Date = 18th Feb 2018
Run Number = 1782
Venue = The Crooked Billet
Location = Colney Heath
Beer = Tring Sidepocket; London Pride
Hares = My Lil’!
Runners = 13
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 14
Membership = Ambushing the RA!
A nice sunny morning that would have you believe that Spring has sprung, the wind had dropped, clouds dissipated & the Sun was out, as were loads of Soccer Kids & their Parents. The RA got dropped off early & sat outside of the front of the Pub, but he soon got fed up with being asked by passing motorist where they could park for the football tournament?
So, Mr X moved around to the Pub’s rear garden, where he watched a couple of cars pull up then the owners just ignorantly walk down to the soccer tournament. The Landlady arrived & asked Mr X if he was Ok? He replied he was with the Hash & she was fine with that as everything was sorted by the Hare who had already been in the Pub prior to sort things out the day before. She was also happy to hear that the Pack would double park at the far end, which the RA did by ‘doing a Paxo’ to marshal the arriving cars until the real Paxo could take over.
One old fellah parked up in his Merc, no it wasn’t Tent packer, he claimed that he had never parked up in a Pub Car Park without going in to buy a drink, but the RA’s ‘Hash-senses’ could detect by the tone of his voice that he was telling porkies to the Landlady! She didn’t look that convinced either.
The Hare arrived on his bike, chained it up & then came over for the Circle, where he proceed to hand out Jaffa Cakes, at first Sparky was hesitant as he’s giving up ‘sweets for lent’ but was soon persuaded to take a Jaffa Cake as others said “Jaffa cakes are low in calories compared to other snacks!”
It was soon ‘Sperm ‘ead o’clock’ & Ewok did the introductions, before welcoming the Hare into the Circle where he could explain what lay out there for the Hash. My Lil’ said that the Jaffa cakes were handed out before the Trail as there were no regroups, however, to allay any worries from Paxo, & the Knitting Circle, the Hare mentioned that there were Short Cuts!
Having laid an arrow down in the car park, pointing the way through the small enclosure behind the Pub Garden, the Pack couldn’t start the Trail just yet as Kylie wanted a group photo from outside of the Crooked Billet. Snap Happy Kylie got his shot & then the Pack were allowed to go back in to the Car Park to start the Trail.
Heading north-westward Mr X led the way over two stiles on either side of the paddock to come out on to a smaller rectangle of farm land that sits like a lug of a jigsaw puzzle piece from off of the main seeded crop field. There a large arrow pointing the way over the new crop in a north-westerly direction, over the little seedlings to the footpath running from beside the Sports Grounds in to the farmland northeast of London Colney. A CHK was found on this firmer eastern path along the field’s edge.
Mr X headed off away from the Sports Ground, but was called back by Sparky as Trail was found heading back toward the High Street, just as the RA reached the CHK again he could see Milf, Sparky, Tent Packer, Ewok & Max Factor all coming to a halt & turning back at the T! Pebbledash & Paxo arrived before being caught out on either route.
A second chance up to the northeast had Mr X finding the Trail, he realised that he was only a couple of feet away from picking it up the first time he looked up there. At least the Hare was pleased to see this! The next CHK was found in the corner of the elbow in the main path, only Mr X ventured in to the thicket that a footpath once ran through, just an old dilapidated stile remains before the drop down into a stream with no crossing point.
With his futile searching in the scrub coming to nothing, the RA emerged from the bushes to follow on behind the Keenies who had now picked up the Trail, now heading around the corner of the wooded area to a CHK by a path running between the crop fields all the way over toward the Chalk Drawers Arms on Roestock Lane.
Mr X explained to Ewok that this area has a few Swallow Holes [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] & how these are formed by the gravel beneath the clay-capped chalk being washed away, these eventually collapse to form a deep hole that normally fills with water. This area is also known for the ancient chalk mines that run for miles beneath this area of Herts, some stretching all the way into Hatfield where they have caused issues with roads & homes subsiding.
While Fliptop was called back from the north-eastern path, Mr X was late getting on to the same route the rest had taken on the nor-nor-west path through the wood, he didn’t get that far either, for as he slowed up to talk to the Hare he realised that My Lil’ was no longer in his company! Looking back he could see those with the Hare had changed direction out of the wood.
Mr X now set off on this long path over toward the solitary Windmill & then Roestock Lane in the distance where the Chalk Drawers sits, he found Trail but failed to see the faded T, for he was watching his footing on the slightly raised path beside a ditch separating the Fields. Once aware that there was no feeling of being followed, the RA stopped & looked back to see the rest of the Pack all head on to the Next CHK at a T-junction with another footpath running from the woodland in the northwest on a parallel route over toward Roestock Lane, but suddenly they all disappeared in to the wood, little did Mr X know but this bunch were only hiding there to get the RA to run back.
After standing & watching for a while to see no one come back out of the wood at the time, Mr X finally began to make his way back around the perimeter of the field but there was no temptation to cut across the crop, which proved fruitful as he found Milf’s blue flashing light as he turned the corner to get on the footpath.
As the RA turned the Corner the to head up toward the next CHK the rest of the Hash emerged from ‘hiding’ behind the wooded area, all inn order to see if Mr X would do a ‘Sludge’ & Short Cut? The RA has more scruples than that & he didn’t waver from the Trail, even if he was to be a bit behind the rest on the footpath all the way out to Roundhouse Farm. The RA finally passed Pebbledash & Paxo, with Paxo offering words of encouragement as he passed by, then the he caught up with the rest of the back markers as he reached the CHK by Roundhouse Farm.
Alfa Male came back from a Falsie up the drive toward the Scout Huts at Johnson’s Spring Woods, the rest had made their way around the bend in the drive by the Farm houses & out on to Roestock Lane, reaching this point these two found Milf, Wanktlers, Sparky, No Eye Deer, Ewok & Fliptop all coming back from the Falsies on the footpath straight over the road to Roestock Park, or the other option up the lane toward Bullen’s Green.
The Trail was picked up down toward the Chalk Drawer’s Arms, but turned off before reaching the Pub, as Dust took to heading southward down Hall Gardens, there was a bit of confusion for No Eye Deer & Max Factor as the Hare moved off through a side street in this residential area.
Milf took time to let the two dog walkers know that the white powder they may see was only flour, before joining the rest of the Hash to continue down Hall Gardens only to spot the Hare as he marked the Trail through the garages & cut-throughs behind Bennet Close, after a Bar CHK was found to turn the Hash to emerge on to Tollgate Road.
Once over the small green the Trail crossed over to take to a south-westerly footpath running along the edge of a Horse Paddock. Sparky, who was already shorn of his horn [Calm Down Pebbledash! – Ed] was now told not to call out, for two horses were undergoing training by two girls in this enclosure.
The grassy paddock dropped down the slope to cross the narrow section of the River Colne by way of a small footbridge, once over this the Trail would rise up a path, the Hare would say “To quote Bachmann Turner Overdrive ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet!’” as the Pack waded up through a lot of smelly sewage like Shiggy that was littered with trash up beside a small traveller’s park.
Once at the top the Trail would turn left to head Northward up to the bend in Courser’s Lane, where an arrow directed the Hash away from the route back in to Colney Heath. Now on the edge of the common, Wanktlers headed off down the drive to Warren Farm, but there was no Trail down there, so he cut through the hedgerow to find Mr X heading south-westerly around the edge of the common where, just by a group of dog walkers, the Trail was found. Mr X informed the dog owners about the Trail Dust, but they didn’t seem overly concerned.
The Trail turned northward to head in to the woodland, up the leafy footpath to a CHK by the intersecting footpath running out over the fields to the west. The Hare arrived to find Mr X was busy saying that the Trail probably headed out through the enclosed paddock then out to the fields beyond & the area of Gravel Extraction to the west. The Hare piped up with a “Stop talking about it & start running it then!” to Mr X.
So, the Keenies made their way over the paddock, then out through a kissing-gate to trot over the open crop field on a wide, dead-straight south westerly route over to Tyttenhanger Farm. The Trail would now turn direction to take Sparky, Wanktlers, Milf & Mr X on the ‘permissive path’ around a horse paddock which had some really slippery Shiggy that slowed these FRBs up, all while the Hare just cut through the centre of the equine paddock.
On the opposite side of the Paddock a CHK was found. Mr X was now only going to head one way & that was not in the direction that others were looking at, he soon headed down the dropping path that runs between the two of the sections of the lake created by the former gravel extraction, Wanktlers also took to this route as the Trail was found on its south-westerly direction with its unspoilt view of Herts Countryside that belayed the fact it was close to the A414.
Rising up the opposite steep bank from the former pits the Trail would cross over the wide belt used for the continuing extraction of gravel, once over this & in to the edge of Garden Wood the Trail would turn to the southeast. Suddenly Mr X pulled up to take a breather, as Milf passed by Mr X said that he would catch her up as the Hare marked a line on the ground that the RA knew wasn’t going to be the real Trail.
Eventually the likes of Milf, Alfa Male, Sparky, Tent packer & Wanktlers all came back from the Bar CHK to find the RA was wandering along from the conveyer-belt crossing in the opposite north-easterly way, the Keenies wee ran along below the high embankment of the lakes to arrive at a CHK between the Bowman’s Lakes. When Milf caught up with Mr X she said “I see what you meant by catching up with you later!”
Alfa Male & Mr X now headed northward on the strip of land between the two large lakes, where the Trail was picked up. Mr X knew the area well, with the Trail following the River Colne’s course then turning to the left at a fork in the path, the RA knew better than take to the left-hand option the other FRBs were lured away on. Instead, Mr X took the right right-hand option to take the new wooden bridge over more extraction conveyer belts, the routes direction turned north-easterly on to ‘Watling Chase Trail’, an almost direct route back to Colney Heath.
Mr X was first to the CHK by the start of the tarmac drive for the local Waterworks, he then moved down this route a little way & stopped outside the open gates to the ‘North London Steam Society’ grounds, where he called Milf over to get a Picture for Kylie. It was here that they FRBs realised that they were now missing the GM, No Eye Deer, as well as Sludge, Kylie, Paxo & Pebbledash – perhaps they were still bloated after the excellent food after Chinese New Year Trail? Sparky too had vanished, but it was only temporary as he was over-heating on this warm, still day & had stopped to peel a couple of layers off.
Pictures taken & the Pack followed the Trail down the drive, then left this hard-capped way to head down the grassy northern edge of Conley Heath Common, there was a slight detour near the end as Wanktlers, Tent Packer & the other FRBs had a brief trot over to the north before heading back over the River Colne.
The Hare opted not to use the Ford further along the Colne, instead it was a dry run over a slice of common to Heathside & then Park Lane. On the way Sparky again stopped to strip off more clothing, Milf said no wonder Sparky was over-heating, then she wondered why Sparky was wearing waterproof leggings? Mr X said that they probably keep the wee in?
The Hash passed by a very large black Newfoundland pooch, who looked as if he had already been for a swim & was now lazing outside of his home, once by the friendly great pooch, the Pack passed by the On Inn just before coming back out on to the High Street just yards from the Pub.
The day was warm enough for the Pack to sit outside in the garden. The Dow-Downs saw the Hare rewarded for a Good Trail of an hour & 5 minutes, unless of course you were Sludge & Kylie who’s awfully bad attempts at denying it, gave away that they had stopped off at the miniature Railway.
No Eye Deer was out for setting the Chinese New year of the Dog Trail, which as all agreed was a great night out, this award also had the pack barking out the ‘Maddog Barking’ Down-Down song – which seemed to go down well! The Hashit was going to be awarded between Milf’s Lost Property & Sludge’s signing of the book for this R*n two days earlier at the Chinese, but while these two got away with a normal Hit, the GM put another hat in the ring for the Circle’s vote on the Hashit, for the second time that day the Pack all ambushed the RA for Short Cutting [Which he didn’t do! – Ed]