Date = 23rd March 2014
Run Number = 1550
Venue = The Countryman
Beer = Black Sheep, Growler
Hares = Fliptop
Runners = 12
Virgin = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 12
Membership = Bloated!
For the RA & the Hare Raiser, they were treated to the sight of a Steam Train pulling in at Stevenage. Braunton 34046 is a ‘West Country Class’ locomotive of a Bulleid Pacific type. She steamed away before they caught their connecting Train to Royston, where Fliptop & Sis would pick them up & give them a lift to the Countryman.
On the way to the Pub, the Hare started his ‘red-herrings’ by glancing off to look down a footpath just before reaching Chipping. My Lil’ noticed the Hare’s antics & enquired “Are you looking to see if the Trail is still there?” an indecisive “Maybe!” was the reply. The reason My Lil’ asked that question was that he knew Fliptop had set the Trail on Friday, as this week’s Hare was among the party who went to watch Saracens beat Harlequins at Wembley on Saturday.
Upon arrival in the Countryman car park, the RA shot out of the car like a rocket & headed over to the corner wall after spotting what he thought was some money. Indeed it was sterling, to the value of £20! My Lil’ also found some cash, to the value of 5 pence!
The GM called the Circle together after eleven o’clock, the Hare was introduced & then a trawler load of red-herrings could be heard from Fliptop, crossing of roads could have been a possibility, there were held CHKs, possibility of low flying aircraft, Hash-Hush were there were horses & something about an Australian Shed??
All during the Hare’s spiel, there were lots of barracking comments concerning the Arsenal score & the chance of their being a ‘Lucky Arsenal Sweet’ stop? The Hare rose above it all & finished his talk.
The Hare ushered the pack away down to the south, he told the pack to look at the front of the Countryman, which is now missing its front-door’s porch. It certainly is a sight as the old entrance is completely gone! A few more yards on down the road & the Pack could see the fence on the eastern side of the road shows the signs of taking an impact. The RA said that he didn’t know what make the fence was, but you’d want to buy it as it has taken a pretty good hit & was still in one piece.
Sparky, My Lil’, Sloppy Seconds & Mr X all led the way down out of the village, Dust led them on by the ford to the left-hand side to where the old part of Ermine Street peels off of the main road by a few degrees at Brick Bridge, they suddenly stopped as Sparky found T!
Back to the Ford to find that the rest of the Hash had now making their way down in to the dried up ditch, where the river Rib runs & there was no sign of water on the concrete base to get vehicles over the ford.
Up the opposite & higher bank to get on a farm track that leads eastward, here Buster was in his element & was barking like a good one as Sis let him off to run with the pack over the farm fields.
This was a long stretch where the Hash would have plenty of time to appreciate the weather’s conflicting temperatures. Behind the hedgerow & out of the strong breeze it was fine, in fact it was almost summer like when the sun was shining down on the Hash. In contrast on the exposed bits the wind soon took that warmth away to leave the Pack feeling cold.
The Trail weaved its way like a couple of long shallow waves to a point where there was CHK by a right-angled path leading off along the bottom end of a Paddock. Sludge & Sloppy Seconds chose to look on the north easterly option, while Sparky, Mr X, My Lil’ & Kylie all decided that they would head down the south-south-westerly track up to the large pine lodge before the more established home building of Wydbury Farm.
Ahead of the RA, Sparky could be seen taking a very close look at what was dust. Eventually Sparky decided that this was, the Trail continued after “On!” was called. The Dust led up through the farmyard, on the way Hash Hush was observed as the Pack passed by a horse paddock on the left. Once Sparky was beyond this, he gave a toot on his horn, which started the cattle mooing in a nearby barn.
Out of the farm via its drive to find the first Held CHK of the Trail at Brown’s Corner on the top elbow part of an S bend in the Wyddial Road, not named after one of Kylie’s relations? While the Pack regrouped, the Keenies looked at a poster tied to a post, this advertised a reward of £2,000 pounds for the return of a lost dog! Over by a Footpath sign was a Police notice warning about illegal Hare coursing.
The Hare arrived to open up the fair sized blue bag he was carrying, he handed around a bag of mixed sweets, that someone said looked like Christmas leftovers [The chocolate looked like it was from an Easter egg! – Ed]. The Hare commented on TBT OBE grabbing a handful of sweets! [Fancy stealing the kids treats! – Ed]
When Ewok had her dip in the sweetie-bag, she asked what the black lozenge shaped sweets were & would they leave her with a black tongue? The RA told her that they were a liquorice flavour & having a black tongue was far better than having a brown tongue! Ewok pulled a face at the thought of this!
Once Paxo & Sis were in sight, the Hare allowed the Pack to resume the search for the Trail. There was only one footpath off of the top elbow of the lane, No Eye Deer was straight down running over to the Wyddial road on its way toward the A10, while others searched the road options. No Eye Deer called “On!” so Sparky & the RA set off after her, whilst the others searching turned back to follow on.
Sparky said to the RA that that it wasn’t nice for the Hare to catch No Eye Deer out on such a long Falsie, as in front of them she held her arms out to indicate it was a False Trail. Mr X said to Sparky that he thought that this Falsie was probably set with him in mind & not No Eye Deer?
Back to the lane & the Trail was picked up by My Lil’ who had run further to the southeast to the bottom corner on the S-bend & then straight off of it before turning, the Hash were now on to a footpath leading out over the crop fields to the southeast. Down to the right of the Pack, St Bartholomew’s Church could be seen amongst the trees in the bottom of the green valley, but the Trail would not go anywhere near it.
At the next CHK My Lil’ & Sloppy Seconds found the Trail on a path heading north-easterly up beside the tree-line at the fallow end of field. Sludge was quickly short cut over this as the rough path led up to the horse paddocks below Mole’s Farm, no doubt the occupant equines in the paddock were responsible for the sate of these paths.
On the way up between Mole’s Farm & the paddocks, those with any sense slowed up as there was no way you’d want to try & run on this surface for the risk of twisting an ankle was pretty high. Just beyond the isolated Mole’s Farm on the left, a CHK was found around a footpath marker sign on a grassy verge to the right, Sparky was straight off down the said footpath, while the other Keenies with local knowledge decided to head northward to look on the other end of Moles lane.
The Trail was found by My Lil’ on Moles lane, TBT OBE could be heard calling out “There’s a check here!” after My Lil & the RA had both called “On!” back behind them! TBT OBE finally saw the light as the Trail led to the T-Junction end with the Wyddial road, just on the south-west edge of the village.
Beside the ‘Wyddial memorial bench’ adorned with brass plaques bearing the names of late villagers, located beneath a tree on the small grassy triangle the last Held CHK was found. Pinned to the notice board at the end of Moles lane was another poster for the missing dog!
More sweets were offered when the Hare arrived, the conversation was now about how near the Hash were to Buntingford, & that Kylie had run the Pack around these parts on one of his Trails. This time the Hare didn’t wait for Sis & Paxo to reach the CHK before he allowed the FRBs to search once more.
Mr X chose to look off away from the village, westerly in direction after the Hare had given the Keenies another Red Herring at the Held CHK, when he mentioned a figure of eight Trail, this had led Mr X to think they could cross over the Out Trail at the first Held CHK on Browns Corner, just a few hundred yards away from the second Held CHK. He was wrong.
The RA would soon be called back as My Lil’, Sloppy Seconds & Sludge all headed in the village & up to the second of the signposted footpaths off between the row of homes & out to the north. Luckily for the RA he saw the Hare had marked the Trail up the first of these afore mentioned paths.
No Eye Deer was first down the correct path & managed to get pretty far up the footpath beside more paddocks, Sparky managed to catch her up as he was the only one who would risk it on more ankle turning ground churned up by horses’ hooves. Along this stretch there was a Shed in the left hand paddock, the slightly dishevelled wooden structure had been blown over & was on its roof, this was the Australian Shed!
The Trail came now out on to the wide farm track running from where Sludge & Sloppy Seconds had searched earlier on this Hash below Wydbury Fram & away over to the east.
For the second time on this Hash, No Eye Deer would go along way down a long False Trail after she’d turned to the west from the CHK on the wide farm track. Meanwhile Sparky had headed off to the east & didn’t seem to find the Trail on a footpath northward over the crop fields to Capons wood, he wouldn’t get on to the Trail until he had some help from Sludge & TBT OBE. Not to mention the Hare, who had gone up that way after marking the CHK.
Mr X, My Lil’ & Sloppy Seconds all had to turn about, after they had followed on behind No Eye Deer. After running up by a long pile of horse manure, the footpath was found over the crop field, beginning by an area left for local wildlife & no doubt the pheasants.
It was another stretch of footpath that could not be run, in fact it was awkward to walk along as the route to Capon wood due to the horse hoof prints, those who looked at the path with closer inspection noticed it also had dog paw-prints & deer hoof-prints [Real Deer! – Ed] were of little consequence compared to the larger equine ruts.
Over a small bridge spanning a ditch, beside this was a sign that warned of ‘Rat Poison’ around this area as the Trail led on to the edge of Capon wood, it was obvious that this was home to pheasants as large blue feeders could bee seen amongst the trees. The Trail turned westward, following the contour of the woodland & Winston was fairly interested in the pheasant food that was scattered on the side of the path but was stopped form eating Fliptop.
Up ahead Sparky called out a painfully long “Ooooooonnnnn! Oooooooonnnnnn!” which led to some behind wondering if George had got caught in his fly? Most of the Pack followed the Trail to the southeast corner of the Capon wood.
From this point, looking out over the valley to the west, the village could be seen some 90 foot below the height of the plateau the Hash had gained in altitude running on the ‘Out Trail’. With the On Inn visible in the distance, there was just an arrow to direct the Pack over the corner of the fields to get on to a long straight track down the hillside.
At last the surface of the Track was made up of hardcore & old tarmac, the cats-eyes gave that away, so the Keenies could now get a good trot on. Ewok commented on Sparky, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds up ahead looking like characters out of last of the Summer Wine, the RA said they were Foggy, Foggy & Foggy. Or was it Compo, Compo & Foggy? Not all of the Pack took this route, Paxo & Sis, with Buster, took the other wide farm track that the Hash started the Out Trail on.
On the proper way down to the On Inn, the Keenies passed by a guy out walking his Westies before reaching the solitary cottage to turn in the bend & come out around by the river Rib, which was just a trickle in the stony river bed. Just before the Bridge the On Inn was found.
The RA got the Down-Downs out of the way fairly early, since the Pack were eating after these were held. The Hare was rewarded for a great Trail of an hour & five minutes. The RA looked in the tray the Ales were in & wondered why it was full of beer, then he looked in Sparky 100th Run Tankard that had arrived, it seems that his Hash award had sprung a leak, Sparky wasn’t going to waste this as he poured the leakage from the tray into his tankard to down!
TBT OBE was out for the previous week, when he tripped over a tree root, as My Lil said at the time “Fancy finding a tree-root in a wood!” & the RA elaborated on this tale before awarding him the Hashit. My Lil was joined by the RA for the last two hits, one for finding 5 pence & the other a £20 note. Fliptop tried to say that he had lost £20 on the Friday while venturing out to set the Trail, the RA remarked that he may have lost it by betting on Arsenal to win at the weekend!
The Hash settled back in to the Countryman for the food, & what a spread there was, with lots of sausages, chips, beans & the usual excellent sausage & stuffing platter, plus a fantastic cheese & egg pie fresh out of the oven. Those not attending ‘Fat Fighters’ went around for seconds! Ewok pulled faces again, firstly when she realised that there was no Rosy Pig Cider left & then when she heard about the time Sparky ate some old mince pies off of a public street bin!
The Pack also got to talk to the Landlord about the Pub’s Porch getting knocked off by an out of control truck. Less appealing was to overhear Sparky talking to TBT OBE about having a finger inserted up his backside!