Date = 31st August 2015
Run Number = 1634
Venue = Chez No Eye Deer (With Help from Paul)
Beer = Guinness, Carlsberg & Skippy Piss
Hares = No Eye Deer
Runners = 9
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 9
Membership = Mostly away & not in Letchworth!
There was a distinct lack of H4 regulars this morning, perhaps it was the persistent rain that had seemed to been teaming down over night was still coming down. This precipitation didn’t stop the RA from turning out as he had a lift back from UK Nash Hash in Oxfordshire that morning.
The welcoming circle took place inside No Eye Deer’s garage, to shelter from the rain that was definitely going to be set in for the rest of the day. No Eye Deer had been out around the Trail a couple of times as the original Trail needed to be freshened up in places.
The Circle was fairly brief & the Pack set off out of No Eye Deer’s front garden to find a large dough-like arrow on the pavement, this pointed the way down to Letchworth lane & at the junction the Hash could see that there were scraped up soil that showed works were going on at the local Golf Club. Perhaps they are expanding the bunkers for when Herts Hash Hackers ever get to play there?
The Trail turned left at the junction & Mr X was first down to the Willian Road, there a CHK was discovered. While Mr X stopped to tie his shoelace on the back of the brick ‘Letchworth Garden City’ Marker, Sludge, Tent Packer & Smartarse were first off up the westerly option along Willian lane, in the direction away from the village that bears the name of the road. It was a short way along the roadside verge before the Pack were directed over to the five-bar gate on the opposite side of the lane. Paul was up with the FRBs & keeping an eye on them at this part of the Trail
Having squeezed beside the white painted metal gate, a CHK was found in the corner at the start of the crop fields to the south, Sludge took to the footpath that runs down toward the Willian Arboretum, but he would find this to be a Falsie & so it was down to Tent Packer to pick up the correct route along the permissive path on the field-side of the hedgerow that runs along the Willian road. As the land became lower, the size of the puddles across the path seemed to grow in size.
The Trail came away from the hedgerow as it headed down to a tree-line leading across from the southwest to northeast, at the gap in the end of the line of these trees the next CHK was found. The tributary to the river Purwell, that runs one side of the tree-line was now in full gushing flow at the gap. Paul & No Eye Deer were soon up with the FRBs at this point.
From here Mr X & Tent Packer would find dust on the hard-capped path running around a bend to run back along by the westbound roadside hedgerow, a Bar Would stop them in their Tracks. Smartarse gave up before attempting this part of the Trail, due to the fact he was only wearing flip-flops & he was going to get really wet & dirty feet if he was to continue with the Trail from this point.
Sludge had fared better than the other two, as he had taken to the path in the tree-line & was now “On!” away to the southwest, there wasn’t much shelter offered by the trees from the rain as the Trail led up to a CHK by the convergence of permissive paths. Mr X slowed up as he met up with someone who at first he thought was Mary Poppins but actually it turned out to be My Lil’ walking at the back of the Pack with his umbrella raised to keep himself dry. The the RA would go wrong as he followed My Lil’ around to the opposite side of the tree-line.
Having noticed the lack of flour, & lack of Hash footprints on the permissive shiggy path, it was a turn back up to the CHK to see it was marked down toward the hedgerow on the path heading north eastward. In the distance, over the fields the Pack could see the houses that stand on the edge of the Purwell area of Hitchin. The Trail would not venture that far as it would turn yet again.
The southwest heading wide permissive path was pretty much out in the open & the exposed wet trot was not going to end until after the next CHK, where the Pack were taken slightly off of eastward to the point where it reached a CHK by the corner of the Lower Plantation, which is at the north end of Wymondley Wood. The Shelter of the trees was welcomed as the Trail weaved its way on a serpentine like desire line.
Mr X caught up with Paul, No Eye Deer, Sludge & Tent Packer as the Trail crossed the slippery single wooden plank over another tributary to the Purwell, this too was in full flow. Once safely across the water obstacle the Pack would emerge out in the open centre of the woodland, by the upright poles of a sculpture or was it a type of sun-dial?
It didn’t take Tent Packer & Sludge long to find the correct Trail & these two set off. It was plain to see to those behind that these two were both dressed in the same Kraków EuroHash T-shirts, the RA thought that they looked like the Hash equivalent of the Chuckle Brothers! Anyhow, the Trail now turned northward to pass by the remote homes by the Keepers Cottage & out up the farm track over the open fields.
It was an uphill climb to find the next CHK on to top of the exposed ridge, the options were reduced to two as the third choice would head back over toward Hitchin, the Dust was picked up first time on the south-easterly path toward the Wymondley road, the wet grass & ankle high plants made sure that Hash Shoes were pretty much soaked for those who may have managed to avoid any puddles so far on this Run? Having said that, the brushing of foliage did bring up the soiled Hash boots a real treat, as Tent Packer pointed out.
A CHK was found on the Footpath that runs parallel to the Wymondley Road, Mr X stopped to look at an information board & was surprised that it had the story of the first Military Air crash in the UK. Something he was unaware of.
There is a Stone Memorial not far from this spot on the side of the Wymondley Road, that is often mistaken for a War Memorial but this accident did not take place during hostilities.
On 6 September 1912 at 0715 hours, Captain Patrick Hamilton and Lieutenant Athole Wyness-Stuart, on approaching Willian in a Deperdussin monoplane, suffered a severance to their wing tension cables causing their port wing to collapse. With immediate loss of wing lift, the aviator’s flight ended fatally. They were the first to lose their lives on active service in a military aircraft.
The Daily Mirror described the crash in the following day’s news:
TERRIBLE AIR FATALITY AT THE MANOEUVRES: TWO BRITISH OFFICERS DASHED TO DEATH HEAR HITCHIN YESTERDAY.
The servicemen who were commemorated were:
Captain Patrick Hamilton: aged 30 and engaged to American Miss Derryle Lowe, he was commissioned into the Worcester Regiment in 1901, achieving promotion to Captain in 1908. He was one of eight children and qualified as a pilot in March 1912. He became a very experienced flyer and had previously survived two crashes. [Which makes you wonder? – Ed]
Lieutenant Athole Wyness-Stuart: also in his 30’s, Wyness-Stuart was a Somerset man, married with two children. He was granted his British Aviators certificate on 26th September 1911 by the Royal Aero Club number 141.
About the Deperdussin Plane
The Deperdussin, a monoplane, was built in France by Société de Production des Aéroplanes Deperdussin [S.P.A.D] in May 1912. Monoplanes were regarded with suspicion by the War Office, as it was thought they did not have the rigidity of the strutted box-like structures of a bi-plane.
The Path led down to the edge of the Arboretum on the edge of Willian, No Eye Deer said that the puddles covering the path were not there when she went around to tart the Trail up earlier that morning.
As the Dust led out on to the side of the Wymondley Road, the doughy remains of a Short Cut could still be made out on the grass verge on the bend in the land, but it seems that Tent Packer & Sludge failed to see this & they continued across the road & on to the footpaths behind Manor Farm on a loop around through to the east side of Willian & then back down to the green that the Fox Pub & the St Mary the Virgin Church sit upon.
The Short Cut led the way down on to the west of the green & by the On Inn, arrows directed the way over toward the Willian Village Duck Pond & then a short way along to the west before coming up the footpath leading northward by the enclosed common. The last of the Dust would peel off of the northbound alleyway path to lead out through the ‘Greenway’ & via a couple of cut-throughs it was back to Aubreys.
There were no Down-Downs this week, for apart from the Hare & Mary Poppins there were no real misdemeanours to be spotted by the RA out on the Trail!