Date = 7th Oct 2018
Run Number = 1817
Venue = The North Star
Location = Welwyn
Hare/s = No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays
Beer = Mac’s AK & Riverside Brewer Hades (Mac’s under the Guise of a Craft Brewery)
Runners = 18
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 3
Total = 21
Membership = InterHashional Rescue!
A bright day greeted the arriving Pack, which was a real bonus after the previous day’s downpour that lasted all day. A deluge which resulted in the Hares having to set the Trail first thing in this Sunday morning.
This week saw Dawn make one of her spontaneous trips over from LA [That’s Los Angeles & not Luton Airport! – Ed] who arrived with Sludge, Spotted Dick & Custard arrived in their car. The Latter pair being ribbed for this as they only live up the road but it seems that their pooches don’t like walking back home & have to be driven there!
These early arrivals looked pretty thin on the ground to start with, the Pack size would be bolstered just as the Circle was going called, this meant that Paxo would now do the honours as he arrived with Milf & Kylie. As the Hares began their speech on what to expect out on the Trail, Sarah, Jack, Florence & Molson pulled in to the car park.
Notable absentee this week was TBT OBE, who had a busy couple of days only to be ‘Arse-dialled’ by Where’s Wally? Sunday at 03.04Hrs & all TBT OBE could hear was loud music from a rave! Also absent was Where’s Wally who was up all night ‘Arse-dialling’ scaring OAPs & disturbing them with rather loud music in the wee hours of the morning!
The Trail got underway with the Pack leaving the Pub’s car park, & leaving the seemingly Hares’ parking worries for the Pubs’ Lunchtime eating Customers behind. A right turn to head away south-westerly down the old Roman Road of the Great North Road, passing by the single parade of local shops to reach the first CHK of the Trail on the corner of Heath Road, Mr X & My Lil’ followed the too quickly picked up Trail on steep incline but the RA stopped as he found a T up that way. A T which prevent some of the Pack form getting too close to the maximum Security Twilight Home.
Back to the Great North Road & the rest of the Pack had crossed over to the Traffic Island to complete reaching the south-eastern side of the old main road. The likes of Milf & Ewok were now heading away up the north-easterly Turpin’s Rise, an uncapped private road with some of the modernist homes of Oaklands which line just the north-eastern side of the road.
The FRBs would now be lead away by an arrow off on to a footpath off of the Close. When No Eye Deer arrived here she crossed out the arrow to replace it with another pointing up Turpin’s Rise. A lot of the roads in the Oaklands area of Welwyn are named after Dick Turpin the Highwayman & his exploits around what happened along the old coaching route of the Great North Road.
Having avoided the earlier Falsie, My Lil & Mr X were now leading the way up to start of Harmergreen wood & a to a point where a CHK should have been, with three options to search. Nothing was found straight on, nor on the eastbound pathway behind the homes backing on to the woodland, instead it was picked up to the west in the end of the wood.
Kylie had his own route as he searched cut over in a diagonal path to the outside of the woodland, as the rest made their way a slightly longer circular route, Dust seemed a bit scarce as the Keenies struggled to pick up the route again in amongst the native trees, eventually they came on to an obvious stretch along a south-westerly trot to the edge of the wood, before coming around to the east where Milf, Mr X, My Lil’, Ketchup & Prince Garmin, along with Spotted Dick & Custard were soon up by to a CHK near the solitary bench at the corner of the woodland.
A turn to the southeast & the Trail led over a carpet of distinctive green spiky Chestnut casings as the pack passed by the grey graffiti covered Railway airshafts, with vicious looking metal protrusions on the top to stop people climbing on to the grille on top, all of which stood out against the scenic treescape. A passing Train forced rushing air out of the vent before the noise of its transit deep below Hash feet could be heard.
Dust was found leading away over the tunnels deep below the woodland, some of these Keenies slowed up as the Dust seemed to disappear, but Ketchup & Prince Garmin carried on by the small enclosed area of Coppiced land behind its protective wire fencing. No calling was heard up ahead, so My Lil’ & others turned back only to be reassured by No Eye Deer to take a second look, so it was an about turn again to follow on behind Ketchup.
No Eye Deer was convinced that the Trail had been rubbed out, but there were no apparent scrape marks to indicate this as the Pack headed further to the south. There was no CHK by the end of the main section of Harmergreen Wood but this didn’t stop the Keenies like Sludge & Ketchup from searching to the east, but there was no Dust there.
The senior Hare marked the Trail straight through the wooden boundary at the end of the woodland as the FRBs now embarked on a long slightly downhill trot on a wooded path that would run by one of the open cuttings between the tunnels on the GNER route to stop at Held CHK above one of the tunnel entrances.
Mr X & Spotted Dick were impressed by the ornate Cornice above the tunnel Harmer Green Tunnel, which measures 1046 Yards, Milf called this an impressive Moustache, down the other end of the cutting could be seen the entrance to the shorter 446 Yard Lockley’s Hill Tunnel. This regroup would be the stop for the sweet stop, during the wait Milf said that Kylie would be excited to see Trains go by below on the main line from Kings Cross to the North that he’s need some tissues!
Dawn asked Mr X if the tunnels were old, he said that they were Victorian as he knew that the (Welwyn) Digswell Viaduct was opened on April 6th 1850 by Queen Victoria, who refused to go over it & instead got a coach to the other side! He said that he would google it &: The entrance is now Grade II listed as Railway Tunnel Portal. 1849-50, for the Great Northern Railway, engineered by William and Joseph Cubitt and built by Thomas Brassey. Sandstone ashlar. Semi-circular arch with dressed keyed surround. Cornice and parapet. Flanking towers which rise clear of the centre but are capped in a similar fashion.
Only 16 years later, on the evening of Saturday, 9th June 1866 disaster struck in the tunnels…..
"TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
Sir, - A serious obstruction occurred on the Great Northern Railway on Saturday night, in the Welwyn tunnel, about 20 miles from London, under the following circumstances:-
A train of empty coal waggons was going northwards through the tunnel, when the engine burst a tube and was unable to proceed. A goods train was following, and, by some mistake on the part of the signalman (at present un-explained), was allowed to enter the tunnel before the signalman had received the telegraphic message from the other end of it that the preceding train had passed out. The train came into collision with the break-van of the empty waggons, throwing the van and several waggons of the first train and the engine of the second train off the line.
The guard of the first train was killed. At this moment a goods train reached the north end of the tunnel, and, there was nothing to indicate an obstruction of the “up" line it was allowed to proceed.
The engine of this train came into contact with the engine of the down train, and, with several waggons, was also thrown off the line. Before any means could be taken remove the broken waggons, the fire from one of the engines had caught the débris, and the wind blowing through the tunnel caused the fire to spread so rapidly that it was impossible to clear the line. Arrangements were therefore made to work the traffic over the Great Eastern Railway between Hertford, Cambridge, and Peterborough, and it will continue to be so worked until the line through the tunnel is again fit for traffic.
This, it is hoped, will be the case in the course of Monday. It is hardly necessary for me to mention that the most rigid enquiry will be made as to the error of the signalman, which has had such serious results.
I am, Sir, your faithful servant,
SEYMOUR. CLARKE, General Manager.
Great Northern Railway, King's-cross Station, June 10."
(Information source: Lawson Thompson Scrapbooks, Hitchin Museum)
Back to the Trail: a couple out walking their dog were encouraged by Milf to join the Hash, the lady said that her knees don’t allow her to R*n anymore, Mr X pointed out that they would meet the rest of the Pack as the Sweets were brought along to the Held CHK, with the SCBs, baby buggy & Molson.
Prince Garmin was warned by Ketchup not to have too many Wine Gums as they’d make him drunk! Once the Jelly Babies & the Wine Gums were finished, the Keenies were allowed to move on, as No Eye Deer said that there was only really one way to go & that was to head into Lockleys Wood.
Just on the edge of the wood there were two options marked out, a Short Cut marked to the east, with the Long Trail heading southward through a permissive path in an old small orchard, again the Dust seemed a little sparse with the Keenies splitting up before realising that they were on a clockwise trot around a loop through the main Lockleys Wood before coming back to the Tunnel entrance once again, discovering fresh arrows now pointing the way up the short cut behind the fenced off back gardens on a nice trot out to Harmer Green. The loop did its job & occupied Ewok, Milf, My Lil' & Sludge long enough for the SCBs to get further ahead of the FRBs.
Mr X was struggling a bit with the remnants of a cold, which was now heavy on his chest. He came out into Harmer Green to find Ketchup coming back toward him. Ketchup said that he had lost Prince Garmin, who earlier on was hiding behind trees at the Sweet Stop, & so Ketchup was going back to look for him, Mr X agreed to call Ketchup if he found Prince Garmin up ahead, as the RA continued to try & catch the SCBs.
No Eye Deer was found waiting on the green at Harmer Green, near to the War Memorial. She had already called Ketchup after she had seen Prince Garmin, who was now up ahead with the SCBs. No Eye Deer was concerned about Mr X’s welfare & asked if he wanted a car to be brought out to him? He wasn’t that bad, he said that he could have done without the loop earlier on but that was his decision.
Off of the bend in Harmer Green Road, the Trail headed northward, & then a slight westward turn before resuming a northward run up beside the western edge of Barnes Wood & then on along the inside of the eastern edge of Harmer Green Wood. Here Mr X passed by the SCBs, telling Prince Garmin that he had lost his own Dad!
Ahead lay a long section, where Mr X caught up with Dawn & Lobby Lobster, to then further on to meet up with Spotted Dick & Custard, with their pooches. But somehow the Dust seemed to vanish again, but by now Spotted Dick & Mr X both discussed that the Trail could go down the chalky clay footpath to Robbery Bottom Lane, a place where locals used to have their bottom’s robbed by Dick Turpin! So, they took to this long route to come out to Hempstall Spinney, which has been a well-run Inn Trail back in to Oaklands used before by H4.
The only Dust to be seen on this two mile of so trot were two blobs on two of the trees in the Spinney, after a roughly scraped arrow on the muddy footpath pointed the way in amongst the trees! This may have been made by Milf, Ewok, My Lil’ & Sludge who were well ahead of the rest, but those behind didn’t know.
Mr X knew that Robbery Bottom Lane would lead under the high brick railway bridge & then out through Oaklands to the On Inn. So, without any Dust to follow, he made his way through this affluent part of Welwyn, heading toward the old Great North Road, but just as he approached the intersection where this joins the old Roman road, a scene greeted him of a an Openreach Van with its orange lights flashing to hold up the road traffic, then he saw a guy lying in the road who had an accident on his bike. This puts the lack of Dust & jokes about Spotted Dick expecting a cake at the end – being made with the flour unused by the Hares on the Trail, into perspective.
Milf was already tending to casualty, keeping him still & talking to him, while some locals slowed any passing traffic, a couple also brought out a blanket to keep Michael warm. With an ambulance on its way, Mr X went to stand on point to direct this in to the narrow side street. As is the case with these things, the blood the guy had lost looks more than it actually is, plus time seems to take for ever for things to happen.
Luckily for this guy, who was still wearing his helmet [A good reason we should all wear one! – Ed] he had his crash at the end of the Hash Trail as it happened just as our First Responder arrived on the scene, then our three Paramedics would follow up.
With the professionals amongst our ranks dealing with things, the Cycling Guys felt more at ease, when the Ambulance crew arrived, time was saved as Jack gave them his assessment, which had a lot of technical terms this scribe couldn’t remember! All in all a different end to the Trail than was expected. They guy’s cycling friend later said that he looked Ok after being assessed but was taken off for scans just to check all was well with him.
The weather was warm enough for the Pack to sit outside, though some of the Harriettes were not so comfortable as they became moist [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] as they sat on the damp wooden seats that weren’t drying in the sunshine! Paxo, like most, is surprised how good the Hades Ale is, under the Riverside Brewery Badge, as it is its far better than the Mac’s usual stable!
When it came to the Circle, the Hares were rewarded for their Trail, after explaining where the On In was to all of those who had missed it! Dawn was welcomed back, & for not knowing what Milf’s name meant, which Milf very cleverly left as “You’ll have to look it up online!” [But not at work! – Ed]. Spotted Dick was out for driving the pampered-pooches back home!! The Emergency Heroes of Milf, Jack, Sarah & Kylie were rewarded, while Sludge had the final Down-Down for modelling the Poppy Run T-Shirt & Medal! [Trying desperately not to spill Ale on this brand new T-shirt – Ed]
Mr X the Herts Agony Uncle - he sorts your probs!
Dear Mr X
I have just read your email and find it you quite bewildering, maybe I was not at a Hash when you explained it all.
1) I paid you £XX but what exactly is it all for other than it is towards Poppy Relief?
2) I have just received the T-shirt and medal, so what is the medal for, do I have to stand in the street for hours with a collection box, where, when and for how long and with the Medal and T-shirt on?
3) Where and when is the Poppy Run?
4) Age XX Address XX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX (You sent them to No. 29, but luckily the family knew me)
Phone Number xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
ON ON Bewildered of St Albans
HHHi Bewildered of St Albans
1) Yes, gratefully received on behalf of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal!
2) No we don’t want you hanging around St Alban’s street corners shaking anything for hours on end, not even collection tins for Charity money! T-Shirt is to be worn on the Trail (Weather dependent) & for when you complete the Trail with medal for Hash group photograph!
3) 11/11/18 – exactly 100 Years after the Guns fell silent, marking the Armistice in the First World War - Please read the Trash/Hareline or listen to the RA at the end if the Circle to keep abreast with such things – The RA’s been going on about this for two months! If you can’t hear him [No Way! – Ed] you may have to stand a bit closer to the RA!
4) I don’t have a degree in reading hieroglyphics nor can I read the Runes, Pitman shorthand or handwriting worse than my very own pathetic scrawl - No Further Action Required as you now have your goodies! Please bring these with you to the Hash on 11/11/18 in St Albans!
On! On! & enjoy your free pint in the Circle!