Date = 24th June 2018
Run Number = 1802
Venue = Chez My Lil’
Location = Welwyn Garden City
Hare/s = My Lil’
Beer = Golden Goblin; Lancaster Bomber; Golden Hen + Cider, Port & Jameson’s (Mostly in Skips Coffee!)
Runners = 11
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 12
Membership = Triathletes-feet!
What a great morning for a Hash, the Sun was shining, the temperature was Hot, Hot, Hot but there was just enough of a slight cooling breeze in the air to make things bearable. Everything couldn’t have been better, but for the RA his cycling journey over was interrupted with a flat tyre caused by a drawing pin stuck in it.
The Pack would be short on numbers this week, & it was nothing to do with any consumption of Sparky’s out of date food either. It just happened that there were a lot of the regular Hashers who were away on their Holibobs. However, it wouldn’t really mean there was a downside as the rest would have more food at the après Trail barbeque.
It looked like there were only going to be a couple of FRBs running this Trail. Wanktlers, No Eye Deer, Ewok & Mr X, though the latter wasn’t really feeling up to much at the start, after attending Rhino’s leaving Barbeque the day before, a day that was finished off with a few more drinks in the company of Junior & TC in a local Pub!
The Circle was called after Paxo reluctantly agreed that his position of ‘Hash Hen’ was above the RA’s on the Hierarchy info on the Hash Trash, though Skip & Psycho were still getting in to the their Hash gear for the Trail, all of which had the Hare tutting & tapping his watch!
The Circle was called out front of the Chez My Lil’ where the welcoming speech was made by Paxo, then the Hare took over to add what the pack could except to encounter out there On Trail. Included in the Hare’s Chalk Talk were mentions of hi-vis orange jacketed Marshalls for a Triathlon taking place, words of wisdom was not to follow their advice unless you wanted to do a half marathon?
There were short cuts mentioned & then without further ado the Pack were ushered away eastward along Howlands in a direction toward the new QE2 Hospital, though it would never go that far only a matter of a few hundred yards to Layton Street. Just before turning off to the left, the Pack saw Where’s Wally & Tent Packer, with Mrs Mallett, go by in their cars, at least the size of the Pack would now grow slightly.
Wanktlers, Ewok, No Eye Deer & Mr X in tow set off down Leyton Street [The Only Street in Welwyn Garden City & the naming of which upsets the local Preservation society to this day, as the original charter of Welwyn Garden City was not to have streets! – Ed] they were soon caught up by Where’s Wally? On the way he said that he wasn’t going to be staying after the Hash as he was going to a Barbeque!
The Trail took several turns to weave its way anti-clockwise around on to John Newsome Road & then around on to Purdom Road to run westward to the dead end of Lawrence Hall End. For Mr X this start was a bit of a labour, especially as temperature was already on the rise, but he rallied around as the FRBs made their way through the small park area, with a cordoned off children’s play area.
Mr X pointed out the Chalk markings on the tarmac path as he wondered if the Hare was responsible for these? Ewok was shocked to see that these chalk scrawlings were ‘Cocks’ & on the way out to Chequers there was the legend of “Up here if you Gay!” [Glad to see that the local kidz are gettin an edukation! – Ed]
The Trail would now head up to the Chequer’s Roundabout, pass through the under pass & on out on to the west of Chequersfield off the main road. Tent Packer was with Paxo & Skip as they had taken the offer of the Short Cut down Howlands. The Trail would cross the access road & then head in to the long wooded strip on Chequersfield.
On the way in it seemed that someone had been caught short, lots of used toilet paper littered the route, was it the Hare some wondered? Psycho was not impressed to see this, whoever it was! On the north bound path that weaves slightly along its route had some of the Pack crouching down as the way was blocked by a fallen tree that had a large enough gap between the boughs to allow access through tom the other side.
The Trail would come up to a CHK near to the end of the wood, by this point Paxo was being directed off out on to Chequers Field just as Mr X arrived with Tent Packer. Crossing the very end of the fallow land of tall wispy grasses & rushes within its water filled ditches, they weren’t always on this green space but were added to prevent access by Gypsy caravans.
A northward trot along by the homes that are only on the west side of Chequers & its large green space along by the main road, Tent packer & Mr X led the way, with the latter calling out “You’ve missed a bit!” to his Aunt & Uncle who were busy cleaning their front bay-window.
A long trot lay ahead as the arrows took the Pack over the dividing Burrowfields road, that leads into the small industrial estate of the same name that lies behind Chequers, at the end of the homes on Chequers the Trail changed to a westerly area over more fallow common, again installed with ditches by the local authority to prevent travellers making encampments.
The Dust would lead around the edge of the area of what was once a rubbish tip that used to be regularly dug up for old bottles, known as Spud’s Fields. Even to this day little bits of broken crockery turn up on the surface. Mr X had an advantage now, for he had seen some parts of the Trail as he had cycled along or pushed his bike when it got a puncture.
Mr X also knew that there would be a CHK point by the Traffic Lights crossing on the eastern side of the 20 Mile Bridge, being named so as it is exactly 20 miles from Kings Cross on the Main Line. Tent Packer had to be called back from searching the Falsie on the southern edge of the bridge, so it was over to the older of the two bridges spanning the lines, then on along the walkway which is slightly lower than the road.
The RA peered out over the edge of the bridge, unsurprisingly there was no sign of any Trains with the still ‘cocked-up’ time table. Out of the bridge & the Trail led over the roundabout to take to a passageway through to Rooks Close, then out on to Longcroft Lane, it was here that Where’s Wally? Caught up, as he led Ewok & Wanktlers to catch up with the other FRBs as they headed southward down Longcroft lane to where it turns a corner to the west to become Rooks Hill.
From the elbow of the bend in the road the Trail would head straight over the small green space to cross back over Stanborough Road by way of another crossing, here they would meet up with the Hare & Paxo, who were ahead of Psycho & Skip on the Short Cut. Everyone now made their way westward down by the local Sir Lenny Henry’s & the attached Beefeater Restaurant.
Beside Stanborough Road is the old Stanborough Lane, a small narrow road that was superseded by its wider parallel counterpart, but the shaded tree-line way was far nicer to run down as well as keeping the Pack off the busier main road & out of the strong sunshine.
A CHK was found by one of the side-entrance in the hedgerow to the Gosling Stadium, this had Wanktlers almost caught out as Ewok looked at the opposite gap to the main road but both were saved from making a faux-pahs as Where’s Wally? [Yes I did say Where’s Wally? – Ed] found the Trail further down Stanborough Lane to take them down to the next roundabout, another CHK there would catch out Wanktlers this time.
Mr X, Ewok, Tent Packer & Where’s Wally? all continued on down the next leg of Stanborough Lane, but the Trail would not stick with the tarmac for long, for the Hare wanted to keep the Keenies occupied & so set the Trail upon the steep wooden embankment on the southern edge of this old route. It was a bit of clamber up, but once at the top the going was on a desire line between the trees that is regularly used by local school kids, leading all the way to the set of steps that descend from Stanborough School’s detached extra Playing fields.
Back down on Stanborough Lane & the Trail would lead by the entrance to Police Headquarters, something to bring a shiver a certain member of the Pack, then on down toward the top end of the southern lake, but the FRBs were stopped in their tracks by a Bar CHK just before the car park!
Mr X knew that there was a gap back up the lane that leads out to a Bus Shelter, once out at this stop an arrow pointing over toward the northern side of Stanborough Lakes was found. The car park of which features in this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times as a notorious ‘Dogging Spot’. Skip took time out for a water stop on a stump overlooking the afore-mentioned car park!
The Dust would now lead the Keenies on north-eastward up along the back edge of the Stanborough School grounds, leading in through woodland on either side of the open gap with its stony path heading down the old route to Stanborough Swimming pool back in the day.
This Dust led out of the trees behind the Army Cadet Centre & continued up to the mound, not a natural feature by a creation made from the spoils from when the A1(M) was constructed. The Trail would come down the mound that has now been left to go fallow with wild flowers & nettles, it would then drop down near to the A1(M) down to a CHK by the river Lee.
A falsie over the bridge spanning the Lea was falsie, instead the Hare had other plans to run the Pack a short way down the would east bank of the Lea, at the bottom of the wooded ridge, the Hash would now encounter three water crossings through the shallows of the river Lea, an area where a very young Mr X would play in each summer.
The last of the water crossings was by the new paly area, with its High Ropes centre which is finally open after years of inquest as to how a Councillor fell 30 foot from the top of the climbing frames? She did survive the fall but it’s all rather hush-hush.
The Trail would run on route on the path southward between the river Lea & the boating lake, from east bank to the west bank, then back again two more times, with the third crossing finally came out by the boating lake centre, all of which amused the local civilians. Some of Herts would have loved to have had a go on the boats here but instead were out in Greece lapping it up! The Dust made its way down to the southern end of the north lake, where a CHK was found a few feet away before the foot bridge over the River Lea.
Trail was picked up over the Lea but this time it was by way of the footbridge, the Trail would drop down beside the river’s edge to lead beneath the Stanborough Road. Ewok & Psycho had plenty of headroom, but the rest had to crouch down at the start of the river’s course beneath the main road, as it progressed the headroom grew higher so they could run out by the abandoned Shopping Trolley which acts as a Marker Post demarking the boundary between Welwyn Garden City & that of Hatfield!
Now on the fishing lake side of the park, it was pretty busy as this is where the swimming part of the Triathlon took place earlier, thankfully the water crossings for the Pack were over by now as from the CHK by the bridge over to the south lake car park the Trail would be found to run through the car park, then out over the footbridge to take to the path that runs between the lake on the left & the river Lea on the right.
Along here Mr X met up with an old work colleague who was fishing, he said that the triathlon meant the fishing was held up until after the swimming was over. There were a few canoes out on the lake, but no larger sailing boats due to the Triathlon.
Mr X, who was now well ahead of the rest soon made his way from the CHK at the southern end of the fishing lake, via the marshy conservation area on the duckboards above the wet ground to cross over the grass.
The Pack were now running in between the lines of white triangular markers that denoted the route of the Triathlon up to a Water Station before ‘Tramps Bridge’ as the tunnel in the main line railway embankment is known locally. On the east southern side of the bridge Mr X stopped to talk to a woman & her young son marshalling the Triathlon.
Unbelievably she thought that Mr X was taking part in the Triathlon, but he couldn’t make any false pretences & explained that he was on the Hash before he set off up to a Bar CHK along the dusty dry farm track toward Woodhall Farm. On his return to the footpath that runs northward alongside the bottom of the Railway line embankment he would meet up with the Hare & Lola.
Both would take this route below the railway embankment & be overtaken by a few ‘Proper Runners’ before the rest of the Pack would find their way on what was also a part of the Triathlon course as they made their way to the final CHK of the Trail, this being at the corner of the split in the paths along two of the four edges of the newer estate that sits on Chequers Field.
Ewok was confident on continuing along beside the railway, Mr X on the other hand has far more local knowledge & called it correctly that it would head eastward along toward the bottom end of Creswick Plantation. On the way Ewok, Tent Packer, Wanktlers & Mr X were cheered on by a couple of small kids, none had the heart to tell them that were only running this bit to get back to the Beer & were not partaking in the Triathlon.
It would not be the final time the Hash would be mistaken for athletes, for having made their way over the wooden footbridge over the Creswick stream, the Trail would lead out on to Chequers & once over the eastern side of the main road the Pack would make their way around by the Chequer’s Roundabout on to Howlands one last time, it was in down-ramp to the underpasses that they would be asked by another Marshal if they were a part of the Triathlon. The Hash was explained to her & she seemed happy with that. Where’s Wally? Would part for the Keenies at this point.
Back at Chez My Lil’ & his folks were rapidly packed off for lunch, in a failed bid to keep down the embarrassment factor? Skip got to meet his ‘Favourite Virgin’ later on when My Lil’s Mum returned, Anyhow, the gazebo was set up & a couple of parasols to keep the Pack out of the Sun, the gazebo having a small TV set up within so the Hash could enjoy the England v Panama Match. What a sporting weekend it was, England won the Cricket (Men & Women) & Lewis Hamilton won the French Grand Prix & H4 staggered around a part of the Triathlon course!
Having started on the snacks, plenty of them to get Lola’s nose twitching at the salami ones, Wanktlers adorned himself with his blue ‘Lucky’ England Shirt [Which is apparently not being washed while England keep winning! Let’s hope he reeks like an old tramp by the final! – Ed]
The barbeque was lit & again there was plenty of great food prepared in time for Paxo to cluck “Women first!” the food was excellent, during the scoffing of food Tent Packer produced a new hand drawn Hash Shirt Design for H4 everyone agreed that this was rather good, looks like we’ll be getting some new Haberdashery!
The Down-Downs were taken while there was a break in the Football, with England being five - nil up it wouldn’t have mattered if it over run. The Hare was rewarded for an excellent Trail, while Wanktlers was up for being ‘ultra-competitive’ with calming to have swum in the River Lea, run part of the R*nning course & sitting on Mr X bike meant that he had completed a Triathlon! The last Down-Down went to Mr X for doing a little Sludge on the Trail & cutting off a corner on the lakes!
After the England match there were more surprises as My Lil’ set up a game of Beer Pong, when most were bloated already. After the First Round Mr X went through with the highest score, then it was a mix & match of equal scores. Probably the best of these rounds was the one between No Eye Deer & Psycho for last place! Eventually the final was whittled down to be between Ewok & Mr X, needless to say Mr X’s Hash travels have given him experience of playing this before & he came out on top. Though by the later rounds everyone had given up in downing the beer in the Beer-pong cups.
Everyone got a prize, ranging from carbon filtered ‘safety undergarments’ to a pink ‘fanny pack’ [That’ the American name for a bum-bag! – Ed] First prize for Mr X was a mini Jenga game… for drunks. It has two shot glasses & some of the Jenga bricks have “Down in one!” written on them [I can see this getting messy! – Ed]
However, the Jenga game may be fun to play, possibly frustrating for some of the competitive amongst the group, but nothing as maddening as trying to get the plastic bricks back in the plastic box. Mr X spent ages attempting this, then finally Ewok managed it. [Me thinks we all may know one of the Herts Christmas party less £5 Secret Santa pressies! – Ed]
At least Mr X could get over the stress & strains of packing up the Tippla by indulging in a slice of Psycho’s cake, which was brilliantly complimented by the excellent orange sauce. Skip, on the other hand, relaxed by drinking coffees that were liberally dosed with Jamesons.