Date = 9th February 2014
Run Number = 1544
Venue = The Black Horse
Beer = Skinner River Cottage EPA; Buntingford Voyager Pale Ale; Growler Old
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 8
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 8
Membership = On Mouldy Old Dough!
No doubt many took a leaf out of Skip’s Book & decided that the inclement weather of late was too much to venture out in, on Saturday he had declared on Farcebook that he wasn’t going to go Hashing on Sunday. Instead he was going to stay in the cozy, warm comfort of his home & watch Arsenal play football!
On the way in, the RA saw Sloppy Seconds wandering along the edge of the A414, he appeared to be on his mobile phone, then the RA’s mobile began to ring & it was Sloppy Seconds trying to find the Pub! Sloppy Seconds was given direction to keep heading up toward Gates’s Garage & turn right on to West Street, just before sales forecourt! So, it was a surprise as to why it took him so long to get to the Black Horse, which in the end saw him drive in after retrieving his car from the St Andrews street car park.
Sloppy then amused the rest of the Pack as he tried to get his little ‘Hairdresser’s car’ in to the space right outside of the Pub. After a lot of back & forwards movement, Sloppy was still a fair way from the edge of the kerb, then he pulled his Fanny Magnet out & parked further down West street.
If Sloppy’s parking ability amused the Hash, then there would be more as Sparky then decided that he would walk back to his car & go fetch it to park in the now vacated space outside of the Black Horse, which saw Sparky moving his vehicle all of 50 yards!
No Eye Deer wondered where the other Harriettes were this morning, as she was the only girl present. At least she could stand up for women drivers & stated that none of the others could ever criticise her parking abilities, not after what she had just witnessed! Especially the fact that someone may need front sensors on his car!
The GM finally called the Circle together outside of the Bar, he got the Run number correct before handing over to the day’s Hare. My Lil’ then told the Pack that there were a few roads to be crossed & that care would be needed. The Hare’s final words on the Trail were that the Pack would end up with wet feet!
An arrow beside the Pub directed the Pack off of West Street & up the steps on the alleyway that heads up the hillside, then turns to the west on what is Wallfield Alley. Mr X was first up here as the route runs up behind the back of the homes perched on the hillside & he was also first to the CHK point halfway along the footpath, he would also be first to fall for a False Trail as he climbed the double set of short steps up to the area behind County Hall, a T stopped him in his tracks.
On the way back to run on Wallfield alley, the RA bumped into Sloppy Seconds, who was catching up after parking a fair way down West street. Sloppy explained why it took him so long to get from St Andrew’s street car park. It seems that some ‘helpful locals’ had directed him the wrong way!
The Trail passed by the front of the isolated row of homes sitting proud upon the hill, these don’t have any vehicular access to the front & seemingly not to the back either.
A decent down the hillside to the road below, brought the Hash out on to where West street becomes Horns road, though why it is called West street is a mystery as it actually heads off to the southwest! Anyhow, from the CHK over on the road’s footpath, Fliptop, Sludge & most of the others had chosen to head off to the footpath heading out from the near-by allotments, which was a Falsie!
It was up to No Eye Deer to pick up the Trail down Horns road, she was also first on to the arrow that directed everyone back over the road & then up the short but steep wooded embankment to enter an area of woodland to the southwest of County Hall. A CHK just within the wooded area saw the RA caught out once more, while the rest of the Hash made their way through to the south of the wood.
As the Trail began to climb up the path that zig-zagged its way up through the tree covered hill side, Sludge decided that he would make up lost ground from earlier by clambering up through the undergrowth on no official path! The Trail would follow the Path out to its end where it emerges out on to the edge of a green area beside County Hall!
Having passed by the ornate front of County Hall, with its bronze Stags, an arrow directed the Pack over the road & on to a CHK near the bend in Pegs lane. From here No Eye Deer went to look down Pegs lane, while Sparky, Sludge & Mr X all chose the option of searching Morgan’s road off to the south. Sparky couldn’t see the Dust, which by now resembled blobs of dough, but Sludge & Mr X certainly could see the Trail as they followed on behind Sparky to run off southward along Morgans’ road.
The Trail led to the end of the suburban tree-lined avenue, there a CHK was found & Sparky was first off down the hedged in tarmac footpath that separates two of the playing fields of the local School grounds. Mr X & Sludge followed on, as did No Eye Deer & Sloppy Seconds, all of them would find that this would be a long Falsie! As he did an about-face, Sparky was in such a hurry to get back on Trail that he managed to drop his cap but this was retrieved when the RA pointed out Sparky’s littering!
On the way back, those who were caught out could here Fliptop sounding very cocky as he bellowed out “On!” from the wooded area that the uncapped Morgans’ walk path that heads away through to the south. The rest were soon back to the CHK & then on to the southbound track. Sparky soon got by Fliptop & he would run on, & on by two Ts!
On the way back to the CHK for the third time, the RA stopped to view the fallen tree in the gardens off to the east of the track, this large tree had fallen toward the large house at Dunkirk’s Farm & it looked a bit too close for comfort!
Sparky complained to the Hare when he caught up with him after being called back, the Hare said that Sparky should look a bit harder! Sloppy Seconds had now taken up the gauntlet of finding the correct Trail, he was first by the fresh arrow that had just been laid to direct the Pack down Queens road off of the almost hairpin like corner.
The Pack were heading back in to Hertford, three quarters of the way along this urban street & the next CHK was found. Sparky continued along the road, which would prove to be false, while Sloppy Seconds took to the Hagsdell path. “On!” was called as the fenced-in tarmac footpath descends down between the back gardens of various back street homes on its way in to the Hags dells.
At the very bottom of the dell a CHK was found beside the bridge over the brook, Sludge recalled how the last time the Hare set a Trail down this way that it went off down the dead end of Valley Court. On the other hand Mr X said “I’ll do what I did last time & take the Falsie!” which proved to be wrong as halfway up the steep hillside he found Dust!
Having completed the long climb up to Mangrove lane, the RA didn’t take long to pick up the Trail once again as he crossed over the road to take to the driveway that leads on by Hertford Cricket Club & in to Balls Park. The Dust followed the gravel drive way on by the lake covering a part of the Cricket pitch, heading over toward the new builds at the southeast of the School & the area which was once part of the former Balls Park College grounds. The very grounds were the band Queen played one of the first concerts on 14th Nov 1970.
The RA noticed over on the low undulating hillocks, that act as a sound break from the school playing fields behind, there was a lost umbrella blowing in the wind. Mr X thought that either Sparky or Fliptop would be scuttling over there to retrieve it, especially the latter as a couple of weeks ago Fliptop was awarded a Down-Down for being the “Wally with the brolley”!
The Trail left the drive & followed a meandering gravel path off over the green space & in a direction to the northeast over to the A414 London road. As the Trail came out by the old Gate-house to the Park, Mr X found a CHK, he would soon be lured off in to the wooded area that was brightened up with lots of snow-drops out in bloom. Eventually he would find a Bar CHK so he had to make his way out to the old remains of the London road from Hertford Heath to Hertford.
Sparky & Sludge now got ahead of the RA, as they took to the last remnant of the old London road & then up out on to the footpath running beside the busy dual carriageway of the A414 London road. As the Trail headed northward, No Eye Deer confessed to the RA that she didn’t have the legs to run this morning, while the RA said that he was feeling the effects from the previous day’s rugby!
Mr X started to run once again, as the path came down over the top of the hill & descended toward Hertford. The Trail moved away slightly from the main road as it followed the small triangular road layout, the Trail was soon back beside the A414. The Hare pointed out a pile of dough on a lamppost to the RA that he was going wrong as he was heading of up Mangrove lane.
Down to the next side street off of the A414 the west & Sludge was off looking up this one, he was called back as Sparky found the Dust leading down to the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. Sparky then followed the Dust around the corner to head westward on a path that leads on to the Subway running beneath Gascoyne way.
The Hare was soon on the scene & was surprised to see Sparky was coming back down from the footpath that runs on below All Saints Church, Sparky claimed that Sparky had seen a Bar HCK just up the ramp, while the Hare said that he was only feet from a CHK up there! Sparky pointed out the line of Dust that was created as it fell down the rectangular gap between the end of the brick wall & the railings!
As Sparky reached his ‘Bar CHK’, he could then see beyond this was a CHK. Sparky said if he had Mr X’s height he may have been able to see the CHK. Sludge, who had no problems in finding the CHK, was already on his way along searching the enclosed footpath by the A414 Gascoyne way toward All Saints, Sludge would find it would be false there, as would the RA who was headed off up the alleyway footpath between the Post Office depot & the school.
The Trail was found through the subway & out on to the end of Fore street, from there most of the Hash managed to find their way over to the entrance of the old Bluecoats Hospital & School. For Fliptop & Sloppy Seconds, well, they were tempted to go the opposite way & pass by the large plastic lion in the street outside of the Jungle Bar (the former Sportsman) on what would be a short cut!
Meanwhile the rest all made their way through ornate gates, with the Bluecoat boys (yes I know it looks like they’re wearing blue dresses) & into the grounds of the Bluecoats grounds, No Eye Deer was impressed at seeing these impressive buildings of Christ's Hospital.
It was established in 1552 by Edward VI to care for the homeless or unfortunate children in London & based originally in Greyfriars, unusually at the time in that it catered for girls as well as boys. It was not only a hospital, but also a school of reading, writing & arithmetic.
No one is sure when children from the school first came to Hertford, but it may have been during the latter half of the 16th century that The Plague necessitated the removal of children in households in Hertford, Ware &Hoddesdon. Place House in Ware was one of the homes were you can still to this day you can see where girls & boys etched their names into the brickwork of the buildings. [bloody hooligans!-Ed]
The Dust led out of the northeast corner of the ornate square to come out on Mill lane opposite Tescos. The Trail continued Northward, passing by the former Dolphin Pub [Once a favourite haunt of Paxo & the Herts Hash! – Ed], which is situated opposite Hertford East Station, No Eye Deer seemed confused as to which station this was & where it went to, Mr X put her right that it goes in to Broxbourne & then on to London Liverpool Street on the line for Cambridge.
Hertford East opened in 1888, replacing the previous Station that was opposite the Great Eastern Pub & built there to keep it away from the town Goal & the Bluecoats School. The other Station in Hertford was the Great Northern line from Welwyn which was built next to the McMullens Brewery in 1858 but shut in 1924 when the Hertford North Station was opened on the new loop-line to London Kings Cross. Part of the lines infrastructure still remains & the Hash would see this later on.
Off of the bend in Mill lane to come out by the weirs on Hartham Common. The dust crossed over the river Lea navigation & then on over then over the Beane, once on the edge of the common a Held CHK was found It was noticed that the footbridge over the long weir was shut to pedestrian traffic as part of the railings were missing at the opposite end! While waiting there, the Hare got out a packet of the old favourites of Jelly Babies.
The Hash waited for quite some time for Sloppy Seconds & Fliptop to come & get there Jelly Babies, eventually they gave up & continued searching for the Trail, but not before Sludge had commented on the Jelly babies being saved for Fliptop that he would have 1 to everyone else’s 5!!!! Perhaps Fliptop had an inkling that he would be ribbed about the football score?
The Hare commented on the Pack moving off that everyone still had dry feet! Was this a scare tactic? The Pack followed the dry tarmac off to the west as it runs on beside the Beane. Sparky was keen to cross over at the CHK beside the narrow footbridge over to the car park on that stands on the remains of the old Greta Northern Branch line to Welwyn, but he was soon on his way back as the Hare wanted to keep the Pack together for the next bit of the Trail.
It soon dawned on the Hash that the Trail was going to pass through old underpass, albeit a fairly short one with its steel beams holding up what was the old Railway, that it was flooded with murky brown, freezing cold water! Everyone who followed the Trail properly went through the freezing cold underpass water, even No Eye Deer didn’t chicken out. But there was a lot of ‘girly screaming’ as TBT OBE came splashing through in the process he managed to splash the RA & Hare a bit, this stopped when the RA threatened him with the Hashit!
The Trail made its way southward down Thornton road & up to the edge of the River Lea Navigation, where the Trail turned right to head westward along by the picturesque cottages lining the waterway. As the Trail passed by the Old Barge Pub, it crossed only the edge of the Folly before taking to the new path that runs around by the new McMullens Brewery & then through the nearby Sainsbury car park to pass between the old & new McMullens Brewery buildings, the later are now a part of the supermarket.
Sludge was still waiting for his feet to warm up, as he walked out to Cowbridge, he was accosted by a civilian who enquired if Sludge gets sore feet? [Care in the community? – Ed] Sludge said he would if he didn’t get these wet trainers off!
The Pack followed the Trail around on to Old Cross, passing by the older McMullens museum, then the old Library & the worn looking drinking fountain. TBT OBE & Sloppy Seconds now seemed to have a second wind as they were soon over the crossing & heading down St Andrew’s street to head in to the car park that Sloppy had parked in earlier. Mr X wondered why Sloppy didn’t follow the Dust through the Castle Grounds & out to the Black Horse???
Yep, the last part of the Trail made its way up the steps & in through the gate in the railings to enter the Hertford Castle Grounds. The Pack split in to two groups to make their way out to the southern wall, this meant not all of the Pack would pass by the large stone that commemorates the meeting of the First General Synod of the English Church in 673!
Now, the Hare had one last sting up his sleeve for TBT OBE, Mr X & Sparky, for once they came out of the gate in the old stone wall, then out of the moat garden, he encouraged them to search the underpass that starts directly across on Castle Street. These three would only find Ts & Bar CHKs on the other side, but as they came up around Gascoyne way they spotted Sludge using the crossing at the end of Castle Street, so they ran on through a Bar CHK & missed the On Inn [The RA did see as he walked over to get a Bus home! – Ed]
In the Pub & the Pack found Fliptop & Sloppy Seconds were already ensconced within! Fliptop was buying everyone a drink [Try to appease the RA no doubt? – Ed] as everyone settled in to talk things Rugby & the McMaggots, No Eye Deer said that she wondered why England change in to a fresh white kit at half time? Well, it would feel good to get in to non-sweaty gear plus International Shirts are embroidered with the match details & are kept as souvenirs, while others often end up being auctioned or raffle d off for charity.
Some of the Pub’s snacks looked interesting, with the Black Horse Bakery’s wares on show, like their Pasties & Pies. The Down-Downs saw the Hare rewarded for a Trail that would have taken only an hour, if two of the Pack hadn’t have short cutted back & missed out the Held CHK! The RA added that he was surprised to be caught out so many times by the Falsies!
TBT OBE was out for his screaming like a big girl’s blouse. Sloppy was out for his short-cutting & he was joined by Fliptop, the latter was awarded the Hashit for not bringing any Sour Arsenal Sweets for the Held CHK! After the Circle, a few went off to visit the poorly Paxo.