Date = 29th October 2014
Run Number = 1584
Venue = The Rose & Crown
Location= Trowley Bottom
Beer = Otter
Hares = TBT OBE (With some help from the Grand Monkey)
Runners = 14
Virgins = 1
Visitors = 0
Aprčs Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 15
Membership = On a TBT OBE Special!!
Deep in Trowley Bottom, pronounced as in Rowly, the Hash gathered at the Rose & Crown, formerly the Carpenter’s Arms & before that the Sow & Pigs! Even with an extra hour in bed there were a few of the 'usual suspects' missing, not that anyone was expecting Ketchup to come out of his state of Hibernation this early in to the 'winter season'!
This week did see Kerry, a Virgin Hasher come along with the GM & Mrs Mallett, after contacting the Hash via email the other week. This week also saw Hyena return to the fold, & ARP bring along her parents down from Donnington Hash.
Just a Fraction after the Hour did the GM call the Circle together, Kerry was introduced & then the Hare was called forward.
Almost immediately TBT OBE started making his excuses, he mentioned having a co-Hare as if to spread any potential blame after the Trail! He was then asked to give a quick brief on Herts Trail Markings for Kerry, though it was not clear if she understood the Hare’s gibberish & strange descriptive actions.
The best bit of the 'Chalk Talk' was the CHK with an S inside it, this was as the RA correctly surmised, was a Sweet stop! Then without further ado the Pack were ushered away to the west & on to the steep climb up Pietly Hill which turned northwest ward.
On the outset, Skip shouted out, get those knees up fat boy, My Lil’ said “Which one?” & the RA said it could be most of the Herts men & added he could have added baldy, so My Lil came back with “That could be any one of the Herts men!”
The start was a twisty Trail which led up the hillside, passing the row of quaint cottages on the east side before leaving them behind as the Dust reached the plateau of the hilltop. To the northeast the prominent ‘Hertfordshire Spike Spire’ of St Leonards in Flamstead could be seen peeking over the farm land.
Having reached the top of the hill, the Pack would find a CHK point by the footpath the crosses the narrow hill top lane. A look down in to the valley to the southwest & Tent Packer could be seen wandering along in the valley bottom, having taken the short cut on the footpath running through from the Rose & Crown.
It was a fantastic view all around on the slightly overcast day, the only thing to spoil the panorama were the overhead power lines of the National Grid. ARP did comment on the RA’s duty on the weather, but it would not rain at any point that day.
As My Lil', Skip, Mr. X, Sparky, Frankie & Rocking Robin descend the harrowed hillside, TBT OBE could be seen further back from Tent Packer, he was looking at his map of the Trail this early on & it had all the foreboding hallmarks of a 'Classic TBT OBE Trail'!
The rise up the hill slowed the Pack, having just got their breath back from the initial hill climb up the lane, the Landlady laughed at the first leg of the Trail as she watched out of the window, since she saw the joint Run with H5 do the same the previous year.
The second CHK of the Trail was found in the valley bottom. From previous experience of running these parts last year with H5, My Lil' Choose the correct option to continue southwest-ward up the opposite side of the valley.
Up on the top of the southern ridge & the Keenies found a CHK by a gap in the hedgerow running along the edge of Wood Lane. My Lil’ sensed from his knowledge of Fat Controller’s Trail a year previous that the Trail would probably continue southwestward along the narrow hedged-in tarmac lane to run by Scratchwood to the south [Not the service station on the start of the M1 near Mill Hill golf course! – Ed]
The trot along the tarmac didn’t last too long as there probably was a CHK opposite Scratchwood, though it was now invisible to the keenest of Hash Eyes, what the RA did notice was a discarded black bin bag on the side of the lane, the open top reveled that its full content were lots of empty wine bottles. The RA suspected the Hare may have a drink problem!
The Trail was picked up where a footpath opposite Scratchwood, to run over the seeded fields to Yew Tree Spring wood in the northwest. Rockin’ Robin enquired from the Herts RA if the FRBs ahead of him, over the afore mentioned fields, ought to be calling? As Mr X began to replied that they should, finally a call of “On!” was heard from that direction which My Lil’, Foxy & Sparky had all set off over.
The Dust led along a part of the northeast edge of Yew Spring wood, then three quarters of the way along it entered the woodland & led the Pack on through a part of the equestrian course laid out within. Mr X said that if he were the Hare, then he would have had the Hash going through the water hazard, but having seen the stagnant looking water that certainly was not fed by a spring, he had other ideas.
Sparky did clamber over one of the jumps outside of the woodland, when egged on to do so by the RA, all of which made Foxy laugh. Out of the wood & the Trail northeastward through the lush green paddock, then at the end of this it turned to the southwest to cross a large open paddock, which was home to a huge pile of manure in one corner & a couple of old caravans in the opposite corner.
It was also spotted that there was a Turdis (portaloo) over by the caravans, not that anyone would want to use the facilities there, as the blue box was laying on its side with the door open! [Everyone’s Glastonbury nightmare! – Ed] The Trail stayed clear of both these unpleasant articles & kept to the footpath running between them, the only obstacle along this way was a large, metal five bar gate that was padlocked up.
Having clambered over the wooden structure beside the metal gate, a hard capped drive led out near to Prior’s Spring wood to the CHK for the Sweet Stop on the edge of tarmac part of Puddephat’s lane. With the Trail being a little sparse around this part of the Trail, Mr X went back to the gate to make sure that those behind would see him & cross the grassy paddocks.
Kerry was being accompanied by the GM, so she was fine as he was supposed to know where the Trail was going, however, the RA hung around until he saw Psycho & Skip coming in to view. Once they were at the Sweet Stop, the Keenies were eager to get on with things, the Hare was more anxious about being left with a lot of sweets & encouraged the Pack to tuck in to more before setting off!
When the Trail began again, the Keenies headed off up the lane to
the north & on to the junction with Beechwood lane beside the corner of Babies
wood, now things began to unravel. [Too much wine Hares? – Ed] Firstly there
was a Trail that was found & this led down Beechwood lane, the Keenies spotted
chalk arrows & then branched off of the lane to take to a footpath to the
north. The RA said that on the previous Trail there was a ‘Beer Stop’ around
these parts supplied by the H5, except that it wasn’t a decent beer
in the cans of cheap stuff they had hidden in the bushes that was so poor not
Junior tramps would drink it!
It was on this route that Mr X was explaining to Kerry about the Herts Markings, then the Dust seemed to peter out. Suddenly the second Hare, Tent Packer, was heard to holler out that it was a Falsie, Kerry now had firsthand experience of a False Trail, even though no T was found to alert the FRBs to this fact!
Back at the road junction & back down Puddephat’s lane the Hare could be seen with Hyena, Skip & Psycho, so the rest of the Pack headed off toward them. Suddenly as they approached the Map reading Hare, a call of False Trail was called again! It turned out that this was supposed to be a short cut for the SCBs, the Senior Hare was now lost on his own Trail!
After a slight pause in proceedings, the RA looked at his watch & declared that as it was a quarter to the Hour, the Pack should all take the short cut & miss out the mystery loop the Hare had carelessly lost! There were no complaints at this suggestion & the Pack took the Short Cut to the bend in the lane beside Puddephat’s Farm.
It was around this point that an airplane flew overhead toward Luton, Mr X said to Porky Pie that he would normally stop & wave while saying “Hello Porky!” to which Porky Pie said that he wished he was up there flying instead of being confused on this Trail!
Rockin’ Robin continued around the bend in the lane to follow Puddephat’s lane to the northwest, it seemed that everyone except My Lil’ & Hyena took to this route, the other two took to the uncapped by-way of Green lane which meant they were the only two not to be caught out on a Falsie & not called back by the Hare!
With Sparky, Foxy, Rockin’ Robin & Mr X all at the front of the Falsie, there was now a slower trudge back to the small green & duck pond at the bend in the lane by Puddephat’s farm. The Hare still seemed to be bewildered with his own Trail, the Pack passed by him & Mr X told those around him to look out for the ‘Pet Cemetery’ by the side of the Farm. Some cruel wit said that there was one there for ‘Sparky the gay dog’ from South Park [The cartoon dog’s barks & growls were voiced by George Clooney! – Ed]
Anyhow, the Trail now headed southeastward on the tree lined
by-way of Green lane. Mr X thought that he would try & encourage Kerry to turn
out again by saying that not all Herts Trails end up like a west-end farce [The
Jury is still out on that one! – Ed] but the tales of previous TBT OBE
disasters Trails probably wouldn’t help!
Kerry said to Mr X that she did find it a bit daunting when you can see the FRBs up ahead in the distance, Mr X replied that there is also the opposite of when you run around like the proverbial ‘Blue-arsed fly’ get caught out & when you return from this Hyena pops up like the ‘Shopkeeper’ in the Mr Benn kids program & is ahead of you
With the Trail taking to the by-way, the RA knew that the Pack had turned the corner & were heading on a route back toward the On Inn, but being a TBT OBE Trail it would not be that simple! Having turned on an elbow in the lane, the Dust would depart from the by-way & head out southeastward through a crop of what could have been winter beets, Kerry Did ask the RA what they were but it is My Lil’ you need to ask for things horticultural!
Kerry also wanted to know if the Hash should be running through the crop, but as Mr X pointed out that it was a footpath & there was a marker-posts in the field to point the way where the path takes a 90° turn to the southwest & on to Greenlane Wood.
By the time that Mr X, ARP & Porky Pie reached this part of the Trail, My Lil’, Sparky, Foxy & Rockin’ Robin were all coming out of the wood after finding the Falsie amongst the trees. Confusion still seemed to reign again, as the FRBs searched for the now non-existent Dust, the pace dropped to a walk as no one was confident in going along the grassy edge to the crop field.
TBT OBE was soon on the scene, so still no one was reassured when as he arrived at the gap through the hedgerow in to the next field to the east, it was compounded when he said “Where’s my CHK gone!”
Something resembling an arrow, not a CHK, was spotted & the Hare agreed that was the direction for the Pack to head off to the northeast, a trot up through more crop field & back up to Green lane lay ahead. My Lil’ bemoaned the fact that he should have stayed on this & could have missed out the loop around the lower fields!
The Trail ran on to the east end of Green lane, where it comes out by the wonderfully named ‘Nirvana’ which Fat Controller made such a fuss over a year ago. The Dust came out on to rustic Tarmac Green lane, there arrows were found to direct the Pack northward along the lane, there was a turn to the east at the bend by Green Acre Farm.
A trot along the tarmac could have had the Pack looking back down the valley to the On Inn, if there wasn’t such large bramble hedges on either side to shut out the view, this ended at the opposite bend in the lane. There was no CHK by the fly-tipped rubbish, the Dust just led in to the tree line on a footpath heading northeastward on a part of the ‘Hertfordshire way’ to the northeast.
Halfway down the enclosed path, the Dust led out of the tree-line & over to the west edge of the adjacent crop field, the direction would would turn again & lead northward, over in the distance the Hertfordshire Spike Spire could be seen up in the village of Flamstead on the opposite side of the valley, an indication of the direction home.
The Trail dropped down in to the valley & on between the horse paddocks of Trowley Bottom Farm, down below the RA, Mr X could see that Sparky had gone off on a Falsie to the east, while Rockin’ Robin had carried on northward to where a footpath leaves the farm track & heads up to St Leonard’s Church, all while Foxy stood at the junction of the farm tracks.
Mr X & My Lil tried to indicate to Sparky he was going awry, but having looked around back up at them, he continued on his way. The other two weren’t going to holler out too loud, in respect of the equines in the paddocks. Sparky would later question that horses wouldn’t be that spooked by calling, but he was put right as the old tale of a Horse & the barbed wire surrounding its paddock was mentioned in the local press & the owner trying to put the blame on H4 for when it cut its flank!
Anyhow, Mr X & My Lil’ ran down the hill & indicated that the Trail should turn to run by the north end of the neat & tidy farm yard, which it did, the others followed on as the Trail led out behind a fenced-in path & down in to the picturesque Hamlet of Trowley Bottom, with its small white-washed cottages, one of which has a unique round tower like wall & thatched roof.
The RA was first in to the Bar, he was pretty thirsty & was halfway through his point before Hyena arrived back. The rest of the Pack settled in to the Pub, a gem that is what a proper Pub should be, where you can have a take the dog in, have a Pint & a decent conversation [Until the Hash turn up! – Ed]
It was noticed that ARP had put her mum & dad in the ‘Bullshit corner’ of the Snug Bar. Rockin’ Robin was impressed that H4 still have a weekly printed Trash, his appreciation is more than the Scribe get from the regulars! Donnington gave up several years ago on doing theirs’ in this format!
The Landlady was generous enough to put on a spread of two platters of sarnies, which were very good & filled a gap after what was a longer than average Trail.
My Lil’ mentioned that the Trail followed nearly all of the same route as Fat Controller’s one did a year before, he suggested that the Scribe should just copy it & replace Fat Controller’s name with TBT OBE!
The Pack had a good laugh, Porky Pie seemed especially enamored with the German Lager, which led to ARP’s Parents hearing about The Albert, the Herts ‘Curse of Hitchin’ & when ARP had to walk him around the streets of Hitchin, then cut up his food in to small bits as he was incapable of using a knife & fork!
Talk of the Moroccan Night & the Christmas Weekend dominated later on, Sparky said that he wasn’t going to attend the Christmas Weekend as he’s not into Music performed by ‘Beat-combo’s’!!
Suddenly, as TBT OBE was shuffling about the small Snug Bar performing his Deputy Hash Cash Duties, Porky Pie was startled by the passing TBT OBE’s bum-bag poking him in the small of his back. Porky Pie said “Now I know how the wife feels first thing in bed in the morning!” [Surely it is not good to have ginger nuts in your bed either, let alone button mushrooms? - Ed]
The Circle was called outside. It was pointed out by Mr X that the Pub’s sign also bear Insignia of the Intelligence Corps, a Crown over a Union Rose (Tudor Rose), on two laurels & the motto of the Manui Dat Cognitio Vires ("Knowledge gives Strength to the Arm") apparently it is jokingly known as "a rampant pansy resting on its laurels"! Anyhow, after a failed attempt to work out the Latin, it was on to the Hits!
After the GM had toasted the Hash, it was over to the RA. Mr X explained that the songs were kept to the basic, as the Landlady, of 94 years young now lives in the back room of the pub. He added that last time we were there, she was presented with an award for her service during the Second World War, when she would ride a motorcycle to alert the London Fire brigade to where bombs had fallen when communications were out.
The Hare & his little helper [Tent Packer] were called out for setting an entertaining Run, which confused the Hares, let alone the Pack! Hyena was out for being a returnee to the fold; ARP’s parents were out for being & finally getting some payback from the kids taxi rides of the past!
Skip was out for completing 500 Herts Trails, While Kerry was out for completing her first! Finally, Frankie was Christened with the Hash Handle of ‘Foxy’, after she was described as the Herts New Pin-up & in a round-about way it went via Sam Fox [Whoooooo! A page three pin up from the 1980’s, who now bats for the opposition! – Ed] to end up as Foxy!!
The most infamous thing to happen in Trowley Bottom, appeared in the Morning Chronicle published in London on Monday 25th October 1841 (issue 22438!). What could have been of such momentous importance to warrant that? This was the newspaper that Charles Dickens had contributed to regularly in a slightly earlier period of his life. Tucked in at the bottom of a couple of letters to the Editor was the following:
“A fire broke out at Trowley Bottom, in the Parish of Flamstead between Redburn and Market-street, Hertfordshire, between eleven and twelve o’clock on Thursday night, and destroyed in all twenty-one houses, inhabited by poor industrious persons, who gain their living by making straw plaits for bonnets.”