Date = 24th September 2017
Run Number = 1756
Venues = The Half Moon
Beer = JHB Citra; Mauldon Oscar Wilde, Conkers; & four more
Pôrgu Pie, Mr X, Sludge
Runners = 18
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 2
Hounds = 0
Total = 20
Membership = A Tale of Two Hares!
The weather couldn’t be better for a Sunday Hash, for some of the early arrivals there was a chance to have a mooch around the nearby Market, which was bustling with potential shoppers. After this there was a wander to go & see the rest of the Pack who were gathering in the Pub’s car park, which by this time had the gates open, however most had parked out in the streets in order not to swamp the venue with Hash Vehicles.
This week saw the arrival of two Newbies to Herts Hash, Snow White & Altitude Sickness who come our way by the Philippines, the RA went through the Herts Markings for the two Newies while the Hare was away setting the start of the Hash Trail. Eventually the Hare returned & the GM went through the introductions, getting the Run Number correct but when it came to announcing the Newbies, she discovered that Snow White was in the Loo!
Before the off, Paxo announced to the Pack, but especially toward Sparky, that the insurance will no longer cover any incidents involving horns scaring dogs, people and any other thing of a nervous disposition, though the decision is with the Hare of the day if nothing can be scared, but Sludge said that there should be no horns on today’s Trail, so a deflated Sparky put his horn away.
The Hare had little to say, since the markings had been explained, so it was out on to the end of Queens Street to head northward up toward the Bricklayers Arms, with Wanktlers, Alfa Male, Max Factor, Ewok & My Lil’ leading the way beyond the Pub, the car show rooms & then the Exchange fitness Club, none of which took their attention.
The RA was walking at the back, keeping Snow White in Good company for a short while before our Newies ran a little on the way up to the CHK at the bottom of Windmill Hill. The RA was now on his own at the back, he was struggling after spending the previous day in A & E, the concern from No Eye Deer & Ewok over his condition was appreciated, but there was no point in lounging at home on such a nice morning.
Now, for those who have regularly run with Herts know that there can’t be a Trail set in Hitchin without a usually unwanted traipse up Windmill Hill, this Hash wasn’t going to be any different as Sludge let the Keenies scale the heady heights up to the T upon the top of Windmill Hill!
The RA was far enough back to see that Wanktlers, My Lil’, Ewok, Altitude Sickness, Alfa Male, Max & Ewok were now on the descent back down & heading over the junction, nipping beneath the yellow foam covered steel scaffolding poles for the working being conducted on the corner shops on Bancroft.
The Trail now took to Bancroft, of course when this passed by the front of the new ‘Beer Shop’ there was a lot more attention paid to its contents, that the businesses that were passed by earlier, some would end up imbibing in there on their way to the Railway station in the afternoon.
Anyhow, the Pack ran up to an arrow pointing the way over the pelican crossing to take to the back route through the access road between two end shops, here there was a culvert on the left that the river Hiz runs through by Portsmill, this waterway got the attention of Prince Garmin.
The Pack were now led around the end of the Market Square area to pass by the Olde Worlde shops hidden behind the Grounds of St Mary’s Church & behind the High Street. While Altitude Sickness ran off with the main Pack, Snow White was moving along at the back with Paxo & Mr X, here he heard about some of the older members of the Herts Crew & how we have a ‘Knitting Circle’, plus checks are normally marked, as are Short Cuts.
The Trail now crossed over the cobbled area of the old Market Square, the Hare was slightly hindered here while setting the Hash, for there was a serious r*nning event taking place with several hundred participants milling about there having finished their R*n!
It was far quieter now in the Market Place as Mr X pointed out the old Taxi rank shelter over to the north of the square, while the Trail continued off down Bucklesbury to come out on to Tilehouse Road. The Pack wouldn’t be on this old street for long, just a few feet really as a CHK was found & the Keenies made short work as to where the Trail was found, leading away on one cut-off section of the Old Charlton Road, on the way the Pack would pass the old red-brick walls of the former Priory’s Kitchen Gardens.
By the time Mr X, Paxo & Snow White had arrived at this spot, the CHK was marked off toward the footpath that leads down to the subway leading under the A602 Park Way. But by looking through the footpath that leads straight out to this busy road, the FRBs could be seen making their way along on to Willow Lane at the Junction, the Trail headed along this westbound route before arrows directed the Hash over to the opposite side & then around on to more of the Charlton Road.
As the SCBs turned the corner & make their way southward, Snow White let the other two know that he once worked on Dog Kennel Farm some 50 years ago. Off on the footpath across the fields to the southeast of Dog Kennel Farm a red Herts Hash T-Shirt could be seen disappearing over the field & on behind Mill Farm. Again the Hare had marked the CHK, this had a long pointing out over the crop fields, while the Short Cut was marked to follow the lane in to Charlton itself.
The SCBs arrived at the now sorry looking Windmill Pub, which someone is sadly trying to make in to a residence & deprive the public of what was once a great boozer, here they found Sparky & Wanktlers searching for Dust, for they had been on the loop around behind Mill Farm & then down to Wellhead Farm before running up in to the fields that sit above this to the east, with the Dust taking the Pack by the Pumping Station & out on to the footpath that leads along above Charlton Millpond to come down the steps on to Brick Kiln Lane.
My Lil’ could finally be heard calling from when he had reached the top of the footpath that rises from the bottom of Brick Kiln Lane, starting beside the sties of the famous rare breed pigs that live in this little sanctuary. The Beermaster was out of earshot of any animals at this point.
A short cut across the dry, raised Ford allowed the SCBs to meet up with the Tail of the Pack as a long line of Hashers climbed up the steep footpath to come out on to the edge of the crop fields that sit above the hamlet of Charlton, & as the SCBs made their way up, the large hairy porker wallowing in the mud was not showing any signs of stress or anguish!
Ewok chose to check it out to the Northeast, but she was called back as the Trail was picked up by Alfa, Max, My Lil’, Sparky & No Eye Deer as they took the alternative route heading back toward Brick Kiln Lane to the South, as the path made its way around the corner of the crop of clover, Sludge, Snow White & Altitude Sickness all short-cut over to where another path leads from Brick Kiln Lane to cross Hitchin Hill.
A CHK was found by the wide gap in the hedgerow, a couple went to check out on to the farm track of Tattemore Hills Lane on the south side of the lane, but there was no southbound trot on that for “On!” was called further along the old narrow tarmac Brick Kiln Lane, as it heads Eastward toward Gosmore area of Hitchin.
This route turned slightly before arriving at a CHK near to the cut-through to Priory Way, the Keenies had found the T up this & were making their way around to the next alleyway further down to come up on to small estate of the nice homes on Priory Way.
By this point Altitude Sickness had slowed up to walk with Snow White & the other SCBs, perhaps the climb up to the top of the plateau was having an effect that was like that of when she got her name? She joined the SCBs on taking to the first Cut-through, here they emerged just as My Lil’ led the rest of the Pack up through this suburban loop to a footpath at its northern end that leads out on to the fields at the top of Hitchin Hill.
Back out on the plateau with a splendid panorama over the western hills, most stopped looking out over the farm land & concentrated on where three pit-bull type dogs were running around, at one point it did look like they were eying up Sparky’s bony legs as he ran on behind Mr X.
The RA was now very happy, content at being at the front of the Pack & finding the Trail. This unusual situation for this Trail would not last long for Mr X as My Lil’ short-cutted from the Falsie both he & Wanktlers were searching at the east end of the field.
The Dust would lead in to the wooded strip of pine trees that run along the eastern edge of the crop fields, a guy out walking his black Labrador suddenly stopped in his tracks, the pooch also seemed interested in the commotion happening in amongst the trees. What the Fuss was about? It was Sparky’s failed acrobatics as TBT OBE’s stand-in, after his toe clipped a tree root & he went flying to crash in a heap.
The fall had done some damage to Sparky’s fizzog, the side of his temple above the eye was already swelling up around the deep gash. His specs were broken in the fall but Sparky was more concerned about picking up some flour to mark the offending root with for others behind him to avoid! Mr X picked up the other of Sparky’s lenses & handed it to him after he had daubed Dust on the root, there was no sympathy from My Lil’ as he pronounced “What do you expect to find at the bottom of trees?” [Fair point! – Ed)]
Sparky was still keen to run the rest of The Trail, no one else was happy at this prospect! So Wanktlers kept with Sparky as they made their way over the flour strewn desire line, the Hare had earlier admitted to the RA that he had a slight issue with mice nibbling away at his stash of Hash Dust stored in his garage, it resulted in what looked like a whole bag of self-raising had going for a burton & covering large white swathes along this path!
Sparky was ushered through the patch of nettles, which we are reliably informed do not sting this time of year, to run along over the footbridge arching above the A602 below, Wanktlers also managed to get Sparky beyond the ‘Maximum Security Twilight Home for the Bewildered” though to be fair half the Pack could easily qualify for a residency place in there!
The On Inn was found on the footpath’s descent from the back of the Priory Gardens, down from the pine trees to run by the red-brick wall of this side of the old priory grounds, then it was simply down to the level, over the road by the Lord Lister Hotel, & On Inn within 50 minutes for the walking wounded!
Sparky Patched himself up, the best he could, be was absent for some time before getting an Ale. When he came out he showed his broken glasses frame, My Lil’ added that wrapping some platers around it would son fix them, just like Jack Duckworth’s specs!”
Sparky was soon joining in the annual Hash Conker competition, which was the cue for plenty of puerile jokes about ‘conkers’ & Safety Glasses [No one wants to get conkers hitting them in the eyes! – Ed] that would have made Pebbledash roar. Even one of the locals joined in with the first couple of rounds.
Sloppy Seconds & Carol joined the Pack as the contest was already Underway, leaving him as just a spectator this year.
Now, you can’t write this shit, well obviously I do, but it soon seemed as if there would be a new name on the Trophy. The RA was sent out by a ‘Sucker punch’ from Prince Garmin, who had named his Conker “Bill the Beast” [No Pebbledash, not Paxo! – Ed] all of this led to lots of calls of “Don’t tell ‘em” at school you played Conkers this weekend, since this noble & ancient pastime no longer conforms to educational ‘elf & safety’ standards! Echoes of “Bad Dad!” also rang around as Ketchup pondered the thought of a “What did you do at the weekend?” session at School on Monday for Prince Garmin!
Altitude Sickness also sailed through the first couple of rounds, as others fell by the wayside, then Prince Garmin got to the final, which was to be decided after the semi of Max Factor & Alfa Male had taken place, in the end Max Factor’s Conker Crown slipped, the RA announced that it would be a quiet journey home for Alfa male! By the end of the tournament Prince Garmin had not only survived without losing or damaging any parts of himself, or “Bill the Beast”, like countless millions of British kids over the centuries he survived & won!
The Down-Downs took place with the Hare being rewarded for his stepping in at the last minute. The two Newies of Snow White & Altitude Sickness [Apparently she was named after being ill on the Philippine’s highest point! – Ed] were awarded their Hits; Sparky was obviously out for his trip, & being TBT OBE’s Stuntman; The Former Conker champion of Max Factor was given an Ale to drown her sorrows with; Finally the RA had his for being one of the original Hares who had to pull out.