Date = 9th October 2016
Run Number = 1700
Venue = The Rising Sun
Location= Halls Green
Beer = McMullens
Hares = Fliptop & Sis
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 14
Membership = Retrospective runners!
Well, Old Father Time passes by & so things ended up at the very first Pub that Herts Hashed from way back in 1985, who would have thought that after 31 years that H4 would still be going strong & clocking up so many Trails, after being established by John Sandland of Muscat H3?
Mr X was surprised when Paxo & Ewok arrived, as Paxo stated "I've never Hashed from here before! Apparently Ewok hadn't been here either! But it’s understandable as Halls Green sits in that isolated pocket of middle Herts that is cut off from the major route through the county.
The weekly email asked Hashers to "Park Sensibly" as this remote Pub really survives on it’s Sunday Lunch Trade, of course like most things on the weekly email it went ignored, or worse still it antagonized some in to bringing out the widest & biggest car they could? As Sloppy pulled up in his Panza-Hogga Waggon!
A little bit of rearranging of cars, two to be precise was enough to appease the girl who came out of the Pub to reiterate the message about parking, they had 82 booked to sit down for dinner that afternoon! On arrival, both Sparky & Skip had other issues at hand to worry about, as they stood slightly out of sight by the bushes to scare the squirrels there!
It was gone eleven by the time the GM called the Circle to order, mainly due to the cyclists out on the lanes between Stevenage & Halls Green, a seemingly endless string if red, orange & black matching outfits peddle around the narrow winding lanes slowed the Hash jalopies down.
Ewok's diatribe had a few barbed comments aimed at the more senior of the Pack, about how the Hash started from this venue grow in to "An elite running club!" There were a few suitable comedic coughs of astonishment at that remark.
Anyhow, the Hare went through his usual trawler net full of red herrings, many of the circle struggled to keep interest, however they were awake enough for the bit about there being ‘no short cuts’, more importantly there was mention of an 'Ale & Cake' stop!
Then without further ado the Hare ushered the Pack out of the
north-eastern corner of the Pub car park to crunch their way over the shingle
drive to a white wooden gate behind a white Jaguar parked up there. This wasn’t
the only new white car, for Tent Packer had arrived in a new White
Mercedes, did the old silver one sink?
Sparky soon passed the RA once beyond the gate, where the path crossed the few slats of a small, low wooden footbridge over a dry stream bed. An old football that had become the victim of an overzealous pooch displayed ripped panels to the Hash passing over the ditch, beyond this were a couple of 'Harry Hill's' ‘deadly plastic garden chairs’, fortunately TBT OBE wasn't there to get tangled up in these monster of the garden. [Another T-Shirt Sale went begging! – Ed]
The path came out behind the small play area, enclosed by brambles on both sides & hidden from the road behind the Pub & the scattering of homes that make up Halls Green. A CHK was found by a gate for a footpath heading away through the lush green fields toward Luffenhall in the east almost following the line of Pylons, those pillars, Bare like nude, giant girls that have no secret.
Sparky was first up to the T, so it was back to the footpath back over the sports field, though Ewok & others were more interested in picking & eating a few sweet blackberries off of the brambles! In the background someone bemoaned the fact that their Hash shoes were now wet with the morning dues that still lingered on the shaded lush green grass.
The Hare had warned the Pack of low hanging brambles, eyes had to be watched & to push home this fact he mentioned Smartarses experience many Moons ago when he nearly lost an eye on the Hash due to something similar, attacking his face in the dark of night.
A few slight scratches could be understood, but then there were moans about the patch of nettles that lay ahead of the gate out of the play area, Skip & Psycho fared a bit better than most, by going further around to the area of dead skeletal like stems of cow parsley to follow on behind the rest down the alleyway & out on to the tight bend in the lane at the south-eastern end of Halls Green.
A very short trot on the narrow rustic lane & the Hash were led by Where's Wally, Tim & Sparky out over the harrowed farm land to the south. Ewok, Sloppy Seconds & Mr X followed on over the loam, as the Trail came up to a Tree-line, a CHK there saw Where’s Wally & Tim go wrong before the Trail was picked up once more, along the way changing direction a few degrees off of due south on a footpath running beside hawthorns & brambles to come out by the remote Howells Farm House.
Mr X went wrong here, heading westward as did Ewok & Sloppy Seconds in the directly opposite direction, Tent Packer then summed it up best when he said "For the first time in his life, Sparky is on the right Trail, as his small figure could be seen heading further away along the sou-sou-west edge of Howell’s Wood
At the corner of the wood Tent Packer set off up the wrong option to the east! The Trail now passed through a small gap in the corner of the field, the Hash now overlooked the sight of an autumnal panorama of Herts countryside at its best, a patchwork of different shades of green & russet browns in the vale below.
On the dip down the Hash were soon sheltered from the wind, things soon warmed up as the sun heated even the coldest of Hash bodies. By the time the FRBs had passed by the solitary metal detectorist, who Mr X at first wondered if it was Ketchup conducting one of his past-times, the one where he goes collecting old rusty mud encrusted bolts from arable land? It wasn't!
The Keenies reached a Held CHK on the wider farm track, here the wind was more noticeable as it blew in through the valley from the north, as Tim pointed out it wasn't that bad as the chemicals being sprayed by a tractor up on the north eastern ridge were being blown in the other direction.
Fortunately the Hare wasn't too long in reaching this point, he allowed the Keenies to get back under way before they all came down with the symptoms of a sore throat.
Mr X had an inkling that the Trail would be going in a Clockwise direction from this point on Church End Common, he headed off up to the northwest, Sparky on the other hand must of been under the mistaken belief it was anti-clockwise jaunt, but Sparky would go wrong, unlike Mr X & Where's Walley as they led the way On Trail out between edges of two abutting fields.
Things changed for these two from the CHK at the end of the dividing hedgerow, it appeared that there was a route through the green sprouts of a crop, but it turned out not to be so. Ewok & Sparky led Sloppy Seconds up the more established track to the southwest, while Tim, Where's Wally & Mr X went in the direction that was 180 degrees in the other direction, which would also prove to be fruitless.
A turn around to follow on behind Ewok & Co. Tent Packer passed by Mr X but his overtaking pace soon slowed to walking pace as the harrowed land rose up the ridge way, a CHK was found up on the track of Dove House Lane upon level of the top of the ridge, so Ewok chose the correct direction to the north-west to Dane End.
The Hash were now just above Walkern, hidden on the other side of the hillside, but the Pack would soon be running away from it as the Trail followed the Track running the length of the ridge, Mr X spotted Skip doing a bit of cropping as he Short Cut the corner of the field off!
The route turned slightly, leaving the cool breeze behind to come out through a corner of adjoining hedgerows & out to some stables, it was impressed upon Sparky not to blow his horn this near to the paddocks with horses corralled there. The FRBs suddenly seemed like sheep as they aimlessly wandered in to one paddock & failed to see any footpath signs after the one on the gate.
Sparky disappeared off to the left at the point a track intersects the one up to the stables. Meanwhile Mr X had been tipped off by the Hare that the Trail passed through a gap in the electric fence in one corner, once the two sprung cord like deterrents were uncoupled, the Pack could pass through to pick up the Trail again, Ewok stayed back to let the SCBs know the way, before running on & regaining the lost ground fairly quickly.
The Trail ran by the Newberry Green wood before heading further north-westward by Long Dell, here Sparky caught up after his earlier off Trail meanderings. In the distance a large verdant woodland could be seen, this was Warrens Green wood, just peeking out through this was the top of the Tower of Holly Trinity at Church End of Weston.
Once the Trail reached to track running from southwest to northeast, the CHK was ignored by some like Mr X as he saw a solitary car with one of its door open & he concluded that this could be the Ale & Cake stop? The Pack passed by a couple of dog walkers as the Trail did indeed head toward the car parked up at the southern end of Warrens Green Wood.
Ewok was reminded of this Ale & Cake point on the Hare's speech, but as she approached the Hash Halt she became preoccupied with finding a gap in the dense wooded edge of the Plantation, she exclaimed "That's not a wide enough gap!" & Mr X said it was fortunate Pebbledash wasn't there that day!
Sis & Mrs Mallet were ready at the Ale & Cake stop, there was a choice of cakes to go with the bottled Ales, delicious chocolate brownies (with a secret ingredient of mayonnaise!) & equally scrumptious Blueberry Muffins, all of which could be presented on the Great British Bake Off.
Sparky thought that he was being clever by saying “I better not mention them!” as he peered down with jealous eyes at the RA’s clean looking shoes that scrubbed up quite well after going through the Ford last on the previous week’s Trail, Mr X corrected Sparky on the fact the he has drunk out of these, & the identical Pair, thanks to Digger at the Herts Christmas weekend, if Sparky had attended that weekend then he would have known this!
The Pack waited for Psycho & then Skip to catch up, the latter being well behind as he’s currently suffering more aches & pains than a GP’s surgery, at least he could appreciate the Ales, Cake & the Bottle of Sloe Gin that had also appeared!
The Trail resumed & Mr X was convinced that the Trail would head off of the tight narrow bend in the tight single lane, he was over to the hardcore track that was signposted to Irongate Farm, but he was called back as the correct Trail was on the Church End footpath that starts beside it to head off through the hedgerow up to the northeast.
The Trail would emerge from the hedged in path at the lane in to Halls Green lane, here an arrow directed the Pack away from the tarmac & on to the northwesterly path over the end of the field to the hardcore track Mr X was on earlier!
Fliptop had earlier said to Mr X that he could have just cut across from the track to the footpath, but the RA explained that he couldn't if he was to later have someone out on a charge of Short Cutting or Cropping!
The Trail came up to the back of the farm buildings of Irongate Farm, turning on to the hardcore track as it passed through the farmyard, following the slight link in its route out to Halls Green & directly across to the On Inn.
Mr X had to leave early, in order to get back & catch a Train to the Rugby. So, Sloppy stood in as Curate but since he’s a Herts Hasher using emails is an alien concept & there is no account of the Hits!