Date = 4th October 2015
Run Number = 1642
Venue = The Farmer’s Boy
Location= St Albans
Beer = Great Heck Citra, Magic Rock Ring Master & High Wire
Hares = Sparky
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 10
Membership = Where are you all?
Firstly those gathering for the start of this Trail all agreed not to talk about the England Australia Game, for fear of sinking in to deep depression, though Mr X wasn’t that bothered since he has spent too many years following Saracens [When they didn’t win anything! – Ed] to get upset about losing a match & failing to reach the quarter Finals of the Rugby World Cup. While on the subject of Sport, Fliptop didn’t miss the opportunity to pass around his ‘Lucky Arsenil Sweets’ thought My Lil’ didn’t except one in fear of choking on it, after the Chelski result!
The number just crept in to double figures for this Trail, of the few there a couple enquired as to Paxo & TBT OBE’s whereabouts? This prompted a response about a txt message that informed the recipient that the two of them were in Brighton that very morning! Someone wondered if they were walking along the seafront holding hands? Mr X said that he had seen these two on TV’s Gogglebox!
Sparky arrived looking like a character from out of ‘It ain’t half hot mum!’ with a new pair of army slacks, he said that there could be a Newie arriving today, a woman who he met while out setting the Trail, she was out walking her dog & she recognised that he was marking a Hash Trail. She had hashed in Hong Kong, but failed to turn up for the opening Circle.
With no GM or JM, & Fliptop mumbling that he couldn’t think of the correct Run
Number, Mr X as RA stepped in to carry out the Welcoming Speech with the exact
Run Number! Then it was over to
Bombardier Gloria Beaumont Sparky, he
said that it was the usual Hash Markings.
As Sparky went on with his ‘Chalk-Talk’, some said that they had already seen the ‘Out Trail’ leading away down Alma Cut, so Sparky said “If that’s the way you think it goes, then head that way!” As he remained rooted to the Spot on London Road.
Sure enough the Trail started off by heading down Alma Cut, which was only a few yards up London Road, it left the Nor-nor-west direction of one of St Albans Main thoroughfares to head south-westerly down the Cut to find a CHK where it joins the Old London Road. Alfa Male & Max Factor were up with Mr X as he crossed over the road to the footpath alleyway that leads away down from the start of the top end of Cottonmill Lane. It took a while for him to find the Dust down there but that was the way the Pack were going to go.
Having descended to the end of the alleyway, the Trail now ran along eastward on Riverside road, not that the River Ver can be seen from here as the homes lining the route block any sight of it. Sludge & Sloppy Seconds soon caught up with Mr X as he went wrong at the CHK at the bottom end of Riverside Road. Mr X firstly found a T on the track that leads under the Old Railway Branch Line from Hatfield to St Albans Abbey Station, then he went off to look at the nearby small nature reserve, but a couple out cycling there said that it only went around in a loop!
Back to the CHK to see Max Factor & Alfa Male were on their way up Cornwall Road to the Northeast, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds were soon up behind them as no Eye Deer & Mr X followed on behind the others up- toward London Road. Max Factor, Alfa Male & Sludge all went off on a side road that was a dead-end, this allowed Mr X & Sloppy Seconds to continue up on to London Road, with Mr X using his local Knowledge to head South-eastward.
A CHK was found just by the curving road of Orient Close as it winds down to the Old Railway Building that was once the Station, but is now home to an enterprise business & play group. Kylie was in his element here & was spotted taking pictures from upon high of the former station.
Mr X recalled when this was owned by a salvage guy & the surrounding land was full of old vehicles like World War II Tanks & other paraphernalia that he used to rent out for film sets. Eventually he retired & sold up the land that is now the Estate of fairly new homes!
Some of the FRBs headed down to find Dust leading south-westward on the remains of the Old Line, now known as The Alban Way, Sludge, Sloppy Seconds & Mr X were straight on to the T just before the old line comes out of the estate. Meanwhile, the calls of “On!” had Max Factor & Alfa Male both coming back from the opposite side of the high arch of the railway bridge with London Road above.
Fliptop decided that while the others searched for Dust, he would spend his time playing with the interactive noticeboard about the former railway line, turning the dynamo to get one of the recorded stories by one of the former workers to play out aloud.
The Hare arrived & came down the steps on the south side of the bridge, he again became rooted to the spot & was content to allow the others to go around in circles like headless chickens. Eventually the Trail was picked up once again, Alfa Male was called back down from back up on London Road, he would now joined Max Factor in retracing their steps down the Alban Way toward Hatfield, under the first bridge for London Road & then the second higher arch of the bridge for the mainline Midland Route. Kylie & the Hare looked at the bridges architecture, especially the ornate pattern of bricks around the arch that broke up the otherwise stern façade.
Fliptop & My Lil’ were well on their way up this tarmacked Cycleway & footpath, which was pretty busy with locals out enjoying it. Some were teaching their youngsters to ride their bikes & the Pack had to avoid these very young wobbly cyclists who had as much sense of direction as Junior leaving the Pub!
It was soon noticed that the way was also littered with lots of chalk markings, Mr X wondered if these childish scribbles & drawings were done by the Hare? Mr X was not the only one to notice that there were a lot of Ps along the way? [P-arrows are normally used by the Hash to indicate the way to the Pub! – Ed]
The Trail passed by an off ramp for a footpath to the left hand-side of the way, but My Lil’ & Fliptop were well beyond this. The others caught up with My Lil’ & Fliptop as the Trail led on by the wooden structure on the left that was the platform for the Salvation Army Holt, the War Cry & Bibles were printed nearby in Campfield Road by the ‘Sally Ackers’ & was shipped by Train to London & other destinations.
A CHK was found by the crossing of two other paths over the old Line. The option over the footbridge over Camp road was checked out first. [This local road is named after the Camp Area of St Albans that was once a Roman Camp & nothing to do with anyone in Brighton! – Ed]
The Continuation of the Railway was also searched, this too proved fruitless as did Mr X taking one of the alleyways out to Dellfield road & up the Hawkshill steps up to the playing fields to the southeast. Once he realised that there was no Dust there, he cut down along Dellfield to where another footpath joins it from former Great Northern Branch line of Alban way, calls of “On! On!” could be heard ahead of him as Sloppy Seconds crossed the road & took the Hash up the second set of steps leading in to the Sport Field! The RA now wished that he had stuck with the other set when he had reached the top!
The Dust had the Pack running around the bottom edge of the sports ground, it was busy with a couple of games of soccer taking place, through the tree-line & bramble thickets the odd home could be seen down below on what was a fair drop. Fliptop stopped off in a gap in the brambles in the south-eastern comer, but it wasn’t to look at the properties below, nope, he was stopping to scare the squirrels!
Exiting the park by passing through the iron gates at the dead-end of Cunningham Avenue, the Trail was now back on the suburban streets of St Albans, as it passed by some of the more desirable homes in the City on the way down to London Road once again! At the T-Junction arrows directed the Hash over the nearby traffic island & on to the south-westerly side. There a CHK was found.
Sludge went wrong here, as he presumed that the Trail would head away from the City Centre & then go off Mile House lane & take to a footpath on the other side of the Railway line, to a point where a footpath runs through the local Golf Course. Instead the Trail headed back toward the City Centre, passing underneath the large iron bridges still bearing the Cream & Maroon colours of the Midland Railway main line they were constructed for. This mainline would see to the demise of the Hatfield to St Albans Branch line.
A CHK that was found near the entrance to the Golf Club. Now it was Alfa Males turn to go wrong as he continued along the main road, probably because the drive to the Golf Club had ‘Private! No Public Right of Way!’ on the sign beside the ornate gates on the red brick pillars.
The FRBs tentatively made their way in to the Golf Club & Dust was found leading through the car park, this route didn’t look kosher but at the end of the car park was a gap in the fence that allowed access to a fairway, but more importantly the footpath that runs Northwest to southeast though the centre of the Golf Course. Sludge was now on the path he thought of earlier on.
It was now pretty easy to find the Trail from as the option toward the Verulam Angling lakes & the Alban Way proved to be the correct one. No Eye Deer thought the lakes were very scenic, as she caught a quick glimpse of them on the way up the path beside the north side of the old Railway bridge, Mr X, Sloppy & Sludge were more annoyed to see the T that had stopped them just before the steps up the bridge at the end of Riverside Road.
Once up on the end of the bridge, a Held CHK was discovered, here Mr X pointed out that the tree the CHK was under
was definitely a ‘Climbing Tree’ with boughs that were ideal for kids to clamber in. Max Factor decided that she would clamber up in to the lower boughs of a large established tree, though getting down hadn’t come to her mind yet!
The Hare arrived, as did Kylie who took a picture of the Pack & Max Factor up in the tree, Sparky now offered around some jelly babies from an already open sweet packet, that was for Haribo sweets of a different type, not everyone excepted one!
The Trail continued along the Alban way on its long arcing direction around toward St Albans Abbey Station, where it used to terminate. The time was now a quarter to the hour & some were itching to get back to the On Inn, & when the old line came out on to Cottonmill lane, they thought that their thirsty prayers had been answered as the Dust led along this road back toward the City Centre. However, having passed by the old Priory Grounds & on over toward the Sub-Aqua Club, the former swimming pool across from the Sopwell Priory Ruins of the former Nunnery, Disappointment would soon take hold as the Trail headed off on the westerly footpath right before the Sub-Aqua Club grounds to take to running beside the River Ver, with local allotments on the opposite side.
From this point in the Trail, with the time rapidly approaching Noon, various splinters of the Pack would break away & make their way up the hillside to London road, some would cut through the Sopwell area, others from off of Holywell Hill, each finding Dust around by the great Pubs of this area, before coming out by the Beehive on Watsons walk, just down from this the On Inn was found.
Poor No Eye Deer & Kylie were oblivious to all of the various depths of local Knowledge & carried on with Sparky to do a loop around the grounds of St Albans Abbey, taking in the old Roman Walls of Verulamium, no wonder she was the last one back Inn around 12:40! The rest were back after Noon, then a quarter past & 25 past respectively.
Sloppy Seconds got his money in to Hash Cash early, which left everyone in a state of shock! Fliptop didn't hang around as he was off before the Down-Downs. The Hits saw the Hare get his Down-Down for a long Trail [If you were No Eye Deer & Kylie! - Ed] other Hits were Kylie for getting excited at all the old Railway paraphernalia; Max Factor for being a Tomboy & climbing a tree, Alfa Male was out for not helping her down from said tree!