Date = 2nd April 2018
Run Number = 1789
Venue = The Brown Bear
Location = Braughing
Beer = London Pride, New River; Farr Brewery
Hares = Paxo & Ewok!
Runners = 15
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Aprčs = 7
Hounds = 0
Total = 22
Membership = Re-writing Folk-lore!
With days of almost constant rain & an over-night downpour leading up to this Hash it looked like there could be a low turn out, thankfully a lot had taken heed of the emails & H4 FB page on behalf of Paxo. All this was in order to try & get a few to make an effort as the Landlord was opening especially early for the Hash. Normally the Pub doesn’t open until late. The Landlord joined the gathering Pack in the car park & explained that with two other Pubs in the village the trade is dead during the week days.
Upon the return of Paxo’s
Little Helper Co-Hare the Pack
began to form a circle, though Mother & Lemming seemed reluctant to come out of
their car. Mr X said that he had seen a pair of abandoned Trainers on the way
up the A10 & was surprised that Sparky didn’t stop to pick them up? [He didn’t
see them, even with his new specs! - Ed]
Those who doubted the weather would hold off from over-cast to rain would be dismissed as the RA managed to work his magic to make sure that the Trail would be dry overhead all the way around, however the same could not be said of the conditions underfoot out on Trail. Ewok, as the co-Hare, proved there was a lot of Shiggy out there when she changed into her mud-plastered footwear. [What happened to ‘Little Helper’? - Ed] The noise of the gathering Pack brought a local from out of the Malting Barn next to the Pub to see what was occurring.
Ewok called the Circle when Kylie hinted at the time, as he stepped up for the absent My Lil’ o’clock, the Beer Master being away in Stiges, Barcelona with the Full Moon Easter away weekend. The intro’s done & then it was on to what the Pack could expect out there on Trail, short cutters were told to hang around & walk along with Paxo, while of more interest to most was the mention of the ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ which Ewok said she would explain more about when the Hash arrived at there.
So, the Trail began & stopped almost immediately for a Kylie Photo-shoot outside of the Brown Bear façade, the RA noticed that the Pub sign had a nod to the old brewery of Simpsons upon it. Pictures taken, after Kylie had held up the traffic of one car to take them, the Trail progressed up to Triangle in the road where Sparky was asked to keep his horn down to a minimum as the Pack travelled through the sleepy archetypical English village.
The Trail would take the Hash westward down by St Mary the Virgin Church on the aptly named Church Walk to leave the tarmac lane behind, taking to the footpath with iron railings on either side to cross a narrow footbridge above the brown earthy looking gushing river Quin, obviously the rain had swollen the river to bring it up to almost the top of the riverbank.
Rising up on the west side of the valley the footpath emerged out on to the Green End road, right beside the Golden Fleece, Lemming was surprised to find another village Pub in such a small place. While Mr X & Lemming headed away to the northeast, the rest took the opposite direction to pick up the Trail near to the local Post Office/Corner Shop.
Milf, Sparky, Sludge, Mark E Mark, No Eye Deer, Mother, Port & Slug headed southward, as Ewok followed on keeping an eye on the Keenies. Mr X & Lemming made their way back to follow the others down the hill from the higher side of the village to run on Maltings Lane toward the ford that the Braughing Wheelbarrow Race starts & finishes in.
No Eye Deer, Ewok & even Mr X were glad that there was no Bar on the narrow footbridge spanning the rushing waters of the river Quin below, as it was flowing at a fair rate of knots & there was a possibility that some of the smaller members of the Pack could have been carried away with the flow all the way to Puckeridge. They were also glad not to have a wheelbarrow to push either.
Over the Quin to find everyone was nice & dry as they found the Trail crossing southeastward up the left hand ramp to the Street, or to some the Start of the Wheelbarrow Race, Mr X hoped that it would take that route back on the street to the Pub.
Sludge now pointed out that the Trail would continue straight over to the newer builds in the village, the Dust would cut through the small cul-de-sac to the emerge in to an estate of more established builds on another cul-de-sac from the 1960/70s.
The Trail turned around the elbow in this road as the Keenies caught up with Lobby Lobster, Kylie & Paxo, this in turn came up to a green flooded footpath running through between two of the homes, as only a few feet up this a gurgling spring gushed water out from a hole to flood down on to the street. Once at the opposite end of green footpath it was out on to the fields to the southeast of the village, the Pack got a glimpse of the predicted Shiggy they were about to Hash through, there was plenty of it, as far as the eye could see over the crop fields.
So began a long straight trail on a wide slippery farm track through a series of fields with small green sprouting crops heading toward Hill Wood over in the distance. As the Pack moved from the first field, they were slightly protected from the cool breeze by a hedgerow. As Mother picked her way from one slightly drier grassy tram-line in the track to the other, all in order not to slip down in the hedgerow’s ditch, she moaned that Mr X had an advantage with his longer legs by allowing him being able to walk & slide along at her jogging pace!
Continuing to the more exposed open & soggier ground, with much deeper Shiggy, Mother stopped to call Lemming back from where she thought that he was checking it out in the adjacent field, but Mother soon stopped calling when she realized what he was doing behind the end of the hedge, scaring the squirrels?
As the Trail approached the woodland, the ground water became greater with large puddles that flooded the area so it resembled a Paddy-field. Mark E Mark was heard to utter “I could have been doing better things with my time off on a Monday Morning!” Lobby Lobster too wondered why the two of them left a nice warm bed this morning?
At least the weather was fairly mild as the Keenies waited for TBT OBE, Kylie & Paxo to reach the Held CHK by the edge of the woodland, someone asked why was the approaching TBT OBE wearing a fluorescent waistcoat he has had made up with his name & Herts Logos on it? The RA said that it was so that if the rest of the Hash saw this jacket lying flat in the Shiggy it would indicate that Teebs had fallen over!
Once the Pack had gathered at the Regroup, Ewok went on to explain that everyone should search a small area inside the wood, between the footpath & small brook for little pieces of paper, each marked with a Black silhouette of The Easter Squirrel with an Egg – Backpack questioned Paxo when he was asked to print these out? The RA knew of the history of Easter Hares being Pagan fertility symbols, but he’d never heard of an Easter Squirrel!
So, the hunt for Little Black Easter Squirrels took place, most were fairly successful as none where placed that far above the ground [Don’t go there! – Ed] these were exchanged for a small foil covered mini Kinder-egg that Paxo rationed out. [Is Chocolate still rationed in Ware? Perhaps they can’t get it up the hill in winter conditions? – Ed] Mr X thought that it looked like the mini-Kinder eggs had been picked up from the local Petrol Station?
With a couple of measly little eggs each, the Pack amused themselves as Lemming commented on the Black Squirrel Silhouettes looking like a ‘Rorschach Test’ – The Ink Blot test devised by the Swiss Dr Herman Rorschach in the 1960 – even those who weren’t hung-over with bleary eyes, could see all sorts of other animals that were not of the Sciuridae family [Squirrels to you! – Ed] needless to say even without Pebbledash there were plenty of course references to Nuts as well! Mr X wondered how the Pagan Fertility symbol of a hare had been changed to some kind of demented Black Squirrel from a Brother’s Grimm tale rewriting our knowledge of Folk-lore.
With the meagre rations of milk eggs gone the Pack were eager to move on, just like the People of Ware the Hash had that War-time spirit to make do. Those who were in need of the Hare of the Dog were even keener to get moving as Mr X led the way on the ‘Blindingly obvious’ route of heading to the south, fortunately for him he was called back just as he was about to wade through the large area of deep clear water by the gate in to the open green fields to the south of the wood.
The Trail made its way on a desire line through the green carpet of leaves of the bluebells emerging from their dormant time to a drop down the embankment to Braughing Byway 17, here there were a few close calls as some with less tread on their old Hash Boots slipped down the smooth slide of slippery mud. Lobby Lobster was assisted by Mother to get down the mud slide of the embankment.
Paxo was on hand with a camera to catch any fallers, but he was unlucky as even Sparky & TBT OBE managed to get on to the Bridleway, there was some screaming noises around this area but it wasn’t the Hash, instead it sounded like kids over in the distance at Upp Hall.
It was along this old route that Mr X noticed the wording on the back of Lemming’s Sod Off Hash Shirt, he was surprised to read “Super Hare!” emblazed upon it, Lemming explained that in (Royal) Berks Hash that if you set more than four Trails in a Year you get a ‘Super Hare’ T-shirt, unless you are on their committee then you can back date it so you get one!! [Hope the Herts Haberdasher was taking notice to all this? – Ed]
The Northward trot up the easy to run bridleway would lead out on to the southern bend in Friar’s lane, at the triangle a CHK was found, right by the solitary home of ‘The Tin House’ where the owner was backing his Porsche in to the drive [Don’t forget that Ferdinand Porsche designed the VW Beatle for Hilter! – Ed] Anyhow, less of the jealously & back to the Trail - Lemming went wrong as he headed eastward toward Braughing Friars.
The Real Trail was picked up heading northward a few yards to the opposite bend in Friar’s Lane, where the Trail split, here Mark E Mark, Milf, Sludge headed off on the track over between the edges of two crop fields. Ewok offered up a Short cut along the lane but only Paxo, Kylie & Lobby Lobster took to this, the rest gamely continued northward to a CHK by a ben din the route, the options being to continue around the track to the east & toward Cockhampstead [Yes Pebbledash it’s really called that! – Ed], or straight on down in to the valley to the north, but it was neither of these two options.
The Trail would be picked up out toward the centre of the crop field, Ewok pointed out the green, verdi-gris (Latin for green-grey) Church Spire of St Mary the Virgin over in the distance & the Hash were told to head toward this nestled in the village mostly hidden in the valley. A lot of Footpaths originally lead to & from village Churches, there is some kind of unwritten folk-lore that these legally became rights of way if a funeral cortege walked the route to the Church, though most of the long distance paths were really for trade & then pilgrimages. Best still is that normally near to a Village Church is a Pub normally built for those masons & alike constructing it, Braughing has three Pubs so it must have been thirsty work building St Mary The Virgin?
Even the runners would have trouble on this section as the soil under foot was a clay loam, Sludge & Mr X discussed the fact that there are various types of loam, from sandy loam, silty loam & clay loam, you can ask Mr Fothergill but Mr X was sure that the latter being the one the Pack were attempting to run across but this was curtailed as the light fluffy clay soil soon clumped up in to large ankle weight like lumps on Hash Boots to help exercise the old calf muscles!
Looking back over the Trail, the Pack could see the solitary figure of Alfa Male running to catch up with the rest, he would make good progress, as like the rest he was no burdened with having eaten a lot of chocolate!
Where the Trail passed in through the windbreak of a hedgerow, the Hare offered up the easier option of running along the edge of the Hedgerow in this next field, it was along here that Lemming was trying to get Mr X to get himself in to trouble with mentioning references to ‘Little Helpers’ but the RA wasn’t going to bite, but if he did he was going to say “Lemming said……”
No one had the stamina to continue diagonally over the loam, Not even Milf, Mark E Mark, Port or Alfa Male as the slight diversion to the south to pick up the lane was worth it, also it allowed the Hash to kick off some of the clay from their Hash boots on the tarmac descent back into Braughing, there were also streams of water to add to the cleaning effect on Hash boots.
Meeting up with the SCBs, the Keenies ran down to the junction with the Pelham Road, then to turn eastward on to The Street, it was here that Lobby Lobster uttered the immortal words of “I have sparrows in my box!” just as Mr X commented on it being lucky that Pebbledash wasn’t there, Lobby compounded things as she added that she had ‘Blue Tits!” as well. The raucous laughing of the Pack would have woken any of the sleeping locals who weren’t disturbed by Sparky’s Horn earlier!
Lemming was again impressed with Braughing as he passed by the third Pub, the Axe & Compasses, that stands out with its bright pink walls, this traditional colour was achieved by adding Bull’s blood to the lime wash painted on the exterior in days of yore.
Those arriving back everyone was greeted by a somewhat Regal Wave from Max Factor, who was sitting in the Alfa Romeo, though she could have joined Slug’s Mum who had been abandoned by her son to wait in the Pub.
The Pack settled in to the Bar, enjoying the Ales & a round of Chips, here the Pack were met by Mel & Tony then a little later Sarah, Jack & baby Florence Then 3D came in with Starboard.
The Circle was held outside underneath the roofed area of the outside Bar, used for mini beer-festivals. While the Pack Circled up, the Hares gave out proper sized Easter Eggs, or to be PC these days just plain old milk Chocolate Eggs! The packaging these days tends not to carry the words Easter in case it upsets non-Christian Groups.
The Hares were rewarded for the Trail, which everyone agreed was eggsellent [See what the scribe did there? – Ed] Then the RA turned his attention Sparky for being the Hare a couple of weeks earlier, when the Down-Downs were postponed due the small size of the Pack, who all arrived in one car!
Mr X then moved on to Alfa Male for catching up, while Max Factor joined him for her Royal Waves from within a warm car! Mark E Mark was called out, he was accompanied by Lobby Lobster for who utter the immortal lines of “I’ve got sparrows in my box!” [You can get Cream for that now! – Ed] Finally the Hashit & it had to go to the Hasher with a ‘Super Hare’ T-Shirt on Trail. Mr X wondered if there could be a ‘Super Hashit’ for TBT OBE? [Save that thought until after his Trail in a couple of weeks! – Ed]