Date = 26th March 2017
Run Number = 1728
Venues = The Old Manor
Location: Potters Bar
Beer = Golden Arrow; London Pride; Sweeny Todd
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 17
Virgins = 1
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 18
Membership = There’s only two T’s in Potter’s Bar!
The hottest day of the year so far started fairly fresh, but by the time the Pack had assembled it was T-shirt weather. The Hare was found sitting outside the front of the Old Manor, basking in the sunshine, Wanktlers was first to arrive & meet Mr X, he admitted that he had seen some of this day’s Trail on his way to the venue.
2-1-2 Maureen also walked up to the Pub, having completed a stoic three mile walk to arrive there, due to the bus timetable not arriving until after the Trail would have started! The first thing she said to Mr X was that the Wetherspoon’s article about her & the Hash had now gone already around her local Sport Club & everyone is talking about it.
For others there was some confusion with lifts to reach the Run venue, originally with Ketchup & Prince Garmin supposedly coming along with Lobby Lobster in Paxo's car, but when Paxo arrived he had only Lobby Lobster & Milf with him. When asked where Ketchup was there were groans of "God knows?" As he was now getting the Train to the Hash after it was rumoured that 1-2-1 was over from Saaanddiiiiaaagooo across the Pond.
Paxo stood in for the Absent GM, getting the Run Number correct as he peered over at the Hash Book that was being signed before the Trail started, which was rather unusual but Mr X was keeping a hold of this in the absence of My Lil' (The Keeper of the Book!) & he wasn't going to be hanging around after Run as he was off to watch Saracens play Bath & meet up with Ewok for the match.
This week's Virgin Bob was introduced, a friend of Wanktlers, who was also joined by his family of Valerie, Emma & Daniel for their second outing. Then the Hare was called forward, once Paxo had determined that it wasn't Wanktlers but Mr X, who had set it all only that morning.
The Hare’s speech said that there would be short cuts, roads to cross & the chance of bumping in to a mad cat lady who may ask if this area was Edmonton! Apart from that it was On with the Trail & out on to Darkes Lane where arrows immediately pointed across the road island & over to the east side of the road. On this shaded side of the street there was a noticeable sudden drop in temperature, the Hare encouraged the ones moaning about this to run as it would warm them up as they passed under the mainline Railway bridge to the CHK, which was found in a sunny patch near to the McDognuts that is being renovated with an exterior covered on scaffolding.
Alfa Male & Sparky came back from further up by the shopping arcade on Darkes Lane, all after Tent Packer & Wanktlers had started coming back down from the alleyway that runs up beside a section of the mainline line on its way to Kings Cross, they were encouraged to have a second look & the Trail was picked up along the start of this litter strewn route.
On the way Mr X explained that earlier he had seen a couple of cars come around by the adjacent McDognuts drive through, with the drivers looking on in disbelief that they weren't going to be able to purchase a sausage & egg McMuffin! [Oh-err Pebbledash! - ED].
With the litter left behind the path became a lot clearer, clear enough for Tent Packer to nip in to the bushes at the back of the fenced if rear gardens to scare any squirrels there. At the top of the long gentle gradient the FRBs came out to a CHK the spur of Stratford Gate joins Mutton Lane. From there the Keenies were split in to two groups with Sparky, Alfa Male, Max Factor, Tent Packer & Milf taking the Falsie up Mutton Lane, while Wanktlers, Emma & Daniel were on the correct route down to maim Strafford Gate road to fond arrows heading eastward.
Valerie, Bob our Virgin, 2-1-2 Maureen, Lobby Lobster & Paxo were offered a Short Cut up Mutton Lane to the east, away from the railway bridge. Meanwhile back to Strafford Gate & on the way up another gentle climb through the residential backstreet of Potters Bar, Where's Wally? Said to Mr X that at one point in his life he was brought up in Potters Bar, Mr X cheekily replied "Where you evacuated there?"
The Trail passed over the roundabout set around three quarters of the way up this two way street, these traffic features only have the two options & must be there for traffic calming. The Trail crossed over an intersecting road to come up to a CHK at the T junction where it joins Abermarle Avenue.
Sparky went wrong going off to the north with Wanktlers, meanwhile Milf & Tent Packer were off down the marked Falsie to the south only to be stopped by a T. This allowed Alfa Male & Max Factor to walk up with Where's Wally? & the Hare to find the Pack milling around before finally discovering the Trail on the L-shaped Abingdon Place to find a CHK on the triangle of paths on a green.
The Hare was pleased to see the option to the north was checked out on the footpath running behind the large hedge that the local Tesco resides behind. The Trail was found on the south bound section of the path back out to Mutton Lane, where the SCBs were found up at the pedestrian crossing at the entrance to the superstore.
Over the lights & Where's Wally? told Mr X that he may have to take a diversion from the Trail in order to reminisce about his childhood, but the Hare replied "You may be surprised!" As the Trail turned off southward on to the start of Ashwood Road & there Where's Wally? Pointed out the white picket fence around the outside of No.13, his former home.
With memories flooding back, Where’s Wally? added that “There are a lot of little passageways around here!” [Ooh-er pebbledash! – Ed] to which the Hare replied you may well be visiting some of them right now! As there a few of the Keenies were again found milling about at the next CHK on a bend in the road, Where’s Wally? now used his local knowledge from years ago & took to the alleyway that heads southward through to the next section of road behind the terraced houses.
As the Keenies came out by the garages there seemed to be some confusion as they failed to see the next CHK behind a parked car ahead of them. Down through both the bends on the S shaped road, this was the area where the 'Mad Cat Lady' approached the Hare while he was setting the Trail.
Anyhow, Wanktlers, Daniel had passed through the concrete driveway to the garage area at the rear of the last rows of homes, where the old Cherry Tree Lane runs from southwest to eastward to the A1000, this path runs along the outside of the hedgerow & beyond this are the farm fields to the south of Potters Bar.
The path of Trail on Cherry Tree Lane passed over the end of the tunnel that the mainline disappears in to the hillside on its way to the Smoke, from this point the vista over to the northwest allowed the pack to see the prominent redbrick St John's Methodist Church above the tiled roofs in the distance, this 1920's looking building was not quite in the same league as the Church Spires seen in Tallinn last week, as Mr X pointed out to Max & Alfa behind him.
Just as the Trail came back to the outskirts of residential Potters Bar a CHK as found by a marker post that indicated that there was the option into the field & over towards the M25 in the west was a permissive path. This was enough to tempt Wanktlers, Tent Packer, Daniel & Emma out for a fruitless search along the edge of the farmland before they realised the Trail was really going to be a town run
Max Factor & Alfa Male fared better as they continued on to the end of Cherry Tree Lane where it joins Sunnybank Road. There the arrows were picked up once more as the Keenies were led around a slightly more affluent area of Potters Bar with its roadside trees bursting with pink cherry blossom. The Keneies would now begin to get away from the SCBs at this point.
This route took a staggered approach via the Greenway to Brackendale, which would lead up to Bakers Street [Who else now has Gerry Rafferty & that saxophone solo playing their head? - Ed] & to cross over to St John's Methodist Church seen from afar earlier on.
For Lobby Lobster, Paxo & 2-1-2 Maureen a glance to the right would leave them taking the really short-short (unofficial) short cut back to Darkes Lane & the Pub, for the distinctive blue railway bridge gave away the location of The Old Manor, however, this route would not pass the On Inn.
Back to the Trail & our virgin Bob was continuing with the Trail, accompanied by Valerie as the Trail turned around the corner of the Church grounds to head up Heather Way & on to the Held CHK where it joins Aberdale Gardens, though they were quite away behind the rest of the Pack.
Earlier at the Held CHK Sparky question Daniel on how he reached this point before him, Mr X said that Daniel probably had almost 60 years on him. It was here that the Hare produced a bag of Jelly Babies, which wasn't enough for a hungry Sparky who asked what the Hare had to eat in the other plastic bag, so Mr X offered up the plasterboard to Sparky, who unlike his normal self & he turned down this slightly dry slice that had been dragged over the pavements of Potters Bar.
Max Factor & Alfa Male must have been feeling the previous day's outing, since both were walking by this point & even the offer of sweets couldn't speed them up, not that Max was going to hurry as she claims she doesn't like Jelly Babies.
Anyhow, the Keenies were let loose again before the SCBs came into sight & the Trail was picked up to the southwest heading to the end of the suburban street, While the Keenies were busy, the Hare marked out the Short Cut back down in the opposite direction around Arberdale Crescent.
The FRBs took to a footpath leading along one edge of the fenced off allotments to come out on to Elmsfield Road, there a turn to the northwest would lead up to the next CHK opposite a small side street. The trail would go through the small spur road, passing a dog-waste bin at the start of the alleyway out to Santas Lane.
A northwest bound turn would lead up to a set of arrows directing the way on to a diagonal Shiggy path corner of woodland to come out on to Dugdale Hill Lane, where the Trail crossed over to the opposite side of the road & then headed northward for a short way until reaching a cut through to Rushfield & the up to Shillitoe Avenue where the next CHK was found.
The Keenies were soon back from this little diversion to come back out on to Dugdale Hill Lane for a nice long gentle downhill stretch before reaching a CHK opposite Brooklands Gardens, of the two options the Trail would lead around the dogleg Brooklands Gardens to meet the Short Cut that Bob & Valerie had already taken along Aberdale Gardens.
The final stretch was about to begin as the Trail came off of this to head down a short street called the App, which brought the FRBs & SCBs out to Mutton Lane again. Once over the traffic light crossing the Trail took to Laurel Gardens, a quiet backstreet off of the main drag. The Trail followed this this clockwise turning road, ignoring the cul-de-sacs off it to run from north east to south east. Daniel caught up Bob & Valerie just as they were about to find the On Inn right beside the end of the Pub, Mr X made sure that they got their Jelly Babies on the way out to the On Inn.
At the end of this cul-de-sac were a couple of old American Mercury Cars, a former subsidiary of the Ford motor Company & those looking on were impressed with the length & the width of them [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] more automobile joy would be had when the late arriving Ketchup, & Prince Garmin, pointed out the McLaren in car park of Pub.
The remaining Jelly Babies were offered to those who weren’t at the Held CHK, these were handed to Paxo to make sure that 2-1-2m Maureen & Prince Garmin got to have their fair Share.
When Milf & Sparky returned they compared GPS Data with Milf declaring that she had covered 4.7 miles, while Sparky had only done 3.7, Mr X added that Sparky had probably forgotten to put his clock forward!
Mr X managed to get a point in before having to set off for the Train, while standing outside Sloppy Seconds came up toward the Pub & he was bearing gifts, well a run report from a few weeks ago, which he would distribute at the Bar. With the RA having to scoot, & the Curate not being up with ‘The Action’ on the Trail, the Down-Downs were put off until the following week’s Trail.
Mr X would later meet up with Ewok, he was surprised at her appearance as she had mysteriously lost the scarf of Latvian Blue, White & Black National Colours in favour of wearing Saracens tops, which wasn’t a bad move as the Black & Red team managed to score eight tries to Bath’s one!