Date = 20th January 2019
Run Number = 1836
Venue = The Half Moon
Location = Hitchin
Hare/s = Sludge & Gorgoyce
Beer = Loads
Runners = 18
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 18 H5
Newies = 0
Après = 3
Hounds = 3
Total = 42
Membership = Joint Run with H5!
The weather was an improvement from the overnight rain, but there was one problem & that was that the Trail set on Saturday had been washed out & with the likes of Where’s Wally? & Sparky being present that day meant Sludge had no choice but to go off & set the Trail once again for Health & safety reasons!
Sludge, ever the gent, left Gorjoyce behind to await the rest of the arriving Pack, while he reset the Trail! Unlike Sludge, who had asked Mr X to emailed & Farcebook everyone “Park sensibly & not use the Pub Car Park & use the streets instead” he also abandoned his Landrover willy-nilly in the Pub Car park in such a position that it took up no-less than three spaces!
When the Circle was called the H4 honours had to be carried out by Paxo, as other senior Herts Hierarchy were not present either in their sickbed missing their H5 chums, or were living it up on the east-coast! Absent this morning from the regular Herts Gang, were Mr X, My Lil’, Fliptop, Sis, Psycho & Skip were all away in Sunny Suffolk [Yes it really was sunny that Sunday Morning in Suffolk! – Ed] for a Birthday Weekend.
Respective R*n Numbers out of the way & the Joint Pack set off, being directed away southward along Park Street, a CHK by the path up Taylor’s Hill was quickly dismissed as the Pack crossed over to the west side of the road. Everyone now began the slow rising climb up Hitchin Hill, on the footpath that runs behind the Priory Wall to find a CHK by the path off through the end of the strip of pine Trees.
The footpath away to the southwest, through the new ‘people’s park’ area at the end of the Priory Gardens, proved to be a Falsie. The Trail continued Southward through the back of Priory End, the Hare setting the Trail had managed to get by the Maximum Security Twilight Home, near to the Three Moorhens, also most of the Pack managed to get by the old folks home without being rounded up like escapees!
Having crossed the footbridge high over the A602, the Trail would lead in to the continuation of the long thin pine plantation, a CHK there saw a few go wrong on the tarmac path, before coming around on the desire-line within the wooded area to continue southward.
“WARNING! WARNING! WILL ROBINSON!” It was near the end of this section of wood that some of H4 became worried for Sparky, for this was the area a year or so ago when he tripped over a prominent tree root, something Sparky didn’t expect to see in a wood! Leaving him with broken glasses & a few cuts & bruises!
A huge sigh of relief was heard as Sparky emerged unscathed & safely out of the wood, Sparky would join the rest of the FRBs on the south-westerly path out over the top of the plateau overlooking the Hitchin hill rolling away toward Charlton in the west. The Pack were not going to lose any altitude just yet, as the Trail crossed the farmland to run through the alleyway out into Priory Way where a CHK was found on the green triangle amongst the houses surrounding this quiet little side estate.
A Footpath sign for another passageway was spotted over at the start of the southern bend in Priory Way, this wooden panelled route would lead out on to Brick Kiln Lane, an old tarmac lane that is now used as a footpath/cycle route. From the CHK on the lane a few were caught out on the north-westerly option, probably because this was the direct route down in to Charlton, but the Trail would be found on the southwestern footpath that would snake its way around the edge of a couple of paddocks before running due south down to Maydencroft Lane.
No messing about on the lane as the Trail headed north-westward a short way to the point where it took to a farm track that leads out over to the Tatmorehills Lane (Track) in the distance.
The Keenies of Depth Charge, Milf, Wanktlers, Sparky, Where’s Wally? Count Roadkill, Port/Starboard all took to this route, hoping that they would be able to catch the Hare, but only a small dot of a figure could be seen over on the other side of the valley, but it was brief as Hedgerows soon masked the identity of who this could have been, one thing was certain & that was neither Sparky or Where’s Wally? could have seen the distant figure.
The FRBs completed the V shape section of the Run as the Tatmorehills track came back northward & back to Maydencroft Road, there SCBs like Paxo, Lobby Lobster, 3D, Lady P & Gorgoyce were found. The Down Hill trot came to a halt at a CHK point near to the Head of the River Hiz, here some of the Pack looked toward the remaining Hare for some kind of a Clue? [Good luck there! – Ed] With no clues forthcoming, some took to one option of the footpath off beside the local Water Pumping Station, an option which proved to be a Falsie as the real Trail was eventually found out in the opposite direction to the west.
The Trail came around through by Maydencroft Farm & out to a CHK at the T junction where it joins the Charlton Road, a CHK was waiting at this point in the Trail. While the option of following the Lane in to Charlton proved wrong for the FRBs, it would be utilized by the SCBs as a Short Cut, leaving the Keenies of Wanktlers, Milf, Where’s Wally? Sparky Port/ Starboard where now taken on a long loop out to the north of Charlton, No Eye Deer would follow on, as would Slug.
The FRBs may have be going the extra mile, but at least they were saved from the sad sight of the Windmill Pub, which has been run-down & left in a right state after planning permission to change it to a home was refused a few years ago.
Having completed the section of Temple Close lane out to the west, the FRBs were turned northward on a rising farm track, a CHK by the staggered junction with another route heading away to the northeast. While some like Depth Charge fell for the north bound option, the real Trail was picked up on what was the old uncapped Windmill Lane, which at this point is a hedged-in by way.
A sudden turn to the north would take the FRBs away up to the edge of the A505 before coming around & down to the southeast along the Drive way for the local stables & back in to the eastern side of Charlton. Still there was no sign of the Hare, but he hadn’t finished with the Pack yet!
For having run northward up to the Willow Lane & then eastward up to the A602, the Hare would take the Pack under the A602 subway & then away from the shortest route back on the path over the Hiz & up behind the Priory Gardens. Nope, the Trail would now take to the old Charlton Road as it led on between the houses, most notably the large Radcliffe House which is surrounded by an old red-brick wall.
At the end of Old Charlton Road the Trail would turn right, to head down Tilehouse Street, an established & older part of Hitchin, this is an almost direct route back to the Half Moon with just a slight kink in direction was where the route becomes Bridge Street & leads straight up to the roundabout the Half Moon sits beside.
Paxo stood in for the absent Herts RA, While Rapid carried out the honours for H5 - Plenty of Down-Downs when the Circle was called. The Hares were rewarded for their efforts – especially Sludge for going around again. The Newbies had theirs; others included Lady P, something to do with Count Roadkill having friends?? There were plenty more but the link to GCHQ went down by this point as the satellite was needed for other surveillance work!