Date = 31st October 2016
Run Number = 1703
Venue = The Three Magnets
Location= Letchworth Garden City
Beer = Adnams Old Ale; Green King IPA, Abbott; JHB Scarlet Macaw; & more….
Hares = No Eye Deer
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 17
Membership = Celebrating Día de los Muertos
Well for a dark Monday night it wasn’t a bad turn out, it was good to see the effort that some of the Pack had put into their outfits to partake in this Latin American celebration, a combination of Aztec Rituals originally practiced for over 3,000 Years that honour your ancestors, a summer event that was Combined by the Catholic Church with Allhallowtide, a three day festival which incorporated Halloween, which in turn has traditions originated from Celtic harvest festivals & pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, & that this festival was Christianized as Halloween, Hallows being Saints!
The Hash were impressed by the traditional Día de los
Muertos painted faces, with Paxo, Ewok & ARP being very artistic, others had
masks & wore skeleton outfits. Mr X’s Mexican Skeleton morph-suit version was a
little off-putting to Lobby Lobster, while My Lil’ was very low key wearing his
dirty habit Black Full Moon Hash Habit. Kylie reminded the RA of the kid
in the TV advert, as he too didn’t want to go out on Halloween as a werewolf &
so he wore a top to cover up!
Probably the weirdest thing was Porky Pie’s Shirt with its ghoulish character on it that had a bright, moving image of a large eye! Perhaps it wasn’t the scariest out there as Sludge arrived with….. well, just his normal beard & old Hash Shirt!
The Hare was introduced into the Circle, after Ewok had carried out her welcome speech. No Eye Deer said that the Trail would take in a more salubrious part of town, so it should be a pleasant Run then? The Pack were offered ‘Eye Ball’ sweets, or just for Milf ‘Candy Eye Balls’ & there was an underlying groaning of “Urgh!” Goat’s eyes probably taste better?
The Hash set off up Leys Avenue to the pedestrianized area where the brightly coloured fountains were gushing away, Mr X told Porky Pie that he would have put arrows on opposite side to make the Pack zing-zag between the narrow gaps between each small red watery plumes.
The Pack followed the arrows a short way down the Broadway, just far enough to get on to the zebra crossing & cross the south bound side of the Broadway & then the north end on the other side. The Trail now led around the front of the local Barclays Bank branch & the Pack now looked confused as they could see that the pavement was covered in chalk marks & scrawled letters that did not correspond to Hash ones! Mr X soon worked out that these slogans were from an Anti-Fracking protest, this was held during the day with the protesters dressed in Halloween costumes.
The Trail now continued down Station Way, which was lined on one side with terraced homes & on the other was the Train line from Kings Cross to Cambridge. ARP mentioned to Mr X that she had picked up on the fact that Mexico City was staging its first ever Día de los Muertos this year, all inspired by the last James Bond Film ‘Spectre’ that made up the scene for the film. Usually in Latin America it is celebrated in villages as a family event, some even have parties in cemeteries to honour their ancestors at a time when this world & the afterlife are closest.
The Keenies soon found a Bar CHK down the leafy tree-lined road & having turned back the Pack now embarked up in a sou-sou-west direction along Broadwater avenue, it wasn’t far to the next CHK where only Paxo & Mr X went off to search the passageway through to the back of the Morrison’s Car Park, but to no avail.
The Trail would lead on down the Dale, which was a little further along Broadwater Avenue, it was around this point in the Trail that the first of the fireworks could be seen & heard, in fact after its brief bright glittery multi-coloured splash against the dark night sky, one burnt out rocket fell near to ARP & Milf, when they mentioned this Mr X said that is what happens after they go up, & you don’t have to be Sir Isaac Newton to know that they fall back to earth.
It was also around this point that the first of the Trick or Treaters were encountered, Mr X said that Ewok, in her Kids Halloween outfit, could possibly get away with banging on doors & come away with a bigger haul of sweets than the rest of the Hash! The Hash soon realialised that the Trail would have lots of CHK Points, with one appearing on what seemed like the start of every other side road.
Porky Pie started to get ahead of Hashers, in order to stop & take action pics of the Fancy Dress Hash in motion, the first few shots didn’t come out too well as My Lil’ deliberately shone his torch in to the camera lens to annoy the hash Flash! [My Lil’ probably thinks that they still have film in new camera? – Ed]
The Pack were now being led around & around the Back Streets on a convoluted Trail that led came back to Station Way again, here Sludge & Mr X both searched under the bridge under the railway line, apart from the good acoustics from the brick bridge, for when Mr X hollered out “Checking!” when asked if they were “On Trail?” There was nothing to be found under that way!
“On!” was called down Spring Road, Tent Packer came back from further up Station Way, while Alfa Male, Porky Pie, Max Factor & Milf led the way, My Lil’, Paxo & Ewok followed on. Along the way the Pack got to see a few really well decorated residences' who were certainly in the Halloween spirit, though Porky Pie was slightly deluded as he said "Look, there's a Snowman!" as he pointed to an orange one that really had the shape & figure of a pumpkin! [A trip to Specsavers could be on the cards? (Other high-street options are available!) - Ed]
Mr X & Sludge caught up on this slightly east of due south on its long route back toward the Broadway, however the Pack wouldn’t go that far as the Trail passed by the local Spring Road Stores & then northward around more dark streets to work their way on to Hillbrow where near to the elbow in the road is a footbridge over the Railway line.
The cage like structure over this walkway gave this part of the Trail an authentic spooky feel, ARP & Max Factor made a lot of ‘Girlie giggles’ as they crossed this bit to come out on to the north sideof the tracks to the area known as ‘Tin Town’ an area of bungalows which are not temporary buildings.
The quaint timber framed Hawksley BL8D models have aluminium external walls, plasterboard internal walls, lined with fibreglass insulation, unlike prefabs they are classified as permanent buildings. Differing from the many thousands of prefabs built post-war, only 3,000 Hawksley bungalows were constructed in 1949/50 to accommodate key workers taking up management & skilled personnel positions in local industries such as K & L, Shelvoke & Drewry, Sigma, etc. Some of the original tenants still live on the estate.
These days the bungalows have taken on a new role. Over a third have been adapted to accommodate the individual needs of people with a variety of disabilities, in many cases enabling families to stay together. There are no other properties in Letchworth or the surrounding area that can offer the facilities the bungalows do.
Milf & Mr X had a conversation about other prefabs that are now being dismantled, & how the people who were moved in to them actually loved them, notably as they had inside bathrooms & heating that their old terraced homes wouldn’t have had in the slums they were moved out of.
The Trail weaved its way along northward through the serpentine lay out of Campfield Way, this would lead out on to the Icknield Way & then on over to Bursland, this was the start of a long northeastward trot then a southeastward to come back down Archers Way, which leads back down to the Icknield Way. As the route rose, Paxo stated that he thought Letchworth was mainly flat, but Mr X reminded him that a little further to the west were the Willbury Hills.
It was now awhile since the Keenies had seen Lobby Lobster, Mark E Mark & our illustrious GM, Mr X told Milf that Ewok was probably laden down with sweets by this far into the Trail. Another CHK was found at the end of Bursland as it joins Bedford Road. As ARP headed off there was more than a spring in her step, for she merrily skipped away up the road.
The Pack got a lot of attention from the few families out 'Trick or Treating' - when he was encouraged to run by a group of civilians out ‘Trick or Treating’ Mr X replied with “Ola! Buenas noches! There were also plenty of “¡Ay, carambas!” from Mr X as every so often the RA’s sombrero would fly off his head while he was running, his pace was now being curtailed at times as the lanyard it was on was almost choking him. He also had an issue with low branches lurking along the dark Garden City streets, these wooden fingers seemed to reach out to flip the wide brim up!
The Trail reached the junction with Redhoods Way where the markings of Long Trail & Short Cut were found. No Eye Deer went around the upcoming loop, concerned not to lose any more on the Trail, though Ewok, Lobby Lobster & Mar k E Mark were not lost but just walking. There were plenty of Hash Markings so no one should be 'Off Trail' especially Sludge!
No Eye Deer requested that those like Paxo waiting for the back-markers should make sure Whatever She Says takes the Short Cut, this surprised some as very early on in the Trail No Eye Deer had to ask him which way the Trail went, more surprising was the fact that Whatever She Says knew where it did go, even though he claimed to have nothing to do with setting the Trail!
Paxo waited for Ewok at this junction, while Mr X, My Lil' & Whatever She Says led the first of the SCBs over the junction, even Alfa Male & Max Factor took the Short Cut as it led down to pass opposite the impressive Spirella Company Building, as Mr X pointed out - it was famous for the manufacturing of Ladies Corsets as well as parachutes during the Second World War.
By the time the SCBs reached the railway bridge back to the south side of the tracks, they saw Porky Pie & his eye t-shirt coming up Cowslip Hill from a loop around. The Pack simply had to cross the railway bridge & then make their way back down by the fountains outside of the Colonnade Pub, the majority of the Hash were around the Trail within the hour on what was a good Trail that had the Pack running on top of themselves several times out in the dark.
Some of those who had stowed their change of clothes in Whatever She Says car stood by the wrong vehicle, as the lights flashed on one further down Leys Avenue when Mark E Mark pressed the button on the key fob he had been given by Whatever She Says.
The choice of getting changed outside or back in the Pub was soon curtailed by the local NEDs on the bikes, as they kept pestering those gathered by the car. No one was up to Chase the NEDs, as the delinquents had requested, instead they were left behind as the Hash went in to the Three Magnets.
After a little confusion, a long series of tables were set out by the staff for the Hash to enjoy a "Mexican Monday meal", Ketchup arrived in time for food after cancelled trains had made him miss the start of the Hash, he, like Sludge was only dressed in a horrid old green Herts sweatshirt.
The food service was pretty quick, so the RA chose to hand out halves off the Down-Downs, after what was a rapid & quiet toasting of the Hash at the dinner table by the GM.
Porky Pie was awarded his for seeing the Orange Snow Man! Mark E Mark was out for leaving his 'Lost Property' in Pebbledash's car the previous week, he did protest too much about only keeping his jacket safe in storage there!
Ewok was called to stand up for her Down-Down, after a Halloween sticker on the Sacred Book for this run page was deemed to resemble her Skeleton outfit! Ketchup for his late arrival! Ketchup, when he wasn’t putting candy eyeballs in over his real peepers, would later state that his body-clock has trouble with the change of the clocks & gaining an hour over the weekend.
Finally Sludge got his for having the scariest outfit while not making an effort to dress up!
When it came to go home by train, My Lil' & Mr X found that their connecting Train was delayed, their hopes of not getting seen still at the platform by Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster & Ketchup weren't dashed, could you imagine the ridicule they would have received after these two took the rise from seeing the other three at Gordon Hill the week before waiting for a train! At least they got to see the ‘Flying Banana’ whizz by them on Platform 1, so they knew that the tracks were checked – if only a Train arrived on them to take them home!
The train finally arrived to take them to Hitchin, but by this time they had missed the connection to Welwyn Garden City, they were now looking at over an hours wait to get the last train back! After a polite complaint, more of an enquiry whether that train was guaranteed to run? The kind staff ordered them a taxi to take these two home to WGC!