Date = 15th June 2015
Run Number = 1621
Venue = The Two Chimneys
Beer = Old Speckled Hen, GK IPA, GK Reserve
Hares = No Eye Deer
Runners = 9
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 1
Newies = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 11
Membership = Not getting lost in Stepford!
It was a glorious evening for a Hash, so it was a shame that the turnout was lowest for ages on No Eye Deer’s Trail. This week saw a Newie arrive on her pushbike, Miranda or Beerlanda [Her Hash Name – Ed] had spotted the Herts Webshite & looked up that this Trail that would not be far from where she lives, so she peddled along for her first taste of H4 life. Would it leave a sweet or bitter taste?
The RA was adorned in the Hashit, it was noted the two most vocal Hashers demanding Mr X received this the week before were notably absent, not that the RA will forget this, so heaven help them if they trespass on consecrated ground in the future!
The Circle was called after the top of the hour had passed, mainly due to Skip & Pyscho arriving late & then taking their time to get from their car to the front of the Pub. Skip looked like he could hardly stay awake – apparently the reason for this was that they had ‘rampant sex’ before coming out. The RA said that Skip has a good memory!
Anyhow, the Joint Monkey called the Circle to order & introduced the Pack to this weeks Newie, he got the correct Run Number [After some help from the RA among others! – Ed] then No Eye Deer was called forward to tell of what the Hash could expect out there. The Hare’s words of “It was a longer run than expected!” left a few with doubts, then when it came to explaining about Herts Hash markings to the Beerlanda it was kind of skipped over! The Hare added that she was sorry about the last part of the Trail, which left to others puzzling to how bad the Trail could be?
Right from the start My Lil’ was not a happy Bunny, for the Trail got underway with a CHK right outside of the Pub, something that irks him! The RA said that it was far better than a fake CHK outside of the mini Tesco’s by Hitchin Railway Station! The Dust was soon picked up by Alfa Male on the roadside footpath along the west side of the busy Stotfold road in an almost due north direction.
Not too far before an arrow directed the Pack over the very busy road, the Pack successfully negotiated the Traffic to take to a footpath in a north-easterly direction over the fields behind the hedgerow. Paxo & others had some fun shouting at My Lil’ as he made a dash for it between the cars, a call of “Run fat boy! Run!” spurred him over to the gravel track leading away down the gentle sloping farm land. The road noise would eventually reduce as the Trail dipped below the road level & headed away from it.
A couple of civilians out jogging became mixed up with the Pack for quite a way as they ran the same route on the wide track down to the back off Stand Alone farm, the Trail followed the Track as it passed through the hedgerow sheltering the farm on the eastside. Once through the sheltered spot where the gates where, the Trail could only go one way as the other options required walkers to hold passes for entry to the farm area. [Luckily the Scribe didn’t drop a P then, or Pebbledash would be cackling away if it read ‘hold asses!’ – Ed]
The route turned slightly to get back on to a northerly direction, passing by the sluice gates in the Pix brook that dam the water for the lake, then further up to pass beside the massive Blue metal sluices could be seen on the north end of the lake. Just beyond these a CHK was found by the footpath of through the clumps of nettles among the long grass to run down beside the Pix brook, Beerlanda was soon down that option which left Alfa Male continuing along the wide hard capped track.
It was a shame that Beerlanda was on to a Falsie as she led Mr X, Max Factor & Ewok down this route on the opposite side to the local sewage works! Mr X now had to explain a little more about the Herts Hash markings to Beerlanda.
Having got back through the nettles, which the RA assured the Newie that these don’t sting this time of year, it was back on the dusty hard-caped track to follow it slightly off of north to the east, this led up to a crossroads with another path & there a CHK was found. Alfa Male was soon off the wrong way to the east, while the real Trail was found along the slightly downhill trot to the west, which led on back toward the Pix brook & the path beside it that Beerlanda was on earlier.
Mr X mentioned to the Hare that the last time Herts Run from the Two Chimneys’ the Trail was set by General, (Circa 1994) & that particular run took them on the other side of the Stotfold road & around the precarious paths above the ‘Blue & Green Lagoons’ No Eye Deer feigned an answered with a “There’s a Blue Lagoon around here!” but Mr X didn’t pick up on this.
Up in the distance, nestling behind the distant trees, the top of the chateaux like lead coated tower roofs could be seen, Mr X explained that these were those of the former Three Counties Asylum in these parts. The Trail crossed the Pix & headed up by a stables, along the way Ewok was slightly distracted by the sight of a Stallion in the small coral to the north side of the path.
The Stable drive would lead back out to the Stotfold road, at the roundabout there an arrow pointed the way straight over to the west side & on to the edge of the new east that is built on the old grounds of the Fairfield Hospital, formerly the Three Counties Asylum. Te RA was very well aware that in crossing the road meant that the Hash were now in Bedfordshire, hopping over the border into Hare & Hounds Territory. The RA said that this made a change considering the number of time ‘the Bedfordshire Hash’ used to run deep in to in Herts!
The Pack were kept together by the roundabout as Alfa Male came back from the westerly route of Dickins Boulevard straight in to the heart of the estate, Mr X chose wrong as well as he searched the south bound cycleway. By the time these two came back the way had been marked by the Hare to take to the northbound cycleway running parallel to the Stotfold road, just separated from the busy road by a wide & established tree-line.
The Pack would emerge out on to original road off to the west, Elliot Way as it is now known was the driveway leading up to the front of the former Stotfold Three Counties Asylum, this Chateaux like building was opened back in 1856 & was famed for having the Country’s longest corridor of the time, being an impressive half a mile in length. The estate was big enough for it to have its own railway line leading in by the entrance.
Dust led on through the ornate brick gate bastions, then on along toward the impressive frontage of the former hospital. It now became clear that there are probably hundreds of new homes that are built within the 253 acre site - there are actually over 1,000 new builds. These new abodes are sympathetic to the colour & design of the original hospital buildings, these original pale yellow limestone like bricks were made from local clay.
While Paxo, Ewok, Mr X, My Lil’ & Max Factor hung around at the CHK in front of the main building, admiring the ornate hospital’s design, Alfa Male & Beerlanda continued westward & off of the tarmac road to run through a wooded area of long grass near to the Chapel, that although it looks new after a clean-up, this was built in 1879. The East stain glass window was added in the 1920’s & is dedicated to those Staff & patients who died during World War 1, many of the patients being treated there during the Great War suffered from Shell-Shock.
The Trail now crossed over the drive again to pass through the graveyard, here the Pack stopped to look at the ‘Remember me’ memorial set in the ground, not by the few gravestones but by the wall, this was dedicated to the patients who died at the asylum & were buried in unmarked graves in the two adjacent meadows, the only gravestones are those for the staff who died in service there. The patients were treated more like inmates in a prison at one point.
Alfa Male & Beerlanda had time to deal with the next CHK bnefore the rest caught up, Alfa Male finding another Falsie! Only Skip & Psycho were no longer up with the rest of the Hash as the Trail took to a footpath running along the west edge of the estate, some doubting Thomas’s thought that they had turned back ages ago, but they were wrong.
To break up the monotony of seeing the replicated mock stone houses, the Trail entered the wooded strip that runs between the outer perimeter path & the open fields to the west of the estate. Again Alfa Male would go wrong at a CHK within the woodland, when he went out in to the crop fields to find another Falsie & this allowed Beerlanda to take up the next stage of Front Running.
The Trail would come out at an elbow in the woodland, which corresponds to the corner of the estate, here the FRBs emerged out on to the chalk downs, Hash Hush was observed as two Horse riders were seen where the Hare had set a loop to take the Keenies down toward the west, but the RA wondered if Hash Hush was necessary in this case as the two female riders were pretty loud in their conversation!
The Keenies would all get a good look out over the Blue Lagoon down below them further to the west. The RA told those gathered that a few have souls who have their demise in the deep water of the Blue & Green Lagoon with deceiving chalky ‘beach’ that belies the sudden drops from where the clay for the asylum bricks was dug out. Only a year or two ago a guy from Luton drove his car in to this & his kids were drowned.
While Alfa Male & Beerlanda went a bit wrong from here as they missed the Dust, My Lil’ & Mr X picked up the Trail heading back through the wild grass & meadow flowers in the centre of the green space, the was found Hare waiting back by the corner of the wood & asked the RA if he had seen the Blue Lagoon he was talking about?
The Trail now headed back to the outer perimeter of the Estate & on to the long tarmac path circumnavigating it, to make this appear more rustic gates every so often there are gates & beside these are two beam horse crossings, but the lack of horse manure on this route belies the fact that there can’t be many horses using this route.
Now the houses do look nice but there seems to be no spirit to the place, though there ought to be as there are a few Ghost stories connected with the Asylum. Beerlanda mentioned that there was a few shops within the new village, one being a Tesco’s, which is hardly authentic for the design of the area. Mind you there is also a Balantine’s gym, yes he of the Dragon’s Den fame. But as Beerlanda put it “It’s all rather Stepford wives!”
There was another CHK to try & throw the Keenies off of the sent, with the Beerlanda & Alfa Male going wrong within the woodland again! Just as the Tack changed tact, there was a rustling in the bushes of the tree line as Beerlanda emerged from a Short cut back to the tarmac, rioght in fornt of the RA!
The path would finally take the Pack almost all the way around the outside of the estate to come back up to the Stotfold road again, this would be a straightforward trot back along this busy route. A route that was also the place where Veronica Ryan, an orderly nurse at the Asylum who was living in Letchworth, would be murdered in 1958 by Lyndon Emerys Mydrum Nott, a local Letchworth man & at one point one of the voluntary Patient.
The ‘On Inn’ was found halfway back along as the main road dips before bringing everyone back opposite the out Trail across the road. In all it was a good Trail that took an hour & five for the FRBs to complete, Skip & Psycho arrived only about ten minutes after that, the Hare appeared happy not to have lost anyone!
The Pack sat outside as the weather was nice enough, but a chill in the air would pick up & make the RA get the Down-Downs in fairly early, but not early enough for Paul who was still in the Bar as the JM & RA did their bit. The Hare was rewarded for a great Trail, which wasn’t too long. Ewok was out for completing another half Marathon, this time the St Albans one, she went on to say that on the evening Paxo popped his head out of a bush to ‘pop the question’ again, as had proposed to her for the third time. [Luckily Pebbledash was there to hear this about the Bush! – Ed] Don’t get the posh hats out yet girls, as nothing seems to be happening on that front!
Skip & Psycho were called out for having Sex before the Trail, Skip said that it happened in a bush over the back of the car park, the RA asked if this was the same bush Paxo popped his head out of? [Thank god that Pebbledash was not present! – Ed]
Beerlanda, the Newie, had her Down-Down for completing her first Herts Trail, this she dispatched at a fair rate that left Ewok stunned & the RA asking if Birdtable was back?
If Ewok was in a state of shock with watching the last Down-Down, then when it came to the Hashit being awarded she would go weak at the knees, for Alfa Male was awarded the Shiteshirt for doing nearly all the Falsies on the Trail, then in something like a scene out of a Coke advert he peeled off his top to reveal a buff & somewhat hairless torso. Ewok has asked the RA to award Alfa Male the Hashit every week! [One way to boost the number of Harriettes joining H4! – Ed]