Date = 28th September 2014
Run Number = 1580
Venue = The Skew Bridge
Beer = Doombar & Tring Side Pocket (For a Toad)
Hares = Oxymoron & Kokonut
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 14
Membership = Running in an Indian Summer?!
Not a massive turn out for today’s Trail, which was surprising as it was a glorious morning. The type of day you would expect to have in June or July.
The Circle had started & the Hare was giving his spiel by the time Frankie, Mr X & My Lil' had all alighted from the 321 bus, it was a little late leaving St Albans.
The Hare explained there was a walkers Trail, which was indicated with an arrow drawn on to the top of the top end of the W. My Lil' commented on them W standing for something else, W- ⚓! Also caught by the Pack was a bit of information about the Trail being marked "Three and On!"
Before the Pack were told to leave the car park & head up outside the front of the Skew Bridge, there was a warning about part of the Trail was set along the roadside verge on the White Horse road out of Harpenden, care was needed along this part.
The Pack headed northward up Southdown road for a short way before branching off on to the Common. The first CHK was found not too far on to the Common, it was down to Sludge & Frankie to pick up the Dust as it continued northward to go through the small wooded area & on to the next CHK just beyond the Ponds.
On the way Tent Packer told Mr X that there was an event happening in the High Street, with a beach set out on the side road, this was complete with a Punch & Judy show to be staged later that day.
The RA & GM went on to discuss how un-PC this kids’ entertainment is, with wife beating, theft of sausages, Police abuse, abuse of the Police, child abuse & just to top it off cruelty to animals! No doubt all we all watched this as kids, never done us any harm!
Anyhow, back to the Trail & those like Pebbledash, Spillage, Skip, Psycho & Fliptop who were heading along the common toward the High street found no more Dust. Mr X & My Lil' took to crossing the common to the edge of the St Albans road, Dust was spotted on a wooden post for the entrance to the small car park on the opposite side from the Cricket Club pavillion.
Mr X was ready to cross the road & as he stepped out to cross, a cyclist shouted out a warning to "Be careful mate!" which surprised the RA as there were some 30 feet of more between them, & the cyclist was hardly Sir Bradley Wiggins sprinting along!
Sludge had now also cut across the common to then join the others on the west side of the main road. The next CHK was found on a drain cover at the start of the uncapped by-way of Coach Lane, situated by an old small cottage.
Mr X ventured up this hedged-in path, it took him a while to find the third blob of Dust & be able to call "On!" It was almost beyond the tennis courts, hidden by the trees & bushes on the right-hand side, before the third blob of Dust was found.
Tent Packer was up with Mr X as the two came out to a junction of footpaths on the southwest corner of the playing field part of Rothamsted Park. Tent Packer went to look out on a footpath to the south, while Mr X went up to the point where there is a fork in the main uncapped path toward the Manor house.
Mr X discovered the first W on the Trail, it had the first downward part of the W marked with an arrowhead indicating that the Walkers should head away on to the southwest on the path between the recreation ground & the enclosed section known as ‘Parkland’, in the distance this would meet up with the tarmac drive to Rothamsted Manor.
Mr X correctly assumed that the Trail would now take to the path that heads of slightly southward off of true west, another stony uncapped track was separated by an enclosure of ‘Parkland’ from the Walkers Trail.
The long trot out to the green area on the north edge of the Rothamsted Manor grounds. There are records of a building here since 1212, but its Dutch influenced style derives from the Wittewringe family after the purchased it in the 1620s, they were descended from Dutch Calvinists who fled to England.
As Mr X, Tent Packer, My Lil', Frankie, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds summed up the options, the RA noticed there were a lot of signs out posted around the vicinity declaring that the Court Order rescinding the "Permissive access" through the Manor grounds was still being enforced.
All this is due to protesters being there to voice their opinion about the Trials of growing GM crops on the grounds of Rothamsted Experimental Station's grounds. When some the crops were trampled underfoot, the RA thought that he better keep an eye on Sludge in case he did any ‘Cropping’ while doing his usual Short Cutting tricks.
Rothamsted has been home to experimental agricultural development for a long time, it is the site of the longest running experiment of park grass that has been continually monitored since 1856!
Having worked out that there was now no way through to the Redbourn road by the Manor House, Sludge deduced that the Trail would head back south-eastward to come out on to the driveway. There was no sign of Psycho, Skip, Fliptop, Pebbledash & Puddles or Oxymoron on the short cut, as the FRBs came on to the CHK beside the willow beds beside the drive.
Mr X now slowed up to a walking pace for a bit, Kokonut commented on this by asking if he was feeling tired, he admitted that he was finding it hard to keep going as he was shattered from the previous day out at the Rugby! [No sympathy for him, as it was self-inflicted! - Ed]
The Pack would now take to the footpath off through the apparently fallow area of the Great Field to the east of the estate. As the Hash set off on the footpath between the twin wire fences, it was noticed that a white land rover was parked up at the end of one field, this had a fairly larger radar spinning around on a trailer behind it.
It was curious sight to see, a revolving radar but what was it there for? It turns out that is not for tracking activists but for the Rothamsted Radar Entomology Unit, who track various insects including bees with tiny transponders on them!
The long path led south-westward to the Redbourn road, where the Trail turned eastward along the grass verge of the busy road. Things weren't helped by having to run by the line of cars parked on the verge outside of Harpenden Rugby Club.
All of the Pack got by the Rugby Club, which is covers a fair bit of ground these days as discovered when the Pack left running by the busy, main grounds to pass by the extra fields to the east that had the Juniors & Minis all out there playing & practicing.
Just away from the Rugby, the Trail came up to the start of the houses at the south-westernmost point of Harpenden, there a CHK was found by the start of the Hammonds lane. While Kokonut waited at the CHK, Sludge went awry as be headed up the main road toward the White Horse at Hatching Green.
For the Keenies the Trail would take to Hammonds End lane, passing by the entrance to Harpenden Golf Club. It was a long straight trot on the dead end lane, a CHK before the houses was could have broken things up but it was in fact easily dealt with & the Dust was found out beyond the Hammonds End Farmyard.
Once by the open barns, the uncapped track would take a turn to the right & left in rapid succession, sailing through the CHK on the second bend. On the way down the farm track, a notice was spotted on the edge of the crop field, this explained that the crop was organic clover which after two years would be cultivated for silage then the roots ploughed in to the earth to build up the nitrogen in the soil.
The Pack were now getting stretch out, with Tent Packer, Sloppy Seconds, Frankie & Paxo being well ahead of Sludge, My Lil' & finally the suffering RA! A family sitting on a bench by the corner of a T-junction of the footpaths on this corner with Hammonds wood, were happy to point out to Sludge & My Lil' where the others had gone from the CHK.
At the far end of the field running down toward Rebournbury Mill, the FRBs could be seen coming out of the hedgerow to trot along the southwest edge of the harrowed field. The RA decided that he would follow Kokonut on the route the Trail took, he would holler out "On!" repeatedly so My Lil' & Sludge knew that they weren't on the correct route - they chose to go around the rectangular field in the opposite direction!
Mr X came out through the hedge in the south-eastern corner of the field before My Lil' reached this point. Here the only other option & that was on a path which climbs the steep hillside recently seeded & showing little green stalks peeking out of the soil.
The RA could hear some grumblings begin him, as Sludge told My Lil' "We should have gone through the double gates & cut out this part of the Trail after their equidistant short cut!
It was a long, slow climb up the hill, but once at the top it was a grand view looking around the local area, the RA wondered how much the homes on the outskirts of the West Common part of Harpenden sell for, especially those with the unspoilt view of the countryside?
On his ascent, the RA found a large, old hand made clout nail encrusted with rust & earth, My Lil’ said that the RA had in his hand more than Ketchup has probably found all year with his metal detector searches!
Anyhow, the Trail came up to the level & run along the field side of hedge lining the non-housing side of Prospect lane, it was noticeable that the good folk of this part of Harpenden may be fortunate to live there, but it seems beneath them to pick up their dog's mess littering this path!
At the corner of the field, the footpath became shuttered in with fence panels to become an alleyway between the homes. Eventually it would lead out to a Held CHK on the Deerings.
The SCBs were nowhere to be found at this regroup, so after a couple of minutes the show got back on the road again. A few of the Pack were soon feeling the effects of the earlier climb when it came to resuming the Trail!
Dust was picked up on the gentle slight drop down Hawsley crowd, passing the strangely named Chowns, which drew a few puzzled comments. The FRBs would follow this to where it becomes Collens road & then through the fence as a footpath comes out on to the edge of the busy St Albans road once again.
Having managed to cross this hectic road, Sludge, My Lil' & Mr X found Kokonut waiting on the start of the narrow Cross lane, the rest of the FRBs were already searching this & Sludge was soon behind them.
But as My Lil' & Mr X started toward the others, they soon found that they were coming back to the main road. So, these two searched northward up toward the town centre route, the others headed away along the main drag in the opposite direction, where they picked up the Trail!
The Trail would now turn eastward to cross over the east Common, passing the end of part of the Golf Club, the Trail hit the was edge of the common then turned left to head northward all the way up Limbrick lane
Mr X & My Lil' met up with the rest after taking a short cut down short part of the L-shaped Limbrick lane, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds got their comments in fairly sharpish, then the RA was amazed to hear Frankie ask Mr X if he had been cheating?
The last part of the Trail would lead the Hash down the gallop running through the small St John’s wood area before coming out on to Cravill’s Road.
Once over the road, the Trail clipped the edge of the open common before coming Inn behind the Pub. All the SCBs were back well before the FRBs, most were changed & sitting out in the nice enclosed Pub garden!
Pebbledash told the RA about some incidents during the Mersea Island weekend, which had been excluded from the Run Reports, especially Sparky's car alarm going off early in the morning, & his tinned kippers!
After a round of sarnies, that Paxo had warned Frankie not to be shy & get stuck in before the food was devoured! Shame that there were no Veggie or Gluten free food options available as Psycho was to miss out.
The Down-Downs saw the Hares rewarded for setting the Trail; Sludge & My Lil' were out for their "equidistant cutting" & Sludge moaning about not short cutting through the gate!
TBT OBE was out for (predictably) capsizing at his sailing competition, swallowing water & being ill for the test of the week! Paxo was out for having to be a mother hen & nurse a rather poorly Ewok! Sludge was out again for lost property, some Arabian looking outfits that had been borrowed & left at Paxo’s by TBT OBE who had them for the UK Qatar Reunion Hash weekend!
From the World Press
[Was TBT OBE the Hare? – Ed]
Guam - 79 people from the running club known as the "Hash House Harriers" got lost in the bush around Mt. Schroeder in Merizo Saturday evening and had to be led out to safety by Guam Fire and Rescue.
The "Hash House Harriers" are international group of non-competitive, running social clubs.
Acting Guam Fire Spokesman FF II Kevin Reily reports the initial 911 call came in just after 9pm Saturday reporting 25 runners were lost.
Rescue 3 launched a search and soon located part of the group. That's when they learned that there were more than 70 hash runners, says Reily, not just 25. Rescue 1 then joined in the search for the remaining runners. In all, 13 GFD personnel were involved in the search which Reily described as "exhaustive."
Reily reports all of them were led to safety by 4:30am Sunday. 3 suffered minor injuries from abrasions and fatigue. But no one had to be transported to the hospital. 1 of the "Harriers" fell into a ravine, but Reily reports that that person was helped out by another Harrier and led to the trail-head.
The hashers told rescue personnel they started their run at 4pm Saturday.
Its the second time in less than a week that a group of people have had to be lead to safety by Guam Fire and Rescue getting lost at night in the jungle. Last Thursday night a group of young men got lost while hiking in the area of the the Pagat caves. They were led to safety Friday morning by GFD Rescue Unit 1.