Date = 20th March 2016
Run Number = 1668
Venue = The Countryman
Beer = Doombar; Deauchars;
Hares = Paxo
Runners = 17
Virgins = 1
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 18
Membership = All Change?
Another year has passed by & the AGPU was once again upon us, would there be major changes or the same old faces in place? Well the answer is at the top of this week’s report!
The original Hare, Fliptop, had doubled booked things & was unable to set the Trail, so a last minute call was answered by Paxo who stepped in to set an almost ‘Live’ Trail. Mr X hadn’t even arrived at the venue when he received a call from Paxo out on the Trail, asking him to alert the Hash about there being horses on a part of the Trail & that a ‘Hash Hush’ would be in order at this point. Paxo wanted the RA to especially reiterate this to Sparky!
This week saw Judy, a friend of Colin’s, arrive for her First Hash. There was a slight delay as the gathering Pack talked to TBT OBE about the fact he survived his recent Skiing trip out to Austria, to all intense & purpose he appeared to be in one piece!
Tent Packer called the Circle together & probably sensing this was to be his
last welcoming speech as the GM, the Circle was rather noisy & disrespectful
old sod GM. Eventually the rabble quietened down enough to
hear Tent Packer announce the correct Run Number, then the RA was called forward
to explain what Paxo had informed him of just a few minutes earlier.
The warning of Horses & the requirement of a ‘Hash Hush’ to be observed was announced, then Judy was introduced as this week’s Virgin. Ewok carried out a quick demonstration of the Hash Markings, after Colin said that he didn’t know what they all meant when he was quizzed if he had explained it all to Judy! Mr X gave a brief explanation to Ewok’s markings before the Pack set off.
With Paxo’s cryptic & slightly vague call about a Haulage company being near the horses, Mr X believed that the Trail would start across the A10 from the Countryman to the west of the Hamlet [It is not a Village, since it does not have a Church! – Ed] But there was no sign of any Dust up toward the small industrial units behind Chipping Hall, the likes of Sludge, Mr X & co were soon called back as ‘On!’ was found south bound on the east side of the old Roman road of Ermine Street.
The Trail passed down by the rebuilt porch of the Countryman, some recall when this was completely destroyed by a van driver on his phone who lost control at some speed, then after the Pub the Hash passed by the replacement railings which were also taken out the out of control van. The First CHK was found down by the farm track off to the east, passing through a dip of a dried up ford, something that hasn’t always been the case on runs from here.
Ewok crossed over Ermine Street to search the diagonal footpath out over the ploughed fields to the west, she would be on the wrong option as ‘On!’ was called up the farm Track over the ford to the east. The Hash would now embark on a steady climb of some 75 feet in height up by the southern hedgerow at the farm field’s edge.
Along the way Mr X was asked if he knew what the meaning of Bury meant as in Hertingfordbury etc. it turns out that it is Old English for a fortified enclosure, while Chipping derives from the Old English for a market, he did know that ing or inge meant a place by a stream as in Ruckinge, Sellinge & Hawkinge. All found in Kent, on the same side of the Meadway as Mother’s birth place which makes her a Maid of Kent & not a Kentish Maid!
While Lemming, Sludge, My Lil’, Tent Packer, Milf, Colin & Judy all made good progress on this long stretch, Mr X was suddenly hit with a pain in his shin that stopped his ability to run, he was reduced to walking up this hard-capped track of old rubble, tarmac & stones. Seems his couple of hours driving that morning had taken its toll.
The Track had a slight serpentine route eastward, at the top of the hill the Trail would turn around toward the southeast, after it had crossed over a brook that runs down to feed the River Rib in the bottom of the valley. The next CHK was found where a Footpath leaves the main Track at the corner of the paddocks, before it runs through Wydbury Farm.
Lemming was off up the north-eastern path below the paddocks to Cherry Orchard Plantation, he would drag My Lil’ & few others up that route before Mr X reached this point in the Trail. Milf, Mother, Colin & Judy were saved from following on behind Lemming when Mr X pointed out that the wooden fenced off area was a part of the local Stables & that this could be the point where ‘Hash Hush’ was required, using knowledge of previous Trails around here he knew that there was an option to pass through the farm & out to ‘Brown’s Corner’ on the Wyddial road.
Sparky was told to keep the noise down as the Trail was picked up through the edge of the Farm, the Tractor out & about shifting twin bags of fertiliser would cover up most Hash calls! At one point Colin stopped & started to turn back after getting the Hash Markings muddled up, however the Dust would continue through the farm & as it did there was plenty of mooing coming from the large cattle sheds to the west as the Dust followed the Farm Track out to Brown’s Corner, there the first Held CHK was found.
ARP & Pebbledash were somewhat off form this morning & were wandering along at the back of the Pack, the FRBs waited for them to arrive at the Held CHK. This time was spent speculating as to where the Hare was going to lead the Hash from this point. The main consensus was to turn north-eastward up the lane to Wyddial & so when the Trail resumed, this was the way that Mr X & Sludge were going to go.
On the way in to Wyddial the Dust was found, the Keenies soon found themselves at the CHK point by the large oak tree on the small green triangle on the west edge of the village, Milf was correct when she said that the Hash had a photo-shoot there before, right by the bench & village noticeboard at this junction with the lane down to Moles Farm in the south.
There were several options from here, so when it came to searching for Dust once more it just happened to be Sparky who found the Trail a short way on Vicarage Road into the village & then off down the first of two footpaths that both run between the series of paddocks behind the homes lining the north of the street in to the centre of Wyddial.
Most of the Hash would be obeying a Hash Hush as they track led on between the horse paddocks of Home Farm, an arrow then changed the direction of the Pack by crossing through the paddock on the right-hand side. Having climbed over the style, most walked this bit as there was a black horse in this fenced off area, who did receive a few pats from the passing Pack.
Unfortunately there is always one numpty & that always seems to be Sparky when it comes to not scaring any domesticate animals, for once over to the other side of the paddock he shouted out “On! On!” at the stile with a large enough blob of flour on the upright post even Colin could see it from the opposite side!
The Pack were now lead back in to Wyddial & on to Vicarage Road on the inside of the elbow in this lane, right opposite the outside of yet another paddock a CHK was found. Although there were two signs indicating footpaths off to the northeast & southeast respectively, Mr X & Colin searched the lane around to St Giles’ Church in a north-westerly direction.
Sludge followed on behind the two heading by the Churchyard front, unlike two ahead of him, Sludge spotted the T & called them back, Mr X was finding the going hard on the tarmac as his shin was giving him some pain again. The rest of the Hash were now on their way around by the fenced off paddock on the north-eastward path, then at the opposite corner it would turn along the top edge of the farm field, with Sparky, Milf, Tent Packer leading the rest that way.
Even Ewok, who was marking the Trail for Paxo, had started off on this route, the only one who wasn’t on this was Mr X who was still hobbling along to catch up, so he wasn’t caught out by the Bar CHK up there! The rest turned back to exit in the corner on to Vicarage lane, there the Pack regrouped at this bend in the lane as Milf decided that it was time for a photo shoot, which meant a lot of squeezing in to get in the shot!
Back on Trail, Mr X & Colin knew that the Trail would not be back in to the Village as they were on beyond the T & by the Church & saw no options off of the lane. So, Mr X was surprised when a few queried the decision take to the lane out of Wyddial to the Northeast, especially as he had already spotted the footpath sign leaning in to the hedgerow up ahead of the Pack.
Dust was found & once over the stile the Hash got to run down the Shiggy tract of the footpath down the edge of the field in to a slight dip in the land. Milf laughed at Colin’s attempts to avoid the Shiggy, while Mr X was more interested in pointing out the RAF Barkway Tower. It was originally opened as a monitor station on 22 June 1942 for the Gee (navigation) network in the Eastern area. Later it was used by the USAAF & now is in private hands.
For some the route was heading in the right direction to begin in a north-westward direction to start to a homeward bound route, it was on this long stretch which led on to the second Held CHK where Mr X found a screwed up ball of a discarded Flour Bag! As Ewok still had hers with her at the Held CHK, & was still able to mark the CHKs it meant that this ‘Littering’ was from the Hare!
The footpath joined a wider farm track that runs from northeast to southwest, Mr. X, Sludge & My Lil’ were now itching to get on with things but had to wait for Pebbledash & ARP to catch up. Unlike the rest, Mr X & Co took to the south-western option, leaving the others chose the opposite north-western. Calls of “On!” came from behind Mr X’s small breakaway group, but Mr X had also picked up Dust & he knew that this route would lead all the way back from the plateau & down to the A10 on the ‘Out Trail’.
Mr X, Sludge & My Lil’ all knew that there was a footpath off of the main farm track that leads over to Capons Wood at the edge of the hill top, this inspired them to continue with this option. The main body of the Pack turned back from their choice & followed on in the wake of Mr X’s group, Tent Packer & Lemming were soon on their heels as Mr X began to cross over the seeded field where the footpath had not been restored by the farmer. This north-eastern route would cross a small wooden bridge over a watery ditch that works its way down to where the ford the Pack crossed on the ‘Out Trail’.
Now it was a case of running around the perimeter of Capons Wood, there were a few pheasant feeders around this area as the Dust ran the Hash south-westward to the tip of the wood & then changed tact to run a short way to the northwest before passing below the southern edge of the wood.
At that corner the Trail came on to a CHK on the Track that runs up along the western edge of the wood, Mr X wasn’t going to go that way as he knew that in the opposite direction the track would turn through 90 degrees to head slightly southward of due west, this would be a nice long downhill trot all the way back in to Chipping.
The nice softer grassy centre of the capped twin tracks, this route had old lumps of tarmac, with bits of cats eye embedded in the odd bit, when this ceased for a short bit the FRBs slowed up, then began running again when the grassy part resumed before the On Inn was reached.
The Pack changed & then the voting took place, with Paul & Mrs Mallet being the official counters. This led Sloppy Seconds to admit that he once worked at a Polling Station, incidentally going back to the topic of British Place Names - those ending in by, as in Grimsby is Old Norse for a Settlement that we still have today’s modern language in the words bylaw & by-election!
The Circle was called outside, while the vote counting still continued inside, Tent Packer although not re-elected performed his last duty as GM, then Mr X started the Circle by awarding the Hare his Down-Down for a good Trail of just over the hour.
Judy, our Virgin was out for her first Down-Down after completing her first Hash & this was dispatched in some style!! Unusually, in another attempt to stall for time, the Hashit was dealt with early on & not at the end of the Circle, it went to Sparky for the racket he made near to the equines. Paxo was out again for littering on the Trail, he tried to palm this off on to Ewok, but she could account for her single bag of flour!
Finally the New Committee were awarded their Down-Downs as Tent Packer read out the results, see the committee on the top of the Hash Sheet After this Paul was awarded his Hash name of ‘Do what s
She says’. Finally to finish off the Hits those who lost jobs were thanked for their year’s work with a swift half to Down!
After the Circle it was inside to enjoy the food, especially the sausage Platter, talk now focused on Ewok’s new position [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] & arrange of a committee meeting to discuss the year ahead!
Pebbledash then went on to tell of her & Pepé le Pew’s failed attempt to go out to Amsterdam for the weekend, which was a disaster that started with house-keys left in the front door, after Pepé had to go back for something. Then when they got to the airport it turns out that his Passport was invalid, so a nice weekend overseas didn’t occur, you can see why he wasn’t there as he would have trumped Sparky for the Hashit!