Date = 6th November 2016
Run Number = 1704
Venue = The
Mermaid Waterend Barn
Location= St Albans
Beer = Pale Rider; Autumn Red
Hares = My Lil’
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 17
Membership = Displaced by the Might Saints Fans!!!
This week saw Morning Glory turnout for his first Herts Hash, coming from the US via Oslo. He was given a lift by Sparky & the two were spotted parked up in the 'Private car park' for the flats on the west side of the Pub. When Sparky sounded his car horn to attract the attention of Mr X, he also alerted one of the residents of the flats, she now peered out of her window at the interlopers in her parking slot! [Call the Wheel-clampers! – Ed]
Sparky moved his car to the safety of the Pub's car park to the rear of the Mermaid. As the Pack gathered to get ready for the off, a few civilians in football attire were espied entering the establishment, no one realised that St Albans were playing Carlise in the FA Cup (First Round Proper!), this would have a few ramifications later on.
This week saw 2-1-2 Maureen arrive all resplendent in her new Herts Jacket, then the Pack were stunned to see Ketchup arrive, surprisingly he was out of the comfort of his hibernation, he also had Prince Garmin with him. Ketchup said that he was up early as he was responsible for picking up the remains of the fireworks on the green that were left off up at Hertford Heath on the Saturday night. There would plenty more empty cardboard casings of spent fireworks dotted around the Trail, all sent skyward in celebration of the attempted failed blowing up of King James I (VI of Scotland) & Parliament in 1605.
Once the Pack had made their way from wherever their vehicles were scattered around the local area, the Circle was called outside of the Mermaid. Paxo would get the Run Number correct, but he panicked a bit since he had just called the absent GM to ask her what the Run Number was & she wouldn’t tell him!
The GM’s absence made the RA wonder that as she was missing out on the Cider & Perry Pub, that the rest of the Hash would have to suffer the same fate that day & miss out on these as well?
The Hare was called in to the circle, accompanied by the kind of booing usually reserved for Pantomime Villains! My Lil’ gave a brief demo of Herts Trail Markings for Morning Glory's benefit, he also added that there were short cuts but this hint was hidden among a lot of 'Red Herrings' about Golf Balls, low flying aircraft & Helicopters! Most of the Hare’s spiel went over Sloppy Seconds' head, for he was still reeling over the shock over having to pay on whole £1 to park up around in Upper Marlborough Street! Plus Carol had come along & was going shopping! [Yes Folks, she does really exist! – Ed]
The Pack were ushered away down Hatfield Road by the Hare, the start of the Trail was in the shaded side of the street on this cold bright fresh morning. Not far in to the Run & the first CHK was found at the junction with Upper Lattimore Road, Mr X said that the Hare may have well just placed the CHK outside of the Pub! A thing he knows annoys this Hare.
Stephen was soon on to the Trail on the southbound Upper Lattimore Road, having passed by 2-1-2 Maureen's car, Mr X hung back a bit to let Stephen & Sparky lead a couple of other FRBs run on to the Bar CHK at the end of the road. Instead Mr X took to the east bound dead-end Marlborough Gate road at the back of the Loreto College grounds.
Mr X knew that at the leaf-littered dead-end there was an alleyway, this led southward to emerge out on to Victoria Street, the Pack had to pass by fly-tipped rubbish on this alleyway, which included a large old cathode-ray tube TV before coming out on to one of the main arteries of St Albans.
Arrows pointed the way to the east & then over the traffic light junction by the Horn Reborn. Which is still known by its old name of the Horn of Plenty. Over the junction from Trinity Reform Church to head up by the shorter parade of shops before the road bridge over the main line from St Pancras, once on the eastside of the tracks arrows were found that pointed the way down the flight of steps down to St Albans City Station.
In the cold shade of the ascending stairs on the north side of the bridge, Mr X said that he thought that the Trail would be on the southern & warmer sunny side of the bridge. Milf came back with "Follow the Trail, not people!" One of Thanks for the Mammories favourite sayings.
Sure enough, the Trail would head out under the bridge & then up to Victoria Street at the east side of the bridge & there the Hare was found marking the way for the SCBs to follow on behind the Keenies as the Trail led southward along Charrington Place. At least the Pack were now out in the sun as the as the Trail passed behind Victoria Square, the old red brick frontage once being a part of the old St Albans Prison, as Mr X always points out was used in The TV series Porridge! Kylie on the other hand preferred to gaze over the railway to the west see the distinctive Rhubarb & Custard colours (Maroon & Cream) of the restored & preserved St Albans Signal Box.
Just to prove it was a bit warmer, Mr X pointed to the hardy
palms in the flower beds & declared "It’s almost tropical!? as the Pack made
their way down between the
flats sorry the apartments either side of the
footpath of Charrington Place, the FRBs were led astray on a Falsie to one side
of the main wide route between the apartments, which allowed Mr X, Kylie & the
Hare to get ahead of them, until The Trail would descend the zig-zag ramp down
the embankment of the old Hatfield to St Albans Railway line.
At the start of the ramps decent, Sparky dashed through the shrubs to cut a few feet off of the Trail, as the RA bemoaned this, Sludge did the same but just a bit further down the ramp! Milf made comments to the RA about this, but it happened right in front of him so it didn’t go amiss. Sloppy Seconds stopped to check an abandoned coffee cup to see if it still had a free refill sticker on it, sadly for him it wasn’t his day as it didn’t so he was still going to be a pound down on the day!
A CHK was found on the tarmac path of the Albans Way, Mr X, Sloppy Seconds all went wrong as they headed southwestward in the direction the old line used to head down to St Albans Abbey Station, Mr X soon found the T. Perhaps he should have stuck to his guns when he said "It's a bit too early for that!" when he found the Trail not far from the CHK.
Those who headed northeastward fared better, by the time Mr X & Sloppy Seconds made it back they found Milf was concerned what was happening up on the top of the embankment where there was a rustling in the bushes & shrubs on top of the eastern side. High above the rest Kylie had found himself a bit isolated, as he was 'scaring the squirrels' behind the homes which back on to the embankment’s top.
Kylie was encouraged to continue up along the top, as the way to descend the slope was pretty steep, but he soon found the holly & brambles we're getting too much, "Ooh! It’s getting a bit prickly!" Kylie exclaimed while the rest laughed. To compound Kylie’s plight, Sloppy thought that it would be a good idea if he lobbed small windfall apples up at Kylie.
Ketchup & Prince Garmin were going the right way, every so often Ketchup had to slow up & break his stride as the Trail led on to the next CHK by what was once a level crossing over the tracks at the ‘Salvation Army Halt’ on the line, yes this was once the place where the 'War Cry' was printed nearby & loaded up at this stop to be distributed around the Country.
There were four options from here, Milf & Alfa Male continued along the line, while Tent Packer went off to the northeast on the ramp down to Camp Road, others went up the alleyway to the northwest & it was all to no avail.
It was Mr X who started off down through the estate flats on Dell Field, Sparky was soon by Mr X & calling on. Tent Packer, Stephen, Max Factor, Milf & Alfa Male were also following on behind Sparky as he led them in to a Bar CHK to the southwest.
Having turned about they could now see the Hare heading in the opposite direction, he had changed the arrows & now the Trail led up to a set of steps leading up beside a house that is being extended & shut off behind a lot of hoardings.
After the steep rise up the concrete steps the path emerged out in to the northern corner of the playing field of Cunningham Park, it was here that Sloppy Seconds moaned to the RA about the Hare had let the ‘sick & injured’ go on the earlier False Trail! Sloppy Seconds then went on to ask Kylie if he could change the dressing in his forearm, sadly Kylie had no first aid kit with him!
Sloppy from telling the tale of how he spilt hot fat from a tray of roast carrots down his forearm! "Did you swear?" asked Kylie. It seems that even having been on a couple of long falsie, the Pack was now getting stretched out a bit as the FRBs approached the opposite corner on the north of the sports ground. The Hash left the footballers behind, though some were shocked at the day-glo kit that one team were wearing in contrast to the Arsenil looking ones the opposition were decked out with.
Out over the mini-roundabout on the end of Cell Barnes Road, then once across this junction the Pack were led on through an alleyway to Springfield road, the Hare explained to Ketchup that this area of St Albans is known as 'the Camp' & this led Ketchup to do a few impersonations that were, dare we say it, slightly ‘camp’ - sweetie! The Hare then explained that it was the site of a Roman Camp at one time & that’s how it came by its name. Mr X said that he always chuckled when he took the bus down Hatfield road & it passed by the previously named ‘Camp Liberal Club’ but even that has lost its old name to the double-entendres, now it is just the Hatfield Road Liberal Club.
The Trail came out on to View road near to the former site of the Camp Pub, now knocked down & soon to be flats, another example of why your local Pub should be listed with Community Asset Status! The Hash were now led northward as the Trail moved on to Sutton Road & the next CHK on another section of the Alban Way. Ketchup & Prince Garmin were tempted to head back to the west, on behind the local Morrisons store, while Milf had been up toward the Rats Castle & found nothing, she would then return & join Mr X, Stephen, Sparky, Tent Packer & Sludge off down the former line toward the east, but it was quite away down this leaf-littered route that they finally came across a T!
Coming back they found that the Hare had marked the Trail to cross over to Castle Street which runs behind the Rats Castle & leads up to Ashley Road, then to the double roundabout junction with Hatfield Road. After skipping over the zebra crossing, the Keenies were directed around to another alleyway, this passage leaves start of Beaumont Avenue off of the junction. The fenced in route would take a westward route behind the flats & shops on Hatfield Road & the homes of the Fleetville area of St Albans.
The undulating tarmac path passed by a couple tired wooden fencing panels that had been kicked over before coming out to the dead end of Arthur Road, straight over to continue on the shorter remaining section of alleyway that emerges out on to Woodstock Road. From the CHK there the Pack were led northward along the suburban residential street, the style of housing had now changed from terraced homes to semi & detached homes.
A CHK at the junction with Jennings Road had the Pack turn westward on the longest stretch single straight stretch, with another couple of CHKs put in to try & throw the FRBs off of the scent. Only Max Factor seemed to go off at one of these, while Alfa Male, Sludge, Tent Packer, Milf, Mr X & the Hare came out to the main Clarence Road. Here the Trail split in two, with a Short Cut marked straight over to the last dead end section of Jennings Road, while the Long Trail would take a small loop around on to Gainsborough Avenue & then down the uncapped adjoining private road back to Jennings Road.
At the dead-end of Jennings Road there is a footpath on a bridge spanning the main line below & on the west side was a Held CHK, but the Keenies moved back to the metal sided bridge to line the side in the sunshine. Here, those of the Pack who were there with the Hare were treated to a Jelly sweets stop. Kylie & Sloppy Seconds was the last to make it here from the main group of the Hash.
The Hare seemed a bit bewildered as to where the SCBs were, since there had been no sighting of 2-1-2 Maureen, Paxo, Morning Glory & TBT OBE for most of the Trail. They may have been slowed up as Rustler made it to the Pub after the Hash had set off & she joined them along the way.
The wait at the Held CHK was not long enough for the SCBs to make up the lost ground, the remaining jelly babies were saved for the missing section of the Pack as the Keenies were let loose again, & not being that far from the On Inn there was no stopping them, well except Mr X who headed off on the wrong choice over Lemsford Road & up Avenue Road, he was soon back to join the rest in heading southward down Lemsford Road & then off westward on to Manor Road.
Ketchup was surprised at the loss of the amount of College buildings, these have now been replaced by apartments, with a smaller campus being located in amongst these new build homes. There were two options from the footpath off of the elbow in the course of Manor Road, there was a SSC (Short, Short Cut) or the Trail of one last loop for the real Keenies, this was a footpath has been run many times by Herts & most knew that it would lead up in to the grounds of St Peter’s Church & then around to come out by the other (former) Liberal Club in St Albans.
Being so near to the On Inn, there were a couple who took the SSC, Sludge was one as he had to get back for Grandchildren sitting duties! There was one problem when the Pack had got back to the Mermaid, Stephen was first there & so was the first one to find that it was absolutely rammed with St Albans City Fans, who were watching the Spurs Arsenil Game on the TV. So, not wanting to play sardines in trying to get a pint, the On Inn was going to have to change.
The Blacksmiths another good choice, again this would also be packed since they always have sports on in there, Mr X had a quick look at the Peacock & on the way bumped in to Rustler, who said that the Morning Glory & the rest were on their way Inn! Sadly in the Peacock there was only one hand-pump in there at the far end of the bar, this solitary & seemingly abandoned Pump had no badge & was hidden behind a speaker! So, after breaking this bad news to the Hash, he suggested the Waterend Barn as an alternative, since it was only a short way cutting through by the Civic Centre & the new Police Station area there.
Having traipsed around to the Lloyd’s Number 1 Bar, the Hash settled in to the Marlborough Barn end of the Waterend Barn, the main building was built around 1610. Most were impressed with this ancient timber framed building, the open ceiling showed the beams & the fact that it was all kept in place with dowels!
Mr X called Sparky, to alert him to the fact that the On Inn had changed, eventually Sparky got the message after trying to get in to the Mermaid & failing, he too joined the Pack in the Waterend Barn. Sparky was generous enough to get a round of chips in, but not after he chew the gristle on someone’s left-over food!
The Circle was held in the Little Hormead barn, now adjoined at the end of Waterend barn, after & the Hare was rewarded for a Trail that took an hour for the Keenies to get around. TBT OBE was out for bringing a Ten Run Bumbag (or a Fanny Pack for our US cousins!) for Stephen’s fifth Run?! But, the Haberdasher had done one thing right as he produced Sloppy Seconds 200 Run hat – So, Sloppy Seconds was out to received his ‘one off Yellow’ 200 Run cap, just some 36 Runs Late!
Morning Glory was out for his first Herts Run, as was Rustler who got around the Trail this week. The Hashit went to Sparky for his chewing on a bit of old gristle a previous diner had spat out on his plate & left!
After the Circle, the Hash went out for the annual Conker Contest, which drew some attention from the civilians, one sad things was when the parents of the kids, who were enthralled at watching this ancient pastime, explained that they had never played it before as it’s banned in schools. This made most of the Hash glad that they had such innocent games back in their day! In the end there were three Harriettes left in the final, which due to the rain will be continued at a later date, maybe we’ll get to hear the technical terms of “Your’s is lifting!” from Max Factor.
When the majority moved on, Max Factor, Alf Male, Kylie, Milf, My Lil’ Mr. X, Ketchup & Prince Garmin went & sat up in the small open gallery room where they lorded it up overlooking the hoi polloi below, just the Lords & Ladies of the Manor would have! Prince Garmin was not that impressed as Mr X explained the Barn’s wattle & daub walls were basically white-washed cow dung! Incidentally there was a crowd of 3,473 at St Albans despite losing 3-5 to Carlisle in the FA Cup!