Date = 2nd February 2014
Run Number = 1543
Venue = The Nightingale
Beer = Black Horse, Palomino, X6
Hares = ARP & Porky Pie
Runners = 12
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 1
Total = 14
Membership = Gone Crackers!
This week the Hare was actually present for this Trail in Hitchin, as on previous occasions he has set the Trail & then had to jet off to foreign climbs, leaving ARP to get the Pack around some fairly long Trails. So, once the few regulars had circled up, then the GM had done his welcoming speech, it was over to Porky Pie for the Pack to hear what lay out there on the Hash!
Porky Pie went onto say that there was plenty of Shiggy out there, the previous days of rain made that obvious to all. He went on to add that there were parts where water covered the whole of the route, it was now that the Pack had noticed that the Hare had plastic bags within his Hash Trainers. The RA remembered when Skip & Psycho tried this, but ended up with the water being so deep that it flooded in to the bags, which left them with wet feet for a long time as the water couldn’t drain out!
One person who was prepared for the wet conditions was Custard, she came along wearing a pair of wellies that wouldn’t have looked out of place at Glastonbury! Sparky too was dressed for some serious Shiggy, wearing gaiters that should stop most nasties out there!
Anyhow, Porky Pie went on to say that there would be a stop to Celebrate the Chinese New Year earlier on this week, with it being the Chinese New Year of the Horse the RA asked if we would all be tucking in to Tesco Burgers?
The Pack were ushered away down to the roundabout a short way off to the east, just as the Pack set off there was call of “Hang on I am joining you!” from Pill Popper, who came running out of the car park behind the Pub to start her first Herts Hash. On the start of the Trail Pill Popper was given the low-down on the Herts usual Hash markings.
The Dust led the way over the pedestrian crossing & then underneath the railway bridge that spans the A505 as it heads further eastward. On his way to pass under the bridge, Spotted Dick had to negotiate Tyler around by a ‘Drug-dealer’ looking dog which was coming toward them, all of which knocked the RA in to the busy road!
A short way beyond the railway bridge & the first CHK was found opposite the start of the back street of Common Rise, My Lil & Mr X thought that the Hare may have decided to take the Hash out to Ransome’s Recreation grounds & the Walsworth common beyond, north of the small estate if the Chinese stop was out Chez ARP et Porky Pie, along with Sparky they would all be led up to a T! The food stop would not be at the Hare’s house then!
Back on the main road & the rest of the Pack had moved on & were now down at the next CHK, opposite the Mill Stream Pub (Formally the Ship) from here ARP & Sparky were off away to the north on the footpath running along side the edge of the Mill stream of the River Purwell, this would be a Falsie & this action also alerted others the fact that the Hare was not taking any prisoners, including his wife! The RA thought he could see a Divorce on the cards as the Hare had let his ARP run this long False Trail!
Some may have wondered why would Hitchin have a Ship, an Anchor & the Sailor Boy Pubs when it is nowhere near to the Sea? Well, between 1756-8 the river Ivel was being turned in to a Navigation to allow ships to travel through Bedfordshire to join the Great Ouse & head out to sea, the Hiz being a tributary of the Ivel meant in 1823 it as proposed to build an extension of the Navigation from Hitchin to Langford utilizing the Hiz & the Purwell but the construction was put off several time.
The Railways arrived in Hitchin to kill off any more talk of the canal system being constructed. Sludge may not be old enough to remember the proposition of a canal system, but he does recall travelling on the line now axed line out to Bedford, plus there was there are the two remaining ones to Cambridge & Peterborough.
While Pill Popper had continued along the road to the east, opposite the Anchor, while Sludge had crossed over the A505 & was making his way out over edge of the Purwell Meadows, where he called “On!”. In the first section of meadow the Purwell splits in to two tributaries, but with the amount of rain there were more than the normal two water courses. The going was wet under foot & some of the puddles across the route deeper than they looked, as the RA was one to find out.
Apparently the Purwell gets its name for a ‘Stream by Pear tree’ & until 1460 it was known as the Polytesbroke! [That’s by far enough History! – Ed]
A CHK was found in the northeast corner of the meadows, from there TBT OBE was tempted to look out on the edge of the road, while Sludge persevered in the meadow away to the southeast. The RA thought that if he was the Hare, then he would drag the Pack through as much cold water & Shiggy as much as possible!
Mr X’s thoughts were proved correct, as Sludge found the Trail away to the south & it didn’t take Pill Popper long to follow on behind Sludge & catch up with him at a point were the meadow became flooded over the area right before a gate from the enclosed meadow & out beside a horse paddock.
The Trail came out on to the end of Chaucer way, on the edge of this a CHK was found. By the time the rest of the Pack had made it to this area, Sludge & Pill Popper were back on Trail, out of the end of Chaucer way & then they were well away off down the pavement running along Purwell Way, on the east side that is lined with houses on the edge of the Purwell estate.
Sparky was getting hot by this point in the Trail, he removed the Hashit & then took off another layer of clothing, which he tied around his waste before adorning himself with the Hashit again, just after the RA had warned it not to loose the sacred Hashit!
The Next CHK was discovered across from the start of Mill Lane as it heads westward over the Meadows, this didn’t seem to hinder Sludge & Pill Popper as they continued southward down the street to pick up the Trail until it reached the bend in the lane.
From the CHK on the bend, Sludge would eventually fall foul of the Hare as he headed out over the footpath that link up to Wymondly wood, meanwhile Mr X looked down the track of shiggy that heads southwestward, known as Gypsy lane.
As the RA called “On!” he would be caught up by Pill Popper, who noticed that the Trail headed up through a wooden gate in the tree line to enter a small nature reserve at the south end of the meadows. The Pack would regroup here as they made their way out over the wooden boards above the reed beds to the dead end viewing platform.
While some, like No Eye Deer read the information boards about water-voles & other animals that can be found in amongst the reed beds between the ponds, Porky Pie opened up his bag to produce a bottle of Port & then packets of Prawn Cracker, as well as the old favourites of Jelly Babies!
This seemed fairly early on in the Trail for the Chinese New Year stop, but there were no complaints as the Pack tucked in. Tyler tried his best to make sure that those gathered out on the platform should share the water he had been swimming in, by shaking himself at their feet. The RA protected the prawn crackers & his Port.
When the Trail resumed, the Pack continued along Gypsy lane further out to the south, passing through an area that used to be home to local cress beds. On the way, TBT OBE commented on the Hashit, as he sang “Hamersley take it up the arse, Doodah!” the RA added that with a couple of tacks put in the back of the T-shirt to fold the Hamersley name over it would then read TBT OBE take sit up the arse!!
This route would emerge out on to the Hitchin road opposite Ivy Cottage, a CHK was found ay the roadside, ahead laid a footpath beside the cottage, this path would head over the fields all the way to Little Wymondley, those with ‘local knowledge’ immediately dismissed this as being too far to Run, even for Porky Pie.
Those with ‘local knowledge’ presumed correctly that the Trail would head down the Hitchin road & on to the toe end of the south-eastern part of Hitchin. At the end of St Michaels road, where it joins the Hitchin road, a CHK was found. From here Spotted Dick headed away up St Michaels road, while Mr X chose the path leading up by the railway embankment & on to Talisman street up on the plateau, Talisman Street proved not to be very lucky for the RA as both he & Spotted Dick would find these options to be Falsie.
Calls of “On!” were heard emanating from beyond the other side of the railway bridge. By Now ARP & Pill Popper were so engrossed with their conversation that they continued further on along the Wymondley Road, completely running on by the entrance to a play area for Kids at the start of the southern rows of houses.
The Trail turned south-westerly as it took to the path down running beside the small park, My Lil’ was keen that the Hare wouldn’t take the Hash out to the fields beyond the Ippolytes Brook & off along beside the Ash Brook, as fro past experiences he knew that this was a very long path out to the Stevenage Road. Fortunately it didn’t go that way.
My Lil’ had by now cut across the kids play area to take to the shiggy path by the Ippolytes Brook & behind the fenced off back-gardens of the homes on Ninesprings Way. Along this way, the Hare-raiser pointed out that flooded fields on the opposite side of the brook, he added that he would have taken the Pack through the brook & then up along the submerged path on its opposite bank. The Hare was far kinder to the Hash, or was he?
A way up the shiggy track & the Pack passed by an old man out walking, then along to a Bar CHK! A turn about would let those caught out see that Sludge had gone of down a cut-through between two of the properties to Ninesprings Road, where he began making his way up & around a couple of small back roads before crossing over Ninesprings again & then on to the parallel road of Manor Road, as it begins to climb up hill.
ARP & Pill Popper continued beyond a green painted metal barrier on the opposite side of the road, this metal tube is to stop cycling up the start of Riddy Lane, a tarmac footpath that heads up through the back of the homes on the hillside of the Oakfield part of town.
The north-easterly route of Riddy lane had one slight kink in it’s trail before becoming almost a straight as a die, along the way it would cross a couple of the back streets to come out to were it emerges out beside the Highbury Stores, up at the Highbury part of Hitchin on the top of Windmill Hill. A CHK was found by the roadside & from here a few of the FRBs would go wrong, this included the RA & the Hare Raiser as My Lil’ & Mr X.
Mr X had already searched over through the wide uncapped gap between the buildings opposite that leads out on to Hollow Lane, he also looked back over at Highbury road but he failed to find any Dust, so he chose to look down the Wymondley road, where Dust was found but this only turned out to end with a T! My Lil’ also chose to look down here, but when he discovered the T he refused to go back up the hill, even with the Hare watching him from up on high at the top of the street!
While the RA & Hare-raiser took a long convoluted route up a couple of back-street to take to an alleyway footpaths they knew, leading up to the Pinehill Hospital & the School up on that hill, they would move away from the intended route, on a very unwanted Long-Cut! As My Lil’ was convinced that the Hare had headed back up that hill toward this way. The RA was ignorant of any of the Hare’s plans.
Meanwhile the rest of the Pack were making their way down to the alleyway path that starts not far down the hillside toward the Ratcliffe Arms, this cuts over a couple of back streets to come out by the station entrance. As My Lil’ came down the intercepting path, where the On Inn was found on the lower path, he said to the RA “At least we’ll be the first back!” as they crossed over the road to follow the road around to the Nightingale.
Now, you could here the disappointment in My Lil’s voice as he saw that Hyena was already back & almost changed before these two arrived! It was even more deflating for him when he walking in to the Bar to see that Custard, No Eye Deer, ARP & almost everyone else was already in there!
In the Bar, while Sparky received an IT lesson from TBT OBE, the Pack got to chat with Pill Popper, all rather interesting as the conversation went along the line of how sociable the Hash can be, & is especially useful when travelling or working overseas. The conversation was soon stopped when Porky Pie donned a Father Christmas hat that wasn’t the standard Red, nor the Black Bah Humbug ones. Nope, this was bright Orange & with the name of a certain Airline that sounds like SqueezyJet!
When it came to the Down-Downs the Hare couldn’t have a Beer, he was given an orange juice as he was on stand-by that afternoon! Spotted Dick was awarded his firstly as he needed some medicine, plus Tyler being out of control & scaring the water voles away!
Our Newie of Pill Popper was out for completing her first Herts Hash.
TBT OBE was awarded the Hashit for emailing the RA about claiming he could get cheaper Eurostar tickets than the RA had booked for July’s extravaganza, then in a follow up email it said to ignore the previous one as he was looking at May & not July for the Brussels 2014 event!! The Hashit was folded slightly over in the middle so the back read “TBT OBE takes it up the ……… [That’ll do Pebbledash! – Ed]