Date = 5th May 2014
Run Number = 1556
Venue = The Green Man
Location= Leverstock Green
Beer = Sneck Lifter; Bedford Ale; London Pride; Doom Bar
Hares = TBT OBE
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 11
Membership = Probably the Greatest Trail ever!!
The Pack were a little light on the ground this Bank Holiday morning, but the weather was fine & the sun was out. The early arrivals got to have a pint before the Trail started, they also smelt the whiff of Bullsh*t in the air as the Hare claimed that he was up at the crack of dawn [Poor Dawn! – Ed] to be out setting the Trail at around 05:30 Hrs!
The Hare was questioned on the whereabouts this morning of the Joint Monkey? It turned out that he was clucking around the hen-house as he had the Builders in! [Pebbledash it isn’t a euphemism! – Ed]
With the time approaching 11:00Hrs, the GM called the Circle to order, then there was a bit of a wait as TBT OBE had to go & rummage about in the boot of his car to sort out the Jelly Babies for the Held CHK on Trail. Once the Hare had joined the Circle, the GM welcomed everyone & then announced that it was a TBT OBE special! He questioned if the Hare would be coming back with the Pack or would he get lost on his own Trail?
Having survived the GM disrespecting his Trail that had yet to be R*n, the Hare was called to explain what the Hash could expect out there, there were Red Herrings about problems crossing the motorway & the length of time it took for him to set the Hash, something around 4 hours he claimed! TBT OBE then went on to draw out the Herts Markings on the car park floor, was this for the benefit of Friar Tuck & Smartarse? (Not the Full Moon one) who were over from Cyprus.
The Trail began with the Hash being sent out of the rear car park, on to the short Leaside road & then north-eastward up Green lane, the FRBs were soon trotting up this suburban street to find a CHK by what looked like a driveway to some local garages, this didn’t look that promising & only My Lil’ took to this route, the others like Sparky, Friar Tuck, Sludge, Sloppy Seconds & Mr X would continue along Green lane only to be led on to a T!
Back to the unlikely looking track & the Pack would follow this out to the open green space of a park, the Trail would lead along the outside of the fenced off kids play ground & the fenced off back gardens. A CHK was found at the corner of the play area, My Lil’ was now out of sight of the rest & had cut diagonally south-eastward across the football pitch to disappear behind the hedge that hides the end of where Curtis road butts in to the green space. This was all new territory to be covered by Herts Hash feet!
The Trail came out to a CHK on to the delightfully named Pancake lane, [Mmmm, pancakes! – Ed] While Mr X checked it out toward the main road away to the southwest, the other FRBs had found the Trail in the opposite direction in the Northeast & away by the Leverstock Green Football Club grounds, the ‘Greens’ have been in existence since 1895 no less!
The Trail left Pancake lane & shot off on to an alleyway footpath running from the southwest to the southeast, while Friar Tuck & Mr X took the right-hand option, the others must have had the Hare’s words of “Motorway” still ringing in their ears as they took to the north-eastward direction where they would eventually find T!
In the other direction it was a long trot down the narrow fenced in footpath, it had a few lumps & bumps along the way, where old tree-roots had pushed the tarmac surface up to create hazards that TBT OBE was wise too & managed to stay clear off.
The Trail came out on to the main Leverstock Green road, there Mr X caught up with Friar Tuck as he waited at the CHK by the alley’s end. The RA crossed over the road to pick up the Trail on the continuation of the alleyway footpath, again it was shuttered in with wooden panel fences protecting the properties on either side. Now out on the Bedmond road, Mr X found that My Lil’ was on his way back to the CHK after falling for a Falsie away down Bedmond road to the southeast.
Mr X was soon on to the Trail as he crossed over to search the start of Chambersbury lane to the southwest, arrows were chalked on the kerbside as the Trail led on to the next CHK by a farm track leading over the open fields to Bunker Farm.
Both Mr X & Sludge choose to search the track, through an area that was once known as ‘Top field’ but were soon called back as Sparky picked up the Trail on the inside of the fallow field’s hedgerow running along by Chambersbury lane. Some of the ancient hedges around here have been dated back to the 10 century.
Sludge wasn’t going to head back to the CHK to get on the correct path, instead he short-cut across the plain area of Winch Dells, which is covered in a lot of dandelion clocks & the GM knocked a few heads off as he tried to catch up with Sparky.
My Lil’ was soon on his way behind Sparky, they would find the next CHK by the footpath’s route down to ‘Bottom field’ & by an exit back through the established hedgerow to Chambersbury lane. Sparky & My Lil’ continued south-westward down the edge of Catsdell bottom, but didn’t seem to find any Dust, so Mr X shot through the hedge to search the lane.
The RA too would find no Dust & instead “On!” was found diagonally over the wild grass to start on one of the permissive paths that form a matrix of paths between the fenced off plots of young trees in the conservation area growing native species to repopulate the old flora & fauna, this area is known as the Mattens & was once an area of strip farming until the 19th Century.
The strip farming was where serfs & peasants would share the common land & woodland, each would grow their food in their own furlong (a furrow that is long) measured at 1/8th of a mile. It worked on a rotation system for the seasons, while animals were penned-in on the fallow land to fertilize it.
With the FRBs taking some time to get back on Trail, Flanders, Bush Tucker & Smartarse were all up with the FRBS, as the Hare escorted them along by the menagerie of dogs out being walked this morning, to reach another CHK point.
There were a myriad of options to choose from by the Mattens. Sparky was quickly off in to the wooded area before Bottom field, but found a T just as the other Keenies were about to follow him. Sloppy Seconds started off on the right-hand option on one of the a downhill paths heading toward Bunkers lane, he would be stopped by a T & as the RA predicted, Sloppy in his obvious yellow cap, would be seen short-cutting through the thin hedgerow to get on to the almost parallel sister path that Sludge had located the Trail down. At the end of this avenue another CHK awaited the Hash.
Sludge & My Lil’ went to check out over the steps on the green contour of the hillside path, while Mr X choose the opposite direction & away to the southwest, passing by the end of the track that Sloppy Seconds had short cut off of earlier on to find the Trail!
The Dust led the Hash through the end of the wood land & then down the edge of the grassy hillside to a gate in the southwest corner, an arrow directed the Pack over the narrow lane, there were warning signs to alert any pedestrians to watch for traffic coming from both directions!
Once over the lane, the Pack would regroup by an information board about the flora & fauna that can be seen around this area, plus a map for Long Deans Reserve which didn’t go unnoticed, here the only Held CHK of the Trail would be found. Flanders, Bush Tucker & Smartarse weren’t far behind the Pack & they too got a share of the Jelly Babies.
There was a lot of talk about the previous time H4 were here, when those who were present last time recalled how the Trail would go on a long loop through the valley & then come back upon its self, just on a higher level up on the outer edge of Long Deans wood, a short way up to the south. Perhaps the thought of this was the reason that Friar Tuck & My Lil’ decided that they would go straight up to the gate in to the woodland that was only just up from the regroup.
Sloppy Seconds wasn’t going to take that route, as he ambled along the central path in the bottom of the narrow valley in a direction toward Nash Mills, he wouldn’t find any Dust there & nor would Friar Tuck & My Lil’ as the Trail was found by Sparky on the higher path heading toward the Nash Mills part of Hemel Hempstead.
It was a long steady trot down to the west end of the nature reserve & there were indeed some very bright yellow orchids to be seen along the way. Sparky was first to the CHK at the west end, Sloppy Seconds wasn’t far behind him as he took the direct route with no Dust on it!
Sludge now noted that those ahead of him were now checking from the junction of the dead end High Woodhall lane & Bunkers lane, so he peeled off to search up on a path leading away on to track of High Woodhall lane. Sludge was soon back from there, as there was no Dust to be found on the route out behind the woodland.
Sparky, Friar Tuck & Sloppy Seconds were soon on to another Falsie as they followed Dust down Bunker’s lane, My Lil’ & Mr X weren’t that keen on heading further westward, as it was away from the On Inn & the Hare had been rather tricky with the Trail so far.
Mr X searched up the promising looking Long Deans Park road, the sign saying it was a gated route with no access made him think that this would be good off-road running amongst the expensive homes perched upon the hillside? He was almost correct as the Trail was found by My Lil’ on a footpath in the strip of woodland between Long Deans Park road & Chambersbury lane, this would be more new ground for H4 to cover.
The Trail weaved its way on a meandering path between the trees & bushes, heading north-eastward to come out on to the Market lane, which forms a part of the old main route up from Bennetts end, a CHK was found on this more populated part of the lane & My Lil’ would be caught out as he headed off down a footpath in to a small green space behind the homes off of Chaff Green cul-de-sac.
Meanwhile, Sparky & Friar Tuck checked it out over the bend in the lane & on to a green space along the next stretch of Chambersbury lane, here the Trail was found dobbed on the back of the trees dotted around the green. The Trail continued to the northeast & away from the footpath off to the south, then to pass opposite the tall hedge over the road hiding the local school grounds.
The Trail passed through the chicane like red & white marked boards of a footpath diversion for some works on the footpath, another obstacle that TBT OBE managed to avoid. The Trail then took them on to an arrow which directed the Hash over to the school side of the lane, another lumpy old tarmac path lay ahead & again TBT OBE survived this as the Trail led the Pack down the hill & on to a CHK in the bottom of the dell, the Pack were at the bottom of Catsdell bottom.
Surprisingly Friar Tuck headed up the old lane, on the climb up the hill toward the ‘Out Trail’ from earlier on, he would be back as it would be False, so he joined the rest in following Sparky out on through the green space running below the estate named after Hebridian Islands.
Mr X & My Lil’ stumbled on Sparky as they went up to an alleyway from a CHK near the end of the housing estate, they would not find Dust there & so they turned back toward the green space, where Friar Tuck had continued on over to the opposite end of the green & discovered the Trail, by the local tennis courts.
Two of the trio knew that the Trail ought to be this way as it was used as the ‘Out Trail’ by the Hare last time he set a Trail around these parts, sure enough they would find Dust on the alleyway footpath by the corner of the tennis courts.
The Trail came out by the Tennis Club entrance, on Grassmere road where an arrow then directed them straight on to the continuation of the footpath through the back of the homes on the estate named after parts of the Lake District, before coming out on to the Malmes Court road which leads on by the end of the cricket ground.
The On Inn was found on the way up to the Leverstock Green Road, Mr X & My Lil’ decided that they would go slightly out of their way, to use the crossing to get over the busy road. Once across the road the RA noticed that Sludge & Sloppy Seconds were still short cutting [A leopard can not change its spots! – Ed] by going across the green verge in front of row of olde worlde & then nipping over to dodge the traffic to reach the Pub.
While the Keenies enjoyed their pints, the main discussion was that no one was lost on this Trail, especially the Hare! The GM said that he would now have to eat some ‘humble-pie’! The rest of the Pack were all back just after 12:20, & even the Hare was with Bush Tucker, Flanders & Smartarse.
It was warm enough for the Pack to sit outside & enjoy the day, though there was no cricket on to watch across the road. The Down-Downs took place before those eating sat down for some grub.
The GM called the Circle & having toasted the Hash, he didn’t turn to the RA but instead he ate large helpings of ‘Humble Pie’ as he apologised to the Hare for slagging off his efforts before going around the Trail! The RA was then invited to take over & TBT OBE was rewarded for what undoubtedly was a great Trail [Yes we still don’t believe it! – Ed]
For their short cutting, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds were called out, the last hit went to Friar Tuck for offering to set a Trail in August! [Well they do live in Cyprus! – Ed] which led to talk of having a joint Run out in Limassol [Or as it was known on Herts during InterHash in ’96 – Lim-arse-hole! – Ed]