Date =                            25th July 2017

Run Number =            1746                                                                                                                                     

Venues =                      The Horse & Groom

Location:                      Hatfield

Beer =                           Citra; Greede King Abbott, Three Brewers IPA, Gold, Black Sheep

Hares =                         My Lil’

Runners =                    16

Virgins =                        2

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          1

Hounds =                      1

Total =                          20

Membership =             Nice Bangers!


            A Tuesday Trail for a change, well truth be told it was for the fact that the Horse & Groom do free bangers & mash on this day of the week.  So, what would the turnout be like?  It was pretty good in fact, the lure of free food must have been a key factor for a few of the regulars?

            Most managed to grab a parking space outside the front of the Horse & Groom, a noticeable difference than the norm but the Kids being off & the Annual Holidays having started make a difference to the roads around this time of year.  None of the Hash could have parked as close as Mumblehead, who arrived just as another car pulled out of the space right outside the Pub’s front door!

Quite a few met up inside the busy Horse & Groom, enjoying a pre R*n Pint, Where’s Wally? then wondered if the Trail would go up to St Etheldreda’s Church, which would bring back memories of his former wedding there a few years back.  St Etheldreda Church is named after Æthelthryth, in turn the Church is named so after its association with the former Bishop of Ely’s Palace in the Grounds of Hatfield House which predates the main house by 300 Years.  St Etheldreda was commonly shortened to St Audrey, a name which is born on a local School & Streets.

Walking around to the public car park behind the Pub, the JM was found meandering toward the incoming Pack, while Pebbledash & the GM were seen over by the new Mews where it appeared that they were looking for Trail!

The Circle formed & the GM was delighted to hear that there would be a couple of Virgins of Calum & Jake joining the Hash this evening, they were coming along with Daniel, Wanktlers son-in-law.  There was a slight delay waiting for the last Virgin to arrive, then the Circle began in earnest with Ewok getting the Run Number correct, after having checked to find her original thoughts on this were out by two R*ns.  Ewok enthusiastically welcomed the Virgins & also Pebbledash on her return!!  Guess who wasted no time at all at getting in an innuendo about sausages?

Intro’s over & the Hare was called forward, he got as far as saying that this Trail was an A to B, this meant that the Pack would need to take some change with them, then he was interrupted to explain Trail Markings to the Virgins.  Having drawn out a Circle, a Line & a T on the ground, it then seemed a bit of a chore for My Lil’ to explain what these meant, fortunately for the Virgins Spotted Dick stepped in to clear up any doubts as others said that they didn’t know what they meant!

Finally the Hash got under way at a slow pace to follow the arrows around by the New Mews & on to Park Street, here the Trail headed northward on the quiet lane as it passes under the high red brick arch of one of the sections of the viaduct that carries traffic from the main gate house of Hatfield House & into the grounds of the former Tudor Palace. 

The Keenies followed the Trail as it led them off of the lane, to take a small loop around through the Park Meadow estate before returning to the Park Street footpath on a wooded ridge which is separated from the lane, this in turn dropped down & joined the remaining spur of the Old Hertford Road as it heads out to it dead-end by the Hertford Road.

Jake, Callum & Daniel were now in the company of Where’s Wally? & they had missed out the first loop & having crossed the busy A1000 Hertford Road ahead of the rest they had found the CHK on the footpath/cycleway & headed northeastward toward the A414 Bridge & Mill Green beyond. 

The proper Trail had been found by Wanktlers & Ewok in the opposite direction from Welwyn garden on a path up in to the ‘Ryde’ area of Hatfield.  No amount of calling could bring Where’s Wally?’s breakaway group back. As the RA was about to head off up on to the Ryde, he glanced back to see Paxo ambling along & talking on his mobile! [Technology on the Hash! – Ed] 

A little latter Paxo would try & claim that he was only helping Tent Packer, who was on his way to the venue, letting him know that he would need money for the return travel back to Hatfield.  This didn’t wash with the RA, who was confident that he now knew that the Trail would end up at either Welwyn Garden City or Welham Green Stations, the first option being favourite.

The Trail ran along Park View, then passing through the end corner to find a CHK on The Holdings, here both Ewok & Wanktlers went wrong up to the west before the Hare marked the CHK, which alerted Spotted Dick, Custard & Poppy, Mr X & InCider to the fact that the Trail was heading out down The Holdings toward the A414, the Dust disappearing around behind the tall edge that lines the Mount Pleasant slip road to the A414 in the direction of Jack Holdings roundabout (Now known as Tesco Roundabout).

At the junction the Trail crossed the A414 Bridge, at the northern side of this boundary between Welwyn Garden City & Hatfield, it would swap sides of the road to take the Keenies on a loop through Mill Green.  This would lead down a southbound footpath above the edge of the A414 to pick up the dead end Bush Hall Lane, passing the Museum & the Water-Mill that gives this little Hamlet its name.   A sad sight of the Green Man pub still boarded up greeted the FRBs as they turned to make their way back up toward the A1000.

At the junction double arrows pointed the way over toward the remaining arc of a single track lane that is like an forming oxbow in a river that passes the fenced of Mill House, a few years ago this area saw crowds gather outside when it was mistakenly believed to have been bought by Dale Winton [Whooooo? – Ed] in his heyday. 

Up by the two isolated red brick homes Mr X was more alert than Ewok & No Eye Deer in the Hashit, for they had run beyond the obvious Dust on the start of the dry dusty uncapped farm track out toward Woodhall farm in the northwest.  The Virgins & the Breakaway Keenies had already passed down this route, the rest kept to their respective slightly slower pace as they kept with the track along to the next CHK, which was at the junction where the farm track splits by solitary Woodhall Farmhouse. 

Where’s Wally’s Breakaway group of Calum, Jake & Daniel may have been back on track, but they would be lured away under ‘Tramps Bridge’ in the embankment for the main line to Kings Cross, they would emerge out on to Stanborough lakes where the Trail would terminate.

On their way back, Where’s Wally? & Co would miss the fact that the Trail would run up the side of the railway embankment, so they came all the way back to the CHK where the rest had started off on the Short Cut that the Hare had marked up a Falsie.  On through the barley field to the north of Woodhall Farm, this track would pass through the end of the first field & follow the farm track out on to the next one that sits below Creswick Plantation.

After a run along by the hedgerow separating this field & the one adjacent Chequers (A1000) the Pack came up to a CHK by the corner of the Creswick Plantation, No Eye Deer was now bewildered as to where the Pack were, Mr X told her that they weren’t far from where My Lil’ lives. 

Where’s Wally?, Wanktlers, Ewok, InCider, Daniel & the Virgins all set off through the plantation next to the newer homes of Eddington Crescent on Chequers field, the Hare put in a short cut that led straight along the eastern edge of the trees & out on to the side of the Chequers Roundabout.

The Trail crossed over where several local Taxi’s were parked up, Dust led in to the long thin finger of the remaining woodland on Chequers’ Field, having weaved their way on the desire line of a path through this, the Keenies were led up to a Bar CHK.   It was in the wood that some of the Hash first noticed the sheets of paper that where weighted down with three stones, each sheet had an arrow pointing the way on what appeared to be a paper Chase!

So, it was back up to come out through a gap in the tree line & on to Chequers’ field, where the Trail passed by the man-made stream with its reeds & wild flours – all of these were put in place to stop the regular parking up of Travelers’ that would blight this area & cost a fortune to clean up.  Again more sheets with arrows on were spotted, that Trail going against the grain of the Herts one, the RA wondered if this was like the type of thing that Paxo would have taken part in under Baden-Powell?

On along by the single row of homes that line the west side of Chequers, this continued down by the second section of homes on the other side of the entrance road to the small Burrowfields Industrial estate.  The Hare was now pondering on where the Keenies were as Mr X & No Eye Deer led the way up to a CHK by the wooden footbridge at the start of the green space, this again has man-made water feature ditches & the likes to stop travelers parking up there. 

Mr X wondered if the Trail was over the further small wooden bridge to the northeast of the green space, No Eye Deer volunteered to look but didn’t go far enough to the pelican crossing on the end of Chequers before Mr X found the longer route of the Trail around the edge of the green space & coming out near to the Twentieth Mile Bridge (Named after the fact that it is exactly 20 miles from Kings Cross Station on the main line!) 

Mr X’s belief that the Trail would head over the bridges & then on down Osborne Way were soon dashed arrows pointed the way back up to where No Eye Deer was almost upon!  The Virgin FRBs, with Where’s Wally, Ewok & Wanktlers caught up as Mr X & No Eye Deer waited for the lights at the crossing to change, then once over the road the Trail crossed straight over to led along the two, back to back cul-de-sacs of Woodhall Court & Peartree Courts, then it was on to a CHK on the edge of Holwell Road.

Ewok went wrong as she headed northward up to Broadwater Road but was called back as the Dust was located on Peartree Lane to head northeastward until reaching Pond Croft, where the RA’s mother was brought up.  Mr X wasn’t alone with having connections to this area as InCider’s mum lives not that far away, a comfort just in case she lost the Trail!

Here the area is a mixture of established homes from the 1930’s & the 1980’s rebuilds that replaced the origninal concrete homes.  The FRBs were led away in to Pond Croft & took to the alleyway footpaths behind the homes that would led them out on to Bedwell Close & back out on to Peartree Lane.

The Trail used the crossing just beyond the old School & then led on by a convenience store, then the Doctors surgery to stop at a Held CHK beside the local Chinese.  This area is somewhat of a magnet to the local yoofs, who were cycling around & around, some of them were throwing chips at each other but the Hash weren’t really going to engage with these NEDs (Non Educated Delinquents).

Spotted Dick, Custard & Poppy joined the regroup, then looking back eventually the sight of Tent packer could be seen in the distance, he was followed on by Paxo, Lobby Lobster, Mumblehead & Mark E Mark all came in to View.  Some, like Ewok, where quick to ask where the sweets were, as normally at a Held CHK near the end of the Trail is a Sweetie Stop!

It was noticed at the Held CHK that somewhere along the way that Spotted Dick & Custard had been a foraging in the hedgerows as [hopefully! – Ed] the white stalk with a bell-end cap was a mushroom that Spotted Dick had in his Hand??  It certainly got Pebbledash’s attention!

Once the back markers were in sight Mr X requested to continue searching for the Trail, the Hare agreed & so Mr X headed off down the alleyway that heads westward out to the A 1000 Broadwater Road, on the way he disturbed Junior an old guy staggering about drinking from a can of ‘Tramp Juice’.  Following on behind Mr X were the Virgins of Jake & Calum, which was a wrong move as at the end of the path there were no less than three Ts to prevent any further progress up toward the back of the Railway Station.

Instead the true Trail headed off up Peartree Lane to take to Hyde way & out to the A1000, where via a crossing it made its way along the dead end section of Hyde Way over the crossroads that is beside the former Shredded Wheat factory, now just an eyesore, not that it was that aesthetic on the eye before it fell into disrepair.

Anyhow, while the Newbies returned to the Pack to negotiate this section, Mr X had continued up Broadwater Road & crossed over to the dead-end of Hyde Way, where he had clambered the old steps to take to the railway bridge to reach the Station at the rear of the Howard Centre.  With the Ticket offices being closed, he bought ‘group save’ tickets to keep the cost down & also save time in the back markers not having to queue up & tackle self-service machines.  Tent Packer bought his own, it was a senior rail card discount, he could have bought a couple more, but with the Newbies on hand this brought the age of the Pack down slightly from its usual average of ‘Shuffling toward zimmer-frame!’!

With all tickets purchased & the Pack together, the Hare produced four packets of sweets.  The Hash were happy now as they wandered down to Platform 2 to catch the Train back to Hatfield, yet not everything was well for some, as Paxo was stumped in tackling the removal of the sweet wrapper!  Mr X commented on these sweets tasting like Play-doh, preferring the jelly beans & wine gums.

The Train arrived to whisk the Hash back to Hatfield, disembarking at that Station the Pack saw Mr X suddenly put on a spurt of R*nning to rapidly exit the station & then cross over by the front gates of Hatfield House to run down Blood & Guts Alley beside the Great Northern Pub.  This Hostelry has a temporary name of the Game Fair Arms outside, advertising the ‘Pop-up Pub’ that will be in the grounds of Hatfield House at the weekend for the Game Fair Weekend.

Mr X’s running paid off as he arrived at the Horse & Groom (Formally the Arm & Sword) to find that there was no queue to get his Beers in!  Slowly the Hash made their way inside, ordered their bangers & Chips (The Mash had all gone by their return.)  Each in turn made their way out to the rear patio garden to enjoy the nice warm evening & hear horror tales about the ‘Titanic like’ Lea Valley Water-rafting experience, which most seemed to have been glad to experience it all but also somewhat relived when it was all over, & none seemed tempted to go back to do it again.

Mark E Mark’s cycling crash followed on from the extremes of the River Rafting, seems he wasn’t to be out done in hit things hard!  If there wasn’t enough tales of mishaps, TBT OBE made a late entrance, even though Paxo had claimed Teebs was on Holiday! 

Now there were more tales of Capsizing & a raft whacking a World Champion Kayaker against the rapid wall now came about, but TBT OBE was slightly miffed as he claimed that as the Hash’s resident ‘Uncle Albert’, he didn’t actually capsize, as he was thrown clear well before that occurred!  Teebs also admitted that he didn’t want to go around the course for the second time

On to the Down-Downs, before the Bangers came out, saw the Hare rewarded for a good 4 mile trot; the Virgin’s of Calum & Jake were awarded for completing their first Herts Hash; No Eye Deer was out for completing 300 Herts Trails, she then sat domnw as her Bangers & Mash came out first, these soon got the attention of Poppy’s nose!

Next out were the ‘Danger men’ of TBT OBE & Mark E Mark with their crashes over the weekend, they were joined by Lobby Lobster who’s experience of the White-water rafting had left her feeling sick for a couple of days! The Hashit went to Paxo, for Technology on the Hash! 

Then it was on to enjoying the food, though Mark E Mark outdid Pebbledash as his food was delivered by one of the Barmaid, he said “Nice Bangers!” to her as she set the plate down in front of him.