= 13th December 2015
Run Number = 1652
Venue = The Harpsfield Hall
Beer = Bishops Finger; Titanic 8 Bells & plenty more
Junior (you must be kidding) Mr X
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 2
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 12
Membership = Lost Sludge!
What a sorry state of affairs it is for the Hare Raisers when they have Hashers out there who beg to set a Trail from a Brand New Pub in Herts, Junior even called the RA up on his mobile & begged to have this reserved for him! Then, earlier this week the RA received a text message from Junior to say that he could no longer set the Trail, as he would be in Slummyhunny! This left Mr X in the lurch & having to set the Trail as Junior’s replacement, how good a job would he do? [Still it’s no more than expected from someone who couldn’t get two miles down the road to his ex’s 60th Birthday! – Ed]
[Anyhow, less bitchin’ & more of the Christmas Spirit! – Ed] It was a dull & dank morning, with a light fine rain in the air. The damp Hare arrived back from setting the Trail that morning & was not surprised to see that only Tent Packer was in the Car Park next to the Harpsfield at that time.
The twenty minutes or so before the Trail started was taken up by trying to decode the misleading information about the parking regulations in the car park, it was extremely poorly written that & failed to explain that you could get a ticket & have an hour’s free parking, or buy a ticket for one to two hour stay which covered the hour that you’d have thought was ‘free’ but obviously isn’t!
Sludge parked up the road, saving on the extortionate prices to use the car park in the small square Area by the Pub & the local Aldi, while Sloppy Seconds managed to bag a spot out on Harpsfield Broadway. All of which managed to save them from talking to the Parking attendants like Tent Packer & to be told that he (Tent Packer) didn’t understand English! Well Tent Packer was wearing a Kraków T-shirt
Tent Packer called the Circle together outside of the Pub, which is named after the former Hall that sat near to this site, before de Havilland family bought up the land to create the Airfield & the Aircraft factory that was operational from the 1930’s up to 1994.
After the welcoming spiel for the GM, it was down to the Hare to explain what the Hash could expect out there. The usual markings were mentioned, as were Short Cuts for those who stuck with Mr X & there would also be a couple of Held CHKs for regroups.
The Pack were ushered away by Moe’s on the corner & through the small nearby shopping retail area to cut through the north-westerly Tamblin Way & out by the David Lloyd Health Centre Pebbledash pointed out the covered up outside swimming pool, the offer of a dip in this was refused.
The Trail came around the front of the building that was once one of the main aircraft hangers, the massive folding doors still sit in place on either side of the glass fronted building & the glass observation dome of the control tower remains on top of the massive structure that used to be a part of the Aircraft factory that once occupied a large part of Hatfield, in its various guises from de Havilland, through Hawker Sidley to BAE when it finally was closed down.
The Pack now came out on Mosquito Way, this road being named after the World’s First Fighter Bomber, designed & produced at de Havilland’s. Alfa Male now led the way as David Lloyd’s was left behind & he was first on to one of a series of roundabouts dotted along Mosquito Way, this one had a CHK on it.
While Alfa Male continued on along this main arterial route through the business park, My Lil’ cut across the road & started to look off down Dragon Way, yes it’s named after another de Havilland plane. Suddenly most of the Pack began to cross over, the likes of Sludge, Tent Packer & Sloppy being suckered in to follow My Lil’ on a route that would have no Dust on it at all. Sloppy even looked back to see the Hare continuing along Mosquito Way.
The FRBs were eventually brought back on to the Trail as turned with the arcing road to the northeast as it made its way up & through another roundabout & on behind the behemoth of the EE building, one of the massive, rectangular grey structures that dominate this area of Hatfield.
The Next CHK was found just around to the right after Mosquito Way joins Hatfield Avenue at a T junction, opposite the Porsche Garage, the very garage where someone was once caught short & had to leave a calling large brown card on the back wheel of one of the expensive motors, it’s a surprise that this was never picked up on CCTV?
Anyhow, enough of that shit & from the Trail was picked up over the pelican crossing to outside the Porsche centre, Alfa Male finally went wrong in heading down toward where Hyena resides. Tent Packer & Sludge picked things up as the Trail now head to the southeast toward the main A1001 of Comet Way.
A slight turn away from the main road as the Trail dipped down with the cycleway/footpath to a CHK by a series of options before the large Roundabout that the A1 (M). Alfa Male soon caught up but again went wrong on his choice of the two subway options, his ended with a T.
My Lil’ was soon on to the Trail, which now disappeared through the other subway & crossed a footbridge over the A1(M) looking to the right the Pack could see the nearby northern end of the Hatfield Tunnel. The Pack reached the eastside of the motorway to discover this area is just littered with old cans, bottles & any other trash the good people of Hatfield can’t be bothered to put in a bin, the RA said that he had seen cleaner shanty-towns in the squalor of Mumbai!
The Dust came out & up a set of steps on to a CHK on the junction of West View & Birchwood Avenue, on the edge of an area of Hatfield known locally as Beirut. Sludge would go off down toward the town centre & was not to be seen again for the rest of the Trail, perhaps he was snared up in one of the abandoned shopping trollies that are a common sight in Hatfield? Or was it a cunning ploy to do just enough of the Trail before abandoning it & then heading off to a Family Meal?
From the CHK the Trail would head northward from West View & over the end of Birchwood Avenue to the long stretch of Comet Way that runs beside the A1(M), My Lil’s good fortune continued as he spotted the Trail was over the pedestrian Crossing on Comet Way this would save his fellow Keenies from running a long way to a Bar CHK down Comet Way.
Back over the A1(M) by way of another footbridge from the crossing, this would lead the FRBs over toward Hatfield Garden Village to where Pebbledash, Paxo, TBT OBE & the Hare where making their way from a fork in the path as the Trail took to the right-hand path that heads northward up by the local allotment. The Pack were unimpressed by the sight of more litter, broken bottles & general crap, Pebbledash mockingly said that she would put her house up for sale to move here!
Arrows pointed the way over a pedestrian crossing to a CHK near one end of Manor Parade, the line of local Shops set below the mock-Tudor flats with herring bone brickwork & timber beams above. Again My Lil’ was getting it correct as he picked up the Trail again as it continued Northward along Green Lanes, he also sailed through the CHK at the junction with Astwick Avenue, faring better than Tent Packer who crossed over to look on the footpath by the solitary house on the eastside & out over the farm land by the A1(M), or Alfa Male who was looking down the residential Astwick Avenue.
The Trail le don by the local school & around on to Great Braitch Lane, making way up by what was once the entrance to the former ‘Box Factory’ land that is now where one the new housing estate of Hatfield now resides. My Lil’ almost dismissed the CHK by the start of Campion Way & made his way down to the start dead-end of the lane to pick up the Trail again. The Pack passed through the wooden gate & on to the unused part of the old single tract lane that heads north-westward toward the busy Cooper Green lane to St Albans.
There was a tree line shelter on either side of the narrow lane, as this progressed beyond the new homes & up between the fields of brassicas that left a distinctive aroma in the air, My Lil’ came back from the entrance to the common land behind the homes as he found no Dust there, but as he was now behind Tent Packer & Sloppy Seconds on the Trail, the RA sent My Lil’ back on the Short Cut the way he had come back from.
Tent Packer & Sloppy Seconds would run on to a Bar CHK on Great Braitch lane, which would prevent them reaching the opposite dead-end & the busy road ahead. The Trail would take them on a gap in the tree line & out through the thicket to head south-westward over the common, this would eventually picked up gravel path through the enclosed area run by the Welwyn Hatfield Council, not that the locals seem to use it much.
The Dust had the Pack heading backward the retail area of Hatfield, the serpentine like gravel path was now on a southwest bound route through the common land for the locals, it would progress through to the play area with a soccer pitch for the local kids to play on but wasn’t seeing much soccer action this morning. At the end of the green space the Dust crossed a rectangle of tarmac that looks like it could be an empty carpark, if it wasn’t closed off by locked gates from the end of the road that Hyena lives on.
Up over a muddy gap in the hedgerow & the Trail came back on to Hatfield Avenue & a Held CHK on a remnant of the old Manor Road, the Pack was fairly much together at this point, with the exception of Sludge, who the rest had long given up on.
TBT OBE, Pebbledash, Max Factor & a poorly sounding Paxo were all offered a Short Cut by the Hare & there was no ‘uming or arghing’ from them as they took the opportunity to head back down toward the Porsche garage & follow the Trail backward Mosquito Way back Inn. By now the fine rain had ceased & over the wider exposed areas it would become a mist hanging in the air.
With over half the Pack now gone, the Hare wasn’t too despondent as My Lil’, sloppy Seconds, Tent Packer & Alfa Male would continue with the Full Trail he put a lot of effort into setting that morning. They would emerge for the short hedged off section of the old road that hides a pump-house or electrical substation & cross over to be directed to the northwest,
It was now back to the cycleway/footpaths on along the east side of the Business Park the Trail progressed right to the end up to the busy Green lanes, thankfully the Pack only had to make their way a few feet on the grass verge of the busy road, as the Dust turned westward & passed through a wooden gate in the hedgerow.
The Pack now began to make their way through the finger of land that makes up a small part of the relatively new Ellenbrook fields park in the Astwick Manor area. The going was now a lot wetter as the paths over the uneven grassy area were soaking Hash boots from the recent rain & there was a good layer of Shiggy to slip around in.
On the way out in to the large more open area the RA noticed a folded up note on the grass, so he picked this up to see that it was a note to Santa from Robert, well I hate to break it to you but it doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice this year Bob as Santa ain’t getting that letter if you drop it in the arse end of Hatfield, it could be rather bare under one particular tree in these parts!
With its longer wild grass the meandering paths would still be of a decent quality Shiggy as the Pack began to turn to the southward to run by the area of scrubby thorn bushes & thickets, the Hare made it simple for the Keenies in keeping them on the path beside the long fenced off ‘Danger area’ area of a long ditch of ‘deep water’ every so often red boards with orange life belts could be seen like beacons on this now misty day.
It was just as well the Hare kept thing simple as My Lil’ wasn’t going to be fooled by the next two CHKs that were on the large open green space. The FRBs would hardly stop, not even at the second regroup by the area of seating that also contains a memorial to all of those who died in service at Hatfield Airfield.
Mr X had caught up by the memorial, he showed the way over the bridge spanning the water filled ditch & on to the more solid hard-capped path where Dust was spotted on the metal gate in the fenced off end of Cunningham Avenue, named after ‘Catseyes’ Cunngham, the chief test pilot for de Havilland who was famed for his ability at night flying. This was the Area where Harpsfield Hall used to be, before it was demolished.
The Hare now cut out the last section of the Trail, which was to head through the backstreets & come out by Bishops Square & near to where Sludge had parked up, but this was no longer needed & so he marked the CHK around the dog turds on the ornate small park area in the centre of the square of flats to lead straight back over to Mosquito way & On In by taking the Out Trail back from there.
While getting changed, something the Hare was struggling with after going around twice, Tent Packer offered out some Durian Fruit Sweets, Mr X – who has eaten the so called ‘King of Fruits’ in Malaysia – joined my Lil’ & Tent Packer on chewing on these. Well, they certainly had that distinctive flavour & the taste of these would repeat on these three for the res toft he afternoon, everyone else inside the Pub had the sense not to try them!”
It seemed to take an age for some to get cleaned up & put on fresh clothes, but at least they could amuse themselves by watching the lads leaving the Pub to dash over the dual carriage way, scale the high fence on the narrow central reservation & then play chicken with the next two lanes before reaching the ‘White Elephant’ of the Galleria outlet centre. It’s only a matter of time before a drunk is hit by the speeding traffic in a bid to cross over & not walk all the way to the appropriate crossings at either end of this section of this very busy road.
The Pack settled in to the new ‘Spoons, its brand new & fairly smart in there, with the front cowlings of jet engines being made in to semi-enclosed seating area being really smart. Half the Pack seemed to want to eat & the Down-Downs were delayed until the hungry had been fed.
Pepé le Pew arrived with Sid, he had finished work & was there to accept his Down-Down for being the previous week’s Hare. When it came to the Circle Pepé le Pew would join Mr X as this week’s Hare & Paxo as the Hare from two weeks previous, there was some shock as Paxo appeared to have finished off his pint before Mr X & Pepé le Pew! But as Pepé le Pew was stopped halfway through his by the coldness of the Ale, it was pointed out that Paxo still had a hold of a full ‘Ruddles’ glass & in fact had pulled off a feat of ‘sleight of hand’ in downing the half he was already drinking in the Bar!”
The only other Down-Down went to Tent Packer for the Durian Fruit sweets, Mr X was offered another one by the GM & so he vigorously chewed away on this until it was gone as Tent Packer sank his Hit! Back inside & the RA talked about what his Dad would have thought about all the new builds that are on the old Aircarft factory grounds?
Also mentioned was the old Stone House Pub, which used to sit over the road where the Galleria now stands, the locals were promised that this stone building would be rebuilt in a new location & each granite block was numbered as it was turned down but the building was never rebuilt anywhere around Hatfield & no doubt was sold off & is now a part of some millionaire’s home.