Date = 23rd May 2016
Run Number = 1677
Venue = The Bell - No Ale so we went to the Goat!
Beer = Doombar (But it had gone) Adnams, Doombar & Abbott in the Goat!
Hares = Spotted Dick & Custard
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 1
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 19
Membership = Ding-Dong the Bell's Ale has gone!
The Parking behind the Bell was a little tight for space, there was no way that Tent Packer would get his yacht moored up back there, so like a few others, he parked out on a side street of a village that was once owned by King Æthelred the Unready until he sold in in 1002.
More arrived & were shocked to see a pale figure out the front of the Bell, this spectre like apparition appeared to be Junior on his phone, with his back turned to the arriving Pack. By the time Ewok had called the Pack to order & formed a Circle, the eerie figure had vanished in to the ether.
Ewok's welcoming speech could just be heard over the noise of the traffic, then after little fuss it was over to the Hares! Spotted Dick announced it was normal Herts Markings, there were two Held CHKs to keep the Pack together for a couple of stretches of dodgy road that would be run along. Livestock was mentioned & the final note was it would be around an hour to get complete the Trail!
The Trail began from outside of the Bell, which cheered Mr X up as he looked at the sour face on My Lil' as he hates starting from a CHK outside of a venue! Anyhow, the Dust was not found either way along the main High Street, eventually it dawned on some of the Hash that the Trail could be on the footpath that runs from behind the Bell.
Sure enough the Dust was picked up on the path between the weather boarded back gardens to emerge out on to Valley Road, where a CHK the size if a Polo mint was discovered by a fence & a signpost post. Falsies were found down the hill, as well as out on Bury Lane to the east, where a well-placed blob of flour encouraged the RA to head off down an alleyway that cuts behind the line of homes to come out at the bottom of dip in Valley Road.
Having not found any Dust, Mr X trudged back up to see the rest all heading over to St Giles Road, Ewok was now leading the way to the next CHK that was found on the north side of the road where a footpath alleyway cuts across from east to west.
Strangely she was the only one to head westward on this intersecting path, the GM was on down to find a CHK where the path emerged on to Gomer Close [Sounds like a Sesame Street Character! – Ed] Ewok was far enough ahead to find the Falsie off down another by-way like path that has access to the front of the homes that reside on this path.
Back to the CHK & Mr X fancied the option of the alleyway straight over the main road to Hitchin, there the Dust was found & after crossing the busy Hitchin Road the Dust took to the footpath that runs between the paddocks North of Lodge Farm, there was not much chance if going astray here as there was a wooden corral fence on one side & a wire one on the other.
As the Trail approached the corner of the southern side of Heath Plantation, it soon became apparent that the permissive path that cuts off the bend in the lane was closed for Public use, for the gap was wired up, & to highlight the fact this permissive route was closed there was red tape stretched over the way in to the wood.
The Dust came down to the short flight of steps out on to Heath Hill Lane, on the opposite side of this fork in the road the first Held CHK was found. Mr X & Tent Packer were soon joined at the Held CHK by Porky Pie, Alfa Male, My Lil’, Max Factor, Ewok & Colin in the small hollow area where the footpath heads away through the wooded strip, on the opposite side they could see why the permissive path was fenced off as the area was having a lot of trees pruned, felled & cut up.
When the Trail was found again it was up the embankment the wooded strip was on, then out in to the open fields to the east. Ahead was a series of penned in fields for cattle grazing, so at the CHK point on the inside of the fence the FRBs assumed that the Dust would be on the Footpath that avoided going through the centre where the majority of the cows & their calves were, it didn’t & Spotted Dick didn’t alert the Pack to this until they got a fair way out toward west fence.
Understandably the cattle were now a bit restless, as they were concerned about the Hashers invading their space getting too near to their calves, a few motherly bellows made sure the Hash knew that they weren’t welcome near to their off-spring! But, two calves remained up by the opposite gate out of the field! The Pack made it through once these bovines had moved away, taking their youngsters with them. Lola wasn’t too keen on the cattle either & My Lil’ had to keep her on a shot lead.
Meanwhile, Ewok, Max Factor & Porky Pie headed over in to the opposite field, to be safer on the other side of the barbed-wire, they would need a hand to over this again at the corner. Though the Hares could have sent them on to the other safer & cattle free Footpath in to the Heath plantation.
Anyhow, My Lil’ & Tent Packer were soon on to the Trail within Heath Plantation as it headed westward on the descending route between the trees to come out to the next CHK on the hard capped route of the Green Lane Track. Mr X had heeded the Hare’s words about dodgy roads & so he bet that the Trail would be off on the southeast direction back out to the Heath Hill road, he would be correct with this assumption.
The second Held CHK was found where the lane comes out on to Heath Hill Lane, there was an information board at this spot, which explained a little of the local History, including the History of Codicote Mill as well as the Peasants Revolt of 1381, Mr X added that the “Peasants are always revolting!”
It was at this point that Mark E Mark & Ketchup caught up with the FRBs, they didn’t have to hang around too long as the rest joined them in obeying the Hares’ instructions of sticking to the same, one side of the narrow rustic lane, the pinch-point at the small pack bridge over the Mimram was the real concern but in the end was safely negotiated as the Pack ran along the end of Codicote Bottom & on to the junction where Heath lane joins the Kimpton Road.
A short trot along to the south & a CHK was found outside the front of Bottom Farm, not even Colin was tempted on the long straight track up the hillside toward Ayot St Lawrence, instead the main consensus to run around the back of the farm house proved correct, though Mark E Mark managed find an alternative on what was probably the proper route by the road side of the farm house?
Colin led the way as the Hash ran along the bottom of the crop field further southward, this stuck by the hedgerow separating the field from the lane. Ketchup was under the impression that the Hash were miles away from Codicote, but the RA put him right saying that just a bit further along this path is a gap in the hedge where the Trail could cross the road & pick up the footpath down through a ford in the Mimram!
Sure enough, an arrow was found by the gap in the hedgerow & after looking both ways several times, the Hash could dash over what is at peak-times a rat run to cut out driving through Codicote. The Trail led down to the Mimram, the FRBs all went through the Ford, no doubt as the RA was up there with them keeping an eye on them!
Having waded through cold Mimram, by the water treatment centre, for Oxymoron, Tent Packer, Mark E Mark, Colin, Ewok, Mr X & Porky Pie a long steady north-easterly climb lay ahead ensued through the wooded hillside, wet Hash Boot prints marked the way up by the homes at the top of Long Valley as it emerges out on the dead-end of Dark Lane.
Ketchup was now at the south-western edge of the inhabited part of Codicote, the Trail now joined the St Albans Road but the Trail wasn’t over as it now in the suburban area of the Village. The last CHK point of the Trail would have the Keenies turn off to the west & on to the fields that sit between the St Albans Road & the Local School grounds. But there was a hitch as the route the footpath takes was blocked by a load of Bullocks [Whoa there Pebbledash! - Ed] by the gate that connects the two paddocks.
Ketchup said talked about moving the cows, Mr X pointed out that he “Wouldn’t want to milk one of them!” as the stubborn bovines were not wanting to move anywhere, so the Hash had to take an alternative route over by the separating fence between the two paddocks, the only hitch with this was that there gate at the far corner was on the opposite side of the wire fence!
With a little dexterity in getting over the wire fence, care was taken by those with short legs to clear the top strand of barbed-wire, the Hashers got over Okay but Lola had to be passed over & she didn’t appreciate being passed over to Mr X on the other side, Oh no! She bit him on his hand as he went to put her down, My Lil’ seemed more concerned that the RA had let go of her lead & she had got out of the way of the Hash than the RA’s health!
With Lola rounded up the Pack moved on through by the On Inn, passing some of the more Historic buildings, like the 13th Century Barns at the back of the High Street, on the way the RA spotted Sludge walking with Custard on a Short Cut on St Albans Road.
Out through the short alleyway by the Old Bakery & on to the High Street, emerging opposite the now tatty & slightly dilapidated Kenny Wong’s ‘As you like’, the former George & Dragon Pub is now boarded up & looks pretty sad. The RA said that as it is a listed building the developers would have their work cut out, unless of course it mysteriously burns down like the old Chieftain did in Welwyn Garden City.
Having changed, the Hash were disappointed to find that the only Handpump, of Doombar, in the Bell had its badge turned around. No Ale! So, after a very artic cold bottle of Hobgoblin, the Hash moved down to the Goat for a couple of Ales.
Here there was beer, the first Choice of the Blonde Ale had started to turn, this was changed without any fuss for a good Pint of Adnams. TBT OBE asked if they serve Coffee in the Goat, the Barman bluntly said “No! It’s a Pub!” TBT OBE was a little surprised by this reply, but two local lads explained that they have “Rudest Landlord” in the Village!
The Down-Downs were carried out in the Goat, with the Hares rewarded for a Trail that took 50 minutes to Run, there were two Decca-Runners in Oxymoron & Colin, the former is heading back to Cyprus. Porky Pie was out for ordering Ticket to the Rugby & not going to the Game! Paxo & My Lil’ were out for their Tent antics at the Bull Moon weekend. Mr X had the last hit as he forgot the Hashit in all of his rush to get ready!