Date = 29th May 2017
Run Number = 1737
Venues = The Moon Under Water
Beer = Nethergate Ruby; Greede King IPA, Abbott Reserve, Ruddles, many more
Hares = Ewok & TBT OBE
Runners = 14
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Aprčs = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 14
Membership = With a couple of floury Hares.
The original Hare for this Trail had unexpected family issues to deal with, which led to Ewok & TBT OBE stepping up to the plate & volunteering themselves to set the Trail that morning. The RA had been warned in advance that it would not be the longest of Trails, but Family comes first & it was good of them to drop everything at the last minute. [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed]
Anyhow, there were two early arrivals in the guise of My Lil’ & Mr X who let the Train take the strain. With time to kill it was a good opportunity to get rid of a couple of ‘Spoon’s vouchers on a pre-Trail pint! Sloppy Seconds arrived & sat down, he went for a water when Fliptop turned up & asked if anyone wanted a coffee? There were two frowning faces that didn’t need to make any negative comment.
2-1-2 Maureen entered the Bar, quickly followed by Wanktlers & Valerie, Sparky popped into the Pub after being heckled by a local outside the bar? My Lil’ & Mr X wondered if it was the same bloke who was refused service & departed saying “It’s a sh*te Pub, full of poo-heads!” This could have even been the sozzled bloke the Hares encountered before setting off to lay the Trail.
In all it wasn’t a bad turnout being the late May Bank Holiday, after the Pack made their way out down the wooden decking to the car park. Ewok went through the honours, before taking on the mantle of ‘Chief Hare’ to explain that she & TBT OBE were very late ‘Stand-in Hares’ therefore it wasn’t going to be a long Trail, this brought a few sighs of relief as it was a pretty balmy morning & a comment from Mr X stated that judging by the amount of flour on the two Hares the Pack may just as well run around these two a couple of times.
Just for the benefit of My Lil’ the Trail started with a CHK right outside of the Car park entrance, he groaned as he heard this news & didn’t even bother trying to pick up the Trail, leaving it to Wanktlers & Sloppy Seconds in picking up the first leg down Parsonage Gardens, while Mr X was called back from Chase Side Avenue where he had just stumbled upon the T up there.
The Trail just touched the very western corner of a local Park to take to the last section of a footpath running southward by the New River, it was short way to the end of the path where the Trail crossed over a small wrought-iron bridge then on to a CHK. The Trail was soon picked up on the on the west bound end of this path to take to Horseshoe Lane & out around the outside of the Crown & Horseshoes.
The FRBs now turned by the front of the Pub to lead southward down the footpath that runs beside the Loop section of the New River, the lack of current on this arm meant that the water surface was covered in a carpet of little green plants to resemble a Pea Soup!
Ewok was keen to get the FRBs moving along this bit & was up with them all as the Trail led all the way to the end of the ornate Victorian Park, where this section terminated at a CHK by the Church Street Bridge. It now dawned on Mr X that all the possible routes were equidistantly marked from the CHKs, as he set off in the wrong direction back up the other side of the Victorian Park toward Chase Green Park. Wanktlers, My Lil’ & Fliptop all picked up the Trail on the continuation of New River’s footpath.
The waterway widens to take in several basins that are there to keep the water level up, by this part there was a flow & the pea-like water plants had vanished. At a point where the New River turns to a sou-sou-east direction a CHK was found on the eastern side of another ornate wrought-iron bridge.
Once over the water course Ewok was soon approached by one of the numerous dog walkers out this morning, worried that the Dust may be something noxious to pooches, he was put right & the Senior (but Junior) Hare continued with the Trail. Ewok said that she had warned as many dog-walkers as she could that morning, Mr X added that even if you put signs up no one really reads them.
The RA followed on behind the first of the Keenies but he saw Fliptop wandering over the green space to the east, Fliptop didn’t quiet follow the Trail that Milf, Sparky, My Lil’, Wanktlers, then Mr X & Sloppy Seconds were sticking to on the hard-capped path running down the east edge of the water before it broke away to loop around behind the tennis courts.
Fliptop managed to make his way over to where the Held CHK was found at a point where the Path meets several more by the southern gates to the Town Park, which sits above Bush Hill Golf Club. The FRBs awaited Valerie, Kylie, 2-1-2 Maureen & Lofty to catchup as they were supposed to be escorted by TBT OBE, but the ‘sweeping Hare’ managed to do what Fliptop did & cut over the grass, leaving the SCBs to their own devices & follow the Path around its looping course!
Ewok said that she was sorry that there were no Jelly Babies to pass around, since everything was all done in haste, but then Wanktlers saved the day as he produced a bag of Licorice Allsorts which were soon passed around, there even some left for the SCBs when they arrived.
The happy Pack were informed that they were over halfway around the Trail, apparently Pepé le Pew had sent Ewok a picture of the intended Trail, but things got a little lost in translation & so a different one was set, also this meant that Ewok had a far less a chance to lose TBT OBE while setting it!
When the Trail resumed My Lil’ headed out to the east of the Park, while Mr X searched Northward & picked up Trail over the bridge by the Park’s pool, there a notice-board explained how this has been restored, including a new wrought-iron bridge, then he ran up to the permanent concrete table tennis tables, there Milf joined him in a game of invisible Table-Tennis. No doubt this looked a little strange to the civilians before they set off to run around the edge of the paddling pools, which are filled from the basin in the New River.
At the northern end of the pools was a fountain with a sign that said “Not drinking water!”, which the Hares said wasn’t on when they set the Trail but they would have run the Hash straight through it if they had known better, luckily they didn’t get wet with the amount of flour they had all over them (after a flour-fight while setting the Run) as they’d have ended up like large dough-balls!
The Trail was picked up as it ran round behind a fenced off area behind the bowls green & another tennis court to change direction to northward to run by the ornate gardens out on to Cecil Road, there Mr X & Milf followed the arrows & led the way over by the front of the Public Library, Mr X asked Milf “Have you taken your over-due library book back yet?” The Trail again turned Northward again to head over Church Street one last time & then up the footpath of Holly Walk, the Pack were back in the first park on the Trail.
The Dust led on to a CHK by the corner of the School grounds, it didn’t take long for the Keenies to discover the Trail ran westward & then turned 30° to the north as Holly Walk headed back toward the On Inn, a CHK was found where the spur of the footpath leads out on to Gentleman’s Row, no Dust was found there, so it was back on to the northbound Pennyfather’s Lane along which the On Inn was found before it led back out on to Parsonage Gardens.
The Trail was only 30 minutes long, but took 40 to get around waiting at the Held CHK, but no one complained as it was really humid by the end, due to the light breeze dropping. The extra 20 minutes in the Pub was taken full advantage of, which also meant that a few were going to have to eat along with the Hares after their early start.
So, Down-Downs were sorted after a de Havilland Dragon Rapid flew over & distracting the attention of the boys, with the Hares being rewarded for stepping in at the last minute, another hero was honored this time in the guise of Wanktlers & the bag of Licorice Allsorts to ‘save the day’. Fliptop was out for being the previous week’s Hare, which saved him from getting hit for wandering aimlessly across the green. 2-1-2 Maureen was called out as the article about her Birthday run was still in the ‘Spoons’ Magazine that were available in the Pub. Then it was back to the Bar for a round of food.