Date = 11th December 2016
Run Number = 1709
Venue = The New Inn
Beer = Abbott, IPA, Adnams Broadside
Hares = Max Factor & Alfa Male
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 13
Membership = Avoiding Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool!
It was, for the time of year, an unseasonably warm & sunny day. The ideal place to be for a nice Hash, unless of course you were lucky enough to be Norfolk, or the Netherlands like those who remembered their passports for a long weekend in Amsterdam. Though only doing four Bars wouldn’t be anything to brag about & post on the Herts Hash Farcebook Page!
On the way to the Pub, Ketchup's car full saw the Hares walking up from the Station, slowing up as he approached then from behind, Max Factor looked to see what car was approaching, while Alfa Male was in a trance like state & oblivious to the vehicles presence. A blast of the horn soon shattered Alfa's day-dreaming!
Ketchup nearly passed the Pub, but a shout of “Free WiFi!” from Prince Garmin brought the car to an abrupt halt & so this alerted everyone else in the car to the New Inn’s adjacent location! Ketchup was surprised to find that he all the bars up on his mobile’s signal for a 4g signal, which is astonishing as Britain is rated 54th in the world for 4g & lag behind Albania, Panama & Peru!
Max Factor & Alfa Male arrived & quizzed the RA whether they would now qualify for an EWSH3 jacket, the answer was “Yes!” as they have taken a Train to a Hash, just need to get their numbers sorted out!
The Pack assembled in the car park, Paxo got out of the car with a broad grin on his face, the GM subtlety & with an embarrassed ending, let slip this was due to getting a ‘Birthday Shag' for want of a better phrase! There was little else for her to add after the welcomes, so the Hares were called forward to take the blushing Ewok's place centre circle.
Normal Hash Markings, a chance of unwanted swimming, no horses, but possibility of train tracks to cross. Thankfully the swimming was nothing to do with Michael Barrymore's swimming pool, that didn't raise it's ugly head! [Well done Hares! – Ed]
The Pack left the puddle strewn car park to head up the High street, which run just a few degrees westward off of due north. There was no real pace to start with as the Pack approached the small green triangle that the village War Memorial sits on. Mr X took the right hand option of the uncapped single track that runs behind the memorial, knowing that this water logged route peels away to head northeasterly down by the homes & small holdings [Stop it Pebbledash! – Ed] near to the River Stort Navigation.
A CHK was found by an option for a myriad of paths, while others chose to stay & search the southern side of the Stort, Mr X crossed the railway line & then over the Navigation to find a CHK over the Lock No. 13 on the Northern bank of the waterway.
Choosing to search off along the path heading away from the Stort, Mr X would fall foul of the T up to the northeast. So, it was back to see the rare sight of Sparky actually finding the correct Trail on the path on its opposite direction. Both Mr X & Sparky had disturbed a couple of terriers who yapped at the from the house boat moored up at the junction for the Lock No.13 & the feeder on the opposite side.
The Trail followed the serpentine route of the Stort, it was a nice tree-lined route that passes under a low metal bridge bridge keeping the railway tracks on the level & then led on to come out on to the Stansted Abbotts road in to Roydon, there by the stone bridge on the outskirts of town a CHK was found. The footpath signs away up the lane to the north lured Sparky, My Lil', Sludge, Tent Packer, Ewok & Dillan over the level crossing.
Also having crossed the tracks, Mr X searched down behind the Station, none on the north side of the tracks would not find the Trail as it was back over on the southern side of the level crossing, but their chance to meet up with Alfa Male & Paxo was curtailed by the barriers coming down. To while away their time stuck behind the red & white striped barriers, Ewok & Dillan looked at an old building that was up for sale beside ‘Just at the…… Station’.
Once the fast service train has whizzed through, then the flashing lights & sirens ceased the barriers were raised & the FRBs were no longer cut off, but now they had to catch up with Paxo, TBT OBE, Max Factor, Ketchup & Price Garmin to run down the drive to the Roydon Marina, which for Mr.X was annoying as he started to look down there but doubted that there was a footpath down there off this route.
The Pack passed by a couple of dog walkers enjoying the morning on their way from the opposite side of the caravan park before the Marina. As the Pack headed toward the Marina, Paxo was not the only one to be surprised at the number of boats moored up here, many no doubt are laid up for winter? Something that used to happen to Ketchup in years gone by when Herts change from Monday running!
Having made it beyond the area where a sluice allows access water back in to the river Stort, the Trail came up to the where the towpath turns with the Stort to run under where the Marina access bridge sits the Hash found a boat stuck underneath the metal work of the road bridge, the two crewmen were busy removing the lights on top of the boat’s frame, they declined assistance form the Hash, after it was suggested that the Pack boarded from the bridge & the additional weight would push down the boats draft.
The Trail contained along the southern side of the Navigation, along the way TBT OBE sniffed out “The distinctive smell” of the smoke from wood burning stove as it drifted through in the air from one of the house boats moored up on the other bank. The Trail ran on down the side of the Stort, up ahead the three large shiny metal sisters of the Power Station in Hoddesdon could be seen. Perhaps looking at these large metal edifices distracted Mr X, My Lil’ & Sparky long enough that they were suddenly stopped by a Bar CHK near to Lock No.14 Brick Lock Island!
The Stort Navigation came in to existence by ‘An Act for making the River Stort navigable, in the counties of Hertford and Essex, from the New Bridge, in the town of Bishop Stortford, into the River Lea, near a Place called the Rye, in the county of Hertford’. Commissioners were appointed to oversee the work & to raise the capital to fund the project, but dismally failed in this duty,
A second Act of Parliament was sought after three men proposed to the Commissioners that they would fund the scheme in return for charging tolls fees. It was entitled ‘An Act for making and continuing navigable the River Stort, in the counties of Hertford and Essex’, giving Charles Dingley, George Jackson & William Masterson the right to build the Navigation & collect tolls. The New ‘Spoons’ in Bishops Stortford is named ‘Port Jackson’ after George Jackson.
They had five years to complete the work, which began under the direction of Thomas Yeoman, who was also the surveyor for the Lee Navigation, completed in autumn 1769 the Stort Navigation included fifteen locks. In 1796, Jackson issued a Stort halfpenny token for use on the Navigation. The reverse shows the course of the river with a horse-drawn barge in the foreground. It was struck by Matthew Boulton in mid-1796, despite the date on the piece (1795)
There was then a proposal to extend the River Stort Navigation to be a canal to Cambridge, but it never really took off, there were many failed attempts to get the idea off of the ground. A second bill was introduced in January 1812, with some modifications, but despite organised opposition became an Act of Parliament on 9 June 1812, authorising the raising of £870,000 for the project, which included 52 locks on the main line, 13 on a branch to Whaddon, & three tunnels. Only £121,300 was subscribed, and so a second Act was obtained, despite this no work was ever done, London and Cambridge Junction Canal never came to fruition, as the Railways came in along most of the same route.
Back to the Hash & having turned around, Mr X & My Lil’ had the sense to look over the rough green verge between the towpath & the adjacent farm track, leaving Sparky to meet back up with the others. A CHK was found near to the bend in the farm track, Mr X was pleased with the fact that not only had he found the CHK on this parallel route but he was also "On!" around the elbow & heading to toward the corner end of the wooded ridge, shame his & My Lil's progress was halted by a T!
Sparky wasn't too far behind them again, but for all who followed on it was a turn back to again head westward once more, again the three chimneys could be seen as they were heading toward Hoddesdon, to rub it in they were a mere few feet from the towpath of the Stort Valley Way they were on earlier!
The Trail turned away from the waterway, a CHK was found by the start up in to a wood. Here the Hash ran in to a group of walkers who descended from one option, the very one favoured by Mr X but he was stopped my Alfa Male & encouraged to take the path at the bottom of the wooded edge.
The longer Trail was on a desire line that wove its way between the tufts of scrubby grass, the odd nettles & a few sharp brambles! This slowed the Keenies down & allowed TBT OBE to get ahead on the Short Cut up where Mr X had wanted to go in the first place from the CHK.
The Trail changed direction as an arrow pointed the wat up in to the southern end of the trunk of the T shaped wood, again the Keenies picked their way over the more brambles & saplings that seemed to grab & scratch at passing legs. Emerging from the Woodland Ketchup had to stop & look behind him as a small voice called out to get his attention [No it wasn’t Ewok! – Ed] as Prince Garmin was further back down the wooded hillside. At least Ketchup could now hear the familiar sound of the karts going around Rye House Karting track as he waited at the top of the ridge.
After clambering up between the trees on a fairly steep, but thankfully short slope, something less strenuous lay ahead as the Trail started on a gentle decent down to where the Short Cut met up, there was not too much of a loss in height. In the not so far off distance Max Factor could be seen & so could TBT OBE running off as he tried not to give away the direction of the Trail as he continued on his Short Cut.
The Trail changed direction with the Three Forests Way Track to run under the right-hand arm of the top of the T shaped wood. The dip in the path soon went & now it was a climb up one of the highest points on this hilly area, the vantage point gave the Hash fairly good look down over Roydon.
At the top of the near hundred foot gain in height from the level the river valley a CHK was found, My Lil’ was convinced that he saw TBT OBE scuttling off over by the hedgerow over near the eastside of the Roydon Park, so he took to the track that started away to the south before arcing around as it drops down to the hedgerow.
Mr X & Ketchup both ran the same stretch as well as My Lil’ & soon descended on to a CHK on the north-south Track by the hedge, My Lil’ tut-tutted as he said “No Trail leading up to the Check!” Then there were calls of “On!” back from up on the hill, then Mr X corrected My Lil’ as he realised that the Trail would be coming down from the north.
As if to prove the case in point, Sparky had made his way around from where he had started on the other path that looped its way between the Check points. Mr X said that Sludge would no doubt be chomping at the bit to know the RA had cut out a section of the Trail, even if by accident, but said “I’ll just do what he does & mention that there was no T to stop us!” Unfortunately for Mr X, even being RA doesn’t make you Teflon-coated & he would be in the Circle later, but not for SCBing!
Now, there was no sign of TBT OBE at CHK & so Mr X, Ketchup & My Lil’ all headed up to the very highest part of the ridge, but the sun was in their eyes to make it harder to see any dust, not that it really mattered as there wasn’t any Dust up there. Of course they weren’t called back until reaching the very summit, so back down to find the rest were heading down along the edge of a field, Ketchup didn’t think that this was a true footpath, but with a dog walker & his two beagles heading toward them showed that it had been left aside for the locals to exercise their pooches.
At the east edge of the field the path joined a track & this left the field to head through a wide area of puddles to reach the farmyard of Temple Farm. Tent Packer, Sludge & those who had got ahead of the others went wrong as they passed beyond the large green hay bale moving machine turned off of the main route & went off between a couple of the large farm building.
The wayward ones were called back by Alfa Male to join the rest on the simple end of the Trail by making their way out to the new builds on Farm Close to the east of the Farmyard, there the On Inn was found. Mr X soon found that he had been ‘Sticky Willied’ as he had a lot of teasels clinging to his back, but it wasn’t Prince Garmin who did this but My Lil’, Sludge added that My Lil’ would do anything to get a free Pint! Mr X said it would probably be a pint of water!
Back to base & Paxo’s Birthday month seems to keep rolling on as there were packets of crisps, knobby’s nuts [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] & a couple of rounds of chips. There were even some nice pickled eggs bought by Ketchup, surprisingly Sparky has never seen pickled eggs & thought that they were still in the shell, he only realised that they were hard boiled & shell-less when he picked up My Lil’s & gave his egg a little squeeze. [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] I suppose that My Lil’ has only just found this fact out as he reads this, since it happened while he was at the Bar buying another round!
The Hash finally went out for the Circle in the gazebo [Bless you have you got a cold? – Ed] Prince Garmin was like a monkey try to clamber up & hang from the timbers & turn the outside heating lamps on, not that it was that cold.
There was a murmuring going around about the RA’s waistcoat, which was inside out but nothing would come to that until the GM, had toasted the Hash [A drink in her hand would have been handy & not so embarrassing! – Ed] then Mr X had awarded the Hare’s their reward for setting a good Trail that caught the Keenies out & had everyone back at the On Inn in 55 minutes.
Mr X accepted his fate as he necked a wishy washy one for having his waistcoat on inside out, he did say this was due to being traumatized the day before, firstly at the Third Pub on the F.U.K. Full Moon Trail, where upstairs there were a group of Puppy Fetish people, who were dressed in PVC dog outfits & masks. Each time a Full Mooner went up to see this bizarre sight of grown adults on their hands & knees, they would yap & bark at them, not only that, but they were eating out of dog bowls, playing with dog toys & doing obedience training! Mr X jokingly said that the Hash had bought Paxo a year’s membership, which made him prick his ears up at that suggestion!
If that wasn’t enough for Mr X, while with Ketchup & My Lil’ they paid a visit to a Brewery Pub in Highbury & Islington on the way home. Busting for a pee, Mr X handed a £20 note to them to get the round in, imagine his surprise & shock to return & be handed £2 change! Yep, £6 a pint!
TBT OBE was out for his Birthday, which popped up on the RA’s phone as soon as he got back to the Pub which Prince Garmin was happy to see had free Wi-Fi! There was no Hashit this week, so the last hit went to Sparky for the previous week’s incident that saw him stuck between two sets of fire doors until he was released from his ‘self-inflicted’ imprisonment by a Bar Maid! We even had a new Down-Down Song, from our Choir Mistress, & Mr X thought that he had heard them All!