Date = 16th June 2018
Run Number = 1800
Venue = The Gibberd Garden Beerfestival
Location = Harlow
Beer = Boudica Red Queen; Colchester Beared Lady, Old King Cole, London Porter; Grain Lignum Vitae; Iron Pier Porter; Mauldon’s Lemon Adder; Moonshine Liberty; Redemption Victorian Mild; New River Isle of Rye; Turpins Newton Galss IPA to name just a few!
Hare/s = Mr X
Runners = 8
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 8
Membership = Learning the difference between ‘Use by’ & ‘Sell By’ Dates!
Weather wise things improved as the day went on, when the Hare set off early in the morning to lay the Trail there had been spots of rain in the air, but upon arrival this had all blown over, by the end of the Trail it was just light overcast cloud.
Sparky arrived at the Station car park, he tried to confuse the situation as to who would stow away Hash bags, but eventually as he was the only one with a vehicle, so he was given direction to take to the nearby Chinese restaurant to park up his car up at the opposite end of Hart Lane, near to the White Hart Pub. He could then follow the SC markings backward.
This week saw the return of Foxy to the Hash, it was noticeable that she had a deep husky voice like Marriella Frostrup, this was the result of attending a Music Festival in North Wales. She thought that there would be more of a turn-out for the 1800th, Mr X explained it is a bit of a hard one with having to get Public Transport & it being a Saturday. All the same it was good to see her back after her travels around the World. We will have to have a weekend up in Manchester some time now Foxy is back there.
Not sure on how many would turn out for this R*n, the previous year only saw three partake on the Trail, the Hare decided that he would set it so there would be a longer section for any Keenies, should they arrive. Last to make it to the Circle was Fliptop who’s Train was slightly late arriving at the Harlow Mill, but at least it was running! Fliptop said that at least he would have no trouble in getting the R*n number correct as he welcomed the Hash.
Sparky arrived back just as Mr X was going through his ‘Chalk Talk’ where he informed the Pack that the Trail had short cuts, as well as having a longer version that was a bit difficult to Run in places as the footpaths had all gone where new housing was taking place, anyone who went that way would have to take an anti-clockwise direction around the outside of the metal perimeter fencing.
The Tail began with everyone, except Sparky, falling for a short Falsie under the Cambridge Road Bridge, My Lil’, Stand-in Shit, Max Factor & Alfa Male all saw the chalk arrows from when they had come down the steps of the footbridge after alighted the Train. They would be back to leave the Car Park by way of the footpath ramp up beside the Cambridge Road, at the top of this a curved arrow pointed the way northward on the double lane fly-over.
Sparky had already seen the start of the Trail on his way back from Parking up the Car, & he had almost mistakenly set off down the alleyway leading westward through the industrial units north of Harlow Mill Station. The rest followed on as they embarked on what the Hare had earlier described as “More scenic parts of Harlow” as the alleyway turned by 90° to head northward between the fenced-off units.
At the end of the back of the local recycling centre the path took a counter turn of 90° to head westward out on to Temple Bank road, named after the Roman Temple that was discovered near by. A north bound run took the Pack up to a CHK where the service road joins River Way, when the Hare set the Trail along here it was packed with queued up cars waiting to get to the Tip, but by a quarter past eleven all had gone, perhaps there was a football match on?
The Hare was happy to see that Foxy & Sparky had gone wrong at the CHK, having realised that they had searched a Falsie they called back My Lil’ from heading any further eastward where there was no Trail. The Hash moved on westward on through the industrial estate, the Hare was surprised to see that this was quiet as well, there was was no sign of the many high-vis wearing, smoking Polish workers at the bus stop, the only sign of their presence was on solitary car with Polish flags sicking up from the windows.
The Trail turned around a bend & crossed over to a CHK on the entrance to a route up to the edge of the River Stort Navigation. The short route through the Nature Reserve led up to another CHK that was located on the footpath running east-west by the river’s edge, the Trail was quickly picked up on the eastbound footpath up along between the rows of brambles lining the river bank.
The Trail was quiet a pleasant green change from the earlier drabness of the industrial estate, the only spoiler was the noise of the recycling plant. Along the way eastward the Trail would head through a cooler shaded wooded area, in this another CHK was found, but again this didn’t seem to fool the Keenies, so Foxy, Sparky & My Lil’ would begin to get away from Fliptop, Stand-in Shit, Max Factor & Alfa Male, perhaps it was the lack of Hash Shirts that made this quartet at the back give up on running?
The Hare had to make an effort in catching up with the FRBs, as he wanted them to hold one of the CHKs a little further up on the Trail. Just like last week the Trail would have a dead animal on it, this being a rat that was marked with flour. On the way out through the wood the Hare still marked the Trail with more obvious fresh flour, with a liking to drop it on dog mess to prevent ignorant civilians from kicking out the Trail, Mr X noticed a rather large turd that was not there when he set the Trail & it looked like it was not from any kind of animal. The RA wondered if any of the FRBs had been caught short up ahead of the rest?
Anyhow, the Trail came out of the wood beside the Premier Inn at Harlow Mill, it moved a few yards up to the crossing & then over to a CHK on the north side bridge over the River Stort. Mr X crossed over to find the Foxy, Sparky & My Lil’ had all gone wrong again, searching the tow paths on either side of the Navigation. This would allow Fliptop, Stan-in Shit, Max Factor & Alfa Male to gain back the ground they had lost on the Keenies, for it would take a while for My Lil’ & Foxy to twig that the Trail could be up on Old Road that heads away to the southeast.
This quieter residential street rises gentle up the hill side & as the Keenies made their way along to the plateau, a call of “Hold the next CHK!” rang out - for at this point by the White Hart Pub the Sparky-mobile was parked up & it would be easier for those who were taking the shorter Trail to get their bags & fold up chairs out of the car & to walk with them to the Beerfestival.
The SCBs arrived just as the Keenies had unloaded the car, it was here that even Sparky had decided on sticking with the shorter option of the Trail, so the loop around by the old Chapel & across the small common to the building site of the former farm land to the east of Old Harlow was thankfully not Run.
The Hare wasn’t fussed by there being no one keen enough to attempt the whole Trail as he too didn’t want to go around this awkward route where the proper footpaths are now temporarily out of bounds.
The whole pack now made their way through the gate to the rear of the White Hart, this small enclosed area would lead out to the fields to the east via a slight change in direction through the wooded edge of the field. Once over the wooden footbridge over the stream in the ditch at the edge of the field, the Hash were confronted with the sight of the fallow land ahead. The normally easy to walk path was now overgrown with wild plants of all descriptions, a heaven for insects but slightly hard work to make your way through.
As the Trail progressed over the ridge beside the railway line the RA said that he couldn’t believe that there was no one in Harlow with a machete that could have cleared this path? Later on when hearing this Max Factor & Alfa Male would mention that on the way back from the Cinema the night before they were stopped by the Police who were looking for someone with a knife! This news made them run back home.
For some reason only be known to Sparky, he decided that he had to try & run this bit through the long grass, the others had more sense in walking over ground that didn’t show any sign of what was lying in wait under the grass. One thing that everyone would experience was the irritating effects of grass seeds getting stuck in Hash socks & shoes
Mr X now added that he was glad the Pack didn’t go around the building site on the opposite side of the railway line it was pretty hard to run on the path the local dog walkers were using, especially as it had just had sewage & other utilities buried underneath. He went on to say that the housing estate backs right up to the other side of the railway line, which spreads all the way up from the Sheering road, to give the Pack some kind of idea how large this estate will be when finally built.
The Pack came down to the footpath that run through the tunnel in the railway embankment, here there was no CHK, for most knew this route leads up beside the Gibberd Garden’s grounds. Stand-in Shit said “You do get to see the best nits of Harlow!” as he joined the rest on making use of the broken up safety barrier boards that had been laid down to act as Duck-boards over the watery puddles across the entrance to the tunnel.
Once up on the eastern side of the Train line, the Pack would pass the On Inn as they made their way up to the entrance to the Gibberd Garden, on the way they could see some of the ‘art works’ on display. [One day we’ll have to look at these! – Ed] Out at the top of the track & a small queue of some eight people was found already waiting to gain entry as it was five to the hour.
Once inside the Hash set up a little enclave in the Marquee, by now the weather had looked like there was no threat of any rain, not with the RA being in such a happy mood as he approached the Bar. Now the Hash had the nice choice of where to start on the Ales!
Stand-in Shit decided to be different from the rest by starting on the strongest of the Ales, then working down in ABV, while the rest had the opposite idea of starting on the 4.5 & 5% before going up to the stronger ones. The Pack would makes notes on their favourite Ales, while Max Factor went for the Ciders available. Someone should have made a chart to see at what the two strategies would cross. Sadly My Lil’ the Brentwood Brewery couldn’t make this year’s festival, which meant that there would be none of their BBC 1, for most this was a relief as it is only 1.5%!
With Ales selected, the Pack settled around their table. Mr X set up his Texas State Flag seat, to match his fat boy Texas State Flag shorts, while Stand-in Shit set up his portable table! Fireball had warned him that he had the wrong bag, but he didn’t believe her as he thought that it was a chair in the holdall!
Everyone brought some picnic food to lay out an impressive spread, everyone was impressed with Fliptop’s home made dip, the sound of shock in their voices gave this away as they complimented him on his culinary skills. Mr X took a shine to the pickled Jalapeños, which he seemed to add to everything he ate. He also manage to pick up Stand-in Shit’s Beer voucher card, which only became apparent when Stand-in Shit couldn’t find it & Mr X found he now had two in his pocket.
Of course things wouldn’t be the same without Sparky bringing something special along, as he always does, the first the Hash were alerted to this was when Stand-in Shit queried why the Maltesers he was eating had no crunch to them, just soft glue like centres. On closer forensic inspection the very faded ‘Sell by date’ revealed to be 21/07/16, then My Lil’ looked at the packet for the Water Biscuits also brought along by Sparky showed that they were also two years out of date!
Unbelievably Sparky surpassed all of this when he produced a packet of Fig-Rolls, as he moaned about his relations giving him out of date food [They probably know it’s the best place to get rid of it? – Ed] the date on these just happened to be 11th April 2011, the rest of those siting around the table were agog when he then opened these up & began to eat them, strangely no one else was tempted to try one.
The Down-Downs were halves of whatever the recipient was drinking, these were later replaced by the RA, so everyone got one. Mr X for setting the Trail; Foxy for her return to the Hash; Stand-in Shit for bringing a fold-up table; Sparky for out of date food; Fliptop for his culinary delights, Max & Alfa for lack of Hash gear to name a few!