Date = 21st September 2014
Run Number = 1579
Venue = The Strathmore Arms
Location= St Paul’s Walden
Beer = Strathmore Ale, Buntingford,
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 2
Total = 15
Membership = Munching on samosas!
There were lots of cyclists out this morning, seems success in the UK’s Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Tour de France etc. has encouraged people out on their bikes, which for some would hinder their progress to reach the Hash in time for the welcoming Circle.
This week saw
Frankie turnout as a Newie, originally having Hashed with North Hants??? When
the GM asked who had brought her along, Frankie
blamed said it was Mr X
[Blame the RA! - Ed]
Frankie could now witness the slick machine that is the Herts Hierarchy in action, as the GM called the Hare forward to explain what was out there, then he sent him back before My Lil’ had started, as Frankie was called forward to be introduced, then the Hare was recalled to give his spiel!
My Lil' didn't really have much to say about his Trail, the bit about Short Cuts received a cheer & then the Pack were ushered away to the car park behind the Pub's grounds. What My Lil' forgot to mention in his briefing to the Pack was that there was the Amaudo 10 r*n or 2K Walk occurring around the local area that morning.
The first evidence of this was the throng of civilians milling around outside & within the Church grounds. All Saints Churchyard was bustling with civilians & various animals, which included a few horses! Later on it was discovered that there was a blessing taking place for the animals.
Anyhow, while Tent Packer, Paxo, Sludge, Sloppy Seconds & Sparky all went off away from the Church, taking nearly all of the rest of the Hash off with them down the lane to the west, only the RA choose to look off northward through the walled Churchyard.
Having made his way through the crowd & by the lady vicar, he spotted Dust on the opposite gate in the stone wall. Once out on the narrow back lane behind All Saints, he spotted a woman out walking a greyhound. His initial thoughts were that this was Bush Tucker but as be approached he soon discovered that she was a local, who suddenly stopped in her tracks as she thought the RA was calling her as he called "On! On!" out of the earshot of the horses.
Having explained that he was following the flour for a ‘paper-chase’ like Run, the local said that there were others locally who were concerned that the Hash markings were put down to indicate if the house was a potential place to rob! The RA reassured the local that this was not the case & he continued along the narrow tarmac lane. What would the late Queen Mother have said? No doubt "Have another Gin darling!" Anyhow.....
There was no sign of a CHK at the footpath off out in to the fields to the north of the village, Mr X choose not to search that route & continued along the lane, passing by the quaint cottages then around the short bend to find the Trail on the lane the others had been on earlier before finding a T.
The Trail could only head one way & that was to run along the rustic lane as it turns slightly west off of true north. Mr X Kept his distance behind a couple of horses heading toward the Sue Ryder Home, which the GM had mentioned in his welcoming speech. Obeying a 'Hash Hush' in order not to scare the horses, meant those behind the RA couldn't be alerted to where he was on the Trail.
Things changed when Mr X found the next CHK, by a footpath heading south-westward out between two hedged-in fields, then in to tree line that joins the tip of Walk wood. He choose this route & was soon “On!” amongst the established woodland.
The path led in to Walk wood before taking a 90° turn to the right, then only after a short way another opposite 90° to the left put the course back to a south-westerly trot.
There were plenty of old gnarled tree roots to avoid along the way, fortunately the resident Herts 'Frank Spenser' TBT OBE was at his Sailing club, acting as 'Commodore' for the day! News of this would raise such comments as 'He's no Lionel Richie!" & "I bet there'll be a few capsizing today!" [Which was quite prophetic, as he did capsized a couple of times himself, & he ended up swallowing a fair bit of lake water! Hence he was ill the following week! – Ed]
On the right of the path in the woodland, were fields that were home to some rather larger brown cows & their calves. Mr X finally slowed up as he reached the end of the wood, Smartarse soon caught up with the Herts RA as the Trail took the Hash in to the first of several, different sized paddocks & enclosures to the west of the Bury.
The Bury was once one of the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the other being Glamis Castle, she may have even been born there, though amazingly it is not clear where the place of her Birth was? It was, however, definitely where Prince Albert (George VI) proposed to her for the third & final time!
If you looked hard enough you could have seen a couple of the statues in the distance on the left, the ornate Gardens of the Bury are set out in the French Patte d'oie style (Goose foot) that have alleys fanning out to neatly kempt hedges with various statues etc. adorning the gardens.
The Hash headed toward the tree-line running along the southern end of the paddocks, but for Smartarse & Mr X things suddenly ground to a halt as they soon found their way was blocked by the strands of nylon for one of the electric fences dividing the field in to smaller paddocks.
They realised that they had missed where the footpath goes off through a few bushes on the west edge of the field. While Smartarse managed to get through the gap at a slack part of the strands, Mr X thought more of it & went back to the path within the bushes, not as he didn't want to shock the old crown jewels [Some people pay for that! – Ed] but so he couldn't be accused by anyone of SCBing if he was to do the same.
The RA indicate the route through the bushes, showing Sparky, Sloppy Seconds & Frankie to take up the Front running. The main body of the Pack were now “On” down the bumpy path, this end of the field drops down to a lower strip by the hedgerow.
The Trail followed the footpath as it now headed eastward, leaving the horsey area by dropping down to pass by beside a five-bar gate to the uncapped drive to the stables. Glancing back, the RA saw that Paxo had also missed the narrow gap in the bushes where the Trail nips through, Sludge was just far enough back to spot Paxo being ushered back by those in front of him.
A CHK was found just to the left as the estate track in amongst the trees joins the steeper drive down to the Valley. Sloppy Seconds was found to be loitering at the CHK, not sure whether to search down the long steep slope or to follow on behind Frankie, Fliptop, Smartarse & Sparky who were following the track around to the north on the plateau?
Mr X decided to take the plunge & tentatively he set off down the old steep route with large established broadleaf trees on each embankment. This led down to the cross a narrow bridge over the Mimram, the old bridge was complete with iron railings & cast iron warning signs, beyond this was the entrance to a new tea-room, but there was no time for tiffin!
It took quite a while, almost to the end of 'the Valley' before he picked up the Trail in the other side of the river Mimram, it was found by the cottages before the narrow lane joins the main High street in Whitwell. The River Mimram used to be famous around these parts for growing watercress, at the west end of the village, a few of the beds still remain but not like in its hay day.
In Whitwell, on the War Memorial is the name of the Hon Fergus Bowes-Lyon, Cap 8th Battalion Black Watch, son of the Earl of Strathmore & Kingshorne of Glamis Castle, Forfarshire.
The late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's brother was ‘Killed in Action’ aged 26, he has no grave, only his name in Whitwell & upon the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. So, when Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York (future King George VI) at Westminster abbey in 1926, she laid her bridal bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in memory of her brother & all those who fell, starting a precedence that each Royal Bride has done ever since.
Back to the Trail & an arrow directed the Hash over the road & up a back passage [Steady there Pebbledash, you know your kids think it's childish to snigger at such things! -Ed] this led a short way up between the olde worlds high street homes to the modern small estate behind.
On the junction with another alley from the estate, a smooth circle where a CHK used to be was found. The RA would again benefit from 'Local Knowledge' as he took to the less likely looking climb up through Old Field Rise to discover Dust leading on to Bradway.
More arrows were found, these showed the way over to the front of the Sports & Social Club, again the CHK that was there was now missing, worried residents were probably responsible for its demise.
A footpath sign pointed the way south-westward along the edge of the football pitches of the Sports & Social. Mr X followed this route out by the Match in progress, he picked up the Dust & called "On!" He followed the Trail to the point where it turns off in the corner of the sports ground, just behind the hedge he ran on to a large doughy T!
The RA would now play a nasty trick as he hid out of sight & waited for Sparky, Sludge, Sloppy Seconds & Frankie to find him pretending to retie his shoelaces! Frankie now knew that a T marks the end of a False Trail!
So, a long trot back to the now reinstated CHK on the corner of the Sports club car park, the wayward FRBs now found the way marked to the southeast on a footpath out on to the edge of the fields behind the homes on Bradway.
Paxo was now up front & first to a point where a CHK was supposed to be on the edge of the harrowed crop fields, this looked like I had been interfered with by human activity once again.
Paxo ventured off further along the edge of the field, while Smartarse, Sparky, Sludge, Tent Packer, Frankie & Mr X all headed out to the centre of the field. The Dust was sparse say the least, the only real bit to be seen was a dough ball on the telegraph post in the field, Sparky had to poke the said blob of dough as he didn't believe it was flour, even when the RA had said it was
The group of FRBs now looked back as they heard calls of "On!" Coming from Paxo who was again back along the hedgerow, after he had started back before the Hare pointed out that the FRBs were at the tip of a triangular set of three adjoining footpaths!
MILF had now caught up with the rest of the Pack, after she & Kylie were delayed getting to the Strathmore Arms. On the way back to the hedge, the FRBs could see Kylie, Bush Tucker & Fliptop, with Lucy & Louis, having made up ground on the rest of the Hash.
The Keenies soon caught up with Paxo, the likes of Sparky, Smartarse, Paxo, Frankie, Tent Packer & now MILF all got by him. Mr X didn't fancy following them north-eastward on a path running around the perimeter of the field, instead he crossed straight over the harrowed earth to pick up the Trail at the end where an old by-way runs down to the Codicote road.
My Lil' had to call the others back, he commented on Smartarse following Sparky & finished it with a "That'll teach him!"
The Trail dropped down from the level of the field to the by-way to lead down to the Codicote road. As the RA came down to edge of the village he bumped in to Sludge, Tent Packed & Sloppy Seconds who were all short cutting from further up the High street.
A turn to the right to leave Whitwell & just on the very eastern edge of the village, Dust took the Hash off northward on to Norton lane, another by-way.
Things started off on the by-way by the Pack trying to dodge the large puddles across the route, Frankie was tempted to take a potential permissive path off through a gap in the hedge, but Mr X & Smartarse found the Dust on the main uncapped track away from the farm house & on up by the sewage treatment plant.
The Trail passed by the wiffy sewage works, an old haunt of Hyena’s! No CHK could be seen by a footpath off along the field to the west, instead it was a long steep climb up the track, not only the incline put off any attempt to run up this, but the floor of the track was really uneven & littered with large flints.
So, a bit of gossiping was now order of the day on the straight up hill walk, until it reached the plateau & began to turn left, then right to become a far easier farm track to run on.
At the junction with the footpath to the west, which runs through the ‘Gallops’, no CHK could be seen, but this didn't stop Mr X from showing MILF the view out down the tree lined avenue of the Gallops leading into the valley & then back up to the Bury House.
They were called back from the Gallops as Sparky, Sloppy Seconds, Sludge, Smartarse, Tent Packer & Frankie all found flour on the way to the farm, but this was a Falsie!
So, everyone would now enjoy the great view down the long steep grassy Gallops. The long grass was still damp & Hash shoes were soon soaking as they received the only cleaning some will ever get in their lives.
MILF was certainly impressed by the trot down to the hedge, with the road to St Pauls Walden hidden from view behind it, obviously not to spoil the panorama from the small stately home of the Bury on the opposite ridge.
Once in the bottom of the valley, the Trail turned northward to run along the inside of the hedge lining the lane. A short way along here & the Pack would be shown the way across the lane, cutting diagonally to the gatehouse entrance to the Bury.
Those who don't know the area so well, like MILF, Sparky & Smartarse were soon led up the curving drive way, lured along by Dust on the trees lining this route up to the house. Mr X however wasn't going to be caught out with this rouse for he knew a turn to the right would lead on by the walled garden on a track up to All Saints Church.
Frankie & Sloppy Seconds wisely joined Mr X as they picked up the Trail on the track up to St Pauls Walden, on the start of this way they passed by a woman & a few kids, she asked if the Hash were partaking in the 10K walk as she was a steward.
Having explained they were not, the trio made their way up the uncapped track between the wood & the cattle field to finally come out at the car park behind the Pub's grounds.
Amazingly they weren't the first back, as Sludge was already there & chatting to four civilians in the beer garden. The RA questioned on how Sludge got in front of him, a whiff of Bullshit could then be smelt in the air.
The Pack all made it back just after the hour mark! Skip & Psycho were a little later after they had an even later start, the first thing they said was “What a good & well marked Trail it was!” [Don’t praise the Hare too much, it will go to his head! – Ed]
The weather was good enough to sit outside, though later it got a little cold & so Sludge lent his rugby top to Frankie to keep warm, a few picked up on the fact unlike most of his Hash gear, but doesn't have any holes in it!!
It could have been worse other Hash Gear, she could have been given the remnants of Sparky’s old Hash Shoes, he produced these from a plastic bag the bits were the insoles, & the cut out the strips with the eye holes & what looked like the tongues he had removed as “You never know when you may need these!”
Meanwhile, Tent Packer went around the Pub Garden & did a bit of scrumping of two apples that he then sliced up to eat, most preferred to go for the excellent samosas from the Bar than the fruit [At least the Pub garden apples weren’t black inside like the ones Skip gave to the RA a couple of weeks earlier! –Ed]
When it came to the Circle, the GM toasted the Hash before handing over to the RA.
The Hare was rewarded for a good run, Skip still didn't believe that My Lil' was the Hare! Skip was out for trying to poison the RA with one of Snow White's wicked step-mother's apples. Frankie was called out as this week’s Newie.
Smartarse finally got his 50 Herts Run bag, to stop his whinging!!! Sloppy was going to get the Hashit, for not wearing it the previous weeks, but just after he had stripped off his top in anticipation to adorn the shite-shirt, Kylie he had the cheek to mention cleaning when he started to talk without engaging his brain. [It took two a cleaner two weeks to sort out his place! – Ed] Kylie had now talked himself in to the Hashit, much to Sloppy's relief! Kylie's protests failed to sway neither the Pack nor the RA!