Date = 1st June 2015
Run Number = 1619
Venue = The Plume of Feathers
Location= Little Wymondley
Beer = GK IPA, Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge, Plume of Feathers
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 11
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 11
Membership = Blown away (By such a fine Trail!)
The Hare emerged out of the Bar for the start of this Trail, having taken a half hours respite after going around setting it earlier on, forgoing setting the Trail the day before due to two major things, firstly the weather, & secondly the fact he was at the Aviva Premiership final to watch Saracens on Saturday & the result was he had ‘written off’ most of Sunday!
With the prospect of a blustery downpour moving in, the GM kept things to a bare minimum & rapidly introduced the Hare. It was the usual Herts markings, there were two short sections of busy road, finally there would be short cuts & then the Pack were ushered away toward the Railway bridge in the village.
Sludge was obviously thinking of running to the footpath sign that could clearly been seen through the arch of the bridge, but that was not the way the Trail would start, as it began by taking the Hash off to the northwest, via the back streets of Priory View up to where a CHK was found with the junction with the bottom of the U-shaped Grimstone road. Max Factor & Zing-a-long-a-max went off down the left arm of the U in a direction back toward the main road through Little Wymondley, where there was no Trail at all.
Paxo found the trail on the right-hand arm of Grimstone road, here TBT OBE had to deal with a local who was out sweeping the road & he demanded to know who the Hash ‘Stood for?’ Seems TBT OBE’s reply of “We stand for Running & Drinking!” did not appease the local & he kept on demanding to know what was going on, even as the Pack ran away from him & continued around the arcing road to reach another CHK by Siccut road back toward the main drag.
Paxo was not tempted to go toward the centre of the village & instead found the Trail at the dead-end of Grimstone road where an old red sign could be seen. The Pack were soon on the narrow alleyway footpath before coming out on to the adjacent crop field’s perimeter & up to the northwest corner. The Pack avoided the dog’s eggs before the path came out on to the Great Wymondley Road, a CHK was found there.
There was a little confusion at this point as Tent Packer, Sludge, Zing-a-long-a-max, Alfa Male & other FRBs had started off in the right direction but started to come back toward the Hare as he reached the CHK to mark it through in the their direction. Ewok was tempted to head up the road the other way as there was a footpath leading in to Great Wymondley, she was called back.
The other Keenies turned back again to head down to the southwest a footpath sign was seen pointing over the fields to the west. The Traffic was a little busy & most used the long grassy verge away from the solitary bus stop to keep running & avoid the passing cars. It was only a short way then the Trail left the road on the opposite side.
The wind was pretty blustery by now, but as this farm stony farm track led along the field’s edge & this would begin to drop down below the Railway line that was soon kept on the level with an embankment, dropping down meant the Pack were now out of the strong gusts. There was more shelter as the Trail passed under the railway bridge & turned northward toward the south-western edge of the Purwell area of Hitchin.
On the way down to the Railway bridge, the RA & Hare Raiser heard a different sound than the usual Inter-city or local commuter engines that had been passing by, instead it was a single unit of an EWS 67024 trundling northward. This was an ideal opportunity to let Panda, & more importantly Junior, know that it had been spotted by at least two of the EWS H3 crew.
The route was pretty hard underfoot, there were also sections where large pot-holes had been found to have been filled-in with broken roofing tiles, or bricks. On the way the Hare mentioned that while setting the Trail a guy in a pickup pulled up in front of him & let two dogs out, he was expecting to be quizzed on what he was doing, but it turned out that the driver was letting the dogs out so they could run along behind him until they reached the stables on the Hitchin side of the railway.
Having passed by the isolated stable block & paddocks, the dust led up to an arrow by Rose Cottage, the markings directed the Pack over the Wymondley Road, there a Held CHK was located as not to worry the stable owners that it was something anything untoward.
As the Keenies patiently waited, TBT OBE was heard approaching, as he did he was grumbling like an old appendix as he wanted to know where the short cuts were? TBT OBE had been on what was quite a long stretch in the first half of the Trail, Mr X let him know that he wasn’t that far from the first Short Cut.
Once everyone was at the Held CHK the Trail continued northward on the track, then an arrow pointed the way through a gate as the Trail left the track & took to the more divergent footpath to the west of this main trot. This shaded wooded area is a relatively new nature reserve maintained by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife trust.
The meandering path made its way by a few ponds, reed beds & over the duckboards that span parts of the streams that feed the river Purwell. The path was damp in places, then there were short bits with sapling stumps of freshly cleared trees to avoid where the reserve had been recently cleared out.
A CHK was found by a path off to the east, this had Zing-a-long-a-max going into the dead end of the small duck-boarded area of a viewing platform over a reed bed, he was soon back, no one asked if he had spotted any of the animals or Flora & fauna that were highlighted on the information board.
No Eye Deer, Max Factor & Ewok were the last to emerge from the nature reserve, they came out just after the still grumbling TBT OBE & My Lil’ had hobbled by. The Trail would led to the end of the Track where it comes out on to the elbow in the road where Purwell lane turns to become Kingswood Avenue Right on the bend was a CHK Point.
Alfa Male searched nor’-nor’-west up Kingswood Avenue, but it was through the gate & in to the fields to the east the Trail was found, the hard-capped path now headed nor’-nor’-east up by a ditch & its established hedgerow. A CHK was found by a short wooden footbridge over the ditch to the permissive path on the opposite side. The RA kept an eye on Sludge as he ran on up to a T before reaching Wymondley wood at the other end of the field, meanwhile the rest continued along the gritty track.
A CHK was found a few hundred yards up the path, to a point where the next wooden footbridge spans the ditch, this time the Pack would turn to head up the rising field along a permissive path to the northwest corner of Wymondley wood, here a CHK was found.
No Eye Deer was told the way by the Hare & asked to kick the next two CHKs through as the Trail would go out on a loop in to & then in through Wymondly wood, meanwhile the Hare took My Lil’ & TBT OBE along a short cut over the permissive path that Sludge had come back down from on the Falsie.
While the Keenies ran through the wood, which now sheltered the Hash from the wind, the SCBs would enter the wood at the opposite corner & pick up the Trail on the south side of the creaky & wobbly duckboards that surely would have seen TBT OBE falling over face first, the Hare thought it was best Teebs avoided these!
My Lil’ & TBT OBE were sent off through the small open meadow within the wood as the Hare marked the CHK there, they traversed through long grassy area dotted with hundreds of yellow buttercups & entered the next section of Wymondley wood. Mr X waited for the Keenies to come running down to the meadow & joined No Eye Deer with Paxo as the last ones to make their way southward & then around to the east
This was a long trot through to the next CHK, though a few did go astray by a specially placed blob by a narrow route out of the wood to another of the multitude of permissive paths, Zing-a-long-a-max came back as he realised that there was no more Dust out that way.
A CHK was found on the farm track leading along the wood’s eastern edge, Ewok was the only one to search away down to the north & had to be called back by the Hare. Sludge, Zing-a-long-a-max, Max Factor, Alfa Male & No Eye Deer all headed up the rising route to the south, to lead the way by the Scout Camp that the RA pointed out had a Saracens flag fluttering proudly in the brisk breeze, where it had been hoisted up the flag-pole.
On the way Paxo noted the fire-pit at the far end of Scout Camp grounds that are home to the new looking out-buildings, it was also suggested that this could be a future venue for the Hash? This southbound trot would now take the Pack in the direction of Great Wymondley, for a brief period on the rising path the spire of St Mary’s could be seen in the distance above the tree line.
The Church was soon out of sight as Trail came out at the end of the Scout camp where there was a crossroads of permissive paths, many were impressed with the amount of these new paths that have been given up for public use around a lot of the fields that were home to a yellow blanket of rape-seed.
Alfa Male & Sludge would go wrong at the crossing of the permissive paths, while the Girls chose the correct permissive path that would lead up to the roadside, the Hare found them & Zing-a-long-a-max standing by the remains of a gate in the treeline, there was a footpath directly across the lane to Great Wymondley, but the Trail was clearly seen leading out in to the adjacent road to continue down toward smaller of the two Wymondley villages.
There would be one last permissive path for the Pack to run along, these wide harrow tracts of land around the patchwork of fields make up a myriad of new routes that can be utilised in the future. An arrow directed the Hash out through a gap in the hawthorn hedgerow for a short trot along the lane leading in to Great Wymondley.
On the way on this short Trot down to the crossroads in the heart of the little Village, it was noticed on the floor of the narrow lane that there were the remains of several wing-mirrors that were now smashed having been detached from their vehicles
After passed the narrowing speed restriction at the edge of the village, the Trail passed by the Old Manor Farm which is now a Cattery then it came up to a CHK in the centre of Great Wymondley & on to the final Held CHK situated on the small green opposite the Green Man Pub. The wind had not subsided & there was as slight precipitation in the air too, the FRBs wanted to move on & once No Eye Deer was at the CHK they were allowed to.
Ewok & Paxo pointed at the Village sign, saying that there was no sight of the hill with a wooden fort on it, this image was the representation of the Motte & Bailey that once stood towering over Great (or Much) Wymondley.
The Trail resumed when it would be picked up on the footpath between a couple of the properties, the Keenies looked a little confused as it isn’t easy to locate the footpath in the corner by a double garage as there were a couple of cars in front of the alleyway through to the Church grounds.
Passing through the graveyard & on by the Fitch-gate for the 12th century Norman Church to pass out of the kissing gate to the fallow field south of St Mary’s to continue south bound, behind the Church are the remains of the the grounds of the old Motte & Bailey that once stood in Great Wymondley, but this is now covered in trees which disguise what is hidden underneath.
On the way through the field of lush, long green grass the Pack run behind the slightly obscured Elizabethan\Jacobian Delemare House, further out in to the field they would pass by a large solitary oak tree & far to the right, at the other side of the field there were a herd of large amber coloured cows & their calves.
In the corner of the field, the footpath left beside a dew pond & then through the hedge to emerge out into a crop field that was extremely dry underfoot, it was in this penultimate field that the On Inn was found, for up ahead & just one field away the railway line could be seen once again at its far end.
Having left the rape-seed behind, the last field was a rough one of dried ploughed land, it was ankle turning & some did run this as the wind was still in their faces, but as the level of the field dropped the effects of the wind lessened though the threat of rain increased to a slight drizzle.
At the main line, the Trail would cross over by the hall & pass beneath the railway bridge on the very edge of Little Wymondley, the sound of the wind whistling through this was quite eerie & when the RA saw Zing-a-long-a-max run through archway he thought of the Black & White Classic German Horror film ‘Nosferatu’.
Back in the Pub & the Pack settled in to a small side room, here they would enjoy some nice Cheesy Chips, while listening to tales of the weekends Rugby at Twickenham, at least, unlike Ewok, Mr X didn’t have to bite his lip while watching the game in Bath Rugby’s Club house or wear a Saracens T-shirt under a Bath Rugby top, eventually Ewok took off the Bath Shirt to revel the Sarries’ one on underneath.
If that wasn’t enough of Ewok stripping off at Bath, she told of riding a quadbike around a farm in just a bra, then she went on to mention topless sunbathing at home that was interrupted on a regular basis by an elderly neighbour chatting over the garden fence [The RA said that it reminded him of the old pervert bloke in Family Guy!! – Ed] with this revelation there was a sudden & unexpected levitation of the table at the other end of room! [Whoa there Pebbledash!]
There was a lot of debating about whether to weather the storm outside, but eventually Tent Packer choose the external option. On the way out the H4 Contingent were joined by a couple of the old guard of H5 who live locally, which led to the elder statespersons of the Hash reminiscing for quite a while!
The Circle was kept brief, with Tent Packer whizzing through his part, then awarding Mr X his Down-Down for a Trail that took an hour & five to get around. Mr X threatened to sip his pint quite slowly, but even he was feeling the weather, so had a change of heart & necked it!
Mr X took over the Circle, awarding Sludge a Hit for Not getting away with his usual short cutting & running more of the Trail than anyone else! TBT OBE was out for his groaning & grumbling about short cuts, especially after it came to the RA’s attention that TBT OBE had manage dot get around a round of Golf that morning!
Zing-a-long-a-max was out for reminding the RA of Max Shrek in Nosferatu! And if one Max drinks, all Max’s drink so Max Factor Joined him
The Hashit went to Ewok for here tales of stripping her top off, she could do it again & excite the Hash as she put the Hashit on! Plus she really wanted for a Bath win so she could wear a Bath shirt informant of the RA! [It wouldn’t have bothered him - as Rugby is not Football! – Ed]