Date = 20th November 2016
Run Number = 1706
Venue = The Brocket Arms
Location= Ayot St Lawrence
Beer = Fuzzy Blonde, Three Brewers, Tring Side Pocket
Hares = Mr X & Fat Controller
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = The Hare & Hounds Hash (Would call them the Beds Hash but they have been in Herts for a month!)
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 30
Membership = Avoiding the Eye of the Storm!
With storm Angus [Manamanmah- Angus! Can anyone else hear AC/DC? – Ed] bashing parts of the south of England the Hash gathered in Ayot St Lawrence, the Hare sat in My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead’s car until at least 5 to the hour, the Hash mostly parked along the street outside of the Pub, no doubt upsetting some diners?
With a slight drizzle in the air & a wind that couldn’t be felt for at the time, the Joint Pack assembled – this week saw Bell-End & Princess Theakston turn out for a Sunday Run (Their Home Hash of Milton Keynes being sticklers for not deviating from Monday Trails all year around)
Knobber showed up with a grovelingly “Sorry I was late F.C. but my satnav couldn’t find the pub. I’ve been to the pub many times in the past, but the satnav kept sending round in circles!” Seems that he must be H5’s equivalent of Sparky? [Surely there can’t be two? – Ed] At least he got further than Where’s Wally? Who’s journey came to a halt when he came across seemingly abandon vehicles on a flooded lane, so he turned back believing the Hash wouldn’t take place! [What! We had at least one who had been on a T8 Hash in Hong Kong! – Ed]
The Herts JM, Paxo, stood-in for the delayed GM, he got the Run Number for Herts Correct, then in the absence of the H5 GM there was a “Ah, who care what number it is?” from amongst their own ranks! The Hares stepped forward, then Fat Controller stepped back a bit claiming the Mr X had set it! [Partly True, but it was Fat Controller’s Map he worked from! – Ed] He mentioned the weather, parts of the Trail being change so the Hash would not get shot at, there were Short-Cuts & it would be around about an hour to complete!
Leaving northeastward from the Pub to pass through the gate house looking building, there the First CHK was found, a Falsie was discovered on the footpath alongside a cattle enclosure, this path heads away to Codicote Bottom. The proper Trail was picked up by ARP, Porky Pie, Louise & Neil, they weren’t hanging around either as the bounded away northward on pebble driveway that passes by the ornate walled entrance & new stylised black metal gates to the local Manor house, there was a distinctive crunching under foot until the path left the drive & took to the muddy track up to Abbotshay.
A CHK by the few abodes that make up Abbotshay saw a Falsie found leading away just a few degrees shy of due North on the path toward Kimpton, the correct Trail was found leading away on the footpath by the corner of the stable paddocks to run along the edge of a field, this southwesterly route was running head first [Who said Head? – Ed] in to the strong cold breeze would see the likes of ARP & Porky Pie not get snared by what should have been the first Fish-Hook [An Evil H5 Trick! – Ed] for the first 6 to run back to the Rear of the Pack, they were lucky that this had been washed out, no trace remained!
As the Hash ploughed on along the Shiggy path, Ewok the Herts GM managed to catch up after her late arrival which was pit down to the venue being in the "Middle of nowhere" an issue that effected Sloppy Seconds in his VW Road-Hogger as well. The directions sent out should have had an addition to follow the National Trust signs to 'Shaws Corner'.
Fat Controller misconstrued what Mr X had informed him earlier about the slight alteration to FC's original plan, originally the Trail went further around the outside of the sheep paddock, unwittingly not on the correct route & through a gap where the fence had gone & then in to the footpath running through Prior’s Wood. This original route that Fat Controller wanted the Trail to take had a dramatic change when Mr X reached the ‘No Public Access’ signed fire break path as he found it was blocked with four by fours for a shooting party!
So, Mr X opted to change the Trail & the Pack would be taken back to the south & in to the sheep field. The Footpaths are not well signposted at this point & the Fish-hook (A most evil device used by H5) had been washed away & the long Falsie in to Prior’s Wood now skipped by the FRBs it looked like there would be a big gap between the Keenies & SCBs!
Through the sheep field toward the Palladian looking Church of St Lawrence built to replace the old Norman one, which was partly demolished by Sir Lionel Hyde, for it spoilt the view from his 'New Home'. The destruction was halted after it upset the villagers, the demolition stopped part way to leave it in a 'Romantic Ruined' state.
Porky Pie stood out in the distance, his yellow top gave away that he was on the Falsie down the path back to the Centre of the village, at least on his way back he had a good opportunity to perform his role as Hash Flash & get a food shot of the Palladian Style of the front of the Church. This Falsie also kept the Pack together
This new Palladian Style Church built for him in 1778 & loosely styled upon the Temple of Apollo on Delos, it was intended to act as a mausoleum for his family but unfortunately for Sir Lionel the course of true love did not run smooth, as a result he & his wife who ended up detesting him, are interred in opposite wings! Perhaps he should not have insisted in having it built not in a liturgically correct manner, with the Alter being in the west end, allowing the front to face his home?
The front of the Church may have been very aesthetic on the eye, but when the Pack came around the rear they could see the round brick carbuncle that doesn't quite match the Grecian style, more like a military or 1960's utilitarian form.
The Pack crunched along the gravel drive out to Bibbsworth Hall Lane at the top of Shaw’s Corner (Shaw’s Corner being named after the Irish Playwright & Dramatist George Bernard Shaw, who lived there from 1906 until his death in 1950, he penned some of his greatest works there.
TBT OBE mentioned the famous writing house that he called ‘London’, so his wife could tell unwanted guest he was away in the Capital! The idea of the small pivoting wooden shed being that he could change the windowed frontage to keep the sunlight by following the arc of the sun. Mr X added that it was fully restored a few years ago & has a clever design that has all the power & phone cables coming in through the central axle.
Anyhow, back to the Trail & a CHK was found near to the footpath away to the south, indeed the Trail was picked up in the Paddock to lead in to Hare Park Spring Wood, a bunch of Hashers were found hanging around until “On! Was called in a westerly direction on the Track through which runs below Bibbsworth Hall Farm, though there were a few, like Sloppy Seconds, who dithered until the Hare had marked the CHK!
It was at this point in the Trail when the Hash encountered a group of walkers & after a brief conversation explain what was going on, one chap confessed that he was once the London Hash Grand Master, but he didn't have a Hash Name when Mr X asked him what it his Hash Handle was? Mr X didn’t recognize him [& he’s been about a bit! - Ed] but who knows they may appear one day?
Anyhow, it was here that Kisses Anytime & Double Entry asked if anyone had seen Gorjoyce & Clap Trap? Mr X, reassured them that the Short Cutters were going to be packed off on the south-western path, My Lil' & Sloppy Seconds led the way for the SCBs, as Fat Controller was about to depart he said "Mr X, you're considerably younger than me, so you ought to sweep the long Trail!"
Meanwhile the rest were of the Pack on the enclosed on either side with wire fencing as Porky Pie, ARP, Neil & Louise led the way, to the north it was scrubby strip between the road & the footpath, while on the southern side were more horse-paddocks. Bell End & Princess Theakston's were up for the long Trail at the split in the footpath when to emerge from the wood, as were the now clamed Kisses Anytime & Double Entry with Mr X saying that the loop was only around a mile & a smidgen extra!
Out to a CHK by the northeast corner of Lamer Wood, & the Keenies were quick to find the Trail & run along the outside at the bottom of another couple of horse paddocks fenced off by electric straps that sit below Bibbsworth Hall Farm, these were occupied with a few damp nags in coats that looked as happy as Eeyore to be standing in the light drizzle. Then going was slowed slightly for some as the Shiggy became deeper along this section until it left the enclosed path & came out in to one last Paddock.
Dust led on to a now vanished CHK on the northwest corner of Lamer Wood, Kylie was among those who went wrong at this point & carried on westward toward Gustard Wood, Mr X replaced the CHK & marked to the south. Along the way Mr X had some Brain freeze while talking to Spotted Dick, the latter thought that he hadn’t been on this path before but Mr X said he must have Run from the Cross Keys (When he did remember it about 5 minutes later.)
It was a nice pleasant trot to run down through the inside of the western edge of the Lamar wood to the southwestern corner, the path weaved its way over the leaf-littered floor of the woodland, there were still plenty of russet & golden coloured leaves still upon the trees as the predicted storm seemed to have missed this little bit of Herts, according to Kylie this was now over Norfolk. The Trail came out to a CHK on the tarmac drive up from the Gustard Wood lane, which leads up to Lamer House to the northeast. It was here that Fat Controller appeared as if out of nowhere, just like the Shop-keeper in Mr Benn!
“On!” was called up the tarmac drive to the House, which was hidden behind a large hazel hedge, to run all the way to a CHK by the bend in the driveway, some of H5 seemed to be confused here but the Trail was picked up on the footpath with wire fencing on either side of what was once a Golf Course. It is no longer a fairway after the company went bust in 2003, one report on it said that it had four of the worst holes ever!
The council has since allowed the former course to be returned to farm land, with sheep on one side & cattle on the other, though the landscape still retains its undulating form with older fairway obstacles still in situ or filled in. The flock of Sheep followed solitary Hare when he set the Trail, believing his orange bag contained food & not flour when he was out setting the Trail.
Through the wood, Fat Controller told Mr X about the time H5 had a bike bash, Bangers (being of a respectable age) came along on his old bone-shaker of a bike & he was accompanied by his far younger Son, who arrived on an electric bike, Mr X said TBT OBE has one & is lethal on it!
Just out of the wood & after turning from east, to south & east very quickly & lying in wait was a F*sh-hook 8 was still intact, with the likes of ARP, Porky Pie & Milf getting caught out, Mr X said to Milf that she had to run all the way back to her beloved, Kylie who was taking up the rear of the Hash [Steady there Pebbledash! - Ed] but Kylie had run up the lane & wasn't as far behind as Mr X suspected.
ARP was keen to point out to the regular Herts RA that none of them were ‘cheating’ & were obeying the F*sh-hook!! She may not have exonerated herself as Sloppy Seconds was going to be in charge of the Herts Down-Downs as Mr X was the Hare! Fat Controller was impressed with the Herts ‘Youngsters’ putting the older H5 regulars to shame!
Fliptop caught up after taking the short cut, he had Lucy & Buster with him. He looked like he had been in the wars, with some blood on the back of his head & a rather large bandage on his forehead. Allegedly the wind had caught the car door, though as Ewok added that he'd do anything to get Sis to wear her Nurse's uniform!
The Trail left the kink in the route & over a stile to ran along by the old redbrick walled garden & then came out over a slippery stile to pass the ornate black iron front gates of Bride Hall, in front of which lie ornate trimmed bushes & hedges [Nooo! Pebbledash! – Ed] made to look like castellation's on either side of the drive to the manor house.
Out onto the newer tarmac drive beside the manor house & the w to pass through the Tradesman's entrance [Stop it Pebbledash! - Ed] which has a smaller gate set inside the larger black wrought iron gates, beyond this a Held CHK was found. This was had survived pretty well on top of one of the large sections of tree-trunk outside of the gates, all of which were lined up to prevent parking on the grass verge.
Concern were expressed as to the whereabouts of Gorjoyce, who set off on the short cut, My Lil' & Sloppy Seconds soon quashed any worries as Sloppy Seconds confirmed that she & her companion had set off back to Ayot St Lawrence on another path.
Gathered like sheep, or was it lambs to the slaughter? Fat Controller in a voice of authority (which most laughed at!) explained “Now, it gets a bit dodgy from here, the lane is very narrow, so we have to keep together for exactly 1.2 Kilometers! We need volunteers preferably wearing a yellow HV vest to run in front and to the rear of the pack to warn approaching traffic that we on the road.”
Health & Safety on a Hash, Whatever next? Anyhow, FC went on to explain that he had asked if the Pack could use set aside in the farm land beside the lane back to Ayot St Lawrence, but that was a no go, so everyone was to be herded down the narrow winding lane lioke a bad episode of ‘One Man & his Dog’
Knobber stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in his yellow hi-vis. “Why Me?” Knobber cried, when the pack told him that he was the sacrificial hasher, so to get running! In fact it wasn't too bad with those in day-glo outfits taking point & the rest used the passing points to avoid the few cars that did drive along the lane, with the rain seeping from the higher fields to the north of the lane to create large puddles that were concealing the dips & pot-holes in the tarmac, most drivers were taking it easy on the way in & out of Ayot.
Along the way Sloppy Seconds was pretty well aware of the fact the My Lil' had been with him on the Short -Cut for the injured, infirm, inebriated & insane, was seen running all the kilometer back Inn, he was fairly skipping along as the Trail passed by Norfolk Cottages & around the bend in to the village!
After the On In the Pack came up by the 'Romantic Ruin' of St Lawrence Church, dedicated to the martyr St Lawrence, who's heart was said to have been roasted on a grill at Ayot Manor! Having passed this by the Pack would change & settle in to the end Bar of the Brocket Arms, which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a Monk who was hung there. Strangely a lot of Pubs in Welwyn Garden City are haunted by a pale ghostly figure of a Monk, but less about Junior!
TBT OBE was discovered in this far end of the Bar, where he was persuading two women he was sitting with at the ‘Reserved’ table, that the Hash could be good for them to experience, Milf arrived with others of Herts & they would eventually leave looking at joining in a Barcelona Hash! It was also obvious that Spotted Dick was on his own this weekend, for he was ordering food at the Bar in Custards absence in up in Scotlandshire where she managed to bump in to Megasaurarse.
Time for the Down-Downs & out to the Pub’s back garden where Forking Dick Chair & Sloppy Seconds held the Circle, once Ewok had done her bit with the introductions. SO, to kick things off the Hares were welcomed in to the Circle & happily accept their Down-Downs after the Circle agreed it was a splendiferous Trail!
Ewok was called out by Sloppy the words of ‘Mattress’, ‘Cheap’ & ‘Scrubber’ was bandied about by Sloppy Seconds [Very Brave of him, but he should remember that revenge is a dish best served cold! – Ed] But it was all in regard her cleaning business!
Lady P & Bangers were called out by Forking Dickchair then TBT summoned forth for asking where the book is when he was leaning on it on the table! Next to have their presence requested in the Circle was Fliptop for yet another head wound. The just as Fliptop had got the edge of the Circle was called back & joined by My Lil’ for running whilst on ‘Medical Trail (a short cut)
A brief respite for Fliptop as Kisses Anytime & Count Roadkill were next up before Sloppy Seconds, who by now was starting to sound & act like Reg Holdsworth as Fliptop’s name was no associated with ignoring the most evil thing of a fish hook!
Lady P & Bangers were summoned by Forking Dickchair, then finally the lonesome Spotted Dick. The having spied one last Beer on the table, Forking Dickchair awarded himself a Down-Down, what for we don’t recall! [Perhaps it was for the weather being a very, very light precipitation? – Ed]