the drive. The Hash now headed away from the lakes, to leave the fisher-folk behind where they were partaking in a competition, & back toward the Beccles by-pass on the drive way out.
Just after the area which looked like it was a former council tip, the earlier T’s from the Out Trail had been changed to Arrows, as the Trail converged back at the corner of Calves Hurn, now the direction had been changed from north to south & the Pack were led up a flight of steps to the edge of the by-pass, near to the local Morrisons store.
Once carefully over the busy road, the trail led down the opposite steps & headed along a very bumpy old tarmac path at the end of the quayside green. A CHK by a bridge over a dyke didn’t hold anyone up, the Trail was soon found in the small industrial estate, although Sludge nearly went the wrong way for a wander around the Travis Perkins Yard! Talking of the yard, well it was a bit hard for a Sarries fan like Mr X to go through as Travis Perkins are Northampton Stains major Sponsor!!
The Trail turned westward along the access road, it was heading back toward the Quayside, but an arrow directed everyone way up a ‘Private road’ to the south. By now it was noticed that for some time Kylie was being picked on by Pepé le Pew, who at every opportunity was splashing puddles at Kylie, after Kylie had accidently splashed Pepé earlier! [Children, leave that kind of thing to Digger! – Ed]
The private road was very nice, with flint cottages & one even had an old railway signal to suggest that they were once Railway homes? Once again Kylie was in his woo-woo element. This was reinforced as the Pack left the dead end of this short road by way of a gate the type of white picket fence that used to be found at Railway stations.
The Pack were almost home as they followed the Trail around the small bend, which had rounded homes on it to fit in with the streets course. It was now one straight run from the village like quarter & back up to where the former Print Works were, & is now Tescos, to come On Inn down Goal Lane.
In to the Caxton Club, the Suffolk CAMRA Social Club of the year, where the Pack had their own room cordoned off & were Shiggy covered 2-1-2 Maureen could sit on a newspaper!
For Mr X things would be very pissy, as Pints started to pile up on his table, with Fergus & then Tent Packer placed them in front of him. Thankfully there would be a Great Spread of food with the Buffet in the Caxton Club, something to soak up the booze!
TBT OBE finally made it Inn, he must have worked hard to get around & return not that long after the rest of the Pack. Meanwhile Mr X, Digger & Hannahballs started to take the Down-Downs outside. While out in the secluded garden, Mr X found a small Gourde in his jacket pocket. The very one that Digger had stolen from the Ratcliffe Arms & wasn’t returned with the gear in Omo’s bag!
Mr X was at a bit of a loss with what to do with it? Hannahballs suggested that he threw it at Digger, & so he did with a terrific shot that hurled the small orange gourde at some speed to land right in Digger’s ear! The moment it made contact, Digger instantly took up that old Irish fighting stance with his dukes out, before he realised what had happened!
After a couple of pints, the Circle was called outside, there was no point waiting for those on the Pub Crawl to come back the Caxton Club. Sludge toasted the Hash, but before handing over to the Herts RA, Sludge had a pint to award Mr X for completing 1,000 Runs, Pepé le Pew also handed Mr X a Saracen’s Hoodie with Herts logo’s & 1,000th Runs embroidered on it.
There were too many Down-Downs to mention, but here are just a few. After the first of his Down-Downs, Mr X would take over the Circle. Now this could have become the Digger v Mr X ‘pick on each other show’ that some Hasher have done in the past, but these two are experienced RAs & know better.
The following Down-Downs are in no particular order & were from either Mr X, Digger or Smartarse!..........
TBT OBE for called forward for his late start! Digger was out for his thieving of the Radcliffe Arms’ decorations, Omo was out for picking up his kit bag that Digger had fill up with them, including a plant! Omo did not notice how heavy it was, but having to go back with Tops to the Pub to return the stolen goods!
Mr X was back out to receive his lost property of his Saracens Members Scarf, which was ‘Borrowed’ by Hannah Balls on the last FUK Full Moon! If one RA drinks, then all RAs drink, so Digger & Smartarse joined Mr X in the Circle.
Ruth was called out by Mr X & up to this point she hadn’t got a Hash name, this was remedied as she was given the Hash Handle of ‘Bush Tucker’ on her First Herts Christmas Weekend.
Time for the New Shoes to be christened, somehow Digger had managed to get a hold of Omo’s new Trainers. Omo did the right thing & managed to drink his Down-Down out of his new shoe that had been worn earlier in the day. [Yuk! – Ed] It was a bit blurry to recall the rest of the Hits but the las tones would stick as…..
Hyena & Skip were summoned forth to jokingly ‘kiss & make up’ but they took Mr X’s words quite literally & the watching circle all groaned as they planted the lips together before necking their hits!
Back to the Bar to finish off the buffet & for a treat, Mr X had an old Football Scratch-card, which Hannah Balls & Digger went around with to raise a bit for the Air Ambulance, with the winner getting £30. It seemed very popular as Hashers had to grab their favourite Football team. In the end Mr X rubbed off the silver foil to reveal ‘Stirling’ which meant Twonk was the winner.
After a Train back, it was a quick wash & a change before some pre-dinner dinks, it is surprising how Hashers can “scrub up well!” In Lodge X, Mr X couldn’t find words on the previous year’s events that Herts Had attended, Digger was quizzed but he hadn’t got them. They were found the following day, in the safe place the RA had left them!
Two civilians at the Bar were just about to ask Mr X if he was Scottish, being dressed in the Full Regalia, but as he said “Wanna Beer Fergie!” in his estuary accent, which kind of answered their question! A little later Twonk arrived in all his Prince Charlie & Kilt, with his Norf*ck accent it just to add to their confusion!
A few drinks & some small talk later, Fliptop finally announced that the Hash could go through to the dining area the Hash had all to ourselves. Places were taken at the tables, crackers pulled, paper crowns worn & corny jokes read aloud!
Then silence was called with the tapping of a wine glass as Sludge would say grace in Latin [Who said it was a dead language? – Ed]. Meanwhile Mr X scribble down the events that Herts had been to in the last year, then his speech was ready, amazingly it was spot on!
So, after the first course the Herts
RA stood up to go through the usual
anal annual speech he makes about
other Hash events that some of the Herts Gang have attended in the last year,
the list runs as follows……………
Lowest turnout of just four, who made from beyond Ware to Estcourt Arms, Watford.
Chinese New Year Run
Joint Run with FUK Full Moon & London Hashes at Theydon Bois
Goose Memorial Run, Crown & Falcon
Harriettes Night Out
FUK Full Moon in Budapest
Easter Egg Hunt – Fliptop’s Black Squirrels had managed to get from Letchworth to New Barnet & steal the eggs!
Herts 1500th Mad May Ball weekend, Ware & Hotel is still standing after we left.
Gibbard Garden Beerfest, best Real Ales & Ciders from Essex & Herts (as well as McMullens)
FUK Full Moon Campout at Edwardstone, where we visited the Bell Pub in Suffolk that was the Queasy Mongoose in the compare the Market Adverts & of course the sour Ales of the White Horse Brewery!
Edinburgh TNT Weekend at Musslebrough.
EHMR Running Day
Full Moon Nash Hash (Devon Lunatic) Oakhampton
Then in one weekend we had ISCA/ Chris & Fergus’s 50th Wedding Anniversary/Olymprick’s Wedding! That certainly spread us about!
David Tops & Penny Socks (see the polo shirt) Hen & Stag Weekend at the Prince of Wales Stow Maries, where some of us met Wilco Johnson!
EuroHash, Ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki, then onto Tallin before returning to Stockholm once again. TBT OBE walking disaster.
UK Nash Hash, one of the Best at Hooke Court hosted by Hardy’s Hash in Dorset, also included a Bra & Pants Trail to Palmer’s Brewery.
Joint Run with Berkshire in Tring (is there a Phone ringing?)
The Cross-CHHannel Hash to Brussels, which was a reconnoitre for the FUK Full Moon Trail in Brussels 2014, Hyena became the New Junior & couldn’t get the beers down his neck quick enough [At least he didn’t stack them, they didn’t hang around long enough! – Ed], it was also where Windsock put them on to the Samurai Sauce on Belgium Fries!
Joint Run with H5 at the Rose & Crown in Trowley Bottom
In 2014 there will be many more events happening, with InterHash in a Chinese Golf Resort, there is one Friday 13th, other events that will be occurring next year, that should attract some Hash interest will be the Tour de France Passing through from Cambridge to London. In August we will also see the Start of the 100th Anniversary of the First World War
Back to the Dinner……………..
The food & service was very good & the wine helped the evening to progress, plus there was the port! Mr X’s cheese board need a few more biscuits as there was loads of Cheese, he duly received the extra biscuits when he requested them & gave most away.
Windsock then stood up & raised a toast to Herts Hash & Mr X for inviting the non-Herts guests to this event. [It was a pleasure to have you all there! – Ed]
After eating & before the Secret Santa, as well as dishing out of the 1k Polo Shirts to those who had ordered them, it was time for a special raffle from the Herts RA.
Ably assisted by Digger, who dusted off a few of the old Full Moon Bingo calls, those who had a ticket drawn in the RA’s special raffle were invited up to collect their prize. How long did it take before those who did win something realised that this was a set up almost each prize was related to them in some way!
Amongst the prizes were an ‘Arse/Face’ towel for Smartarse; A fridge magnet with Junior’s face & the egg/light bulb nightmare; Sis too had a fridge magnet, this one with a picture of Winston & the phrase “Sometimes you have kick grass over that sh*t & walk away!”… Pebbledash had the box of the Chocolate Nude Males Nuts for her to suck on!!! Ewok had a whip; Paxo received a Corporal Jones “Don’t Panic!” Passport holder & luggage tag; Sludge got a mooning gnome salt & pepper cellar, with each cheek being one of the condiments & they are magnetically held in place! Panda received a framed Panda print & the original Letterpress block it was printed from! Ryde received a framed Victorian picture of Ryde Pier [She got her Hash name, for going there for a Hash day out when everyone else was further around at a different part of the Isle of Wight! – Ed] & Fergus received a Robertson’s Golly Tea-towel to add to his still growing collection.
A real (unadulterated) raffle was then drawn where the prizes were Scotch, Port, Wine & lagers etc.
Then it was time for the New Secret Santa, who really relished the job. Seems that like some of the Full Mooners, this secret Santa has kissed the Blarney Stone, & he took his time with each of the Harriettes, so much so a long queue built up. Santa wasn’t going to be rushed with the Harriettes on his knee, nor would he when it came to the Hashers!!!
After all of this it was time for some music from Fliptop & it’s amazing how Hashers can have a fantastic time with enough space for a dance floor & a generic MP3 player attached to a large speaker. The night just flew by & Mr X had so much fun that he managed to leave loads of stuff behind. However, he did manage to cling on to the bottle of Red he had at the end of the Secret Santa, which was handy as this was opened back at the lodge!
Sunday saw another fine day, the weather had again been on the three RAs side as the Sun was bright & there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. At least this morning there was a sensible time to start, 11:00Hrs as there was no train to catch! This allowed Mr X time to go down to the Bar & see if he had left his 1,000th anniversary shirts at the venue, nothing was to be found there, just the staff & in fact it was pretty tidy in there!!!
He decided that he would wait for the Circle, to see if they would mysteriously appear.
The Pack circled up outside of the Quayside Bar, thought here was a bit of confusion as the Hare hadn’t let anyone know, so there was some miscommunication before the Hash were already outside of the Quay. Sludge called the Circle together, welcomed everyone to the correct Run number, then it was over to the Hare!
Paxo informed everyone that there was a lot of Shiggy out there [No shit Sherlock! – Ed] he added that it wouldn’t be a long Trail, “In fact” he added “The Runners would be around it in 20 minutes!” then he went on to say that there would be short cuts! [Where they necessary? – Ed] Plus the Pack were at the heady height of 3 feet above sea level! [Anyone feeling a bit light-headed couldn’t blame it on the altitude! – Ed]
The Trail set off just by the boards to stop the high Waveney from overflowing on to the quayside, in a easterly direction, the path parted from the edge of the river as it crossed White Cast Marsh, an area that is criss-crossed with random drainage dykes, all of which were pretty full.
A turn to the north for a few yards put a half rectangular route in to the path before it came back to its original course, when it came back to this there was a CHK by a small wooden footbridge over the dyke the footpath was running on alongside. Here it was marked with a Long Trail Straight on, & the short cut over the bridge on a footpath to the south.
Most took to the long Trail, though a few did take the Short Cut, it hardly mattered as the Long Trail was just a loop around to a water way cutting that was one finger like end to part of the Oughton Dyke, the Shiggy was pretty good once again as the Trail progressed around the reed beds to the staggering height of 6 feet above sea level, before turning to head southward toward the Wildlife Centre.
The wildlife was safe as the Trail turned just before reaching the Centre, now the Pack were off on a drier path that took a slightly arcing route eastward over the animal fields to come out on to the footpath the Short Cut was on. The Trail crossed straight over this & came through the field that is home to the old bright pink, blue & yellow caravans randomly abandoned in the enclosed area to the west of the Holiday Park.
Ryde took some photos of these caravans, the RA explained that they were supposedly a protest about the camp not getting planning permission to extend the already modest size of the venue. The venue’s intimate size is one thing that appeals to the Herts Hash.
The Hare had been true to his promise, this was a true Herts recovery Run as it only lasted 20 Minutes for the FRBs, none of that Yorkshire style three Hours ‘up hill & down dale’ nonsense. [You couldn’t do up hill & down dale in Suffolk! – Ed]
The Pack got changed & then took a gentle, short walk down to the Waveney Pub, with the exception of 2-1-2 Maureen who got lost & phoned the Hash up for someone to go out & rescue her. Once the Pack were together, the final Circle of the Weekend took place in the Pub’s walled in back patio garden where the Pack could see that Sis’s draws were not on show this year.
Mr X had to explain the story from the previous year, of Fliptop pointing out a pair of substantial bloomers [Nora Batty’s? – Ed] airing on a neighbouring washing line, Fliptop claimed that they were Sis’s & for this he not only got a Down-Down but a stare from Sis!
The Hare was called forward, & joined by the other Hares of the weekend & the organisers for their Down-Downs; the new Secret Santa was called forward for his grand job, he was joined by Sludge who he had temporarily deposed in the Red Suited job.
Digger was out for his instant fighting stance when he had a gourde hit his ear, Hannahballs was out for egging Mr X on! Mr X was then back out in the Circle as he received his 1,000the Jacket & Saracens Scarf back (Again!) Junior for peeing outside, [Was he marking his territory? – Ed]
After the circle it was back in to the Waveney for a splendid Sunday Lunch, were the Pack were almost all served together. The Yorkshire pubs were proper ones & not out of a packet, since you can see the kitchens on the way out to the back yard.
After a couple more drinks in the Waveney, those who were left made their way around to Mr X’s lodge for the Port, Cheese & Biscuit soiree. Junior & Panda brought along a lot of White Wine from their Bungalow, while Twonk (I think) brought along some Madeira which was a first for some to sample & very enjoyable.
The RA had made a big fuss about the fact that one of the Ports had come from the Yeoman Warder’s mess at the Tower of London, yet the bottle resembled that of another quality port, but both were very nice.
There were some strange topics over this early evening drinkypoos, for some reason Linda Kowlaski (Mrs Paul Hogan) & her weight was Googled, then with Hannahballs being present the subject of long tongues came around & Gene Simmons from Kiss was next to be googled.
Finally Twonk began talking about being approached for a session with some Swingers, [Yer, right, unless it was from a troop of Apes that came swinging in! – Ed] but anyway it is another story for another day!