Date = 25th May 2015
Run Number = 1618
Venue = The Gate
Beer = Is that yourself? Black Gold, Dark Mild
Hares = Sloppy Seconds
Runners = 11
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 12
Membership = Not at Beckingham Palace!
The Bell Street car park in Sawbridgeworth was the meeting place & the starting point of this day’s Trail, due to the Gate having a fairly small car park. Paxo had to pick up the RA & Hare Raiser from the Station after they got the train through to Sawbridgeworth. The Hare had originally offered to do a pick up from the station, but as his wife had taken the larger motor that morning, he was left with only the Hair-dressers car at his disposal in which he couldn’t fit two passengers in!
Up at the Bell Street & the Pack were joined by Manu, this week’s Newbie, Sloppy Seconds said that Manu had Hashed before down in Cornwall with Truro when they were away down in the toe of England.
TBT OBE soon put himself forward as an early contender for the Hashit, as he had the keys to Paxo’s car & as he fiddled about in the boot, he put the keys down inside the back of the vehicle that Paxo had already zapped with the key-fob! Paxo was alert to the situation & dashed over to grab the keys before the boot was shut!
With Manu’s introduction out of the way, the GM went through the welcoming speech before the Hare was called forward. Sloppy Seconds mentioned that part of the Trail was laid in coloured chalk, to which My Lil’ said that it would be either pink or blue! Sloppy was a bit perturbed that the Trail had been spotted by those on the way up from the station, [Perhaps he should have down the pick up? –Ed] he regained his posture & then added that there would be short cuts as well as Hashing through parts of Sawbridgeworth that the Pack haven’t run before! The RA would take note of that one!
For My Lil’s benefit, the Hare said that he would not do his usual start of drawing a CHK in the car park, instead he ushered the pack out on to Bell Street. On to the old town street of Bell Street where double arrows pointed the way off down to the east, passing by the Bell Pub after which the thoroughfare is probably named, on the way down to the crossroads with Knights Street, there was no hanging around there as the FRBs headed straight over toward the old oak gates to the grounds of Great St Mary’s Church.
A CHK was found by the right-hand side of the smaller two doors, from here Mr X, Skip & Sludge all took to the diagonal footpath through the churchyard & out along behind the local school, this would end in a T! Meanwhile, My Lil’ picked up the Trail further eastward to exit the churchyard, down by the end of the graveyard with the tall wild grasses in flower.
Out on to the residential road of Church Walk & at the bend in this roughly U-shaped road a CHK was found, the FRBs didn’t hang around for long as it had already been mentioned that Trail was seen out on ‘the Forebury’, a link road between this, the Church path behind the school & the main Station road. Arrows directed the FRBs over the road to where it crossed the River Stort Navigation, two arrows that were either side of the entrance down to the green grassy tow path & the feeder.
Mr X took to towpath that started off between the two arrows after he saw Sludge, Tent Packer, Sludge & My Lil’ had all run foul by a T just over the level crossing, & in to the County of Essex. Mr X would find no Dust along his choice of path, but he did succeed in dragging Sludge & Tent Packer along this route, in the distance a very modest call of “On!” could be heard from Paxo but it wasn’t substantial enough to get the rest to follow him on the towpath back on the southern side of the main road.
The Hare appeared on the bridge & called the other FRBs back to take to the towpath heading southward along the Stort, on the other bank were the Maltings, the stolid buildings which once supplied the Brewing industry, that are now made in to smaller business units. As the Trail progressed along the stony path, Sloppy pointed out the apartments on the opposite east bank, where he used to live & commented on how the river level has over flowed the canal-like banks in the past to flood the lawns out front of the homes.
Sloppy may have thought that the banks would burst again very soon, as Psycho slipped away behind the shelter of the bushes that lined the arm of another feeder for the canal, meanwhile the rest of the Pack continued along to the bridge where Mill lane crosses at the Lock.
The Hare could be heard with a gleeful tone in his voice as he said “What do they think they are doing on that side of the canal?” as Sludge, Tent Packer, My Lil’ & Paxo all headed off over the pack-bridge to head eastward back toward Essex!
Mr X heard that the others were on a Falsie, so took the other option of looking westward up Mill lane, ignoring the option of the next section of tow-path, he would find the Trail as it embarked on a long loop around the back streets of Sawbo, taking in Fairway & then Elmwood. On this stretch of the Trail the RA had to pull up as he got some kind of cramp in one of his legs, this allowed the other FRBs to catch him up.
At the point where a short uncapped spur road peels off to the local allotments, Sloppy Seconds was found lurking there as he waited to lead the Keenies down the narrow fenced-in footpath back through to the edge of the River Stort Navigation, on the way he informed the FRBs that the SCBs of Party Animal, Psycho & Skip were all now ahead of them.
At a point where the towpath comes out to the corner of the flood plain area of a nature reserved a CHK was found, in this northeast corner were the new wooden ‘duck-boards’ heading out over the marshy beds to the west, this new section was so fresh you could smell newness of the wood. The SCBs were not on this walkway & had continued on along the Navigation & come off of this further up, the Hare said “Oh well, they’ll eventually find a T!” on what was a long Falsie!
The rest of the Pack tagged along with the Hare, as he marked a Short Cut over the wooden walkway, the RA said that this path was no longer much fun as when it was a boggy tract for half of its length! The Trail headed into the wooded area of the one of the Osier beds in this area before it came out to a crossroads of paths by the slightly higher enclosed paddocks. The Trail now crossed the enclosed Paddock to reach a Held CHK on the next crossroads of footpaths.
The Keenies passed through the kissing-gate & gathered by a bench & couple of information signs on the Track that is the old part of Spring Hall lane [Not Springall lane! – Ed] The GM was offered a seat on the wooden bench, at the point where a nettle was growing through the gap between the two seat slats! The RA didn’t make Tent Packer feel at ease as he came out with his usual “They don’t sting at this time of year!” The GM refused the offer!
Suddenly the Hare appeared from up the
Springall (sorry) Spring Hall lane
path, he told the FRBs that they would have to move on down to the next & very
fresh looing Held CHK! A short trot down through the tree-lined path to find
the SCBs waiting by another Kissing-gate, that had a lot of nettles growing
around it [But hey! They don’t sting this time of Year! – Ed]
It seems that Psycho, Skip & Party Animal had gone too far along the earlier Falsie, so far that the Hare short cut across a boggy tract the FRBs had missed out in the reed beds, to meet them & lead them through the T then on to the impromptu Held CHK.
The Hare passed around a packet of Jelly Babies & another of Jelly Beans, which went down well before the Hash moved on through the kissing-gate in to the corner of the open meadow beside the Osier beds, where there was plenty of room on this side & away from the ‘harmless’ nettles. Psycho soon made it clear that she was taking the ‘kissing-gate’ seriously by taking guard & demanding kisses from those passing through the metal structure, this included a civilian who was out running who obliged with her request!
The Trail now saw Mr X, who seemed to have recovered from his aches & pains, & My Lil’ leading the way up the grassy hillside away from the willows of the Osier Beds [Osier beds were where the willows were harvested for their whippy like branches in years gone by! – Ed]
At the top of the green ridge northeast to southwest running avenue of limes trees, that comes out of Sawbridgeworth to the open land of Pishiobury Park, an area of land that was once given to Anne Boleyn as a present [As you do! – Ed] there was a CHK. My Lil’, Sludge & Mr X all thought that the Trail would head back in to Sawbo, but the Hare had a change of heart [Very unlike him! – Ed] & he called them back as he marked the way along the ridge away from Sawbo!
There were a few grumbles as a couple of the Pack had run this part in the past, so no new ground covered as yet! [There was still time! – Ed]. The ground levelled out slightly & the Hash all came up to a CHK by the corner of the tree-line. The obvious route over toward the Pishiobury Park car park was curtailed when the Hare again marked the way southbound again! This temporarily stopped the tale of the Full Moon Hash Circle in that car park, in the early days of ‘Beckingham Place’ & the Police coming along to see what they were up to?
Anyhow, the Trail headed southward before taking to a westerly, narrow, enclosed footpath out to the end of the tarmacked part of the private road of Pishiobury Drive, here was the third (really the second) Held CHK. The waiting FRBs got to see some lovely detached homes, & a slightly out of place large rusty looking metal box that looks like an old warehouse. [Has it been on that reality program about Buildings that are put up without planning permission? – Ed]
Anyhow, once the Pack were altogether it was time to set off, with Sludge, My Lil’ & Mr X all choosing the way out of the drive, the Hare’s earlier comments about enquiring from the council about the right of way out to the Bonks Hill road [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] kind of gave it away.
The GM joined the RA on the way out, passing by the largest of the buildings on the drive, this was hidden behind a large hedge & the GM soon commented on the address sign that stated this was a local Hall, saying that it was “a bit pretentious!” on closer inspection it did look like parts of this building could be that of the original manor.
At the end of the drive the Pack passed through the stone pillars for the gates & just beyond the gate houses, complete with coat of arms about the door, the Trail came out to a CHK on the edge of the Bonks Hill road. Sludge & My Lil’ went wrong & crossed over the busy main road to search the secluded road of Rowney Gardens, which is sheltered from the traffic by the large hedges & trees along its length along the Bonks Hill road.
The two strays would come back on track as they emerged from the end of the tree-line at the entrance to the hidden row of homes, they would join Mr X & Tent Packer on the right-hand path of the Bonks Hill road [Luckily Pebbledash wasn’t there this day! – Ed] as the Trail led in to the afore mentioned car park for Pishiobury Park car park.
The Beckingham Palace incident was told as there was lots of interest in the residents of Beckingham Palace in those days & the local Police were on regular patrols to keep an eye out for Paparazzi & potential stalkers. There was on dog walker who had a moan at the Pack, but he was sent packing.
The Trail passed through the car park to lead on in to the narrow, but long strip of woodland running along the east side of the Bonks Hill road. The desire line running through the Tree line didn’t appear to be that old, some of the saplings had been removed to make the path, unfortunately many of the small stumps were nothing but hazards sticking out of the earthen path. My Lil’ said to Sludge “TBT OBE will come a cropper on one of these!” after he nearly tripped up over one!
As for the RA, well he too had words of warning, he shouted back to Tent Packer to “Watch out of the stumps!” then within a few yards Mr X caught one & went down, landing on one knee & one hand! Tent Packer was concerned & asked how the RA’s ribs were? As last time the RA fell over in front of Tent Packer, at the Christmas Party weekend, he ended up breaking two ribs!
Mr X dusted himself off as best he could & followed this path, which was new to the Herts Hash, as it comes out through a cattle enclosure then back to the northern end of the avenue of Lime Trees of Pishiobury Park. The Pack were on their last stretch, as they left the park by another crossroads of path, the westerly option on the sign post directed the way to Bonk Hill!
The Trail took to the footpath in to the south-eastern end of Sawbridgeworth, on an alleyway which led between the homes on Newton Drive & then again between more homes before it crossed Spring Hall road & then Brook road, the next stage of the footpath would descend down to the brook below & behind the suburban street in named after.
Crossing another footpath, this dirt one running from east to west along by the brook, the FRBs dismissed the CHK there, passing by two youths who were skulking about smoking there, as for the Pack it was over the narrow concrete bridge spanning the stream below to follow the north bound footpath beside the local allotments & up on to Spring Hall Road.
Up through the back street to the park land by Vantort’s road, most of the Pack went wrong now & having run by the fenced-in play area they should have turned off on to the footpath above the cricket ground & back in to the car park from the rear [Oh-er Pebbledash! – Ed], but it wasn’t marked very clearly & most passed it by to come back out to the end of Bell Road on the Out Trail.
Sludge did see the On Inn &
bragged informed the RA that it was on the
footpath running behind the car park. Sludge was far happier to see the state
of the RA with one muddy knee & a filthy palm!
The Pack finally made their way around to the Gate, to enjoy the excellent Ales on offer. Mr X’s plan to talk to the Landlord about Ale for the Full Moon weekend were slightly curtailed as he had gone to watch Canaries beat the Smoggies (Norwich v Middlesbrough).
Paxo & TBT OBE debated about having a Sunday lunch, which was fine, except that it was Monday! After a quick munch on several bowls of Chips, it was time to have the Down-Downs. The Hare from Last Week, Mr X, joined Sloppy Seconds in the Circle for setting the Trails.
TBT OBE received his Down-Down for proving My Lil’ wrong, plus almost shutting the Keys in the boot of Paxo’s car. Manu reived his Hit for his first Herts Trail. Skip for questioning the RA.
Finally the Hashit, there was no getting away from it but Mr X had to accept that his trip & fall was the thing that swung it & he accepted the Shirt & the Down-Down! TBT OBE was surprised that the RA awarded himself the Hashit! [The Hash is far more democratic than FIFA, though both may be headed by an old megalomaniac? – Ed]
Then it was back to talk of Waterloo & Vindaloo with a special Thursday Night Run? [Watch this Space? – Ed], plus the need to have a Hash meeting that everyone can come to, to discuss options for the Christmas Do!!