Date = 12th May 2014
Run Number = 1557
Venue = The Grove
Location= Welwyn Garden City
Beer = GK IPA, Abbott; inferno
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 14
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 14
Membership = Successfully dodging the downpours!
It couldn't have been more of a mixed bag when it came to the weather before this Trail. There were downpours of rain mixed with hail, as well as some thunder & lightning, though not everyone was effected by this on the say to the venue.
It was a far different story once in the car park behind the Grove, for the black clouds were blown overhead to deposit more rain! Even with patches of blue sky appearing to the west of Welwyn Garden, the rain kept coming down until around five minutes to the hour, miraculously it came to a halt as the RA stepped out from Hyena's car.
This week saw Psycho & Skip turn out, it’s been while since they have put in a regular appearance & they just happened to choose this wet day! There would be a few more who haven't been putting in an appearance would show up much later on.
Having left the shelter of various automobiles, the Pack circled up at the GM's request for a short welcoming speech. The Hare received his customary 'Booing' even before he had started his spiel on the day’s Trail. Those who were paying attention heard My Lil' mention "Golf balls, aeroplanes, roads to be crossed & narrow boats" all to be avoided out on Trail, that was providing that the Trail had not been washed out in the deluge?
The Pack were directed over Hall Grove to an alleyway from Autumn Grove & this led the pack on to Cole Green lane, here the RA chose to look up to the roundabout at the end of Howlands, but he, Fliptop & Sloppy Seconds were all called back as Tent Packer found the Trail over the road & down toward Linces way. Dust was found as it led behind the tall, thick Hedge separating Cole Green Lane from the newer estate behind, the Keenies that followed this route but were soon on to a Bar CHK.
A local couple out thought it was funny to see the likes of Mr X, Tent Packer, Fliptop, Sloppy Seconds & Paxo all making their way back to the end of the hedged-in side road, on the opposite side of the hedge the stray FRBs could hear those ‘On’ Trail teasingly calling out to them.
The Trail now moved on westward to the start of Sweet Briar, where the Trail turned northward from the CHK there, Tent Packer must have been refreshed from his break away from H4 as he had quickly passed by Skip, Psycho & then the rest of the Keenies a little earlier on.
Tent Packer was now well on his way up Sweet Briar by the time the rest had arrived on this back road & he was out of sight, as further along Sweet Briar the Trail followed the footpath as it moves to one side of a large hedge & then back to its original route. A CHK was found by an access road for some local garages, there was no Dust down there, nor where there any calls of “On!” from Tent Packer as the Trail was found further up Sweet Briar & then on around on to Whitethorn, a connecting side street out to the main road.
Over the main drag & the Trail now headed off down in to the back streets of Bushy Lea to another CHK, this particular one being located by an alleyway off to the southeast. The rest of the Keenies caught up with Tent Packer here, as he took to the alleyway but only to return as it was a False Trail. The RA didn’t fare any better as he went searching on the wrong side of Bushy Green. On his way back, the RA followed Psycho & Paxo on to the alleyway, Paxo was surprised to hear that the RA didn’t know this part of his home town that well!
The Trail was found on a short alleyway out to the green space behind the estate, the Hash headed north-easterly on the tarmac path over toward Black Fan road, the RA noticed that Sludge had been off over the grass to look in the wooded area by the homes but was now on his way back toward Black Fan road. Dust was picked up once more & a CHK was found in the middle of the green space, the RA & GM choose to search over to the furthest corner but were soon called back as the rest were ‘On’ their way to the pelican crossing across Black Fan road.
The Trail now took to Green lanes, a long & wide footpath that runs behind the homes in the Panshanger side of Welwyn Garden City, this tarmac route headed off to the northeast & didn’t stray from this direction until it came out to a CHK by the main roundabout at the meeting of Herns lane & Moorswalk, not far from the Golf Club.
While the rest of the Keenies searched the options over to the northeast, the RA was the only one to try a different approach by looking on the other alleyway, that leads away to the southeast.
The RA would find the Trail on this route & he began to pull away from the rest as he managed to get the next couple of CHKs on the trot correct, which meant that there was no deviation either from this bridleway between the back gardens of the homes on either side, since this way is lined with wooden panels there wasn’t much to see. The parts were the Trail crossed interlinking side streets were the only interesting bits & not very at that!
At the end of the alley a CHK was found on the verge of Sylvan way. Mr X was soon over the road & then on down the next part of the pathway, this passed by some local allotments as it turned in a curving arc, underfoot it became a muddy way through a wooded area. With all of the rain, the Hash would find that this path would have plenty of puddles covering the way & some could not be dodged, all of which would slow TBT OBE up as he tried to dodge these after he had forgotten to bring his Hash Boots & was going around in his normal Trainers! [New Shoes? – Ed]
Further ahead of the Pack & the RA got away, having passed by a pumping station between Sylvandale & Dalewood, he arrived at a CHK on the wooded strip of land at the edge of the housing estate, this is 'Green lane' which runs up to Moneyhole park & off around to the Panshanger aerodrome.
Mr X didn't fancy taking the north-easterly option & instead followed the old concrete road, that once serviced the airfield during its war-time use as a decoy for de Havilland in Hatfield, before being used as a training school. Away to the southwest & it soon became clear that the arrow on the Hare had laid on the concrete road was too exposed to the elements had taken a bit of a beating, only faint remains could be seen.
Mr X hung around long enough for Sludge to see him take to the desire line by one of the old wartime bunkers lurking in the edge of Rolls wood, he even put down a stick arrow to point the rest of the trailing Pack off in the correct direction. It was a waste of time as most missed out on this loop out through the slippery Shiggy path out by the pond in the end of the woodland.
Having survived the clay like footpath, with a few large puddles spanning the width of the path, the RA & then the GM would be led over Black Fan road to the opposite verge. The Trail headed along the wide wet verge back to Welwyn Garden City, passing the large Welwyn Garden City signpost & ahead of them was Sloppy Seconds with the Hare!
The Curate had
short-cutted along Green lane to its end on Black Fan road, he was over the
junction where he was quick to get in that he was with the Hare on an official
Short Cut. The RA chuckled, not so much at Sloppy’s excuses but as Mr X crossed
the short cycle path on this junction he recalled the thought of how
many years ago the day’s Hare once hit the deck on this spot as he fell off of
his bike on the way back from Hash in Hertford!
A CHK was found on the nearby green space & the RA was almost tempted off on to the old route that was the former Welwyn Garden Branch line to Hertford, but he wasn't sure that there was an option off of this part of the Cole Green way before reaching the A414 over in the southwest? Apparently there is, as there’s a Dog walkers route that cuts over the old landfill site to where the Trail had now been picked up by Sloppy Seconds on Holywell Hyde lane.
The shady & sheltered route own this old, dead-end lane to a local fishing lake was slightly gloomy with the overcast conditions. With the odd gust of wind, the overhead canopy released a few drops of precipitation, some thought that it was beginning to rain & that the RA was loosing his powers!
Halfway down to the end of the lane & Mr X reassured those around him that the Pack aren't far away from the On Inn, but it was really whether the Hare would be kind enough to take the direct route home. There were those who obviously thought that this would not be the case & so Sloppy Seconds, Sludge & Mr X all correctly continued by the cut-through footpath on to Thistle grove
Things we now looking promising as the continuation of the alleyway was heading toward the On Inn, but the Hare had other ideas as the Trail came out in to the open green space behind the homes. Once the cyclists out breaking the law & biking up the footpaths had passed by the Pack, the Trail was picked up again in the fallow grass land of a local Nature Reserve, Sloppy Seconds now complained about his shoes were getting wet so the RA questioned why they were still dry at this point in the Trail? As they wouldn't have been if he had been doing the Whole Trail.
The Keenies would now get away from the rest of the Hash & away from the On Inn, on the way down a seemingly recent path cut through the coppiced area at the back of more established woodland, the conversation now turned to the fact that there were a few missing on the this part of the proceedings. While the whereabouts of Hyena wasn't that pressing, as the Hare knows that Hyena has local knowledge of this part of town, it was the likes of Tent packer & most importantly TBT OBE that was of concern as this path had several short stumps in its course where the saplings had been removed to create the path, each one a potential Trip hazard for TBT OBE!
As the other Keenies pondered when they last saw any of the others, at a CHK point, Fliptop contemplated something entirely different as he was the only one to take to the south-eastward path, he sounded like he had a relived tone to his voice, while the others picked up the Trail on the continuing south-westerly course heading over a line of duckboards behind a pumping station.
For some, now that they were off of the duckboards & the Shiggy route out to the paddocks on the Nature reserve brought back a few memories as they crossed over a narrow wooden bridge spanning the gushing brook below. For it was not far from here that the late Grunter was once stuck in a dry, bramble & nettle filled ditch. He was in a right state when he finally managed to get out of his not so successful short cut.
The Trail now turned northward much to the relief of those with local knowledge. Hash shoes would get more wet treatment as they had damp grass to traipse through, on what was a long trot up & out of the entrance to the reserve & on to Howlands.
Sloppy Seconds almost went wrong as he had been sticking with the slightly drier of the two paths out this way & failed to see the arrow point over the road the hedged-in muddy footpath beside Howlands House, a home for single mums.
Mr X led the way out on to Blackthorn road, where he seemed to temporarily loose sight of the Dust, before realising it was straight over the road on the trees covering a larger green space. Among the trees there, a Held CHK was found.
The Hare said that he would hold the CHK until at least Psycho was up with the FRBs. With the threat of more rain on the horizon, the Hare relented & let the Keenies go before Psycho & Skip were at the Held CHK.
The RA took to searching up Blackthorn road but discovered he was on the wrong side & had to swap to the right hand footpath, this soon become apparent why he had to change sides as the Dust had the Hash peel off on to Sheepcote road in a direction to its end on Howlands, but an arrow before the end of the side street directed the Hash on to another hedged-in tree lined path, this one leading out on to the playing field behind the homes.
Most of the Pack were on the last leg of the Trail, Sloppy Seconds again moaned about his shoes getting wet again, then suddenly a cheer went up as someone glanced behind them & spotted TBT OBE was now catching up with the Pack. However, there was no sign of Tent Packer of Hyena & that was because they were both already ensconced in the Pub!
Once over the grass, the Pack just had to take to one final alleyway & this one brought the Hash out to the back of the local shops, the smell of curry tantalizingly wafted through the air. After the On Inn before the shops, the Pack turned right to amble down Hall Grove, while passing by the Old Peoples’ Day Centre some of the Pack were warned by the Hare to keep moving or they could be pulled in to the centre.
With one potential pitfall passed, Sludge, Fliptop & TBT OBE then had to run the gauntlet to pass by the Jazzacise class, they made it back to the Pub in one piece & before the rain came back.
Having changed, the Pack found that Tent Packer & Hyena were very much at home in the Pub. They had been joined by Spotted Dick & Custard, who somehow arrived late & done part of the Trail before cutting thier losses.
Before the Circle was called, there was a round of chips to be scoffed & some wondered if this tempting smell what brought a damp Fartin Martin back from the Trail after he & Dragon's Den made a late arrival? These two, unlike the rest just caught part of a rain shower as the RA was now in the Pub.
Sloppy Seconds had to leave before the food, but after Hashcash had nabbed him!
The Down-Downs took place outside the front of the Pub, even though there was a slight bit of dampness in the air, Skip decided that he would shelter under the doorway lamp, shades Harry Lime in the Third Man [A most excellent film.- Ed]
The Hare was rewarded with an Inferno for a damn fine Trail, that caught out those with ‘Local Knowledge’ then Farts & Dragon's Den were out for Being the last around the Trail, while Tent Packer received his for an anomaly that le dot him receiving his Herts 50th Run bag when he hasn’t actually reached that figure yet! TBT OBE received his not getting stuck in the Bunker, being late for the Herts Hash Hackers Golf & forgetting his Hash Shoes.