Date =                           21st May 2018

Run Number =           1796    

Venue =                       The Bull

Location =                   Watton-at-Stone

Beer =                          Ghost Ship; Doombar; Atlantic

Hare/s =                       TBT OBE

Runners =                    8

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      0

Newies =                       0

Aprčs =                         0

Hounds =                     0

Total =                          8

Membership =            At times reciting the Lord’s Prayer!


            A nice warm, bright evening for this Trail, so it came as a little bit of a surprise to see such a low turnout.  Where were all the ones who ‘prefer’ Monday R*ns?  [We are yet to see them! – Ed]  Perhaps some decisions to skip this Trail was down to knowing who the Hare was?  [Don’t let past disasters put you off!  You can’t say that you were there for these epics if you don’t come along! – Ed]

            Anyhow less bitching, the Pack were about to Circle up when Stand-in Shit arrived, having braved getting the Train up to Watton-at-Stone at a time when Govia Thameslink had changed their entire timetable, resulting in the obvious lack of more Trains than their usual poor standard!  Supporters of the Timetable change [Would like to meet one! – Ed] point out that you will now be able to go directly from Stevenage to Brighton, if only they had enough drivers.

            TBT OBE called the Circle together, welcoming everyone to the correct R*n number before doing his ‘Chalk Talk’, in which he let the Pack know what to expect out there.  Two Held CHKs were mentioned, short cuts & then he began to lower his voice as he mumbled that part of the Trail would go over ‘Private Land’, all of which raised a few eyebrows.

            The Trail began by heading directly across from the Pub to follow the arrows directing the Pack up School Lane running away to the southwest.  It wasn’t far to the first CHK, this was found where the narrow lane met a hedged-in footpath on the bend in the way up to the local School. 

Mr X & My Lil’ both went wrong here, as they took to the long narrow tarmac route between the allotments on the left & the playing fields to the right, the calls of the kids playing soccer on the sport field masked any calls of “On!” from those who were on the right Trail back on School Lane.

Having found the T a long way up the tarmac path, the two headed back to the CHK, missing out on the opportunity to ‘do a Sludge’ & cut across the sports field to where the rest had made their way up by the Nigel Poulton Community Hall, they had all moved on from the second CHK on School Lane, by the time these two lost sheep arrived there it seemed that no one had been caught out on the alleyway off between the homes to the west on Old School Orchard.

The Trail would run up by the School grounds, it was on this footpath that the two strays caught up with the coughing & spluttering duo of the Hare & Stand-in Shit.  Another CHK was found by a earthen footpath running between the Primary School Grounds & the School Playing field, My Lil’ was straight on to this as he followed on where Sludge, Alfa Male, Max Factor & Where’s Wally? had already gone.

The long uncapped narrow chain-link fenced-in path led out on to Church Lane where the next CHK lay on the edge of the cow parsley covered roadside.  My Lil’ was again quickly on to the Trail as he headed westward on the rustic lane as it headed to a point where another footpath from end of School lane crosses a small estate & then a green space to join this route right before it crosses the rail bridge over the Hertford Loop-line.

Arrows directed the pack on down to the southwest on the narrow tarmac single track lane between the farm fields to the isolated Watkin’s Cottages homes that stand near to Watkin’s Spring North, it was heading toward this that My Lil’, Mr X, Stand-in Shit & the Hare could see the small figures of Where’s Wally?, Alfa Male, Sludge & Max Factor way ahead on the footpath leading away from beside the solitary house in the distance.

 Now on a run a few degrees eastward off of due south, this route through the glorious verdant countryside would take two opposing 90° turns, first to the west, then to the east as it followed the corner of the field with a drainage ditch around its edge.

The Pack would run out on to Perrywood Lane, where a large swooping arrow would direct them up the narrow lane toward Perrywood to the west.  The Pack regrouped at a CHK on the junction with a Farm Track heading sou-sou-east, with Mr X & then Stand-in Shit finally catching up with the rest.  The only person missing was the Hare! 

After waiting for a while, some concern came over the group as to TBT OBE’s whereabouts, especially with those who know his ‘Track-record’.  Mr X even took to asking a fit female jogger if she had seen a “Bewildered old man staggering about with a bag of flour & a chunk of plasterboard?” but she said she hadn’t, then the orange Hare’s Shirt was seen emerging down the lane. 

Relief for the Pack came as TBT OBE appeared & run up to them, [In a feeble attempt in trying to impress the young jogger! – Ed] he was now bemoaning the fact the entire Pack had not followed the Long Trail, instead they had found the Short Cut & R*n on through the device that he had set to prevent this. [Any idea what it was?  As this Scribe didn’t see it! – Ed]

The Hare now got out two bags of sweets from his back Pack, once opened the icing sugar dusted sweets led to My Lil’ saying “There’s more dust on these than there is on the Trail!” before it was pointed out that TBT OBE had managed to get Dust down one of his short’s leg’s.  Where’s Wally? Was perplexed how TBT OBE had spilt that much Dust down there, as he was dispensing the Trail markings from a plastic bottle?

At the regroup the pack had to move out the way of where a guy in a transit wanted to park up by the Five Bar gate with a ‘Private Woodhall Estate parking Only’ sign attached, the guy looked puzzled as to why there were a group of Hashers across from outside of his house?  Then the RA looked at him, he looked at the RA & they both realised that they knew each other from School days!

Mr X explained what the Trail was about, the fact it was starting & finishing at a Pub, with his friend adding “I knew alcohol had to be involved if you were turning out!”  He added that he was going to wind up his neighbour about the markings, as both had seen these earlier & wondered what they were.

The Trail resumed with the consensus of searching the dry & dusty uncapped by-way over the farm land of Perrywood Farm to the south.  Having finally picked up the Dust quite away down the track, the Pack would come across another CHK point, this didn’t have the H in as they were led to believe that it was going to be the next Held CHK.  TBT OBE arrived to say “Oh! This isn’t a Held CHK, carry On!”

No one veered off of the farm track, everyone continued southward.  Along the way the Hash got to see the splendid vista out over the Herts Countryside.  Eventually the Pack found the last Held CHK on the Trail, situated by another tractor trail along the edge of a field down to the east.  Max Factor Hung around with the Hare, near to the ‘Private! No Public Right of Way!” sign, while letting Where’s Wally, My Lil’, Sludge, Mr X & Stand-in Shit to continue all the way out on to Gobion’s Way lane close to Great Gobion’s Farm.

Mr X had slowed up, due to his dinner sitting heavy & now being floated upon the pint of Ghost ship he had before the Trail began!  He was with Stand-in Shit, who was also taking it easy as he had a cold that kept him coughing & spluttering around the Trail.  Over in the distance Woodhall House could be seen, a splendid stately pile on the opposite side of the Beane Valley, wh9ch bovver looks the noisy busy road from Stevenage to Hertford.

The Trail turned eastward as the lane dropped, the rest were now far ahead of them by the time Stand-in Shit & Mr X reached the tarmac, at least it was downhill in to the valley, halfway down this route & a CHK was found.  It was still intact as the four ahead of them hadn’t kicked it through to indicate the direction of the Trail.

With no sounds of anyone calling Mr X & Stand-in Shit now went wrong by continuing down the hill to a T!  Back up hill & they were now left with prospect of going off on a farm track lay ahead, it was now that the Hare’s words of “Crossing Private land’ came back to haunt these two, it also dawned on them that this was probably why there was no calling up ahead, as no one wanted to bring attention to themselves.

Dust was scarce in the woodland, where the bluebells were still in bloom, maybe this was not to catch the ears of any Land owners or Gamekeepers to what was happening in the idyllic shaded pheasant haven.  Stealth was the order of the day, in getting through this farm land littered with blue pheasant feeder without alerting anyone else to the Pack’s presence.

All of this reminded Mr X of something which could have been a scene from out of TV’s Dad’s Army as they continued on their way down in to the valley, if only L/CPL Jones Paxo had been there that day to set the scene instead of being away shooting, to follow on behind Pte Godfrey the Hare!  Some may have been heard to mutter the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ under their breath, especially the bit about “Forgive us our trespasses”!!

The potential targets left the woodland, bluebells & pheasants behind to come out on to a narrow access bridge over the railway line.  Stand-in Shit said it was lucky that the Hash weren’t running this in the winter on a Sunday morning as they may have been peppered with shot!  Mr X said it was fortunately it wasn’t the Glorious Twelfth, when the Grouse shooting starts in August!

Back on the east side of the lines & the Trail would climb up the hillside to a point where the Dust came out to a CHK, found just beyond a sign that had more info about this route being on private land.  The Pack could now relax as they were led on northward, through a scrubby wooded area to another CHK, by the time the last two reached this it had been marked through by the Hare.

With no checking out you’d have thought that Mr X & Stand-in would have caught the Fagin Like Hare & his band of scallywags, but it wasn’t to be as they came out through the grey gravel drive to the small group of large new builds off of Perrywood Lane, on this narrow tarmac road the Trail would head down the hill to the east, running up to the triangle that sits before the Church of St Andrew & St Mary.

Arrows direct the way up the triangle to run by the Church, here the ‘On Inn’ was found before more arrows directed the way on to the footpath between the sports fields & allotments that Mr X  My Lil’ were caught out on at the very start of the Trail.  The evening was fine enough for the Pack to sit outside in the rear garden, enjoying the remains of the day.

The Circle was eventually called, TBT OBE had to be reminded by the Kids about toasting the Hash, before the RA took over & TBT OBE was awarded his Down-Down for setting the Trail, even Mr X admitted it was a good one [Whoa there don’t let it go to his head! – Ed].  Stand-in Shit was awarded his for being a Returnee (He couldn’t find his R*n number in the book!)  Finally the Hashit, well Mr X had to fall on his sword as it had been pointed out that the Hareline on the Webshite was wrong with the following week’s run time, plus there was the wrong day for the Enfield Trail in the printed trash!

TBT OBE challenged Mr X to answer his question on which famous person died at Watton at Stone?  It’s not known for much but after a slight prompt Mr X managed to get Sir Nigel Gresley as the correct answer.  He used to live there where his house was famed for having ducks & other water fowl where the River Beane flows through the back garden.  He named the Mallard after his love of waterfowl, but is still best remembered as the designer of the Flying Scotsman!