Date = 7th July 2014
Run Number = 1566
Venue = The Axe & Compasses
Beer = Henry’s IPA
Hares = Mr X & Sloppy Seconds
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 2 Kiwis
Aprčs Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 19
Membership = Recalling the Wheelbarrow Race!
Fortunately there were three teams from Herts Hash taking part in the great Village event that is the Braughing Wheelbarrow Race, this also allowed a couple of the spectators to suss out that there had to be a late change of venue as The Brown Bear is currently shut & under threat of becoming a site for homes to be built on!
So, a sudden change of plan came through after a visit was paid to the Axe & Compasses, there the landlord was very amiable & the change was put in place.
The main Hare set off to lay the start of the Trail, which was deliberately left due the Saturday activities in the village. Mr X’s laying of a CHK right outside the Pub, on the green bit of lawn roused the suspicions of the locals & somewhere further up in the village Mr Angry of Braughing stopped the Hare to ask what he was up to. Things were appeased when it was explained that it was flour put down for a ‘paper-chase’ like run, however the offer to join the Hash in 10 minutes wasn’t taken up!
Mr X returned to hear from those gathered that the locals weren’t happy, but he explained that the natives were now placated. Then the abuse of the Hare turned to the fact the ‘emergency change of venue’ email was titled as Run No.1066…………………….. Water of a Duck’s back!
This week saw two visiting Kiwis from Mooloo Hash down in the Waikato valley, they were Reefunda & Sileshuntee, who were picked up by TBT OBE on his way through to the venue.
With the time having gone 5 past the hour, the GM finally called the Pack to order, he introduced the Trail as 1066!!!! [Oh, to be in Hastings! – Ed] then it was over to Mr X, who went through the Herts Hash markings for Reefuunda & Sileshuntee. [As well as Sludge! - Ed]]
The Pack were told to check it out from the front of the Pub, No Eye Deer was the only one who ventured off to search down by the village Church of St Mary the Virgin, but she was given a kindly hint by the Hare as the rest headed away in the opposite direction to the northeast.
Fliptop was straight up the footpath to the playing fields behind the Pub to the southeast, he was also first down the short alleyway out through the garages at the end of the cul-de-sac & first to the Bar CHK were it joins the main road!
Back to the corner of the Playing field & the Trail was picked up running along the northern edge of the playing fields to lead away from the soccer pitches, then on by the tennis courts to come up by the local allotments. Just beyond the spuds, beans, carrots & onions the Hash emerge out by the cottage in the corner, on their path to the lane to Braughing Friars. There a CHK was found.
The FRBs of Mark E Mark, Ketchup & Tent Packer didn’t seem to have any problems in going up to the Braughing Bridleway No.9 off of the bend in the road & out to the wheat fields to the east, the Falsie ending in a Bar CHK straight down in to the valley was ignored, instead the Keenies were quickly around the tractor tracks in the wheat to pick up the Trail on the descent in to the valley of golden wheat.
It was soon noticed by Sludge & No Eye Deer that the wheat along the edge of the paths was not the golden yellow colour of the rest of the crop but an unripe green & a couple of inches shorter, perhaps the path had been sprayed at one point to keep it clear & this has affected the bordering plants?
The Trail climbed up the opposite side of the valley & passed through the hedgerow to the next field of wheat, then leading on to a CHK on the grassy track running back down in to the valley.
TBT OBE started off down the hillside in a direction back toward the village on the wide grassy track that leads down to the wooded strip known as the Bone & at the far end for being famed as the former local Sheepdip, meanwhile the rest headed over toward the Aerial on top of the plateau, the Hash had gained over 100 feet in height since leaving the village.
The Dust was found again & the Pack made their way out on to a CHK on the bend in the lane to Cockhampstead [Where was Pebbledash when you want her? – Ed]
Mark E Mark, Ketchup & Jaron all set off toward the hilariously named Cockhampstead, but then “On!” was called down the lane to the southwest, in a direction toward the Braughing Friars road. More calling came from My Lil’, Tent Packer & TBT OBE, but this would turn out to be a Falsie, so Ketchup & Mark E Mark would have another look out toward Cockhampstead where they would pick up the other Falsie!
The real Trail was found on the footpath few yards back from the CHK & down through yet more wheat, it seemed like the Hash we running through the ‘Breadbasket’ of Hertfordshire. It was splendid 360° vista of perfect, unspoilt Herts Countryside from the high vantage point, before the Trail began to head downhill to the north.
This footpath was narrow to say the least, even though it is supposed to be Braughing Bridleway No.5 it doesn’t seem to be the most walked in the area, perhaps the dog-walkers don’t venture out this far? The path could just be seen as a thin strip of moved stalks that were like a desire line through the crop, the SCBs made good progress while the FRBs were trying to catch up from the previous long falsie [That was set by Sloppy Seconds! – Ed]
As the route progressed further to the north, the crop seemed to encroach further on to the footpath to the extent that it could hardly been seen, so at another point where tractor tracks crossed the way the Trail would take to one of these. The Hash now got away from the scratchy crop that soaked the Hares when they set this on Saturday.
As the Trail came down to the road to Furneaux Pelham, there was one last bit of wading through the crop to get to the Causeway’s roadside high verge. Some seemed to hesitate at the drop but everyone managed to get down the steep grassy bank, some on their backsides to reach the Held CHK, the very one that TBT OBE had earlier admitted to having a wee on (well near to it but don’t let it spoil a good story) apparently he was out here on his way home when he was lost on Saturday!
Kylie recognised this area, as did Ketchup & Mark E Mark which was no surprise as the late Goose set possibly his last Herts Trail around this way.
Once the Pack were back together, the Hares allowed them to start searching once more. Immediately the likes of Tent Packer, Paxo TBT OBE, Ketchup & Mark E Mark all set off down the first False Trail heading south-westward back to the village on a path running alongside of the Braughing Bourne, which was hidden away in the tree-lined ditch. The RA noticed the Mark E Mark was not so ‘Keen’ on this route & he kept looking around, which paid off as he spotted Hyena, Reefunda & Sileshuntee all heading further northward.
My Lil’ had other ideas & went a different way, having left the dirt track around to Bozens Green & had picked up the Trail up through another wheat field, this time the Braughing Bridleway No.4 which was wide enough for the Keenies to pass by. A left-hand turn at the junction with a green track that makes a kink in the course of the footpath on its way over to the Braughing Bridleway No.14 from Bozens Green to Braughing.
Another ridge of wheat to cross & on the way down to the Bozens Green Bridleway, near the end of which the Pack had to pass by a farmer out spraying in his tractor, he turned off the spraying until the Pack had passed by.
A CHK was found on the tree-lined bridleway No.14, no one turned to the right & the left-hand option back toward the On Inn was favoured & it proved to be correct. Another CHK was found only yards from the last one, this proved to be easily dismissed as Mark E Mark & My Lil’ kept to the homeward bound route.
Tent Packer was soon following on as the two Hare came up to mark the way.
A gentle rise up the track led to another glorious panorama of Hertfordshire. Down from this ridge & a patchwork of fields could be seen, one green enclosure had white bird scarers fluttering in it, which brought out a quip about it having Italian cabbages planted within. [The white flags giving this away! – Ed]
Sludge wondered where the row of houses that could be seen in the distance on the opposite side of this valley, the RA said he wasn’t sure & would look it up on the OS Map. It turns out that it was Hay Street.
The next CHK was found by a wooden rail & a set of steps down in to the bottom of the valley on a path to Quinbury Farm. Sloppy Seconds encouraged Tent Packer, Paxo & Jaron to take to this route, but the other Hare marked the CHK straight ahead on the higher path, Sloppy Seconds was convinced that the lower path was the correct route. Mr X knew otherwise & the faithful followed him, instead of finding the Falsie he had set down toward the farm.
Up ahead & this southbound track got to a vantage point where the Verdi-Gris spire of the St Mary the Virgin could be seen nestling in among the trees where the village sits in the bottom of the vale. The Trail led on along the nice hard capped path, which abruptly came to an end up on the top of Pentlow Hill, it looked like it was the remnants of a half finish project. Perhaps the EU stopped handing out grants?
There were very faint remains of the CHK at the crossroads of footpaths, by now Paxo was keeping an eye on Jaron as Ketchup was suffering from the previous day’s charity bike ride, he was lagging behind at this point in the Trail. Mark E Mark & My Lil’ were first to the remains of the CHK, but they failed to see this & continued on down the wide hedged-in track to the south & straight back into the village. My Lil’ saw the T down this route but carried on after Mark E Mark as “He could have been mugged down there on his own!”
The Pack descended the dusty track of a BOAT (By Way Open to All Traffic) to the south side of Quinbury Farm. The Trail was pretty scarce on this stretch [That Sloppy Seconds had set! – Ed] once over the river Bourne there was a footpath leading off in to the meadow to the west.
Tent Packer, Paxo & Jaron set off in to the green enclosure & as they approached the solitary, majestic oak in the field, they spotted a blob of flour on the trunk.
The Hash progressed in to the next enclosed pasture, Tent Packer & Paxo were content to continue down by the river, as Sloppy Seconds took to the other path cutting diagonally up to the fields opposite corner, they soon cut across the tall wispy grass to get back on Trail.
The Dust now led up out of the fields & on to the main road through Green End for a short trot along the roadside before taking to Gravely lane, now it was a gentle slope down through the narrow rustic, leafy lane of a long S-Bend to another Ford in the river Bourne.
The RA made sure that the Bar CHK on the footbridge was prominent, but it didn’t stop some from not venturing in to the shallow water, luckily the RA already had enough ammunition for the Circle not to worry about picking on those with dry feet, though it didn’t stop him checking My Lil’ & Mark E Mark’s Hash shoes when he reached the Pub!
The visitors got to hear about the great day that some of the Pack had spent at the Wheelbarrow Race, including some good videos from Mr X, seems like there are plans afoot for entering next year! If that wasn’t enough for Reefunda & Sileshuntee then got to hear from Kylie about the up-coming EHMR ‘Running Day! [Woo! – Woo! – Ed] as the Pack enjoyed a few Ales in the Pubs Garden.
Once the GM had toasted the Hash, Down-Downs were awarded to the two Hares of Mr X & Sloppy Seconds. Normal service resumed as Mr X took over the RAing duties. TBT OBE & Tent Packer were out for being the ‘Stars of the Show’ at the Barrow racing & being the prominent picture on the Herts Mercury Website.
Kylie was out for not just doing the Barrow race, but also making the Chequers Charity Bike Ride the day after, Ketchup was called out for ‘Child neglect’ & joined Kylie as he was also at the Charity ride, it took the two of them a while recall all of the Pubs that the ride took in [Possibly eight in total! – Ed]. Jaron managed to do all of this cycle ride on his fixed gear kids bike!!!.
The two visiting Kiwis were out for their first Herts Hash. Finally the Hashit went to My Lil’ for not going back to the CHK & His feeble excuse of ‘protecting’ Mark E Mark.