Date = 18th December 2016
Run Number = 1710
Venue = The Red Lion
Location= Woolmer Green
Beer = Doombar; Proper Job
Hares = Sludge
Runners = 27
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 27
Membership = Full Of Christmas Cheer!
It was a bright & sunny morning, but for all of that it was still pretty fresh out first thing. So, you’d have thought my Lil’ would have been happy but as the bus he had just alighted pulled away he was greeted by the sight of a CHK right in the entrance to the car park, now groaning & shaking his head he crossed over.
The Pack slowly arrived, Stand-in Shit was amused to hear that both Mr X & My Lil’ had got the bus over to the venue, when he asked where the bus stopped they pointed directly over the road & then pointed out the return bus stop toward Welwyn Garden City was just by the car park entrance. “Is that why you picked the Place?” Stand-in asked them, it wasn’t their choice but they were happy to go there.
It slowly dawned the RA that this week’s Trail was turning in to a fancy hat competition, with TBT OBE having a large Chimney on his head with Santa’s legs sticking out the top, meanwhile Kylie was wearing a Christmas Pudding! The GM announced the correct Run number before the Hare was introduced, Sludge’s spiel was equally as brief & it seems that the Hare’s parting words to the Pack were on the side of being easy on My Lil’, for Sludge pointed the way southward away from the Pub & down toward the Chequers Pub.
Even without having to Check out at the start, it was a slow start for the Hash. Well, it is Office Party Season this time of the year & it can take its toll. The Pack passed by the front of the Chequers, the aviary of budgies took Milf’s attention & she went over to look at these hardy little birds perched out on this chili morn. As the roadside path turned with the corner of the highway the Pack were faced with the long trot up hill.
A CHK was found near to the small Twin Foxes estate, on the entrance are two busts of two of the local Scallywags Albert Ebenezer Fox (1857 – 20 May 1937) & Ebenezer Albert Fox (1857 – 2 October 1926) who were infamous English poachers who lived in Stevenage
They were born in 1857 in Symonds Green & named after the Ebenezer Chapel (Baptist Church) on Albert Street, of which their father, Henry Fox, was a devout supporter. Despite their respectable background, the twins turned to a life of crime. They made sure never to go poaching together, often escaped their frequent encounters with the constabulary by providing alibis for each other.
Despite this, they did spend time in prison where they attracted the attention of Sir Edward Henry who used twins, including the Foxes, to prove that an individual could be identified by his fingerprints. Their crimes made national & international news, it would come as no surprise that the locals of Stevenage had a Pub named after the local petty criminals!
As 3D, Slug, 2-1-2 Maureen, TBT OBE, Whatever She Says, Party Animal, Psycho & Kylie made their way up from the level, My Lil’, Sparky & Milf made their way over the small green space & to the start of Heath road that leads off westward from London Road, meanwhile Alfa Male & Mr X continued up toward the crest of the hill where the railway bridge sits. Mr X used his local knowledge & crossed to the east side of the road to where a bridleway sign pointed the way on the track of Bridger’s Path that heads of southward before the railway bridge.
Dust was found on this track as it leads on by a local Stables, here it looked as if some of the Trail had been kicked out as its route started to turn & head downhill by the mobile phone transmitter to come out to a CHK just by where the track joins one of the elbows in the narrow Robbery Bottom Lane, named like a few of the roads in the Mardley Heath area of Welwyn after the exploits of a certain Dick Turpin, the infamous highwayman who used to ply his evil trade on the old Great North Road.
Alfa Male headed down the steep drop to the other elbow in the lane by Hempstall Spinney, Mr X wasn’t as keen on heading down there & decided to search the lane as it leads just a few degrees above due east, on what was an old Roman Road that leads in to Datchworth. The narrow tarmac lane began to drop down to the valley that White Horse Lane that runs across the route.
Mr X picked up the Trail & led the way down to the CHK in the valley, there he immediately took to the uncapped track of a bridleway that leads through the scrubby tree-line up toward Datchworth, Mr X knew that the Hare could not resist the almost magnetic draw on him of running through the grounds of his old Rigby Club.
Milf was soon up on the same route as Mr X, but these two would get further ahead of the rest as their calls of “On!” were masked by the sound of the various ages of Rugby Teams out practicing & playing that morning. Mr X would run on by a footpath off to the north, to find the Bar CHK up by the end of the tree-line to where the Cricket Club Pavilion is!
Mr X turned back & indicated to Milf that the Trail would turn off to the north & the two set about passing through the tree-line, Milf went a bit array here as she went around the outside of the vacant pitch in search of Dust, whereas Mr X’s local Knowledge helped him to head straight over the pitch to pick up the Dust on the footpath over the adjacent crop field.
My Lil’ made up ground, another who has local knowledge & he too joined them on the northbound path of clinging clay through the seedlings, this came out on to the cul-de-sac of Wheatcoats. Leaving muddy steps behind them the FRBs moved on to find a CHK on the cul-de-sac entrance on to the east-west Datchworth Green road & the junction with Rectory Lane straight ahead opposite.
My Lil’ headed crossed over to search Rectory Lane, while Mr X searched up on the path beside the village hall, where he found the Trail, again his calls of “On!” were drowned out by the players on another of the Rugby Pitches, this one above the Village Hall to the north.
The RA made it up to the next CHK by the crossroads of footpaths, he continued slightly eastward off of due north up the slight rise in the hillside that All Saints Church can be seen sitting on at the top. Mr X found the Trail on up by the Horse paddocks to the east & raised his hand to indicate that the Trail was that way, looking back he could see that My Lil’ & Milf had come around the Village Hall the wrong way & weren’t ‘On Trail’.
Up safely without disturbing the horses in their paddock & the next CHK was discovered just around the bend in the path, Mr X was earlier convinced that the Trail would head over toward the homes along the east side of Hawkshill lane, siutated on the Painter’s Green area of Datchworth, but all that said & he chose to take the direct path up to All Saints Church while My Lil’ went off around toward the homes.
The RA was surprised to see when he picked up Trail, even more so that the expected Bar CHK never materialized across this path, instead once up on the level at the end of the field there was a CHK on the tarmac path that runs below the Church Grounds.
Mr X, Milf & then My Lil’ all held this CHK, the rest were still quiet away behind, eventually Sparky came in to view, followed by Max Factor, Ewok, & Alfa Male who had made it back from the long way down the Robbery Bottom Lane hill earlier on. Once with the main body of the Pack started coming into sight the Keenies started off searching again, with Milf & Mr X taking the westward option toward Hollybush Lane & My Lil’ the eastbound way to Bury Lane.
The path around to the lane the primary school sits on proved to have Dust on it, but then things finally went wrong as Milf came around to the opposite side of the school & went off to search the path down through to the local Stables of Pound Farm. Meanwhile Mr X went down Hollybush lane.
My Lil’ followed on behind Milf & these two met Mr X out on Hollybush Lane with its junction with Rectory Lane, around this junction were some scrape marks on the bankside of the hedgerows, which were mistakenly taken to be scrubbed out Trail!
With nothing to see at the Crossroads, Mr X reckoned that the Trail would be up Rectory Lane & off through the horse paddocks & then down over the cropfields to Woolmer Green, so southward down Rectory Lane the trio headed & the first footpath off to the west in to the horse paddocks proved to have no Dust, so back to the lane which so obviously gets its name from the holly hedgerows that line it on either side.
On the way up to the next footpath through the paddocks, the trio now approached a T from the wrong way which indicated to them that they had missed the Trail on the most obvious rote around on Hollybush Lane, then Sparky came running up toward them & he had to be turned around to join them heading along.
The next southwest through the paddock was already being checked out by Alfa Male & Ketchup by the time the FRBS made it beyond the high holly hedge, a raised hand from Alfa Male indicated that the Trail had been found at the second of the gates at the end of the paddocks.
On the opposite side of the Gate the final CHK was found on the crop field side of the hedgerow, to the west Woolmer Green could be seen down in the valley. Instead of searching the most direct route down over the field, Alfa Male chose to search southward & around the perimeter of the field by the edge of Cave Wood, but he would not find any Dust along there. Instead it was Mr X & Ketchup who found the Trail on the direct route home, Ketchup was a little bewildered as to where he was & Mr X had to tell him were they were, pointing out that Stevenage was safely out of sight over the hills to the north, he then indicated where Lessiters Chocolates factory is in Woolmer Green & finally Mardley Heath which was over the opposite hill that they started up.
More the wiser, Ketchup continued down with Mr X, Milf, My Lil’ & Sparky to where the point where it finishes as it joins New Road, after the short drop down the Lane’s roadside embankment it was a short way back in to Woolmer Green, one local out & busy sorting his front garden was quick with a “Merry Humbug!” as he spied the RA’s Bah Humbag Black Santa Hat!
The Keenies followed the arrows off on to the side street of Garden Road, though as it turned direction Sparky went wrong as he suddenly found himself running out of anywhere to run in the dead end of someone’s alleyway instead of heading in to the small play area to the side, how he missed this is a wonder as it has a large yellow & black wasp/spider/bug climbing frame to the official footpath out to London Road.
Passing the On Inn in the alleyway, the Keenies crossed London Road to find that they had almost 10 minutes to wait before opening time, at least they could wait out this time in the Bar, as the staff busied themselves preparing the conservatory for the Hash Christmas Dinner later.
The Bar was opened on the hour & it was time to start on the rather good pint of Proper Job. There was a bit of a wait for Fireball, Skip & 2-1-2 Maureen to return, as well as the Hare, who had gone back to make sure that Skip in the Hashit was not going to get lost & escorted him back Inn.
Having changed in to festive wear, best Crimbo jumpers & outfits that certainly added some colour to the table. Not everyone settle down for a drink, for there was the unfinished business of the Conker Final, with both Milf & our Raining Champ, Max Factor, still trying to battle it out. In the end it was deemed to be a draw!
The Hash were invited to take their places at the table, it was a bit of a squeeze that certainly made it feel very cozy! Perhaps it was fortunate that Sloppy Seconds did a runner before paying! As there wasn't much room at the back of the Inn.
The staff were super-efficient when it came to the service, with the Starters coming out. Mr X & Max Factor soon realised that the excellent breaded mushrooms were a good choice as it seemed to be the most compared with their jealous compatriots choices.
The RA went through the events & Hashes that Herts have attended over the past year, with both the Herts X-mas Weekend & Yorkshire AGPU in January; February brought the Chinese New Year of the Monkey with a Chinese Meal after the Run, later in Feb was the Inaugural Bull Moon Weekend in the outskirts of Birmingham; the end of March saw a joint Run with London for the ‘Boat race Run’; April was time for the usual Saracens v Wasps at Wembley;
The start of May saw the UK Alternative to InterHash which took place in Edinburgh (Balierno) this month had the Only Friday 13th of the year! While at the end there was the Full Moon Nash Hash outside of Birmingham;
July had started with the Isle of Wight Medieval Weekend, also in this month were the Braughing Wheelbarrow Race & the EHMR Campout in the same weekend & to finish off the three weeks was a Joint Run with Essex that took in the Epping Ongar Railway! July finished with another Isca Roman Away Weekend; A Barbeque at Tent Packers Started off
August, then there was a visit to the Ashford Loco Hash in Kent; The Grand Opening of the Shed on a Full Moon, amongst the other FUK Full Moons; September began with the Glamp-out & a trip to the Dogs in Henlow; later that month was the Black Pudding Hash & this ‘sold out’ event was complimented by the World’s End Pub Crawl which involved the Two Garden Cities of Letchworth & Welwyn; there was even a Bash in October!
were a few notable Birthday’s with October saw 2-1-2 Maureen’s 80th
Birthday (Keep your eyes peel for the Feb edition of the ‘Spoons in-house
magazine) October finished with the Dia de los Muertos Mexican Day of the Dead
Fancy Dress Run; November saw a joint Run with The Hare & Hounds; then there was
80th 60th in December, finally the Red Lion
Christmas Meal round sit all off!
The Circle was squeezed in between the main course, which there was plenty of & very good it was. The gluttony meant that the Down-Downs were only halves, with nearly everyone receiving a hit, here are just a few.
After the Hare had been rewarded for an excellent Trail on this wonderful day. Then in no particular order; Paxo & Kylie as the seasonal lurgy brothers; No Eye Deer for organising the meal; 3D & Slug for their return after a long absence, they were joined by Stand-in & Fireball which wasn’t really celebrated at 2-1-2 Maureen’s 80th.
Max Factor for retaining the Conker Crown she won the previous year, since the final with Milf was deemed to t be a Drawn Contest, for this there was a rather splendid conker trophy to be awarded!!
Finally the RA was lenient on those who had just eaten, the Staff & Civilian Customers in the Red Lion as he present Sparky with the Hashit & requested that Sparky didn’t have to get down to skin to put it on! The reason for his wearing it was the fact he had run around the whole Trail with a shoe horn in his shoe, which he thought was a stone but never stopped to remove!
it was time for the Secret Santa, as
Satan Santa himself appeared with
his bulging sack, [Calm down there Pebbledash! – Ed] to have the Hash sit upon
his knee & select their special Pressies, it’s still amazing what you can find
for £5 or less & most seemed pleased at what they received!