Date = 14th Jan 2018
Run Number = 1775
Venues = The Orange Tree
Beer = Greede King XX Mild, Abbot, IPA; Titanic Plum Porter Reserve (Paxo falling down water).
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 17
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 2
Hounds = 0
Total = 19
Membership = Never far away!
The small car park of the Orange Tree was soon swamped with Hash Cars, though a few who couldn’t park up there had the sense to leave their vehicles around the corner on a side street. Having said that there one (Non-Hash) vehicle being at such an angle it stopped two other motors being parked. Anyhow, the Hare arrived back after setting the Trail that morning, he wasn’t in a hurry to get back as he had already asked Paxo to hold up the Circle to allow anyone getting the Train time to walk from Baldock Station.
My Lil’ was the only one to come up on the Train, he walked the route from the station in just a few minutes, so Ewok got things going by calling the Circle together just a couple of minutes past the hour. After the welcoming speech, the Hare was called forward to let the Pack know what they could expect out on the Trail, simply put it, wasn’t much more than usual H4 Markings, a couple of Held CHKs & that there were lots of short cuts. Though there was a cry from the Pack of “Are there any Fish-hooks?” There was a sigh of relief when the Hare said “This isn’t H5!”
The Hare was unusually kind to My Lil’, for he hadn’t put the first CHK directly outside of the Pub, this was to be found a hundred yards away along Norton Road to the east. The CHK was found by a footpath sign that indicated a way through the foot-tunnel in the railway embankment.
Unfortunately for the Hare, My Lil’ wasn’t being as nice as he was, for having seen the first part of the Trail on his walk from the Station, My Lil’ called “On!” along by the free parking on the forecourt of the closed down MOT Centre before anyone could fall for the Falsie through the tunnel & out toward the allotments on the northern side of the Railway line.
Anyhow, at least a couple of the FRBs ran on to the Bar CHK along the Icknield Way toward the main North Road, Sparky with Ma x Factor half-heartedly looked over the opposite side of the road to see arrows on the narrowed footpath beside the end of one block of terraced newer homes, the main reason it didn’t look much like the choice route was the fact that the hedge on its eastern side was pretty overgrown & narrowing the width of the path even more.
Sparky & Max Factor found the correct route along this footpath, following its 90 degree turn as it became a back passage [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] running between the back to back gardens of the established Victorian Terraced homes to come out on to Jackson Street, where arrows pointed straight over to the continuation of the passageway as it leads on between more back to back gardens of the terraced homes of the Icknield Way on the left & Football Close to the right.
Milf, Sparky, Alfa Male & My Lil’ were first out of the northeast bound back-alley to find curved arrows that hauled the Hash around the acute turn from where it joins Football Way, the Pack were now heading back to the west to arrive only yards from where they crossed Jackson Road for the first time! Now they would be directed straight over it once more to run along a cut-through passage out to the dead of Meeting House Lane.
Having taken the short cut earlier up Church Street to the next CHK, Kylie was poised with his camera to take an ‘action shot’ of Milf, Alfa Male, My Lil’ & Sparky as they emerged from the alleyway, but as they did they all slowed down as they approached the crossroads with Church Street, all of which disappointed Kylie!
Mr X on the other hand pointed out the end home of a couple of cottages, on the outside wall was a fireplace & chimney, which showed at one time this may not have been the end of the row of homes, though without an upstairs fireplace it may have just been a lower story room was demolished? Whatever the reason, one wag said that it was still a lot warmer than Sparky’s abode! “Put another log on the fire!” called Mr X as the search for the Trail got under way again.
Alfa Male & Where’s Wally? searched the Falsie up Church Street toward St Mary the Virgin, My Lil’ called on down the olde worlde Pond Lane as the Trail continued southwestward, along the way Sludge said he was disappointed that the Trail wasn’t going through the Churchyard to disturb the Worshipers, as that’s what he would have done! Mr X replied with a huge clue as to where the Trail would go in the words “There’s still time for that!” but Sludge didn’t heed this for when the Trail came back out on to Norton Road to turn due south, not too far from the Orange Tree, Sludge ran on by no less than three arrows pointing the way down the footpath into the walled Churchyard.
Paxo, Yeshmeelady & Kylie tried to call the wayward ones back, but to no avail. Instead they followed on as the Trail didn’t waiver as it passed the side street behind the gap in the brick wall, it carried on to a CHK by the head stones & memorials to a the split in the tarmac path that would encircle the Church, this was a bit of a faux CHK as the Trail was on either side of the stone edifice of St Mary the Virgin to lead out of the flint & stone wall to a CHK on Church Lane opposite Sun Street.
It didn’t take long for the Pack to pick up the Trail as Ewok was among those who led the way beyond the Vitoria Pub to find the Dust leading along the north side of White Hose Street to stop at a Held CHK half way along, the reason for this was that the black large wooden gates set in what is mostly a continuous parade of shops & restaurants had a sign on them that repeated the two street signs high up on the brick work of the adjacent buildings, these said that this way leads in to Tranter’s Mews.
The Pack waited & waited but there would be no sign of Sludge or No Eye Deer, even though Yeshmeelady was at the Held CHK. Two women joggers stopped & chatted to the Pack, seems one of them knew a little about the Hash & a card was handed over.
The Hare wasn’t going to let the Keenies seize up, so he allowed them to continue & it didn’t take long for Ewok, Milf, My Lil’, InCider & Where’s Wally? to pick up the Trail once more, as it headed down toward the White Horse then at the traffic light junction the Trail would cross to the Southside of the road & then take to head Southeasterly along the Clothall Road.
Only a few yards down the Clothall Road & the Hare was surprised to see that Sparky had actually seen the double arrows that would lead away down an alleyway behind the Flats of Prior Court that stand on the corner of the ‘White Horse Junction’. While the Keenies ran off down this southwestern path that passes behind the Methodist Church, the SCBs of Kylie, Paxo & Yeshmeelady were shown a Short Cut by the Hare to continue along the Clothall Road & then over to a signed footpath leading away by the end of the School grounds.
The Keenies followed the wavy alley to its end where it comes out on to The Twitchell & the next CHK, a Falsie was found up in to green space of the local Football Pitch, where a game of footie was taking place. Milf, Where’s Wally & Sparky were soon on to the correct route to head Northeasterly along Thurnall Close to make their way around the end house to come out on to the Eastern end of the playing field.
The Hare was waiting at the crossing on the Clothall Road, he was alerted that the FRBs would be fast approaching as he heard Sparky’s horn tooting away, as they came out of the playing fields Mr X directed them over the crossing & back down the Clothall Road a short way to pick up the footpath running along the edge of the Hartsfield School.
Where’s Wally? was soon on his way from the alleyway to make his way up Grosvenor Road West (it actually runs southwest) then over Grosvenor Road to the passage way that leads up to the splendidly name California & the next CHK point. It was here that here were two options, it didn’t take Where’s Wally? long to pick up the Trail on the southeast bound uncapped private residential road to where it becomes narrower footpath that would run out behind the northeastern edge of the School Grounds, it was here that Where’s Wally? would pass Paxo, Kylie & Yeshmeelady.
The Trail would lead on to a CHK by an area of open grassy grounds that the surrounding chain link fencing had been crushed down to allow access from the footpath, this was true ‘Reg Holdsworth’ Country, Who? I hear you ask? Reg used to Hash with Herts many years ago & lived locally - He once appeared a few years back & said “I’ll be back!” but was never seen again, perhaps he’s now the manager of the local Costco?
Anyhoo, there wasn’t much of a hold up here as the Trail was found still along the footpath as it ran behind more backyards & out behind the hedge where the school grounds give way to the ploughed farmland remaining on the Baldock side of Clothall Common. The Next CHK was found just beyond a gap in the hawthorn hedge by another path leading in to the estate to the northeast of the path.
The Hare missed out this loop & instead marked another Short Cut up the Clothall Road but to avoid being seen over the playing fields & the crop fields by the FRBs, with the exception of Sparky & Where’s Wally?, he removed his bright orange UK Nash Hash Hare’s Shirt & then hid behind a green multiplexing unit at the corner of the start of Pinnocks Lane, where he had to explain to a Civilian that he was crouching behind this bit of street furniture so the r*nners in the distance didn’t see him! She moved on still looking perplexed.
Where’s Wally? soon picked up the Train on the footpath running across the width of the crop field, when setting the Trail the Hare thought to himself that the Pack could be mistaken in the belief that this section of Trail was marked in old empty cider cans, for the earthen path was littered with Dry Blackthorne Fruit Cider cans.
Out on to the Clothall Road & the Trail led the Pack on down to Pinnock’s Lane where the Hare was already ambling along to the Southwest on this residential street, he was caught up by Where’s Wally? as the Trail arrived at a curved arrow pointing the way down the an alleyway beside the Dead End of ‘The Orchard’ & fortunately the Hare was there to correct Where’s Wally? from running down the dead-end of the side road.
Ewok, Milf, Sparky, Alfa Male, Max Factor found the correct route of the passageway, which led the FRBs out on to one of the many arms of the Tene, they were followed by Incider, Starboard & Slug on to this strange shaped series of branch like roads that the Pack made their way around a series of counter turns to a cut-through to the playing fields the Hash were on earlier on the Trail.
Now another back-passage lay ahead as the Pack were led “On!” out through to the High Street, there Where’s Wally? was first down to the Zebra Crossing to follow the arrows over to the west side of the High Street, then it would point the Pack off in a direction away from the Centre of Baldock & up toward Tesco’s.
Meanwhile the SCBs were on a short cut that led them out by the Boot & then over the High Street to come down below the front of the Tesco Car park, where there was once a swimming pool out the front of the ornate Façade of Tescos, formally the Bondor Silk Stockings factory of the Full Fashioned Hosiery Co. LTD, this was built in the 1920’s when Egyptology was in its heyday with Carter & Howard, hence the Egyptian themed frontage, if you look closely at the tiling you can see the Hieroglyphic inspired design running around it.
Like the Spirella Company in Letchworth, during the war it the factory was put to use in making Parachutes, then in late years the Rolling Stones played there, finally it was taken over by the supermarket giant. The Trail came around by the wall & there it was noticed that it had a blue sign pointing the way to a Nursing Home as it took to an access road, on the way it touched on the edge of the remains of the old gardens of the Bondor Company, there in amongst the trees on the edge were a couple of small wooden crosses dedicate to the memory of a loved one.
The Keenies were quickly on through the left hand fork in the triangle on the bend in Park Lane, the Trail led down by the OAP’s Complex on Park Lane then to a Bar CHK, this kept the Pack together fairly well as they passed the OAP’s residence for a second time, none of the Hash were rounded up & taken in to the Maximum Security Twilight Home! to find the Trail leading back around the bend in Park Lane to head northwestward to pass through the footpath barriers & on to the last Held CHK of the Trail on the edge of Mansfield Road.
Mr X noticed two figure approaching from the South & he immediately said “You can stop slagging Sludge off!” to the Pack as Sludge & No Eye Deer came in to earshot as they caught up with the Pack.
Seeing the Pack gathered around the two bollards beyond the two steel fence panels to force cyclists to dismount, some attention was drawn to them by passing civilians, another card was handed out to a chap with his child in a buggy - once Milf had explained what the Hash was all about.
Having enjoyed wine gums & Buttermints, & now with Yeshmeelady back with the Pack, he had to stop of at Tesco’s to use their facilities, the Pack resumed the search once Kylie had captured a picture for posterity. My Lil’ crossed the road & search down Park Street where he found the Dust leading along another impressive olde worlde backstreet, the Pack enjoyed looking at these nice old homes on the way down to the elbow in the road as it turns from Northwest to Southwest. Even the new builds near the end of this road were in a similar vain to the original ones.
The Trail passed by The Knights Templars School, named after the founders of Baldock, who also gave the town its title from the ‘Old French’ name for Bagdad! At the junction where Park Street joins Weston Way at its northern end where it joins the Letchworth Road the Trail would turn to take to the very Western end of Hitchin Street to cross one set of lights, then from the end of Norton Road over another set of lights of the large junction to follow the double arrows in to Avenue Park.
Up the steps beside the main entrance to the Park, with its semi-circular low walled rose beds, then the Trail would lead around the hard-capped path to the northwest passing the tennis courts & then the small play area before emerging out on to West road at its westerly entrance.
A CHK was found directly across from the tip of the park, to the east was a footpath leading off between two properties on West Road, while further down West road toward Norton Road was a T! Though the Hare had put in a Short cut from the Traffic light junctions straight along Norton Road. The Keenies, including No Eye Deer & Sludge for the second time, would take to this last section of the Trail as the Dust was found on this North bound footpath that comes out in to the Southern corner of the local Cemetery, from where it was a straight forward trot down the Cemetery drive & through the main gates to come out at the On Inn on bend in the Sycamores.
Both the SCBs & the Keenies arrived back at the Orange Tree around the same time, some went straight in to the Bar, like Milf who was waiting for Kylie, she was impressed by the olde world Bar with its real open fire blazing in the corner & throwing out some heat. Mr X was happy to hea the locals were wondering what was going on, one old chap said he had to park up in the Cemetery to which his mate replied “You getting in their early?”
Incider was a bit surprised by the price of the drinks, as she went for a fizzy cider before later turning to a ‘reet proper zider’ from behind the Bar. Mr X explained that the guest Ales weren’t cheap, for they are not brewed by Greede King so cost a bit more, but it is worth it for a decent pint.
Settled in & the GM told of her latest exploits in going to see a Pantomime 9Oh Yes she did!) Which led to a comparison to one of the stars of the Panto & today’s Trail, for it was mentioned that the Pack had been up more back passages than Julian Clary!
3D & Starboard arrived back from Soccer, while some of the others were going to be in their own Panto, for Paxo had started on the Titanic Plum Port Reserve, the reference to that ill-fated ship was not wasted by the time Paxo started his second pint.
The Circle was called & the GM almost forgot to award the Hare his Beer! But Milf had a song once Ewok had got her act together & Mr X downed his Ale, though he did comment that unlike the Beer-Master a few weeks back, he didn’t get to choose his choice of Ale!
Normal service resumed, with Where’s Wally? getting a Down-Down for completing his 50th Herts Trail, handing him his Down-Down the RA looked around for Where’s Wally?’s 50th R*n Bag, but it was conspicuous by its absence. My Lil’ was out for giving the game away [The Hare decided next time he has part of the Trail visible to those walking from the station, he’ll start the Trail with a CHK outside of the Pub! – Ed]No Eye Deer were out for their wanderings by three arrows & a T! With Sludge getting the Hashit for leading the other lost sheep astray, & not for the second time, then as things came to an end as the GM revealed that she still had a Sausage Tossing Beer Mat in her bra after the Christmas Weekend final Circle, Paxo was over-come by the Strong Ale & faltered as he stumbled down the steps in the covered outside area.