Date = 17th September 2016
Run Number = 1696
Venues = The Peartree; The Doctors Tonic, The Two Willows, The Parkway Bar, The Garden City Brewery, The Three Magnets, The Platform; The Broadway Cinema; Thai Garden; The Arena Tavern, La Concha & The Gardener’s Arms
Location= Newton Haven (Welwyn Garden City & Letchworth Garden City)
Beer = Abbott;
Hares = Mr X & My Lil’
Runners = 6, then 9, then 11, then 13 but only 6 finished
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Aliens = 2
Total = 13
Membership = Surviving the World’s End!
Having established Letchworth Garden City & Welwyn Garden City as the fictitious ‘Newton Haven’, the first four stops on the ‘Mile’ can all be found in Welwyn Garden City, 2 miles to the south.
The magnificent seven met up at WGC station, Mr X had already been joined up with Tops & Windsock, who were staying at the Broadway Hotel in Letchworth & had taken the Train down from the first Garden City to the Second Garden City. My Lil' arrived, then TC, both of whom hung around the Station Concourse with Mr X until Action Man & Weeny Schnitzel’s arrival.
The time approached 10:45 & so it was down the escalator to pick up the pre-ordered cabs, all the 8’s firm were there spot on time, with their 'Anywhere in 'Welwyn Garden City' for £3.50
The two cabs took different routes, with one heading away down Parkway, this was were at the start of the Pub Crawl the Lads play ‘Knockdown Ginger’ & knock at one of the residential homes doors!
All of the pub names, invented for the film, are cryptic pointers to the plot, so it’s natural that the evening starts out at ‘The First Post’. This turns out to be The Peartree, Hollybush Lane at Woodhall Lane, southeast of Welwyn Garden City. And that really was the pub’s interior, gamely allowing itself to be dissed as bland. It has since been refurbished!
The small Pack were dropped off at the First Post (The Pear Tree) a few minute before opening time, no one cared if it’s not the best sight to be all be seen congregating outside the entrance. The barmaid opened the doors dead on the hour & the Hash were first in, then looking at the two available Handpumps the choice was easy between Abbott or IPA? The Abbott won hands down!
A great start, it was a nice pint as well, as it should in a Cask Marque Pub, but to keep in with the theme of the film Action Man had to have a pint of water, as did Nick Frost’s Character, with the obvious except that unlike the in the film Action Man also had a pint hidden in reserve!
The Hash had the feeling that they may have been in the space that one of the locals parks his mobility scooter in the Bar, but he didn't want the rest of the space when it was offered to given up. The barmaid was good enough to take photos of the starting point, what would the last one of the day look like in comparison?
The absent Smartarse then called Mr X to tell him Thunderthighs was in Welwyn Garden City trying to call him, he hadn’t received a call from her & he ended up calling Thunderthighs on the number Mr A had text through. Still being at WGC station, she was advised to go to Pub Two, far easier than her faffing about in getting a cab out to meet the others.
A picture was taken outside, as in true FUK Full Moon Tradition (Tradition) Mr X had chalked a Full Moon CHK with the number 1 inside! The two cabs were there right on time to take the Pack on back to the centre of Welwyn Garden City.
Mr X informed his cab cohorts that on the way they passed over the 'Twenty Mile Bridge' as is known to the locals, as it just happens to be exactly 20 Miles from Kings Cross on the Eastcoast line.
He also added that David Bowie once played the Community Hall just down the road from the Peartree at the Woodhall Community Centre, he also added that Led Zeppelin once played in the (now defunct) Cherry Tree in Welwyn Garden City [Sadly it is now a Waitrose Store & no longer the Biker's Bar it became- Ed]
Mr X chalked this as Number 2 in a Full Moon CHK. The Old Familiar (The Doctors Tonic)
The gag is that it’s the same interior used for the second pub, ‘The Old Familiar’, the exterior of which is The Doctors Tonic, This is where Oliver’s sister, and Steve’s secret crush, Sam (Rosamund Pike) turns up.
Inside the 'Old Familiar' Hash found Thunderthighs & not Rosamund Pike, then not long after settling Down Testiculator, Ging-Gang-Goolie & their Sprog arrived, where at the table cold curry was the baby-food snack of the day for the growing babe. [Bet he eats that in his later Hashing life too? – Ed]
Mr X showed Weeny pictures on one wall of the famous musicians who hail from Welwyn Garden area, including Kim Wilde, Mick Taylor, Alysha Dixon, the Subways to name a few.
On the way again, this time by foot & Outside the Doctors Tonic is a beer barrel with a Dog's Ale sign, a group photo saw Mr X had his picture taken as If he was drinking out of it.
The next Pub, was a two minute walk to arrive at The Famous Cock is the haunt of Mad Basil (David Bradley), retailer of dark conspiracy theories, was a short way across to Howardsgate, on the way there the low hedge that is tripped over in the film could be seen, it is also where one of the Giant Robot stands.
Mr X said he knows lots of people who have gone over this little bit of shrubbery late at night over the years, just about all of his local Drinking buddies over the years!
The Pub was known as The Cork when Filming took place, a former bank at 9 Howardsgate.
It was going to be called the Ebenezer Howard, after the Garden City's Founding Father, but he was a tee-total Quaker!
Instead it was renamed the Two Willows, still known to the most locals as the Cork, but since the renaming it has recently been given the catchy nick-name the Two Willies! [No one thought that through! – Ed]
It was time for a refreshing Blue Moon, Canadian Belgium Style Craft Beer, complete with Slice of Orange!
It was in here that Mr X pointed out two things, firstly the ‘Famous Cock’ mirror left behind from the filming of the World’s End. Secondly was one of the original designs for a Garden City, a modern utopia with its area for shops, separate industrial area, allotments all divided by spokes of canals in a wheel surrounded by a municipal railway, with a section for the specific housing of inebriates'(Strangely it where Junior's & Mr X’s homes are if this was laid over the modern map of WGC!) as well as an asylum area!
The First Down-Down of the Trail was awarded to Mr X for being the Hare, it seemed a bit early for that & he was determined to see it through to the end, as he did a month earlier on the practice wet Run.
Since the younger Gary had been barred for life, the stay at the ‘Cock’ isn’t too long.
It was soon time to move a few yards around to The Cross Hands (The Parkway Bar) better known after its original name of the Fountain after the Coronation Fountain across the road from it. Though it has not been named that for years again the locals don’t really like to change the name of their Bars, the Parkway Bar was the first Bar without Real Ale!
The choice of drinks was now narrowed down to bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale, My Lil' & Mr X's request for half pint glasses surprised the barmaid, but that's they way it should be traditionally drunk in the Northeast of England!
Although the Parkway’s real bar is used, you won’t be surprised to hear that the gents’ toilet, in which the evening starts to go disturbingly awry, was recreated in the studio due to the Pub's real one being very small. If you notice on the picure you can see the 'NOTICE OF FILMING POSTER' on the 'Cross Hands'
The Hash occupied the small raised area, here TC, My Lil' & Mr X recounted the times that used to crash in this very spot, with tents & rucksacks piled up in the corner on their return from after many away-weekends.
These Tales that may be best kept to word of mouth, to be retold on dark & bitter winter evenings to scare the life out of the audience, in a manner of Valentine Dyalll or John Lawrie!
Action Man had obviously given up with keeping to the film plot, for it is here, after the incident in the Toilet, that Nick Frost’s Character gives up his years of being on the wagon & necks all five of the shots on the tray, he stuck to just having a pint!
Time to move on again, & the Pack were well ahead of schedule as they reached the station, then at the top of the escalators it all went a bit ‘Pete Tong’ on spying the monitors that beamed out the message that there were again Train cancellations on the poorest rail service in the country, probably the world?
Lack of drivers is now sadly a regular occurrence on the Govia run line, perhaps they should create some Blanks to do the Job? Though Mr X has actually manage to wrestle some compensation back from the Train Operator, but not after calling them up no less than 4 times!
Contingency plans were drawn up & the Pack moved on to Hitchin on the first Train that had a driver available, a wee snifter there, after the Pack were entertained by Windsock & Mr X inflating two large blue aliens, [Why was Windsock's Alien far less wrinkly than Mr X’s one? – Ed] as by the last Pub, the Crossed Hands in the Film the Pub-crawlers first incident involving the aliens!
To occupy the Hash for the 20 minute, wait a deep blue Alien Blood concoction of a Cock-up Cocktail was supposed to be a surprise for stop 9, but it was handed out to while away the wait for a Cambridge Train to roll in.
Blue Curaçao, Smirnoff
& Blue WKD wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but ‘beggars can’t be
choosers’ & to
mask the taste, sorry compliment the cocktail & keep with the ‘alien theme’
- packets of the famous Space Raiders & the Sherbet Rice paper UFO sweets were
Arriving at Letchworth Garden City & a bit of poetic license was required as the ‘The Good Companions’, is a shop at Leys Avenue - that at the time of filming was empty, so a pubby set dressing was added to its frontage.
So, The Garden City Brewery was the obvious choice to replace the Fake Pub! The Trail went down Station road & on through a passageway to the Garden City Brewery, which wasn't in existence when the film was shot, it only opened early in 2016.
It was here that Paxo & Ewok joined the gang, it wasn’t long before a blue alien was lined up beside her to see which was the tallest. Ewok beat the Aliens, tough they weren’t on tip-toes!
Ewok soon forgot the ‘hight-ist issue’ as she was suddenly transported to heaven as she looked at the chalk-board with what appeared to be over 30 Ciders on it, seems it coincided that there was a Cider-Fest on at the same time as the Crawl!
There were also guest Ales available, as well as the excellent GROG, 1903 etc. Brewed by the Garden City Brewery.
The interior of the Good Companions was Wenlock Arms, Islington (Which we have done on a Full Moon & with LH3 SNoRrTed/SoRTed a couple of times now)
In the Film Gary’s reasoning that to continue with Golden Mile is the best way not to attract attention, the five head off down ‘Newton Haven’s’ high street, becoming uncomfortably aware of the locals’ odd attitude.
Outside of the Garden City Brewery was busy as well, with the local Letchworth Morris Men dancing around to entertain the good folk of Letchworth with their fertility dances, some were surprised that Paxo didn't get his hankies out & join in! [I always thought that a few good Ales seem to help with the population growth? – Ed]
It was great welcome & the staff were happy to see the Hash, the Girls behind the Bar certainly know about their Ales. By now the two inflatable Aliens were getting some attention, one Alien was soon sporting Swiss Toni's EWSH3 Hi-vis waistcoat!
Time for a quick bit of non-liquid sustenance, the hot Sausage rolls & Pies that came to the rescue were very good in the Brewery, Herts would be back there the following weekend to enjoy the hospitality again. In fact the Ales was so good in the Brewery & the schedule was no longer too far behind the advertised times, that an extra Pint was enjoyed!
The Trail moved on the short walk all of 30 seconds from the Brewery to a few yards beyond the Morris Men, having avoiding being tangled up in the ‘fertility dances’ as Herts Hash have a bit of history of partaking with Morris Sides – with much hilarity, to enter the rear of the The Trusty Servant (Three Magnets), [Calm down Pebbledash! – Ed]
The Herts Hashers believed the Three Magnets was the First ''Spoons' Pubs to get a Good Beer Guide mention? Anyhow, there was good selection of Ales on offer here & perhaps this was the reason that by now the other androgynous alien had become Swiss Toni Alien’s Sister, again she was given a cider by Ewok!
The Trail moved over
the pedestrianized area, another scene in the film
where the Giant Alien Robots are seen, this took all of 40 seconds with just a
picture shot of
childish Hash puerile fun was taken.
The Pack entered the The Two Headed Dog, [Whooa there Pebbledash! – Ed] (The Platform) the previous incarnations of this establishment were The Hogs Head, then the Colonnade.
A decent selection of Ales were on offer here, the Bar had a bit of a spoty feeling as there were various sports being shown on the many TV’s dotted around the bar, but even the keenest fans on this crawl were keeping their minds on the ‘Job in hand’, with TC forging his Footie & Mr X his Rugby.
Mr X told of how watching the Trailers for the Film before its release, while in one of the local Pubs, that it was really strange how the Interiors of the Pubs actually looked better on the TV Trailer than it did real life as they watched them on TVs in the very Pub being shown.
The Two Headed Dog’, is where the initially sceptical Sam encounters creepy twins in the beer garden.
The Hash were back on schedule, seems Mr X wet run a few weeks earlier had paid off as it was time to move on. Supping up in the Platform, the Trail was marked up through the small shopping precinct to the The Mermaid (The Broadway Cinema)
The Pack would now see Testiculator, Ging-Gang-Goolie & Sprog set off home from this point.
With its ‘School Disco’ theme is the Broadway Cinema, Eastcheap. Opened in 1936, it’s still very much an independent cinema, so this time the interior was filmed at Chalfont Campus, a former college in Newlands Park, just outside Chalfont St. Giles, in Buckinghamshire.
A limited choice here, the best was a bottle of Becks in Art-Deco heritage cinema’s foyer, which made a change from the Ale, the upstairs Bar was being renovated at the time, again the Pack were welcomed in by the staff, aliens as well.
There was a special UK Premier in 2013 of the World’s End Film took at this Cinema, with the stars turning out in humble Letchworth!
As the World's End film was only shown the weekend before on Film Four, Windsock, Mr X & Weeny had to mention infamous ‘Marmalade Sandwich’ Involving two blondes either side of the redhead girl.
The nearest the Hash could have got to a recreating the ‘Marmalade Sandwich’ was to have Ewok between Windsock & Tops! [Whoa, hold that thought, that’s enough of that! – Ed]
Mr X said that you could have requested films shown at the Broadway, depending on a few criteria like numbers etc. [Debbie Does Dallas isn’t one of them! - Ed]
The Becks didn’t last long, though a refreshing enough, it looked like it had taken its toll on Swiss Toni Alien & his Sister!
Soon it was time to stagger about 20 paces, yes a mere few footsteps away to go around the corner to the only the second Pub you can't drink in on the Trail
The Beehive (The Thai Garden) is still a closed restaurant, originally the Black Squirrel Pub! Until the 1980’s, & originally being a Quaker town, the only place you could drink in the centre of Letchworth Garden City was at the Broadway Hotel, this 1960 Charrington’s hotel had a clause put in that only they could sell alcohol in Letchworth for 20 Years or so! Excluding the village Pubs of Norton & Willian.
Once that clause expired the first purpose built Pub was established & the locals were asked to nominate a suitable name for it, the Gentle Folk of Letchworth must have been overcome with being able to imbibe in a hostelry, for they named it after the notorious local Tree-Rats, the Black Squirrels!
The former Black Squirrel was turned in to a Mexican & then the Thai Garden Bar & Restaurant but this has been closed for years, even during the filming it wasn't open to the public. so
Hidden from view of the General Public, a circle was called in the sunken front patio garden, the trusty old fire extinguisher Cocktail re-emerged for another wee blue cocktail, more Space Raiders & UFOs. The reaction to the Cocktail’s flavour was still as powerful as the first time it was offered.
Of the Pack present that day, only Mr X & Testiculator had been in the Black Squirrelwhen it was open, the others hadn't missed much!
It’s here that their old school teacher, Mr Shepherd (Pierce Brosnan) coolly explains the situation in the most reasonable terms. The remaining ‘musketeers’ don’t find the explanation quite so unproblematic, and the spectacular ruckus that follows was filmed back in the studio.
Incidentally, the ‘Halloween Disco’ on the board was Sat 2nd November was way back in 2013, showing how long this Pub had been shut!
Fleeing ‘The Beehive’, they retire to lie low for a while in their old ‘smoke house’, the club house of the Howard Garden Social Centre Bowling Green, Norton Way South at the foot of Gernon Road. This is where the film briefly references John Carpenter’s The Thing, as each character in turn is obliged to establish authentic humanity.
Instead of heading to the Smokehouse, not a million miles away but with no drink related part of the plot, it was deemed too far to roam this night, some took an opportunity to get some chips from the local take-away to soak up some of the Booze & try to sustain them to the end [Surely the World’s End? – Ed]
There was a time for some to grab some chips for the local Fish Bar in this area, at the Parade of shops for those who needed more sustenance.
The Crawl resumed back by the Mermaid (Broadway Cinema) then across the car park & the Pack were now at the Kings Head (The Arena Tavern), a place the Herts Hash first Ran from when it opened 21 years ago, at least two of Herts Hashers present that day were there on that Trail!
The escape route now fortuitously leads them through pub number ten, the deserted ‘King’s Head’, where the indefatigable Gary maintains the ‘drink in every pub’ objective by serving himself a pint. Both inside and out, this is the Arena Tavern. The Picture of the King has the face of Simon Pegg
Another nice selection of Real Ales in the Arena Tavern had most back on track, the friendly Staff are proud of the Pub's part in the film, with posters & memorabilia on the walls.
Once they realized the Hash were only three stops away from the World's End, the Barmaid gave out complete sets of the Film's promotional Beer Mats to these hardy Pub Crawlers, which pleased Mr X up no end as he's a Tedgestologist at heart!
Ewok decided that here it was time to mess My Lil’ around, much to his annoyance, but no one else’s [It's finger, & not tongue in my ear the F.U.K. Full Moon Hash sing! - Ed]
The locals playing darts were also happy to supply Mr X with chalk from the dartboard scoreboard they were using, for he couldn't find his larger Chalk to continue marking the Pubs, & there were only two more to go!
But by now those with cameras forgot to take a picture of the Hash out side the Pub Stop. [We'll have to go back & do it again properly? - Ed]
The short walk down the Broadway was memorable for the scene in the film when all of the local Chased by glowy-eyed ‘blanks’, Gary legs it north up Broadway to pub number eleven, perhaps the most surprising location of all.
Only a two minute stagger down the Broadway, a major feature in the film, that has the Broadway Hotel on it, one of the rooms was used in the film when the Heroes escape through one of the windows. This was also Windsock & Tops' over night residence!
The Hash arrived at the Hole in the Wall (La Concha Bar) is the Tapas & Wine Bar on the side of the Station, here another friendly welcome was encountered, the favoured drink was the Brewdog's Dead Pony! Again the staff were friendly for those whose minds were starting to get as blurry as their eyesight!
‘The Hole In The Wall’ is Letchworth Garden City Railway Station, Station Road. A false wall was built across the station entrance and, if you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand why the pub interior was built at Elstree Studios.
Last seen heading up to the La Concha's loos, TC would go AWOL after this point, [Did he get locked in t he lavatory? - Ed] just one Pub short of ticking the whole list, yes the Pack had maps of Newton Haven to tick of the Pubs like in the film! Ah well TC, there's always next year? [TC will not be mentioned in dispatches then!? – Ed]
A Taxi from the Rank outside of the station was in order & like an Agatha Christie title the Pack had been whittled down in numbers, only six, Mr X, My Lil', Action Man, Weeny Schnitzel, Windsock & Tops from the first Pub made it all the way to the very outskirts of Letchworth Garden City to the World's End (The Gardeners Arms), since Ewok & Paxo had now vanished as well as TC!
The survivors triumphantly make it to their ultimate destination, ‘The World’s End’, which is The Gardener’s Arms, Wilbury Hills Road at Icknield Way. Unlike the other Letchworth locations, which are fairly close together in the town centre, the Gardener’s Arms is about a mile west of the town
Having been poured out of the cab, the elite few received another friendly welcome from the staff, this seemed to be the quietest of all the Bars visited, almost as eerily deserted as the Film Pub, but as Mr X pointed out it does normally a good trade in carvery lunches.
Being quiet in the Gardener's at this time of the night, one Barmaid was kind enough taking the final evidential photos of the epic journey.
While Swiss Toni Alien was taken back by Mr X, the same could not be said of his Swiss Toni Alien's sister, who was left propped up outside the Broadway Hotel like some blue floozy plying her trade. [Surely not in Genteel Letchworth? – Ed] She had a few photos taken of her & was no longer there by the break of dawn!
All in all, an excellent day, that not even Govia could spoil by messing with their train-set! Thanks Weeny Schnitzel for the idea! Though if you watch the Film there is one last Pub, not on the 'World's End' on the Infamous Pub Crawl Map, but the Rising Sun is the last one where Gary Order's Water, perhaps we'll have an extra Bar Next time around?