Date = 26th July 2016
Run Number = 1686
Venue = The Horse & Groom
Location= (Old) Hatfield
Beer = Brains; Abbott; American IPA;
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Après Hashers = 0
Newies = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 16
Membership = Wot no Shopping Trollies?
This evening saw Steve turn out for his first Herts Hash, having previously done an Enfield Hash Trail. So, what would he have thought about the shambles of a start as Mr X said to My Lil' "Hope you haven't set a long Trail?" To which My Lil' replied "I thought that you had set it?"
Oh what a circus, oh what a show! The gathered Pack murmured, then laughed at these two as the RA loudly thanked Paxo for volunteering to set the Trail 'Live". There were calls for the Hashit to be handed out before the Trail, but it wasn't to be seen, as a sheepish Fliptop skulked around the back of the Circle, especially being responsible for the Hashit's absence for the last two weeks!
Tent Packer’s highly polished up car didn't even avert the baying Packs' attention from the lack of a Hare!
TBT OBE was one not to get to high & mighty before the Hash, as it turns out that for the evening with Rick Wakeman he had sent his menu choice to 'Teebs' as any good son would, bit imagine the feeling of rejection when his Dad (Teebs) replied that he was on the Guest list! Having challenged this, Ketchup pointed out the email & TBT OBE realized he had over-looked his sons email!
The weather was overcast, slightly humid out of the cool breeze as Paxo left the disorganization & disappeared around in to Salisbury Square to buy a bag of flour from the local Spar, the only remaining shop in the 60's carbuncle of a parade before it is redeveloped.
10 minutes of piss-taking passed before Mr X called the Circle & stood in for the absent GM & the now vanished JM! Having introduced the Pack to the correct number, with a slight debate on this that ended with a 16-whatever!
The Herts markings were brief explained to Steve, after his introduction to the Pack. Then it was off through the passageway in to Salisbury Square. Mr X popped off to the Pub to inform the Bar Staff of how many were having Bangers & Mash after the Trail.
Back on Trail & Mr X was lagging begin as he followed the Dust up by the Spar shop & westward under the parking area next to the Job Centre, but the previous way out through the subway under the Great North Road was slightly hindered by the fact it has now been filled in! Though confusingly the 'Subway' sign is still by where the passage was. [Perhaps it’s a Harry Potty thing, like the Platform 9¾ ay Kings Cross? – Ed]
Mr X scaled the grassy bank up to the Great North Road near to the Great Northern Pub & down in the distance he could see Alfa Male being called back to the 'Grays roundabout' named after the former name of the garage that sits there.
Mr X came down to the bridge at the start of the B197 French Horn Lane, passing the CHK point at the Subway back in to Old Hatfield near the mini Paddy’s Wigwam before he went under the Mainline to Kings Cross to see that Ketchup, Sludge & Sloppy Seconds were on the opposite side, running below the row of homes that sit high up on embankment.
Ketchup was ahead at this point & had come to a traffic island beyond Beaconsfield Road where he was crossed over to the north side & then down the path to the dead end of Old French Horn Lane. The (new) French Horn lane being named after the late Mr Dennis Brain, there is a Brain Close off of this that the Hash passed by a little earlier.
On 1 September 1957, at the age of 36, Brain was killed driving home to London after performing the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Pathetique with the Philharmonia under Eugene Ormandy at the Edinburgh Festival. He had driven his Triumph TR2 sports car off the road & into a tree on the A1 road opposite the north gate of the De Havilland Aircraft factory at Hatfield. Brain was a noted enthusiast of fast cars & was known for keeping Autocar magazine on his stand as he played the Mozart concertos from memory during recording sessions
Ketchups good fortune would stop when he thought he had run out of Dust as he headed up Old French Horn Lane, so he turned around to head back down Cranbourne Road toward Endymion Road. This encouraged Steve & Alfa Male to head that way as well. Meanwhile Mr X was having other thoughts as his ‘local knowledge’ kicked in.
Sure enough, Mr X's hunch to go back up where Ketchup had been & look at the entrance to the small park area was correct. He took Sludge up with him as the Dust was found & it led on to a CHK just inside the Park.
This was kicked by Mr X in a direction down toward the swings & other pay equipment in order to get the real Keenies like Alfa Male to run the long U-shaped path around to the opposite entrance on St Albans Road East. Years ago a Mark I Tank used to sit in this park, it never saw service as it was a test vehicle that was put through its paces in the grounds of Hatfield Park.
On 26th January 1916 the first tank, known as ‘Mother’ was sent by train to Hatfield. [Was our Harriette & Lemmings Better Half name after her? – Ed]
It was unloaded in the middle of the night & driven across Hatfield Park to an especially dedicated trial area. Members of the 3rd (Mid Herts) Battalion Herts Volunteer Regiment & a company of Engineers created trenches & obstacles for the tank to negotiate.
The first official tank trial took place on 2nd February, those in attendance included Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, First Lord of the Admiralty, Arthur Balfour, Minister of Munitions Lloyd George & Prime Minister, Asquith. On the 8th February His Majesty King George V visited Hatfield for a demonstration of the tank. During his visit he rode inside & said that he thought “Such a weapon would be a great asset to the Army possessing a large number”.
Back to the Trail & the way up & over to a footpath that runs besides Number 56 & the Churchyard of St Luke's, but just as this option was about to be searched Ketchup found Dust on St Albans Road East in an eastwardly direction.
He was soon down School Lane as it splits off of St Albans Road East by the local Registry Office, opposite what was the former Court House & Police Station, now a Care-Home. The Hare obviously managed to get by the Care-home, but Ketchup seemed as if he had lost the Trail up ahead, this meant his misread body language led Mr X & Sludge to think he had lost Dust & encourage them to look down St Albans Road East, where they stumbled upon Dust behind a Diversion sign on the roundabout with Beaconsfield Road, opposite the parade of shops on the Northside of the road.
Fliptop, Sloppy Seconds & My Lil' joined them as they soon were out of sight of Max Factor, Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster & Colin, all of whom followed the correct route down to Endymion Road & on to a Held CHK by Beaconsfield Road.
Having been directed by an arrow over to the north side of St Albans Road East these wayward Keenies would be led up to a Bar CHK, so it was back to Cecil Crescent where the Trail was picked up.
The Trial led on down the northwest bound suburban road to the bend at the far end, where one local house was adorned with various England flags. These Keenies did drop their pace to a walk in order for the rest to see them down this road, but no one came in to sight, just the large red pillar-box was seen in the distance!
Out on to Ground Lane & there was really only one option & this was a short northwest trot to a CHK by the former Hatfield to St Albans Railway line. Fliptop was soon ‘On’ to the Trail down there, with Sludge & Mr X running on behind him & passing by to elderly gents out for an evening stroll.
The Route dipped down through the wooded strip until it turned & came out on to a green space at the edge of the Great North Road. Fliptop started to make his way back toward Sludge & Mr X, making out that it was a Falsie. Sludge was having none of it, nor was the RA as Fliptop conceded that it was in fact another Held CHK!
It was a long wait for both groups at both held CHKs, it was probably when those at the First Held CHK realized that Sludge was not there that those missing had by-passed this regroup. Of course it took a while for the lost ground tone made up, especially as the discovered Trail was not really marked!
Mark E Mark & Lobby Lobster took the shortest of Short Cuts from the First Held CHK & returned to the Horse & Groom. Meanwhile, Steve, Colin, Ketchup, Tent Packer, Max Factor & Alfa Male all made their way around to the second Held CHK. The sculpture of aircraft parts & railway bits (representing Hatfield’s heritage) that sits back on the green didn’t get much notice, for it looks a little tired & could do with a sprucing up like Tent Packer’s Car.
Those waiting at the second regroup had discussed going down the few yards for a drink in the Wrestlers, Mr X said it was wear Junior's Father had nailed a brass 'Jack 'Oldings' plaque to one of the upright beams in the bar, where it remains to this day. Another of Hatfield’s Iconic Landmarks that gave its name to a roundabout but is no more & Tesco sits in its place. Mr X mentioned that the old Jack ‘Oldings used to have a clock & Tesco had to have a clock on their new build to replace this.
The same was said about the former Box Factory Clock tower but alas that still has not appeared, a bit like the granite from the former Stonehouse Pub, which the People of Hatfield were told would be rebuilt after the Galleria was built on its site. [No doubt it was sold off to line someone’s pockets? – Ed]
The chance of an Adnams’ Ale was not taken up, nor a peek at Dick Monk’s plaque, as the others slowly caught up & once Max Factor was at the Held CHK it was time to search again. The Pack didn’t want her left behind as they were on the edge of Birchwood industrial area, which is known as locally as ‘Beirut’!
No one looked up the Great North Road as it dropped away, instead the major consensus was to cross the footbridge over the Railway line, it echoed in the open topped box-bridge to emerge out on to the other side of the Great North Road by the Red Lion Traffic light junction.
But no direct way back lay instore for the Pack, as the Dust took the Hash on a sharp turn at the end of the bridge & down an alley to Bulls Green there the Trail would make its way around the Ryde area of Hatfield to the Hertford Road. [No the Ryde area of Hatfield is not named after the London Harriette! – Ed] A short trot & then a crossing over to the eastern side where the Dust led on to the dead end of the Old Hertford Road.
A short way along this quieter back street by the wooded edge of the Salisbury Estate, the On Inn was found. A nice trot back as the Inn Trail turned on to Park Street leading all the way back up to the under the brick viaduct main entrance to Hatfield house then over on to Arm & Sword Lane to the Car Park. Many were surprised not to see the usual plethora of abandoned shopping trollies, normally encountered on a Trot around Hatfield!
With the majority of the Pack squeezed in to the end by the inglenook fireplace, perhaps they wanted to keep warm? There was not enough space for all, so the Black sheep of Mr X & My Lil' sat over the way, by the other fireplace. Talk of the weekly email & a slip of the finger [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] was a laugh as the correction resulted in the date being the 256th Of July!
Elderly bloke talking about the Welsh Ales on offer in the Bar, & a couple of Welsh Breweries to look out for if we go back to Llangihangel Glyn Myfyr, that's down the Ketchup to book for next year
TBT OBE collected the Subs & was not surprised that Sloppy Seconds was last to cough up & when he did he gave TBT OBE £1.60, even TBT OBE wasn't going to be fooled there. "Did I give him the wrong coins?" Came a feeble reply to TBTs challenge! The Hash enjoyed the very flavoursome bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy, then after this it was time to hold the Down-Downs with a very quiet Circle!
Worse was yet to come as TBT OBE had sorted out change for the fiver Sloppy was now presenting, then Sloppy suddenly blurted out that he now had the correct money & now wanted his Lady Godiva back, plus the change he was no longer due! It was like watching an old 'Grifter' at work. Best not to play cards with people like him!
The Hare was rewarded for his sterling effort to get a 40 minute Trail out of the local streets at such short notice!
Steve was awarded his Down-Down for completing his first Herts Hash! Then My Lil' & Mr X had their Down-Downs for their miscommunication that led to no Hare for tonight! Fliptop out for the missing Hashit, he bemoaned the fact he had got the Train down & the last Down-Down was a watered down one for drivers!