Date = 1st September 2014
Run Number = 1575
Venue = The Two
Location= Welwyn Garden City
Beer = Hobgoblin, Adnams Ghostship
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 3
Total = 19
Membership = Looking at Rapid Erections! [Steady there Pebbledash! -Ed]
With all of the ‘final Monday night of the season’, Ketchup's Pig Out meal, then it being called off due to Jaron's Go-Karting at Rye House, then that being cancelled & moved forward a couple of weeks, the RA had to step-in at the last minute to set this week’s Trail.
It turned out to be a rather camp affair for ten minutes during the time he set it, an hour before the Pack arrived! Fortunately the Dust survived the downpour that forced Mr X to briefly take shelter under a tree.
The Pack was looking like it was going to be a little Spartan when the Hare arrived back at the Two Willies. Perhaps some where making the best of the end of the final days of the School holidays, or was it the fact that Junior was found to be lurking in the said Public House, his usual incoherence pointed to him having slightly more than the two pints he repeatedly claimed to have supped so far. The RA questioned the content of the aforementioned Pints, was it Vodka? Junior claimed not!
Anyhow, the Circle was called & the dozen present listened to the GM's welcome, then the Hare added his bit. It wasn't any different than the usual spiel, watch out for crossing roads & that there would be short cuts!
Without further ado, the Pack were pointed away over a Pelican crossing to run across the green, tree-lined boulevard of the ‘Parkway’ & passing by the Coronation Fountain, being that of Queen Elizabeth II. This is lit at night & during the Breast Cancer Awareness week, the water is dyed pink & it does look pretty impressive, which is far better than the childish prank of putting a packet of washing powder in there that causes foam to spread across the Parkway!
Over another Pelican crossing, for the Trail to leave the Parkway to head eastward along Russellcroft road, at the first crossroads on this suburban street was the first CHK. Junior made it this far [So he owes Hashcash £2 if he didn't cough up that night? -Ed] It was fairly obvious that he was never going to progress any further than to conserve his energy & head back in to the Pub. The thought of him still being there in an hour's time was a frightening prospect for the Pack!
Fliptop continued off down Russellcroft road only to find a T, while Tent Packer, Sludge & No Eye Deer all chose to search up the isolated end section of Guessens’ road, this dead end road would be the correct route out to a CHK by the shrubbery end that allows footpath access to beginning of Bridge road.
Sludge & Skip both chose to cross the end of the Campus, probably in the belief that the Trail would take the Pack in to Sherrards wood, which lies behind the Campus west buildings, including the Hawthorn Theatre, named after Sir Nigel Hawthorne who once resided in Welwyn Garden City.
It didn't. Go that way as Tent Packer & No Eye Deer found the Trail heading eastward once again, this time down Bridge road. The next CHK wasn't far away as it was found by an information board by the small green space at the star of Handside lane, this explained about the earliest lane in this area & the old cottages that are dotted about in between the 1920's builds from the start of the construction of Welwyn Garden City they pre-dated.
When No Eye Deer found ‘On!’ again, she continued further along bridge road, she also sailed through the CHK at the start of Valley road. No Eye Deer found the Dust on Brockswood lane, as Bridge road becomes as it heads eastward toward the A1 (M) beyond the woodland & golf course.
While all this was happening, the RA overheard Sloppy Seconds making all manner of excuses as if he were protesting his innocence in the Circle! Turns out that he has picked up a speeding fine, whilst blaming it all on being distracted while having an inquisition on poisonous animals in Kenya as he was driving.
Skip & Sludge were still on the north side of the street, while the rest kept to the south side, though being on the correct side was a little precarious for Psycho, Little Hole & Fliptop as they almost stepped out in front of a speeding Mercedes, who's driver was a rather bit irate.
Everyone safely crossed the road & continued up to where the dead-end Dellcot Close leaves Brockswood lane to the left, well, all except Sludge & Skip who were heading further up Brockswood lane as they chatted away on the opposite side of the road.
Psycho took sympathy on the walkie-talkies of Sludge & Skip, she called them back to join the rest in the quiet cul-de-sac, where No Eye Deer & Tent Packer had already passed through the passageway through by the tennis club at the end of Dognell Green
No Eye Deer & Tent Packer were soon at end of the second of the back to back tree-lined cul-de-sacs & on to the CHK were Dognell Green emerges on to High Oaks. No Eye Deer turned right to head up to the east, while Tent Packer chose the other option, probably because it was downhill.
Sludge had made up lost ground on the FRBs, and along with Fliptop, he followed Tent Packer who was just calling "On!"
Fortunately for the two former GM's, the Hare was now up with them & he said "If you were the Hare, wouldn't you place a blob of flour on a tree that is slightly set back on the start of Mannicotts if it lured the Keenies off!"
It may have only been one FRB (Tent Packer) led away from going down the hill to a CHK where it joins Valley Road. While Tent Packed realized his mistake, Sloppy Seconds was first to be at latest CHK, he choose to cross over the road to Young's Rise where a Falsie lay ahead of him.
The Trail head southward along Valley road, it eventually left the houses behind after crossing to the east side of the road. Passing by the green area & woodland before coming on to a CHK by the first of the double roundabouts either side of the A1(M).
While Fliptop & Tent Packer continued along Valley road beyond its end at the roundabout, others headed up the green to a footpath on the woodland to the left, there the Trail was picked up again.
The meandering path in the wood took the Pack further southward, there were plenty of roots to avoid but TBT OBE was not present to fall over these! There were also a couple of fallen trees go around before coming up to a CHK by a bend on a tarmac path linking the end of a few of the streets near to where the RA lives.
Tent Packer caught up with a short cut up to this point, by way of traversing the larger sloping grassy space. He & No Eye Deer were quickly on to the Trail, having made their way through the alleyway with larger over growing hedges on either side to come out on to Broadfield place.
The next CHK was found on the verge where the small cul-de-sac joins Attimore road, No Eye Deer would fall foul of the Falsie away to the northwest. Sloppy almost found the Trail, but started to walk away from the start of Elmwood, that has a pair of horse chestnut trees sheading their conkers on either side of it, another potential TBT OBE trap!
Sloppy Seconds finally twigged it where Skip & Little Hole were now heading that way. The Dust led down to the other end of the street of des-res's, Mr X explained that these homes were built in the 1920's, one of the provisions stated by the then Welwyn Garden City Company was the fact that all the windows had to be in the Georgian style.
Mr X also mentioned that all the bricks used in the construction of these early homes were made locally & have WGC stamped inside the frog of the brick. The clay was extracted from where Stanborough lakes are, with a light railway running down Valley road to take them to the former branch line behind Bridge road.
Anyhow, a CHK was found at the crossroads with Applecroft road. The Falsie eastward up toward the RA's old Junior School was found before the real Trail was discovered down Elm Gardens & around on to Young's rise, just feet away from where Sloppy had been earlier.
The main body of the Pack set off to the north & were now on a loop around via Young's rise to a CHK on Handside lane, then it headed southward to Meadow Green, where the SCBs were found waiting at a Held CHK. Here the Pack could view the information board that tells of the 1922 Daily Mail competition to construct new homes in the "Daily Mail Model Village".
Tent Packer & Skip were quick to point out that one home was constructed using "Rapid erection techniques"! It was also mentioned it being a shame Pebbledash wasn't present that evening as there would be plenty of smut to be gained from the information board.
Across the road from the various & different white-washed homes around the green, the Hare pointed out the Barn Theatre, an original building complete with oast house like tower from the long gone Handside Farm. Behind this is the local Synagogue, there was a little mishearing by some as the RA mentioned their being a Bar in the theatre, Skip thought that there was a Bar in the Synagogue. [Everyone knows its Roman Catholic’s who have the Wine & Biscuits! – Ed]
The Trail resumed southward down Handside lane to a CHK beside one of the large, ancient oaks either side of the crossroads with Applecroft road. The Trail crossed this junction to lead down the east side of Handside lane, across from the old wood, brick & flint built Backhouse rooms, an arrow suddenly stopped Sludge, No Eye Deer, Sloppy Seconds & Tent Packer in their tracks
The Keenies were soon off down the passageway at the end of the tall hazel hedge to run out to the northwest corner of Welwyn Rugby Club. The Trail crossed straight along the end of the green open space for the Pitches, passing by the scrum machine to go to the opposite corner behind the club house.
Having done a 90° turn behind the hedge, No Eye Deer had to duck under the white metal gate, not having long enough legs to clamber this barrier. Those behind the Hare, followed him on the easier option right beside the clubhouse wall.
Leaving the Hobbs way club, the Trail turned left & left again in just a few yards to lead up Turnmore dale as it turns around from the north. Sloppy Seconds led the way along the gently arcing road to a CHK opposite the entrance to Fearnly road, he & No Eye Deer were soon off down there to pick up the Trail as it leads down to the Parkway.
The Penultimate CHK almost caught out No Eye Deer, but she was brought around by Tent Packer & Sloppy Seconds to take the left option & head northward toward the green space where the two way road splits in to two one way roads of the Parkway.
A trot up the green, tree lined avenue would cross over to one last Held CHK in front of the statue of "Dawn" a female nude who's is arising from her slumber. Mr X said that when he was younger, there was a time when she used to be adorned with a bras, the sight of which always tickled him.
The final leg of the Trail was to run up the east side of Parkway to find the On Inn across from Sainsbury's with an arrow directing the way over the crossing.
Fortunately the weather stayed dry, which was lucky for Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead who arrived late & also had to sit outside as they had three hounds with them, the Two Willows doesn’t allow dogs inside.
On arriving back at the Two Willows, the Pack found Junior hadn't moved very far, except a few feet to the Bar & back to his window seat!
The Down-Downs took place out with Mark E Mark, Lobby, Mumblehead & the pooches!
Tent Packer did the honours in toasting the Hash, then he awarded the Hare the first Down-Down. Then it was back to normal service as Mr X did his duties, there wasn't much to punish out on Trail, but the RA deemed Fliptop's goading of Sludge at not getting the train to Welwyn Garden & he reminded Fliptop that he has ended up in Cambridge after nodding off on the train & missed Royston!
The Hashit was awarded for the excuses that were overheard on the Trail, having been nabbed on a speed camera, the RA suggested that Sloppy Seconds should wear the Hashit & the Police would think TBT OBE was driving & not him!
Skip & Psycho handed out apples from their very own tree, in their very own back garden, the RA took one of these ‘eaters’ to work. Peeling off an indented leaf he found a small hole, so decided to bit out that section in case there was a maggot inside, the result was a black inner that would have made the wicked witch of Snow White’s step-mother proud!