Date =                            9th July 2018

Run Number =             1804    

Venue =                        The Crown & Falcon

Location =                    Puckeridge

Hare/s =                        Milf & Kylie

Beer =                           Spitfire, Ghost Ship, Adnams

Runners =                    22

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          3

Hounds =                      2

Total =                          28

Membership =            Under grey clouds!



              As the Pack congregated at the Crown & Falcon, the skies overhead looked ominously dark.  Some, like No Eye Deer thought that they felt a spot of rain in the air but the RA reassured the Hash that it would not rain that evening.  The RA did notice that No Eye Deer, Lobby Lobster & Mumblehead had all gone for the more feminine cut tops to keep cool, but none were Hash Shirts! [Note to the Haberdasher will have to look at some of these revealing Hash tops to amend this! – Ed] However, Fliptop, My Lil’ & Mark E Mark all went for the coordinated Blue UK Nash Hash 2108 tops!

            Milf was the First Hare to arrive at the Pub, while Kylie eventually ambled up with just a few minutes before the GM called the Circle.  There was a hold up by the GM & then the Hares with the respective Introductions & Chalk Talk, all in order to allow Jack & Sarah to park up & get Florence’s buggy sorted out.

            This week saw the return of 1-2-1, who just happens to be over for a Wedding & he has also managed to fit in an Iron-Man event, but the latter may be forfeited due to the chance of England reaching the World Cup finals, in which case he’s go down as a DNF!  [He doesn’t have to worry about that now & can he partake in the Iron-Man! – Ed]  Eventually the show got on the road, with Walkers being advised to stick with Kylie & the R*nners being under the watchful gaze of Milf.

            The Trail would start, much to My Lil’s annoyance, with a CHK directly opposite the Pub Car Park! [come on, it wasn’t right outside the Crown & Falcon! – Ed] From there the Pack were soon heading out in all points of the compass, with the majority searching for the Trail on the high Street, all of which would end in False Trails.  Mr X being the only one to head off in the opposite direction from the rest, searching down Station Road to a point beyond the bus shelter for northbound services, there he found the Trail.

            The arrows led him through in to Roundhaye, a small estate off to the west of Station Road.  It would soon become clear that the ‘Out Trail’ would be one of ‘twists & turns’ as he followed the Trail through the area of garages & then up on to the uncapped track that leads from the allotments on ‘Standon Poors Land’.  Then emerged back down on Station Road again, Mr X was just far enough ahead of the other Keenies that they didn’t see him get back on Station Road.

            A CHK was found where South Road splits at the right fork from Station Road to the left, Mr X found the Falsie down Station Road & he returned to find that 1-2-1, Ketchup, My Lil’, Tent Packer, Fliptop, Alfa Male & Spotted Dick with Poppy, where all coming back from South Road after that turned out to be another Falsie.  Heading back toward the congregated SCBs it was soon made clear by Milf that she thought the bit through the garages was missed out, Mr X explained that it wasn’t, which pleased her greatly.

            Looking back southward down Station Road, it was noticed that behind the bright red pillar-box in the fork in the roads was an alleyway almost hidden by the large hedges on either side, the Keenies now searched this & the Trail was picked up again on the tarmac footpath that runs by the old, black, cast iron village pump.  This path would turn several times as it made its way around clockwise to emerge out by the Old Persons Place on Bachelors.  Milf said to wave at the old people in the complex, but none could be seen, the RA was more concerned that Sludge & TBT OBE would be rounded up as escapees for this Maximum Security Twilight Home!

            One arm of ‘starfish like’ Bachelors was a falsie Mr X found, so it was back to the another arm & then around to squeeze out through a hedgerow on to the green, well slightly brown, grass open space, with its sports pitches & at it southern end Sports Club & play areas.  However, the Trail was picked up at the northern end of the park, leading up behind the windbreak line of trees.  Those who were further back on the Trail would see 1-2-1 Ketchup, Alfa Male, Tent Packer & other FRBs run this line to come out on to South Road where they turned to run down this on its south-eastern direction [Why is it called South Road then? – Ed]

Anyway, the RA noted that Fliptop was among those who has spotted the change of directions the FRBs were taking, so he was among the few who would cut off the top end of the sports field, he even out ‘Sludged’ Sludge with the biggest vector down to the south-eastern corner of the park, coming out on to the dead end of South Fields.

 For the third & final time the Trail take to Station Road.  The arrows led to the end of Station Road, on the way Mr X & Milf tried to encourage a couple of civilian girls out jogging to meet the Hash in the Pub afterwards.  The Trail turned eastward at the T-junction with the Stortford Road, where a CHK was found next to the crossing.

1-2-1 & ketchup quickly dealt with the CHK point & were over the main road then back a few feet to the west where they found the Trail, marked as “LC” with an arrow pointing though gate in the hedgerow to the pasture behind New Street farm.  With no livestock to deal with it was a nice trot through to the southern end. 

TBT OBE & Fliptop decided that they would join Mr X on the Long Trail, as they followed on after 1-2-1, Ketchup, Where’s Wally? Alfa Male, Tent Packer, My Lil’ as they were spotted disappearing out over the River Rib by way of the narrow concrete bridge.

Having passed by the old Mill house, there was no need for Mr X to check down by the Ford on Paper Mill Lane, for he had already seen the FRBs heading in toward Standon.  Hertfordshire had the first Paper-Mills in the UK hence the name of the lane that leads back in to Standon, this would bring the Pack out by the Pudding Stone, there some would be lured up the hill to the east of the southern end of the village, but the real Trail would turn away from the east to head northward through the High Street.

The arrows were now strategically placed through Standon High Street on the same side of the road as the Church.  Which meant, like earlier when the Pack were kept on the opposite side from the Heron, the Keenies were kept away from the side the Star & the Bell sit on.  The latter Hostelry being the venues for Thursday’s Second Prize in the Quiz for the Herts Team.  My Lil’ said “That’s not bad when only two teams entered!” [Meow! – Ed]

All the Keenies managed to get by the hostilities to come back out on to the Stortford Road again, there they were directed back over to the northern side of the road.  Mr X arrived just as Kylie was ushering Lobby Lobster, Mark E Mark, Mumblehead, Sarah, Jack & Florence around from the earlier CHK on the crossing.  They were heading up through the white farm like fencing & gates to pass into the small industrial estate on Mill End.  There was little calling from up front, so Mark E Mark asked Mr X if he was the front of the Pack.  Mr X didn’t know?

The Trail passed out between the units to take to the fallow field & paddock behind, then the ground the footpath was on began to rise, a CHK at the end of a wooden section was already marked before Mr X began climbing up some 45 feet in height, something that didn’t slow 1-2-1 up, but slow Where’s Wally? attempted run to a walk as he passed by the RA on this grassy chalk hill.

Once at the top of the ridge there was a splendid view, not to mention a nice cooling breeze that upon his arrival had Mark E Mark commenting “It’s bloody freezing up here out the fire on!” A remark that had Lobby Lobster & others looking at him in disbelief.

Mr X found that Milf was already there, with 1-2-1, Ketchup, My Lil’, Spotted Dick, Tent Packer as the Wine Gums & Fruit Pastels were being passed around, Milf said that the Jelly Babies were with TBT OBE, who was back with Fliptop.  Alfa Male arrived, he too must have gone wrong earlier, may be led astray up the hill in Standon?

The Keenies were eager to get on with things, but it was all held up as TBT OBE & Fliptop came in to sight at the bottom of the hill, the FRBs opted not to be rude but to stop to have a Jelly Baby before heading off.  There seemed to be some concern as to where Kylie was, was he still with Mumblehead, Sarah, Jack & Florence in the buggy?  Just as Lobby Lobster asked the RA if she could use her technology on the Hash to find out their whereabouts, along the top of the ridge the five of them appeared after taking the easy, less steep path for the buggy.

When the Trail began again the Keenies were off away through the broad bean field to the north, it was a nice trot along plateau until it reached the hedgerow lining the ditch that the Braughing Warren Bourne flows through to the Rib in less drier times.  On the bottom step of the climb up the wooden steps over the Hedgerow was the Chalk Legend of “Warning Danger!” which had Mr X saying “Waring! Warning! Will Robinson!” as in Lost in Space.

More warning signs were chalked on the descending steps, especially the loose one & the missing wooden planks, everyone managed to get over this, but there were a few screams from the SCBs on their clamber down. A slight easterly turn from due north would lead up to the Hedgerow separating two levels of farming land, an arrow pointed the way in a 90° turn to head over to the east. 

It was a long stretch, with lots of moans about “We’re heading away from the Pub!” by those on the Hash with homing pigeon instincts when it comes to alcohol!  Care was needed on the route away from Puckeridge as a few treacherous holes were lurking hidden in the longer grass in the centre of the tracks on the route over to the woodland, nearer to Darney Wood & the level of the land dropped down to  CHK at the outside corner of the wood.

Where’s Wally? Decided that he would go wrong, while Mr X said it was likely that as 1-2-1 hadn’t come back from up the hillside along the chalky track beside the wood, that the Trail would be found that way. So a climb up the hill & the likes of Sludge, Tent Packer, My Lil’, Alfa Male & Ketchup followed on behind 1-2-1 on a long route of Braughing by-way 16 that leads into Braughing Village.  Mr X didn’t think that even Kylie would set the Trail to be that long? [Oh I don’t know! – Ed] for he knew that there was a diagonal footpath leading away through the crop of barley.

Once Mr X saw the footpath marker post, he noticed that those far up ahead had stopped & were now milling around.  So, he set off on the path that was covered with flattened barley stalks, except these had all been flattened in the opposite direction & no dust could be seen for a long way in to the crop field.  Milf was about to call him back, as she said the Trail went off by a Maker post, then she saw the post in the edge of the woodland.

1-2-1 & Alfa Male passed Mr X just as he stumbled upon the arrow in one of the crossing tractor tracks, Mr X had also noticed that Ketchup was putting in a great effort to keep up with 1-2-1 as he passed the RA by on another long stretch which lay ahead.  The narrow route through the sharp barley corns would leave the Keenies with many scratches on their legs, but at least this route began to descend the hillside to come down a level, it wasn’t at that of the river just yet as the Trail ran out by the treeline of a lower field to take to Braughing Footpath 19.  

Just before the northeast corner the Keenies met up with Fliptop & Spotted Dick, who had taken a short cut but left the likes of Custard, Lobby Lobster, Mumblehead, Custard & their new pooch, at least they would cross the River Rib without getting wet, something that Mark E Mark & TBT OBE didn’t do as they actually waded through the Rib to take the biggest short cut of the evening!

Having come down through the tree line, the Trail would pass through the ornate, well-kept grounds of Gatesbury, where an old mill stands.  Once by the curly haired pooch who lives at the mill, the Trail led out the fancy driveway to a CHK by the old, rusty iron sluice gates which looked as if they haven’t been used in years.  Here there were two options, the first being up to the Braughing road & then back in to Puckeridge, or back up along the Bunt, the former Buntingford Railway!  [Phew, so glad that there is a V to the left of the B! – Ed]

For Sludge the temptation of taking the shortest route back via the old road was too tempting, as much as Milf shouted, hollered & whistled loudly to get him to come back, it wasn’t going to work as he headed away with My Lil’ in tow.  Others like Fliptop did turn back as the choice of the former railway line was where the real Trail would go [Come on, the chance of the Trail taking to an old railway on one of Kylie’s Trails, seriously? He would have been too excited not to set Dust along this bit! – Ed]

The level of the old line rose up on its south bound run to a CHK by the corner of the woodland, on the way the Keenies could see & hear the SCBs back on the other side of the valley & the river Rib.  The Trail would now take to the inside edge of this wood & follow a westbound desire line of a path between the old hawthorns, this would run in to the finger of at a north-western corner, there a CHK was found.  Further along the edge of the finger of woodland, the Dust was found as this becomes the tree line separating the crop fields.

The Trail continued on the North-western desire line, this was the last leg of the Trail & it formed a large Z shaped trot, with a turn to the southwest, then a northern leg along a separating hedgerow, before returning to a southwestern section.

It was quite noticeable that this area is used by the local dog-walkers, many of whom can’t pick up after their pooches.  This would come out by the old cut off section of the Braughing lane, coming around by the White Hart Pub to find the On Inn just beyond this & before heading down the High Street.

The Pack all returned, some weren’t too impressed that the Pub no longer allows Pooches in, or in the garden, something it says on their t’Internet blurb.  Anyhow, it was nice enough to sit outside, especially as the grey clouds had thinned.  The Pack were joined by Mel & Tony, where discussions for the decorating of one Wheelbarrow took place (with the self-proclaimed Drinking Club Section)

The Circle was called, with the Hares rewarded for a great Trail of an hour & 10 minutes, which would have been an hour without such a long wait at the Sweet Stop.  2-1-2 was awarded his for a potential Did Not Finish in the upcoming Iron Man!  Where’s Wally? Got his for his failed effort to run the chalky hillside; while My Lil, Fliptop & Mark E Mark got theirs for the coordinated Hash Shirts!

Once the Circle was over, the Pack retreated into the Bar, for the watered grass of the back garden had brought out lots of bugs & the bity things were at it on most legs, lots of bending over & scratching was taking place on some already red scratched legs from the barley.