Date = 4th August 2014
Run Number = 1571
Venue = The John Bunyan
Location= Coleman Green
Beer = Mac's AK, Country & Cask
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 19
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 2
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 23
Membership = Stoated out of the Circle!
This week saw the some of the returnees from the Brussels 2014 event, probably the event of the summer? Also present were Oxymoron & Kokonut, who haven't been seen on a Herts Hash for a while. Smartarse & Friar Tuck were attending for the second week on the trot, they must have shanghaied two more Cypriot Hashers in the guises of Cauliwobble & Three Badge Stoker (Who must have been in the Grey Star Line)
Tent Packer went about his GM duties once Paxo, Ewok & TBT OBE had arrived, then after the welcoming speech, it was over to the Hare.
H4 markings were explained to the visitors, short cuts were also mentioned in the 'Chalk Talk' & with a final warning about the wheat being harvested meant, there was a potential to have a lot of dust thrown up in the air, as a warning for any asthmatics to take an inhaler with them, the other thing with the harvest was the cellulose remains of the stalks which were slippery underfoot. Psych piped up with "I think I may have cellulose on my bum!"
Then without further ado the Hare directed the Pack over toward Bunyan's Chimney.
Cauliwobble & Smartarse hung back with the Hare, who led them through the small hedged-in enclosure that surround the grade two listed remains of the double chimney breast. He also gave them a little explanation as to its historic value, with John Bunyan staying at the long gone cottage when he did his Lay-preaching in Herts in the 1650's.
Bunyan believed in Religious freedom after years of struggling with his Christian faith, being a former Roundhead during the English Civil War he soon found that after the Restoration his basic, unordained preaching outside of Church of England auspices would lead to him being jailed twice in Bedford gaol, he was deemed to have breached the Religion Act of 1592.
His most famous work was The Pilgrims Progress.
Back to the Trail & it descended down through the stony by-way running below level of the tree-lined crop fields on either side, this route is often a natural causeway for drainage of rain water from the aforementioned fields & the Coleman Green Spring on the plateau behind.
A CHK was found at the open area where a farm track crosses the eastbound by-way from the northwest to the southeast, the falsie up the hill to the south east was found first. Meanwhile My Lil' with Lola & Fliptop with Lucy both took the option to the northwest, the real Trail was found further down the by-way toward the Marford road in the distance.
While the majority took to the main Trail, Mr X offered up a short cut for Cauliwobble & Smartarse, this also was given to My Lil' as further around the Trail it would be a bit awkward for the pooches with a series if gated paddocks, the late arriving Sludge also chose the short cut option up the sandy farm track.
Now, TBT OBE was ambling along with Psycho, no doubt telling her how he was surprised to see that his registration for next year’s €urohash had him down on the ‘Who’s Cumming’ list as Tim Brooke-Taylor Old Bald 'ead. [How could they have possibly have found that out? - Ed]
So, these two gossiping away meant that they failed to spot the two large arrows pointing up through the tree-lined embankment on a footpath up to the crop field to the south of the by-way. No amount of calling them back from Paxo & Hyena could bring them back from heading down to the edge of the Marford road, where there was no Dust at all, not even a Bar CHK!
As the Pack followed the Trail up the edge of the wheat field, the hedgerow on the right gave way to a long fenced-off patch that contained maize or corn, if the Pack took a glance to the left, there was an unbroken vista of gentle green rolling hills, dotted with the woodland of the Brockett Estate & beyond. The Marford road remained hidden from view.
The Dust led the Keenies on through a paddock, then by way of a series of kissing gates to go behind a solitary house of Upper Cromer Hyde Farm at the dead end of Cromer Hyde lane, the footpath beside the house then led out to the tarmac lane. There the next CHK was found by a heap of unused tarmac.
The FRBs were at the CHK by the time My Lil' had reached it on the short cut, some took to following him on the Falsie to the southwest over toward Fletcher's Wick wood & Wet Grove, but they were stopped short by a T placed within the gap in the hedgerow. The Hare was pleased to see that Tent Packer, Paxo, ARP, Porky Pie, Oxymoron, Friar Tuck, Kokonut had all been lured that way after coming back from searching another route beside the lane to Cromer Hyde, that had no Dust on it.
The Trail was picked up on the footpath hidden behind the heap of spoil tarmac, Sludge was first on to this as it led in to the shade of Long Grove Spring Plantation.
Within this ancient woodland there were plenty of gnarled old tree trunks on the southerly route, at least it was shady & cool under the canopy of the trees. The path began to change direction slightly to head south-westward as it came to the end of the wood.
Just out on the edge of the fields a CHK was found on a path running north-westward along by the tree line separating the fields & a strip of wild crops on the field’s edge, this was a Falsie that lured ARP, Ewok, Porky Pie, Tent Packer to name a few toward Titnol's wood.
"On!" was called further down the south-westerly path down beside the start of the horse paddock of the stables of Simondshyde Farm, another CHK was found by the next & proper footpath over to Titnol's wood, this path was the one covered by the cellulose stalks of the remnants of the wheat that had recently been brought in.
It didn't take too much to realise that the Trail continued down to the Farm & a Held CHK was found on the edge of Symondshyde lane, by the entrance to the Farmyard.
Paxo was entrusted with the flour to mark the next section of the Trail, while the Hare took Cauliwobble & Smartarse on a short cut over the cellulose strewn path in to Titnol’s wood [Luckily Pebbledash wasn’t there! – Ed]. Smartarse was apologetic to the hare for taking them on an official Short Cut, it was by no means out of his way!
Cauliwobble lived up to her name as she said that it was quite spooky within these ancient woodland, it wasn’t quite the type of wood that Ichabod Crane may have ventured into to escape the 'Headless Horseman' in Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow!
The RA then added that it was lucky that they hadn’t followed on with the rest of the Hash, to go in to Symondshyde Great wood where several people have committed suicide in there over the years, by various means, one of which was just a couple of years ago.
The rest of the Pack set off again & immediately crossed the lane & off by the long blue gate to start through Symondshyde Great wood, running the wide bridleway all the way to the west end of the woodland, a CHK was found where it joins a T-junction with the path running along the inside of the woodland’s western edge.
The Trail was picked up on the path as it heads northward along the contour of the woodland, taking a couple of slight turns as it makes its way up to Holly Bush house, with its horse paddocks on the opposite side of the footpath.
The Trail took a sharp turn to the east & then northward once again to come around on the short single track lane by May Cottage & on to the remains of a Held CHK where the lane meets Hammonds lane. Once the Pack were mostly together, they continued a short way up the narrow Hammond’s lane to the east, just around this slight bend & an arrow was found directing the Hash over to a Footpath beside the large property of Park Croft.
It was by this large walled property that the Hare reappeared, he had been tarting up some of the Trail from the Short Cut backwards, which like the Held CHK, part of it had been kicked up by some numpties.
The Footpath led through a gate & on between the large Property & the fenced off paddock of wild grass for a set of disused stables, obvious warning signs informed the Hash that the area was covered by CCTV, & some of this was covert! No doubt Ewok found it sad to see these neglected empty stables?
Once behind the former stables & the large Property, the Trail led the Pack on through the northwest edge of Titnol’s wood, this would come out to the corner of a recently reaped wheat field & to the left of the really fresh CHK an orange windsock could be seen!
A few checked it out in the wood, but the Trail was on the outside of the trees, but the FRBs stumbled upon one of the False Trails from the last CHK of the Trail. The Hare chuckled to himself as he heard calls “On!” heading away in the wood & then abruptly stop as the Keenies found the T! They were soon back out of the wood as they came up to the final CHK of the Day.
Cauliwobble & Smartarse were out of sight, having been sent of the footpath home, Oxymoron went off in the other wrong direction, while the rest managed to find the Trail heading diagonally away from the wood, in a northerly direction.
Some of the dust on this section of Trail may have gone down to the fact that the fields, that had been shorn of their crop when the Hare set the Trail the day before, they had now been harrowed. The Hare was now hanging back a bit as he watched out for the few stragglers that were not too far behind the main body of the Pack.
As Mr X dropped back to make his present known, in his bright day-glo Brussels 2014 Hare Shirt, a couple out walking their Rottweiler asked if the Hash was a running club, as they had seen the On Inn & wondered what it meant. The Hare was happy to hear the rest of the Trail was intact. The Hash was briefly explained & a card handed to the couple, before the Hare set off to join the others on the footpath home.
A slight turn at the corner of the field, where the footpath passes in to another field, this one contained some remnants of black old rape-seed crop, mixed in with this was some wild oats [Luckily Pebbledash wasn’t there! – Ed], by the hedgerow on the left were a few Sunflowers dotted about to brighten up the day, by this point the clouds overhead had turned a dark shade of grey.
The footpath left the field in the top corner, the On Inn was found just a short way before it joins Coleman green lane, just a few yards from the Pub.
Most of the Pack enjoyed a Beer before Hyena came rolling in, but there was no sign of TBT OBE & Psycho, so a phone call was in order, to quote Mr X quoting Gene Kranz “I haven’t lost anyone on my watch & we’re not starting now!” TBT OBE’s was on answerphone but Mr X got through to Psycho, they weren’t far behind as they were passing the Windsock!
The whole Pack made it back, then as about 15 minutes later a figure came running toward the Pub. The RA said “Is it Kylie?” to which a few said “No it can’t be as he’s running!” but it was Kylie as he seems to be a bit competitive with No Eye Deer who is one Run ahead of him. The other reason that no one realised that Kylie was there, was the fact that his car had been cleaned & no one recognized it!
Tales of Brussels abound before the GM called the Circle together, this took a while as the Hash Beer had to bring out the Down-Downs without a tray!
The GM toasted the Hash, then asked the Pack what they thought of the Trail? Most agreed that it was a good one, with the Pack getting around on the hour! With Smartarse singing a song for the Hare’s Down-Down. The beer was necked & then normal service resumed!
Porky Pie was out for running by an orange Windsock, them changing in to an orange Hare polo shirt. Porky Pue tried to weasel his way out of the Down -Down by trying to dob in Sludge, who had admitted going to the wrong Pub, hence is late arrival! The RA was having none if it & Porky Pie took his punishment!
The Visitors of Cauliwobble & Three Badge Stocker were out for their first Herts Run. Tim Brooke-Taylor Old Bald 'ead & Psycho for being walkie-talkies & going off Trail! Hyena was next for not getting up in time to Hare the second Full Moon Run in Kobeggem, Belgium.
Smartarse received her hit for being far too apologetic when the Hare took her & Cauliwobble on an official Short Cut! Kylie for being competitive, as he seems to be counting his run number compared to No Eye Deer’s.
The Hashit went to Fliptop, who had picked up a dead stoat, which he was going to put on the Hashit but it made the Circle smell like a morgue on a hot day, with broken refrigeration & without the disinfectant! The Circle temporarily broke up due to the stench, before the stoat was bagged up & the air cleared. Fliptop began to regret picking up the stinky stoat, even though it was in a plastic bag, he soon began to start scratching before he had even put the Hashit on. Did this dead varmint have fleas? [Apparently he was fumigated by Sis when he got home! – Ed]
Once the Circle was finished, the RA had told a few anecdotes that happened in Brussels, including Nigel Farage sending down one of his minions to buy a Yorkshire Hasher a Beer, after he bumped in to him at a Brussels Bar. Following these, Oxymoron led a rousing chorus of ‘Father Abraham’.
With a few spots of rain in the air, the Pack went inside the Pub, where the Bar Maid was on only her second nights work, she later said she was certainly put to a lot of work & admitted she was wrong didn’t quite believe it when the Hare had popped in the day before & said the hash would have ‘a few drinks’ after the Run!
Later on the Landlord & Landlady put out candles to light the Pub, all in respect of the one hundredth anniversary of Britain declaring War on Germany, when the Germans refused to acknowledge Belgium's neutrality & remove her troops from Belgium territory. It was all inspired by the then Home Secretary Edward Grey's Speech "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime!"
It was strangely emotive sitting by candle light in the Pub, respecting those who would give their lives in four years of carnage. Once America entered the War & tipped the balance of power, & having no more to give, the Germans agreed to unconditional surrender but were subsequently humiliated by some of the Allied Powers, especially under Marshall Foch, & combined with insurmountable War Reparations the German Weimar Republic would collapse with their economy & the unrest would lead to the rise of the Nazi Party. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing!) Foch declared "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years". His words proved prophetic: the Second World War started twenty years and 65 days later