Date = 15th January 2017
Run Number = 1716
Venues = The Angel Vaults
Beer = Farr Brewery Golden, Bitter, Stout, Coach House, Greedee King
Hares = Porky Pie
Runners = 19
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Apres = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 19
Membership = Avoiding the humungous pooch!
It may have been wet & cold but it didn't stop a good turnout from putting in an appearance this morning. The dreary weather didn't put Dawn off of coming along as she is over from LA at the moment [Good to see she brought the weather with her! - Ed]
Dawn arrived with Mr X, who got out the cab & once he had his bag stowed away in Porky Pie's boot, he ran up to Ewok & kissed her on the cheek & declared "A belated 'kiss a ginger day' for Thursday! ARP kisses a ginger nearly every day! “It’s not ginger!” was her reply [The lady doth protest too much, methinks – Ed]
The Pack sheltered in the courtyard entrance until Ewok did the introductions, then Porky Pie stepped forward to let Pack know what they could expect out there. Sparky kept questioning the Hare whether there were horses on the Trail, he seemed to be desperate to get his horn to his lips & was happy when he heard that there wasn't any equines along the Trail!
Porky Pie added that the Trail was almost getting washed out as he was setting it earlier on in the morning rain. Then after a bit about Short Cuts & a sweet stop, the Pack were ushered out on to Sun Street & southward to the T-junction where it joins Tilehouse Street.
The initial pace of the Pack was nothing to write home about, which suited the survivors of the previous days Full Moon, & for Mr X this was his third a Trail as the first Friday 13th of 2017 came before the Full Moon, of which a few of the Pack enquired how both Trails went? The answer being "Very well!"
The First CHK was found & Fliptop wasted little time in picking up the Trail as it crossed the River Hiz & headed out toward the small roundabout in front of the Half Moon, a fine establishment! The Pack were now led off of the Queens Street junction & up to the southeast to a CHK on the path along the roadside that heads to the Three Moorhens.
There nearly all the FRBs were suckered on to running the false Trail up the east bound footpath alleyway rising up Stand Hill. Back up along by the Red Brick wall that protects the back of Hitchin Priory Gardens, the RA noticed ARP was out on her own on this west side of the road, as she trotted along toward the new, hi-tech solar-lowered dot-matrix speeding sign, the RA spotted it had a green smiley face & a speed of 27mph, which isn't bad!
The Hash began the slow steady climb up the hill, some were still on the east side of the road & then found themselves having to cross over at bend that had a very limited line of sight for oncoming traffic. The Keenies were caught in the middle of the road for a short while as the traffic coming down the hill halted their safe passage to the Westside.
Mr X made chicken ‘clucking’ noises as he dodged the passing cars & get on to the path, a south bound trot leads up behind the wooded embankment to rise above the dead-end Priory End, this route led up to a CHK by the footpath off down behind the Priory Gardens where they almost backs on to the A602 in the valley below, but this proved to be a Falsie for the likes of Alfa Male, Lemming, Mother, Max Factor, Sparky & Tent Packer.
The others continued on along the footpath to where it takes to the arching footbridge over the A602, though they stepped to one side when some proper runners came through, Mr X & Fliptop agreed that the on-coming runners didn’t look to be very happy, especially compared to the Hash with smiles on their faces!
Once over the high footbridge a CHK was found on the second part of the wooded strip of pines, the favoured route was to take to the path down the southern side of the A602, once by the pooches out for a walk & out of the wood the Dust was found.
There was a nice long drop down in to the valley at the bottom of Hitchin Hill, overlooking the manor of Charlton which is mentioned in the Domesday Book as belonging to Ilbert of Hitchin. It later came into the possession of the Knights Templars, then when their order were dissolved by the Knights Hospitallers.
Another CHK in the floor of the vale of farm land had the Keenies heading up to the southwest, TBT OBE & Paxo took the Short Cut which the Hare had marked to the west where the other Keenies had come back from.
The rise up the hillside gave Wanktlers, Mr X, Tent Packer, My Lil’, Alfa Male, Max Factor, Sparky & Ewok a good view from the top to see No Eye Deer & Dawn also making their way to the top of the ridge, before the Trail came out through the wide gap in the hedgerow & turned right onto Brick Kiln Lane. Now the Dust led down the leaf mulch covered single track, narrow rustic lane as it drops below the level of the fields.
Passing the steps to a Footpath in the fields to the south there was no distraction as the Dust took the Hash on by the small adjoin loop of another lane by the small whitewashed thatched cottages, then it moved on by the Piggery, with some lager happy rare breed porkers like the sociable Duroc & Mangalica breeds living there & a building named ‘The Palace’.
A bit of care was need at the ford in the River Hiz as parts were looking like the river had recently flowed over the top of the raised foot crossing section, then it was out from under the willow tree’s canopy & on by the Windmill Pub, which is up for Sale (Free of Tie) after an attempt to turn this great old boozer into a residential House was rejected.
The Keenies knew that they were on a loop & so once on to Charlton Road they knew there was only one way to go & that was northward back toward southern outskirts of Hitchin. Over to the west where the Ark Wildlife Bird Food & Accessories way back from the road by Charlton House, birthplace in 1813 & early home to Henry Bessemer who amongst over 100 of his invention made his name creating the ‘Bessemer process’ for producing steel.
The FRBs would pick up the TBT OBE & Paxo just before the T-Junction where the Charlton Road turns 60° from north to get on to what is part of the road back to the A602. The Dust would go as far as the main road, for it crossed over to the north side of the lane & took to the backstreets of Hawthorn Close & then Meadow Way, where the tough twigs of a tree that was a hazard to eyes had to dodged, it’s a surprise the council haven’t said it needs cutting back.
Emerging out on to the three way Y shaped junction which saw the Pack head over to the Pirton Road, ignoring the Offley Road & Upper Tilehouse Street. The Pack now became split in to two on either side of the rise. Ahead lay a long climb up the steep residential hill, the RA did noticed that Sloppy Seconds was on the left side of the road & as he approached another Dot-matrix Speed Sign at the apex of the hill, it flashed up with a Red 42 & a Red Sad Face, which was not as good as ARP did earlier!
At the top of the hill & the Trail would turn from the west & head northward along the uncapped Byway that starts on Crow Furlong to end at a CHK at the Crossroads with Brays Lane & Bridleway 4 that leads northwestward. The Trail was discovered on Bridleway 4 & it was along here as the uncapped stony by-way turns northward that ARP & Porky Pie told of a “Humongous Dog” of Hans Christian Anderson proportions that rushes at people as they pass by his home near Ducklands Cottages, with it giving passers-by a shock & preventing some of a nervous disposition walking this path.
Fortunately for the Hash, ‘Tiny’ the poodle wasn’t out & off the lead in the rain, & so everyone safely passed by without issue to find an arrow directing them on to the northbound farm track that eventually joins Oughtonhead Lane path, Alfa Male, Max Factor, Lemming, Mr X, My Lil’, Tent Packer & Ewok all began to get away from those at the rear
Before getting even half way to Oughtonhead Lane there would be a respite at the only Held CHK on the Trail, due to the wind the Pack moved through the wide gap in the hedgerow & took shelter from the chilly wind to enjoy the sweet stop.
Now, there were Jelly Babies or Sport Gums (which were rather similar to Wine Gums) on offer & Ewok said that she would have some Sport’s Gums as it would make her run further! The RA was eager to see if this would turn out to be true & discuss this later in the Circle. It was noticed that TBT OBE, Paxo, No Eye Deer & Dawn were no longer in sight.
Another Short Cut back eastward over the farm fields was on offered from the Held CHK on a footpath leading up through the centre of the farm field & this was marked by the Hare, meanwhile the FRBs were allowed to continue along the path over to Oughtonhead lane in the north, another old uncapped by-way which leads to the Oughtonhead Spring in the west, to the very head of the tributary that eventually flows northeastward to join the River Hiz.
A turn to the east had Lemming, Mr X, My Lil’, Mother, Ewok, Max Factor, Alfa Male, Sparky, Fliptop, Tent Packer & Wanktlers up & away from the uncapped section on to the tarmac at the crest of the hill where Oughtonhead Lane becomes the residential area on the western edge of Hitchin. As Mr X looked back through the last bit of hedgerow he could see two figures making their way by the Fairy-Tale monster Pooch, he wondered if it was No Eye Deer & Dawn?
Dust took the FRBs away from the 1960’s & 70’s style homes to run down the section that runs back though the older uncapped lanes of more established older residences. Again the road became uncapped, a southward turn by the Caravan Site to get on to the ‘Private’ Lucas Lane which would bring the Keenies back on to behind the SCBs of Paxo & TBT OBE.
A change to an eastern trot down Gaping Lane led all the way down to the traffic-light Junction with Old Park Road. Arrows direct the way over to Butts Close green space [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] to run up to Fishponds Road, following this eastward main road until it reached the roundabout junction with Bancroft Road, there was no hanging around here as the Trail crossed over to lead through Bancroft Gardens.
On the way back down to the centre of Hitchin Ewok asked Mr X about the Friday 13th Trail, saying that herself & Milf wanted to go along but couldn't make it. Mr X told her of a couple of the 'orrid stops & what happened to the victims, also how this was all recreated by elected members of the Pack.
A pleasant trot for the Keenies as they were led on through the tennis courts & play area of the park’s northern end on a Trail that weaved its way around through the eastern area where the River Hiz runs, the 'z' in its name was an old abbreviated character for a 'tch' sound, as in the name of the town. It should be pronounced 'River Hitch'! Like ‘Ye’ is an old abbreviation for ‘The’.
The Trail would follow this after a slight diversion around to the Market Place behind St Mary’s Church, which was founded by Offa, king of Mercia 757-796. Through the public car park & then On Inn via the coaching entrance to the Sun, the neighbouring Pub to the Angel Vaults, this was where Ketchup had gone into the bar there by mistake, as from the Car Park it doesn’t look as if the two opposing sides are the same Pub.
By the time the RA had changed, Ketchup & Prince Garmin arrived after making it around following a late arrival at the venue. Where TBT OBE made Mr X & Paxo jump when they approached him about Prince Garmin's 100th Run Tankard, as they did so TBT OBE remove a tankard from his bag & proceeded to top it up with Ale! With startled looks on their faces both exclaimed that they hoped it wasn't for Prince Garmin? TBT OBE then showed them that it was his own Herts Tankard, much to their relief.
Back at the Pub, where Mother & Lemming, like our very own Gru
(Despicable me!) he produced a Tupperware box that contained an evil looking
multi-coloured blob like Dr Who alien, which turned out to be vodka
enthused jellies, with the jelly babies not standing up as well the wine gums!
By the time it came around to the final Circle, there were plenty eating, plus it was raining a bit heavier compared to the light drizzle that briefly plagued the Trail.
The Hare was rewarded for a food Trail that everyone was around in an hour & ten!
Lemming & Mother out for this failed, but not a bad first effort for Vodka jellies, we have something to look forward to in the future. Tent Packer was awarded his hit for his comments about “Mrs Mallet can’t speak, as she coughs every time she opens her mouth! It’s bliss!” [Poor Mrs M! Get Well Soon! – Ed]
Prince Garmin was out for completing 100 Herts Runs, he was joined by ARP who clocked up 150, well done to them! Ewok was called out for remarking about the Sports sweets should have given her an extra boost for running, but perhaps they didn't?TBT was up for his lost property from the Christmas Weekend Bungalow, as removed the T-shirts he soon discovered to his disappointment that the Hashit had mysteriously made its way in with the others that Mr X had