Date =                           25 Jan 2018

Run Number =            1777    

Venue =                        The Six Templars

Location =                    Hertford

Beer =                            Belhaven Robert Burns Dark Mild, 5 others

Hares =                         McLil’

Runners =                    11

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          1

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          12

Membership =             Enjoying a wee dram!!


What a difference between a couple of days can make with the weather, from cold, snow, sleet, rain & wind, to a still dry & reasonably mild evening as the Pack would gather for this year’s Burn Night Trail.  For those who picked it up on Social Media would pick up on the fact that Mr X (The RA) was dashing about like the proverbial ‘Blue-arsed fly’ in coming straight from w*rk, he had posted that while on the Train to Hertford North he realized that in his rush he had left his shorts behind & no amount of searching his bag were they going to materialize!  So, it was going to be a case of r*nning the Trail in his kilt!

The Hash would have the small side-room reserved in the Six Templars for them from 18:30 onwards, enabling the whole Pack sit together to eat.  My Lil was found sitting in this little enclave when the RA arrived, others didn’t know that the Pack were going to be located here [Obviously they didn’t head what the RA had announced in previous Circles! – Ed] so when Milf arrived with Kylie, she would go back in to the main Bar every so often to round up Hashers arriving after them.

The GM arrived with Pebbledash & were introduced by Milf as the ‘Terrible Twins’.  Once ‘Sperm ‘ead o’clock came it was time to Circle up outside, where the rest found Max Factor & Alfa Male waiting out front of the Pub.  The GM welcomed everyone to the correct R*n Number before she handed over to the evening’s Hare, of My Lil’, he would mention that it would be marked mainly in arrows with a couple of sections in flour, a torch would be handy for a couple of sections & there was a Held CHK that must be Held.  When asked how long it would be?  My Lil’ put one hand about 5 inches away from the other & said “About that long!” [You’re Funny! – Ed]

The Trail began by heading down to the pelican crossing just feet away from the Pub’s frontage, arrows directed the Hash over to Maidenhead Street to lead off to the east, well a few degrees slightly north of due east.  The Trail led on to the First CHK that was found where the area opens up by Bulls Plain.  In his kilt Mr X & ‘C U Jimmy’ Tam O’Shanter he had already got some attention from the drivers & civilians out & about this evening, as he searched for the Trail.

There were two noticeable exception to the ‘Wear tartan’ request in Ewok & Pebbedash, claims of tartan underwear were mentioned, while others had tartan sashed, swashes & a couple of Tam O’Shanter Hats, even a tartan Glasgow Hash base-ball cap.

While a Falsie was found down Bulls Plain by Wanktlers, Mr X searched up toward Fore Street but actually wandered by the Trail & had to be called back to the small elbow of the narrow backstreet section of the ‘Market Place’ which is opposite the White Hart in the larger Market Place area.

So, the Trail emerged out on to, then crossed almost directly over Fore Street to take to Castle Street, this southeast bound old back lane would lead to the first underpass used on the Trail tonight, as the Pack were taken down below the dual carriageway of Gascoigne Way.  Mr X had earlier mentioned about not wearing his ‘New White Hash Shoes’ on this r*n as he had read in the Hertford Mercury that these had been flooded but as the Hare said that these were now dry. [Damn! – Ed]

The Trail led up the opposite set of steps to emerge out in to the corner of the grounds of All Saints Church, the large rouge-cloured stone building that sits on the southern side of the arterial road.  Arrows would lead up through the Church grounds to the southeast, dimly lit in places meant that those without torches slowed up as the tarmac footpath had a few lumps & bumps created by underlying tree roots spreading beneath.

While Fliptop, Milf, Alfa Male & Ewok all led the way, Mr X & Max Factor slowed down, as the RA shared the beam of light from his ‘dog-walking torch’ when the Trail changed direction to head eastward along the path inside the grounds as it runs by the railings at its edge with Hagsdell Road.  A CHK at the southeastern corner caught a few out as Max Factor & Mr X caught sight of Wanktlers flashing red lights changing direction & then disappearing off down the inside of the eastern edge of the All Saints Church grounds.

A short Cut had been put in for those who wanted to walk along the path through the front of the Church Ground by the northwesterly A414 Gascoigne Way, by the time Mr X & Max Factor arrived the CHK in the northeastern corner it was already marked on the way down in to the next Subway, but it seems that the Hare had been crafty again luring the Keenies up & around on to the rising London Road section of the A414 to a Bar CHK!

Pebbledash was found in the subway chatting to a civilian, seems he is a cleaner that doesn’t stop, with at least three different jobs & he was on his way to another one at the time.  The Trail passed beneath the A414 for the second time to come out through the parking area by Iceland on Fore Street, then over to the northern side where Max Factor was keen to pay a visit to the Jungle Bar but there was no time to stop off at this themed Bar.

The Keenies were back in sight of the SCBs as there seemed to be no end to the Hare’s cunning in leading them on beyond the old Bluecoats school to another Bar CHK, so Wanktlers, Ewok & Milf came back & were only a few yards into the Bluecoats School grounds, having passed through the ornate brick entrance with the recessed alcoves that have two models of the male pupils in their feminine dress like uniforms.

The arrows headed northward through these now desirable apartments that were former school buildings, a CHK was found in the northern end of the courtyard, Wanktlers went wrong here, while Ewok with more local knowledge fared better in finding the Trail out through on to Mill Road, turning away for the Tescos end of the street to pass over the junction by the former Dolphin Pub, Paxo’s old haunt for his pool hustling days.

 Follow the arrows all the way down by the hoardings of a new construction on Mill Lane, Milf’s flashing blue light reflected against the shiny sales pitch pasted on to the hoardings, to such a degree that it looked like an approaching emergency services vehicle was flashing its blues but nor sounding its two’s!

On the bend in Mill Lane the Trail came down to the footbridge that spans the River Lea to make its way over the northern of the three footbridges that interconnect by the end of the long weir.  Milf was impressed by this area on the edge of Hartham Common, Mr X explained that this was one of the stops on the Friday 13th Trail, where Earl Cowper was caught up in a murder scandal after Sarah Stout’s body was found in the weir to the former Priory mill that stood on the opposite southern bank. 

A CHK was found on the corner of Hartham Common, “On!” was called both ways, with Ewok heading around in to the darkness of the common, while Wanktlers called from the opposite direction toward the Club Houses, but both would be stopped by a T, which meant that the Hare had set a Back CHK.  The Hare had set a Tricky Trail at that, but at least Kylie & Pebbledash were not far behind the FRBs.

            Mr X & Fliptop were alert to this being a ‘Back-Check’ as they retraced their steps back over to the footbridge that spans the entire length of the Long weir to come down to the tow path on the north bank of the River Lea Navigation, a waterway that was widened, once deepened to become the life-line of transporting goods to & from the centre of Hertford a few hundreds of years ago. 

Mr X led the way south-westward as this passed under a couple of overhead pipes & then on down beyond the local allotments to find an arrow point away by the corner of the line of cottages on the edge of the Navigation. The Keenies turned off on to Frampton Street, then around a loop around more backstreets to come back through a cut-through to the tow path once again.

Passing the Old Barge the Trail rose up to the bridge back over the River Lea to Bulls Plain, but the Trail would not go back just yet as arrows direct Mr X in to the small nature reserve created for the footpath that turns a long sweeping bend to run behind the new McMullens Brewery & out behind the Sainbury’s car park.

After running the serpentine like routemthat follows the river section of the Lea, Mr X then found the Trail leading up through the car park, over a series of zebra crossings then in front of the Supermarket to run south-westward down Hartham Lane & by the old Victorian McMullen’s Brewery, the RA looked back to see if there was any SCBing going on, but Alfa Male, Wanktlers, Milf & Ewok all followed the long route, so no short cutters for the Circle!

The Trail came out of the junction on to Old Cross Road, once over this Mr X led the way around through the Old Cross Junction, passing by Sloppy’s Bar, which did have Milf & Ewok saying we need have a Trail over near Sloppy Seconds’ place after Mr X said we ought to take him in there for a drink in Sloppy’s Bar.

The Trail ran around the corner to head down St Andrew’s Street away from the Town Centre, apt for today as St Andrew is Scotland’s Patron Saint & it being the night of Scotland’s National Poet.  Mr X was found by Alfa Male & Wanktlers, he was forlornly peering down at the steps up into The Old Cross Tavern, but there were no Hash Markings indicating it was a Beer Stop, with disappointed hearts they all continued on down St Andrews Street with Wanktlers running on by the Thai, formerly the Three Tuns Pub only to find a Bar CHK way beyond this around the bend.  It seems after last week, this Hare had put in a false bit of Trail on the walk up from Hertford North Station but Mr X wasn’t falling for that one. [Oh Dear, it’ll all end in tears! – Ed]

Wanktlers came back to find that Alfa Male & Mr X were heading off down the alleyway that runs beside St Andrews Church, again Mr X said don’t disturb the residents as this path runs south-eastward & set in the brick-wall on the right-hand side are headstones of old graves, care was taken as the footpath leaves the railings of St Andrews grounds to cross the River Lea on a footbridge with a slight raised but up & down which was combined with the low light street lamps being quite far apart.

The Trail would run by the edge of Hertford Castle grounds to come out on to the dead-end of Castle Street, for Wanktlers, Milf, Alfa Male & Ewok they would follow the Trail over the crossing on the A414 to run along by Gates’ Ford garage as the A414 turns a corner. 

The Keenies would for one last time take to a subway to pass beneath the main route through the centre of town, the final set of steps back up to street level would lead them back up to Castle Street & directly across from this Mr X was waiting at the Held CHK by the small park behind the red brick wall at the back of the Castle Grounds.

Here the RA had lined up the Burns Night Treat.  No Eye Deer & Pebbledash were shown the short cut, missing out the final loop, so they joined the rest to enjoy a wee dram of Single Malt, Oatcakes & Orkney Cheddar, which went down well with all, there Wanktlers also discovered where the White Horse is located just across for the Held CHK he was at.  Mr X went on to explain the story of Tam O’Shanter & how he crossed the water which prevent Cutty Sark (The Witch in the Tale) from catching him.

The Pack were allowed to move on & it was only a few hundred yards around to the Six Templars, thought there was a slight distraction as in the local Off-license on the way Milf & Mr X discovered a can of Pussy!  It turns out to be an energy drink, but with Mr X kneeling down in front of Milf’s exposed ‘Pussy pants’ it had to be a photo-stop!  

Mr X then went on to join No Eye Deer to retrieve his Christmas Pressie for her car, though the Christmas Weekend seems like an eternity ago!  On the way, passing the statue of Samuel Stone pointing up in to the night’s sky, Mr X said to No Eye Deer “I’d just like to point something out!” which had her looking up into nothing, as Mr X then added he’s [The Statue] has been pointing up there for years.  No Eye Deer eventually fell in!  Samuel Stone was born in Hertford, Graduated in Cambridge & later sailed on the Griffin to become one of the early settlers of Cambridge Massachusetts in the United States.

While this was happening, Alfa Male was being asked by the doorman to provide an ID to prove he was old enough to drink, the fact he was older than both doormen wasn’t lost on them, or the Pack before he was let in. 

The Pack settled in to enjoy the ‘Non-award Winning’ Haggis Tatties & Neeps, it seems that there was a printing error on the ‘spoons’ menu, but the Haggis was rather good anyway.  Mr X decided that he would ‘test drive’ one of his Christmas Pressies from this year’s weekend, a few drops of Professor Payne Indeass’s Sphincter Shrinker Chilli Sauce did the trick.

Lobby Lobster joined the pack for an hour or so, but she had already eaten, so just had a chat & a drink.  Time for the Circle & the Pack remained inside, with the Hare being awarded his for what the RA described as “The Best Trail he’s ever laid!” [Don’t tell him that as it’ll go to his head! – Ed] as it was exactly 45 minutes including the Burns Stop! 

Ewok & Pebbledash were out for not having any Tartan on show, or anywhere else they confessed [Even Wanktlers stole borrowed his daughter’s tartan scarf! – Ed] to R*n around in.  They were joined by Milf for her convincing Emergency Services like blue flashing lights!

The final Down-Down went to Mr X, for the first time in decades did a R*n without wearing a pair of Texas Flag Shorts & having to do the whole Trail in his kilt, raising a few laughs along the way.