Date = 23rd February 2014
Run Number = 1546
Venue = The Station
Beer = Greene King IPA, Station Ale; Belhaven Grand Slam
Hares = Sludge
Runners = 6
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 1
Newies = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 9
Membership = Not at Sonisphere!
The overcast, damp conditions must have scared off the majority of the regulars, as this was the lowest turnout for ages. It could have been even lower as two of those present were still feeling low having caught the Guernsey Lurgy during their trip to the Rock.
The Hare came ambling in from Gun Lane south of the Station, having set the Trail & finishing it that very morning he was slightly damp & sporting a fine coating of floury dough around his arms. As they waited for the time to tick around to Eleven, 2-1-2 Maureen, Mr X, Fliptop, Hyena, Sludge & My Lil’ all debated the lack of support on this Hash?
Some wondered if TBT OBE would arrive late, but the Hare said he doubted it as TBT OBE was ‘giving the finger’ for some reason? So, without further ado, Sludge called the Circle together in the Pub’s smaller front car park on the bend in the road. He got the Run number correct, as he did the week before! Then he was straight in to Hare mode to explain what the Hash could expect out there, it mainly concerned the Shiggy conditions out on part of the Trail & that was it!
The Hash were then directed off down to Gun Lane, which leaves Station road just as it turns to head under the twin parallel bridges to the other half of Knebworth that is split by the Kings Cross Mainline.
Heading due south to start with, the FRBs were led away off down the alleyway beside the local Royal British Legion club & out to Deanscroft to the west, Fliptop took Winston & Lucy off down this loop as well, while 2-1-2 Maureen & Hyena stuck with the Hare to continue straight down Gun lane.
Having rejoined Gun Lane Mr X & My Lil’ ran on to where a CHK was found on a small green area before the solitary ‘Village Store’. This part of Knebworth is like a village & was known as New Knebworth when it was started in the late 19th century, the new part of Knebworth grew, mainly due to the proximity of the Great North Road, & the opening of Knebworth railway station in 1884. This area became New Knebworth, (the ‘New’ has since been dropped). Leaving the Old Knebworth to keep it’s distinctive name.
The Old Lord Lytton made it clear that there should be no Fish & Chip Shops built in this New Knebworth, as he thought it would be too common for his new village & it was written in to the rules of what could & couldn’t be built there. Unfortunately for him after his death, his vision didn’t quite come to fruition as Knebworth would get a ‘Chippie’ when a Chinese opened, there was nothing in the documents about a Chinese Restaurant opening that would sell chips!
Back to the Trail………….Mr X began searching straight across from the CHK & was off down the tree lined Gun Road Gardens, but before he got into his stride he heard calls of “On! On!” emanating from My Lil’, who was running behind the homes on the east side of this road. My Lil’ had gone off to check the footpath that runs behind these homes & along beside the mainline railway embankment. Mr X had just started off down this Shiggy path when My Lil’ stopped almost at the end of the path behind the rear gardens, of course it was a Falsie!
Both RA & the My Lil’ went back around by the CHK & then headed off down Gun Road Gardens to catch up with Fliptop, Hyena, 2-1-2 Maureen & Sludge just before reaching an arrow that directed everyone off before reaching the new Cemetery at the dead-end of the road [No pun intended! – Ed]. The Hare said that he thought that these two would have just carried on through the earlier T? The RA said that he didn’t as he knew Sludge would have mentioned this in the Circle & there was a Hashit to be awarded! [Not that you could see it on show this morning, as it was well hidden beneath Fliptop’s jacket! – Ed]
The middle order of the Hash followed the Trail up the short Crabtree Road to the west & then obey the arrows to turns southward on to Wadnall Way. Hyena was first out on to the footpath running around the outer perimeter of the new Cemetery, Mr X got by him as kick-out patches Dust were now found on a direction to the east.
Mr X obeyed the arrow pointing southward to turn to the right, he was now back over to the footpath beside the Railway line, not that there were any trains running other than the EWS’s bringing in the ballast & the likes for the engineering works taking place that morning.
The RA would now pull away from the Pack, though at times the gust of the head-on wind would slow him to walking pace. The RA would be joined by My Lil’ as he too passed by the Hare & those walking along with Sludge. It was a long straight stretch out by the line to where a CHK was found by the railway bridge that allows Wych Elm lane to enter Woolmer Green from below the lane.
Mr X immediately took to the new hard core path leading south-westerly in a diagonal route that rises gently across the ploughed farmland to the north-east corner of Mardley Heath wood. He found the Trail just before the path enters the woodland. The path within the wood was a good stretch of shiggy, though most with any sense would take to the harder, slightly higher ground that was much drier under foot.
As the Trail headed westward through the top end of the wood, the Pack again had to deal with kicked out Trail. Fortunately the marks & the sprays of fine dust flicked out from the scuff mark still showed up quite well. Like Sherrards wood, Mardley Heath wood always seems to have Numpties who have nothing better to do than kick out the Trail when ever a Hash is set through there.
The Trail headed slightly up hill as it weaved around & between the silver birches the older broadleaf trees on its way on the meandering path as it neared the A1(M) running along its west end. A CHK within the wood was kicked out, but by now the RA had an inkling that the Trail would take to the underpass in the embankment for the A1(M).
Sure enough the Trail went that way, taking to the dark underpass to lead under the motorway & out in to the edge of Ninnings wood, separated from its sister half on the east by the motorway. In the western half of the woodland the noise of the busy road could be heard & drowned out any calls of “On!” wheezed by the RA! On this side of the main road, some of the properties where hidden behind an enormous, ugly black plastic covered noise-reducing fence near to the motorway.
The water filled pot-holed, uncapped track of Norman lane lead up the wooded hillside, it was quite a long stretch & once beyond the stables it is dotted with detached properties on either side of the way. Norman lane joins Ninnings lane & the Dust would lead up to a CHK on to the edge of tarmac of Spinney lane, the route had now climbed up some 96 feet from down by the railway line.
Mr X waited at the CHK by the road sign, to catch his breath as he was struggling by this point & seemed to be running on Fisher mans friends to keep him going. He took another of the aniseed lozenges [I bet Pebbledash has sucked on a Fisherman’s Friend in the past! – Ed]
My Lil’ caught up with the RA & the two decided that they would both continue on, as it was quite blustery & chilly to stand still for too long, especially as both had been suffering from Guernsey Lurgy & didn’t want to get pneumonia! Both decided to take the north-easterly direction up Spinney lane, to a footpath sign marking the way off of the elbow of a bend in the single track lane.
Sure enough they found the Trail & were soon on to the footpath out over to the west, in a direction toward Rabley Heath. A CHK was found in the small waterlogged dell in the hedgerow, the direct footpath by the water-tower & in to Rabley Heath was ignore, the preferred choice at the fork in the path was to take the right hand option around the edge of the water filled hollow to head north-westerly, on a course to lead on behind the line of desirable homes on the way out of Rabley Heath.
The next CHK was found at the corner where this path meets the footpath running along the edge of New Wood, of course the north-easterly option along the bottom of the wood had to be the route the Trial would take as it was just a tract of Shiggy churned up by horse hooves!
The going became easier after a short way when the Trail entered new wood, the two FRBs could run once again as they made their way up to the northeast corner of the wood. A CHK was found here, but the FRBs skipped around the large puddles & through the shiggy to get on to the long straight tree-lined avenue of a track out to Park lane. Over in the distance a slight curve of the A1(M) could be seen over the lower tree-line at the bottom of the farm fields to the east.
It was another long stretch as the Trail followed this dead straight route to where it runs beside Park Wood, a CHK three quarters of the way didn’t throw the two Keenies off of the scent, they soon found the Dust hidden behind one of the two dozen traffic or so cones that were dotted along the last part of this track, seems these were to protect the spots where potholes had been filed in.
Having not been thrown off course, or tempted to head over toward the Lytton Arms in Old Knebworth, Mr X & My Lil’ found themselves to be the first to emerge from the uncapped track & out on to Park lane. It was now simple process of turning right & heading eastward out of Old Knebworth & down to cross over the bridge spanning the A1(M).
Just after the road bridge over the motorway, an arrow directed the Pack to follow the Trail across the roadwork’s by where Gypsy lane drops down in to the south of Knebworth, this was the route the Hare must have taken & come Inn to try & fool the Pack to think he had gone around a Trail via Woolmer Green!
Having followed the small part of the footpath up behind the bushes lining that short stretch of that part of the lane, the Trail led back toward the top edge of New Knebworth, once by Deards lane off to the left, the Dust began to run down the suburban hillside & passed the On Inn on the nice long descent back to the level, passing by the unique looking New Congregational Church built in 1886 by Sots Farm worker, they originally used the old forge there!
Mr X & My Lil’ had got enough distance between the rest of the Pack to finish one pint before Hyena caught up! While waiting they sat with Flanders, telling tales of cancelled flights, bus journeys to Gatwick for Stranded Airport & 29 hours to get to Guernsey! Then the delays trying to leave ‘the Rock’ & flying in to East Midlands & being buses to Stranded Airport once again!
The rest arrived & enjoyed the Ales on offer, especially the Grand Slam, ironically no one can win that after the previous day’s results! Talk of the England v Ireland game filled the air, & how the 6 Nations is now so close between four teams!
The Down-Downs were put off until the following week.