Date =                            28th December 2014

Run Number =            1593

Venue =                       The Plume of Feathers

Location=                    Ickleford

Beer =                           Doombar;

Hares =                         Paxo

Runners =                   15

Virgins =                       2

Visitors =                      0                                        

Après Hashers =        1

Newies =                       0

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          18

Membership =             It’s a set up!!

 

Some people believe in conspiracy theories around the globe, UFOs, Extra Terrestrials, Ghosts, Specters, Assassins on the Grassy Knoll & the like, then there are those who believe that Paxo was set up to lay a ‘Live Trail’ this week!!!  Well, the last conversation the RA had with Paxo ended with “If no one else can set the Trail from the Plume of Feathers, I’ll do a ‘Live’ one!” [‘Nuff said! – Ed]

The Landlady had no idea that the Hash were turning up, due to the afore mentioned conspiracy cock-up, but she was fine with the Hash running around the local vicinity & back to the Plume of Feathers.  Paxo now had to find something to mark the Trail with, & the handful of bits of crumbled plaster-board Mr X offered up was not of much use, so Paxo ran around to the local corner shop to purchase some flour & as he left it was agreed that the Trail would start from opposite the shop.

Mr X then marked P-Arrows out of the Pub Car Park to leave Green lane (postcode SG5 3YD) to find a CHK near to the Thatched, black timbered & white washed wattle & daub bus-shelter erected in Memory of Queen Alexandra & King George V at the edge of the green area of Upper Green.  He returned to find that Pebbledash had realized that Paxo had not locked his car, so the Hash thought on their feet, [It may as well have been thinking with their feet! – Ed] when it was suggested to Sludge that he pulled his car up in front of Paxo’s to stop anyone driving it away!

The Pack looked on as Sludge moved his car & pulled in it real close up against the front of the Ford, then Sludge wondered why the Pack were still looking at him - now parked up in front of Pepé le Pew & Pebbledash’s car!  It was the wrong Ford!  Things were then put right as he boxed in Paxo’s car.  The RA was now had to carry out the introductions to the Hash, with this week’s Virgins of Helen & Mathew, nephew & niece of Pebbledash, who were there for some post-Christmas Exercise!

The Pack left the pub car park around a quarter past the hour.  Out to the CHK by the shelter, & while the RA searched northward up the Arlesey road, My Lil’ crossed over to search to the east where a footpath sign lured him away.  Both would be incorrect with their assumptions as the Trail was picked up around to the southwest, passing in front of the currently Sold, shut & boarded up Green Man & the adjacent the Old George, which also languishes in a closed looking state by St Katherine’s Church, the Trail would lead around on to the seasonally named Walnut way to head northwestward.

The Trail came around on a loop through the small estate behind the Pub to reach a CHK point at its north end, where several options of the footpaths below & over the playing fields would occupy the Hash.  Sparky chose to look through the tree-lined footpath to the fields to the west, while My Lil’ & others chose the Northbound options away through the play area & up to the horse paddocks beyond, neither Trail would be correct.

The Trail was found on the eastbound footpath away from the car park & on the fenced-off footpath that follows the contour of the paddocks behind the homes on Chambers lane & Upper Green, the Pack were now right behind the postcode area of SG5 3YE! 

The Trail would make its way around to the north before coming to the next CHK beside the east edge of the larger of the Paddocks, Pepé le Pew ran straight up the northward route while being watched by the Virgins, who were still standing on the CHK, it would be a Falsie & Mathew asked the RA if he should call back Pepé le Pew but the RA said that “Nah, Pepé will find his way back!”

It was down to Sloppy Seconds to find the Trail out of the path on a green tract between the properties to come back out on to the Arlesey road just before the Ickleford Village Hall, here a left run to the north would lead the Pack up toward the small area of Lower Green. [Which is above Upper Green! – Ed] 

As the FRBs made their way up to the small green space of Lower Green, at the side of the road out of Ickleford, a figure dressed in Paxo’s favorite day-glo lime green top dashed across behind the trees up ahead there.  Pepé le Pew let out an excited “We’ve caught the Hare!” But Paxo was too quick & just far enough away to escape.

The Pack would now make a decision to complete the now obvious loop around to the west on Snailswell lane, Skip had thoughts of cutting across the green but was convinced to change his mind as Party Animal was determined to do this part of the Trail, Skip followed on behind his daughter!

A short way up Snailswell lane & the Trail turned northward on a footpath up through to the paddocks of Lower Green farm, the Hash were soon confronted with a series of Equine areas cordoned off with electric strap fences, here the Hash had to cross the larger of these paddocks & a Hash Hush was observed by all but one. 

The ponies within the paddock decided to briefly run about before getting bored with the visitors to their home, the Hash walked on & left the horse paddocks & to come around to the east on the farm track back out by the picturesque Chocolate-box thatched roofed & timbered cottage & on to Lower Green.

The Trail was now found slapped on the trunks of the line of Horse Chestnuts over to the Arlesey road, where an S-Bend in the narrow road is split in two by the railway bridge, as the Keenies of Milf, Sparky, Sloppy Seconds, Mr X & My Lil’ arrived at this point they found the first Held CHK of the Trail. 

However, Sparky’s arrival was the most spectacular as he slipped on the frosty wooden footbridge over the River Hiz, as the water course passes beneath the road before the Railway bridge.  The road bridge over the Hiz, the wooden footbridge is beside, was built by Public Subscription in 1844, or so it says on the plaque, this explains why it is so narrow.

As the Keenies waited for the others to arrive, there was much concern as TBT OBE came running up to the frosty, slippery wooden slats, TBT OBE was flagged down & made to slow up before any impending doom would occur.  Once Pebbledash & No Eye Deer were in view, the Keenies resume the search, it was also noticed the Sludge disappeared at this point in the Trail, to go off on his own little Trail!

Mr X chose the wrong option on the southeast side of the railway line, while the rest searched up through the arch of the railway bridge to the footpath signs on the north side.  Even though Mr X had earlier pressed the ‘Pedestrians in road’ warning sign, Sloppy took it upon himself to stand on the opposite side to keep an eye out for any oncoming traffic.  Not that this stopped the likes of Sparky from trying to play with the Traffic!

Although near to the Bedfordshire border, they would not stray out of the county on this Trail, though back in Sparky’s day it would have been a little different as Ickleford was partly in Beds until the Counties (Detached parts) act came into force when the boundary changes of 1844 came in to place.  While Hertfordshire lost both Meppershall & Studham to Bedfordshire!

The Pack now took to the southeast track from Chadwell Farm, it passed through last horse paddocks of the Trail before coming out on to the edge of the fields to the east, here the rows of Lavender bushes were seen in rows rising up the hillside toward Letchworth, No Eye Deer pointed these out - & the fact she could walk home from this point! Pebbledash thought it would be good to come back when the lavender season is on.

The Track was now littered with icy cold, frozen puddles as the route continued to the southeast, a second Held CHK was found out behind a tree-line for the path running from northeast to southwest, no doubt put in to stop anyone spotting the Hare on the edge of this open area. 

The Trail now moved away from the option of running on by the new railway of the Hitchin Fly-over, the long arcing bridge to cut out delays by traffic crossing where the main line tracks from Peterborough & Cambridge join the south bound lines to Kings Cross.

The Pack bunched up once more, with the exceptions of Kylie, Fliptop & Sludge, though the later would be met again before the end of the Trail.  The Trail resumed along to the southwest, to take to the Icknield way footpath, passing by ‘Gerry’s Hole’ [Ooh-err! Pebbledash! – Ed] which is now a water feature of a nature reserve, the remnants of the gravel extraction & the Railway construction.

The Dust led back to the Railway line, this would climb a steep set of steps over the Railway line, Sloppy Seconds was found waiting on the first landing where he pointed out the warning of ‘Black Ice’.  Care was needed on the descent as well as the ascent on this steps of the Chadwell Crossing, for they were sheltered from the warm sunlight by the solid metal panels to stop anyone jumping on to the Tracks below. 

It was here that Sludge was found loitering around, Kylie had been rumored to be here as well at one point to chalk out the warnings?

Anyhow, Milf was well on her way down the uncapped track through the scrubby bit of woodland, which leads out toward a marshy area to the west, but she almost went astray as she looked off through the hedgerow to the footpath that Sludge probably had come down from the first Held CHK.

Milf was now encourage to continue straight on out beyond the buttress remains of the old dismantled railway bridge, which Sludge could recall a time when it once taking trains out to Bedford before it was axed by the RA’s relation.  The final CHK was found near to the bridge made of wooden sleepers, that had two rails on either side & looked like it could have a remnant of the old ‘Plateway’ a forerunner of a railway where wagons were drawn upon it by horses, there are still examples of this further long the Icknield way.

The Pack crossed this wooden structure over the Hiz & then it was up out of the Dead end Icknield Close, where the On Inn was found, to emerge through the tree line & up on to the Arlesey road again & back over the Green to the On Inn.

It was a great Trail from the Hare & the Pack were back just a fraction under the hour.  The Pack retreated to the warmth of the Pub, & managed to take over one corner, which just happened to be right by the Ladies, Paxo, Sparky, TBT OBE & Skip were soon all sitting around this door! [Old Letches! – Ed] Pebbledash said that they were there hoping for a bit of “Scratch & Sniff!”

Paul stayed inside the busy Pub, to guard the Hash gear, while the pack stood outside for the Circle.  The Hare was rewarded for a great Trail.  Party Animal received hers for shaming encouraging Skip to go around the loop.  Sparky was out for his acting like he was on a bad episode of ‘Skating on ice’!  The Two Virgins of Helen & Matthew were out & successfully dispatched their Down-Downs.  Finally the Hashit went to Milf for her noisy antics at the wrong time on the Trail!