Date = 6th July 2015
Run Number = 1626
Venue = The Plough
Beer = Three Brewers; Tribute
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 14
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 1
Total = 16
Membership = Planes, Trains & Tsykie cans!
There were a few worries as to whether there would be a Trail, for the original Hare wasn’t too good the day before & had yet to set the Trail, Mr X was not feeling that chipper on the morning of the Hash. A poor response to the email sent out asking for potential stand-in Hares, led the RA to wonder if anyone actually read the Herts weekly emails??
Anyhow, a recovered Mr X left straight from work to set the Trail, this meant that by the time he had finished setting the Trail it was coming up to the Hour. It came as a surprise to the Hare, as he approached the Pub from a footpath in an adjacent field, to see the Pack setting off on the alternative north-bound footpath through the wheat field. Mr X wondered what happened to Tent Packers normally drawn out welcoming diatribe for the Pack to leave dead on time?
The Hare’s mobile rang as he approached the end of the string of Hashers, all leaving in single File toward the former Hatfield to St Albans railway line. The caller was Vigorous Screw Balls, who had contact the Herts Hash having moved back down to the County from Manchester, where she started Hashing with Manchester H3.
VSB had just been dropped off by her Brother & the Hare could hear the Landlady explain that the Hash had just set off through the gap in the car park hedge! VSB was soon with the Hare & then on through the wheat to the tail of the Pack. On the way she quizzed the Hare on how long the Trail was in distance, when “Three & a half miles to four!” was mentioned, VSB said that she was used to far longer one! [Steady on Pebbledash! -Ed]
The First CK was found where the footpath comes out through the old line-side hedgerow & on to the tarmac track that was once the former Railway, now known as the Albans & used by many for recreational uses such as a part of the National Cycleway. As Mr X marked the Trail & then a Short Cut along the former line to the east, Zing-along-a-max shouted out “Short-cutter!” as he arrived at the CHK.
The rest of the Hash were already on to the next stage of the Trail, as it now entered the next, smaller enclosed field to the north, this one was roughly ploughed up & seemed only to have a few wild grasses in it. The angle of the path was now a few degrees off of north as it cross to the opposite hedgerow & out by the foil man-shaped balloon, which stood out as it reflected the bright sunshine.
A CHK was found out on Wilkins Green lane, this tri-armed lane had some looking up toward the main St Albans road, others westward toward the back of Smallford, but it was on the easterly arm that the Dust would be found at the start of a bridleway heading southward back to the Alban way.
Having made their way along the bridleway, which has had the hedges & ditches worked on very recently, the Pack would have an impromptu regroup as the Hare was waiting there to give his now late, pre-run spiel! Once the Pack were gathered at the CHK, Mr X would explain that the Trail was marked in normal Herts Markings using Dust & discarded Tyskie cans, seems that these have replaced Shopping Trollies as Hatfield’s most discarded items? As Mr X mentioned this, Tent Packer reached down & picked up an empty Tyskie can as if to prove the point!
Mr X added that the Trail had short cuts, there would be another two regroups & one would be a ‘special stop’, there was also a busy road to cross & care was needed. He pointed out the Railway furniture that may be seen along part of the Trail, warned that there were very fast cyclists on the Alban way, dogs being walked, Artworks like the Boundary Mile marker post, drunk Poles with their Tyskie & near the end a Drunk man crashed out in a tent pitched in a crop field. No one know who this was & it was hard to tell if it was Junior in there just by the legs sticking out of the Trent Flap, but they were pale enough to be his.
Anyhow, the Trail resumed with Alfa Male, Max Factor & others all tending to favour the continuation of the Bridleway as it zig-zags out toward the A414 in the south. This proved to have no Dust on it & they were all soon back as “On!” was called further along the Alban way to the east.
It was a fairly long trot along the tree-line Alban way & there was no chance of any deviation until the Trail arrived at the former Nast Hyde Halt at the west end of the Ellenbrook part of Hatfield. For Kylie it was a little slice of heaven as there were plenty bits of Railway memorabilia on the trees & around the raised brick platform of the former station.
The Keenies continued slightly off of eastward, over the small humped bridge for the Ellen Brook, & across Ellenbrook lane to continue along the Alban way between the 80’s style homes on the ‘Sidings’ & ‘Haltside’. Another CHK was found at the end of Haltside, the option to continue ahead to the A1(M) & the Galleria beyond was cut short for most as the Trail finally left the Alban way by using an alleyway to cut through to more established homes of Selwyn Avenue.
The Trail would now work its way northward to come out on to a CHK on the old St Albans Road West, the option to head westward was soon found to be the right one, this route would join where My Lil’ appeared from - having marked the Short Cut from Nast Hyde Halt.
Sludge now caught up with the rest of the Pack, having gone wrong at the last CHK, he was soon on his way over the A1057 of the larger St Albans Road West separated by a grass verge as it runs parallel to the older road that is lined with homes on just the Southside.
The Trail crossed the busy road, via the zebra crossing next to the roundabout by the DHSS [No, not that one, the de Havilland Sport s & Social Club! – Ed]. The Trail would crossover & run up the sports ground side of Albertross Way, going northward on a drive that is a Bus Only route to the newer section of Hatfield homes, those who try to drive cars up the Bus Route soon find a rising bollard will stop their progress.
Beyond the bus-shelter to the bend in Albertross way, the original Held CHK was found. The Pack would begin to regroup by one of the entrances to Ellenbrook Fields, the new parkland that was once a part of the former aircraft factory grounds, originally de Havilland, then Hawker Sidley & finally up to its demise as British Aerospace.
The Hare allowed the FRBs to continue with the search for the Trail. Everyone seemed hesitant to go through by the works’ shed by the bridge of the Ellen Brook water course on this east side of the Park. They were all right in their decision as a large T was on the other side of the bridge, so the Trail continued northward along the gravel path between the ponds to the left & the homes off of Cunningham Avenue.
All of these roads in this newer part of Hatfield are named after Planes built at Hatfield or Test Pilots like ‘Cats Eyes’ Cunningham. Of course Mosquito way has existed a lot longer, since being designed at Hatfield & the plant produced some 3,326 of the 7,000 + of these iconic Aircraft, which with its twin Rolls-Royce Merlin engines it was the world’s first fighter-bomber, with its balsa wood & Canadian Birch fuselage it could reach high speeds & became one of the most adapted aircraft of WWII in various roles.
Now, the Hare was feeling the heat, since it was his second time around & he took the short cut that he marked over the bridge by the works’ shed, Fliptop, Paxo, Skip & My Lil’ all joined Mr X on the few yards to the next CHK. Mr X asked them to hold this CHK, with a T in it, until the others arrived back from a loop around the ponds.
With Mr X not going on the loop of the Trail up to the memorial to those connected to the Aircraft Factory & who died at During the World wars, it allowed Sludge to revert back to his own devices & he was soon off the Trail & on a new path along the west side of the ponds where there was no Dust, but not on the path on the west of the now water-less ditch the Trail came back on.
The Hare laughed at the sight of many of the others following on behind Sludge, they included Max Factor, VSB to name but two, Mr X allowed them to run down & up through the grassy ‘dry moat’ like ditch to arrive at the T CHK. The Hare explained that the long concrete path which lay ahead to the west was once a part of the Runway, he told those there that as RA he would award Down-Downs or Not on the style of the Pack’s airplane style take-off.
It was a great sight to see half of the Pack resuming the Trail by running away with their arms out-stretched as they imitated planes taking off, some complete with engine noises like little kids would do. There were even a few fighter aircraft with machine guns blazing, which led to the old joke about ‘Shooting the Fokker down!” [In Sludge’s case it would have been one from the Red Baron’s Flying Circus! – Ed]
However, the Hare noticed that Zing-a-long-a-max, Mark E Mark, Alfa Male, Psycho & Kylie were all missing at this point, the latter two were probably going around the loop having missed the SC (Short Cut) while chatting away. As the main part of the Pack made their way to the halfway point on the Runway, Zing-a-long-a-max, Mark E Mark & Alfa Male came in to sight. They would soon catch up with the rest as the Pace had dropped after the long wait at the T CHK, the enthusiasm had waned to say the least but at this point those who continued running were only 10 minutes away from the On Inn!
Paxo took notice of the information board at the edge of the runway, this told about the long-horned cattle that are now resident in the fenced off centre section of the park. This brought about talk of how they may look fierce with their horns but are actually quite docile, but as Fliptop said “They reckon you have more chance of being run down by domesticate dairy cattle these days, as a lot of herds are milked automatically & have little contact with people”
More information for the Hare, this time it came from Zing-a-long-a-max as he stated that he had set an orienteering course around here, but he had used the wilder scrubby land to the south of the runway, the Hare said he didn’t go that way as he didn’t have time to get lost while setting the Trail that early evening.
The Trail turned with the end of the runway, there the final CHK of the Trail was found, not that the Pack knew this. Having picked up over the wide area of open grassland, Mr X & Paxo walked along with VSB where they explained that this area was used as the set for the French Village in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan & how the back of the buildings were just three sided skeletons held up by scaffold!
There was a sudden sounding of a car horn from the main road on the other side of the small woodland, the Hare shouted out “I told them to mind crossing roads!” Having crossed the open green, the Hash took to the footpath within the tree-line running beside the Nottcutts Garden Centre at Smallford, there was no CHK in the gap between the oaks where the Trail joined this path, since most would know to turn eastward & head out the short way to the main St Albans road in Smallford!
After the Kissing gate, there was an arrow directing the Hash straight over the road to the continuation of the footpath, as it passes by the last cottage adjoining the Three Horses Shoes (Not a Hash Friendly Pub last time we were there!). The hamlet of Smallford was once known as Four Wants, then Horseshoe village before being named Smallford.
On entering the corner of the field the Pack got to see the tent amongst the rape seed crop, no one went to see if Junior was in. The Trail led along the side of the crop field then at the opposite corner it took to running beside the last homes on the dead-end of Springfield Road, briefly running through the open end of the street, avoiding the tall concrete pillars to stop cyclist using the path, which the RA described as ‘Tank-traps’ & then back in to the shade of the last part of the footpath another property’s length to emerge out on to Wilkins Green lane. Springfield was the original name of Smallford Station!
The final leg of the Trail was to run a short way up to Station Road in Smallford, arrows directed the Pack down on the descending footpath beside the road bridge over the former railway line, this is named Peggy’s Path after a local campaigner & it avoids the blind summit on the road bridge. A few yards on the Trail crossed the line, passed by the bags of Tyskie cans neatly tied up in the trees, finally it was on up the opposite ramp of a path to find the On Inn beside where the path joins Station Road once again. The way back in was diagonally through the wheat field to the Pub where the Pack left from.
The Circle was called & the GM toasted the Hash, after this he awarded Mr X his Down-Down for setting the Trail. After the RA had finished the Hit, the Circle was handed back to him. There seemed to be a lot of drinks on the table, this was down to the next Down-Downs being linked to the Aircraft take off & how many of the Herts Hashers were there wearing ‘pink flying helmets’ [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] Of course this included Paxo, Fliptop, Zing-a-long-a-max, My Lil’ & TBT OBE.
On the Subject of Flight, Mark E Mark was out for trying to compete with the guy who is flying around the world in a solar powered aircraft, that Mark E Mark now has a solar-powered Audi! VSB was awarded her Hit for completing her first Herts Trail. Mr X was out again for admitting that there was a week missing from the Hare line a couple of weeks back & no one had noticed!
Anyone who wants to see the old Hatfield to St Albans line where we have run got to 1968 Film of Hatfield to St Albans Branch Line | Smallford