Date = 4th June 2017
Run Number = Oh Sh*t! 1738ish????
Venues = The St Albans Steam & Country Fair
Location: St Albans
Beer = Bishop Nick’s Dark Mild; Saffron Gold, Blonde
Hares = Sparky
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 10
Membership = A good chance some are still out there.
A low turnout this week, maybe there were those who weren’t willing to pay to enter the Show Grounds after the Trail & enjoy the display of Steam Engines & vintage Vehicles, or perhaps the absentees knowledge of who the Hare was put them off? We’ll probably never know! Anyhow, the Hare had arranged for the Hash to have a small reserved parking area at the top end of the field that was used as the Car Park for the Steam Fair.
My Lil’ & Mr X arrived early on the Bus, early enough to have a mooch around the grounds, admiring the Steam Engines, Vintage Vehicles & some of the stalls, but more importantly on their wander around they sussed out where the Beer Tent was! They ambled back to meet up with the Pack, where there was a Sausage Tossing T-Shirt on show, this winners T-shirt was being modeled by our very own GM, which meant that there was room for another inside it with her!
The few that attended the Sausage Tossing told of a great day out, with great bands, tasty sausages, Beer & games in-between the Sausage Tossing. Though getting home for a couple of them was a bit hard with cancelled Trains, then trespassers on the line which meant a bus service home, but in comparison to what happened in London that night, it was nothing.
This week saw Max Factor & Alfa Male’s return from their Honeymoon in Africa, which meant that there were now two more topics of conversation, the Wedding & the Honeymoon. Then the Hare arrived & he would question the Pack on why they weren’t all wearing long trousers for the section of Nettles. [The RA said “They don’t sting this time of year!” – Ed]. Mr X was glad to see that some of the relayed emails from Sparky made sure that none of the arriving Pack had aimlessly followed the original map-links arrow & passed through the exhibitors’ gate to drive willy-nilly in amongst the displays.
Time came around to Circle up & the Hare had briefly gone AWOL, looking for anyone who may have parked over the way by a tree where the Circle was going to be called after the Run. The GM welcomed everyone to “Herts Hash House Harriers Run number, Oh, Shit! I’ve only just looked at it! Must be the Cider? Run Number 1738ish!” which Mr X corroborated Ewok actually called the correct number.
After the main spiel, My Lil’ was heard to groan as Sparky said “Check it out from here!” in the Northeastern corner of the large enclosed field for the car park, using local knowledge Mr X believed that the Trail would pass between the larger of the agricultural buildings to head eastward on the aptly named East Drive, but after passing the trailers outside of the barns there appeared to be no Dust a fair way out there.
A call of “On!” came from back on the other way out, this being on the suitably named North Drive that becomes a Bridleway down to Sandpit lane, but a Bar CHK soon stopped any progress that way. Having been called back, Mr X & My Lil’ joined the rest in searching around the outbuildings while the Hare looked on. Round & round these dead-ends the pack searched, a good ten minutes had passed, though it seemed like half an hour before Mr X finally went back to retrace his footsteps & pick up the Trail a long way on East Drive.
It was a long Trot away from the college building to take to the dry concrete road that as its name suggests heads away to the east. The FRBs of Mr X & My Lil’ led the way out to Oakland Lane, there was a distinct lack of Dust along this route & My Lil’ did wonder why the Hare hadn’t used the avenue of oaks to place the flour on?
The Pack passed by the few isolated homes dotted along the north side of the Drive, the FRBs were amazed to see near the end of the Drive one tree had Dust upon its trunk.
Having passed through a gate, then over the fantastically named Butterwick Brook, a set of Double Arrows pointed the way straight over this busy Oaklands Lane to Pasture View, near to what was the Radio Nursery, a CHK was found where the road arcs around in a crescent shape, but Mr X thought to Check back on the northbound footpath passed just before the CHK, while My Lil’ looked on the new housing estate.
Mr X passed a large metal post, to restrict vehicle access to the route, the RA picked up the Trail on the northwest bound path running between the hedgerows as it leads over toward the gravel extraction works. A CHK halfway along caught out Mr X as he turned off to the east to search on the park area behind the new builds behind Pasture View, a T stopped him.
Wanktlers was sent back through the hedgerow just as he had just emerged from it, as Mr X indicated it was a Falsie, this allowed My Lil’ to continue down the main path to pass another metal post & the faded CHK at its termination on to a Footpath that runs from east to west below the gravel pits.
My Lil’ searched off to the east, while Wanktlers went off in the opposite direction to the west & called “On!” but by the time the other two had joined him, Wanktlers was on his way back after finding a T. Ewok, Milf, Paxo, Alfa Male & Max Factor had now caught up with the rest of the FRBs just as they began heading back over to the east.
Unfortunately they would not find any Dust on either of the options out toward the old de Havilland Airfield, Mr X even ran all the way up to the western end of the former airstrip & the Path that runs out to Notcutt’s Garden Centre, yet there was no obvious sign of any Dust on that path. By the time the RA made it back to the CHK he found Paxo kicking it through, there was no sign of the Hare. Paxo said that Sparky must have saved on Flour to bake the Hash a Cake for after the Trail!
The rest of the Pack had made their way back along where Wanktlers had found a T on the drive in to the old Extractions works, shame that it was too near to the footpath, making it look like the footpath was out of bounds & not the way in to the works. The Footpath used to run through the centre of where the gravel works now are, it has since been rerouted to run along the inside of the fenced-in shady wooded strip beside Oakland’s Lane.
For Mr X it was long way back to slowly catchup with the others after the Trail had turned with the arc of the Lane to the northwestern corner of the crop field, where on the opposite side of the hedgerow Oakland’s Lane meets Cooper’s Green Lane at a roundabout.
A CHK was found by the hole in the hedgerow out to the roundabout, but a T was found through this scrubby gap. The Trail was picked up as it followed the field’s inside edge of the hedgerow heading northeastward alongside Cooper’s Green Lane, the RA caught Max Factor & Ewok just before the Trail turned to cross Coopers Green lane.
Once safely over the busy Cooper’s Green Lane, the Keenies were led up the driveway to Oak Farm where just before the inner Gates to the farm house a Held CHK was found. As Mr X approached the CHK he was heard to mutter, “Oh great, out of date sweets to look forward to!” as he joined My Lil’, Milf, Wanktlers, Alfa Male & Tent Packer.
The Hare arrived & produced, no, not old humbugs but an open bag of old sweets, needless to say these were refused. However, Sparky had done this deliberately before producing a bag of Wine Gums, unopened & with a ‘use-by date’ of 2018! [That’s in the Future! – Ed]
The Hare did offer up a Short Cut, which TBT OBE & Paxo had already been sent off on, but Milf convinced everyone else to start on the long Trail, so things continued up along the east side of the farm to the top of the plateau & toward the Government Transmitter on Woodcock Hill
Mr X & My Lil’ were hoping that the Trail would follow one that My Lil’ set a few years ago, one that would drop down on to House Lane, coming in from Sandridge, as this could lead on near to the Blackberry Jack & then over to the Bridleway which leads back to the north end of the College Grounds. So, you can imagine their horror when the Trail didn’t go that way, but instead ran along bone dry, ankle-turning top of the crop field to Oak Wood & then down edge of this back to Cooper’s Green Lane again!
The footpath actually cut diagonally down through the crop field, but unlike (as Sparky described them) ‘the Swimmers yesterday’ who waded through the crop where the path had been lost to the farmers seeding, the Hash were going to go around the perimeter.
The Trail now headed back along the Lane’s verge down toward the roundabout with Oaklands lane, Wanktlers was ahead on this route & he managed to run on by the board tied to the footpath sign post on the grass verge that has an arrow pointing on to the route up through the back of Beech Farm. Wanktlers came back to join the rest in clambering over a dodgy stile, with a wobbly cross board. The Pack were now back on the footpath they had come up earlier, but turned off of only a few yards away.
It was at this point that My Lil & Mr X made a decision to break off & take to the Short Cut on the bridleway up the hill to the College, however others poo-poohed these two when Mr X said that those attempting to run the full Trail would be out for at least another 40 minutes on this bright sunny day. Tent Packer cheekily added that these two were doing a Sludge Trail!
While the rest made their way out through the back of Beech Far, the now smug My Lil’ & Mr X were retracing their way back to the CHK by the corner of the field near to the roundabout, nipping across this they soon picked up the Short Cut Trail up the Hill on the bridleway, they would follow on behind the SCBs & pass through the Equestrian area of the college, they would pass through the very first Bar CHK & would be back at base in 10 minutes. There TBT OBE & Paxo were found waiting & these two thought My Lil’ & Mr X were the first of the FRBs to get back, the faces of Paxo & TBT OBE dropped when it was pointed out to them that the Trail was heading back toward Hatfield!
Mr X & My Lil’ went back in to the Show Grounds & were enjoying a nice pint while the FRBs were pounding the long, hard, dry southeasterly footpath leads out to the old Airfield, There would be a series of long paths taking the FRBs behind Ninefields Nursery & out by Notcutt’s Garden Centre.
The had been a lot of ‘back slapping’ & congratulating going on by the time the two in the Bar were joined by TBT OBE. While starting their second pint, Mr X & My Lil’ were safe in the knowledge that they weren’t out in the sweltering heat with the Keenies, who were now heading over the St Albans Road to follow a footpath down into Smallford, taking in a part of the old Hatfield to St Albans Railway for added measure, all before the Trail weaved its way back to the St Albans Road & heading westward to the On Inn.
Paxo was going to call those in the Beer Tent when the rest were back, finally he called to say that Sparky & Tent Packer were on their way to the Beer Tent, but Milf & Alfa Male were yet to return! Eventually, after a mere 2 hours & 20 minutes all were safely home. Shame that the others had missed the start of the first parades of the exhibitions.
So, after Mr X had gone out of the Grounds to collect bags & hand out Trashes to the ‘exiles’, while desperately trying not to say “Told you so!” The rest decided that they were not going to come in to the Show Grounds as they no longer have time to appreciate it & take it all in, while getting back to other homely things. The Down-Downs were put off until the next week!