Date = 28th April 2014
Run Number = 1555
Venue = The Bell
Beer = Sawbridgeworth Brewery Gold
Hares = Kylie
Runners = 12
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 12
Membership = Saying goodbye to the Bell!
The first Monday evening run of 2014 saw a drop in numbers but it also brought out a few old faces coming out of hibernation, they included Ketchup, Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead.
The Pack arrived to fill the almost empty car park, during which the Hare was spotted popping in to the local corner shop by an eagle-eyed Hyena, seems that Kylie had run low on flour whilst setting the Trail. The RA said that this was very ominous, how right he'd be!
TBT OBE decamped from the Paxomobile, & walked awkwardly around the car park, My Lil’ enquired what was wrong? TBT OBE said that he had been manipulated by a physiotherapist earlier that day & he was aching as a result! My Lil’ said that there were people out there that would pay a lot for that! [How does he know? – Ed]
Zing-a-long-max was last to arrive in his little car, that now looks as if he has been doing a bit of stock-car racing in it! He pulled in just after the Pack had set off around 5 minutes after the hour. He hadn't missed much at the Hare's pre-Trail spiel, there was only one important bit about "Short cutters stick with me!" Oh! & the bit about running low on Flour while out there setting the Trail.!
The RA, My Lil' & Sloppy Seconds all headed in the direction indicated by a crossed out arrow beside the H4 outside of the Pub, they were soon called back! The rest of the Pack were now being led around on to the A120 to toward the A10, Paxo was the only one to decide to cross over the busy road. The rest seemed to be under the same consensus to look on the south side of the road to Stanstead.
Having crossed over the river Rib, those on the Southside of the main road soon found a wooden hate down from the road level, Mark E Mark hadn't forgotten how to check things out after his absence, as he was soon heading away in to the enclosed meadow beside the Rib.
It took a while for the Dust to be found on the southward bound footpath in the lush green grass, as it was a bit sparse out there. A quick glance back reassured the Keenies that they were on the right track as they could see the Hare was now making his way along behind them.
Having passed by a bloke out walking his two black greyhounds, the FRBs would come up to a footbridge spanning the wide confluence of river Rib & mill streams that used to feed the water mill on Papermill lane, there a CHK was found.
Mark E Mark & Ketchup wasted no time in even bothering to look back toward Standon, they were soon on over the bridge beside the ford, & had passed by a footpath off to the south & on to the next CHK found on the opposite side of the second footbridge.
It was at this point that Mark E Mark & Ketchup would part company for some time, with Mark E Mark going through the gate & off southward down through the meadow on the west side of the various ox-bows & feeders to the Mill area. Meanwhile, Ketchup choose to clamber a set of steps at the side of the lane & up on to Trail that would take him away from the rest of the Pack for ages as the ‘evil’ Hare had set a long loop starting out around to the west & then back down to the CHK once again!
The others, including My Lil’, Mr X, TBT OBE, Sloppy Seconds, Paxo & Ewok, didn’t fare much better as they followed on behind Mark E Mark on what was a very long Falsie around the course of the serpentine like feeder stream.
On the way back to the CHK on Papermill lane, & once out from behind the tree line along part of the watercourse, the Keenies could now glance over to the east to see Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead strolling along at a leisurely pace on the footpath on the opposite side.
The Hare had marked the CHK back on to the bridge over the feeder stream & then through the gate in to the long narrower of the two enclosed meadows leading down to the Lordship. There were a few choice words said about the Hare putting in such a long False Trail, but at least they weren’t on the loop Ketchup was running!
The RA said that the locals will be hearing a lot more unsavoury cursing later in the year, than Kylie’s name seemed to be receiving, for ‘Standon Calling’ takes place at the Lordship where this year the RAP group Public Enemy will take to the stage to Headline the festival.
At least it was a scenic run, if a long one up behind the ornate grounds of the distinctive ancient building of the Lordship, on the way a friendly chocolate Labrador came walking along toward the Hash & seemed like he wanted to play with those who were running past him. Just at the end of the meadow the Trail came out through the hedgerow & on to a crossroads with an east-west footpath, there a CHK was found.
Mr X decided that he would continue southward, heading up the hillside farmland but before he could get too far away, a shout of “Oi! Oi!” from Lobby Lobster caught his attention, it was enough to make him look around to see the Hare escorting Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead along the easterly path, seems that Lobby Lobster has forgotten the Hash call is normally “On! On!”
Mark E Mark soon got to the front of the Pack & pulled away a little from the rest of the Pack, & miles away form Ketchup, as the footpath began to rise up the edge of the sloping hillside field carpeted in a blanket of bright yellow rape-seed oil flowers. The Pack soon noticed how hard the ground was underfoot, it doesn’t take long of it to dry out around here & feed the river Rib.
Another draw back on this warm evening, especially running along by the flowering crop, was the abundance of flies & other winged bugs in the air to get in the faces of the Pack, not to mention swallowing the bloody things!
Mark E Mark found the next CHK, & initially he went off on the north bound footpath through the tree-line & away down the edge of another field, but he changed his mind & came back to continue eastward & then around the curving track toward the ‘Wilderness’ wood near to Balsams
While Mark E Mark ran further away, Mr X decided that he would take to searching the path that Mark E Mark had given up on, & the RA was surprised to see Dust very early on down this route, perhaps Mark E Mark thought that this was a bluff from the Hare? Anyhow, this was the way the Trail would go.
As the RA headed northward to the corner of the field, behind him he could hear calls for Mark E Mark to come back from where he was on another long Falsie. In the corner of the field the RA missed the Dust on the westerly option back toward the Lordship, so he went through hedgerow on the right-hand corner & headed westward where there was no Dust at all.
By the time the RA was back on Track, My Lil’, Mark E Mark & Paxo had all made there way to the next CHK, hidden just inside the corner of a piece of woodland, My Lil’ had already picked up the Trail on the wide dirt track through this wood & with Mark E Mark they were soon out on to the concrete road leading away from the local water treatment plant. At least passing by this whiffy treatment plant would cheer Hyena up as it would remind him of work!
The concrete lane would lead over the slight ridge in the fields & down toward Standon, the spire of St Mary’s could be easily seen & the Trail would lead on behind the Churchyard & then on to the crossroad junction with Hadham Lane. Arrows directed the Hash up the lane & away from the village, & more importantly the On Inn, this lane would take the Pack up to the east.
On the way, the RA pointed out the two felled trees that fallen toward the cars parked outside of the row of homes on the opposite side of the lane, they had been cut up but they still looked tall enough to have caused damage of they had hit any vehicle parked outside of the homes. It was around here that Zing-along-a-max caught up with the other FRBs, he said that he had seen Ketchup as he too struggled to understand the Trail so far.
At the bend in the lane, just beyond the last of the line of homes out there, the Pack would be led on to a tree lined track to Standon Friars. Again plenty of unwanted flying things were in the air, with blossoming hawthorn hedgerows on either side attracting the bugs, Mark E Mark & My Lil’ didn’t let the airborne insects stop them from running off on to the footpath at a 90°turn from the track, this new route was almost hidden by the encroaching plants.
The Trail was now heading northward once again & running along the edge of some small holdings, with paddocks & stables on the east side & beyond the hedge to the west more crop fields. The Trail came down to become a bumpy uncapped drive for the cluster of houses just off of the A120. On the edge of the main road were more arrows, these directed the Pack over to the Northeast & on to a footpath in the tall roadside hedge.
Portents of doom were looming as the RA took stock of the situation & was now convinced that he was on a long footpath that can lead out to the farm just outside of the north east end of Puckeridge, on the road to Braughing, he wouldn’t be wrong!
Only Mark E Mark, My Lil’, Mr X, Ketchup & Zing-a-long-a-max would do any part of the Long Trail over the rolling fields of the Poor’s land to the north of the A120. Meanwhile the rest of the Pack all Short-cut down the A120, which included the Hare who had given up with his own Trail & couldn’t be arse to sweep up.
There was no
Sloppy Seconds or Ewok taking to the long option, they sensibly decided to cut
their losses & join Hyena, Lobby Lobster, Mumblehead, Paxo, TBT OBE & the Hare
by cutting back down to the On Inn, previous Kylie
Trials Trails may have
been a factor in this decision?
The footpath enclosed with more hawthorns on each side, it was a long run up hillside of Pockenden fields until it reached one peak in the landscape, there it emerged on to the open farm land, around here it was signposted as having conservation areas in parts were access was restricted.
A CHK was found at the point where the Track joins a much wider farm track of baked clay heavily marked by tractor tracks, the Trail now appear to finally be turning! As the Trail headed westward between the fields, once at the peak of the ridge, there was a splendid view out over the valley below & the panorama was even more splendid with the spectacular sun-set behind the hills on the other side of Puckeridge.
At a sharp bend in the track a Short -cut was found marked with arrows pointing south-westward, & there was a Long Trail marked to the north. Zing-a-long-a-max decided that he would take the Long Trail option, the other Four were more apprehensive & followed the Short-cut arrow through a grass boarder between the fields, though this would prove not to be such an obvious route Inn!
The lost sheep of the Keenies scoured the area for Dust, Mark E Mark & My Lil’ both crossed over through the ankle high green crop to look on the wooden footbridge up & over the deep ditch separating the major fields, they would find no Dust that way.
So, the quartet now headed further westward & around the bend with the contour of the field, they were heading toward the river Rib. Still no Dust was found that way either!
Away from the other FRBs & Zing-a-long-a-max was still heading northward on a route over toward the northeast corner of Puckeridge by Gatesbury, where he was supposed to get on to the former Buntingford railway line & follow this all the way back to Standon.
Back with the others & having picked their way around the winding route made by tractor tracks to avoid damaging the green crop they were stuck in, these intrepid explorers came out on to a patch of fallow land. Still there was no Dust, there were however plenty of rabbit holes hidden there & one large one that Ketchup discovered with his Hash shoe disappearing down it!
Having negotiated the patch of no-man’s-land, Mark E Mark began to search the path turning up at the end of the hedgerow near the top of the ridge, again no Trail was found. Mark E Mark cut his losses & decided to come down to joint the others on the footpath as it runs down by the wooded area by the east bank of the Rib, as the others knew that even without Dust on it, this path leads back in to Standon.
There wasn't any Trail this way either, which left no other options & which was all rather perplexing as to where the Short-cut went? The footpath ran through the shade of the woodland by the Rib, then once up through a few steps to a gate allowing access in to the green paddock of Mill farm, it was an easy trot through to the drive way for the units in the little estate by the tall brick chimney of the old mill.
There was no sign of an On Inn there, it was all a mystery to the SCBing FRBs. Once over the busy A120 road, the Keenies would find the others of the Hash with the Hare! When the FRBs arrived back, they were quick to interrogate the Hare on what happened to the Short-Cut?
Kylie's feeble excuse of claiming he told the Pack to stick with him for any short cut soon fell down as the RA punted out that he wasn’t there to ‘stick with’! In the end he admitted that he didn’t bother going back to mark it, expecting anyone on it would know the local area & should no their way Inn!
Another blow to some of the FRBs was the fact that the rest of the Pack had devoured the chips that were brought out at the end of the Trail. [Bloody Gannets! - Ed!] The hare explained to the Pack that the Bell would be shutting in three days time, seems that Greene King have other ideas for the land & a local amenity will be lost.
Zing-along-a-max eventually made it back, he seemed to be a little vague as to where he had run, except it was a long way out & back! At least he was back I time for the Circle!
When it came to the Down-Downs, the Hare was rewarded for a Long Trail that was scenic. Ketchup had his hit for being out on his own for ages, while Zing-a-long-a-max received his being the only one to be fool-hardy enough to do the whole Trail. Lobby was called forward for the new Hash call of “Oi! Oi!”!
The Hashit went to Kylie for not sweeping after his infamous “Short cutter stick with me!” speech!
After the Circle, Zing-a-long-a-max bought a couple more bowls of chips, but it seems his plan of eating one & letting the Hash eat the other was soon dashed as those who had already devoured the previous round tucked in again! So, after this there was talk of him stopping at the McDognuts on the way back!