Date = 16th April 2018
Run Number = 1791
Venue = The Hollybush
Location = Redbourn
Beer = Lantern; Breakspeare’s
Hare/s = Tent Packer
Runners = 9
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 1
Hounds = 0
Total = 10
Membership = enjoying the crispiest of crisps!
The Second Monday of the ‘New Season’ & again it was a low turnout, perhaps it takes a while for those who aren’t ‘Boomtown Rats’ & do actually ‘Like Monday’s’ for a Hash to get in to gear with the change to Mondays? Perhaps we need the lure of food to get some to turn out?
Anyhow, the small Pack gathered in the rear car park of the Hollybush, with the exception of Where’s Wally? who was found changing out on Church Lane when the Pack moved around to Circle up at the front of the Pub. In the absence of the GM & JM, the RA was back to pick up the reigns so to speak, as he welcomed the Pack to the correct R*n number – he couldn’t get that wrong as he had only just read the trash that he had printed out for the Trail the week before, which he eventually missed.
So, without further ado Tent Packer was called forward. Being this evening’s Hare, he informed the Pack that the Trail was around four and a half miles in length, the Pack should come back with ‘Dry Feet’ but that wasn’t guaranteed! When the question of having enough Daylight left by the end, the Hare was positive with his reaction, Tent Packer added one last thing & that was to watch out for a pair of knickers stuck up in a tree?
Then the Pack were shown the way out of olde worlde Church End toward the common to the Northeast, making their way over one the crisscrossing lanes that split the West & North parts of the common. Mr X pointed out over in the distance where Sparky went wrong when he stood in as Hare for Tent packer back in the Winter, but less of past woes & let’s get back to the now.
The Trail took to Chequer Lane as Wanktlers, My Lil’ & Where’s Wally? led the way down to the CHK point by the Northeastern rampart of the embankment of the Nicky Line, the Keenies were lured away up the steps cut in to the earth – though Sludge took the gentler sloping ramp to take to the former railway line that led from Hemel Hempstead through Redbourn then on to Harpenden. Unfortunately for these Keenies there would be a T on this route. So, for Sludge it was back down the slope, litter with some large lumps of flint to bend in the end of the old Chequer Lane to where it joins the wider by-pass, which cuts off its other end that runs beside the Chequer’s Pub.
No Eye Deer & Mother were already across this busy road to take to the southeasterly footpath leading away through the farm fields to the south of Redbourn. The Pack would begin the first of a series of long paths, with only a brief stop at a CHK by the end of a barbed-wire fence surrounding a horse paddocks at the northern end of an old Mill house, just one of many that were dotted along the Ver in years gone by. This area was once famous for Silk mills.
Where’s Wally stopped off behind the hedge to scare the squirrels, while the rest progressed along by the water course of the former Cress Beds, fed by the many chalk steams that eventually flowing in to the Ver on its way through to St Albans far away in the south.
The footpath changed tack slightly before it came out through the farmyard & the old Mill house to emerge on to the edge of the St Alban’s Road. Where’s Wally? caught back up with the RA, then immediately he grassed himself up by admitting to Mr X that last week he managed to get himself locked into the Pub by going through a Staff Only door, which apparently highly amused Max Factor.
While everyone else seemed to get across fairly easily, Mr X had to wait for a gap in the traffic & once the Police Land-Rover had gone by he could cross over to the east side of the A5183 St Alban’s Road, where he got to see Sludge scaring the squirrels in the hedgerow just in sight of the road! If that wasn’t bad enough, My Lil’ had run to the front of the Hash in order to scare even more squirrels in the hedgerow, perhaps we should call this the Leaky Willy Hash?
The Trail would now arc around over by the Redbournbury Watermill, passing through the grounds of the old watermill & bakery, which was rebuilt after a fire to become a successful working mill again, sadly after getting it back on its feet after the fire, the Miller who did all the hard work in its reconstruction died. However, his legacy is still going strong, the Hash actually met him years ago. Though Tent Packer did admit that the flour used on this day’s Trail was just Sainsbury’s finest plain flour & not the local produce.
Sludge, as well as Now Eye Deer & Mother were happy that My Lil’ wasn’t the Hare as the Trail turned eastward on a loop around to cross over the wooden footbridge over the wide deep ford, while Mother & No Eye Deer looked toward the shooting & fishing club off down on the footpath to the north, Sludge & Mr X had other ideas as the Hare had already offered up a short cut (Which no one took).
There was more joy for those who wanted to keep their feet dry as they followed the Dust around to the south & then on to the second wooden footbridge over another ford in the Ver. Up ahead the figures of Lemming, Where’s Wally?, Wanktlers & My Lil’ could be seen running through the next enclosed section of meadow to make their way over a smaller wooden footbridge over another of the tributaries feeding the larger Ver.
There was a swan neck in the footpath’s direction as it crossed a series of stepping stones, through the wetter marsh like area before heading westward over a seeded field on a footpath back to the St Albans’s Road, emerging beside the solitary house that used to the Punch Bowl Pub, built in 1901, it later became a night club but eventually failed.
Mr X explained to Mother that he had been in there when it was a Pub, but not a club [No Surprise there then! – Ed], as they headed along the road’s gritty footpath toward Redbourn. This north bound route would soon stop for most, as a set of double arrows indicated a crossing over for the Keenies to take to Hill Farm Lane. Sludge was the exception as he continued along the busy road back to Redbourn.
The Trail would now follow the narrow rustic lane between the rising crop fields, on its westward journey Mother said that she had preferred to have run on the other lane as it was called Punch Bowl Lane! The pack got to look out over the northern field to see that there was an area of tables, benches & other picnic like items, it was quiet bizarre sight to see these bits of garden furniture in the middle of nowhere.
The Lane snaked its way up the green hillside of farmland, then once up on the plateau the Trail would change direction, where double arrows pointed the way off of the tarmac before reaching Hill Farm, everyone had to descend the darker tree-lined path that dropped in to the valley, Mr X would catch up with Mother at the bottom of the track of Shiggy ruts to a point where it turned from the north to the northeast.
The Dust led on beyond the footpath over the ridge to Dane End Farm, it continued along the farm track to where it would come out by a solitary cottage on top of the hill to the tarmac lane leading down the toward Beaumont Hall in the east. The Keenies of My Lil’, Wanktlers, Where’s Wally? & Lemming were well out of sight as Mother & Mr X came off of the short section of tarmac to descend through the crop field on a long straight footpath back down to the B487 By-pass.
A set of steps down to the outer road, then once back over a set of sets up the opposite embankment of the Nicky Way for one last time to then drop down to the footpath where an alleyway led out on to the edge of the Hempstead Road on the edge of the common & back in. As Mr X & Mother made their way along here they spotted Sludge trotting along from Chequer Lane after his short cut. Also here the Hare & No Eye Deer were not that far behind.
The Hash settled in to the Pub, though the Keenies were found still waiting to get served as the Ale they wanted had just gone upon their arrival! Mother bought a packet of Plain Walker’s Crisp, while No Eye Deer purchased a packet of the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper which were far superior & crispy, all of which led to Mr X adding comments about the better crisps every 5 minutes or so. To try & counter this goading, Lemming was interested in BRAS ‘n’ pants Hash & wearing of kilts, it didn’t deflect anything.
The Circle was called, inside the Pub, with the Hare being rewarded for a good Trail, he was joined by Where’s Wally who would received the Hashit for the very first time for dobbing himself to the RA about getting locked in the Pub the week before.