Date = 23rd January 2014
Run Number = 1542
Venue = The Black Horse
Beer = Black Horse, Palomino, X6
Hares = Sparky
Runners = 9
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 1
Total = 12
Membership = Washed out!
Compared to all the other Trails this year, yes I know there haven’t been many, the weather wasn’t not the best. There was a horrible wet storm the day before, & then in the morning the rain began once again.
It was cold, wet & miserable as the RA & GM arrived at Stapylton road car park. The only other one to park up there was the Hare, Sparky! So, around ten to the hour these three all set off down Staplyton road toward the Black Horse. On the way as they passed behind the back of the Spire Centre, Sparky let on to them that he had set a Falsie around one of the back streets over to the north of the road, the Pack would be glad not to run that bit!
Along the way, Sparky seemed to be a bit surprised that his Trail was already washed out, even though there was a deluge after he had set it.
The weather was that bad at one point that morning that the Nutters couldn’t get out of their home down beyond New Barnet, Skip wouldn’t have been up for a run around in the earlier tempest like conditions. The others who had braved this inclement morning were found sheltering under the wooden smoking shelter in the front garden of the Pub.
With a cold wind cutting in from the south, the GM was eager to get on with things, so eager in fact that he forgot to introduce this week’s Newie of (Just) Rick! Once Rick was introduced to the rest of the Pack, the Hare was called forward to explain what the Hash could see out on Trail!
Sparky began talking about the fact hat he once lived in these parts, not quite
as long ago as when
George Turpin [A Freudian slip! – Ed] Dick Turpin was
around these parts & the Pub is allegedly named after Black Bess his horse! The
RA thought that the Pack would be gazing up at Blue Plaques adorning the
buildings of Barnet to read about Sparky’s past! [Not some graffiti sprayed on
the walls saying “George was ‘ere!”? – Ed]
Anyhow, several minutes past as the Pack learnt about allsorts of things that seemed to have very little to do with the Trail, however those of the Pack who could be classified as ‘Walking wounded" all cheered up a bit as they heard that there would be a walkers Trail intermingled with the ‘Runners’ Trail.
Things start off with the Hare directing the Hash straight over Woods Street on the junction that had them dodging the Traffic that seems to come from all directions by the Pub, on the over the road the Pack soon saw that the Trail was really washed out. The Hare had set the Trail in chalk & it seems that the storm that it after he had set it had obliterated it, as the faintest of arrows could be seen on the small traffic island.
Lofty was dragged across the road by an over keen Henry, she was joined by Sloppy Seconds, Sludge & Mr X all went straight over the junction & continued due south on the ‘Private Road’ of Leacroft road, as they picked their way through the uncapped, water-logged, pot-hole strewn route, Mr X thought that years ago you could tell ‘Private roads’ because they looked like this, but now days the public roads don’t seem much better!
Anyhow, there was no sign of any Trail down this route & a look back to the main road & the Hare had not moved an inch, but the others were now out of sight as Fliptop called “On!” from up on the easterly main route. The rest joined him out on to the mina drag toward Barnet Church, the remains of a CHK were found by the Manor road, again the Hare stood motionless as a statue as half of the Pack began to set off down the suburban Manor road down the hillside to the south.
Nothing was found down Manor road & so the Pack began a trudge back up to the main road, once back on the top of the hill the RA went to check out where Lofty had already started to search down the dead end Manor Close, as this leads in to the Court recreation ground. Mr X didn’t find anything down there & had to make his way back up to where Fliptop was calling “On!” back up on the main street.
Along this stretch there was a building that did have a couple of blue plaques on the outside of its white façade, the RA had a look to see that there was nothing about Sparky, or George, written in white on a blue slip background. The plaque was actually about the building of Cattley House was once the Home of William Cattley, who was a botanist & according to the spiel he had gardens there as well.
CHK was found by the entrance to the old Court buildings, here a very faint arrow was found directing the Pack southward to the recreation ground behind the Court.
The Hare now did a bit of directing as a few went astray when the Trail seemed to disappear, Sloppy Seconds & Lofty questioned Sparky on this as they were caught out. Mr X now wished he had searched a bit further earlier on, as he ran around to where he had come out of Manor Close before!
The Trail led around the back of the pavilions in the small park, then as the tarmac path came around to a set of ornate wrought-iron gates as CHK with Walkers Trail & Trail was found, it was in fairly good nick, unlike other parts of the Trail.
While Sloppy Seconds, Sludge, Lofty & Rick all set off to the east, to emerge on to the dead-end Orchard road, the hobbling My Lil’ & Fliptop took to the short cut down the path marked beyond the iron gates. The two walking wounded were soon joined by a poorly Mr X & then Hyena. This long path leads on by a series of tennis courts seated upon terraces on the east side of the path.
The weather was still raining & once out at the bottom of the hill, the remains of an arrow directed the SCBs over to a car park behind the local Co-op on Mays lane, once in the car park these four found a Held CHK, where they patiently waited in the rain, although it wasn’t an issue for Fliptop as he was holding an umbrella!
Henry was still eager to drag Lofty around the Trail & he set off with some gusto, more than anyone else had being out in this dismal weather.
The rest of the Pack worked their way through a series of CHKs to run down the back streets of Chipping Barnet by way of Fitzjohn Avenue, then off through Newlyn Road that connects the Avenue with Normandy Avenue before coming out on to Mays Lane.
The FRBs all crossed straight over Mays lane via a short alleyway to Dollis Valley Way, over to the east the floodlights at Underhill Stadium could be seen over the rows of homes indicating where their home of Barnet FC is. The Trail headed away from the home of the Bees to make its way down to the Dollis Brook, where they picked up the tarmac path of the Dollis Valley Greenwalk, a part of the London loop out to the west.
At least there wasn’t much Shiggy out on the tarmac Footpath, the FRBs would somehow make their way around to the Held CHK at the rear of the Co-op store on Mays lane, they would find that the SCBs had moved on as the precipitation was still being blown by the bitter wind.
The SCBs had tried all directions they could from the Held CHK but they failed to find anything that resembled chalk Trail markings. Later on they would find that the Trail somehow doubled back on itself & that one of the ‘Sparky History stops’ was at a point where he used to have a garage”! [No blue plaque for that then
? – Ed]
Slightly dejected at not being able to find any Trail, the SCBs headed up hill, hoping that they may stumble across it on their way up through more of Chipping Barnet! Cold & damp they would not find any more Trail, not as they Trail was supposed to head even further southward, by crossing a footbridge over the Dollis Brook & then out over the fields to Totteridge!
Fortunately the Hare was also tiring of the weather, so he decided to knock the loop out to Totteridge on the head, saving the FRBs some two miles at least on the trip back around to the Ducks Islands in the southwest part of Barnet!
The Trail stuck to the north side of the Dollis Brook before it made its way up to Mays lane, from this point onward the street names became of no significance as the rain was still being blown into the faces of the FRBs of Sludge, Rick & Sloppy Seconds.
Sludge would discover, like Mr X & Hyena, that their wind-cheater tops weren’t the most waterproof in the world, but as Sludge was still out on Trail, the other two were almost back at the Pub as they came back out on to Wood Street. The SCBs made their way up to the Black Horse, the rain had begun to ease a bit so Mr X, Hyena, My Lil’ & then Fliptop both went over to search through Ravenscroft park to try & make their way backward to meet the FRBs.
There was no sign of any On Inn around the elongated sunken Park, so the SCBs decided to go back to the Pub & wait the few minutes before opening time. Standing under the pelmet to the front door, they were soon joined by TBT OBE. He too had lost the Trail & after his late start he discovered that the Hare stopped marking the CHKs quite early on!
Meanwhile the FRBs were pretty much like drowned rats as the weather didn’t cease on their way up Bells Hill, bedraggled & soaked through, the Runners all just wanted the Trail to come to an end. Sparky made sure those, who were now a little disheartened, were directed back on a route that he made up as he went along & was a little more direct than the course the Trail was intended to go.
The SCBs got in to the Pub & were soon onto the most excellent Black Horse, Fliptop went for the three thirds option to taste the three main brews by the Brewery at the back of the Black Horse. A very wet Sloppy Seconds arrived at the Bar & he pulled out a few sodden bank notes form his pocket, he was a little way ahead of Sludge & then Rick, needless to say that both of them were soaked as well.
Bags were fetched from the parked up cars, then there was a bit of scrum in the gents as the damp Hash got changed, Lofty had one advantage being the only Harriette as she had the ladies to herself! Rick couldn’t stay, as he had a family do to attend. So, he would miss out on the excellent Black Horse Ale Brewed up the very premises!
Before the Circle, while some tucked in to the excellent wasabi coated nuts the Fliptop had purchased, there was another discussion about the AGPU & there was a change of date for the second week on the trot! So, look at the even newer Hare-line!
Also mentioned was the Aberdeen Hash going to the Shetlands again this year, he didn’t seem to know anything about this, which was a surprise to the RA as he had pout this in the Upcoming events in the UK & Overseas in the Christmas Trash!!!
The Circle took place in the courtyard smoking shelter, near to the Brewery, which offered shelter from the drizzle, the Hare was rewarded for setting the Trail, even though it was washed out for the most & which he cut a few miles off of in the end!
TBT OBE was out for leaving his phone behind the previous week, a she had connected it to Sparky’s new notebook so he could get on the internet! Fliptop had his Down-Down for being the “Wally with the Brolly!” Sparky kept the Hashit!