Date = 2nd December 2018
Run Number = 1826
Venue = The Woodbine
Location = Waltham Abbey
Hare/s = Mr X
Beer = Milk Stout; Captain Bob; Nick’s; JHB (Loads more & real Ciders)
Runners = 20
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 1
Total = 21
Membership = Celebrating Hangovers, or not!
There was a last minute change of Hare, as Mr X stepped up to set the Trail that very morning. Saturday was a washout & there would not be enough time to set it by the time the precipitation had eased off, also there was to be more overnight rain. So, after a very early start the Hare arrived back from setting the Hash with about 20 minutes before the Circle was called.
The gathering Pack were made up of regular Herts Hashers, Essex H3, Essex All Saints H3 & Mersey Island H3, then a Taxi with a Brighton phone number emblazoned upon its side pulled in, so now we had Bouncer from Brighton H3 joining gang. Wanktlers also arrived by Cab, one he hailed in Waltham Cross after having second thoughts about walking from there to the venue!
Although a very good turnout was now guaranteed but what would the weather be like? Grey clouds were overhead though they weren’t as dark as the ones that were being blown quickly away when the Hare arrived first thing. So far the rain had held off but would it last?
Milf wasn’t the only one to comment on the state of the Hare, whose legs were pretty well plastered in Shiggy & Hash boots now a subtle shade of wet Essex clay. Gemma & family arrived, it was pretty clear that Mark wasn’t going to get around as he had a badly twisted ankle, the Hare advised him not to attempt the Trail as the first leg was pretty hard going.
The Circle was called, with the Hare requesting that the Pack waited as long as they could for the 66A Bus to arrive from Loughton, as My Lil’ was on this on his way to the Hash. TBT OBE was brief with his introduction to Herts Hash number 1826, the Essex introduction from was also as short from Big Car Small Prick with many missing the intro to their 1800th Run, but that soon changed when Vicky Vomit stepped up & started off the delaying tactics with his Ronnie Corbett like rambling Speech about St Bibiana. Yes, it was a Saints Day Hash as well!
Bibiana was the daughter of Flavian, a Christian Roman Soldier, & his wife Dafrosa. Flavian was tortured, sent into exile for his beliefs, where he died of his wounds. Dafrosa was beheaded, while their two daughters, Bibiana & Demetria, were stripped of their possessions to suffer poverty. However, they remained in their house, spending their time in fasting & praying.
Apronianus, the Governor of Rome, seeing that this no effect upon them, summoned them. Demetria, after confessing her faith, fell dead at the feet of the tyrant. But for Bibiana a greater suffering lay in store. She was placed in the hands of a wicked woman called Rufina, who in vain endeavoured to seduce her. She used blows as well as persuasion, but the Christian Virgin remained faithful. [Obviously Bibiana wasn’t from Essex! I mean the chance of finding a Virgin in Essex? – Ed]
Enraged at the constancy of this Saintly virgin, Apronianus ordered her to be tied to a pillar, then beaten with scourges, laden with lead plummets, until she died. The Saint endured the torments with joy, dying under the blows inflicted by the hands of the executioner. Her body was then put in the open air to be torn apart by wild animals, yet none would touch it. After two days she was buried, from her grave various herbs grew, these were said to be a cure for Hangovers!
Fortunately Vicky Vomit & Dr Doolittle handed out shots of Brandy to
help the Circle get over
his long winded dialogue any Hangover they may
have had from the night before? Mr X said that he “doesn’t get Hangovers, he
always tucks it back under the duvet!” Anyhow, time was getting on & with no
sign of any approaching buses, the Pack became eager to get underway, so Mr X
directed the pack over the busy A121.
(The Herts) Sludge hung back for My Lil’ to arrive & stow his bag, while a rare break in the traffic allowed most of the Hash to cross over in one bunch & pick up the start of the Trail beside the Woodbine, on the Triangle at the start of the north bound Woodsgreen Lane, the narrow route led northward to pass under the M25, beneath this concrete bridge a small lake of a large puddle was to be avoided from splashes by oncoming vehicles.
The FRBs of Pic (or was it Mix), Casey Jones, Tent Packer, Wanktlers, Zing-a-long-a-max, Milf, Small Prick all changed direction to the west side of the lane to allow a horse & rider to pass by in peace, then it was back to the eastern side where the Trail left the lane to take to a footpath within the wide wooded border.
Now the pack would encounter the first stretch of Shiggy, & deep Shiggy it was too, this made the going hard & slippery as the Pack negotiated their way northward in the thick, deep clinging mud made all the worse by being churned up by horses’ hooves that sucked in Milf to bog her down at one point. It was also extremely slippery as Tent Packer would allude as he fell down.
A CHK was found a third of the way up this bramble lined route, but no Trail was discovered by any of the FRBs who ventured out in to the dry adjacent open common land to the east, so it was back for more Shiggy to continue northbound, things became a bit easier as path dried out a wee bit to lead up to a CHK that as spotted by TBT OBE “That looks like flour on that tree stump?” in the western end of the pan-handle of Potkiln Wood.
The Trail turned to the west running through the Pan-Handle of the woodland toward top of the main ‘Pan’ body of the Plantation on the rising leaf littered slope of Green lane (a restricted by-way). A CHK at the junction with Blind Lane saw the likes of Casey Jones, Pic (or was it Mix), Tent Packer, Lunchbox, Sparky & Milf go wrong by continuing southeast on Green Lane, this would later be marked as a Short Cut by the Hare once the main body of the Pack had come back & headed away on the northbound Blind Lane, Paxo would take Dr Doolittle & the SCB’s along Green Lane to meet the rest later on in the Trail.
A slippery decent on the wide track of Blind Lane, in places the wet clay covered in fallen leaves was quite treacherous as Vicky Vomit, Pulled Out, Captain Nibbles, Gemma & Co all ventured down in one piece, Blow-Dry hung back to make sure her & Fanny made their way down this by-way with no mishaps.
Again the FRBs didn’t get to far ahead as the Trail came down to a CHK where Rugged Lane broke off of Blind Lane in a north-easterly direction through the top edge of Oxley’s Wood. The Keenies who took to this northern by-way soon found a T & so turned back to pick up the proper Trail on the only other option of taking to Sergeants Green Lane which led by the brook in the wooded vale to the northwest.
My Lil’ & Sludge (Herts) finally caught up with the Hare, they confirmed that Paxo was taking a few SCBs up the short cut, while a couple of Essex Harriettes had turned back to the Pub, the deep Shiggy was too much for them. It was a shame as the worst of deep Shiggy was now over on the main Trail. The tail of the Pack were now ahead of them, so they took the Hare up on his offer of the Short Cut up he’d just marked up Rugged Lane, they would soon find out why it is so called. Deep Shiggy almost all the way to the top meant these SCbs probably would have made better progress on the proper route!
Back on the Trail proper, another CHK was found a few hundred yards along the Sergeants Green Lane, from there it was a climb up the firm underfoot grassy slope of an area of fallow land that has a fenced off conservation area. While Sparky went wrong Usual Front Running suspects of Pic, Casey Jones, Milf, Lunchbox, Tent Packer & Zing-a-long-a-max led the Hash up the grassy rising slope which came out to a CHK in the north eastern corner, it didn’t take too much to find the Trail again in a narrow snicket like path of opposing 90° angles to emerge out beside the Horseshoes Pub in to Upshire.
An arrow directed the Pack across the road to find a CHK on the northern side of the road by the car park to an area of parkland that drops away to the north. With some of the Pack spread out searching the many options down through of the Warlies Estate, once the home to Sir Thomas Buxton, others milled around the CHK to get their breath back after the climb up to the Village.
The Buxtons sold the estate in 1921, the mansion then became a Dr Barnardo's home from 1921 until 1974, after which it sold to the Greater London Council. The estate passed to the Corporation of London in 1986 (Who are responsible for Epping Forest) is managed by them & Epping Forest District Council which now means it has extensive public access & as buffer land that is free from the danger of development to keep open borders for the Forest to the great advantage of wildlife.
Ok, back to the Trail: Casey Jones picked up the Trail as it made its way up to the top of Horseshoes Hill, heading through level that most of Upshire sits upon, to run away to the east where the Trail would take him to the first Bar CHK on this Hash. He would soon be back to find the Hare, My Lil’ & Sludge loitering behind the hedgerow just beyond the Church, at the end of Rugged Lane.
St Thomas’s Church is not that old, Sir Thomas Buxton commissioned an architect to draw up plans for a church in the village and in 1901 Lady Victoria laid the foundation stone for the new church, with its simple ‘arts & craft ‘design with clean lines & clear glass giving the interior.
The Bishop of Victoria & Hong Kong, as well as the Vicar of Waltham Abbey dedicated the finished church St Thomas the Apostle and Martyr in September 1902. It was given the status of a mission church not a parish church, under the direction of the Vicar of Waltham Abbey. In 1903 the Bishop of St Albans, within whose diocese the church was situated at that time, licenced the Vicar of Waltham Abbey to conduct Divine services in the Mission church.
Finally in 1956, after 54 years, St Thomas’ was joined with Holy Innocent’s church in High Beech some three miles away & given the status of a parish church. The lynch gate was built in memory of all of those from the village who had died in both world wars and was dedicated in 1950.
From the beginning there was a strong desire amongst the congregation for St Thomas’ to be a fully functioning Parish church, which over the next decades was rigorously opposed by the Vicar of Waltham Abbey. In view of this Lord Buxton retained ownership of the church and land which in turn lead to the establishment of a burial ground at the back of the church.
My Lil & Sludge were soon off down the By-way starting from between the old cottages & farm houses, they soon extended a considerable gap between themselves & the rest, but not for long with Pick (Or Pick) & Casey Jones following in pursuit. Once through the gate to the by-way, the Hare pointed out the farm house roof & explained that the red pottery tiles along the apex of the roof were stylised representations of Dragons, these designs came over with the Vikings who decorated their Homes, Halls & Boats with Dragon images.
Now the Hash ran on a long gently arcing farm track, this was the driest section of run so far as it turned to head due south down Woodredon Farm lane to meet up with the SCBs, as they came out off of Green lane to a CHK beside the bridge spanning the M25. It was a windy crossing high above the lanes of traffic below to take the Hash on to the top of the south side of the Lane, this was the highest point of the Trail. As Mr X said, it’s all down hill from here.
As the Keenies hit the bend in the driveway, they were led off on to a footpath running south-westward along a grassy footpath beside a fenced in coral to the east. They would be stopped by the second Bar CHK of this Trail, so back to the hard-capped drive as Vicky Vomit, Dr Doolittle, Blow-Dry, TBT OBE, Sucked In made it to this point.
The Pack followed the by-way around by Green Lane bungalows to the junction where Green Lane leaves Woodredon Farm Lane, there was not a CHK here & the Trail took to the main tarmac drive of Woodredon Farm Lane to the south.
Some may have noticed the proper hedge laying along the driveway, with semi-cut interwoven hazel branches to creating a living windbreak & barrier. This is a real Horsey Area, with several stables & a riding school to be passed by on the long gentle descent to the red-brick Gatehouses. Gemma ran back to the rear of the strung out Pack, taking over from Jamie to look after Rose’s progress, who was with Paxo [Who had a map of the Trail! – Ed] in the Knitting Circle
After the Drive passes through the end of Coneybury Wood, a slight turn to the east on an almost semi-circular footpath off of the driveway before it joins the A121 Woodridden Road, Zing-along-a-max followed this slight detour put I place to bring the Hash out to the opposite entrance on to the Three Forests Way Track
Safely over the road to follow the orange sandy route as it turns through to the west & rising slightly as it progresses through the Honey Lane Quarter of Epping Forest. There were plenty of puddles & sandy Shiggy that was as slippery as potter’s slip. The wavering, serpentine like path levelled out on the top of the ridge as it heads away to the southwest.
Soon the Pack were brought to a halt at the only Held CHK of the Trail, by a fork in the route, with a north-western path through a break in the trees, there a view could be had over the cleared area on the Claypit Hill down toward the Pub in the wooded bottom of the valley.
The Hare arrived & proceeded to hand out American Hard Gums & Jelly Beans, though how some where not put off of their treats by the sight of TBT OBE stripping off his top to reveal a very pale torso, it was a miracle. Kylies Grinch like facial expression really summed it up!
The Hare had seen enough & allowed those Keenies who wanted to progress to make tracks to continue the Trail, saving their poor eyes from any further abuse. Meanwhile Paxo, with Gemma & Rose arrived just behind Kylie to have their share of the sweets.
Rose, Jamie, Gemma & Paxo were up for completing the whole Trail, while Dr Doolittle, Captain Nibbles & Pulled Out all opted for the short cut down the open hillside, the Hare also followed on behind them & then found out how slippery the wet grass was, almost losing his footing several times he was glad that the rest were taking the safer, higher option. Just before re-entering a strip of woodland, & thinking that she was safely off of the wet heath, Dr Doolittle fell down on her derriere, just in front of the Herts RA.
Picking its way through the trees up on the ridge, the Trail went off the main track for a short while, the leaf-litter strewn carpet of was a drier softer option leading along to a CHK by another main track, this one leading from south to north. Once over the small ridge the Trail was found on the descent to the north & this was the route Inn.
The Keenies met up with the SCBs (Some of whom were slightly bruised! – Ed) on the edge of one of the purpose built horse rides, these sandy ones were open, but a lot of rides through the wooded areas were closed. At the end of the rider the Trail followed the slight bend in the track to come up to a brook & the small footbridge over this, on the brick wall above the pipe the On Inn was found, just a few feet from the car park.
Most started to change in the car park, Milf seemed to enjoy the sight of Pic getting change & so to a snap that wouldn’t go a miss on a Fire Fighter’s Charity calendar, unlike TBT OBE’s effort earlier!
Once in the Woodbine the Hash found that this was an Ale lovers delight, not to mention a Cider Drinkers Heaven, combine with the CAMRA discount there were a few changes of who was driving back between some of the couples [A loss of Brownie Points for Some! – Ed]
The Landlord was good enough to go to the cellar on a regular basis to supply the Hash with the Milk Stout that was straight out of the barrel, this was truly great.
When it came to the Circle Casey Jones & Mr X held court after TBT OBE had raised the toast to the Hash. There were plenty of Down-Downs including: Mr X for being the Hare! Kylie & Karly out for being Twins (In Casey Jones eyes, as he knows a thing about Twins!) Wanktlers was out for his having to get a Taxi & not walking from Waltham Cross! Bouncer for the last time Mr X saw his Taxi, it was being pushed backwards by the Rutland Hash. Vicky Vomit for his long talks!
DR Doolittle & Tent Packer were out for falling over on the Trail! TBT OBE for testing the Alcohol Free Beer & Vicky Vomit for changing his mind on having a drink after the Trail & passing his Keys to Dr Doolittle to drive them home!