Date =                           22nd October 2017

Run Number =             1760                                                                                                                                     

Venues =                      The Old Cross Tavern (H4 HQ)

Location:                      Hertford

Beer =                           TT Landlord; Mauldon Oscar Wilde, Titanic; Ilkley

Hares =                         Pepé le Pew TBT OBE

Runners =                    11

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          2

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          13

Membership =             Like being in Triage!


            The RA just made it on the hour, though by the time his ‘change of kit’ was stowed in Sparky’s motor it was gone 11:00Hrs.  With both the GM & JM away in a rocking caravan up in Norfolk [Pebbledash, it was the blustery weekend that was making the caravan rock! – Ed] the RA welcomed the Pack to the correct R*n number, then it was over to TBT OBE!  [Wot no Pepé le Pew? – Ed]

TBT OBE announced that he was the stand in Hare, since the original one was taking part in a first aid course, which led Mr X to say that perhaps it should be TBT OBE who should be on that course?  Physician “Heal thy self!”  None of which distracted Teebs from explaining the Hash Markings, which were already neatly drawn on the kerb outside of the local Fancy Dress Shop the Pack were circled up outside of.  Strangely it was hard to discern between some of the Pack from the Halloween figures in the window, little did the RA realize that the severed rubber Hand in the shop window could have been an omen!

There was a groan as the Hare mentioned that some of the Trail would be set in ‘Grass Marking Paint’ to which Alfa Male added that this would be around for months on end & no Trail can be set here for that time, TBT OBE tried to say that it fades on Grass, but Alfa Male corrected him by mentioning that most grass pitches are mown on a regular basis!  A mention of Short Cuts & a Sweet stop soon brought a smile to the faces of the Pack, especially Prince Garmin & Lewis.

The Trail began by heading along to the end of St Andrews Street then following the pavement around by Sloppy’s Bar by the junction & on to Old Cross road, things continued by running on up toward Cow Gate.  Which thankfully meant avoiding passing the Mac’s Brewery on the opposite side of the road!

The Keenies, led by Alfa Male, were directed off to the left to begin a loop around behind the shops & homes on Old Cross to take to Dimsdale Street before emerging out of a passageway & back on to the main route toward Cow Bridge that heads around to the North where it becomes Port Hill as it leads up in to Bengeo.  On the way the Pack passed by Biggles House, once home to Ketchup but more famous for being the pace where W.E. Johns, the creator & writer of Biggles onced lived.

On the bend in the road, arrows led on to Port Vale, here the Keenies would find a CHK by the entrance to the local School, while Alfa Male continued northwestward along Port Vale, Mr X followed on & had a quick look on the side road by the Two Brewers, while Alfa Found the Falsie straight on, Mr X failed to find anything.

They were called back by calls of “On! On!” from River Walk & the Trail was picked up behind the local school, passing by the edge of the River Beane & the small green space of a sport park.  This serpentine like path weaved its way by the river to come out to a CHK on Beane Road, My Lil’ took the right-hand option back toward Port Vale, but he was soon running back as Tent Packer & Sparky called “On!” to the left on the way out to the Stevenage Road, but this was curtailed by a T near to the junction near to Hertford North Station.

Mr X now took up the mantel of searching back where My Lil’ had been, only a slight bit further on from that & the Trail was found heading nor-nor-westward along Moles Wood Road from the crossroads where Port Vale joins this, the RA was reassured to see that the Hare was leading Kylie & Lobby Lobster down Port Vale on a Short Cut.

As the Trail led along by the small terraced homes that line Moles Wood Road, Sparky was heard to call “Are you On?” to which there was a reply from the RA of “On! On!” but Sparky couldn’t hear the RA’s replay [Impossible! – Ed] & Sparky asked the question of “Are you?” again, the RA said that Sparky ought to shove his horn in his ear & use it as a hearing trumpet!  [Calm down Pebbledash! – Ed]

The FRBs slowed up at the point where the road turns northward & reaches a junction where it becomes the uncapped ‘private road’ in to Little Moles Wood, it was obvious to see from a distance that Herts Hash’s very own Banksy had sprayed painted blobs on the street lights heading up the steep flight of steps, the sight of this led to Mr X slowing up & saying “Not that old rouse!” as he was over-taken by Alfa Male.

With his younger legs, Alfa Male began to steep climb up the steps ahead of the rest, My Lil’ followed on with Sparky & Tent Packer ahead of Mr X, who noticed that My Lil’ had his doubt as well, for he kept looking back to see if the Hare was following on up the climb. 

TBT OBE was indeed scaling the steps with Ketchup, Prince Garmin & Lewis slightly ahead of him.  Still there was a little disbelief on by Horns Close [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] but this was soon expelled when the summit was reached & the path merged on to the elbow where Avenue Road & Church Road meet, here the first Held CHK was found.

Ketchup pointed out the Held CHK was on a metal drain cover & that this may confuse any fireman who wanted to access the Hydrant the nearby marker indicates to be around this area.  TBT OBE got out of his small backpack packets of Haribos, as well as a selection bag of Lollies!  Max factor was happy to see that there were no Jelly Babies being offered by the Hare. 

Ketchup went over to look at a poster that was on the telegraph pole, this was about developing the area which was believed to have been won but is now back on the cards, according to the Hertford Mercury this week.  Mr X went over to see what Ketchup was viewing, but was put off by the overpowering smell from the nearby dog-poo bin, time to retreat & get in the picture that Kylie was taking.

The Hare allowed the Keenies to search again, with My Lil’, Alfa Male, Ketchup & Sparky searching eastward along Church Road, but this would only be a Falsie, it was down to Mr X who was searching northward off along The Avenue, not finding anything to start with he looked back toward where Tent Packer following on, there on wall at the end of Westfield Road was a bright white dot, which indicated that the Trail would head this way.

The Pack made their way along the residential street until it came out on to Duncombe Road, there an arrow pointed southward to take the Hash along beyond Church Road, with the SCBS on that route, to lead up to a junction with Red Wood Close & Cross Road, Alfa Male was soon overtaking the rest as he followed the Trail on to Cross Road that leads on to the Bengeo Road, there the next CHK was found.

Mr X said that there were various options, as he believed that he Trail would head to St Leonard’s Church & then down on to Hartham Common.  Mr X went off to check out the south bound direction where the Bengeo Road would drop down the Port Hill to Cow Bridge, on the western side of the curving road there was no Dust, but peering through the wire fence of the footpath on top of the embankment he could see that the bright white grass paint stood out on the opposite side.

Carrying on down toward Hertford the RA stopped at the end of the protective fence to cross over to the Gate-House on the end of ‘The Walk’ that leads from the wrought-iron gates to head northeastward below the wooded embankment behind the large desirable homes on Warren Park Road.  This route leads all the way up to St Leonard’s Church.

Mr X had now picked up a Trail on the tarmac path along the northern end of Hartham Common, the sprayed blobs then took to a set of steps in to the wooded hill-side, passing by the handrail that had several jogging tops & water bottles upon it, Mr X thought that Sparky would be rummaging through these seemingly discarded garments if he saw them as he began his climb, close behind him were Max Factor & Alfa Male who were leading the rest of the Keenies up this way.

Mr X found a T once the path had reached its upper level, he turned back & the rest did the same to come down by the steps, the were greeted by the young lads doing some circuit training stopping to explain that the sports gear was theirs as the FRBs gathered by these clothes to discuss if TBT OBE had got a T mixed up with a Bar CHK, Alfa Male had a quick look further along the tarmac drive but didn’t find anything so it was a T & a trek back to the CHK was now in order.

Back on Bengeo Hill & the Hare had stopped the SCBs here & another round of Sweets were made available, cheering up Lewis & Prince Garmin, before the descent a little further to the bottom of the hill, then opposite from the former Reindeer Pub that is now a Vets, an eastward turn by the TA Centre to head on to the western tip of Hartham Common. 

This route on the grass was marked with proper grass paint to form an oval track, with white blobs sprayed between these 6 foot apart tram-lines as they firstly headed behind the Bowls Club & by the River Beane, then by the Tennis Courts & a weir where a group of Kayakers were getting in to the river.

The Keenies made their way on to the wooden footpath bridge over the Beane to come back on to the tarmac drive along the bottom of the Warren, Lobby Lobster & Kylie were up with the Hare at this point after SCBing along this smooth route.  Lobby was concerned at where Prince Garmin & Lewis were, as was Ketchup who peered back to see that they were just a little way behind Mr X, who had been keeping an eye on them.

The FRBs now headed northeastward along this popular waling route, with a CHK thrown in to throw the Keenies off of the scent briefly, when they were led down on to Hartham Common on a Falsie, before continuing up the rising route.  Sparky was again heard to below “Are you On?” to which there was another reply from the RA of “On! On!” needless to say that Sparky couldn’t hear the RA’s replay [Again I day impossible! – Ed] which led to Sparky repeating himself, like a bad curry, with the question of “Are you?” again.

The Church of Saint Leonard lay at the top of the path, this Norman Church in Bengeo overlooks the shared Beane & Lea valley, the Grade I Listed church dates from about 1120, it is the oldest building in Hertford.  It served as the parish church of Bengeo until the larger Holy Trinity Church was opened in 1855, then it was stripped of its fittings, remaining unused for some years, until the Gosselin family of nearby Bengeo Hall commissioned its restoration and refitting between 1884 – 1894

Through the Church grounds the Pack went, making its way around the unique church to come out of the walled Churchyard via a small gate in front of the little memorial garden, then to head around the walled corner of the last two properties on the plateau to pass through a gate & then descend down the long gentle slope through to the meadows that lay to the east.

Sparky caught up with Mr X on the way down but Sparky couldn’t see the other FRBs in the distance, nor could he hear any calling, but the RA could see Tent Packer’s Pink top emerging from behind the tree line in the distance, sheltering where a footbridge crosses the Beane on its way to join the River Lea Navigation.  Once over the Beane the Keenies found themselves out on to the most easterly of the soccer pitches, which were not in use, which occupy an area that is like an island sandwiched between the Beane & the River Lea Navigation.

 Having got by the pack of dogs belonging to the dog walkers, Mr X thought that Mumblehead was out there at one point, a bit of Confusion took place over by the western edge of the ‘island’, here Tent packer searched toward the bridge over the tributary but didn’t go far enough & every one of the FRBs now headed up toward the Lea Navigation but no Dust was found.

Eventually the route was rechecked as Ketchup & My Lil’ who found the Trail over this bridge spanning the weir where the River Lea joins & takes over the River Beane, the FRBs were now on to the main part of Hartham Common.  It was in this corner by the Beane where the wooden fence was adorned with flowers bouquets in memory of someone who drowned there.

As the Keenies ran along the edge of the main Hartham Common there were soccer matches taking place, it was here that Lobby Lobster & Kylie were SCBed from the Warren via the narrow wooden footbridge over the Beane.  On the way Sparky decided that he was going to blow his horn, just as he approached an old lady out walking her hairy Jack Russell, the pooch took offence to Sparky’s racket & had a go as he ran over to snap at Sparky’s heels, the sniggering RA, who was following on gave the now upset pooch a wide berth but it wasn’t bothered by this next Hashers to pass by.

The Pack followed the footpath along the edge of the common as it heads over to the long weirs by the end of Mill Lane, the next CHK was found on the junction of steps at the end of the long footbridge spanning the wide weir. Sparky was the only one to think of looking toward Mill Lane, the rest where content in running over the wooden boards of the long bridge to pick up the Trail on the tow-path along the Navigation.

Sparky called out “Are You!” to which a reply of “ON! ON!” came from Alfa Male, Sparky couldn’t hear this above the roar of the water cascading over the weir & called out “Are you?” again, even when he had made it over to the tow path Sparky couldn’t see the Trail markings that the others had picked up on.  He followed on as the tow-path ran on down by the allotments before reaching an arrow that pointed the way down Frampton Street to the northwest, by the row of pretty little terraced homes.

As the Trail headed away from the river it came out on through the Sainsbury’s car park, but there can be all sorts of hidden dangers lurking around the streets, like kerbs lying in wait for the unaware, or the short sighted, & one such demon took its toll on Sparky as he clipped the concrete obstacle & went flying, taking the skin off of his palms, knees & elbows.  It resemble the severed rubber arm in the fancy-dress shop window! 

Sparky’s trip happened just a few hundred yards before passing the McMullens Brewery, fortunately no one was around to run out with a beer for him!  Picking himself up & dusting himself off just feet away from the On Inn Sparky continued stoically as the Trail came back out the remains of ‘St Mary the Less’ Church, which were made in to a public fountain when discovered when the construction of the old Public Library took place.  St Mary the Less was built around 1220 but destroyed in the 1550’s

TBT OBE came back & probably couldn’t believe his ears on hearing “Good Trail Teebs!” & “Got be the second best Trail you’ve set, which makes two good ones!”  Once changed the Pack split in to two, as Kids aren’t allowed in the Bar, Prince Garmin & Lewis had to sit in the garden, yes with the obligatory packets of crisps.  At first they were joined by Max Factor, Lobby Lobster & Tent Packer, while Mr X & My Lil’ stayed in the Bar, it wasn’t long before the sugar-rush from all of the Sweets on Trial took effect & the Kids went bananas.  The noise was enough to drive the adults back in to the Bar, where a smug Mr X said “Why do you think I haven’t moved?”

Carol brought Sloppy Seconds over, it was good to see him as he sat with the Hash for a drink, while the Circle took place inside.  The Hare was rewarded for the Trail which was probably one of his best [That now makes two then! – Ed] which lasted for an hour & 5 minutes for the Keenies.

Other hits were awarded to Ketchup for being a ‘Bad Dad’ in sending the kids to the enclosed garden.  Lobby Lobster for being abandoned by Mark E Mark who was meeting up with P-Rick to watch Spurs Play!  Alfa for having faith in the Trail going up the steps, when others weren’t as keen.  Finally Sparky for his trip & the aftermath of bloody swabs that made it look like triage in an episode of Casualty! 

At times it as hard to tell if he had ketchup with his pork pie or not, luckily everyone else had eaten theirs before then!  It was also beneficial to those drinking that Tent Packer had also put away his scabby looking pork Scratchings!  Meanwhile the RA was wondering if TBT OBE had set him up, for the young Barman had googled the Herts Website & said that it needed work done on it, volunteering his company services to improve it!  If you guys want to pay for this please let the committee know?