Date = 17th April 2017
Run Number = 1731
Venues = The Lytton Arms
Location: Old Knebworth
Beer = Dark Star – Hophead, American Pale Ale, Brown Ale; Mighty Oak - Maldon Gold, Oscar Wilde; St Austell - Cornish Best, Tring - Side Pocket, Sharps - Special
Oakham Ales – JHB, Green Devil
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 26
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 1
Hounds = 1
Total = 28
Membership = Celebrating Ēostre with an egg hunt!
An overcast morning greeted the Hash, but the RA had promised that it would not rain – not even with Paxo’s later cries of woe about the threat of rain that was promised on the weather forecast earlier that day, but the precipitation never came to fruition! As the Pack assembled, the Landlord came out to see what was going on? He was told that the Hare had rung the Pub on Friday Morning & cleared it with the guy who answered the phone, but it seems the message got lost over a busy weekend for the Pub. Everything was sorted when Mr X explained the situation.
You could tell it was a Hash Easter Egg hunt as Slug & 3D arrived with Port & Starboard, then it was Psycho, Skip, Little Hole & Party Animal who parked up, many were shocked to see that Skip was driving there as he double parked the ‘Nutter-mobile’, the RA wasn’t as shocked he reckoned that Skip wouldn’t be driving back after doing his share of the motoring.
With no GM, the current JM called the Circle together, while a few still faffed about get changed after their arrival almost upon the hour. With the correct Run Number mentioned by Paxo, it was over to the day’s Hare, Mr X, who had been out early that morning setting the Trail, which he alluded to in his spiel about hiding the Easter Egg tokens. There were warnings of no Horn for Sparky, due to the amount of Horses that are kept around this rural area, also there were a few narrow, quiet lanes to cross & run along in places & then before letting the Pack loose the Hare mentioned there was a field of baby lambs where the Pack were asked to walk & Henry to be kept on a lead!
As My Lil’ was away in Lisbon with the Full Moon, the Hare had dispensed with the prospect of a CHK outside of the front of the Pub for it would have little irritation effect on the rest of the Pack present. Arrows pointed the way to head northwestward along the front to the Pub & then off on to the passageway footpath out to the open crop fields behind the Pub & the homes which line Park Lane.
A short trot by the little cloche of lettuces & other assort veggies growing in the long but narrow area of worked soil of a mini-allotment by the hedgerow of the last home, Kylie was intrigued that these plants that had no fencing around them had not been eaten by any ‘wascally wabbits’? [Perhaps Anti-Pesto are on the job? – Ed]
A CHK was found on the exterior corner of the garden hedge, Tent Packer fruitlessly headed out toward the T on the way to the centre of the crop field to the southeast, while Sparky found the other falsie heading nor-nor-eastward along behind the back gardens of the homes on Park Lane. All of which meant it was down to Sludge pick up the Trail on the southwestern path over to Slip Lane. Dust was found on the back of the sentinel like Oaks on the way to the single track lane.
The Trail crossed straight over the tarmac & took to the footpath crossing the mowed grassy area enclosed by a large hazel hedge, through the gate & the likes of Alfa Male, Max Factor, Tent Packer, Milf & Sludge were well on their way over the more feral grassy land behind the hedge. This route over Nup End Green toward Hogsnorton stopped at a CHK where another Path from Slip Lane joins the westerly one, it didn’t seem to take the Keenies long to pick up on the correct Trail on this grassy route that almost double-backed on a 30 degree angle over toward Slip Lane.
When Kylie saw that this would only be a matter of Yards from where they had left the lane, he said that the Hare should have put in a Short Cut for Mrs Mallet, the Hare ignored this for he knew that the short cut option would be soon up them again.
The Trail made its way by the small duck pond with its little raised island, though the resident waterfowl had moved on since the Trail was set, beyond this was an oak tree with a CHK by its roots. It was back out on to Slip Lane, where there were options of taking an east bound path back in to the original crop field that the Hash started out on was looked at before a T was found there.
The Pack continued along the lane toward Rabley Heath, but in less than one hundred yards the Pack were directed up the western embankment & on to a footpath that led the Hash out in to an enclosed field that was being sprayed by a woman on a very small tractor. Before clambering the footpath up the embankment, Mr X put in a “Very Short Cut” on Slip Lane for Mrs Mallet, Party Animal & Psycho if they wanted it.
Now, the Hash had read the sign pinned to the gatepost into the fenced-in paddock, it was about the young lambs being on the land & dog owners should be responsible, keeping their hounds under control & on a lead. Lofty put Henry on his lead back on the lane & he would not be let off this until the pack reached empty fallow grassy fields later on in the Trail.
The Pack clambered the stile & walked through the next field, mainly to gaze at the little black spring lambs, cute wooly balls only a few weeks of age, even the usually over-enthusiastic Sparky wasn't oblivious to this fact & he too obeyed the Hash Hush & walked by the bleating, protective ewes & their lambs.
None of which placated the woman on the tractor, who asked Mr X what paint was put down in the field? When she got a reply of "It’s not paint, its self-raising flour to mark a Trail & keep the Pack from wandering willy-nilly!" She came out with an untruth, a load of twaddle about the Hash scaring her lambs! Some people have nothing better to do than moan about anything that offers them an opportunity to do so.
One more enclosure to pass through, this one being the home to a black ram & more walking was in order as he didn’t need up setting either! Away from the fenced-in paddocks & there was a paddock to cross to the smaller exit gate beside the larger five-bar gate. This led out over to the only Held CHK of the Trail, situated on a pull-in at the edge of the short connecting lane between Slip Lane & Sally Deard’s Lane.
The Keenies weren’t held up for too long, as Skip & Little Hole, the latter was squeaking the stoat on the back of the Hashit he was wearing, came through the lambs’ enclosure. Bu tit was long enough for Milf to question Mr X on how old Lamb is before we eat it, he thought 18 months, but it’s less than that as Lamb is classified as older than 5-6 months but less than a year, then it becomes Hogget – a name that is rarely used these days, then as an adult sheep it is known as Mutton!
The Hare had marked “A very Short, Short Cut” back on Slip Lane, so he didn’t expect to see Mrs Mallet follow on but he had a good view back over to the far corner of the field & with no-one in sight he allowed the rest to start searching once more.
The Trail was found on the next enclosed field, from which the solitary horse that was in there earlier had now gone by the time the Pack arrived, once over this the Trail came out on to Sally Deard’s Lane, here the next CHK was discovered. The Trail was quickly discovered up the southern option of the only two options available on this narrow rustic lane. Moving on in a direction heading toward Rabley Heath via the Tagmore Green, the Trail came up to a footpath off to the west by Plummer’s Cottage, just opposite delightful & well maintained Plummer’s Farm, but this hedged-in path would end in a Bar CHK on its way out toward Codicote over the valley.
Back out on the lane & the Dust had the Hash running around the bend in the lane that runs outside of Deard’s Wood, this undisturbed wood was awash with a carpet of bluebells in their full glory, a plant that Whatever She Says has “It’s only little niche in life!” just appearing in bloom for a few weeks while spending months dormant underground.
The Trail came on to a CHK by the pull-in opposite the bluebell filled woodland, most got it correct first time that the footpath back over two paddocks to Slip Lane was the right option, on the way the Pack got to see a fuzzock & a couple of horses in the next paddock, near to the timber construction of a new building beside the established stables. On the way the sound of geese honking could be heard from the same area as the equines at Fairfield Farm.
Just over the stile & on to a CHK found on the edge of Slip Lane, the Hare was happy to have seen from a little further back that Sludge was leading the likes of Tent Packer, Alfa Male, Sparky, Max Factor & Milf down southward toward the Robin Hood & Little John in Rabley Heath, or at least the footpath off of the bend in the lane near the Pub. Those who thought that they could outwit the Hare would be proved wrong as there was no Trail that way.
No Eye Deer, followed by Whatever She Says, picked up the Trail on the northwest bound direction of Slip Lane to where a footpath sign pointed the way Northward into New Wood, there the Trail would weave its way on the main wide path through the coppiced woodland to come up to a CHK by the edge of the northern outcrop of the Plantation. There were bluebells here to, but these were only in small patches & clumps, no doubt the footfall form dog walkers & animals keeps them from propagating all over the woodland floor.
By this point the FRBs were back from their off Trail searching, again some would go wrong as they headed caught up on the path out of the wood & down through the crop field the Pack started off in, but sadly for them yet another T stopped any further progress out into the open. Meanwhile, the calling of “On!” from the Falsie had stopped Psycho in her tracks, so she came back from being on the correct route running eastward within the northern edge of the wood.
There was a fair bit of forestry working going on, with the coppicing under way there were often laid out sapling trunks to cross & negotiate around on the weaving desire line, there was even one tree that had been blown over & was uprooted but was still managing to stay at a 45 degree angle, with the top of the branches being caught up in one of its neighbouring tree’s canopy.
With the serpentine path about to terminate around 20 yards from the eastern edge of the woodland an E stop was found, the ‘E’ within the egg-shaped CHK was the indication for the Easter Egg Hunt to begin. Port & Starboard weren’t the only ones keen of discovering the stashed rewards, both had manage to run to here better than Slug & 3D!
The Hash were soon in amongst the tree working to search for the little rectangles of paper. After previous year’s issues with Squirrels stealing the eggs on Letchworth Common [Not to mention the kids a couple of years ago at New Barnet! – Ed] the Hash now hide tokens that are redeemed for eggs.
This year there were two choices, one was an Easter egg & the other an Easter bunny, for the egg it was a Crème Egg & for the Bunny it was a Matleser Bunny! Now, you’d have thought that this was primarily a thing of the Horrors to enjoy, but Sludge was soon racking up the token as he was sniffing them out like a bloodhound.
While setting the Trail on the start of this section, the Hare was asked by a female dog-walker “What is the White Powder?” The now informed & relieved Dog-walker left the Hare to get on with hiding the tokens.
Everyone would end up with an egg, Mrs Mallet would get a Bunny when Tent Packer gave up two contrasting tokens! Mr X said watching the Hash hunt for the tokens was rather reminiscent of watching a documentary with Keepers at a Zoo putting grubs in hollows & hidden places to keep the Meerkats stimulated! He then went on to say “Beer & Chocolate, something the Belgians are great at, plus frittes & waffles, but mainly Beer & Chocolate!”
Skip & Little Hole arrived & were also in luck with finding a couple of tokens, they were the tail of the Hash & so with all the eggs discovered, bar one spare one Mr X had left over from his guesstimate of how many would turn out for this Trail, it was time to move on. [Luckily he didn’t rely on the Farcebook Page voting form otherwise the 6 eggs wouldn’t have very far! – Ed]
Resuming the Trail the Pack found that it was simply marked up to the bridle way that heads northward from the edge of New Wood, to run first by Home Wood where Homewood House is located right in the centre, this large house hidden from view was constructed around 1900 & was designed by Sir Ewin Lutyens.
The Track with ‘no parking signs’ dotted along its route should have more sign that should read “Pick up your dog mess!” as the route was littered with dogs’ eggs as the Hash passed by the entrance to Homewood Dowager Lane, which leads up to the house.
Just beyond the small fenced off woodland cottage the next penultimate CHK was discovered by the corner of Park Wood, the Hare was again happy to see that some of the FRBs, like Sparky & Milf were lured off in to this eastern woodland, meanwhile Sludge fared far better with local knowledge, for he chose to come out on to the edge of the open farmland & search the ‘concrete hard’ dry wide path running westward through the crop all the way over to Slip Lane in the distance. It was while starting off overt this route that Paxo came out with his warning of Rain, which the RA rightfully poo-poohed!
Over in the northwestern edge of the crop field the distinctive white building of the Lytton Arms could be seen, so it was like a flame that the moths of the Keenies, who would be drawn toward the hostelry, sure enough a large arrow made sure that the Trail would turn on to the north bound path up from New Wood & on to the Old School House on Park lane in the distance, Sludge, Tent Packer, Port & Starboard were the first up this way.
Mr X now said to Sloppy Seconds that he would keep a beady eye on Sludge up ahead as there was one last CHK by the footpath back off of the northbound path, this was the direct route back Inn & so two T’s were placed there to prevent Sludge from denying that he saw them, it also didn’t help Sludge that Tent Packer, Port & Starboard were up there with him & even he couldn’t lie to the kids, unlike the RA who he can tell a porky or two too. He no longer had a choice & turned back, waving at the RA up in the distance.
The Trail would then continue up to the old School House & then a left turn on to Park Lane to run around the bend & then up beyond the front of ‘The White House’ & on to a Footpath Sign on the edge of the green verge beside another nice large old home.
Mr X explained to likes of Sparky Milf, No Eye Deer, Max Factor & Alfa Male that the longer part of the Trail would be a loop that heads down the narrow footpath beside the house & then on through to the ornate back garden of the property, it was worth doing the loop to see the grounds of the house that even boasts a newly resurfaced tennis court, ideal for those who have a slightly enquiring mind, or are just down right nosey who would like running this loop to see how the ‘other half live’!
The Hare marked the ‘Short Cut’ up the shortest route back from the final CHK, this meant that the likes of Paxo, Sloppy Seconds, Whatever She Says & the Hare all made it up to the very first CHK just as Milf led the Keenies out from by the tennis court & exited the well kempt garden to find the On Inn, as they ran on the footpath behind the homes on Park Lane that Sparky was first caught out on at the start of the Trail.
The Keenies & SCBs all met up as they made their way back around the front of the Pub. The Keenies were back in 59 Minutes, which pleased the Hare as it allowed the Hash to take up residence in the rear marque that is next to the Beer Festival Tent, where a good dozen or so Ales were still going, not to mention the 8 Ciders. [Don’t mention the Ciders Ewok will be envious of not being there! - Ed]
The Hash occupied the long bench seats & the tables in the end of the marquee, the other end being left clear for the duo who were turning up to play that afternoon. Pepé le Pew arrived & was handed the last Easter Bunny, just after Sparky had given Mr X a jar wrapped up in an old wrinkly brown-paper bag, which held together with an elastic band, Sparky’s words of “It’s a chutney that’s too hot for me!” Rattled Mr X & of course his first instinct of opening the bag was to check the sell-by date, no one was surprised to read that it was 2008!
Mr X was impressed at the setup of the speakers as the lead guitarist of ‘B & B’ began assembling at the opposite end of the marquee, there was a small squat twin bass speaker unit, next to this was a tall Bose tower that has 25 individual Speakers inside it. Mr X had a conversation about this to the guitarist & he mentioned that the Hash would be up dancing to the music, with a hint of a tale of Christmas Weekends & the now infamous Proclaimer’s ‘500 Miles’.
Of course when the talk came around to Speakers, the famous ‘This is Spinal Tap’ scene where Nigel Tufnell says about his Marshall Amps “These go up to eleven!” was quoted a couple of times. Must have been the popular American Brown Ale that went down so well, that inspired the old rocker’s quote.
The Circle was called before ‘B & B’ started their first set. The Hare was rewarded with a pint for an egg-cellent Trail [Oh dear! – Ed] that had the ‘Shitty Trail’ song being sung, which Whatever She Says thought was out of order for it was a good Trail – Mr X didn’t mind, he’s had far worse sung at him!
The rest of the Hits went, well only a couple as the Pack were really well behaved. Sloppy Seconds got his for neglecting his Curate Duties, leaving Mr X to do all the work! Also it was added that he probably took his egg back to Manu as his Easter Treat! Pebbledash was out for her inimitable style of lowering the already basic tone of the Hash!
The Hashit, that Paxo hadn’t noticed on the Trail, went to Sparky for the giving the RA a present of a 2008 jar of Garlic Chutney, that Kylie noted was only 50 pence when Sparky bought it! Ironically the open jar had its contents sampled when Psycho’s rounds of chips for the Hash came out, though the four portions, one for each table, were placed in to two larger ones, which kind of defeated the idea of ordering four portions! Amazingly the garlic Chutney was actually edible!
Having had a little snack on the chips, most ordered & enjoyed the great food, as good as the Barbeque looked, the Brie, Cranberry & mushroom over-stuffed sandwich that Sparky & Kylie both was simply the best! Now, after pigging out, & with the calories from the eggs to be burnt off it couldn’t have been better than when ‘B & B’ started to play the type of stuff the Hash could dance to, starting with David Bowie’s ‘Sorrow’ & then working through many other hits middle of the road hits, so, while most of the Hash were up on the dance floor area, ‘B & B’ would get most of the rest up on their feet when, for the first time of performing it, they played “500 Mile” but no doubt the odd “Da-Da-Dah-Da” helped.
In the end it was a brilliant afternoon, the Rain never came & we all stayed longer than we expected.