Date = 17th July 2017
Run Number = 1745
Venues = The Half Moon
Beer = Oakham Blue Sky; Drop Bar Tring; & more!!!
Hares = Pôrgu Pie
Runners = 11
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 12
Membership = Tarmaced out!
A slightly overcast & sultry evening lay ahead for the Hash on this night. Mr X was almost the last to arrive for the Circle that was just being called by Paxo (Yep the GM was absent again, this time after ‘Lording’ it up at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix). So, a slight hiatus in to the proceedings as his & the Hare’s bags was stowed in No Eye Deer’s Car.
Paxo started the welcoming speech & just as he went to introduce the Hare, Pôrgu Pie came out from under the old Coaching gates of the Pub. Pôrgu Pie now felt safe in the fact that the Sun had gone in & he could come out to set the Trail & sweep as Hare. The Hare went through his spiel, which was peppered with hints on Short Cuts but mainly had warnings of being distracted while listening to the Test Match score & being dismayed at the result he was left in a Zombie-like trance, which could result in the Trail possibly going a bit awry in places??
Things got under way with the Pack being sent off along by the Lister Hotel, named after the famous surgeon & pioneer in Antiseptic surgery who lived & went to School in Hitchin. The School is still there just a few yards up the road from the Half Moon, it is also a Museum to the days when Sludge attend school & was using chalk & slate!
The first CHK was discovered by the corner where Standhill road comes off from the main road, Paxo crossed over to search the west side on the footpath, no doubt lured on by the thought of Cocoa & Slippers ‘Maximum Security Home for the Retired’ on rise up toward the back of the Three Moor Hens. Fliptop began to search the steep climb on the narrow tarmac St John’s footpath, while No Eye Deer looked up Standhill Road below. “On!” was called by No Eye Deer, who was now out of sight around the anti-clockwise bend.
There had been a short cut earlier on the footpath by the last of the cottages on Hitchin Hill, so No Eye Deer’s choice seemed to make sense as the rest of the Keenies regrouped to follow her calls, but then they were stopped dead in their tracks when she came running back around toward them, her arms outstretched to indicate she had found a T! The FRBs were now in disarray as they went back to start retracing earlier steps, but then they spotted the Hare with a big smirk on his face.
Pôrgu Pie marked the CHK in the direction No Eye Deer had come back from, so, tentatively the FRBs set off around Standhill Road, along the way Poppy made friends with a larger Black Labrador. There some paid close attention to the T that had thrown No Eye Deer off, it turned out to be a painted marking for a utilities company! No Eye Deer wouldn’t live this down.
The Pack now arrived at a point where there were two options at the top of the hill, the Short Cut was indicated to be straight on through the passageway of Standhill path footpath that runs along behind the homes on the top of the ridge, while the Longer Trail headed off southeastward beside the wall of the Hitchin Cemetery on a loop that had them turn left to run down St John’s Road.
Fliptop & No Eye Deer ran on by the open main Cemetery Gates, seems that they had forgotten the Hare’s earlier mention of “Automatic Gates that could be closed by the time we reach them, but we can work around that”!” Mr X & My Lil’ spotted the Flour running through the cemetery grounds, passing by the two ‘red brick’ outbuildings of a Chappell & the admin building, both said that this was new ground for the Hash to cover on the way out though the rear gates & on to end of Standhill Road.
An arrow pointed the way northeastward until reaching the next CHK by an alleyway off of the main one at a Junction by Highbury School. Along this the FRBs met up with the guy & his Black Lab again, Mr X said that he would probably be sick of seeing the Hash by the time he had walked his pooch?
The CHK had already been kicked through & up ahead the figures of Spotted Dick & Custard with Poppy being followed on by Paxo & TBT OBE, Mr X quipped about it looking like an episode of “The Living Dead’ up ahead! This pathway led between the backs of the homes on Whitehall’s Way on the left & Newton’s Way on the left until it emerge on to St John’s Road again.
The Dust turned on to Whitehills Road & the Pack crossed over the Triangular road junction, with Highbury Road & Hollow Lane. On the opposite, north side, of the junction there was again chaos as it now seemed that My Lil’ had misread the Trail Markings in finding a Bar CHK?
The Pack now ran around on to Hollow Lane but no Dust was found anywhere around the Triangular junction & the floundering Pack had to rely on the Hare to put this to rights, which he did after a bit of ‘Blarney’ about what you should do after finding a Bar CHK? He said it was back to the Check Point, but everyone else said that it was to look for a path somewhere between the Bar CHK & the Previous Check!
Everyone now made their way back around to the last short section of Highbury Road that is cut off by Hollow Lane, here they saw Riddy Path beside the local Highbury Convenience Store & Post Office. Now began a long trot southeastward on the alleyway footpath between the backs of more homes on the Oakfield area of Hitchin, just the odd bunch of nettles, or wild weeds poking out of the tarmac edge broke up the bland view of rear fences & tarmac.
A CHK was found where the path comes out on to Willoughby Way, Fliptop & My Lil’ rapidly dealt with this as they ran straight over to the continuation of the alleyway, so again it was a run between more back gardens until it came out on to Westwood Avenue & another CHK.
After their earlier successes things now didn’t go too well for My Lil’, Fliptop & Mr X as they all seemed to go wrong, even No Eye Deer was caught out as the temptation of heading around to where they thought that they could get out on to a path to Benslow Field, but they were wrong!
The Trail was picked up through a ginnel that led out on to one section of Ninespring Way, no one was sure how Fliptop & My Lil’ both missed this the first time around? Having made their way around opposite the local Shopping Parade the Hare offered up a Short Cut, with the SCBs carrying straight on, while My Lil’, Fliptop, No Eye Deer, Mr X & Kylie all taking to head off down Oakfield Avenue to the southwest.
Mr X thought that the Hare had said that this was only going to be a few hundred yards, turns out to be 500! Kylie had opted for the long loop as he was ‘guilt struck’ at having taken the Short Cuts at the start of the Trail, all in order to catch up.
A bit of foraging went on with a bough of plums hanging over the fence to cover the footpath was ripe for picking, very sweet these plums were too! The Loop would come out to just touch the edge of the A602 Stevenage Road for a few yards before taking an almost hairpin turn on to the path that runs between the back of the homes on Ninesprings Road & the Ippolitts brook, this being the border of the populated southeastern edge of Hitchin & the farm land beyond.
Ironically it was along this rare stretch of non-tarmac or paved path on this Trail, that the RA felt a tightening of his ankle, so he had to slow up & walk the rest with Kylie. Suddenly there was a Sparky-esque moment as Kylie rummaged around in his bum-bag & produced a mangled Mars Bar, that when unwrapped looked like something a dog may have left behind! Talking of pooches, Mr X reassured the couple of Dog Walkers that they were following the Trail of Flour, & that it was nothing sinister!
After the long trot up to the small play area, the FRBs finally met up with Sludge, TBT OBE, Custard, Spotted Dick & Poppy, along with Paxo who had almost managed to munch their way through the bags of Jelly Babies & Wine Gums. The Hare had saved some for Kylie & Mr X, with Kylie being given the remainder to finish off as the Keenies were eager to move on.
The Trail left the park to come out on the Wymondly Road, but the usual route under the railway bridge & then up through the Purwell side of Hitchin wasn’t going to happen this time around, for the Trail would head away from the main line & then cross over to take to western arm of the U-shaped Halsey Drive, the Trail now led northward through the housing estate before reaching a footpath by the local William Ransom School.
Many of the Pack now knew that they were now on the way back as the Trail came out on to the recognizable open space of Pinehill Park, only Fliptop, My Lil’ & No Eye Deer had the energy left to continue r*nning through this while the rest had reverted to an amble over the green space & up the rising bank at the northern end. Then horror of horrors, on the way TBT OBE started talking Politics & had to be reminded by the RA that this isn’t a done thing on the Hash, unless you want to be in the Circle wearing a damp Hashit?? The Trail came out through the northwestern corner to get on to an alleyway path, a CHK was found at the junction of paths on the corner.
My Lil’ & Fliptop headed off down the Pinehill path, leading along by the tree-line at the northern end of Pinehills Park, they would be on a loop down & around by the local Pinehill Hospital before meeting back up on Benslow Lane. By now even Poppy, with her four-paw drive’, was feeling it in the heat so joined Spotted Dick &b Custard with the majority of the Pack who would take the Short Cut, following the Hare’s instructions to ignore the T at the end of the footpath & take to the marked short cut through the suburban street to Benslow Lane, where a left-hand turn took them toward Hitchin Station.
Obeying the arrows that pointed the way away from the junction upon the Benslow path footpath, the Keenies caught up here as the FRBs now emerged out on to the Avenue before continuing straight across on to Avenue Path to emerge on to Highbury Road just below the footbridge. The bridge wasn’t used as Dust could be seen on the few steps directly across the road, leading up to the footpath that runs by Hitchin Girls’ School & then out on to the top of Windmill Hill.
A splendid view lay ahead looking over the old Centre of Hitchin, which was all very nice, & on the descent of the steep hillside most kept an eye on where they were running. Then at the bottom of the hill the Trail turned southward to lead down Queen’s Street, crossing over by the Exchange, where the On Inn was located, & then on by the Bricklayer’s Arms to pass by the Schools Museum & then On Inn to the Half Moon
The Pack soon settled up in the garden, to enjoy the Ales that were on offering the Bar & it seems that the 6% by Oakham, TBT OBE’s arrival was heralded by his treading on Poppy’s portable dog water bowl!
The Pack were soon ready before the Circle & it was going to turn in to a Hash Bazaar as TBT OBE had brought along the back-date awards not handed out the previous week.
So, the Hare was rewarded for a Great Trail, then there were the awards, which were mainly Mr X & Fliptop as between them as they received 1010 Run Bumbag, a 1100 Run engraving on his original 100 Herts Run Tankard for Mr X (Fliptop went against ‘Tradition’ as he went for an embroidered top!) 1050 Run Herts Bag & a 1200 Herts Run Hat! Mr X was made up with his name & R*n numbers printed on to these goodies, though others were not so pleased with theirs that looked as if the extra digits & names had been tipexed in! Also Sludge received his back dated 500th Photo-frame & His 600 Run Half Yard of Ale! All got a bottle of Leffe to go with it! [Well done Haberdasher & his elves in getting this all sorted out! – Ed]
Lastly the Hashit was up for grabs, but it wasn’t going to TBT OBE, he received his hit for stepping on Poppy’s Dog-Water, as well as breaking the cardinal Rule (There aren’t any rules!) of talking Politics on the Hash! Nope, the Hashit went to No Eye Deer for not being able to tell BT road markings from Trail!