Date = 27th March 2016
Run Number = 1669
Venue = The Bricklayer’s Arms
Beer = Twickenham Naked Ladies, Sundancer, Grandstand, Spring Ale
Hares = Last Tango & Contour
Runners = 30
Virgins = 3
Visitors = London H3
Après Hashers = 8
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 42
Membership = Cheering on the Blues!
The weather looked as if it would be awful according to the early weather forecasts, so this meant that there was a poor effort from a lot of the H4 regulars & chores like painting bedrooms was more appealing than attending living piece of UK heritage.
Lemming & Mother made it all the way over from Tring [Is there a phone ringing? – Ed] as well as Mr X who joined them, Lofty, with Henry & Juices Flowing. As is the norm with London, there was no starting on time & so a drink before the off was required. Lemming did his best to try & ruin Mr X reputation as he bought himself & the Herts RA halves before the welcoming circle was called outside of the Bricklayers Arms around 12:35!
After the introduction to the London Run Number 2286, the Virgins were welcomed in to the Circle in order for the Pack to have a butchers hook & remember their boat-races in case they got lost on the Trail, [I see what you did there, with the Rhyming slang! – Ed] after this it was time for the Hares to get in their excuses as to what could go wrong on the Trail. Claims were put forward that the Trail could be washed out on parts by an earlier downpour, but these weren’t taken seriously, not by judging at the amount of floury dough down the fronts of the Hares’ waterproofs!
The Virgins of Véronique & Sonia (Sorry to the guy with the Oxford Pistol Club T-shirt I can’t recall your name!) had a quick rundown on LH3 Hash markings, [P-Arrows from the Station would have helped! – Ed] then it was out around the back of the Pub. As the Hash started off on their journey the heavens opened again, though it was far less as bad as earlier on.
The Trail made its way around to Felsham Road, with the Keenies going on a small loop from behind the Pub to arrive out to this road, while the rest stuck with Last Tango as she led the rest out on the direct route to this backstreet from the main high Street.
After a slight bit of confusion, the Pack would head off to the end of Charlwood road, retracing steps already made by a London Hasher who failed to see any trail over the bridge spanning the Overground Rail line. This start had the Keenies getting caught out after running in all different directions as it was well set, how long this would last for was anyone’s guess?
Some were swayed by earlier talk from the Hares of coming back along by the Thames, perhaps this was enough to plant a seed in addled Hash Brains? Leaving them to believe that the Trail would head out either northwest or southeast, (or should we say downstream or upstream) so this meant that there were a few who would lead the Pack away up the South Circular Road, they would all be called back by the Hares. Was this to stop them getting lost, or stumbling upon the Trail further along?
The Trail ran up Gwendolen Avenue, a suburban street lined with London Plane trees, the few Keenies who started searching this section would now get well head of the others who didn’t seem to stop running from the South Circular where there Hares were still trying to get them back from the street with no more Dust!
It would soon become obvious that the Trail had suffered from the earlier downpour as in places it had been all but obliterated, a few small blobs of dough led the three FRBs southward, a change of direction to the west & then back to the south at the roundabout saw the Trail head off along Genoa Avenue, which would have had Lemming coming out with the old Music-hall retort of “No, she went on her own accord!”
The Trail now turned westward again near to a School & the CHKs were little more than the faintest of arcs from the chalk remnants of circles, to spot these Mr X & Its Fine Bos had to use the tracking skills of Tonto, at times getting down close to the pavement for a closer inspection.
Its Fine Bos made good use of being up front by every so often stopping & waiting for the rest to catch up & take some ‘action shots’ of the Keenies running toward her on her mobile. The FRBs were on a loop that would bring them eastward down Granard Avenue, which had a couple of kinks in its route & after the corner leading to the St Margaret’s Crescent the SCBs were found waiting for them at a Held CHK (marked by LH3 as an RG). Mr X saw Its Fine Bos take her phone out & was about to accuse her of ‘using technology on the Hash’ but this was for another photo shot, albeit one of less movement.
Mr X had a long wait here as the Pack regrouped. Mother & Lemming, had, like a lot of others this afternoon fallen foul of the Hares’ Cunning & the effects of the earlier weather. Unacceptable was hoping that when the Trail resumed that it would take to the Church Walk footpath out to St Margaret’s Church, then turn right to avoid going up to the Putney Heath Common, since he believed that he knew the Beer Stop was supposed to be near to the Spencer Pub.
The Trail was found at the end of Church Walk & out in to the grounds of St Margaret’s, passing by the front of the religious building that didn’t tempt any of the RA’s inside!
The Dust led out on to Putney Park lane, the first part being the older uncapped stony track to the common up the hill to the south, there was also a parallel tarmac lane for the rows of terraced house on the west side, this was pretty much filled with lines of cars. Unacceptable was not too impressed as the London FRBs all headed up toward the Park, Mr X began to wonder if the talk about the return by the Thames was nothing more than a Red Herring?
Suddenly the FRBs all stopped up ahead, Mr X looked around to see that Unacceptable & Naughty Nympho had both disappeared off Parkstead road, Lemming pointed out that the houses in this area were more of an estate type unlike the detached ones earlier in the Trail. Naughty Nympho wasn’t bothered that the terraced homes weren’t up to Lemmings standards, for on the Sunnymead Crescent there was a Portaloo in the front garden where one house was being renovated.
A downhill urban trot through Pleasance Road took the Pack on to another RG, Mr X being ever hopeful thought that it was the Beer Stop but was just happy for the fact that he didn’t yell this out as he was first to arrive there. This Regroup was in the ‘Pleasant’, a green space with lots of wooden skeletal like structures constructed of fallen branches, Naughty Nympho soon found the swing & asked Mr X to give her a push. Sweetheart pointed out that Mr X was now pushing two on the swing, so nothing too vigorous there then.
Having found out that Naughty Nymphos last slave died of overwork & being underpaid, Mr X’s attention on this job waned as he looked about & spotted one structure of branches with a small net in one part of the Pleasance, he pointed this out to be a Lemming Trap!
Lemming managed not to get snared, & as the Trail was picked up on the next section of uncapped Putney Park Lane, he would carry on talking about ‘Social Standing’ which led Mr X to say that Lemming could be the Ronnie Corbett character, Mr X could be the Ronnie Barker character & if only Goldilocks had been there he could have played John Cleese’s part in the classic Frost Report’s “I know my place” sketch. [Ironically the Scribe began scribbling away at this not long before the sad news of Ronnie Corbett’s passing! – Ed]
Having run up Putney Park Lane to the north the two ‘Social Outcasts’ would join others in crossing over the busy Richmond Road & up in to area that is home to three blocks of flats, after one false Trail in to this area, Contour sent the FRBs back in again on another route that led around on to the shingle like beach area that covered the roof of the garage area they were above.
Having realised that there was no way down from the pebbled flat roof area, it was back to the road & fresh arrows would send the Keenies anti-clockwise around Warwick Drive that surrounded the other three sides of the flats area. The Trail would come out on to Gypsy lane, peeling off of this after just a short way before the rise up to the Queen’s Ride, arrows would take to the dead-end side road that has the Marc Bolan memorial up in the tree-lined roadside embankment, which is decorated with lots of trinkets, statues, messages of condolence & flowers from fans of the Glam Rock Guru.
Mr X recalled a Friday 13th stop there many years ago & the eerie sight of Saddlesniffer, complete with inflatable guitar, emerging as Marc through the spooky smoke! There was also a song that went with this but gentle reader I will save you from hearing “Wrap a purple mini around the old oak tree if you still love me!” we’ll save that talk for Friday 13th!
Anyhow, the Trail crossed over the edge of Barnes Common, on a north-westerly route over to Barnes Station, usually the arrival point for going to the Coach & Horses but since no Trains were running to there from the centre of London the venue was changed to the Bricklayers.
The Trail reached a point by one of the south-eastern entrance to the Station, here there was plenty of red & white tape that no doubt was set out to herd the civilians heading to watch the boat race? Mr X & a few went up the steps to the Rock’s Lane bridge over the railway lines, but once over to the northern side they would find no Dust, so it was up over the steps to cross platforms to get down to where the rest of the Pack had passed through the foot-tunnel to the southwestern section of Barnes Common.
Dust led through the woodland & then out on to Vine Road, to take the Hash on another loop around three sides of the open green space that is home to Barnes Cricket Club pitch, Unacceptable cut across the cricket pitch as he believed that he had an inkling as to where the Beer Stop was. Last Tango, Juices Flowing, Véronique & Sonia tagging on behind Unacceptable chose to follow Mr X in hopping over the line of ‘stepping stones’ made of sections of wide, fallen oak tree.
Unacceptable led the way up to the first of two level crossings on Vine Road, where the railway splits. It was at this point that the Pack would be split & most of those who got across the tracks before the barriers came down to allow Trains to pass by, those across the lines would not see the Hares, Lofty, Black Hole, Lemming, Mother (to name just a few) until they were back at the On Inn.
The weather began to turn for the worse & rumbles of thunder were heard in the not so far off distance, Sweetheart was now marking the Trail as the FRBs were led out over more common that was dotted with bushes of broom, more roads were crossed to head too close to a Barn Elms Sports Centre for the Hash!
Eventually the Trail led on in to the Lower Putney Common Cemetery, just as the hail came down & for those like Lemming it was like having their bald heads sand-blasted! The Trail led in under the trees in the old cemetery & lurking amongst these wasn’t Saddlesniffer but Rambo who was found there were some civilians sheltering under a tree, Mr X said that being under a tree was the worst place to be in a Thunderstorm. Rambo said “What Thunderstorm?” a fraction of a second before a large clap of thunder boomed out close enough to encourage them to leave the tree canopy & get this Trail over with!
The Keenies now fanned out in all direction over the Lower Putney Common but none of the original Trail was found over there, if it ever went that way? The Spencer Pub, was where the Beer Stop was supposed to be near to & Unacceptable veered over toward that way, but in the end in the Beer Stop turned out to be on another part of the common. Unacceptable then came up with “Oh, they have also had a Beer Stop at the junction over the brook!” so another change of direction was taken.
With the weather suddenly changing again back to rain, this further encourage the Keenies in making their way over the Beverly Brook. The compression of a Police Helicopter rotors could be felt & heard as it flew overhead, almost patrolling the Path the Keenies made their way on that follows the brook’s course south-eastward.
By Mr X was now dying for a pee by this point & knowing that the Police Chopper is fitted with thermal imaging camera, he decided to hold it in until reaching the Pub & not get attention by standing out by producing a bright white line against the wet cold background for the airborne Plod to see in the Sky!
From this footpath Trail was once again found again, but it was a bit sketchy & not everyone saw it & it was leading through the near-by Leader’s Gardens, a small park where London H3 have had Beer Stops before, however Sweetheart, Naughty Nympho, Mr X & two of the Virgins missed it when they arrived there.
The Embankment had been closed off as boats were being taken out of the boathouses & TV cameras on long booms hung up above the crowded river bank, to film the Womens’ crews as they were readying themselves to launch on to old Father Thames.
The rain got harder as the FRBs left the shelter of the overhead balcony of the boating club & Naughty Nympho didn’t want to hang around, she didn’t want to catch pneumonia for two, Mr X just wanted a pee & a well-deserved pint as one of the Virgins pointed out that he had run almost 7 miles to this point!
With a lot of highly polish, black stately cars, bearing Royal Insignia arriving & somewhere already parked up, the FRBs decided to make their way around the back-streets to circumnavigate the now closed off Embankment road, Sweetheart did go back in to check Leader’s Gardens for the mythical Beer Stop but it was all in vain.
The Keenies made their way a to get around on to the Lower Richmond Road, there were a few interesting places passed by, like the Brew Putney on the corner & then the Half Moon on the opposite side of road. The Traffic was quite light by now as most of the side streets had been closed off, which was handy as the Hash needed to be cross to the side of the Half Moon & then follow the road ‘up-stream’ until reaching Waterman Street, opposite the famous Star & Garter before turning off by a line of port-a-loos to the On Inn.
There were quite a few of the London regulars who had arrived late didn’t want to venture out in to the elements, Boy Blunder & Marxist to name just a couple, there were also some, who, like Rambo managed to follow the Trail backwards to the Common.
Janie the Nanny had even found the Beer Stop, but no Hash & no Beer, so she turned back! [Who can blame her! – Ed] Lemming & Mother arrived back at the Pub, boasting of finding the ‘Beer Stop’ to rub it in for those who didn’t make the Drinks Stop, for the likes of Mother & Lemming were spoilt with two helpings of Champagne & had Easter Eggs!
The Hash eventually all made it back in time for the start of the Womens’ Race but those in the Bar suddenly plunged in to the darkness of the back section as the lights were dimmed for the big screen to be seen. It wasn’t the best picture, Mr X wondered why a fog had suddenly descended upon the Thames, as the image was so pale.
As the women reached the half way mark in their race, the Circle was called outside in the patio garden, which was accessed via the passageway marked with a Gents Toilet sign on the door & this seemed to confuse a few, but to the relief of some of the Harriettes it passed another door to the Gents! So, we didn’t see who won, but it look choppy enough on one bend that one of the eights could sink!
The Hares were rewarded for a Trail, where ever parts of it [Like the Beer Stop! - Ed] may have been?
Visitors were awarded their Down-Downs, Lemming & Mr X were counted amongst the Virgins, Mr X was surprised after the number of London Trails he has done over the last 25 Years but it goes to show what happens when you haven’t been around for a while!
The RA then asked if anyone had been to either Cambridge or Oxford to raise a Hand, Lemming kept his down but did say he went to Borstal, while Mr X raised his & declared that he had set Hash Pub Crawls in both Cities, this earnt him another Down-Down!
Lofty was awarded for completing her & 800th LH3 Run, there were a few others, that this scribe forgot as his attention was drawn to the boxes of left over Easter-eggs, which were eventually offered up to those who missed out at the mirage sorry I mean Beer Stop. On the plus side the Easter Eggs were not of an old English brand that was taken over by Americans, got rid of UK production to make it cheaper in Poland & pays as much UK tax as St*rbucks.
If that wasn’t enough then there were Simnel Cakes being offered around, these are fruit & spicy buns have been in existence since medieval times [if they were that long beyond their sell-by date then Sparky would have enjoyed them? – Ed] apparently the ‘Shrewsbury Recipe’ is the most popular.
Back in the Pub & Lemming it seems was trying his best top get thrown under a Tube-train on the way home, as he quizzed Mr X on what you get for completing Numbered Runs on the Herts Hash? Mother had been set up to bite on the question of what you get for 300 Run with Berkshire Hash? Apparently nothing! The Mother fell in with what these two were doing & her eyes could have burnt holes through Lemming’s head with the stare she gave him!
Oxford won the Womens’ Race, & soon it came time for the Hash to head out & watch the start of the Mens’ Race, a first for some who only ever watch the race on the TV in the Coach & Horses, only yards away from the Thames!
Mother was impressed at how fast they move when you see it from the Bank-side, then it was time to move on to the local Spoons for some of the Splendid Titanic Brewery Plum Porter in celebration of the Cambridge Victory.