Date =                            17th April 2016

Run Number =            1672                                                                                                                                     

Venue =                        The Red Cow

Location=                     Harpenden

Beer =                            London Pride; Tring Coley’s Dog, Moongazer

Hares =                         Tent Packer

Runners =                    12

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0                                        

Après Hashers =         0

Newies =                       0

Hounds =                      0

Total =                           12

Membership =             Nagged!!


It seemed as if spring had sprung & the weather was finally turning that little bit milder, a slight chill was still hanging in the air was the only down-side.  Some of the Pack were feeling slightly jaded after the previous day’s Rugby & the après match Curry, where a lot of singing & drinking took place, not to mention Tequilherover’s trumpet playing!

For the first time, since being elected GM, Ewok was present to welcome the Pack & it was like a breath of fresh air as she kept things short & simple by announcing the correct run number, which was very good as it just happened to be written on the back of her hand! 

Things soon changed as the Hare was called in to the Circle to explain what the Hash could expect out on Trail, it was back to a long-winded diatribe.  There were a few in the Circle who were now finding it hard to disguise & hide their yawns [Surely the result of the previous Day & not the ex-GM’s speech? – Ed]  The hare showed off his battle scars after coming second in a tussle with a bramble while setting the Trail this morning, his Hash boots also gave away the fact that that there was some serious Shiggy out there.

The Pack eventually got underway up the hill to the west just a short way on to the former Railway line From Welwyn Garden City to Luton, this section of the line has not been really explored by H4 as until a couple of years ago this route ended at East Hyde & wasn’t really used, but now it has been opened to walkers & cyclist to go all the way to Luton, all since a footbridge crossing has been put in place over the busy Lower Luton Road.

A few thought of going off down the line toward Batford, but “On!” was called by Oxymoron away to the north, well slight west off of due north, on the relatively newly tarmacked route.   This would be a long trot without any breaks, well unless you count Milf & Ewok disappearing in to the bushed at the side of the former line?  On the plus side it was going to be a flat Trail on this section.

There were a few civilians out & about using this path this morning, no doubt enjoying the sunny day, over to the west a train coming out of Luton rumbled by on the embankment, the route of the Main Bed-Pan line to St Pancras moves over toward the Lower Luton Road & in Sludge’s Day these two lines would meet at junction at East Hyde, before an ancestor of the RA’s swung an axe & the line closed.

To the east of the Line was the river Lea, slowly winding its way down from where it rises in Luton, in the adjacent meadows were plenty of sheep chewing at the grass & none were bothered by the calling of the FRBs as they made their way out to Thrales End lane at East Hyde.  Stepping on to the lane meant that the Pack would be treading on Beds territory!

Luckily there have been some improvements at the adjacent sewage works & the Air was fairly ‘pong-free’.  Mr X added that the darts team that played out of the Waterboard Sports & Social there always had really good tomatoes in the cheese & tomato sarnies, these just happened to grow really well from the seeds that had passed through the human gut & germinate after getting embedded in the filter beds of the plant! [He don’t half talk some sh*te! – Ed]

 From the CHK by the steel five-bar gate on the edge of the lane, Oxymoron & Kokonut were quickly out to the short way to T junction & over to the east side of the Lower Luton Road, but they failed to see the now faded one-sided arrows pointing the way up the single track Farr’s Lane, instead they were heading along by the few homes on this side of the busy road & up toward Luton where there was no Dust at all.

After crossing over the junction, Mr X, My li’ & Sloppy Seconds all spotted the arrows & called “On!” as they started the steady climb up the hill to the northeast Mr X commented on the recycling boxes outside the drives of the detached homes, a couple of them were full to over-flowing with beer & wine bottles, that they had painstakingly divided in to the two district types.  Milf said that they probably didn‘t have much else to do on this remote end near on the Beds Border? [It reminded me of looking at Junior’s recycling boxes! – Ed]

 Just beyond the homes a Footpath headed off in to the field beside, this was marked with ‘Long’ Trail while the arrow pointing up the lane indicted the Walker’s route with a W beside it.  While Mr X, Sloppy Seconds, Milf, then Oxymoron & Kokonut all headed out around the perimeter of field, My Lil’ took the walker’s route to save his aching knee. 

The Keenies suddenly were not so keen as they turned from the northwest to the northeast after the CHK in the elbow of the corner of the field, this was the start of the long steady climb up the hill.  Mr X & Milf led the way until reaching the next CHK when they, with Sloppy Seconds fell foul at the next CHK when they took the option that headed back over toward the lane.  Just before turning back, the RA spotted My Lil’ running on the Walker’s Trail!!!

An about turn & the Pack were now heading in the direction toward Luton Airport, in the distance over the horizon of the scenic rolling hills & trees the top of the Airport Traffic Control Tower could just be seen, & that was abo0ut all of Luton that could be seen.  This direction also meant the FRBs were now heading away from the lane & it looked like they were going to be starting on a long loop.

The Trail arrived at a CHK, the continuation toward Luton did not look that appealing as it was heading far too far away from the Walker’s route.  The main consensus was to follow the other footpath up toward Peter’s Green & so began the final stage of the climb as the pack found the Dust on this way.  At times the Trail took to alternative sides of the hedgerow but the Hare, who was now up with the Keenies, marked the Trail on the same south-eastern side of the bushes.  It was along this stretch that Mr X & Sloppy Seconds could smell the distinctive odour of aviation fumes being blown over for the nearby Airport grounds.

Having gained some 150 feet in altitude the Hash had reached the summit of the ridge as the footpath came out on to the edge of the grounds of Laburnum Farm, finally after two kissing gates the Trail led out on to the main farm track.  A CHK was found where the Footpath continued along over to Peter’s Green, which lays on the Herts side of the border but instead of going back in to Herts the Trail would run along the border that runs along the farm track, then on to the bend where Farr’s lane becomes Hyde lane on the second of the S bend.

The Hash had to dodge a few puddles as the water filled pot-holed Farm track gave way to pot-holed tarmac to the Southeast, on the second bend a Held CHK was found, My Lil’ was quick to explain to the RA that the hare had instructed My Lil’ to run up the lane & put in this Held CHK to regroup the Pack!  Mr X wasn’t that impressed with My Lil’ making his excuses, but was happy to give him some stick about it as the Trail continued.

On the footpath off of the 90° turn in the tarmac lane, the Pack would now find the really deep, cold wet Shiggy that accounted for the splashes up the Hare’s legs.  Also on the start of this route was a large bramble overhanging the width of the path & this must have been the one that caught the back of the Hare’s leg, the rest of the Pack managed to avoid this vicious thorny runner.

As the Trail moved in to the ‘pan-handle’ part of Round Wood, either side of the path were bluebells & as the Trail moved deeper in to the main pan body of the wood the carpet of bluebells covered much more of the woodland floor, the scent could now be smelt in the air, which was far better than the jet fuel fumes. 

The sight & smell of the Bluebells had Milf telling the RA about Kylie trying to explain the white Bluebells to his mum, yes there are white blue bells & these are quite rare, though with the invasion & cross breading by the Spanish Bluebell it can also occur, as well as the pink verity.  Mr X wonder if these were Harebells, but these a slightly different from Blue Bells with a different shaped bell & usually a pale shade of blue.

The Pack now had to observe a Hash Hush due to horses being ridden on the other side of the hedgerow, word had to be urgently got up to Sparky not to blow his horn.  Mr X told Ewok that in this week’s Hertford Mercury there, in the 25th Anniversary section, was an article about a Horse allegedly cutting its flank after being scared by a Walking Club & the Hash was almost blamed for”  the main question still “Why have barbed-wire around the field of an expensive animal?”

Anyhow, the Pack kept the Hash Hush for the rest of the Trail as the paths of a couple of groups of horse riding girls would cross with those the Hare had chosen for the Trail to run on. 

The path turned direction to head downhill, emerging from the wood in the southeast before a 90° turn brought the Hash around to the Southwest.  The track became wider out in the open as it led down to the tarmac section that runs around by the small cottage with the unusual name of Broccolo Lodge & then up in to Little Cutts Farm.  [Broccolo is something to do with Broccoli – Ed]

Kokonut went awry here, for she continued down the Tarmac Road away from the farm, Milf called her back as Oxymoron, My Lil’ & Mr X found Dust up beyond the gates to the secluded large house & off on to the wide track over the fields to the southwest.  Now the Hash were heading over to Great Cutts Farm, the going was slowed again by more young girls out riding, Sparky picked up a tatty hoof protector & then poked his head through the Hedge to ask if it belonged to any of the Girls’ horses – fortunately he didn’t scare the string of equines.

The Nags would be brought out on to the farm track, but instead of leaving enough room for the Hash to get by, the silly mares had to ride two abreast, which meant that there was no other way of getting by without coming up behind the equines, & everyone with an ounce of common sense knows horses can get spooked by things coming up behind them!  If one of the Horses had reared up & the rider had come a cropper you can bet your bottom dollar that it wouldn’t be the rider’s fault.

A CHK was found before Great Cutts Farm & from there Oxymoron, Mr X & My Lil’ started off in the wrong direction, of course when the Trail was picked up by Sparky as it had to be the same way the horse riders had taken to.  The horse riders left the farm track & took to a footpath running down toward the Lower Luton road, the Pack were now running down from the top end of a crop field.

The going was hard due to the pot-holes that the horse hooves had made in the path, some did query the fact that Horses aren’t supposed to be on footpaths?  The groans & moans on the way down prompted Sloppy Seconds & Tent Packer to come up with the idea of having an arthritis Hash!  That would cover a few of the current H4 Pack!

But once the Trail had turned for this one last time at the corner of Wall wood, the Path headed down along the hedgerow against Bower Heath lane, the horses again got in front of the Pack as they hit the final southwestern stretch, again the young riders were too busy nattering to take any notice of other footpath users but the Keenies did get by to come out at the end of the lane where it joins the Lower Luton road.

Back at the On Inn & Sludge was found there waiting, Ewok was concerned that Sludge said that Paxo & TBT OBE were still out on Trail, having opted not to take any of the Short Cuts!  Tent Packer said that TBT OBE would be safe in his day-glo jacket, it looks like the type of things that architects or construction site workers would wear.

A few wondered what had happened to Alfa Male, he & Max Factor were suppose dot ne there this day, but perhaps the previous day had taken its toll?  Mr X & others added what a hoot it was in the Curry House after the Rugby, as well as how cheap the Beer was in the Preston, plus how good the Manager & Staff were there.

A fair section of the Pack elected to eat, so, the RA put off the Down-Downs until the following week, as if the Hash had moved outside they would have lost the seats!