Date = 5th October 2014
Run Number = 1581
Venue = The Pig & Whistle
Beer = Three Brewers Golden; Courage Best
Hares = Sludge & Skip
Runners = 20
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 1
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 21
Membership = Celebrating 140 Years!
A glorious day greeted those who ventured out to celebrate the 140th birthday Hash of Sludge & Skip [Some cruel wags claimed they were each 140 years old! - Ed] Just to prove that these two were still up to the 'job in hand' [No! Not that Pebbledash! -Ed] they even went out & set the morning's Trail!
This week saw Screw Loose turn out for the auspicious Trail. As more arrived, there was a bit of musical cars as Sparky had to move his car to allow No Eye Deer to take her place, allowing her to park behind him & get away early.
When time came around for the start of the Hash, Paxo took on his Joint Monkey responsibilities, & in the absence of our Glorious Grand Monkey, he kept the welcome nice & brief before introducing the Hares.
Stadler & Waldorf Sludge & Skip
took centre circle, as they did, they were presented with a Celebratory Hash
polo shirt of an off grey colour to hide later dribbling's, spillages of Complan
[Other nutritional supplements are available! – Ed] & various Ales. The Herts
logo on these new tops is now hunched over & using a Zimmer-frame! On the
subject of walking aids, they also received a racing granny each!
Sludge spoke for the two Hares on the subject of what the Pack could expect out on the Trail, warnings of roads to be crossed were heeded. Short cuts were mentioned & those who wanted these options should stick with Skip out on Trail. Skip then questioned the presence of nettles out on the Trail? His colleague answered the query by stating that there were & to quote the RA "They don't sting this time of year!"
Without further ado, the Pack were ushered away to the footpath which runs up beside the edge of the Pub, starting from the corner of the Car Park were Sloppy Seconds had parked his 'Fanny Magnet'.
Sloppy Seconds seemed concerned about the welfare of his car as the Pack ran by it, his protestations may well have be justified as the senior Hare marked the Trail with a blob of flour on Sloppy Seconds' dark green bonnet, while the RA twanged the aerial! [No, Pebbledash it isn’t a euphemism! – Ed]
The short alleyway led out to New Park lane behind the Pig & Whistle, where the first CHK was found. Sparky seemed happy to trot off down Brookfield lane on a False Trail, heading just a few degrees off of north, to the east the Pack had a wonderful vista of the subtle shades of brown comprising the patchwork of worked fields on the opposite side of the Beane valley.
While Sparky went wrong, the others picked up the Trail on by the club house & on to the edge of the recreation grounds. The Trail took a 90 degree turn to the west, in the corner of the sport field was a CHK were an alleyway path leads down by the local School, Milf & Cookies, My Lil’, Kylie, Paxo, Sloppy Seconds searched off by the school while the RA chose the wrong option here been lured away on the path out of the Recreation grounds to the north.
Having been called back, Mr X now caught up with the back of the Pack as the Trail emerged from the alleyway by the School grounds, he too was startled to hear Skip announce "Now, I just have to remember where the short cuts go!" Sis, Flanders & Screw Loose all looked a little apprehensive on hearing this!
The next CHK was found by where the next section of tarmac Alleyway path continues away westward from the homes in the village, running through the wooded area that separates the quaint rural idyll of Aston for the built-up urban sprawl of St Evenage!
A 90 degree turn in the wooded area took the Pack just inside the wood’s western edge, parallel to the path of Gresley Way. Kylie must have liked running near to the road named after the designer of LNER A1 & A4 British locomotives, including the Flying Scotsman & the Mallard, who died not so far away at Watton-at-Stone in 1941.
The Trail led on to a CHK by a gap in the roadside tree-line, Mr X was daft enough to cross over to the Stevenage side of the busy road, his decision being influenced by the Hares’ mentioning being careful of crossing roads, he soon found a T!
Having waited for a gap in flow of traffic, Mr X was again back with Flanders, Skip, Psycho, Sis & Screw Loose. A few more yards down to the south & another CHK was found, this one beside a footbridge spanning Gresley Way.
No Eye Deer was already over the bridge & calling "On!" as Mr X approached bemoaning having been only feet away from the opposite end of the bridge over the road.
Mr X’s attitude soon changed as Sludge said that those crossing the footbridge would be led on to the same T! He had used one T for both Falsies!!! Meanwhile Milf & Cookies had found the correct route through a gap in the hedge opposite the bridge, this would lead on to the old & now dead-end of Dewel lane.
Hash Hush was observed as the Pack passed by the stables & paddocks found along this end of the leafy lane. A gentle rise led the Pack up toward the Church at Aston, St Mary's Church, which was known as St James prior to 1505, & All Saints before that!
At the T junction where it joins the slightly wider Broadwater lane, an arrow directed the Pack straight over to run through the wooded area by a part of the fairways of Stevenage Golf Centre.
The Trail was now heading southward as it emerged to cross the aforementioned fairway to come out by the centre's Club House. The Clubhouse of the Golf Centre stands on where Aston House was until it was demolished in the 1960's. This was once home to S.O.E (Special Operations Executive) Station XII, during World War II they developed such things here as, the Pencil fuse, Limpet mine, Time-delay fuses & the Bailey Bridge.
The Bailey Bridge was first made as a model of balsa wood, lollipop sticks & a lot of glue! You couldn't see the Germans using such Heath-Robinson materials, but it hung in the window until the end of the war. Best of all they also came up with exploding coal & dead rats with explosives in fo destroy boilers. Just like in the film The Guns of Naveronne.
Passing by the front of the Club, the Trail led further southward beside a green & over to the northern, top edge of Lady's wood. A call of "Honey!" Alerted Kylie (& those around him) that Milf & Cookies had found the Trail in the wood.
The path would meander amongst the trees, having changed tack slightly to the east the Trail emerged from the wood & on to Aston lane, after a trot down the lane the Pack obeyed the arrow to cross over & make their way on to the driveway to Astonbury Manor away in the east.
A CHK was found a little way along the concrete drive, Sparky had started searching over the fields to the south but was called back as Frankie, Milf & Cookies, Sloppy Seconds, Kylie, Little Hole, My Lil' & Sloppy Seconds found Dust up the drive, shame it was a long Falsie!
Cruelly, Sludge had waited on the CHK for Sparky to return before marking the Trail from whence he had returned from! It was also at this point the Trail would split between a Long & a Short options with the SCBs going straight up toward the Astonbury Manor.
When No Eye Deer caught up from her goings wrong earlier, it was at this point Skip offered her the option of the Short Cut but she decided to do the whole Trail.
A long downhill Trot lay ahead as the crop fields eventually gave way to a run down beside the west edge of Astonbury wood, Kylie was more concerned that Paxo’s ‘New Shoes’ would get wet in the long grass. The RA had got the message as Kylie kept going on about the ‘New Shoes’ like an old scratched LP! [If you don’t know what an LP is? Ask Skip or Sludge, they’ll know! –Ed]
The path now had a nice bed of pine needles as it came by the corner of the woodland. Milf & Cookies was found waiting at the wooden gate to a fenced in section of path, as Mr X approached he said the layers of pine branches reminded him of something that would cover a booby-trap! Milf & Cookies then hoicked up her T-shirt & declared "This is a real Booby-trap!"
A scrubby old path lay ahead by the fenced off grounds of a sports field near to Bradbury End, signs warned of this being prohibit to public access. Sparky ran on by the gap to the open, flat playing fields to continue along overgrown path on the north side of the fencing, perhaps he thought he wasn’t allowed on the otherside?
The other FRBs took the easy option of following on behind Milf & Cookies with Sloppy Seconds as they would find the Dust on the smooth green of the sports field which was now not so prohibited! Sparky fought his way out of the bramble strewn route to cut over & join the rest up on to the raised green bank beside the Stevenage brook.
A small wooden footbridge allowed the Hash to cross the brook, after which the terrain changed completely. Now the Keenies had to make their way eastward on a rough piece ground that had a swathe of nettles in the first corner the Pack encountered.
Sludge pointed out the correct route should be on a path through the stingers, Milf & Cookies had other ideas as she followed the brook a little further before finding what seemed to be an easier route, this wouldn't last long as she was soon in among the nettles with the rest as the paths merged.
Perhaps the MI5 (S.O.E) connection explains the sight of a single wall off of the scrubby area of nettles & brambles to the north before Astonbury wood?
There were plenty of girly screams in among the nettle patch, not from any of the Harriettes but coming from Kylie & Little Hole as they tippy-toed their way toward Milf & Cookies! [It is all captured on camera by Milf & Cookies! - Ed]
To avoid any more contact with the next section of nettles, Milf & Cookies continued her journey out of the patch with a T-shirt held out in front of her legs! The Trail left the rough feral ground to come out on to the edge of the old Ware road as it heads eastward away from Bragbury End.
The RA had some wishful thinking as the Three Horse shoes Pub at Hooks Cross was passed by on the opposite side of the road, with no Beer Stop the Keenies were led on to a footpath starting at the back of a side garden to a cottage on the road’s northern side. Milf & Cookies was found waiting here, but went back down the Trail after the RA said that Kylie was back on the scrubby field & was having some trouble with his 'Stoat' in the hedgerow.
A gentle climb up the farm track the footpath takes to the north now lay ahead, with Astonbury wood to the west & horse paddocks to the east, it was along here, Frankie, Sloppy Seconds & Sparky all continued to run, while Mr X & Paxo slowed up.
At a split in the footpath, had the Keenies going over a harrowed field where the path's proper route was kind of guessed at as it was no longer obvious to those like Sparky who could not see the footpath marker post on the far off distance.
This slightly west of north path came out on to a corner on Stringers lane, by the opposite end of the drive way for Astonbury manor, which now sat on the west of the Trail. There was some hooting of a car horn further up the road, before an old Vauxhall Ashtray that was almost mistaken for being Hyena’s drove by!
Arrows pointed the way down the lane as it descends into the valley at the bottom of Frogmore Hill. Sparky, Sloppy Seconds & Frankie continued on by the footpath up in to the fields to the north of the White House, in the very bottom of the valley the river Beane flows through they found a Bar CHK.
They had to trudge back to return to the Trail, the RA was surprised that Frankie & Sloppy Seconds had not seen the string of Sis, Flanders, Psycho, Party Animal & Screw Loose all up ahead of the rest on the long steep climb through the brown fields below Aston to the northwest.
Paxo stopped back on the lane, as a lone figure in red could be seen back down the hill, it would turn out to be No Eye Deer on the long Trail out.
A CHK down by where the footpath continues beside the Beane, hidden behind the dense bushes & trees along its bank, was soon dealt with as the SCBs could obviously be seen off up away from the level.
On the way up to the village, around the halfway point, a red traffic cone sat on a concrete cover to a drain in the harrowed & seeded field. Even the youngest & hardiest gave up in running this stretch.
One last field, a small paddock on the opposite side of the hedgerow at the top of the ridge, the On Inn was found on Stringers Lane back in the delightful village, which is recorded in the Doomsday Book as Estone, latter years have corrupted it Aston. It was now just a short way around back to the Pub.
Once changed the Pack were treated to their first drink being on Sludge & Skip, which was followed by a birthday picnic, while enjoying excellent Ales at £2.50!
In the small marquee, the Pack did stand back as Psycho lit the 70 candles on the smaller of the two cakes, the other being decorated with icing sugar representations of Sludge & Skip asleep on a sofa! The circle laughed at the two Birthday Hares as they attempted to extinguish the flames by blowing them out!
After eating, the Circle was called. The Hares were rewarded for a good Trail, which was 10 minutes longer than the hour Sludge had promised!
Frankie was out for being disappointed that Mince pie she bit in to, was actually an apple Pie, the RA pointing out that it had an apple on the pastry top, not a holly leaf!
Sis & Fliptop were out after Sis questioned Fliptop on what MILF stood for, he said he knew but couldn't tell her any more there & then, other than she is one! The RA told her to go home & Google it, there must be thousands of pages out covering the subject!
Ewok was out for being over dressed, having turned up after a naming ceremony [Bet it isn’t as good as a Hash one? – Ed] Ewok's squirming face was a picture, as she turned on heading the words to 'Mrs Murphy' being sung prior to her Down-Down.
Sloppy Seconds had a wardrobe malfunction as he put something in the rear zip-up pocket on his shorts to look as if he had pooped himself.
Sparky received the Hashit for not believing the RA would sort out the weather for this auspicious Trail, & calling Frankie back after arranging to pick her up for a loft today's Trail, where he advised her to take a jumper! It must have been over 20 degrees that day?
With the Down-Downs out of the way, My Lil' showed that he had a quiet weekend as he produced a bag of conkers, all ready for Herts to cock-a-snook the Health & safety Hitlers as they under took the annual Herts Conker competition.
Sloppy Seconds didn't like the shape of his Conker, which was surprising as it turned out to be the winning Conker, dismissing the RA as previous incumbent of the said title. Sloppy Seconds was quick to mention his win with that of his rogering of Paxo on the Pub's Pool table a couple of months earlier [Bet he has his own trumpet at home he likes to blow! - Ed]
The best spectacle was not Sloppy's victory, but Ewok's flinching & jumping out of the way in her game against Mr X!
The afternoon degenerated in to a lot of lewd jokes about conkers & the subsequent cracks, everyone agreed it was fortunate that Pebbledash wasn't there this day, though it is hard to see how it could have been made cruder or less side-splittingly funny.
This year, in honour of Sloppy Seconds victory, the Ewok & Milf & Cookies made a Conker crown for Sloppy Seconds to wear, the RA said he had to wear it on his drive home, so Sloppy could experience what it is like to 'Feel the wind on his conkers' while driving home with the top down!
Skip & Psycho were last to leave, Little Hole was still inside the Pub watch Arsenil lose to Chelski, after this they went to visit their new home. [Get the Hash House-warming in before you decorate! - Ed]
Just so we all know for next year (To Speed things up?)
Players’ Rules of Engagement for the Noble Game of Conkers
(Half-inched from) the
Ashton Conker Club World Conker Championships:
There are two stewards in charge of each game and their decision is final,
except in the case of an unresolved query or dispute between Player and Steward,
in which case the
Chief Umpire RA will be called and his decision shall
be absolutely final.
DUTIES OF OFFICIALS