Date = 15th November 2015
Run Number = 1648
Venue = Chez Kylie
Beer = Westons Old Rose & some old Badger spit
Hares = Kylie
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 3
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 19
Membership = Like being on a Thai Half Marathon!
Sadly Dear Reader, to complete this write up for this epic Trail, another football pitched size of Rainforest had to go!
Anyhow, this Sunday saw a change in the cold damp weather, it was a fine, warm sunny but slightly overcast morning.
The Pack parked up & were invited in to Chez Kylie, even if it was for a brief period as the Hare got himself sorted out? As usual it was a little while until the Hares final got everything together & the Circle was called outside the front of the house, then before the ceremonies could take place a Photo-shot had to be taken by Kylie!
Tent Packer welcomed everyone to the correct Run Number, then it was over to the Hares & time for their ‘Chalk Talk’ which wasn’t that long, but did have the invaluable information of there being a Drink Stop & that any Short Cutters should stick close to Kylie.
The Trail left the Moat & soon arrived at the CHK on the junction where it joins Park Lane, My Lil’ grumbled “A CHK at the start of the Trail isn’t right!” [Starting a Trail with a CHK is something he doesn’t like, remember that folks! – Ed] The Trail was picked up on the same way out as the last Trail from Chez Kylie, which was the opposite way from which No Eye Deer had gone toward the High Street.
The south-easterly start down Park Lane led the Hash off down to the end where it joined Gates Way, to a point where the dead end has a cut-through Perowne Way, Mark E Mark looked off through the pass-through but didn’t find the ‘Out Trail’, so Mr X & Sparky began searching up the short dead end spur to the fields to the east of Puckeridge, but a T soon put in a stop to that. Mark E Mark decided that he would lob a fallen apple at those behind him.
So, it was back to Fishers Mead that was passed by earlier, this westerly suburban road leads out on to Station Road, where the Arrows would move down way from the centre of the old centre of Puckeridge but things again ground to a halt, then the Trail took a turning off through the westerly track that runs through the well maintained local allotments, the Pack stood aside as one of the senior allotment holders drove up to his patch at the far end. The old boy stalled his motor at one point, which amused Kylie!
No Eye Deer, Pebbledash, Max Factor & Alfa Male all followed the drive around to the left & on behind the sheds [You’re not at school now Pebbledash! – Ed] but they soon run out of Dust. Mr X on the other-hand, knew that there is a footpath down the grassy bank & in to the dry bed of the tributary running behind the High Street homes.
There used to be a small concrete bridge in the tributary, but years ago it was washed over by a flood, so the local Council closed the path in the belief that no one had the common-sense not to try & clamber over the up-turned block without having an injury. This infuriated Goose, who deliberately took the Trail through there on one of his Trails & the Pack all got through with no mishaps, as they did all these years later.
TBT OBE & Mrs Mallet were keeping up with things at this point as the Trail came up out on to the High Street where a CHK was found, Mr X headed down toward the Crown & Falcon, but he hadn’t go much further than passing the small Catholic Church before being called back, so a turn around to pass by the large painted carving of the Virgin Mary. He then had a vision & it was of the rest of the Pack crossing over the road & heading up to the entrance to the Standon Poors land, just beyond the local School & another small Church.
The Trail now led along through the area of wild grasses & spiky bushes that sits between the old Cambridge road & the newer A10 by-pass, the Pack made their way down to the south-eastern corner of the fallow field, to reach a CHK on the path that runs east west along by the Puckeridge tributary, then it was out on to the old Cambridge Road not far from the petrol station, just beyond this was a CHK on the small section of the old A120 Standon Hill Road heading away to the east.
Alfa Male, who apparently wasn’t at his best that morning, headed off down the remnant of the old road & he called “On!” which brought Mark E Mark & Sparky back from over the main A120, which isn’t the easiest roads to cross at the best of time. Mark E Mark & Sparky then joined the remnant of the old road via the gap in the hedgerow for access to the bus stop & not via the CHK, they arrived just in time to see Alfa Male indicate that it was a Falsie!
Everyone made their way back to cross over the busy junction on the A120 to take to the now unused section of the old A10 where there were a double set of arrows pointing down the embankment on the left-hand side, now the others could see why Mark E Mark & Sparky hesitated at these markings, it is not the most walked footpath & that was no surprise as it runs parallel below the wider old tarmac A10 road in a direction slightly off of sou-sou-west.
There were a few small thorny bushes to avoid on the way through, then just as the Trail turned to leave the feral strip of land there was a sudden commotion in front of the RA, for there was a scene that could have been a sketch from the Benny Hill Show as an old bald man trips up & nearly pulls down the pants of a girl in front of him. Yes, Sparky tripped up over a “Trip-wire” that the rest managed to avoid & not even see, then on his earthward bound trip Sparky grabbed a hold of Milf & nearly de-bagged her!
A CHK was found before the tarmac route disappears beneath bridge the A10, so those who thought that they knew better headed up over the long climb over Puckeridge field, Milf made her way up this route with the FRBs & this was just a nasty ruse to lead them in to a false sense of security as this route would end in a T that Alfa Male discovered.
Back down at the CHK & Kylie had escorted the SCBs under the A10 bridge, with a narrow water course following this pathway. Out on to the old A10 of Ermine Street & there the next CHK was located, again Milf was up with the FRBs & some were now slightly wary of being ‘Twice Bitten’ as she crossed over to the start of the single-track lane to college house on the grounds of St Edmunds College.
Now it was Fliptop, My Lil’ & Sloppy among those who Milf would lead astray on another Falsie, meanwhile No Eye Deer made her way along Ermine Street toward the south, it was a long gently rising trot, fortunately this road is not as busy as it used to be. As the Trail progressed it was clear to the RA that Mark E Mark & No Eye Deer were not too sure of the Hares intentions now, as they kept looking back over their shoulders to see if the rest were following on.
The Trail passed by a large house of Ryders Grove, with a gate that was signed as having CCTV in operation, a bit beyond this Mark E Mark was off on the footpath over to the south east but he found no less than three T’s on the steps up out of the narrow enclosed field that was ‘Under Offer’ as its up for Sale.
The Footpath on the opposite side of Ermine Street would lead off south of the Gate House to St Edmunds College, Mr X led the way but he was now the apprehensive one as the south-westerly path stretched out over the cattle grazing area as he expected this one to end in a T, but there were arrows on each of the footpath marker posts leading further & further away from the On Inn.
Mr X, Mark E Mark, Tent Packer, Sparky & Milf were the only ones to join Mr X in taking this loop out toward the College’s main building, they would also be the only ones to fall foul of the deep, cold wet Shiggy churned up by the local cattle. The Footpath came out on to Farm Lane, just below the Garden Cottages & there a CHK was found.
Mark E Mark started off looking at the continuation of the footpath between a cattle field with lots of hairy red beasts in & the college sports courts, but on the opposite side of the lane it doesn’t come close to any other paths to head back.
Mr X fared just as bad as Mark E Mark, as he searched up toward the College Farm grounds but then a call of “On!” came from Tent Packer as the Trail headed down the single track lane, passing a learner driver on the way down to what looked like a permissive path running along beside the hedge that a tributary run back toward the Gate House of the College.
The end of the path came out through a small rough copse area & again the local flora was trying to trip Sparky up as he warned of another Trip wire just before the roadside path. The Trail crossed over the Roman road of Ermine Street, which starts at Bishops Gate & ends in Lincoln.
The Pack now took to the very footpath that Mark E Mark had been caught out on earlier but now the Ts had been crossed out & replaced with Arrows! Milf mentioned that when the Trail was set, that the Field that was up for sale had 6 – 7 foot high corn in it but all that was there as the Pack went through were just remains of the bottom of the stalks.
Once up the steps in the hedgerow, the next field was a larger seeded one that had tractor tracks up through it to mark the footpath’s route & the going was slightly hard going as the clay like soil soon clung to Hash boots. On the way Mr X found a round stone formed in the melting of the glaciers in of the Ice Age that formed Hertfordshire’s unique ‘Pudding Stone’.
At the east side of the field & the Trail would pass through the metal gate to prevent the local population of Deer for getting on to the busy A 10 on the opposite side. Milf closed the gate after she had passed through, Mr X was next to go through & he too placed the bolt back to keep the gate shut & indicate that the gate should be left closed. At the edge of the busy A10 was a chalked warning triangle, not quite a Highway code one yet & this was quite apt as the Hash had to negotiate the Dual Carriageway traffic that some seemed to be hitting more than 70 mph.
Having reached the not very ‘safe feeling’ crossing point between the steel wires of the narrow central reservation, Mr X than had to wait for to cross the next two lanes but was alerted to something behind him as Milf began shouting “Shut the GATE!” & pointing back to where Sparky had passed through & left the gate open! Mr X joined in bellowing out “Gate!” while pointing at the open barrier to the Deer, Sparky turned around & stared obliviously over the carriageways to what he had done but was unable to comprehend what they were trying to point out to him.
Mr X then had to risk life & limb again to cross back & shut the gate, then he had a bit of a wait for a gap in the traffic before he finally got across the A10 & then down in to the next farm field, Milf & Mr X made sure that Sparky got the message & shouted out “Close the gate!” on this east side of the main road!
It was a climb up the hillside & in the distance the rest of the Pack could be seen the rest congregating up at the Drink Stop up on Dowsett’s Lane. They had already made a good headway in to the Mulled Wine by the time the last three made it to this point, but at least there was some left - even though Kylie teased Sparky by pouring only a small bit in to his glass. There were even some (in-date) jelly babies left, though the boiled sweets didn’t seem as popular!
When the Trail resumed, the majority headed northward along Dowset Lane, passing the sad sight of a ‘canoodling bench’ that some morons had torched, Milf said that the bench had beer torched when she & Kylie went up on the hill one clear night to watch a meteor shower.
Just after the bench remains Alfa Male searched off by a square area of old of corn, no doubt left for the local wildlife or arsonists to hide in, but Alfa Male was soon back as the rest called “On!” along the lane, but this was short lived as they found a T!
Alfa Male started back down the easterly bound farm track that leads all the way down the ridge of farm crops, this crosses the lane & leads up to the farm at Standon Lordship. It was a splendid view down over the Standon Lordship, with its fishing lakes fed by the Rib.
A downhill trot was welcome but three quarters of the way & the Trail suddenly took a southward turn over the wide seeded field to the edge of Plashes Wood. The Pack would soon get split from this point, with Sludge & My Lil’ leading the likes of Fliptop, Paxo, Sloppy Seconds & Pebbledash straight down to the Lordship!
Mark E Mark & Alfa Male led the way for the FRBs, while Mr X pointed out to Milf that the other way was far quicker & after some cajoling he joined the FRBs in again heading away from the On Inn! On the way it was noticed that there were lots of fresh looking footprints of deer heading along the same direction toward the wood
For the FRBs it would be a turn at the corner of Plashes Wood to head southward along the east edge of the large wooded area, it was a long trot until the Trail finally reached the footpath off to the east & down the farm track down from the Hanging Wood plantation, there Milf said “Hello!” to a couple out having a picnic at a bench there. It was a nice warm day for a picnic.
The Trail crossed the narrow lane & then took to a drive that leads the long way down to Latchford! It now looked like this Run would not be over for the FRBs until after 13:00Hrs! Things progressed around the front of the farm houses at Latchford, the Hares were benevolent enough to save the Keenies from going around the back of the property. It was now that Mr X began to believe it when Milf said she had done 10 miles while setting the Trail & all its Falsies! It turned out that the part down Morley Lane & then up over the steep climb of the Harcamlow way was cut out
Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! “TIMBER!” [There goes another rainforest tree to continue with the write up for this marathon Trail! – Ed]
Milf was pretty quick to point out the T on the bridge by the Ford to the RA, Mr X went back & then waded through the river, Kylie couldn’t believe what he was seeing As the RA said that the water wasn’t that cold! On the other side the RA noticed that there was a lack of water-splash marks out of the ford, which means you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that no one else went through the river Rib!
Kylie would abandon the Trail here & go back to pick up his car, which for some would prove to be quite fruitful! Meanwhile the Pack headed northward up the steep climb over the hill, it was a long trot to come down the other side & a nice breeze was appreciated on this unseasonably warm afternoon.
The Trail led down on to a CHK at the crossroads with an east-west path, Mark E Mark checked it out in the meadow to the north, but there was no Trail in there & by this point he had, had enough & continued on along the direct path to Standon, but just in case he was spotted & avoid being picked up for a Short Cutting Down-Down, Mark E Mark removed his shirt to run topless away from the rest, it was not a very good disguise.
The Trail itself actually turned to the west at the crossroads, running behind a small plantation before the path turned back northward at its end, then the Hash to passed through the cattle enclosures behind the Lordship, to the side of this were various oddities like a giant piggy bank & a Skull that are used at the Standon Calling Festival.
Out of the Cattle field & the Trail crossed the Track the SCBs may have been down from the top of the ridge, but they were nowhere in sight. The Trail came down from the slight higher, mole hill covered ground & down to the level of the water course which cuts its way through the long pasture. This is separated in to two by the river Rib, at the far end it would come out on to Paper Mill lane. By this point in the Trail No Eye Deer & Max Factor had taken to walking & were at the very back of the Pack.
Now on Paper Mill Lane, the Trail crossed over the river Rib by way of a narrow footbridge, avoiding the dirty looking ford in Paper Mill Lane, which used to feed one of the Country’s earliest paper mills. Just beyond the ford & a CHK was found by a footpath off of the eastbound route in to Standon by the Church end of the village. The Trail turned to cross over the Rib one last time on another narrow footbridge.
The Hash now headed over the final stretch of meadow, this path came back out on to the Kents Lane part of the A120, once over the main road. A simple trot back would have sufficed, but no, the Trail would lead along Station road before turning off to take a loop off to the right & around by the local School!
Then the finally the Trail came Inn back via Station Road & then by the On Inn to take to Perwone Way & Gatesbury Way to retrace the out Trail. Fortunately for Max Factor & No Eye Deer they missed all of this as Kylie gave then a lift back, saving them about two miles of remaining Trail & they came Inn just after Mr X & Sparky.
Back at Base, where Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead had set up the Chilli, everyone else had settled in started on the Cider & to the RA’s dismay on his arrival some were on second helpings of the Chilli [I am not even going to go there with ‘Women & Children First! – Ed] before the last of the Pack were Inn. With No Eye Deer & Max Factor, who were women last time we looked, seemingly not getting Inn for another 20 minutes at a minimum if they kept walking, the gannets couldn’t wait to gorge themselves!
Fliptop was one who didn't wait for 'women & children first’ either & upon the RA's arrival he was going around coughing & spluttering after pouring some very hot chilli sauce over his baked spud. Talk came around about Friday 13th, though TBT OBE was more interested in Mr X’s knackered old feet! [Perhaps it’s a fetish? – Ed] Also mentioned was the fact that there are Still No minutes from the Hash Meeting that took place over a month ago.
After substantial helpings of chilli, baked spuds, bread & lots of nuts with other crispy snacks, it crept around to time for the Down-Downs which took place on the patio beneath Kylie's grapes. [He has nice grapes hanging from his gazebo! Whoa there Pebbledash! - Ed]
It was noticed that on the edge of the Patio were a line of test blobs of flour & saw dust mix, in different ratios to see how it would fare from Friday to Sunday if there was the expected rain, the Hares did seem to get the correct option, their recipe is available.
The Hares were awarded for both the Trails, incidentally in Thailand a half marathon organiser was suspended after adding 8 kilometres to the Run [Must have been an inspiration to Milf & Kylie? – Ed] Sparky was out for leaving the gate open on the A10. Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead were out for cooking the rather good chilli. My Lil' & Sludge were out for leading the SCBs that cut off half the Trail! Mark E Mark was also a Short Cutting Streaker.
Sparky was out again for his Benny Hill-esque 'Old man accidentally pulling down the shorts of the girl in front' routine. The RA wrapped things up as he broke the sad news that Winston, passed away that week, after he came out with an elaborate story that was long winded enough to have been written by Tent Packer! It involved being told by a medium that week that someone called Windmill wanted to contact him, from 'the other side' to say that he had been tripped over by "That bloody dog!"
Incidentally, since this Trail, Long & Winding Road, slipped down from No.8 in Britain’s Favourite Beatles song from the first showing in the week & Sunday’s repeat!!
[My Fingers are now Bleeding after typing all this up! – Ed]