Date = 21st Jan 2018
Run Number = 1776
Venue = The Plough
Location = Datchworth
Beer = Doombar; Buntingford
Hares = Mr X
Runners = 10
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 10
Membership = Right out in a White Out!
It looked as if there was going to be a low turnout this wintery morning, with the Lurgy laying a few low, but as the time approached the Hour the Pack had soon swelled to a mighty eight! Those who drove over had the usual issue of finding a parking spot as due to it being Rugby season all the entire length of the main Datchworth Lane road was lined with vehicles. The Hare had already over heard one elderly resident moaning to the local shop keeper about the four by fours & other cars parked up over most of the footpath!
With no GM or JM, the RA welcomed everyone to the correct R*n number, then introduced himself as the Hare, normal Hash Markings, short cuts etc. were mentioned before Mr X went on to disclose the real reason the original Hare couldn’t set the Trail, & it probably had more to do with the amount if dog turds out in parts of the Trail, rather than having the Flu! Seems the gentle folk of Datchworth are bothered about picking up after their mutts in certain areas.
So, having been warned about not kicking out the Trail, as there may be a surprise beneath, the Hare pointed out the first CHK, which was a matter of feet from the Plough, obviously this was far enough away for My Lil’ not to be put off, or was it the falling snow & bitter wind that had him running to keep warm while checking it out?
My Lil’ had already seen a part of the Trail on his walk up from Woolmer Green, so he headed away along the uncapped drive by the cottages & the old ‘Whipping Post’ on the Green, a T down there would stop My Lil’, Milf, Tent Packer, Sparky, Milf, Max Factor & Alfa Male, meanwhile the Hare & Kylie were heading away in the opposite direction over the crossroads to take to the Watton road.
Alfa Make caught up with these two just after the duck pond, & he was first to take to the by-way leading away to the east. By now the snow had really begun to settle as he, Max Factor & My Lil’ reached the junction with three footpaths where the CHK there had been covered with the purer white covering. Mr X had to point out the off-white margarine like yellow just still showing through the barely translucent covering.
While My Lil’ & Milf searched the west bound footpath through the nearby paddocks, the top edge of westerly field had Sparky picking up Trail that was leading the way from the point where another footpath branches off through the adjacent field to the north & over to the Watton Road.
A woman who had been out walking her dog amused the Hare & Kylie by spinning the wheels of her car as she tried to get out of the Shiggy by the CHK. As Mr X watched Sparky head further eastward with the rest of the Pack following on behind, he thought to himself that this would be a recipe for disaster, Milf & My Lil’ were also now dragged over to the eastbound route but it had to happen that Sparky wouldn’t be able to distinguish the difference in the large yellow T against the shade of the background whiter snow.
Eventually the Pack realized that the calling of “On!” from Kylie back on the by-way of Back Lane was the correct route, as it heads southward before turning to Bramfield, plus the Hare’s bright orange shirt could clearly be seen heading down the slight decline alerted them to the fact they were running in the wrong direction. Back on track as the tree lined Back Lane came down into a hollow in Back Wood where the puddles were increasing in size, the Hare waited there to point out that there was a creamy coloured circle of flour around the top of a tree stump was a CHK!
Tent Packer & Milf both decided to continue along up the now rising by-way, while My Lil’ went off to the east - not to check out the Trail but to scare the squirrels! It was down to Alfa Male to tentatively lead the way out through to the west, this started in a scrubby dell that had some really slippery Shiggy.
By the time Tent Packer & Milf had come back on track, the elongated scraps of footprints of the previous Hashers’ struggle only made it harder for these two, Milf’s screams & giggles gave it away that she was struggling to keep on her feet, but keep to her feet she did to reach the safely of the steps up the northern embankment to the seeded crop field on a higher level.
Alfa Male, Max Factor & Sparky followed the Trail as it was picked up westward along the top of edge of the southern tree-lined embankment, My Lil’ broke off to search the diagonal path over the crop field but he short cut across the seedlings as the others called “On!” to a Bar CHK by the stile in to a horse paddock. My Lil’ was now content to short cut again by retracing his earlier steps, the rest of the Pack were very vocal in letting the Hare (Who is also the RA!) know of this. [Mr X hadn’t missed this! – Ed]
The going across this field was easier when the Hare set the Trail, for it was frozen & icy, solid under foot, but since the snow had begun to fall it had actually warmed up & the ice had gone revealing the Shiggy underneath. Not only that Hash feet cad to contend with the fairly deep puddles which had formed all the way out to the northwest until passing through the short alleyway footpath on to a gravel drive of one large house to emerge on to the Bramfield Road at Gover’s Green.
Once out of the drive the Trail would turn southward for just a few yards before more arrows directed the Pack on to the start of tree-lined bridleway that, with a metal gate that is designed with a drop in it to allow horses to pass easily over this & stop unauthorized traffic.
The Hash begun to run a gentle incline to drop below the fields & out of the bitter breeze as it follows a northwesterly route to come out at a Held CHK on the edge of Datchworth Green near to Cherry Tree Hall. A T was found back up toward the Pub & the green’s ‘Whipping post’ that could be reserved for errant Hashers!
There was a Falsie down the first of the Bridle ways to the west of the Sports pitches, yet this first bridle way was ignored as My Lil’ had already stated he had seen a part of the Trail & he led the way down the second of the bridle paths, the one that begins next to the Cricket Pavilion & then on between the Rugby Club Pitches.
Milf & Sparky followed on behind My Lil’ on the long path all the way down to White Horse Lane, which is on the outskirts of Woolmer Green. On the way they would have plenty of Shiggy & fresh running water gushing from the streams that merge from the wooded embankment with the fields & rugby pitches above the descending path.
The Hare managed to prevent Kylie & Tent Packer from following on behind the Keenies & they came back the few yards to see the Hare had marked an arrow up into the north bound footpath that run over the single rugby pitch to the north, where a bunch of kids were just finishing their practice for the day.
Once over the width of the pitch the Dust was found running straight across the muddy crop field, this would lead out through a gap in the fence to the dead-end of Wheatcoates, a small estate that leads northward out on the east-west running Datchworth Green lane, where an arrow directed the way over to the northern path leading form Rectory Lane back in toward the Green. The Pack had to avoid any passing traffic splashing through the now flooded lane, picking the right moment to cross over to avoid a dirty soaking.
The Hare waited at the Arrow pointing the way up an alleyway beside the Village Hall, another venue that’s car park was being marshalled by stewards in fluorescent bibs, for ‘Rugby Car Parking’. While he added a SC & an arrow back up toward the Pub, he told Tent Packer & Kylie that the Trail the others were on was a lure that by now probably had the T covered in snow.
Indeed what the Hare had just uttered was true as My Lil’ led Milf & Sparky out on to the left-hand fork at the end of the path out on to White Horse Lane, Sparky however was not for turning & would still be running out there now if Milf hadn’t have physically turned him about to run back up the bridleway.
Max Factor & Alfa Male caught up with the Hare, Tent Packer & Kylie, they were just in time for the Hare to explain that the Trail would run up the alleyway by the Village Hall & then along the edge of another Rugby pitch & then rising up beside the newly re-fenced horse paddocks to the east. He added that it would run up through the crop fields & around a kink in the footpath & up to a CHK outside of the wall of All Saints Church on top of the plateau in the north.
Kylie, Max Factor, Alfa & Tent Packer decided that with 10 minutes to go to opening time, that they would complete this loop out to the north, even though the snow was getting heavier & that the normally prominent All Saints Church could not be seen up in the distance. Not all of them completed this as the Hare called out “On!” to the blurred figures in the denser snow fall.
Only Kylie continued along to the Church but didn’t come back down the parallel footpath from the one out to All Saints to a Held CHK, instead he took to the main road back down to the crossroads the Pub is near to. SO he missed coming down by the short footpath out by the back of the top back corner of the horse paddocks, here there was a sweet stop of licorice or Maynard’s Soft Chews!
The Hare went back to cut out the corner & the Trail up to the Church, in effect he was putting in a Short Cut for Milf & Sparky when they caught up to this point, My Lil’ gave up on this loop section & opted to cut straight back to the Plough, as did No Eye Deer & Yeshmeelady, who after a late start had managed to get all the way around in the now almost blizzard conditions, negotiating the slippery Shiggy dell & then the cold wet crop fields.
The Pack all made their way back Inn, with most coming in down the residential Brookbridge Lane, passing the barely visible On Inn, then it was a simple case of passing the Tillbury Inn on the Green, but we don’t want to talk about that Pub as the Hash were hardly given a warm welcome last time we were there.
Back in the warmth of the Pub, with its blazing log fire, Paxo briefly popped in to pay the RA some cash for an away weekend, which he didn’t need to do as it could have waited. Paxo explained that he had a rough night & was heading back home after dropping Backpack off somewhere. [Don’t say that the Two pints of Titanic Plum Porter Reserve was still having its effect in making him fall over? – Ed]
The remaining main Pack were joined by No Eye Deer & Yeshmeelady, who enjoyed their trek around the Trail, which Milf did in 5 mile with all the Falsie, & 3.5 with the short cuts. Every appreciated the feeling of having accomplished the Trail & the warm Bar made this all feel much better.
There was just one Down-Down, that went to the Hare, but Kylie insisted on the Pack stepping outside for a before & after photo to show how the flakes had become so much bigger by the end of the Trail. Everyone enjoyed the stand in Hares efforts, before rapidly retiring back in to the toasty warm Bar! All of which amused the locals in the Pub.
Mr X went on to mention a thing that goes around on Farcebook, the type of thing he doesn’t normally reply to, or fill in, but this simply said “You’ve been kidnapped & the characters from the last TV programme would be the ones sent to recue you – who are they?” In a spooky way, when he received this & this is no lie, but it was CSI New Orleans, but to add to that it was the episode that starts with a scene in the Red Dress R*n! [Spooky that! – Ed]