Date =                            9th December 2018

Run Number =             1827    

Venue =                        The White Horse

Location =                    Welwyn

Hare/s =                        Mr X

Beer =                           Sharps; Atlantic; Doombar; Rebellion IPA;

Runners =                    16                                               

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          0

Hounds =                      1

Total =                          17

Membership =             Running around the willows!


            There was a late change of venue this week, for the original venue may not be open at the moment.  The Hare had tried several times to call the original Venue, but the line seemed to be cut off.  Then on Farcebook he discovered that the couple who ran it last time the Hash ran from there had finished running it the previous weekend, so with no extra time to go over & check out if someone else had taken over, the Hare switch to a new venue, & one that he didn’t need a map to set the Trail from.

The overnight weather was like something out of gothic novel, windblown rain lashing against the Hare’s bedroom windows that woke him up at an ungodly hour.  So, it was a relief when the rain eased off before he left his humble abode to venture out & set the Trail, things improved even more as by the time the Trail was set as the sun was out, the wind dropped & the temperature felt a lot warmer than when he set off!

            A fairly good turnout considering the earlier weather, the Circle was called on the hour by Paxo & after the introductions it was over to the Hare, it was the usual markings etc. but the Hare admitted that he forgot to put in a Held CHK!  No Eye Deer let out a squeal of “Sweeties!” she exclaimed as she spotted the bags of sweets in the Hare’s bag.  Indeed there were sweets in there & these were for the Held CHK the Hare had negated to set, so the Pack were advised to hold a CHK when they came through an area occupied by a local Stables, also there would be a field with horses in it that he wanted the Pack to walk through.

No Eye Deer now left with the rest of the Pack, seemingly in trepidation of an encounter with some equines, Ketchup too wasn’t that easy as horses always seem to make their way over to him.  No Eye Deer was encouraged to avoid Ketchup (The Horse magnet) at this point in the Trail.

As the Pack moved on it became clear that this Hare was being extra benevolent this morning as he didn’t even set a CHK from the Car park to annoy My Lil’!  So, off away to the east along Lockley’s Drive, passing by the local allotment to the south & out to a CHK just before the Welwyn by-pass Road.  Meanwhile Paxo went around to pass by the Pub to check that no one had parked up there.

The Hare was pleased to see that My Lil’, Sparky & Wanktlers all headed up toward the Clock roundabout in the north, for there was no Dust up there.  The Trail was picked up heading southward, up the rising path along the edge of the by-pass, crossing the River Mimram & coming around a sector of the roundabout, there the Keenies were led off down the fourth exit on the roundabout, or first exit as they were running up in an anti-clockwise direction to take to Parkside. 

The Trail led up to a set of steps leading away to the west, there would be a Bar CHK lurking further around on a dead-end arm of Parkside, before turning away from the south to see dust leading down another flight of steps in the rabbit warren of little homes stacked on the small hillside.

The Pack would be led out on to the old drive section of Prospect Place to head westward & come out at the crossroads with Mill lane, where the likes of Sparky, Ewok, Tent Packer, Wanktlers, Where’s Wally? Lemming, Mother, Spotted Dick & Custard all met up with Paxo at the CHK there.  The Trail was soon picked up on the southern end of Mill Lane to emerge through the footpath by the local Fire Station on to the Hertford Road, there they met up with the Hare, Zoya & My Lil’, who had taken a Short Cut off of the roundabout.

Wanktlers was straight across the road & away to the southeast to take to the rising footpath up on the tree lined ridge, this led up to the Welwyn By-pass road where it crosses the Hertford Road below.  It seems that he had more than an inkling as to where the Trail went, as he picked up the Dust at the top of this route, as My Lil’ followed on behind him.  However, the rest were just far enough behind Wanktlers & My Lil’, thanks to Prince Garmin & Lewis, the rest of the Pack were led beyond the rising path & under the By-pass road to find a Bar CHK at the end of the wide bridge.

While the rest of the Pack made good their mistake to run up the leafy tarmac path to pick up the Trail again, Paxo & Zoya took a Short Cut up the set of steep steps leading up through the high wooded embankment to come out on Broomfield road.  But at the top of the climb they needed calling back by the Hare as they started walking the wrong way on the longer route around.

Back with the Keenies & they were taken further southward along the By-pass road until the Trail left this by climbing up the embankment, they now took to an alley way that leads between the backs of the homes of Becket Gardens to the south & Broomfield close to the north, eventually this long fenced in alleyway emerged out on to a CHK at the end of Broomfield Road, opposite the Steamer Pub.

While the rest of the Pack all followed Wanktlers down the alleyway to the opposite side of the u-shaped road, Sludge was off doing his own thing & was next seen by the Steamer’s car park on the opposite side, there an arrow directed the Pack over London Road to Ottway Walk, where Sludge, Where’s Wally?, Wanktlers, Tent Packer all ran around to a Bar CHK before reaching the Welwyn Sports Club grounds.

Again the Hare was happy as the Keenies peeled off down St Mary’s Court where there was no Trail, he was a bit surprised that no one had yet thought of searching the footpath leading down Hobbs Hill, perhaps it was the woman erratically driving back & forth trying to get her car turned around in the small tarmac area that put them off.  Paxo immediately went in to L/Cpl Jones mode, warning the Pack to watch out for the woman’s car before getting around it to start the decent down Hobbs Hill.

Prince Garmin & Lewis would soon become victims of a passing Big Bully as Ewok jumped in to a puddle to splash both of them as they passed by it, [Add your own heightist joke here! – Ed …………………………. Little Kids ……………………………..Ewok……………………………………………………………….Pick on someone your own size….……………………………..Oh she did!]

Anyhow, the way down the hillside was slippery in places with old wet leaves being a dodgy as discarded banana skins, everyone managed to get to the bottom of the hill in one piece, well almost as Prince Garmin discovered that he had been dive-bombed by a bird & he now had bird-poop on his jacket hood!  [For some reason they say that its lucky?  Lucky that Ostridges can’t fly! - Ed]  At least it wasn’t in his hair, as Ketchup said “At least when you haven’t any hair it’s easy to wash off!

The Trail turned to the southwest to run along School Lane taking the Pack all the way right to its end by the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, there was a CHK part of the way along to the QVM, it was just beyond Hawbush Rise & it did throw Sparky & Wanktlers off of the scent until it was picked up where School Lane turn to the west beyond the hospital entrance.  Then on the way to the where the road narrows to a country lane & away from the housing, Lewis managed to step in some dog-poop.

Lewis was concerned about wiping the poop off of his shoe, his pair of new looking shoes similar to pair that Prince Garmin was also wearing that morning & both pairs had been pointed out to the RA before the opening circle.  Ketchup said that he needn’t worry as the Trail was about to cut up though a hedgerow & into the fields to the west of Welwyn.

Up on to the crop field, the Trail would turn from running by the pump-house grounds to head westward up by the solitary old Oak tree, Spotted Dick could now let Poppy off the lead & she would have her second bout of going ‘Cracker Dog’ [To quote Mrs Pomphrey in All Creatures Great & Small! – Ed]  The Pack started to get slightly strung out on the rise up to the crossroad with a northbound farm track.

The CHK on the crossroads may have caught out Wanktlers but it wouldn’t fool My Lil’ as he took to the waterlogged start where the track rises up by Sanders Spring wood.  Now, if there hadn’t been enough overnight rain & spring water creating puddles down the farm track, Lemming thought it best if he popped into Sanders Spring Wood to add a little more to the saturation point.

The Trail followed the rising hillside to reach the top, from here there was a great view of Welwyn in the valley down to the east.  Once beyond the huge piles of horse dung, the Track weaved around slowly to the northeast where the first of the horse paddocks came into view, fortunately everyone saw the Hash markings of arrows, as well as the numerous “No Footpath” signs, to take to a sharp hairpin turn before resuming the northern trot.

The Hare was amazed to find that some actually had listened to his spiel before setting off, the Pack were regrouping just above the short drop down to where the CHK (to be held) was situated on an east-west footpath.  The Hare handed out a packet of Fruit Pastels & Randoms to enjoy while standing in the warm sunshine & taking in the splendid verdant panorama out over the valley of fields to the north.

However there would be one exception who didn’t heed the Hare’s instructions about regrouping here, & so the Hare had no sympathy when Sparky didn’t get any sweets at this sweet stop!  At least Sparky caught up from taking the wrong option at the CHK, he should have waited at, by the time the Pack all began walking along the path to the east, coming out to a junction of Farm tracks & to where the footpath runs through a horse paddock.

As if by magic, as soon as Ketchup entered this enclosure one of the horses made its way over to see him!  Does he have sugar lumps & a carrot in his pants? [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed]   Once out of the horses’ home field the Trail could resume on the Tarmac driveway out of Linces’ Farm.  This was the highest point of the Run & it would be downhill nearly all the way, there was a short level section for the Keenies to run from the CHK on the bend in the Kimpton Road, for they would find the Trail heading nor-nor-west along the rustic lane. 

Meanwhile, after Wanktlers & My Lil’ had come back up from the falsie away to the east, the Hare marked that route as a Short Cut for Paxo & Zoya, who were now joined by Spotted Dick, Custard, Prince Garmin & Lewis, while Ketchup took the longer route.

Ewok, Sparky, Wanktlers, My Lil’, Tent Packer, No Eye Deer, Where’s Wally? Lemming & Mother all followed the Trail along by the older established homes on one side of Kimpton Road to turn north-eastward down the private road of Oakhill Drive, this was a nice quiet decent on a wide drive with newer homes on either side.  At the bottom of the hill a CHK found at the opposite end where this joins the (not private) Fulling Mill Lane. 

The FRBs would pick up the Trail through the kissing gate & along to the south on Singlers Marsh reserve, a nature reserve that the River Mimram runs through on its eastern edge.  This would be a nice flat run Inn, though the signs around the reserve mentioned that “The Cattle were back” there was no sign of any longhorns in there, they must have been up on the drier grassier heath of Danesbury park than this lower wetland.

Having passed by the local Cemetery, the SCBs came to the Y junction where the Kimpton road joins Fulling Mill Lane, there by way of climbing a gate to the Pump-house they joined the Keenies on Singlers Marsh.  Everyone ran along the western section of the reserve before following it around the southern end to come out on to Fulling Mill Lane just before the roundabout on the Codicote Road. 

The final leg of the Trail was to head southward in to Welwyn Village, crossing over before the Wellington Pub, then turning around on to Church Street by St Mary’s Church to head up by the Rose & Crown, crossing over before Rose Cottage, once the home to Vincent Van Gogh’s sister, who was a local School teacher. 

On June 12 1876 Vincent set out on foot from Ramsgate to see his sister Anna in Welwyn.  On the 100 or so mile trek he passed through Canterbury where he rested for a while & documented the ‘large beach and elm trees near a little pond.’ He admired the beauty of his walk, detailing his surroundings, the birdsong but also the overcast weather.  Reaching London where he spent two evenings, he left at four in the morning for Welwyn. He arrived at Rose Cottage at five that evening.

The On Inn was found by Mill Lane, on one side it was chalked with CP & an arrow pointing toward the Car Park, & another with a P-Arrow pointing the way down Mill Lane to the White Horse!  Though Lemming & Mother hadn’t twig this, but then again he had parked around at the furthest part of the car park.

Back in the Pub & the Hash settled in to one end, the Circle was called fairly quickly, but not as quickly as the subs were called for!  This was mainly because the Pub were good enough to show the Saracens v Cardiff Blues European Rugby match.

No Eye Deer was impressed with the write-up for Run No.1825, being just a few lines of really basic info, which she said Whatever She Says would have been proud to have written!

Paxo called the Circle together, after a reminder of raising a glass the Toast the Hash was observed.  Then the Hare was rewarded for what the Pack agreed was a good Trail.  Mr X took his time as the pint of Rebellion was too god to neck in one!  Back in his RA shoes, Mr X then called upon Lewis & Prince Garmin to step forward for being the ‘Poopy Brothers’ as both had issues with animal nitrate in one form or another on Trail!

Other Down-Downs went to Wanktlers for arriving early by Train & sitting in the ‘expensive’ coffee shop, while allowing the Hare to pass by him & then sit out in the car park for half an hour, his claims of it being too expensive to buy the RA drink didn’t fall on deaf ears.

While the final one was shared by Spotted Dick & Custard for ‘The Barbara Woodhouse award’ for having made one of their pooches develop an irrational hatred of tarmac, while the other one likes to roll around.  Then it was time to retreat back to the Bar to watch Sarries take on Cardiff Blues on the Pub’s TV.