Date = 26th August 2018
Run Number = 1811
Venue = Chez Psycho et Skip
Location = St Evenage
Hare/s = Little Hole & Sludge
Beer = Spitfire; Golden Hen;
Runners = 22
Full Moon Survivors = 2
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 24
Membership = In Forster Country!
The Pack circled up at Chez Psycho et Skip, it soon became obvious that there were some of the regulars stalwarts missing. It turned out that Mr X, My Lil’ & Wanktlers had got the Train up an hour earlier than need, all due to the fact that most services were being cancelled due to lack of drivers that morning! At Welwyn Garden City the Station announcer told those who wanted to head in to London that they should “get the Train on Platform One, as there would not be another one for some foreseeable time!”
However, being really early two of the trio were now in need of some ‘Hair of the Dog’ as both My Lil’ & Mr X were feeling the effects of Banana Bender’s Shed Party on the F.U.K. Full Moon the day before, this over run slightly as Wanktlers had the last pint of the best of the 4% ales, which meant the other two had really only one choice of drinking the Abbot Reserve, plus a share of the three-quarter of a pint that was a freebie of the last of the one Wanktlers had.
On the way up from the Pub, the rain started, something that the weather forecasters had said was due to hit around 15:00Hrs, not this early. At least it was only a light mizzle & not the green strip as shown on the satellite images of the predicted path of a band of heavy rain.
If the strong Ale wasn’t enough to make these three late, when they came around on to Granby Road they encountered Paxo & Pebbledash getting ready for the Trail. Mr X commented on this being Forster Country, Pebbledash corrected him by pointing out that the nearby Foster Close only had one ‘r’ & that was at the end!
After a little
interference assistance from Paxo in directing the others
down the wrong passageway, one of the myriad of options linking Granby Road
through to Chancellor’s Road. They came back to the Paxo-mobile to find that it
had now been abandoned as both Paxo & Pebbledash had now disappeared on the
Thankfully Sludge & Skip were now leading Flanders & Mrs Mallet around at the Tail of the Pack, Skip pointed out the quickest option to his abode, this was the very one that the trio first considered in taking through Boswell Gardens! Anyhow, they dropped of their bags in the garage & then attempted to catch up with the rest, though this did take a while before they finally got back on Track after the rest of the Hash, who were well on their way out of the Brambles to the fields north of the very top of Stevenage.
From the CHK on the edge of the farm land Mr X could see the rest of the Pack strung out far ahead of him to the northeast, to the southeast he then spotted Flanders & Mrs Mallet heading along the bottom of the fields by the back of the homes in a direction over toward St Nicholas Church, this sits in the heart of an area locally known as ‘Forster Country’, as the esteemed writer EM Forster, author of ‘A Passage to India’ lived in these parts.
Skip had a change of direction as he came back toward Mr X, in passing he said that Mr X was going to be on a long trot around, as the two passed each other Mr X acknowledge that he was in need of a long trot to clear out the cobwebs of the day before.
Having passed under the power lines supported by the pylons, a CHK was found at the field’s tree-line where another footpath branched off over more farm land toward Gravely, some of the Keenies were caught out by this before the Trail continued on its north-westerly direction, this path is a new gravel track that according to a laminated notice was ‘improved’ from 2017 onwards from a footpath to Bridleway No.8 as it runs beside Ten Acre Plantation.
After a nice long trot the Pack found themselves at a CHK on the first elbow of a bend in Back Lane & it appeared most had found the correct route straight on to the second, opposite turn in the lane a few hundred yards up by the horse paddocks from the first. A friendly cyclist told Mr X that the rest were so many metres ahead of him, which confirmed the marking that Sludge had place down on the CHK.
On the second bend Mr X would catch up with Paxo, Sarah & Florence in her buggy, as well as 3D & Slug accompanied by Sludge, all of them encountered as more Cyclists out on an event rode by. A CHK was found by another turn in Back Lane, this one being toward Chesfield Manor. The Likes of Sparky, Milf, Tent Packer, Underfelt, Where’s Wally? Wanktlers, My Lil’ were all looked after by Little Hole as they took to the northbound drive up toward the Stables & then off on to the eastbound footpath.
Sludge now offered up a short cut to those at the back, but Slug decided that he would go around the Full Trail to keep an eye on Port & Starboard who were already up ahead with the FRBs, while 3D joined Mr X, Paxo, Sarah & Florence on the short cut along by the equestrian centre course that can apparently be hired out, as it ran into the wooded section of Back Lane. Sludge took to the Full Trail option himself, marking the CHKs along the way just in case there would be any really late, late comers, as well as guiding the likes of TBT OBE & Slug around.
The main Pack enjoyed being out in the farm fields, passing the remains of St Etheldreda’s Church The church was dismantled & deconsecrated in 1750, this once served the long abandoned village that was once there. The Keenies embarked on a loop around to Back Lane again, heading southward when it emerged out at Tilekiln wood the rustic road runs through. Turning south-westward the Keenies came around to join the Trail the SCBs had picked up before them, entering an estate by way of a pass-through with two white plastic bollards with a red dog Waste bin to one side.
The arrows directed the Pack on through to the estate, starting on the dead-end of Orwell Drive to a CHK at the junction with Severn Way. Mr X checked out Severn Way, as it had a tantalisingly looking potential route at its west end, turns out that what looks like the start of the by-way was not what it appeared to be, at least later on Mr X was happy to hear that Sludge had actually been up there to check it out himself.
Port’s arrival heralded the fact that FRBs had finally caught up with the SCB, with Milf, Tent Packer, Underfelt, Where’s Wally & Sparky passing by Mr X, Paxo, 3D, Sarah & Florence as the Trail led along the Great Ashby Road, a long section that sweeps around from the west to the south as a long curving road from the newer estates & across the road from Canterbury Park to the left. Just beyond St Andrew’s Drive & the Trail led off to the right, running down through the tree-line on to what is now the dead end of the old Weston Road.
To the right-hand side the Pack would pass by ‘Rooks Nest’, childhood home to EM Forster, this was known as 𝕳𝖔𝖜𝖆𝖗𝖉𝖘 & would feature as Howard’s End in the book, this area is still marked on an OS map with Gothic Script to indicate it’s either prehistoric or medieval, but not Roman, Roman places of interest are written in San Serif Type face.
Milf caught up with Mr X & the conversation came around to the Hash partaking in a Park R*n to advertise our humble band, she explained that it was easy to register & get a Park R*n barcode & also how she had already partaken in one at Panshanger Park the day before, getting a few positive feed-backs on the day from a couple who know of the Hash, handing out cards to those who were interested. She did say that it would be worth having a few warm up runs before hand, as on the Hash you stop, start & search for the Trail, where the Park R*n is a non-stop loop. But she did come first in her age category, which was 21 (again!)
After a while of nattering, it dawned on some that the Trail appeared to be lost as the Pack ran on beside the Weston Road Cemetery. The rain had started to get heavier & the earlier signs of the plasterboard were beginning to get washed out but there was no sign of any flour either on this section.
Having lost her bearings Milf was now wondering where the Pack were, but Mr X reassured her that they were heading in a direction back to base as he could see the Hospital over in the distance to the west, something to use as a reference point before the Trail ran under the shelter of the tree canopy along the downhill trot. Obviously the Trail didn’t go this way but everyone else seemed to follow on behind, with Mr X relying on his instinct & local Knowledge.
The likes of Where’s Wally? Sparky Tent Packer & Underfelt were not daunted & continued on by the grounds of St Nicholas Church, then at the T-Junction with the Rectory Road the path the Trail was on could be seen emerging for the peninsular like strip of green space below St Albans’ Close, this runs between the Weston Road & the dual carriageway of the main arterial route of the A1072 Martins Way
Confusion reigned after the Trail was thought to have been found by Where’s Wally? in the Churchyard, then it all began to unravel as the Pack took to searching in the adjacent outbuildings of Oldbury Farm, things were compounded by a line white foam from the gutter above being mistaken for Trail by TBT OBE amongst others.
At least the Pack had a unofficial regroup at this point as the Pack crunched their way back out of gravel drive & back around on to Rectory Lane, where Little Hole was still waiting in the rain for the Pack to pick up on the Dust along this double bend to head back toward the Corey’s Mill section of Stevenage.
Little Hole did mark the short cut between the cut-through off of the old Rectory Lane & in to Chancellor’s Road to the On Inn, here the damp pack dried off, changed while enjoying Beer & crisps in the garage, while Psycho prepared lunch inside the house. Both Mr X & My Lil’ admitted that neither the Hair of the Dog, or the Run had made them feel any better.
Eventually the Pack would go around to the House, but not before the Down-Downs were out of the way, which began by TBT OBE making a bit of a fist of the introductions before the RA took over.
Skip was out as he had earlier motioned in a manner of who he normally throws his Down-Down around his head, being in his garage this was not going too happened & so he downed it without any flying beer! The Hares were awarded their Hits for setting the Trail; Milf for completing a Park R*n as the best time in her age group, 21 again!
Mr X & My Lil’ had theirs for failing with the ‘Hair of the Dog’ on the way through or the R*n wearing of the lethargy, they were joined by Wanktlers who was easily persuaded to join them! Finally Paxo awarded TBT OBE a Hit for his poor effort in welcoming the Hash & toasting the Hash at the final Circle!
With the Circle disbanded it was time to move indoors, there the Pack could enjoy a nice spread of food that was aid on. Those who sat in the conservatory, to admire the garden, found on the way that they would fall victim to the step down, some even managed to find this on the way up. So, every so often a shout of “Mind the step!” would go up. Everyone also realised that Pebbledash was back as the tone of the conversation was soon lowered – good to have you back Pebbledash!
All in all a great day was had by all.