Date = 2nd April 2017
Run Number = 1729
Venues = Chez Flanders et Sludge
Beer = Bank’s Amber;
Hares = Sludge & Where’s Wally?
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 3
Hounds = 1
Total = 18
Membership = Too warm to wear our Tallin(n) Hats!
The weather couldn’t have been better for a Hash, so those who turned for the day’s Trail gathered around in the back garden of Chez Flanders et Sludge, though Lofty & Henry took a while getting there as she drove by the front of the cul-de-sac & had to turn around & come back to park up behind Max Factor. The latter was on her own for the first time, as Alfa Male was on another Stag weekend, this time out in Spain. [Must be trying for Ketchups record of Stag Weekends? – Ed]
Anyhow, with both the GM & JM absent, rumour has it that they were making a caravan rock somewhere on the east coast, so the RA stood in & called the Circle together. Having welcomed everyone to this week’s Trail, which he got correct even with Sludge’s assistance, it was noticed that the RA’s Tallinn Hat was now slightly different than the rest for it has had an alteration to correct the spelling with a second ‘n’ that was stitched in by the deft needlework skills of his mother. It was suggested that TBT OBE would take the others back & do the same? TBT OBE was none too impressed with that idea!
The Hares were called forward & Sludge took the Circle, he mentioned that Where’s Wally? was his co-Hare for this day, he went on to mention roads & one highway in particular that needed care in crossing. Then Sludge went on to go through a long diatribe about the art of Hashing, especially dwelling on the difference between T’s & Bar CHKs & how the FRBs should react after finding each of these, Mr X quipped “You must have been up all night looking up the info & learning these lines!”
With the option of Short Cuts being mentioned, & those who required them should stick with Sludge while the rest would be looked after by Where’s Wally? The Hash were ushered out around the side of the house.
A CHK was found just outside of Thurlow Close, on the opposite side of Chancellor’s Road by the junction with Boswell Gardens, it was just far enough away from Chez Flanders et Sludge that it didn’t annoy My Lil’! Mr X was soon off down Boswell Gardens to the south.
As the residential street turned to the west the Trail was picked up on a short alleyway leading southeastward away through to Chancellor’s Road. Mr X was lured on down the next cut-through, this one heading out to Rectory Lane & at the end of this was a Bar CHK, he had been caught out & Sludge’s explanation between T’s & Bar CHKs came back to his mind.
The RA returned with Sludge’s Chalk-talk still echoing in his
mind, there he could see the other FRBs of My Lil’, Milf, Max Factor, Tent
Packer, Skip & Little Hole were heading up Wilson Close & back out to the shaft
[Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed] of the
fish-hook [Nasty word there! – Ed] J
shaped Chancellor’s Road, there the Trail was already marked by Sludge as the
Pack made their way out of a north bound alleyway that leads out on to the edge
of the crop fields to the north of the estate.
An arrow by an information board pointed the way to the southeast, on what is known as ‘Forster Country’, a walking route around the area that novelist EM Forster knew well, he based much of ‘Howards End’ on ‘Rooks Nest’ a house where he lived as a child with his mother. His other great works include ‘A room with a view’ & a Passage to India’.
My Lil’ was straight down the shallow slope to a CHK where a footpath ran away to the northeast, it was along here that a woman walking her two pooches stopped for a chat with Sludge at the CHK. She had already jokingly suggested that the dogs could follow the Hash & Mr X told her that it happened once when a Pub’s Jack Russel ran around the Trail with the Pack!
Max Factor & Milf stuck with the footpath 18 as it heads up toward St Nicholas Church at the Bury end of North Stevenage, but the money was on My Lil’ who had passed under the Electricity Pylons & was getting further away to the northeast & calling “On!”, suddenly Milf & Max factor stopped dead & turned around to head back after finding a T.
Sparky arrived at the CHK as those who had headed up toward the Church started off behind My Lil’, the only one who could catch My Lil’ at this point was young Port, being that much younger than most. He was there with 3D, while Slug had taken Port off to play football, the other two would have impeccable timing in joining the Pack just late enough for the Circle to have been finished & the après Trail food was just ready!
The route out over the crop fields was the first long stretch as it headed over to a CHK point situated on a bisecting footpath at the furthest side of the field, this caught out Sparky but not My Lil’ as he was around the slight diversion in the northeasterly route up toward Ten Acre Plantation on bridleway No.8.
By now Where’s Wally? had cottoned on to the fact that My Lil’ had a good idea of where he was running, Mr X confirmed this & added that there weren’t too many options to the north of St Evenage. Plus when you’ve been Hashing as long as these two you have run most footpaths in our little county.
Up ahead of My Lil’ were some walkers who were now ambling up by the woodland, the Pack wouldn’t be running that far as things changed direction at the next CHK as the Trail’s route shifted to the Northwest, at least this Track would start to head down a gentle slope. Over in the distance the rolling Hitchin Hills could be seen & what a nice vista it was, just the white rectangle of the Lister Hospital stood out to the south of this panorama.
While others began to run the second long section, InCider slowed up on this bit as she’s another one who was carrying an injury, while My Lil’ continued running on upfront & this came as a surprise to some as earlier he had reckoned that he may have broken his little toe earlier that weekend.
The Pack were now split in to two main groups, with Kylie, Skip & Little Hole dropping back with 3D, Lofty & Mickey in the company of the Sludge, while Sloppy Seconds, No Eye Deer made up some ground on the Tail of the FRBs of My Lil’, Sparky, Tent Packer, Mr X, Starboard, InCider, Milf & Max Factor.
The rest of the FRBs finally caught up with My Lil’, in fact some actually got ahead of him as My Lil’ finally went wrong by taking the southwest option at the T junction the footpath joined, he was under the impression that the path would head over to where the SCBs could be.
The northeast arm of this footpath proved to be the correct option as it led over to Church Lane below Graveleybury, a narrow rustic byway with just a few olde worlde houses dotted along it, although there is little out there, it didn’t mean that there wasn’t any traffic as a few cars passed through. The FRBs stood to one side to allow them to pass.
Sparky was the only one to go off behind the hedge on a path from the house opposite the CHK, this only led to the fenced off allotment garden to one side, he would soon be back from his trespassing to join the rest on the way down the lane to Graveleybury, more shouts of “Petrol!” were heard on a short trot to the bend in the lane, there the Dust continued straight by way off an uncapped drive toward the grounds of St Mary’s Church, a picturesque country scene if there ever was one.
The Trail stayed on the outside of the Church grounds as it came around to the north & on to a CHK by the bottom of the field for a local airstrip. This was Brookes Lane & a photo stop was called for Starboard to stand by the carved wooden marker post near the CHK.
After this brief respite the consensus was to run westward through the tree lined path that heads out toward the B197, indeed this was the way the Pack would go & Sparky would be out a head of the rest, unfortunately unlike Spiderman, his ‘Sparky senses’ didn’t tingle as he ran on around the open area & beyond the gap in the hedgerow as he continued around the bend to the north only to run on to another Bar CHK.
Sparky came back as the others made their way out through the hedgerow to come down to the edge of the B197, there was no path on this road side & the FRBs bunched up waiting for the Traffic to pass. Once the motors had gone there was a quiet time for the Keenies to cross over to Graveley Lane as it heads westward over to the A1(M) Bridge, only Sparky would head under this as the Pack ran along the verge. Sparky was called back after the others had spotted the Trail heading off beside the local Stables.
‘Hash Hush’ was called as the sou-sou-west path ran behind the stables, Sparky was asked to refrain from putting his horn to his lips [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] in order not to scare the ponies the girls were out on in the adjacent paddock.
The Trail headed along the edge of the crop field behind the fenced off equestrian area, at the west edge of this crop was the A1(M) & the noise of the traffic on this could still be heard as it dropped away out of sight toward its journey to Stevenage. It was along here that No Eye Deer caught up with the FRBs.
The Next CHK was found on Turf Lane, a small spur end of a road that heads back in to Gravely & the High Street, of course the FRBs wouldn’t go that way as it would take them by the both the Waggon & Horses, then the George & Dragon, the Hares must have thought that it was too much of a risk to take this option? Instead the long route would continue along to the populated Ashwell Common Road, passing the local School on the way through this small estate.
At the end of the road, & the new homes on the little estate to the west, the Trail took to a tarmac path that led between two fallow fields, My Lil’s broken toe was giving him grief but he continued to struggle on running all the way to come around the small bend at the end that leads down on to the Gravely Road where it comes off of the Corey’s Mill Junction, Junction 8 on the A1 (M).
Care was taken to cross this sharp bend, Mr X waited with Port to cross the road & then join Milf on the east side of the road as it heads down toward the Hitchin Road, somehow Sparky went awry & was spotted by Where’s Wally? on the wrong side of the Subway! Where’s Wally? shouted for Sparky to use the nearby subway, but instead of taking the quicker route via the underpass, Sparky decided to play with the traffic at the lights on the Sainsbury’s Junction.
Sparky safely scuttled over to the east side, there the Trail would take to a footpath that to the northeast along the bottom of Lister Hospital Ground, the path changed direction by a few degrees to head due east on the last long trot over to North Road. Coming out by the sports centre there was another road to cross, again Mr X waited for Port before they crossed over to meet up with his mum, 3D, who was with Little Hole.
Both Little Hole & 3D thought that they had got lost, but somehow had actually inadvertently stumble upon what was the proper short cut, a head of Sludge. The Trail would now head a short way southward down North Road before once again taking to the edge of farm fields, down in the dell to the north is the formidable looking maximum security hospital, with some serious fencing to keep people in.
The Trail rose up on the embankment behind the plateau the first of the houses sit upon, as this route levelled out it followed the line of electricity pylons seen on the way out, all before it turned off on another cut-through to lead back via one of the cul-de-sacs to lead back on to Chancellors Road for one last time.
Skip arrived back but it seemed the TBT OBE was AWOL, neither Sludge nor Where’s Wally? seemed interested in going back out to search for him, but after a long wait he finally arrived. Then a Cheer went up when Whatever She Says arrived, he may not have got a Down-Down for his late appearance but a little later on he manage dot break one of the wooden chairs as the Pack sat outside in the back garden enjoying the fair weather.
Flanders & Mrs Mallet busied themselves in making & bringing out the splendid après Trail food, many were impressed by the dip with the nibbles before tucking in to the baked potatoes with Chili &/or Coronation Chicken, with Kylie there it was a case of both!
When it came to the Down-Downs the senior Hare for the day was called forward, Where’s Wally? had to leave early as he was off to watch the Gooners play. But Sludge wasn’t on his own as he was joined by Mr X as last week’s Hare who had to leave early to watch Sarries take on Barf. Milf gave them a song for their Down-Downs.
As he juggled his RAing duties, Mr X wasn’t out of the circle as he also was in accepting another for reaching 1200 Herts Runs that hadn’t gone unnoticed by the Haberdasher. Incidentally among the those approaching numbered run awards, the Haberdasher is coming up to 400 Runs & some wondered if that award would appear on time?
Flanders was awarded hers for taking the time to create the veritable feast. Back to the Trail misdemeanors, 3D & Little Hole were out for accidently taking the Short Cut, then as Little Hole finished his Hit he did a Skip & threw the last bit over his head & it went all over No Eye Deer’s bust! Thankfully the Hashit had not been awarded by this point & you can guess where it was going now!