Date = 3rd December 2016
Run Number = 1708
Venue = The Waterside Inn
Beer = New River River Bed Red, First Snow Ale; Lancaster Bomber, Doombar
Hares = Max Factor & Alfa Male
Runners = 27
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 27
Membership = Toasting the Old Boot! [Nope, I didn’t forget to change this bit! –Ed]
Well, the survivors from Paxo's
80th 60th managed to crawl
out of their pits to join the 'land of the living' as they congregated outside
the Pub on the busy junction, for some it was a heavier night than others & it
showed! The Circle was called, then with the welcomes out of the way, the Hares
started their spiel as Pepé le Pew, Pebbledash, ARP & a jaded looking Porky Pie
arrived, just before the Pack were about to leave.
The bright fresh morning should have been enough to bring around the subdued of the Hash, the exception being Porky Pie who had an issue trying to get back to where he was billeted up at ‘Chez le Pew’ overnight, something that resulted in him & Max Factor failing with Google maps in the dark, it was after midnight & the street lights were turned off. In the end he had to call Pepé le Pew for directions!
Anyhow, the start of the Trail was a slow one, not much of a pace as the Pack walked around on to Viaduct road, Lemming couldn’t help but wind Skip up about all of the Marmalade he had with his breakfast, you see Skip was an unhappy Paddington that morning for there wasn’t any Marmalade available when he finally came down for Breakfast at Lenny Henry’s Place (the Premier Inn) so poor Skip had to make do with Apricot preserve on his toast. In fact there was no marmalade for anyone, but with Mr X saying the Lemming had his unwanted Marmalade Skip was reeled in!
A distinct advantage of residing overnight at the nearby Premier Inn was that the residents knew that the Trail would run up to this, so none of them or anyone else followed Sloppy Seconds down the ramp like footpath to the edge of the River Lea Navigation towpath for a short way, then he came up the next ramp back up to street-level to rejoin the rest of the Hash.
The Trail came up to the pedestrian crossing before the large humped bridge over railway line, there was a distinct drop in temperature having crossed from the sunny side of the road & that of the shaded side on the southern side! The colder air inspired most to start running to get back in to the sunshine further up the road.
The Trail led all the way to the roundabout junction with London Road, on the way Mr X had a quick look over toward the Premier Inn, where earlier on while walking to the venue he found one of those new-fangled meaty new fivers. No more luck that day in finding anymore of the money that Lemming was now claiming to be his. He wasn't alone in this & it seems that quite a few of Herts Hash have an issue with these new plastic notes springing from their wallets & purses? Unlike Sloppy Seconds White Fivers safely tucked up in his wallet.
A few were found milling around at the CHK on the flat bridge over the New River, opposite the remains John Gilpin Pub, that sits neglected behind hoardings before its proposed demolition & homes to constructed there in its place. Someone said perhaps there wasn’t planning permission for it to be demolished? Another said it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t, as it would probably go the same way the old Chieftain in Welwyn Garden City went, up in smoke & Mac’s were then allowed to redevelop the site after the burnt out shell was demolished.
With no John Gilpin reference in Ware, many no longer know about the literary connection with Ware
Sparky was soon on to the Trail along by the railings to prevent access to New River along London Road, as it led back to Ware, No Eye Deer beckoned to Whatever She Says to cross the New River, after the Hares hinted at a water crossing earlier.
The roadside footpath followed the curve of the route through to pass opposite the Royal Oak & then Herts Regional College where the railings ended at the building that sits by the start of the level crossing approach to Ware Station. By now the Hash were split in to two, actually three distinct groups of the FRBs, the SCBs, with a sickly Porky Pie struggling somewhere in between!
Just before the Trail now took to the edge of the New River, as the RA pointed out over the railway crossing that the Pack hadn't got that far away from the start! Through the Iron Gate & it was a gentle flat trot along by the New River. My Lil' was spotted lurking by the large bushes beside the railway line, in passing No Eye Deer remarked “I didn’t know you needed to queue to visit the bushes!” as it seems that he was in a queue & not the only one out wanting to scare the squirrels in there, as it was already occupied!
No Eye Deer’s laughter would soon stop as she stumbled in to one of the lower patches of Shiggy on the way up to the Next CHK, which was located on the drive in to the old Victorian Pump-house building with its chimney for the coal fired boilers. Tent Packer went wrong here when he branched up to search along the nearby roadside, but the real Trail remained close to the waterway as it continued westward to a part of its source, a small reservoir like area called the Banjo because of its shape. Here the spring water rises from Chadwell Springs & with water from the river Lea passes through a series of sluices as it still feeds the water course for London Drinking water.
Of course Lemming had to ask Mr X what the waterway was, he soon discover that it wasn't a canal, no boat traffic or fishing allowed as it supplies drinking water to London, some 25 miles away. Here by the small white shuttered hut was the Held CHK, Prince Garmin was handed a packet of sweets to hand around the Pack, this soon became a case of take one & pass it on yourself!
My Lil’ spotted a cast iron sign & said to Mr X that he could part with his newly found fiver if he peed in to the new river, as that was fine embossed on the metal plaque warning if someone was caught polluting the New River. Mr X didn’t need to answer the call of nature.
The history of the new river was found on a notice board that backed up what Mr X had said earlier! Mr X particularly like the bit about it “Neither being new, or a river!” on the history of the 25 mile feat of engineering started in 1609 & finished in 1613, to keep the flow of water the water way has a “Five-inch drop” per mile – in fact the new New River Brewery have named an Ale after this. Lemming was impressed that it was the same conduit that runs through Enfield on its way to the reservoirs at Stoke Newington, he had to tell this to Mother.
Another boring fact the ‘Font of all wisdom’ came out with the fact about the water around these parts rises through Artesian Wells in the chalk aquafer, this means the water has a high level of gypsum (The stuff they make plasterboard from) & this gave us the saying “Getting plastered!” with the gypsum in the Ales!
Enough History, so back to the Trail & once the SCBs were in view the Hares allowed the FRBs to search once more for Dust, Max & Alfa must have been happy to see the majority make their way over the sluices to the level crossing, but once over the tracks no dust was found by Sloppy Seconds & Mr X. A call if "On!" from the Southside of the line brought the rest back to find the CHK marked in the direction of the marsh, the Trail was now on a meandering desire line through the tufts of sedge & other taller wetland plants, strangely everyone as thankful the ground was frozen with the frost, otherwise it would have been a long trail of Shiggy.
The FRBs were now at the rear of the line of Hashers, Pepé le Pew was heard to shout out "Come on Maureen, you're holding everyone up!" as like the Monaco Grand Prix the seemed to be few passing points along here. Porky Pie was also holding up the Keenies, how the mighty have fallen. This led My Lil' to get a few quips in about Porky Pie being "All over it!" The Trail reached another level crossing, again care was taken in going over the double tracks, then it was in to another section of marshland.
Sparky wandered over to the left of the central northern path, while Ewok headed over to the right but suddenly stopped as she was overcome by a sinking feeling, Mr X said "You know what happens to Oliver Hardy when he steps in to a puddle?" While Lemming shouted an ironic "Stand up! Oh, you are!"
The Trail now moved up off of the marsh level to that of the higher River Lea Navigation path, where a slightly crocked Paxo was found sitting on a river side bench! Ketchup & Prince Garmin arrived, Ketchup seems to be taken by surprised when a civilian woman said "Hello Mark!" to him.
From the CHK by Paxo’s seat, Sparky chose to head eastward along tree lined river bank path, he found Trail & called “On!” Sparky, as ever, was keen as mustard, so keen that he ran on through the T chalked in the center of the tarmac path! Mr X called Sparky back to negotiate the off lead pooches & their walkers for a second time!
Milf & those following on all turned back as well to find that the rest who had crossed the bridge over the weir had fared no better, so the remaining option was to head westward along the river bank & on to a CHK by the footbridge spanning the Lea behind the large area occupied by the Glaxo Smith Kline building.
A Falsie once on the Northside of the river saw the Keenies getting wrapped up the small park to the west of GSK. Sparky, My Lil' & Tent Packer now found the Trail up the access road that is a part of Wengeo lane to run on by the second Held CHK of the Trail, Prince Garmin & Ketchup were heading that way to but Prince Garmin stopped to pick up a plastic arrow shaped pointer!
The Keenies had now gone beyond the Held CHK to start up Wengeo Lane, they weren’t allowed to get to far up there as they were called back by Mr X. Sparky didn't believe Mr. X until he saw the Chalk Circle with an H in the centre he was not alone as My Lil' made excuses that there were civilians walking over it when he reached this point of the Trail! The RA wasn't taken in by that.
A second round if sweets were on offer to the Pack when they reached this regroup, Mr X saved Skip an orange Winegum, which he said was a marmalade colour, some people were not going to let the Marmalade situation go. When it came to searching again, My Lil’ headed off down Park Road instead of the more alluring uncapped track of the continuation of Wengeo Lane as it runs up the edge of the school sports fields,.
Also going out to the west were Pepé le Pew, Ketchup, Fliptop & Sparky, Pepé le Pew was stopped y a woman asking directions so it was down to Sparky on the other side of the road to find the Dust. There were a few surprised Hashers now as Sparky picked up the correct Trail, breaking the habit of not getting it correct for most it so far! Kylie would say it was lucky that Sparky wasn’t out on his own when the Pack crossed over the Level Crossing, Mr X said he could imagine this as Sparky on the front of a train cab like a teddy on a dustcart.
A CHK was found at the Crossroads with Fanshawe Crescent & its southern counterpart of Harris’s Lane, the Dust was located leading up Fanshawe Crescent, meanwhile some were feeling the effects of being out all day the day before & wandered on beyond the new ASDA Superstore where they would pick up Dust once again on the junction with the Watton Road, where as it comes down from the northwest.
Mr X & My Lil’ weren’t the only ones to take this route, but Mr X was just glad that he was out of sight of Sludge or it would have been a case of short cutting accusation flying about later on! Mr X said he’d quote Sludge’s old defense of “There was no T to stop me!” Mr X did take time out to shout out to ‘Blue Watch’ at the nearby Fire Station “It’s Okay lads, you can stand down, the candles on Paxo’s birthday cake have been blown out!”
The Trail would cross over & take to the end of the High Street, but some now ‘took their eye of the ball’ as on both side were Hashers just wandering up & looking over at each other asking if they has seen the On Inn? The Pack had been out for just a shade over an hour, which was pretty good & with nearly everyone knowing the area there was no point in trying to make the end overly complicated.
Changed & back at the Pub, the Hash found it was such a nice day that they could sit out on the riverside terrace garden of the Pub. Psycho had made an excellent Tank shaped cake for Paxo & this she sliced up, everyone enjoyed this but some nearly ended up choking as Sparky was found to have eaten a bit of the polystyrene that the tank’s caterpillar track wheels were stuck to!
Most of the Hash enjoyed a couple of Ales, but Porky Pie was still a bit green around the gills & he headed off before the Circle was held, to avoid a Down-Downs. Needless to say Pepé le Pew made a song & dance about this, but Porky Pie made haste his exit!
Meanwhile the Bar manager was bewildered after Sparky asked him what the Cheapest Beer on handpump was? He replied that they are all the same price. Then he had the Beer Master ask him for 5 pints of the cheapest beer? He must have thought that there was some kind of ‘Care in the Community’ Event going on!
The Hares were rewarded for an excellent Trail. Paxo had another Hashy Birthday Down-Down & the registration for his Tank Driving course, Mr X explained that it was a whole day’s course, starting with Firing Muskets [Should bring some old memories back for Paxo of his training! – Ed] then after driving a few Tanks, including a big Russian Beast, the person with the most points gets to drive a Chieftain over a car! All of which said he really appreciated as a Present from the Hash! Sparky received his hit for his running through False Trails & Held Checks!
Lemming was out with our ‘unhappy Paddington’ of Skip for the wind up with ‘Marmalade Gate’ Skip received the Hashit for his diplomacy & strawberry jam went into his pint, since there had no Marmalade in the Riverside Inn either [Is Marmalade still on ration in Ware? – Ed] their messing about led to these two’s pints getting thrown about a bit & the Circle suddenly expanded in all direction to get out of the flying Ale!
Skip was unfortunate in getting the Hashit, for a better candidate was there that day & just after the Circle the RA was up in the Pub’s Gents, where he, Skip & Tent Packer got to witness Lemming struggling & contorting to get a part of himself free from Mother’s knickers that he was wearing, after made his excuses that he forgot his own pants! [Yeah right! – Ed] Lemming was lucky it was only Hashmen in there at the time & not civilians as if he had the stockings & suspenders on as well it would have looked like the Rocky Horror Picture Show in there!
After most had gone home, there was another incident in the Pub, for on Sparky’s return from the loo & his intended departure went spectacularly wrong. Somehow he went through the first set of fire doors at the old corner entrance to the Pub, they shut behind him & thinking that the outer doors were alarmed he thought he was trapped & ended up tapping on the glass pane like a bluebottle banging its head on a window, which led to bewildered diner’s ignoring him but eventually he was released by a barmaid.