Date = 14th June 2014
Run Number = 1562
Venue = The Gibberd Garden Beerfest
Location= Gibberd Garden
Beer = Loads
Hares = Sloppy Seconds
Runners = 8
Virgins = 0
Visitors = Essex
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 8
Membership = Enjoying the Ale!
With nearly all of the rest of Herts away at ARP’s Birthday, or other events occurring this day as well as it being a Saturday. For those who did turnout, they soon found that they were outnumbered by four Essex & eventually another F.U.K Full Moon Hasher, which at least meant that My Lil’ & Mr X wouldn’t have to run all of the False Trails.
For Mr X this was good as he was given a map of the Trail by the Hare & didn’t want to give the game away. The RA had asked Sloppy Seconds to make sure the Trail was long enough for a small Pack to get to the Beerfest’s opening time of Noon.
Smartarse was on his way over from Chelmsford, the bus was running a bit late but Smartarse managed to pull out the stops & arrived just before the Pack were about to set off. The start was delayed slightly to allow one last Train from London to arrive, even though no Hashers were on-board!
The RA called the circle together, & once the Run number was announced correctly it was over to the Hare. Sloppy Seconds went through the Hash Markings for the benefit of the visiting Essex Hashers of Mistress, Master, Ball Bender & Mary. Having drawn all the markings out on floor of the station car park, it was time to head off.
Smartarse had a slight advantage over the others at the start, for he had seen part of the Trail when he walked from the Bus Stop to the Railway Station, though it wasn’t much of an edge. Sloppy Seconds had marked the CHK in the car park to head over to the path through the subway under the Cambridge road bridge.
The Trail left the rail tracks behind once it took to the Hoo Roads, Smartarse may have had the advantage along this part of the Trail but held back as he talked to Mr X about the previous day’s successful Friday the Thirteenth up in Plaistow.
As the Pack made their way around the back streets of the Hoo, the snaking southward section, from the T-junction of these roads, took the Trail down on to Priory road. Here a CHK was found & it wasn’t long before the Hash were progressing up to the southeast. It was along this suburban street the Pack were stopped by a man who knew what the Hash markings were about.
It turns out that this chap was from the Isle of Man Hash, Raging Bull is his handle, & he knew Urine for his days out on Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man), as Mr X has Urine on his Farcebook page he said he'd ping him a message later on. Which he did at the Beerfest. Sadly the Hash out there has folded.
While Mr X chatted, the others had followed on behind My Lil' & Smartarse who were calling "On!" from up to the end of Priory Avenue. At the junction with Old Road a CHK was found, here Ball Bender & Master searched both the north & south options on this old lane.
Ball Bender & Master were soon called back when the Trail was picked up My Lil' & Smartarse on the footpath starting on the corner of the junction, which cut diagonally across the field of fallow grass hidden behind the tall encompassing hedgerow. An information board explaioned that this area, hidden from view, is of some historical importance for being home to Harlowbury Chapel.
The footpath led over to the 12th Century stone & flint Chapel. This small building is, needless to say, a Grade 1 listed building as it is the oldest building in Harlow, dating from 1160. The Essex contingent of the Pack were impressed that this parkland could be so near to the modern New Town of Harlow.
A CHK was found on the crossroads of the footpaths within the enclosed land, My Lil' had crossed over the tributary stream which separates the fields on it is way to feed the river Stort to the north, meanwhile Smartarse remained in the first field to search southward on the west side of the stream.
Smartarse picked up the Trail to another narrow footbridge spanning the ditch for the stream, he found the Dust & the Trail resumed to take the Pack on by the immaculate allotments beside the end of the path as it comes out on to the Oxleys.
Mr Arse was soon on to the start of Wallington road from the west side of the Oxleys, another turn would take the Hash southward to join the main B183 Gilden Way. The busy road was crossed by using the pedestrian lights just a few yards up to the northwest of this arterial route out of Harlow.
A friendly local pointed Mr X toward the lights, with a jolly "They've gone that way!" as he indicated the position of the crossing. Mr X didn't have the heart to tell him that he had a map of the Trail.
Once across the road, the Trail passed behind a low, brick wall at the now dead-end of the Sheering road into Chuchgate Street. Sloppy Seconds was found parked up at a Held CHK on this lane now quiet of traffic. With only a handful present today, there were plenty of Jelly Babies to go around.
The Essex contingent said that they were surprised how nice this area was, it was a little rural ideal on the outskirts of the New Town, the RA said that it gets better a little further on.
The Trail resumed by going up the footpath through the grassy area below the St Mary’s Church Grounds. One of the Essex Girls had to be called back from searching the Falsie up the Sheering Road, the RA said that if she got too far away then Sloppy Seconds would be despatched to pick her up in his car.
The Trail now passed through the grounds of St Mary's another Norman construction in these parts, this being constructed in 1190. The Pack stopped briefly to admire this ancient building, upon which were a few posters advertising a 'Comedy night' with Andy Kind at the Church.
Mr X wondered when Roy "Chubby" Brown would be performing at the Church? Since it said the evenings were not suitable for under 14's. Smartarse also commented on the "Flying Helmet" as Mr X did an impersonation of "Com’n Chubs ya fat basstad!"
There was more chocolate box England to see as the Pack came out from besdie the Church's ornate lichgate & on to the main Churchgate Street.
Those who have been Full Mooning (what seems like - since time in memorial) recalled the F.U.K Full Moon Trail from the nearby Queens Head, a quintessential black & white timbered tavern. This street has hardly changed if you take a look at the 1903 Francis Frith postcards of the time.
One of the Essex couples realised that they had been to Churchgate Street before, when they attend a wedding stayed at the nearby Swallows Churchgate hotel.
Sadly there was no time to stop for an ale, as the Pack looked around at the options from the CHK by the lichgate, it took a couple of attempts before the Pack realised that they should be heading westward out toward the Sheering Road once more, there the Trail was picked up on the junction as the former main road heads eastward.
The penultimate CHK was found at the corner of the short access road out to the B183 that by-passes Churchgate Street, a T was found on the short route out to the main drag.
While Smartarse went to look further up the Sheering road "On!" was called from the alleyway footpath between the end properties of Drakes Meadow to reach the B183. But soon My Lil's calling was drowned out by the noise of the traffic on the new main road.
The RA put in an official short cut over the T on the access road & directed the rest around to the roundabout junction where My Lil' had come out of the alleyway footpath between the access road & Drakes Meadow cul-de-sac.
Care was taken in crossing this busy route, once over on the opposite side of the roundabout the Sloppy Seconds mobile was found parked on the layby. The Hare sitting there & keeping a close eye on his flock to make sure that they didn't stray.
Now over the main drag, the Trail headed up the short bank side to take to the northbound footpath up through the farmland to the east of Harlow.
As the Pack made their way toward the heart of the fields go the east of Harlow, a lot of barking could be heard as Master had found the final CHK of the Trail, he had turned westward & was heading out toward Harlowbury again.
In the end it was a T that stopped Master & not the noisy pooch yapping at him. When they met up, He would tell the RA that it also stopped the dog walkers, as they turned back upon reaching the T from the direction of Harlow!
Smartarse & My Lil' were heading out between the crops in the totally opposite direction to the west on the footpath over to Marsh lane, they too would soon be coming back as the Trail progressed further northward between the crop fields. Now a little precipitation was in the air, fortunately some shelter was gained from the hedgerow on the left.
The Trail now headed out of the light round & into the shelter of the wooded strip that encapsulates the Track up to Gibberd Gardens from under the railway bridge. One hairpin turn where the footpath joins the Track up from the Railway bridge as the route headed eastward up by the On Inn before reaching the entrance to the gardens. There Sloppy Seconds was found parked up outside to deliver the Hash bags, the time was five to the hour!
The Pack settled down under the Marquee, before finding Spermwhale sitting in the cafe having a late breakfast, seems things weren’t so hunky-dory at home!
Everyone managed to get their first Ales in before the rain did begin to come down! Being there for opening also meant getting a seat before it became really busy around 14:00 hrs.
This year's picnic saw no cheese, since there was no Ketchup to source this dairy product. Instead the tastes of those who were present soon became clear as curry pasties, samosas, curry twisty snacks, Bombay mix & satays came out, all of which was very nice.
One alarming point happened when Sloppy Seconds bought out a packet of sausage rolls, he tucked in to the first one & had eaten it before the sell by date of 27th May was spotted. No one else took one of the remaining sausage rolls, then when no one was looking the remainder disappeared as Sloppy Seconds claimed someone had enjoyed eating them all? Sparky wasn’t there, so was it Oscar ‘the Grouch’, as he lives in a dustbin?
The rain went & the sun shine on those who wanted to wander around the grounds to admire the artworks dotted around the small estate. It was also a successful reconnoitre for sourcing Ales for the Full Moon Nash Hash next year.