Date = 17th July 2016
Run Number = 1685
Venue = The Two Brewers
Location= Chipping Ongar
Beer = Doombar
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 8
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 16
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 24
Membership = Chuffed!
A joint Run with Essex saw Herts outnumbered around two to one, on a gloriously sunny but quite sultry morning. Many were impressed by Pick (or was it Mix? this scribe failed to ask which one of the twins it was!) as he did his stretching exercises, while others jealously groaned at the sight of him making moves like the crane in Kung-Fu Panda. Heap O' Crap was one who couldn't recall ever being able to touch his toes or see them, let alone lift his leg up & manipulate his feet like Pick was?
Milf, TBT OBE, Kylie & Tent Packer got the last Vintage Green RT 339 Double Decker bus to the Two Brewers, just before the Pack were due to get under way, alighting with just 5 minutes before the Circle was called. Kylie was a bit premature as he was already wearing his EWSH3 Hi-Vis waistcoat!”
The respective Hash Introductions were carried out with Essex on 1671 & Sludge announcing Herts at 1685! The Hare's brief was exactly that, very brief! With little to mention, with the exceptions of roads, horses & short cuts, that was it. The Pack were ushered across the road & down the north-westerly path beside the Crispey Brook, then out through the area of wild grass to the north, the FRBs were led around the perimeter path cut in the tall wild grass.
The SCBs of Sooty, Heap O’, Dr Doolittle, Pulled Out & Ain’t got One quickly cottoned on that the FRBs of Pick or Mix, Casey Jones, Milf, Lunchbox, Blow Dry, Mistress & Tent Packer were all heading over to the short alleyway on to Rodney Road & so by means of the various alternative paths cut through the hay they avoided the loop for a more direct option they avoided the loop. Meanwhile Sloppy Seconds bemoaned the fact that he hadn’t complete the write up to the EHMR Trail! [He’ll be beavering away at it right now! – Ed]
A bit of street running now took place from a CHK on Rodney Road as the Dust led up through a couple of the back streets to head up to what, at first impressions, it appeared that the FRBs were a load of ‘Plonkers’ being led up from Rodney Road on what looked to be a dead-end, but in the corner was a pass-through between two of the homes & this led out to the corner of the fields to the west of Ongar.
The ground was bone dry, as the path led beside the hedgerow to the left & the crop of broad beans to the right, this brought about a conversation about beans & the after-effects they produce post digestion! On a far better subject, a CHK was found by a gap in the hedge at the end of the short track that cuts back & leads out to the Greensted Road.
Milf continued along through the field, while Tent Packer came back from by the road, just to confuse some of Herts, Mix (or was it Pick?) came running back from where Milf was heading away, he was followed by Casey Jones & of course this led some to believe they were coming back from a Falsie, when in fact they were putting in a few extra steps!
The Trail would come out on to the Greensted Road, now, was it planned for the road to be having cabling works happening that day? With a couple of blokes digging out the eastern edge of the road & laying fibre-optic cable, it meant a set of traffic lights were in operation & one side of the road was coned off which allowed the Pack a fairly clear run without getting involved with any passing traffic, with the exception of the point where the mini-digger in use had to be given a wide berth, even Fergus gave this Digger a bit of room!
Talking of Digger, who was absent this afternoon, Vicky Vomit commented on the reels of cable left unattended, he did this in a fashion that Digger would have been proud of, leaving some to create some distance between themselves & the cable works in fear of appearing on Police interceptors! Diggers home town appears quite regular on that TV series.
Anyhow, the Trail passed through a gate in the hedgerow to lead in to a fallow field & when there the middle order of the Pack could see one twin, Casey Jones, Mistress, Milf & Lunchbox all heading along the footpath behind the fence at the north end of the field. Some would choose the wrong route cut in the longer grass by going over toward the northwestern corner.
Calls of "Gate!" from Milf & others failed to persuade the likes of Blow Dry & Mistress from their course to the fenced-in corner which had no way out, unless you had really long legs, the barbed wire would stop most from any attempt to scale this on a Short Cut, instead it was over to the northeast corner & through the gate to a CHK, the Hare marked this for the benefit of Dr Doolittle & the other SCBs
Tent Packer was spotted coming back from behind a hedge where there was no Dust, just the opportunity to scare the squirrels there! After a couple of shakes he was back on Trail behind the fence, then after a turn from the western direction, the Trail came out on to Church Lane, a stony hard capped driveway behind the St Andrew’s Church. This bright white shutter-boarded building is believed to be Britain’s oldest wooden Church.
No Trail was found out toward the road, in Greensted-juxta-Ongar - to give the village’s proper but now considered an archaic name, it derives from the Danish Grønstad when this community sat on the very edge of the ‘Danelaw’ area, until Alfred the Great put an end to the Viking invasions.
Back to the Trail & it was found through the yard of the nice large detached property of the Hall, with its whitewashed gate & corral fencing. Now Mr X & Vicky Vomit led the way out in to the crop field behind the village & up toward the next CHK, here these two continued further along to the north, in the distance the comforting sound of a steam train could be heard.
Mr X & Vicky Vomit took advantage of carrying straight on & not join Casey Jones & Co. heading westward in the adjacent field to the west, they followed the path’s course with a kink to the left & then up beside the sheep field to resume its northward run up to a CHK on a track by New Barn Cottages, being completely rebuilt they are much newer than the name on the OS map suggests!
Having got by Mr X & Vicky Vomit at the large garden behind the rebuilt New Barn Cottages, Casey Jones & Son now stopped at the CHK on the track of Penson’s Lane as they conversed with some civilians about the Hash! Casey explained that it was a Joint Run & Mr X handed over a Herts Card when he arrived.
When the search resumed Mr X & Milf were the only two to search northeastward, may be the overflowing rubbish bins placed on the opening between the tree lined track & on to the property made it look like there was no right of way? But having squeezed by the stinky bins, while holding their breath, Dust was discovered on the continuation of the un-capped ‘lanes’ route.
The bone dry deeply rutted track rose over the brick bridge that the single track of the preservation railway runs underneath, there was no sound of any engines as heard earlier on. This former line from Epping to Ongar, opened in 1856 by Great Eastern Railways as an extension from Loughton by its predecessor of Eastern Counties Railway, in 1949 it was taken over by London Underground & in the 1950’s it was electrified.
The low-cost nature of the electrification meant that although the branch could support eight-car trains as far as North Weald, a maximum of four cars could run to Ongar due to the voltage drop along the end-fed line being too great to support full-length trains, & the short platforms were not long enough to support eight-car trains.
So the Epping to Ongar branch was normally operated as an isolated extension of the Central line. However, for two days every year through-trains were run from London, terminating at North Weald for the airshow weekend of its entrance at the aerodrome adjacent to the station. London Underground shut the branch-line in 1994 & sold it four years later.
Enough History for now, so, back to the Trail & the Trail followed the uncapped Penson's Lane out to the A414 Epping road, where the Vojan Indian restaurant sit in isolation at the junction on the slight bend in the main road. Mr X wondered what type of clients the Indian have, as Vogans weren't very nice in the ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’.
The Trail didn't venture out to the road, described by an elderly passenger on the bus to Ongar as "A desolate place for a bus stop & to get off at!" The Pack would be saved from dicing with the traffic as beside the Curry House a path made its way from behind the roadside hedge to head southward along the edge of more crop fields of golden coloured wheat, this path would soon be bordered by the Crispey brook & as the route turned to the southeast the waterway became exposed from the trees & bushes that had covered most of its route so far.
The Pack began to get a bit stretched out after this point, but it was too humid for a lot of the Pack to make any great effort in running. The Trail turned due south to pass beneath the Epping-Ongar Railway line & immediately changed direction to slightly south off of due east to run parallel to the shaded embankment before it peeled away to head southbound through another exposed crop field.
Along this long sun-drenched stretch, Sludge suddenly pulled in behind one of the mighty oaks dotted along the hedgerow, this was to let Mr X pass by him. Mr X then did the same thing a few yards up & stepped aside to allow an FRB to pass by him as of it was some kind of game. It was along this stretch that Patches got by the first three Herts Hasher, but he wouldn't catch Milf who was already coming around the bottom edge of the field
Mr X then noticed that the Hare was up with Sludge & himself, he told Sludge that this was so he could make sure Sludge didn't Short Cut! Sludge had a faux shocked look on his face.
Milf had got some way ahead & as the landscape down behind Ongar, she could be seen coming back around the opposite side of the last section of wheat field, which was divided by the track of the Essex Way. A CHK was found there & the one Twin pointed out the Trail's route, but since Milf had been seen at the bottom of the Essex Way & disappearing over the Crispey Brook in to Ongar a Short cut a going to happen.
With his aching leg after driving up from south of Kent that morning, Mr X trotted down the Stony Track & accidentally scuffed out the T there, then it happened again on the second T [The latter T was put down for Sludge's benefit! - Ed] on his way to come out on to the bridge over the water course.
Here the iron railings on one side had been knocked in to the brook, remnants of blue & white Police Tape still hung from the remaining balustrades, on closer inspection the rest of the iron work was seen in the flowing water beneath!
The Trail came out by the local Sainsbubs & up to the High Street, where Mix or Pick led the Keenies straight over as the arrow dictated to follow a footpath through between the shops. The Hare arrived & marked a Short Cut straight down the High Street passing the King's Head & the Foresters.
On the way down the Short Cut the Hare informed those SCBs around him that they only had 25 minutes to drink up & get back up the High Street to catch the Epping Ongar Steam Train. In the meantime the FRBs were led on to the east side of the High Street, this route would go around part of the old Motte & Bailey, passing by the St Peters’ Way footpath before it came in southbound behind the Church that is hidden behind a line of Alms-houses
Sooty & Ain't got One were found outside in the Pub's back garden, which was nicely shaded. Mr X explained that they couldn't hang around due to the Steam Time-table, so Sooty suggested that Essex have a Semi-Circle, while Herts hold theirs’ later on!
With the clock counting down, My Lil' was anxious to see if TBT OBE would make it back in time for the walk up the hill? Especially as the Omnibus had just been & gone on that direction! TBT OBE did make it, like Tent Packer he was informed that there would be no time for an Ale, Tent Packer did attempt to get one but there was a queue at the Bar! Mr X & My Lil’ now put on their EWSH3 Hi-Vis waistcoats, so Kylie didn’t look out of place!
After a quick round of 'Goodbyes' to Essex, a trudge up the Hill to the Station resulted in the Hare getting some stick for a Blackboard in the Station ticket office had a different timetable chalked upon it. Herts had missed the Steam Train's departure by five minutes!!
Mr X cut his losses & joined the Hare on going to the Cock, which he surprised Milf when announced with "Let’s get some Cock!"! Well Paxo wasn't there this week!! The Cock Tavern was recommended by Heap O’, Casey Jones & Lunchbox who all said Essex had run from before, & you could see why as in the Cock these two could enjoy some of the Titanic Plum Porter, Kyle joined them before staggering back to catch the Train.
When the Train did get underway it was a great laugh, though Sludge was not so happy with the Diesel Engine at the other end pulling the Rolling-Stock & Steam Engine back to Ongar! Kylie was still appreciative of the poor old work-horse Diesel unit.
Sludge alighted at North Weald to have a quick look in the Buffet Carriage parked up there, but no Alcoholic beverages were available, he quickly clamber back on board.
By the time the Train had returned to Ongar, Tent Packet alighted to get the Bus back to Epping in hope to have a drink along the way, the rest remained onboard & got off at North Weald, where they caught the Bus back to Epping, & guess who was on the top deck? Yes Tent Packer, with a can of Fanta in his hand!