Date = 4th Feb 2018
Run Number = 1779
Venue = The Motte & Bailey
Location = Pirton
Beer = Greede King IPA; Ghost Ship
Hares = Sludge & Nik-Nak with a little help from Tent Packer
Runners = 16
Virgins = 0
Visitors = H5
Newies = 2
Après = 0
Hounds = 4
Total = 40+
Membership = Running a great Trail!
As the joint Packs Circled up, it soon became obvious that the Herts RA & their Beer Master were absent, engineering works & a lift from Milf from Hitchin Station meant that they were running almost 10 minute late. Mr X was poised with his mobile waiting for the normal obligatory call from Paxo. It never came! Perhaps Paxo was preoccupied with getting Sparky to listen to the older woman who came over to the Circle ask the owner of a (Dirty) white Fiesta to move his car which was blocking hers in.
With some of the Herts Regulars partaking in their own Strictly Come Dancing, H4 would be slightly depleted, however we did have a local Newie, Sarah, who was up for trying her First Hash, seems that the Hare & Hounds were already eyeing up getting their claws in to turning her to the ‘Dark Side’.
The Pack were setting off across to Bury End as the Milf mobile came trundling into the village, the Herts GM was obviously resplendent in the Herts Hashit & stood out as the Pack moved off. It was also very clear that there were a lot of civilian kids out & about, carrying their OS Maps & partaking in what looked like The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. But there was also a large bunch of older Ramblers, & no I don’t mean H5, who were filling up the Great Green.
Milf followed the uncapped route around by what was the Cat & Fiddle Pub to park up behind Sparky’s now re-parked car, the last three set off over the Great Green, with its red & white striped May-pole standing proud in the heart of the village. Mr X thought that instead of being off having terpsichorean experinces, Kylie, No Eye Deer & Yeshmeelady could have practiced their steps around the erect timber fertility symbol. [Steady their Pebbledash! – Ed]
Passing by ‘The Old Hall’, another former Pub in the village, the later arriving Trio caught up with the H5 knitting circle, & Paxo, as they entered the large green space of Toot Hill, warning signs indicate that ‘Cattle Roam Free’ but if any animals would be seen on this common land it would only be canine ones, some were Hash Pooches, others were out with the locals, Milf explained to one dog-walker that it was just flour & in parts dough from the overnight rain, he replied “Oh! We’ve seen a lot of that up on the hills!” which had Milf replying with a “Shhhh, we not supposed to know where we are running to!”
Sludge followed through marking the Trail with fresh flour, as Mr X passed by Count Roadkill who greeted the Herts RA with a cheering “Oh, you’re still alive?” as is their customary greeting that involves a loud “DEATH!” somewhere in its context.
Having traversed the slippery path heading northeastward to the exit out onto the crossroads, the next CHK was found. The Keenies searched north bound Royal Oak Lane, & yes you’ve guessed it - this lane is named after the Pub that once traded up this end of the Village, they came back to find another False Trail up toward the High Street, passing what was the Blacksmith’s Arms before reaching a T before the Fox (Which is still open) & the former Live & Let Live!
Back at the CHK & the third of the four options down Hambridge Lane to the east saw the FRBs pass by the former Shoulder of Mutton, at least the Keenies had a grand tour of the former drinking establishments, all of which it makes you wonder how the locals got anything done in years gone by?
The likes of Zing-a-long-a-max, Sparky, Where’s Wally? & Port for Herts led the way with the other Keenies as the Trail headed out to the farm land to the east of the village, but the direction would change at the next CHK.
The Dust was found heading due south for a short way before leaving the edge of the farm field as the route turned west bound to head back toward the centre of the Village.
There was a diversion put in for the Keenies to run a loop around behind the Cricket Pavilions, on the way back out of the playing field area Milf had a go on the zip-wire in the kids play area. She went on to encourage Sparky to have a go, barking at him like an RSM* to get him to do it properly [*Regimental Sergeant Major - Ed]
The rest of the Keenies avoided the play area & joined the SCBs out onto Walnut Tree Road, where, by one of the old timbered barn a Held CHK was found. Plenty of groans emanated from the Pack as they realized that they were right next to the enclosure, where St Mary’s Church sits, the whole of the Pack had crossed at the start of the Trail. Mother, on the other hand, admired the Snow drops that were out, as she said ‘heralding the beginning of Spring!’
Once the Hares arrived the Pack were allowed to continue with the Trail, for those who had r*n this way with H4 awhile back on a Trail Mr X set, they knew that there was a footpath at the end of Walnut Tree Road, right where the Hitchin Road comes into the village outkirts, sure enough, on the sharp, blind-bend Dust was found over on the roadside trunk of an old fallen tree.
The Keenies now headed southwestward along the edge of one of the crop fields, along the way Milf chatted to our Newie of Sarah as they Pack followed on behind Where’s Wally, Sparky & Zing-a-long-a-max. Three quarters of the way on this long stretch of Shiggy pathway the faint remnants of what was possibly a Fish Hook, but it was rather hard to distinguish the number for the number who had to go back from this point. While others, mainly those of the H5 persuasion ‘ummed & aarhed’ as to what this was, My Lil’ decided that he would continue forward to the end of the path. The excuse of “The Dog counts as one!” was soon heard from one of H4!
A CHK was found on the T junction where southeast bound path crosses before it runs southward up toward High Down House, Where’s Wally? was hesitant in searching this route but he was encouraged by Mr X shouting out that the Trail would probably turn up through the farm.
Somehow things were slightly lost in translation as Where’s Wally? & Port both took to the track below the hedgerow that had a clearly visible footpath marker post at its end, which was pointing the way on the opposite side. Fortunately for these two there was a stile in the hedge to allow access from the ‘Private Land’ they were on, a sign pointed this out to them once they crossed the stile.
The path rose up some 153 Feet as it runs around with the contour of the hill to come out to another Held CHK, by the corner of Tingley Wood - this one being on the very edge of the plateau of the ridge. On the way up Lemming & Mr X discussed memory & the RA’s ability to remember minuscule details, even after drinking, to write up the r*n reports! [Believe me it can be a Curse! – Ed]
Once the Pack was together &
had finished admiring the view out over the valley, the Hares would now split
the Pack, with Sludge taking the
SAGA Group Hare & Hounds’ Knitting
Circle Lady P, Cyclopath, Bangers, Blow Felt, (to name a few) with Paxo to the
west on the farm track that has a ‘Private’ sign by the gate, meanwhile Nik-Nak
would have Tent Packer with her as they took the rest on the due south Shiggy
path, running along the edge of the farm field which rapidly dropped down some
60 feet to the Hitchin to Luton Road. With a lack of Horses around these parts,
Sparky could blow his horn to his heart’s content! [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed]
Up a set of a few steps in the tree-lined embankment & the footpath turned to run eastward for a short while within the roadside tree-line, this permissive route was put in to keep walkers of the busy road. Once over the tarmac, the Trail would rise again, still on a southbound direction to climb the grassy hillside. On the way up the 66ft rise in altitude as Captain Fantastic informed Ewok that he had set the Trail when a couple of H5 were hit by a lorry mirror!
A CHK almost at the summit of the hill. Leroy was the only one to go wrong by heading down toward Old Wellbury, while the rest of Keenies chose to take a lead from the likes of My Lil’ to headed down the southern slope of this large ‘sugar-loaf’ like lump of a hill.
Even Slug followed on as My Lil’ Lemming, Sarah, Where’s Wally? Milf, Ewok, Port to have more of H4 running the whole trail than H5 all these Keenies made their descent through to New Wellbury, in a direction toward Little Offley, once through the Farmyard buildings these Keenies would find the Trail from the CHK there down a hairpin of a turn back to the north, following the narrow lane’s almost dead straight course back toward the busy B655 Hexton Road.
For a couple near the back there was a short cut in from the top of the hill, though the start of this went a bit awry as Tent Packer & Nik-Nak took these ‘off Trail Keenies’ back to a not so well marked footpath that led through the strip of Shrub Wood on the west side of the hill & then out over the gentler slope of the seeded crop field through to the lane where a CHK was put into try & put the Keenies off the direct route back.
After a long trot along the narrow hedge-lined lane, there was another dash over the normally busy road, through the hedgerow & after a nice level start there was a climb back up the Icknield Way as it climbs the ridge to where the SCBs of the Pack had come across a little further up, however the SCBs weren’t in sight having not lost too much altitude before they came out on to the northbound footpath to the CHK at the top of the Ridge.
The footpath turned away from the Knocking Hoe Nature Reserve [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] at the top of the ridge, at a point where Mr X had a ‘sweet stop’ on his Trail, no such luck on this Trail but at least there was a nice vista looking out over North Herts, but it didn’t detract from the day. The Pack would now begin an almost long straight stretch, just a few slight turns preventing the Pack from seeing the village at the very end.
There were two more CHKs on the long steady decline, one of which was marked out in to the fields to the east, must have been Sludge being a naughty Hare with the Keenies, in the distance St Mary’s could be seen, where it sits in the former Bailey of the castle the village grew up around, in the Doomsday book the village was called Piretone (Which means ‘Homestead of Pears’)
This penultimate CHK was kicked out straight ahead to the northeast down the hedged in avenue like Wood Lane Track. Near The end of the muddy lane, a gate had to be passed through at one side before coming to the On Inn, Lemming & My Lil’ would both try & blame each other in front of the Herts RA that the other said “Mother wouldn’t get her butt through that!”
The Hash settled in to the Motte & Bailey [Formerly the White Horse but renamed after the former Castle that the village grew around! – Ed] The only remains of which were dismantled & used to rebuild the St Mary’s Church in 1877, the church also NOW has a lack of stain-glass windows as these were nearly all shattered after a doodle-bug (Vergeltungswaffe 1 - V1 Rocket hit nearby)
Maria (who had previously been emailing Herts about the Hash) arrived & as Mr X chatted to her, she was accosted by one of TBT OBE’s Friends, Nik-Nak, who was trying to convince Maria that the Hare & Hounds would be a better Hash to join, for as she claimed H5 have a better Website! [At least H4 Don’t lay claim to the mention of Hashing in the H2G2 is about them on their Websh*te!
Neither will Herts’ quaint weakly* Trash be ‘Hash Newspaper of the year’, with a circulation of 116,535! – in reality H4’s Trash is just toilet paper with an awkwardly place staple when wiping! - Ed] *Yes it was deliberately spelt that way! Having said that, Nik-Nak asked Mr X for a copy of their R*n report to be used on the H5 Website trash, as their Hare has to write up their own Trail! [Can you imagine that on Herts? With TBT OBE trying to explain how the entire Pack got back before he did as the Hare?– Ed]
Loads of Down-Downs: all of which start after a pink musical Dildo was whipped out & operated by Captain Fantastic’s wireless technology [Technology on the Hash, whatever next? – Ed] this blasted out a couple of tunes, that were related to the Hares’ a names of Nik-Nak & Sludge, the first being Nick-Nack Paddy-whack, but the second was deemed too rude for the Circle, as it had an R-Rating!
So, the Hares dispatched their Down-Downs, then eventually the respective RA’s were called upon, with Mr X & Blow Felt now carrying out the honors, so with the Hares out of the way it was on to other misdemeanors, Mr X starting with Captain Fantastic playing an anti-Irish song.
Count Roadkill was awarded his for his ‘Cheery but regular welcome for Mr X! Lemming was out for braving the weather with his follicle challenged head, while he was joined by My Lil’ (also for his & Lemming’s picking on Mother’s butt) & Paxo to make up the rest of the Herts Haircuts!
Spotted Dick was out, with another for something like uncontrollable hounds on the Trail [The Scribe was distracted slightly at this point!]
New Shoes were spotted on show around the Trail, which had Page 3 performing this Hash tradition in a non-traditional way with the glass sitting inside her Hash Boot, not being poured straight in to the said trainer!
The Herts Choir Mistress had to make a dash, heading back to deepest Norf*ck to watch the England Match. Lady P was going to continue with the songs, but then she discovered that she had run out of clean ones & so that was the end of that.
The Two RA’s Blow Felt & Mr X, as is the Tradition dictates, both had a Down-Down before the relative Hashits were awarded. The Herts Hashit went to Sparky for blocking the locals in with his car, he got down to skin before he adorned the unwashed shirt [Dear reader, one must apologies for that thought if you are eating while reading this! – Ed] The Hare & Hounds Hashit, a far more sedate affair of a fluffy purple hat didn’t reveal any skin as Cylopath adorned her head with it.