Date =                            5th April 2015

Run Number =            1609                                                                                                                                     

Venue =                        The Brown Bear Axe & Compasses

Location=                     Braughing

Beer =                           IPA, Doombar

Hares =                         Paxo

Runners =                    23

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0                                        

Après Hashers =         0

Newies =                       0

Hounds =                      4

Total =                          27

Membership =             Celebrating Eostre!


            Due to unforeseen circumstances this Bank-Holiday Monday at the Brown Bear, the Hash were pre-warned the day before by the Hare that they would have to Run from the Axe & Compasses instead.  Paxo had cleared it with the Landlord there, but 2-1-2 Maureen was spotted on ‘The Street’ & about to walk down to the Brown Bear, she was pointed in the right direction by the passing RA!  Then the early arrivals of the Pack were then treated to see 2-1-2 Maureen park up in the car park of the Axe & Compasses, it was tight & far back.

            There was some confusion as to who today’s Hare was, as Porky Pie was sporting a Herts Orange Hare shirt from the 25th Weekend, Paxo was the Hare & Porky Pie claimed he was wearing it as ARP had not done the washing or ironing in their house-hold since her return from Germany earlier that weekend, there were a few groans from the Harriettes that were aimed at Porky Pie’s comments!

The Circle was formed & Paxo got through the Welcoming speech, standing in for the absence of our Grand Monkey - Tent Packer, & it was noticed how quick this could be!  The JM then went on to take up the spiel of being the Hare, explaining that there would be one Held CHK that would be followed on the Trail by an Easter Egg stop, where the Pack would have to search for coloured bits of card removed from the boxes of Easter Eggs.  These bits of card would be hidden amongst the trees, this seemed to be a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it & call it a Black Squirrel!  No doubt it was to prevent any Black Squirrels, or urchins from Barnet, from stealing any chocolate eggs hidden in the undergrowth.

Anyhow, the Trail began out of the Pub car park to head away down ‘The Street’ to the south, while most of the Pack were lured off of this way just before the part where the lane to Church End comes up to meet the Street.  Mr X & Smartarse found the Trail leading down by the olde worlde cottages lining the route toward St Mary the Virgin, just before the Church where the next CHK was found.

A Hash Hush was called as a rider, mounted on her horse came up from the lane by the old school house, this was indicated by Mr X, who then avoided the route the rider was coming from & instead went off down to cross the river Quinn via the narrow footbridge, he then continued up the alleyway toward its end in Green End up on the main road toward Hay Street.  There would be no Dust up there, instead he had to jog back down the hill & cross back over the river to find that the CHK had been marked off down by the village hall & school house where the Trail had been picked up by Alfa Male & Max Factor.

The Pack were now on the outward first leg of the Braughing Wheelbarrow race course backward, as it passes the fenced off green park area below to the right, where the fete takes place on that charity day.  The Trail came back on to the end of ‘The Street’ where the run-in to the wide ford set in the Quinn sits to the west.  A CHK by the way down to the ford was quickly passed up as the Trail was rapidly found on the road out the main road from Green End to Puckeridge. 

Mr X soon caught up with 3D, then Slug, Psycho & Skip.  Mumblehead, Lofty & Fliptop all had four-legged friends with them on today’s Trail which would slow them all up at different times & places on the Trail, mainly due to life-stock the Hare mentioned in his Chalk-Talk.

Out on the main road from Puckeridge & an arrow directed the Pack over this busy stretch of tarmac to a CHK point by a footpath over the adjacent paddock, care was taken to cross the road, by the time Mr X had caught up the likes of Milf, Max Factor, Alfa Male, Smartarse, Sludge, ARP, Porky Pie, Sloppy Seconds & Pebbledash were already heading out over the paddock on a path to pass the bottom end of Bingles wood, the wooden gate there had seen better days as it was off of its top hinge & laying at an angle so it didn’t need to be opened to get through to the next paddock.

The wonky gate would be seen again as a T was found up on the edge of the river Rib!  The RA had mentioned that the Pack had never run that way before, which is no surprise as it only leads over to the dual carriage way on the main A10 over in the west, & it’s not easy to run from there to anywhere else.

The FRBs turned back toward the Puckeridge road to find even 3D & Slug had been caught out with this long Falsie, but not as far as the rest!  Back on the main road where the likes of Fliptop – with two hounds, & TBT OBE were being ushered along by the Hare to continue along in the direction toward Puckeridge.  The Dust stuck to the roadside footpath until it just before it reached the old railway bridge for the former & now long gone railway line to Buntingford.

Kylie was not here this week, the four letter word [No, not that one, Pebbledash! – Ed] meant that he would not be there to view the fantastic job the owner of the old Braughing Railway Station House has done in restoring it, he even has some track with a little rolling stock on what was the passing loop on the mainly single track line.

Many missed the restored Railway Station, for an arrow directed the Pack over to the opposite side of the road to a footpath heading away over the meadows to the east of Ford Bridge, all of the hounds were kept on leads as the Pack passed through the sheep enclosure, especially as they had lambs with the ewes, the Hare had warned about in his ‘Chalk-talk’.

After this the Trail would move over to the flat straight path that was the route of the former railway line, which was affectionately known as ‘The Bunt’! [God I was glad that I didn’t misspell that one! – Ed]  Skip noted the number of mole hills on the lower meadow area, before joining the rest on to the next CHK, situated by the shrubs on the option off of the former line & away down toward the picturesque Gatesbury.

            While Milf, Alfa Male & a few others continued on along the former Railway route, Sludge led the way along the arcing cobbled drive over the sluices in the river Rib to pass by the front of the old house, Mr X pointed out the old stone font used as a flower pot in the centre of the circular cobbled yard, his attention then changed to the outbuildings as he said to Smartarse that they would make a nice site for a brewery!

The Trail followed the snaking tributary feeding a duck pond, complete with duck house, in front Gatesbury, Sludge was soon caught by Milf, Max Factor & Alfa Male as the Dust took to the farm track heading out south-eastward to start with before it turned eastward on a climb up the hillside of farm land.  The Trail rose by some 45 feet in height before reaching the next CHK by another farm track.

Here Alfa Male, Max Factor, Mr X, Sludge & Smartarse searched in vain along either side of the tree-line, it was down to Milf to head up the last 30 feet rise in height to find the Dust heading almost to the top of the summit on this large mound of a hill, from this height the Pack got a good view out over Puckeridge laying in the valley to the southwest.  It was a clear view on a really clear & now somewhat warm day for those who wearing sweatshirts on this sunny day.  [Well done RA for that one! – Ed]

As the route turned direction to come around a semi-circular kink in the route below the very the summit of the hill, the next CHK was found on the path that is a section of the Harcamlow way, needless to say that the northeast option away from Puckeridge was the preferred choice.  It would prove correct.

The Trail now led along to the farm at the Warren, the Pack had a ‘Hash Hush’ for a second time as the Trail led through the farmyard & beside a cattle pen where the cows had youngsters in with them, Milf went slightly wrong as she went around some of the out-buildings before coming back on the correct side for the footpath.

Out of the farmyard to find a Held CHK on the opposite side of the rustic lane, here the Hare handed out a bag of Marshmallows & one of mixed Haribo sweets in what he described as “For those who weren’t going to get an egg later!”  It was at this point that ARP & Porky Pie would ask Paxo for the quickest route back, for they were in need of leaving early to get to a dinner date back in Hitchin, as ARP is on leave from her posting this weekend & trying to pack lots in by the sounds of things.

They were sent off on the left hand fork at the diverging footpaths in the cattle field behind the old iron five bar gate behind the Held CHK.  Port & Starboard arrived at the Held CHK before their parents, well it’s not hard for them to pass Slug with his laid-back walk.  [If he was any more laid back he’s be horizontal! – Ed]

The Trail now resumed for the Keenies, the RA was just starting to clamber over the gate until someone decided to open this, second thoughts of not getting his ‘leg-over’ quickly came to mind in order to protect the family assets from the out-swinging gate, Milf mentioned this fact!

 No the Pack made their way on the north bound path, passing the old water trough in this top corner of the field, before descending down through the plush grassy pasture to run over to Hill Wood, Porky Pie & ARP could be seen entering the woodland ahead of the Pack.  On the way down through the long grass, the RA flipped off Sloppy Seconds yellow cap, just in case he was missing Foxy not being there to do that to him?

Once at the other edge of the small wood, an E Stop was found on the small wooden footbridge over a dry ditch.

The FRBs were soon searching amongst the trees, Port or Starboard did very well as he managed to find four bits of Easter-egg box, while most of the other managed one.  Back-pack managed to find his quite quickly, the RA cried it was ‘nepotism’ before he too found a scrap of egg-box!  Sloppy Seconds moped around for a bit as took an ages to locate his bit of brightly coloured card.

The Pack set off once more, some of those without a scrap of card thought of stealing from others who were more successful, the RA declared that they would have to prise his from the clutch of his dead fingers before he gave his up!  Milf said that this could be arranged!  The RA now ran off & picked his way out over the puddles of deep water & Shiggy on the churned up tractor tracks of the only path over the farm land.

On the way along the start of the Inn Trail, Smartarse & Mr X were surprised to see a black cat go ‘hell for leather’ from one side of the crop field to the other, crossing their path on its way, this super-charged feline wasn’t going to stop as it continued on to the wood in the far distance.

The Trail began the descent down toward Braughing, as the path came around along the slow turning hedgerow, the spire of St Mary the Virgin could be seen down in the village, it was simple trot back in to the backstreets though a few, including the RA failed to see the gate in the hedge of the Pub’s back garden, instead they went down the footpath at the opposite end of the sport field & out beside the Pub, well at least they were near tot the entrance to the bar to get the Ales in!

Easter Eggs were dished out, extra egg-box tokens were shared out so everyone had an egg.  Most had a nibble at their egg, some just ate the contents but there was one notable egg-ception [Sorry about that! – Ed] & that was Max Factor who consumed all of her prize!  Other eggs were on offer that afternoon, as a compliment to the crisps & these were pickled eggs –TBT was not very keen on the idea of eating pickled eggs!  The eggs were pickled with mustard seeds & the ones Mr X bought were chilli ones!  Mr X’s extraction of these eggs led to Pebbledash coming up with a comment ab out washing his hands of the chilli flakes before any self-gratification later on!

The Circle was called & the Hare was rewarded for a good Trail; 2-1-2 Maureen was out for her entertaining parking.  Mumblehead & Lofty were out for the barking hounds in their care, then Lucy started barking which led to Fliptop entering the Circle for a Down-Down with them.

Once the crescendo of canine noise had died down, the RA continued with the Hits but it seemed that TBT OBE wanted more than one song for the Down-Downs & asked if Smartarse knew any other songs?  The answer is yes, but as there were young kids with the civilians in the garden, these was deemed unsuitable to be recited 7 TBT had to make do!  One family actually did move off while the Circle was underway, hopefully not due to our singing?

Anyhow, TBT OBE thought that he had got away with things, but the RA being omnipotent already knew about him falling over o the Trail, strangely enough the RA mentioned the previous week that TBT OBE was due a fall! [William Hills weren’t giving very goods odds on that one! – Ed]