Date =                            2nd June 2014

Run Number =            1560

Venue =                        Townsend Nurseries

Location=                     Harpenden

Beer =                           Spitfire, Old Speckled Hen

Hares =                         Tent Packer

Runners =                    17

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0                                        

Après Hashers =         2

Newies =                       0

Hounds =                      1

Total =                          20

Membership =            Back in Nursery!


Tent Packer introduced Donkey Kong, then Tent Pole to the early arrivals.  Donkey Kong would remain behind to be the Galloping Gourmet, with Mrs Mallet ably helping prepare with the Barbeque after he had finished cleaning them up.  The sight of the cider hanging from the forks of a truck, looked as if it was some kind of hunting trophy, while Hyena was eying up the Beers already but the refrained until he returned from the Trail!

This week was the first time the new GM would introduce the Hash to the Run, even with an earlier prompt from the RA as to the correct number, in the excitement of the moment Tent Packer managed to add two extra runs on to the total, which he immediately recounted!

With the correct number at last being announced, the GM introduced Tent Pole & then Donkey Kong to the rest of the Pack.  As Tent Packer was also being the day's Hare, there was no need for him to leave the Circle.  He went on to explain what the Hash could expect to encounter out on his Trail. 

A comforting mention of the Trail being an hour, as it was 4 miles in length.  Roads to cross, dogs, horses & flying white balls were also mentioned before the Pack were ushered away out of the Nursery gates to run up the uncapped Townsend lane to the southwest, away from the habituated part of this long lane.

The hedged-in track made its way beyond the paddocks for horses & various other animals at home behind the shelter of the hedge.  Though it wasn't obvious as to whether the pigs were still in their sties back there between this lane & the Nicky Way.  On the way there were a few comments as to Fartin Martin not being at this Run, since there would be food afterwards.

While most of the Pack seemed to struggle to get going on this first leg of the Trail, Jaron had no such qualms, & as it is with youth on your side, he was soon dashing away.  Another who put an effort in at the start was Hyena, seems having last week of has reinvigorated him.

It was noticeable once on the Nicky Line, that there were a lot of civilians out & about jogging, there weren’t many dog walkers or horse riders out the Pack had been warned about, which wasn’t a bad thing as there seemed to be plenty of dog’s eggs littering the side of the old Track bed..

No Eye Deer was among those who noticed the back of one of TBT OBE's leg, he was sporting some really long scabs that looked like he had been attacked by a big cat.  It turned out that he had actually been savaged by a particularly vicious sheet of plywood!

The first CHK was found where the rural end of Townsend lane came out to join the former Harpenden to Redbourn railway line.  There were four options from here, with another path intersecting this junction from south-southwest to north -northeast. 

The Hare waited at the CHK to make sure that Alfie, Donkey Kong's pooch had gone back & wasn't going to go around the Trail by tagging along with the Pack!  Alfie had gone back to base, so Tent Packer could get on with setting his attention back on the Trail.

While most checked out the various option in the fields either side of line, Paxo decided that he would have a play with the wind-up recordings of ‘Days gone by on the Railway’, he curiously turned the winder to hear the voices emanating from the information board.

Paxo was not alone for a play on the talking information board, as Ketchup also had to have a fiddle with it as well, though it didn't go to plan until it was pointed out that he was turning the winder the wrong way!

"On!" was called from further down the Nicky Line, heading away from Harpenden & down toward Redbourn.  This old route once continued along to Boxmoor in Hemel Hempstead, passenger services ceased in 1947, with it being used for taking coal to the gas works & its final services were for rubbish & materials for the Hermatite Block Works before shutting for good in 1979.

Tent Pole was soon away down this route, leaving the rest behind in his wake.  Mark E Mark was taking it easy, no doubt his deep yellow coloured work boots he was wearing had something to do with His lack of pace?

Meanwhile it was pointed out to ketchup that Jaron was now out of sight as well.  Ketchup put on a spurt to keep an eye on his offspring.  The rest of the middle order ambled along admiring the bird life of various finches flitting in & out of the trees & bushes lining either side of the former line.

The Pack came up to the next CHK, by an intersecting footpath from off of the Rothamsted Experimental Estate to the east & over to the farm land to the west.

Tent Pole was soon “On!” again as he continued along the Nicky Line, he would lead No Eye Deer, Bush Tucker, Spotted Dick & Penicillin along the slow curving way, while Paxo, My Lil', Hyena, TBT OBE, Mark E Mark & Mr X all followed on at the rear.

The next CHK was found by the corner of Knotts wood, by the time the RA had caught up with main body of the Hash, Tent Pole had found a Falsie heading off along the outside of the woodland in the Rothamsted Experimental land.  He was soon back & leading Paxo, Spotted Dick & Penicillin in amongst the pine trees of the woodland.

Another long Falsie lay in wait for those being taken through Knotts wood, which is noted for being a bluebell wood, but by now these plants were once again lying dormant beneath the leaf litter.  Those off the main Trail with Tent Pole would come back to find that the rest had been take in as well by the Hare, albeit not as far off track than the Keenies.

The Trail was picked up again, it was back down the Nicky line as it begins its descent down the shallow incline, the tree-lined route gently drops some 75 feet from Harpenden to the edge of Redbourn.

The Hare warned the Pack to be careful as they followed the series of arrows from one island to another, as they had to cross over the Harpenden road, then Redbourn lane to the outskirts of Redbourn proper.  Jaron had to stop on the first traffic-island like peninsular between the roads, as he had to remove a stone from his Hash Shoe.

Having safely negotiated the two busy roads, another arrow pointed the way down the quieter Harpenden lane out to the west, away from the continuation of the Nicky Line.  Over the Ver & only a short way along the now residential road, lined only on the south side with homes, a CHK was found. 

The footpath off between the properties to the west was searched first, mainly due to the excessive amount of nettles clumped up at its start, this would be tempting for any Hare to set Dust down.  Tent Pole led the way through the nettles, followed by Spotted Dick, then Mr X, TBT OBE was next & he complained that he was getting stung!  Mr X said that he didn't think that they would sting this time of year?  Adding that surely TBT OBE shouldn't feel anything through all of those scabs on his leg!

Jaron was just about to brave it, with Ketchup, in making his way through the nettles but luckily for them the Falsie was found before they got too involved.

As the Keenies were about to head further down Harpenden lane, the Hare called them back to the CHK.  As the FRBS grumbled at being called back, they soon changed their tune when The Hare produced a couple boxes of mini Mars bars.

To start with, many of the Keenies refrained from eating more than one, as they waited for Bush Tucker & Penicillin to arrive at the CHK for theirs, thinking of Paxo & his “Women & Children first!” rule.  Well, this lasted until the Hare let slip that the Girls had already had eaten some earlier!

Meanwhile, Mark E Mark said he couldn't believe what he was watching & was surprised to see that Hyena was struggling to open the wrapper lf his mini Mars bar. [Surely he’s had a bit of practice in that over the years? – Ed] 

TBT OBE now took the opportunity to tell of a series of disasters that had struck in the past few days, including being scalped by an evil possessed washing line & then being attacked by his plywood! [Sounds like a bad Steven King story about possessed household items reeking revenge? – Ed]

The Trail moved on down Harpenden lane a little further along, then just as the RA had predicted, it would cross the road & head out on the green track out to the north, over the farmland on to the delightfully named Porridge Pot!  On the way out the more observant spotted a Barn Owl box up on one of the established trees, though at the time they weren’t sure of what it was being such a size.

No Eye Deer was impressed at the seat where the Track turns through an 80 degree elbow, this wooden bench has a map of the course of the river Ver cut in to the back rest.  The Hare & RA talked about footpath options on the other side of Redbourn & a time when the Hash passed by the beautiful Water Mill there, when the stopped & talked to the Miller about a stop there for the Hash, but he has sadly passed away since.

The green hedged-in track came up to the edge of the A5183 by-pass, here caution was needed as the traffic does speed around the long sweeping bend.  Once across this road, each room turns to call back to those on the south side when it was safe to cross, as there was a better view of oncoming vehicles from the northern verge. 

The Trail came down for the small embankment to cross a horse paddock, Hash Hush was observed on the way through, in order not to spook any of the nags.  Tent Pole had sailed ahead of the rest & was no longer in sight, & with the Hash Hush he couldn't be heard either.  Mr X & My Lil were next & they indicated the way, with arms raised, as the Trail came out to the edge of the Redbourn Golf Course.

The Dust led them through the scrubby hawthorn tree-line before crossing a narrow footbridge over the river Ver.  As soon as they arrived out on to the dry & dusty farm track, the tell-tale scratched out marks gave away the Trail had been kicked out by some numpty.  By the amount of scuffed marks these two presumed that there must have been a CHK there.

For a brief moment they were tempted to search off to the west, but local knowledge over-ruled to continue heading north-eastward up between the farm outbuildings.  More kicked out Trail was discovered on the footpath leading up in to the horse & pony paddocks behind the hedgerow.  At least the Hare had the sense to mark some of the Trail on the odd pile of horse manure, for strangely enough it wasn't kicked out there!

            A tip for all Hares is to mark Trails on trees & posts to stop it being kicked out or washed away, on drop it on manure, & especially dog’s eggs as it shows them up to help Ketchup avoid them. [Ask him about Lisbon! -Ed]

As the Trail progressed up the hillside, it would take to the footpath on the edge of the paddocks, where it heads north-eastward between two hedges, one along the paddocks' edges & the other along the bottom of the golf course.

Half way along this enclosed path is a gap in the hedgerow with a stile, this is for players like TBT OBE to come over & retrieve their wayward balls.  [Calm down Pebbledash! - Ed]  Still the Trail was kicked out, but the RA knew that this path would turn northward & run through the pine wood at the end of the fairways, this is on a parallel course to the Nicky Way which is only a matter of yards over to the east.

The Trail inside the pine wood was again kicked to bits, but the evidence was still there to be followed along the bumpy desire-line.  Mr X was temporarily take a slight way off track, when he veered over to a kids shelter made of pine branches, My Lil' called him back to where the path emerges out on to the edge of the Golf Course.

Now the Trail re-joined the Nicky Line, there a civilian in a suit was spotted chatting away on his mobile.  The RA scrutinized the civvies shoes as he passed by, there was no evidence of flour on his shiny brogues.  It would be a simple end to the Trail, well it was except for No Eye Deer who ended up on a 'Long cut' around the fields on the Rothamsted side of the Nicky Way!

On his way up the RA decided to keep plodding on, partly to impress a young lady out jogging, which was all fine & dandy unit he had a TBT OBE moment & trod on a small rock, the pain of which stopped him in his tracks.  Not so impressive after all!

Back at the On Inn & Donkey Kong had cooked the burgers & sausages to perfection.  As the returning Pack came in they found Psycho & Skip coming in from their shortened version of the Trail, they had a late start but not as late as Zing-a-long-a-max who arrived as the Pack came home around the hour mark.

The Pack tucked in to the grub set out by Mrs Mallet & cooked by Donkey Kong.  Ketchup made sure Jaron had his greens, while it was noticed that he dodged the salad himself!  Another salad dodger was Alfie, who seemed to be everywhere as the burgers & sausages were being eaten.

With the circle called, the Hash joined the toast then came to the Down-Downs, the Hare was rewarded for a Trail of an hour, unless you were No Eye Deer!

Spotted Dick was out for emailing the Hash for permission to come to the Hash 'at vvvvvvery short notice' which was all rather polite & not needed for H4!

No Eye Deer was out for knocking her own cider over [It was a sight that would have made Ewok cry! - Ed] then knocking the condiments over!  She was joined by TBT OBE, who was responsible for not leaning the chipboard properly to prevent it falling down his leg & scraping his skin off, he also managed to cut his head on his washing line & couldn't get the paint off of his hands.

Tent Pole was awarded his Hit for completing his first Herts Trail, while Donkey Kong had his for the splendid barbeque.

After Circle talk turned to the Braughing wheelbarrow race, with some pawing over the rules & regulations.  Ketchup seemed to take more interest when it was noted that the competitors (over 18 years of age) can neck an Ale as part of the race!!!  Hopefully we can work on a couple of teams, though we may have more of a chance for the Fancy Dress Wheel Barrow than in any of the races!

There was more talk of the Christmas Party Weekend, it now seems clear that almost everyone is happy to go back to Broadlands for the weekend of Friday 9th to Monday 12th.