Date =                            31st December 2017

Run Number =            1771    

Venues =                      The Horse & Groom

Location:                      Hatfield

Beer =                           Tiny Rebel; Otter; Theakston’s Olde Perculier

 Hares =                        My Lil’

Runners =                    18

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          0

Hounds =                      1

Total =                          19

Membership =            Surviving a Tour of Duty Sarf Hatfield!


            The overnight weather was pretty dismal, something that continued on in to the early morning as the Hare set about laying the Trail, on the way hoping for a break in the weather as he made his way around Hatfield.  The Hare went home & had a shower after setting the Trail to clean off the dough, before cycling back over to the Horse & Groom where he found the Pack waiting outside on Park Street.

            Paxo arrived with Pebbledash, but for some reason he wanted the Circle to move in to where he was in the Car Park behind the Pub, which sits at the edge of Arm & Sword Lane, so in the absence of the GM, who was feeling rather under the weather, Paxo was her stand-in.  The Pack made their way through the passageway to the car park for the welcoming circle to take place.

            This week saw Sarah & Jack both turning out for the second Herts Run, at least the unlike their last Trail the Rain had ceased.  Their last run was from the Crown & Falcon over at Puckeridge when the weather was a downpour & a half all night.  Sludge arrived & on his way to the front of the Pub he was apologizing to the Hare for forgetting the Hash Book!

Poppy couldn’t wait for the Trail to get under way & was straining at the leash, thankfully she didn’t have to wait too long as it began by heading away to the south, through to Salisbury Square, named after the local Lord’s Family, who reside in the nearby Hatfield House, a home that was completed in 1611.  

The new Jacobian Palace was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury & son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister & Spy Master of Elizabeth I.  The deer park surrounding the house & the older building of the Old Palace had been owned by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.  It was while she was living in the Old Palace, which still remains in the Park, & was sitting under an Oak tree, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne.

The Keenies were led out through the square, on by Maryland Roman Catholic Church, a round conical building that was added to the old Church in the 1960’s in a style that is reminiscent of ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ the unofficial name the local Scousers use for  Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral.  Custard admitted knowing all about Paddy’s Wigwam when her & Spotted Dick used to live & work up on Merseyside.

The FRBs were led on over to the Broadway & on to a Bar CHK!  The Keenies ran back to find the Hare & the SCBs of Sarah & Jack who were being escorted along by Kylie who were making their way through Batterdale, did Kylie have to be on hand in case Sarah went in to premature labour?

The Trail led out to the Subway under the Great North Road to a CHK next to what is known locally as ‘Grays Roundabout’ named after the local Coach-builder & later the garage of the same name.

Wanktlers & Mr X were soon through the short subway in the railway embankment for the main line to Kings Cross, once on the  west side of the tracks these two found arrows pointing down the steps in the roadside bank that leads down to a Bus Stop right by the railway bridge.  The Trail crossed French Horn Lane to head up in to St Etheldreda’s Drive, the Keenies were led around a loop while the SCBs just walked straight up through the main central section of the warren like road.

The Trail would then take to the pathways that lead by the homes on Howe Dell, with the front doors which face the path & have no road or car parking, this would lead out to the residents car park hidden down beside the Railway line.  On southward to come out on to the park area with its few Playground activity climbing frames located before the north end of Howe Dell Wood.  Starboard & Slug were soon up with the Keenies but like the rest of the FRBs they had swung around with the tarmac path & had lost the Trail, which was over the grassy area before the wood.

The Hare called to the off-track Keenies & they were soon cutting across the wet grass, on his way down the slight slope to the level open area the RA would discover that his Hash Shoes didn’t have the grip required to stop him from slipping over as he went down on to his hands & knees.  Sludge was quick to comment on “Did the RA see that?”  Unlike the old Hash Book, the RA did spot that fall as the ground came up quite rapidly!  Mr X wasn’t the only one to have issues with traction on their choice of footwear, as No Eye Deer also had a few close calls on moving over to the woodland.

The Trail left the sodden grass to take to Shiggy paths leading in to the woodland on the higher footpath of the two options, this was heading back up beside the Railway line, however it soon moved away from the mainline & come down to the edge of the stream in Howe Dell, the Trail would cross the Stream at a wider shallow point in the stream’s course in between the steep high banks on either side. 

Spotted Dick with Poppy, who were already across the water, pointed this out this so those with longer legs could use the raised stony mound in the water course as a stepping stone.  The Trail would now leave the southern end of the wood to come out on to Honeysuckle Gardens, here the Hash were treated to seeing the first two abandoned Shopping Trollies of the Trail, it wouldn’t be the same running around Hatfield without seeing a few of these wheeled wired discarded shopping baskets.

At the end of Honeysuckle Gardens a CHK was found, Milf started off the wrong way but was called back as “On!” was called over Oxlease Avenue & down Deerswood Avenue.  At the elbow in Deerswood Avenue the FRBs were caught out by a Falsie leading back up toward the Railway Line, Sparky, Wanktlers & Milf made up for their mistake as they ran back to find the Trail heading down toward the Green on Badger Way, but before getting as far as Hyena’s Mum’s old home, the Pack would be taken off on the permissive path in to Oxleys Wood.

The Trail took to the path above the pond at the northern end of the Woodland, the Keenies were led slightly over to the eastern edge on a hard capped path, to pass by the fenced off allotments & the chickens.  The noise of a Cock could be heard Crowing as the Keenies passed by the fowl’s territory.  This had Mr X singing “Has anybody seen my cock, my big Rhode Island red,  He's mostly pink with a little bit of blue and purple on his head, He stands straight up in the morning & he gives my wife a shock, Has anybody seen, anybody seen, anybody, anybody seen my cock?”  [Thankfully out of Pebbledash’s earshot! – Ed]

Milf had a change of heart when the Trail reached a fallen tree over the stream in the centre of the wood, she went back to the short cut back up by the Pond to take the short cut, perhaps the crossing within the woods was responsible for the fact that Max Factor & Alfa Male may back also returned to at the lower path, joining Paxo & Pebbledash in the ‘Knitting Circle’!

Meanwhile back on the Trail path, Slug was heard saying the reassuring words of “I am right behind you!” to Starboard as he crossed like a monkey on all fours to get over via the fallen tree to reach the lower Shiggy Path.  Having emerged out of the southern end of the wood, the RA noticed that Milf could have stuck with the hard-capped upper path as it came out at the same point.  Mr X was just glad that he had followed the Hare on the lower path, for he was feeling the effects of going to watch Sarries against Worcester’s the day before & that combined with his lack of grip could have resulted in an early bath for him in the stream.

Once out of the southern end of the wood the Pack would now find out exactly how much rain there had been overnight & in the early morning, for the grass of the playing field was waterlogged & Hash shoes were going to get soaked on the way up to the southern end of the green space.  It was at this point while setting the Trail that the Hare told those next to him that it was here that the down-pour that morning has stopped.

Up ahead of the rest of the Pack, Wanktlers, Sparky & Starboard where lured up to the southeastern corner but the Trail petered out at the tree-line separating playing fields & Millwards fields to the south behind the trees.  Sludge on the other-hand was wise to this & was spotted by the Hare as he already strayed from the Trail & headed over toward the kissing gate over by the Millwards estate.

Out on to the streets as the Trail led through Millwards & out to the roundabout at the junction of Traveler’s Lane & the A1000 Southway.  While Mr X was now convinced that the Trail was going to head to Welham Green & a possible Train trip back to Hatfield, the Hare was more concerned as to the whereabouts of Sudge?  For he was now no longer in sight, while he should have been seen taking the Trail up the ramp on the southern side of the footbridge spanning high over Southway, but he was conspicuous by his absence.

Starboard, Sparky, Wanktlers & Mr X all followed the Trail over the A1000 & then up to a CHK point on the ramp of the southern side of the roundabout, near to where the old section of Travelers lane is  footpath/cycleway running southward beside the Industrial Estate of New Barnfield.  All of which still had Mr X believing that the Trail would go to Welham Green Station, but going against his expectations the Trail was called “On!” over the arching footbridge to the north side & then down the spiral ramp, which had a few comments about the Pack feeling a bit dizzy going around & around on the descent.

There was still no sight or sound of Sludge, as the Trail was found to run westward up in to Far End, the Hare marked a Short Cut in for Milf & No Eye Deer to cut out the high footbridge, this would now put them on the start of running through South Hatfield.  The Dust led on up to a series of footpaths, some looking rather unofficial, that interlink the small side streets, passing through a play area before coming out on to the tree-lined embankment behind the homes to drop down on to a CHK on the footpath running along the A1000.

By the time the RA arrived, he still had a faint belief that the Trail could go to Welham Green, as there were options of paths over Angerland Common to the south, but Wanktlers would soon be coming back down the set of steps in the opposite, southern embankment.  Meanwhile Sludge had now been found, as he was seen up along to the west & he too was calling “On!” but this would soon stop as he found a T as well.

The Hare had been crafty in setting Check Back up the steps to the path running along the wooded embankment top, Milf & No Eye Deer arrived just in time not to go down the steps & so they led the way along the top of the embankment. 

Down below the level of the proper Trail Sludge could be seen & it looked like he was dithering, thinking of taking a Short Cut, which was mentioned by those ‘Kings of the Castle to this Dirty Rascal’, so it came as surprise to Milf, No Eye Deer, Mr X & My Lil’ that when the path came down to the level of the tarmac roadside path, that Sludge was no longer there.  Sludge had actually gone back to the CHK point, & followed the correct Trail through the wooded embankment, My Lil’ questioned whether Sludge had developed a conscience?  Nah! But the RA had been looking down on him & Sludge had ammunition after the RA’s earlier fall!

Mr X thought that there could be one last chance of going through to Welham Green, via the footpath beside the new Welwyn Hatfield Cemetery but the Trail turned the corner at the junction where Bishops Rise begins to head around the bend before it rises northward up the hill.  The Pack would now get to see the worst parts of Hatfield, piles of discarded ripped open bin-bags at the side of the road, of course there were more abandoned shopping trollies as the Trail rose though an area which is a real ‘Studentville’.

The Keenies were taken on a loop around through the back streets off of Bishops Rise, again it was much of a muchness with the trash & abandoned house-hold waste bringing the area down, o the way Mr X noticed behind one of the hedges was a gnome with a lamp, a mini-Sludge cast off with other crap!  As the Trail came back around to the Hilltop area of Hatfield, Mr X said he knows the Pub at the Top as the Hill Top, Hyena’s former local when he lived nearer to these parts.

The RA went on to say he had no idea why the Pub was named the Harrier, with a Hawker Sidley Jump Jet on its sign outside, because Hawker Sidley (Later BAE) never built the Harrier at the Hatfield plant.  He added that he also fondly recalls the graffiti of “This is Free Hatfield” that was daubed in large letters on the edge of the Hilltop arcade of shops for many years. 

Wanktlers was now up ahead & Mr X said that he would turn off any moment, & the Trail did so as it headed eastward down Larks Rise, then a northbound turn to lead up Heron Way to cross on to the short Thrush Avenue. [You can get cream for that! – Ed]

At the road junction the Trail crossed straight over to a CHK before a path off of Woods Avenue & into the square wooded area, Sparky went to search the wood, only to find a T in there but it was also the place of his ‘downfall’ as he too took a tumble!  He picked himself up & came back to run down Woods Avenue just before the RA arrived, however Sparky would unwittingly ‘dob’ himself in after the Trail.

The Trail would turn off of Woods Avenue to take to Briar’s Lane & then Cedar Road to cut off the corner to join Woods Avenue where it turns from east to north at the roundabout, from where it joins Traveler’s Lane & Oxlease Road, so the Pack were not far from where they had been on the Out Trail.

Mr X pointed out to Slug the pine trees down by Howe Dell earlier on the Out Trail, meanwhile back on the Inn Trail it would now head up the rising road toward the town Centre, but before reaching the summit the Trail came to a halt at a CHK on the opposite side from the Hatfield Girls School.

Mr X knew that the Trail would take to the footpath that runs by the Scout Hut, this chain-link fenced in tarmac way runs down toward Howe Dell open space, where the Hash were about 50 minutes earlier, but after a 100 yards or so it turns at a 90° turn to head back toward the town Centre, passing a small playing field & emerging out on to Old Rectory Lane.  

Milf, Wanktlers (& nearly Sludge) were caught out by being led down to a Bar CHK on the residential road, Sludge didn’t seem to believe the Hare as he pointed the way on to the next section of the footpath as it heads to the footbridge that spans Link Drive before coming down to the grassy area on the southern side of Queensway.

The final leg of the Trail was fairly straight forward, as the Hare put it himself - there wasn’t much point in putting in too many CHKs as those, like Sludge, would know their way back & probably wouldn’t deviate from the quickest way back Inn, so the Trail turned by Queensway House, one of the tower blocks in the centre of Hatfield.

Arrows directed the way down by Cecil Hall & then over the pedestrian crossing to take to French Horn Lane, the Trail would only be on this as far as the junction where it branched off to go down Old French Horn Lane, Wanktlers pleased the Hare as he was found to be coming back from the small Park between this & St Albans Road,

The Trail continued off of Old French Horn Lane to cross Beaconsfield Road & then up the footbridge at the southern end of Hatfield Station to cross over the railway line before descending into the bus Stop & Taxi ranks area.  Finally crossing the junction by the Great Northern to come back Inn via Arm & Sword lane.

The Pack settled in to the olde world Pub, sitting near to one of the real open fires, with logs blazing away, Milf made sure that Sarah had a chair for when she, Jack & Kylie arrived.  Some of the other usual suspects were missing from the FRBs line up this week, as Alfa Male & Max Factor were also amongst the ranks of the Knitting Circle, they were not the last back, Paxo & Pebbledash had that honour.

Paxo was spotted in the car park by My Lil’ & Mr X as they were changing but it was an age before he made his way around to the Pub.  Mr X then revealed his Christmas Pressie NEW Trainers, which were bright white that stood out a mile! 

Back in the Bar & the Trashes were handed out, & there was a New Hash Book to sign – unfortunately the old one was still at Chez Sludge & he said that he would fill in the R*n Numbers at his home, next to those who had signed this with the Exception of Mr X, who knew he was on 1246 [Get a Life! – Ed]  The lack of the Old Book was mentioned several time throughout the rest of Sludge’s time in the Pub.

The Circle was called out in the Patio garden, Paxo did the Honours of raising the Hash Toast before the RA took over.  Everyone agreed that it was a good Trail, for Milf it was 6 Miles [Or 10 K’s for people who prefer Johnny Foreigner distances! – Ed] so My Lil’ was awarded his Pint, a slightly better choice of which he chose himself as Hash Beer Master.

Mr X then had to take it on the chin as he, No Eye Deer & Sparky all had their Hits for falling over, or being very unstable along the way.  Max Factor & Alfa Male were out for not being in their usual mid to FRBing positions. 

Back in the Bar & the Trashes were handed out, & there was a New Hash Book to sign – unfortunately the old one was still at Chez Sludge & he said that he would fill in the R*n Numbers at his home, next to those who had signed this with the Exception of Mr X, who knew he was on 1246 [Get a Life! – Ed]  The lack of the Old Book was mentioned several time throughout the rest of Sludge’s time in the Pub.

The Circle was called out in the Patio garden, Paxo did the Honours of raising the Hash Toast before the RA took over.  Everyone agreed that it was a good Trail, for Milf it was 6 Miles [Or 10 K’s for people who prefer Johnny Foreigner distances! – Ed] so My Lil’ was awarded his Pint, a slightly better choice of which he chose himself as Hash Beer Master.

‘Mother’ [Who was a Male Mark 1 Tank! – Ed] would be shown to a variety of dignitaries including, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George & King George V.  The main event over the course took place on 2nd February 1916. This was the event at which Kitchener made his ‘pretty mechanical toy’ comment.  Another demonstration for the King took place over the same course on 8th February 1916. The programme for the main show gives the length of Mother as 31ft 3ins with the weight as 28 tons 8cwt. This would of course include the tail wheel assembly.

Following the successful trials of Mother [If only Mother the Hasher was there! – Ed] an order was placed for 150 tanks, which would first see action in September 1916. The difference between a Male Tank & a Female Tank?  Males had larger Naval Guns, while Females had machine guns on their side ports!