Date = 15th March 2015
Run Number = 1606
Venue = Our Mutual Friend
Beer = JBH Citra, Titanic Cappuccino Stout, Tim Taylor Landlord to name a few.
Hares = My lil’
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 10
Membership = Celebrating St Patrick’s Day, a wee bit early!
With it being Mother’s Day everyone expected a low turnout, therefore the Hare decided that this was the nearest weekend day to his Birthday & more importantly - for a sizable amount of the population it was St Patrick’s Day on the Tuesday! As the Pack gathered in the car park they were greeted by the sight of Friar Tuck arriving. It’s obvious that he was over from his residency in Cyprus as he’s the only one of the Herts Pack that day to sport a sun-tan!
As the Circle formed, shots of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey [Yes, Whiskey is spelt correctly! – Ed] were passed around, No Eye Deer took a sip & went “Oh!” (as if it was nice) followed by a delayed reaction ending in a sudden “Perhaps Not!” The rest downed theirs before the Joint Monkey welcomed the Hash & then brought the Hare forward to do the ‘Chalk-talk’. Short-cuts were mentioned, and things ended with an optimistic “It’s not a long Trail!”
Things began with Sparky leading the way down a Falsie on St Margaret’s road away from the Pub on the Corner which shares its post code with Fellows Way directly across & was the road name Spark’s TomTom came up with! [Sooner he goes back to the OS coordinates the better! – Ed]
With the FRBs being led astray, this allowed No Eye Deer & Party Animal to take to one of the side roads of St Margaret’s opposite the Pub car park, this led on to the mirroring dead-end cul-d-e-sac of Broad Oak way then across to run down Turpin’s Rise, at the end of which was a short descent on the steps by the large tower-block to come out on to Roebuck Gate.
It was at this point that TBT OBE turned back to the Pub, to rest his aching knee.
Arrows directed the way over the small green area in front of the Roebuck Hotel & Bar, once over the roundabout junction of Roebuck Gate, the Trail led on a few yards along the north-westerly London road before going through to a south-westward footpath, this was a loop around behind what was once a farm for the Keenies, the Hare marked the short-cut back on London road up to where the next alleyway footpath comes back out by the large traffic sign. Here the RA asked those around him if they knew what the Flags were on the lower signage of the ‘Twin-Towns’ twinned with Stevenage: the answers being Ingelheim am Rhein Germany 1963; Autun, France 1975; Kadoma, Zimbabwe 1989; Shymkent, Kazakhstan 1990. [Borat’s home Country! - Ed]
Anyhow, most of the Pack were soon heading up to the lights at the crossing to the small retail park beside the railway line, to cross away from that & get back over to the north-east side of the main roads in to Stevenage, then it was in to the small nature reserve nestling between the road & the estate of the Broadhall area of Stevenage.
The RA looked back from the lights to see that Skip was heading backwards on the Trail, as he disappeared back around the loop, which led to the RA questioning Paxo as to what was going on? The answer came back to reveal that Skip was in search of Psycho, who had yet to go around the loop! The RA left them too it!
The Dust came to another arrow, directing the Pack off of the cycle route & in to the off tarmac trail in the ‘nature reserve’ to head up to a CHK on the T junction with the southwest to north-easterly track. It was here that Mr X found Psycho was ahead of everyone else, even the Hare who had no idea how she got there, but there she was.
Mr X went the short way out to the main road, but the degree of the road’s curve was enough to block any view of those back down the Trail looking for Psycho. The situation was explained to Party Animal & No Eye Deer when they arrived at the CHK, before they were sent on after Psycho on the path deeper in to the small nature reserve to the northeast, Mr X then said he would break the normal ‘unofficial’ Hash code of ethics by using technology on the Hash!
Two calls later & Paxo answered his phone, as Skip didn’t have his with him, Paxo could now inform Skip that Psycho was safe & sound, as well as being much further up the Trail then them!
With the message was passed on, the rest made good progress up over the undulating scrubby land to a CHK by a bench that was surrounded with trash, Stevenage’s motto is "The heart of a town lies in its people" perhaps they should add a codicil of “And its trash lies in the woods!”
Leaving the bench, & the sad bouquets left as a tribute tide to a lamppost, the Trail now turned through 290° to head back through the woodland & over toward the London road again, but the northerly direction amongst the more established trees changed tact slightly to lead out up on the cycleway passing by Stevenage FC’s ground.
The next CHK was found down in the large roundabout outside of the Football Stadium, by the time most arrived there Sparky had checked fallen for two of the many options out of the roundabout’s open centre. The correct route was found by Friar Tuck, out to where an arrow pointed the way up the steep embankment on Broadhall way & in to the woodland of Monk’s wood.
The Trail headed northward for a short way to the first CHK amongst the trees, Sparky soon caught up & asked Mr X what Friar Tuck’s Hash name was as he didn’t know it, Mr X replied “I always have to be careful on this one as I know another Hasher, who used to be in Belgium but now lives in Texas, whose name is Tony Friar & his Hash handle is Try a Fuck! There was a pause before Mr X said “Friar Tuck!”
Sparky was again going off Trail in the wrong direction, the Hare was worried that the Trail may have been removed within this wood, for when he set the Trail the day before there was a gang of litter-pickers clearing away some of the trash that the locals abandon seemingly at will in there.
The Trail turned to the northeast where a series of CHKs were found as the Dust took the Hash in to the Whoreley wood section, on the way calls of “Hold the next check!” echoed through the wood. The CHK that was held was only yards away from St Nicholas primary School. The holding of the CHK was to allow Skip & Paxo to catch up with the rest of the Pack. As those who waited at the CHK looked back down the Trail, they could see in the distance two forlorn figure struggling to run up to the CHK!
Paxo & Skip eventually made it through the Shiggy track to the CHK, to encourage them Psycho shouted out “Where’ve you been?” toward Skip, who relied “Looking for you!” [Remember SWAMBO Skip? – Ed] (She Who Always Must Be Obeyed!) During the wait it was mentioned about the bluebells that have yet to come in to bloom in this wood, also there was a lack of daffs being out to which My Lil’ surmised that as it was mother’s day the locals had probably picked them all!
The Pack began the search once more, with Friar Tuck going wrong in to the Magpie Corner wood of the larger woodland, & Sparky faired little better out toward the open part of Fairlands Valley Park, it was down to No Eye Deer who would pick up the Trail by what she described as her “Little School”.
The Trail ran on around two corners of the outer perimeter of the School nestling in the edge of the wood before coming out to its front facing on to Six Hills way. The Trail would now take to the cycleway/path marked with bright yellow cartoon squirrels to mark the walk up from the Fairlands Valley car park to the School which is supposed to encourage parents to drop their offspring off down the hill & free up the parking congestion, but it is apparently ignore by the local populous!
As the road began to drop down in to the valley, just as the descent got under way a CHK was found by an entrance to the south-western side Fairlands Valley Park. No Eye Deer continued down the hillside on the cycleway, while at last Sparky got the Trail right by searching in the park!
Initially running along the path on the outside of Magpie Corner wood, Sparky ran up to a set of arrows pointing down over the green valley in a due south direction, but Sparky would go slightly awry as he got nearer to the opposite side of the valley, but then the RA spotted the Dust on the wooden post beside a fenced off strip where Shakleton Spring rises in the valley floor.
The Hash made their way along by the bottom of the woodland on the east side of the park, up with the FRBs the Trail came out to the track down from the estate above on this east of the valley & on by the large hollow that is fenced off as it contains a local Scout Hut, the RA said that the zip-slide looked good fun, to which the Hare added that it was in use the day before with the scouts as he passed by.
As the Trail made its way around a bend in the track, the FRBs had to stop running as a man out walking his hairy racing snake (dachshund) was soon shouting at the pooch to come back, because it was either spooked by the sight of Sparky or wanted to join the Pack on the Run?
Anyhow the pooch was retrieved & the Keenies passed by to drop down to a footpath hedged-in from the recreation grounds corner of the Park & it’s in-use, noisy soccer pitches on the right & the rear of the homes on Valley Way on the left.
The final CHK was found by one of the cul-de-sacs off of the afore mentioned Valley Way, Mr X made short shrift of this & continued along to where the path emerges on to Broadhall Way, there the On Inn was discovered. The final part of the Trail was to head up to the major roundabout & drop down the subway in to its centre & emerge on the corresponding exit to follow the rising cycleway to come out opposite the Petrol Station, beyond which Our Mutual Fiend sits.
The FRBs were back before opening, which was good surprising as the Pack set off late! Sparky claimed that his satnav had come up with 3.6 miles for total distance run, while No Eye Deer looked to see what her new App on her phone said, 1.3 miles didn’t seem to tally!
The Pack settled in to the Pub, where they were enjoyed the excellent Ales on offer. Not to mention some Irish Cheese the Hare had procured. The Pack held a quite circle, as by now the weather had changed from being a fine day to a slight dampness in the air. Skip, quite rightly, called for a raising of glasses to toast the late Grunter, who had one of his finest moments at this Pub & getting home – He was not alone as several others survived to tell the tale!
The Hare was rewarded for a great Trail. Skip & Paxo were out for going back to look for Psycho, & she joined them for actually being far ahead of them on the Trail. Sparky & Friar Tuck were out for doing the most false Trails on this Hash!