Date =                            4th June 2018

Run Number =            1798    

Venue =                        The Builder’s Arms

Location =                    Little Heath

Beer =                           McMullens AK; IPA; Riverside Ale Citra (Mac’s under a mock microbrewery badge)

Hare/s =                        Wanktlers

Runners =                    16

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          0

Hounds =                      0

Total =                          16

Membership =             A magical History Tour!


            It was a mizzly evening, cool damp air with the type of very fine light rain that soaks in over time, but having taken shelter from this tempest (Not) in the Admiral Byng, two of the Pack braved this after tempting fate in way of getting a Train to Potters Bar, luckily for them with lots of cancelled ones not even showing on the boards, Great Northern decided to release one of its Train-set from where it was parked up in the Welwyn Garden City Sidings.

            The early arrivals saw the Hare, complete with wearing a backpack, return from setting the Trail.  He drew out what looked like a Held CHK in front of the Coal Tax marker post for the Corporation of the City of London, the Hare would explain more about these later on in his ‘Chalk-talk’.

            Anyhow, several weeks in to the Monday season of Hashing in 2018 the regulars got to see the first appearance of Ketchup & Mark E Mark, who arrived with Lobby Lobster.  Perhaps this down to Ketchup coming along to collect the water-jugs that Mr X had bought him? 

The Pack circled up in entrance to the Pub Car Park, most wanted to get on with things but the Hare had other ideas as a very detailed account of issues that may be encountered on Trail spewed forth.  Dodgy roads, history stops, sweets stops, with the left over sweets were going to the winner of the questions that would be put to the Pack at the end, all of which had Mark E Mark saying “With all of this info we don’t need to go around the Trail!”

            Wanktlers took the Pack up to the Type 2 Coal Tax Post - The inscription 24 & 25 VICT/CAP 42 is the parliamentary reference number for the London Coal & Wine Duties Continuance Act of 1861, the '24 & 25' refers to an Act that resulted from a Session of Parliament starting in the reigning monarch's 24th year since accession & continuing into their 25th; 'VICT' refers to the reigning monarch at the time, which was Queen Victoria;

Erected in the 1860’s, some 280 (210 remain) marked out an irregular circle of a 20 mile radius from the General Post Office in London, from Langley in the west to Gravesend in the east & from Ware in the north to Redhill in the south.  The City of London had taxed the import of Coal since Mediaeval times along a fair stretch of the Thames, as this was by ship in to the Port of London.  With the advancement of Canals & the Railways the idea of the Marker Posts to show 20 Mile the boundary was implemented to expand the ‘catchment area’.

It was mentioned that these were set up to pay for the Napoleonic Wars, no doubt some of the taxes did go to this, most of that was raised by the Pitt the Younger’s temporary ‘Income tax’ which was abandoned, then reintroduced every time another war flared up.  Even the politicians like Robert Peel who were against it brought it back as it was seen as an easy way of raising money, Gladstone kept it on to pay for the Crimean War.

Anyhow, the Trail now moved on in the knowledge that they were to seek out more of these Coal Marker Posts on the way around the Trail, but not all of these Markers are cast-iron, some are plaques on bridges, others of the earliest ones are stone obelisks!  All bear the arms of the City of London.

My Lil’ was quick to spot the double arrows coming in to the top of Heath Road’s eastern arm, where it joins Osborne road at a T-Junction, he let out a thrilled “On Inn!” but no one else was prepared to stop.  The arrows on the opposite side of the road pointed the way Northward along Osbourne Road to its termination where it joins Hawkshead Road where it took a left to head westward. 

My Lil’, Ewok, Tent Packer, No Eye Deer, Sludge, Mr X, Milf, Fliptop, Where’s Wally? Ketchup & TBT OBE were all quickly away down this route, they obeyed the arrows to cross to the northern side of the road where they found a CHK opposite the Jehovah Witnesses Kingdom Hall, though TBT OBE believed that it was a Mormon’ Seventh Day Adventist building until it was pointed out to him! 

The Trail was picked up over the adjacent playing field, this was the first area of dare I say it? ‘Moist’ long grass dampening Hash shoes as some of the Keenies seemed to waver at the front as they had to look for the small Ewok Hobbit home of a gap in the large hedgerow, most of the Hash had to cower down to squeeze their way a few feet through this to emerge on to a small green space to the east end of the dead end of Orchard Road.

A trot through bottom end of this small housing estate would lead the Keenies out on to the Swanley Bar Road, a Bar being a gatehouse or a turnpike to collect road tolls.  So, not only did you have to pay to use the roads, you also got stung if you were bringing certain goods in to the Corporation of London’s boundaries! 

All to a man (& woman) the Keenies all turned to the east, decending down in to the valley, a hobbling Mr X set off a little later after the rest & was happy to see No Eye Deer, Ewok, Tent Packer, My Lil’, Sludge Where’s Wally? & Fliptop all turn back from a Bar CHK right in the shallow of the vale!

The Hare was spotted running down toward the Keenies to make sure that they wouldn’t go too far as he wanted then to come back up to join the likes of Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster, Kylie & Paxo on the Short Cut that stuck with Hawkshead Road. 

Situated on the green at the western end of the populated area, by the last home stands the rather magnificent edifice of the Folly Arch, the history of this Red Brick gateway is a bit lost to the in the mists of time, the ornate entrance to the Gobion Estate to the North, it was probably built by Sir Jeremy Sambrooke, although another story is that it was erected to commemorate a visit of Henry VIII.

A local legend maintains that, as a show of extravagance, a farthing was placed under each brick. Generations of local children have tested this legend only to be disappointed as it is ‘Fake News’ but in the process severely damaged the Arch.  Kylie had the Pack hanging around by the arch as he faffed around with various cameras to take a shot for the Herts Farcebook page.

Another local story has it that Miss Muffet was Patience Moffat, daughter of entomologist Dr. Thomas Moffat who lived in the area from 1553 to 1604.  He had invited a poet over to the farm for Christmas & so the famous nursery rhyme was born.  Having recited the original, Wanklters went on to carry on to sing the lyrics of Judge Dread’s Big Six lyrics of “Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, her knickers all tattered and torn - It wasn't a spider who sat down beside her - Was Little Boy Blue with the horn!” [Thankfully there wan no Pebbledash there! –Ed]  Milf said it would make a good Hash Song!

Mr X explained that he has somewhere, several Judge Dread records, he was actually a white guy from Kent, who lay down saucy seaside postcard lyrics to Reggae/Ska beats in the early 1970’s, totally non-PC these days but right up Pebbledash’s alley & those of the rest of the Hash.  [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed]

The Hare now took the Hash over to look out northward panorama, where he pointed out Gobion’s wood in the distance, he added how that the planned route to run through this was curtailed as it would have been too far to get back out of, so after changing his descriptions to now include a part of the Royal Veterinary College grounds to the west, he then took the Pack over to a bench for the sweet stop.

When the Trail resumed, the Pack were directed down Swanley Bar Lane, for the Keenies this was the second trot this way, except this time they would progresses beyond the Bar CHK to make their way up the opposite side of the vale to come out on to the edge of the Great North Road, opposite the entrance to Leggatt’s.  There was no CHK on T-Junction, not on the busy road from Hatfield in to Potter’s Bar, just arrows directing the way up toward Potter’s Bar.

The south bound road was not the most scenic as the long noisy way is lined with trees & bushes all the way up to the edge of the ‘Little Heath’ area at the southern end of Potter’s Bar.  At the junction with eastern end of Hawkshead Road, the Trail would cross over to the eastern side of the road via the pedestrian crossing opposite a local Church to head up & around on to Thornton Road.

For a few, not too many these days, they would recall the Halcion days when they attended a couple of Parties which involved free Tiger beers, not to mention freebies having Hashed from a house a former Herts Hasher Distemper, Toby lived in.  Just at the corner in the U shaped road an HC was found.  Here Wanktlers informed the Keenies that this was the very boundary of the Welwyn Hatfield council’s territory.

As Milf, No Eye Deer, Mr X, My Lil’ Tent Packer, Ewok, Mark E Mark & Ketchup gathered at this point, Milf noticed that an elderly woman was watching the Pack from out of her front room window, Milf pointed this out with a “Subtly look to my right & you’ll see we’re being watched!” though Ewok had a bit of difficulty in working out where Milf’s right was!

The Hare went back to see how Paxo, TBT OBE, Lobby Lobster & Paxo were getting on, they were not too far behind, but some of the FRBs had now stiffened up & were eager to get going again.  Mr X tried to boost moral by explain that Wanktlers had missed out a fact that the Album Cover for Pink Floyd’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ was photographed in a field near to the Vets College.

When the Trail did resume. Mr X & My Lil’ were keen on the footpath off of the end of the small spur road where some new builds have been squeezed in, opposite this is a small Kissing-gate beside a row of garages, all of which seemed to excite Paxo as he declared that a girl should be next behind him through the metal barrier!  Mr X said to wait as he bent over to make out he was going to tie his shoelace!

Heading south-eastward along the north end of the sports field, a CHK was found by another Kissing-gate, this one by the fallow cattle fields to the south, but the Trail was picked further eastward along the southern edge of Leggatts Wood.  Mr X took advantage to break off here to get rid of the pint he had earlier when he went in amongst the trees to scare the squirrels, as he stood there he could feel bites to his legs by the local mossies so he soon got out of there & tried to catch up with the others but a ping in his knee slowed him up.

The SCBs of Sludge, TBT OBE & a now aching Mr X were directed by the Hare to head over the National Trust land of Morven Park, Wanktlers joined them for a short while before heading to the northern end of the park to meet the FRBs.

Milf, Tent Packer, My Lil’, Tent Packer, Ewok & even kylie headed off on the Long Trail option as it runs out to the Judges Hill road out toward Northaw, where it comes out to a precarious junction before it runs around to the south & down Cooper’s Lane on a long stretch back into Potters Bar, ending back by the end of the National Trust land.

As they came around on to the Hatfield Road, from off of the junction with the High Street, the Keenies would pick up the Trail that the SCBs reached after they had cut through paths worn in the long grass of the enclosed Morven Park.  It was now a simple task of heading back toward Little Heath, eventually turning off down Church Road to the west, then off on to Osbourne Road & On Inn.

Most of the Pack seemed to have food of some description, with TBT OBE going for ‘Vegetarian Chicken’ pie on what is the Pub’s Pie Night, Mark E Mark noticed that it was the only day of the week on the menu not to have a free pint with it!  When it came to the correct number of Marker Posts spotted on the Trail, Milf was right with Three (not including the same one twice at the start!)

The Haberdasher was busy getting in orders for jackets, yes folks it’s a sight we’re not used to but coming quite acclimatised to now.  The Circle was eventually called, though Ewok & Paxo had gone straight after getting back from the Trail, they were off to go shooting since the days have changed.  Ah well, at least we have Ketchup & Mark E Mark back to fill the gap of their absence on Mondays?

The Hare was rewarded for a good Historic Trail; TBT OBE was awarded his Hit for sending a message in which Fliptop was named ‘Rooftop’ then it was down to some lost property that Mark E Mark had handed in to the RA.  Not sure who was more surprised when the RA got out the socks, pants & top that mark E Mark thought was Milf’s but turned out to be a shocked Kylie!  It certainly caused a lot of laughter!