Date =                          10th December 201

Run Number =               1768                                                                                                                                     

Venues =                      The Two Willies Willows

Location:                      Welwyn Garden City

Beer =                          Lots of Ciders; Hobgoblin

Hares =                         My Lil’

Runners =                     5

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0

Newies =                      1

Après =                         0

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          6

Membership =              Only the Hardy!


            For those who know My Lil’ Luddite well, like the RA, it came as a surprise to receive a txt message that stated “@%*$¥!§¤” Snow, I’ll have to lay a Live Trail” when he peeked out of his window’s to see the overnight snowfall.  The GM called Mr X to say that she wasn’t going to make it as the roads were impassable where she was.  Then Sludge called to say that he had got so far, but then decided to cut his losses & turn back.  No Eye Deer sent an e-mail to say something similar, while Tent Packer sent his apologies in a txt message & a picture of some ‘black flour’ of the type used to make German Schwartzbrot.

The snow was still coming down as the RA set off to walk over to Welwyn Garden City Station, where he was to meet this week’s Newie of Dripping Wet, who came all the way from Abuja Hash in Nigeria.  The RA got a few strange & surprised looks from the wrapped up commuters passing through the station as he waited for the Train from Letchworth to arrive, amazingly it only had a two minute delay, which wasn’t bad at all.  Mr X thought to himself “Haven’t people ever seen someone in shorts before?” [Perhaps not in the snow! – Ed]

Dripping Wet was met by the RA & escorted to the Two Willows where the Hare was found waiting in the doorway of the Pub, which thankfully was already open.  This allowed the three to enjoy a drink in the warm while awaiting Milf & Kylie to arrive.  Unlike the rest of the regulars, who had all cried off, these two were making their way on a normally 20 minute journey that was taking an hour & forty.

            While Milf & Kylie sorted themselves out after their arrival, the others decided to have a snowball fight, with the Hare being the main target.  Every time My Lil’ was hit he added an extra half an hour to the Trail he was going to set live, seems he was still in a ‘Humbug’ mood after his original” brilliant” Trail was now swamped with about 5 inches of snow.

            Dripping Wet informed the others that it was 27 degrees in Abuja, while it was a lowly 6 degrees in Welwyn Garden City, then the RA welcomed the small, but perfectly formed, Pack to the wrong number by one too many.  Then the Hare was introduced, My Lil’ added that the Trail would now be live!  There wasn’t much more added by the Hare, so Mr X introduced Dripping Wet to the Pack.

            The Trail began by using the nearby crossing to get on to the Parkway, the long green tree lined avenue now covered in a bright white blanket of snow in the centre of town, passing near to the Coronation Fountain – celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth the Second. 

Over the other one way road to find sawdust running on westward down Russellcroft Road to where the Hare laid the first CHK at the crossroads with Guessens Road within residential area, the Hare now pointed Mr X, Milf & Dripping Wet off down the dead-end Guessens Road that heads a few degrees off of due north.

            On the way up to Bridge Road, the three FRBs stopped outside the house of one couple who were building a large igloo.  Milf & Dripping Wet now stopped for a photo of them both inside icy Inuit style of home, then it was time to move on, as they did Mr X gave them a bit of history of this the second Garden City in the world, pointing out the former home of Ebenezer Howard, the founder & chief designer of the Garden City idea.

            The FRBs would now turn on to Bridge road, to head westward, then around on to the end section of Handside lane, where another photo stop took place with Mr X & Dripping Wet running through the snow drift of a grassy verge.  The going wasn’t that easy, for the deep snow made it feel it was rather like running in sand dunes, but being fresh snow it wasn’t that slippery.

Then Keenies were soon coming back on to Russellcroft Road, another left-hand turn too them back to the first CHK, all of which allowed the Hare to get ahead of the rest & set this new Trail.  Also Kylie had time to catch up & get ahead via this short cut after his ‘rest-break’ back at the Pub after the long drive over.

            The Trail now lead along Guessens Road, named after another of the main designers of Welwyn Garden City, passing the former home of actress Dame Flora Robson on the way, star of ‘silver screen’ from the days of black & white films when Welwyn Garden City even had its own film studios. 

            The Keenies ran up to a CHK by the corner where Guessens Court stands, Kylie came back from search further down Guessens Road, where he said he couldn’t see any Dust, so Mr X decided to search off in Guessens Court, while Milf went back to Church Road, of these two it was Mr X who picked up the Trail on the footpath that runs behind some of the homes, now this would lead out through a series of small courts & cul-de-sacs until emerging back out on to Guessens Road beyond where Kylie had reached.

            The next CHK was found on the crossroads with Handside Lane, Mr X crossed over to search down Young’s Rise, while fruitlessly looking for saw-dust here, Mr X was asked by a resident who was moving his car if he was taking part in the Welwyn Garden Festive 5?  Mr X replied that he was not, he was actually on a Hash Trail, to which the guy replied that he used to Hash in Saudi Arabia.  A Herts Hash card was handed out before the RA ran back to Handside lane, where Milf had picked up the Trail on a lane that is older than Welwyn Garden City itself.

            As Handside Lane weaves its way to the south, Kylie was correct in saying that they were passing by the 1922 Daily Mail Model Village, where the homes of the future were built in a National Competition opposite the Barn Theatre, homed in one of the original Farm buildings that Handside Lane derives its name from.  At one point there was a duck pond by Handside farm, but this was filled in years ago.

            Beyond the green by the Daily Mail Model Village the next CHK was found at the crossroads with Applecroft Road & Barleycroft, Milf had picked up Dust further down Handside Lane, but she came back after finding what she thought was a Bar CHK, so Mr X asked how far down this way did she venture until she found the Bar.  Milf indicated where it was, by where a civilian woman with an orange shopping bag was & he then surmised that the Trail would head off down the short alleyway to the Old Drive.  On reaching the Bar CHK for the second time, Milf got to see that this was in fact an arrow, pointing the way over the road & up the alleyway up to the faux roundabout at the end of the Old Drive, while a Short Cut was marked down Handside lane.

With the slightest of diversion for the Keenies off down the Old Drive, they soon merges back on to Handside Lane, all along this road were loads of families out with sledges & they were heading the same way as the Hash were & that was down to Stanborough Lakes.

Milf & Mr X led the way all the way down to where Handside Lane stops at the T-Junction with Lemsford Lane, directly across from this the hamster bedding markings went to a footpath that leads on to the north end of Stanborough Lakes.  The Trail was directed through the route beside Lakeside School, while an SC was marked to the east running down Lemsford Lane, Milf & Mr X took to the longer option & were soon out on to the open space that is east of the unusually quiet A1(M).

Mr X explained that the large snow covered mound the kids were clambering up up & sledging down was made of the spoil of earth from when a section of the motorway was excavated in the late 1960’s.  The Trail turned southward to head down over the area that had no less than 9 snowmen already contracted, some standing tall & in some cases they had already been attacked.  Milf & Mr X had a selfie with one carrot nosed snowman before they headed off down in the small vale as the Trail turned around the edge of the small L-shaped woodland.

The wooden shavings now headed back toward Lemsford Lane, not far from Stanborough School, the Trail would pass through the narrow wooded strip to come out through the estate of Amethyst place, named so after HMS Amethyst - the former site of the local Sea Cadet’s Hut, the new home for the sea cadets now resides in the town centre, while the Army & Air cadets huts are still by the lakes.

Mr X’s local knowledge was soon to come in to play as he & Milf ran down Lemsford Lane, opposite the former Grammar School toward Stanborough Green, it was along here that Mr X explained that there was supposed to be a Run around these streets this Sunday, normally a 10K one that is marked out with day-glo orange spray paint [Sounds like one of TBT OBE’s Trails marked out in permanent spray! – Ed] but due to the deep snow the arrows were no longer visible.  This made the Hash feel quite good in managing to get around most of the course Joe Public couldn’t.

Anyhow, the Trail turned northward on to Stanborough Green, here the Trail led along by the blocks of flats looking over the green before the new Stanborough Road, then by the homes on the way to where the road turns right to meet the Parkway.  Milf & Mr X stopped to get another selfie with another snowman & then when the encountered some of the signs that were still up for the Welwyn Garden 5, having passed the 3 Mile sign, they now took a picture of themselves by the ‘Runners Turn Left’ one.

The Trail would now head up Parkway, but as Milf & Mr X could not see Kylie & Dripping Wet, they assumed that they were either behind them doing the Full Trail, or these two FRBs had somehow gone awry?  Mr X didn’t think that the Hare would take the Hash off of the direct route up the Parkway & back Inn, perhaps they just missed the sawdust due to snow-blindness & fatigue from the effort need to run through the snow.

Even with no sign of the Hare, these two ploughed on, quite literally at times, through the tundra like avenue to come back over to Howardsgate, there Mr X warmed Milf not to cross the virgin snow at the end of these two one way roads, for a large medallion of Ebenezer Howard was hidden below the white blanket. 

Back in the warmth of the Pub & the Hare was found there, he thought that he had lost the Pack & had txt messaged Mr X to see if they were lost.  Mr X explained that they did the whole Trail that also included a few photo stops.  Dripping Wet & Kylie came back, then not long behind them Sparky arrived.

Sparky told the rest of his adventures driving around the Tesco roundabout, a couple of times, by his TomTom throwing him a couple of curve-balls that were not the easiest route to the On Inn.  Sparky, as keen as ever decided that he was going to run at least to the first CHK, suddenly he was gone & then seen running over the Parkway to Russellcroft Road.  Thankfully he didn’t come a cropper & made it safely back to the On Inn.

The Circle took place, with Mr X fessing up & taking the first hit for getting the R*n Number wrong [By One! - Ed], then it was over to award the Hare for a great R*n set at the last minute, our Newbie of Dripping Wet was awarded her Down-Down for completing her first Herts Hash.  After the Circle, with the Rugby cancelled, Mr X remained in the Pub for far longer than he probably should have.

Later in  the week, the snow disappeared but the sawdust shaving Trail was revealed & remained there until at least Friday, while the hare revealed that the flour Trail was also visible, though no one would be r*nning that, My Lil’ will have to save it for a future Trail in WGC!