Date = 12th February 2017
Run Number = 1721
Venues = The Bell
Beer = Black Sheep
Hares = Ewok & Dillon
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 14
Membership = Inhaling the distinct odor of Bullshit wafting through the air!
For some on this dull & damp morning it would be their second Hash in two days, having attended the previous Day’s Gispert 75th Anniversary Memorial Run & what a long day that was! Mr X had even been around the Trail twice on Saturday as he was the Hare for that day & set it that morning.
On the way over with Tent Packer, Mr X got to hear two confessions: one that the Sacred Herts Hash Book had gone missing after the Gispert Trail! Diggers name was mentioned, as was Skips [The latter wasn’t there so was taken out of the frame! – Ed] Then Tent Packer spilled the beans on purchasing Mrs Mallet a nice hop plant, in the form of the Farr Brewery’s grow your own beer kit, something every woman needs! You grow the hops & take them back to the brewery for a couple of free pints! [One way of getting hops in this day & age of shortages! – Ed]
Things were in a reverse order from Mr X’s Saturday experience for Ewok this day, for having run the Gispert Memorial the day before, our GM was one of this morning’s Hares & had just got back from setting the Trail with Dillon. The damp & out of breath Ewok appeared to have more flour on her Hash gear than her co-Hare did, though both did look like couple of drowned rats, fortunately for the Pack the rain had stopped by the time the RA had arrived!
Sparky pulled up in his car just as the Chief Hare was going through her ‘Chalk-talk’ on what the Pack could expect out there on a sodden looking Trail, this was nearly interrupted when Ewok's mobile started to ring, with a glance down at the screen she announced that it was Paxo trying to get her into trouble [thought that happened about 16 years ago? - Ed] but she chose to ignore this act of sabotage!
Short Cuts & a Jaffa Cake stop were the memorable bits of the Hares' speil, so was the part about not having to hang around in the chilly wind at the Jaffa-cake stop. Then there was the bit that really grabbed the Pack’s attention when Ewok said “In My Lil’s honour the Trail begins with a Check right outside the Pub!” of course this brought howls of laughter from the rest of the Hash.
My Lil’ groaned like a creaky stair case as he joined the rest in leaving the car park & starting to search off southward down the High Street, Trail was found along this well-kept archetypal English Village with its quaint old homes, local stores - including a Family Butchers, & the second Pub before reaching the old Herring-bone Flemish Brick building of Knight’s Court on the bend as the main lane turns from south to east. Knights Court was once reputedly run by the Knights Hospitallers, was once the Local Court & School House.
A CHK was found by the small triangle at the edge of the road, this is home to a large lump of Hertfordshire Pudding Stone. Hertfordshire puddingstone is a mix of sedimentary rock, composed of flint pebbles rounded off by the sea which were then cemented together by a younger matrix of silica quartz Eocene epoch some 56 Million Year Ago.
This distinctive rock is mostly found in Herts but small amounts occur throughout the London Basin. Although it resembles modern concrete, it is entirely natural. Puddingstones derive their name from the embedded flints resembling the plums in a Christmas pudding & were used by early Christians to hold meetings around, they consider good luck – especially at warding off witches, also in Folklore they are known as ‘Breeding Stones’ & given to Newly Weds. [Guess what Max Factor & Alfa Male are getting as a Wedding present from the Hash? – Ed]
The tree beside the Puddingstone was planted by Miss Katie Smith in 1911 for the Coronation of King George V. The Hash didn’t follow the easterly way out of the village as the Trail was picked up on Papermill Lane where it heads westward, Papermill Lane derives its name from the fact that some of the earliest paper mills in the UK were established up in Hertfordshire & the one that once stood here used the water from River Rib which flows to the west of Standon.
Sparky was soon at the front, with Tent Packer, Milf & Sludge making an effort as well, then came Mr X, Pebbledash, Sloppy Seconds & My Lil’ who were still under the influence of the Gispert Trail & were struggling to get going!
The Hash passed by a pumping station as the narrow lane turned a few degrees to the south, before it came up to the long, wide ford in the Rib, it is at this point the mill feeder streams go around the old white building in the centre of the island the mill once occupied. Sloppy said that the ford wasn’t that deep, but he didn’t consider wading through it!
The next CHK was found the over river on the opposite side of the high footbridge spanning the various sized streams below, Fliptop & Lucy were rapidly in to the field to the south of the lane. Fliptop was another who was fresher than Saturday’s survivors, he was soon calling “On!” as he picked up a Falsie in the meadow where an ox-bow is forming in the course of the Rib.
Back to the westbound track & Mr X & Sparky checked out the narrow lane as it turns up toward the Barwick Road, while My Lil’ chose to search the footpath up in the adjacent field that leads out to the same Road. These three were soon called back as the Trail was picked up by Sludge, Tent Packer, Milf & Fliptop out in the southern meadows, but this time on the west side of the Rib.
Now it was a trot out over the green space toward Standon Lordship, as the Trail began to move away from the river the Trail would split in to two, with Sludge & Tent Packer being swept up by Dillon on the short cut that was staying on the floor of the valley, meanwhile the Keenies took to the steep climb up the high grassy ridge to the west before it came back down to join the lower path cross the front of the drive to the Lordship.
Milf seemed to be unaware that this is the venue for ‘Standon Calling’ a now established Music Festival that started off as a Barbeque in 2001! Mr X wanted to go to a couple of years ago when Public Enemy headlined there. A CHK was found on the Lordship driveway to the 1500’s house that was once owned by the Duke of Wellington & this fooled a few to check out to the route along it to the west, all to no avail. The famous former landowner gave his name to the Pub that used be at Barwick Ford not that far away on the River Rib.
The Trail was located out through the steel five-bar gate & around by the fields that are home to some of the stalls & sideshows wintered-up until they are used for the music festival that Kylie mentioned a little earlier.
The footpath left the enclosed fields to go around the elbow in the path to lead away to the east, only a short way on this hedged-in path to the second short cut of the Trail, this one would be more significant in cutting out the long Trail. Milf, Kylie, Fliptop, Sparky, Pebbledash & My Lil’ all took to the south bound route up to Latchford, the Hares followed on, leaving Sludge & Tent Packer to their own devices on the Short Cut [Now that’s tasking for trouble! – Ed].
Mr X was feeling the previous day’s Trail laying & sweeping up the Short Cutters, so he joined Sloppy Seconds on the official Short Cut but they were quite away behind the other two. On the other option the Keenies on the other hand were almost at the top of the gentler rising ridge, then down in to Latchford where there is another ford in the River Rib.
The FRBS were soon running through Arches Hall & the off on Morley Lane to the east to come out on to the Track that was once the railway branch line to Buntingford, which was & still is known as the ‘Bunt’. From the CHK at this point the FRBs began a nor-nor-westerly trot back down to toward the Lordship, Sparky seemed oblivious of his surroundings or that he was running on an old railway line & said he didn’t see when questioned by Kylie later on!
Back on the footpath the SCBs had gone up, an arrow would change the FRBs direction to head eastward up the long steep hill rising some 66 feet on the incline to the next CHK by a footpath dropping away to the north. Sloppy Seconds & Mr X reached this bit just in time to see Sludge & Tent packer down in the valley below, this was fortunate timing as these two away in the distance were spotted running just before they were out of sight behind the tree-line.
Sloppy Seconds & Mr X soon realized that there was no Dust at all on the route that they were following on in Sludge & Tent Packer footsteps, which led Sloppy & Mr X to going awry for a while. They were also took their eye of the ball briefly as they discussed the Gispert Trail & that this area was also where Sloppy Seconds grew up.
Instead the Trail would be back on the southeasterly path that continued its rise up to the top of the ridge & on toward the gap in the sheltering tree-line where a 4X4 was parked up. It was from here the loud ‘crack, crack’ sound of shooting echoed out over the vale.
This tree-line windbreak sits upon the ridge by Standon Lodge & the excellently named Wilderness wood, of course it always seems to be that where there’s shooting near a Trail that the Pack will be lured away over toward it, & so it was in this case.
The Trail turned northward up through Balsams on to Bromley Lane then around upon Hadham Lane. It seemed on this side of the hillside that the wind was more biting & so Sloppy & Mr X decided that they were not going to hang around, especially in the belief that the rest of the Pack would have no problems in soon catching them up. Also these two had an ulterior motive in trying to keeping an eye out for what Tent Packer & Sludge were up too.
There would be no sign of Sludge & Tent Packer, which wasn’t surprising as they would have passed by the sewage works to the south of Standon & would be back in the village already by now. Mr X & Sloppy Seconds had worked this out, with Mr X’s use of recalling previous Runs around these parts & not coming up with any alternative paths.
Little did they know that they were now on the last section of the Trail, albeit a long one on the tarmac Hadham Lane, Mr X wondered why the footpaths through to Well Pond Green & then to Standon Friars before coming down to Standon were not used, but like something from CSI Mr X deduced by the sight of the flour splatter it showed that the Hares were running this bit in order to get back in time for the Pack’s arrival, which they did with only a couple of minutes to spare. So, Ewok’s lack of Breath at her arrival wasn’t down to her claim of “Taking a virgin into the woods!”
There wasn’t much in the way of traffic, which was nice as the Road narrowed as it began to turn from the northwest to due north & then finally drop down westward to enter the village, with the row of homes on just the north side of the lane to start with. Suddenly up ahead of them they suddenly heard a ‘faux call’ of “On! On!” & saw Tent Packer & Sludge turning on their heels before they called out “On Inn!”
Mr X & Sloppy Seconds now had the ripe smell of Bullshit wafting in through the air & it hung heavy in their nostrils as they came down to the On Inn, Mr X reckoned that Sludge & Tent Packer had come back up the Trail as they had got bored waiting back at the Bell, & what prophetic words these would be.
As Sloppy Seconds & Mr X came around by the Flemish brick building, for Mr X & Sloppy Seconds it was perfect timing as the Church Bell chimed noon. The walked up the High Street to arrive back at the Bell to see Tent Packer & Sludge were waiting again outside the Pub’s front door, which was still locked!”
The four managed to get in to the Bar, but it was quite some time before the rest came back Inn from the longer Trail, but it was worth blowing out the cobwebs from the previous day’s Hash, & the Hash was set up to Run off a hangover, build a thirst for a Beer & make older members feel that they aren’t passed it!
Back Pack joined the Pack inside the Pub, most of the talk was bout the Gispert Trail, especially as Sloppy was brought up in that area. Also the Hash went over the State Ketchup was in & that he finally did message that he had made it back to Hertford.
Ewok & Pebbledash were quick to notice that the one of the books on the side was DH Lawrence’s ‘The Virgin & the Gypsy’ which could have summed up the day’s Hares! When it came to the Down-Downs, the RA was generous in letting the Hash stay inside the Pub, well there were no one else there to disturb & the comfy seats were to be lost, though the ‘Naughty Step’ Mr X was perched upon was no loss!
It was noticeable that Sloppy Seconds was keen to get rid of the Hashit & there were some strong candidates, but first the Hares had to be rewarded for setting a good Trail for all abilities. Sludge & Tent Packer were out for their Bullshit after Short Cutting on the Trail, as for the Hashit that went to My Lil’ for losing the Holy Hash Book at the Gispert Trail, but it suddenly reappeared after he got the Hashit on when ‘Digger’s Apprentice’ (Ewok) produced it from out of her bag. My Lil’s protests of “The tea- leaf, ‘Digger’s apprentice’ should get it!” Fell on deaf ears & so it was My Lil’s to wear next week.