Date = 7th April 2019
Run Number = 1847
Venue = The Countryman
Location = Chipping
Hare/s = Fliptop
Beer = Dooombar; Sharps
Runners = 18
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 4
Hounds = 1
Total = 23
Membership = The AGPU.
The prospect of a scrumptious sausage platter après Trail seems to have worked in boosting numbers this week, or was it the threat of being absent & being elected to a position on the Mismanagement, like the unenviable job of Haberdasher which spurred many to run out?
Anyhow, the Pack gathered in the car park of the Countryman, which had been graciously opened early for use of the facilities before the R*n would start, & these were used by some of the Harriettes & Skip. Time edged around beyond the hour, & My Lil’ had begun to get itchy feet [You can get cream for them! – Ed] then the minute hand passed beyond the 5 past mark before the Hare (& GM for the time being) got around to carrying out the honours, thankfully there were shots of Port available to numb the tedium.
After a long, drawn out spiel from the Hare, which allowed Skip & Psycho to get changed, the Hare’s thoughts turned to the first CHK, which was directly across from the Pub. As far as My Lil’ was concerned the Hare may have just as well have put this outside the front door of the Pub, he wasn’t keen to check it immediately, even over the busy Ermine Street. A major Roan Road from London to Lincoln & then York, the Old English name was "Earninga Straete" so called after a tribe called the Earningas, who inhabited a district later known as Armingford Hundred, around Arrington, Cambridgeshire & Royston, just up the road.
Mr X was first across, having found a gap in the traffic, while the rest waited for a respite in the passing motorcars & motorcycles, this route is popular with bikers as they stop of up the A10 at the Silver Ball Café, a few miles north of Chipping.
With everyone over the road the obvious westerly by-way track beside Chipping Hall was checked out & “On!” called, but just by the opint the grassy route comes out on to a track of chippings a T was found. So, it was an about-turn for Mr X, TBT OBE, Rose, Mark, Jamie, Sludge, FWB & Jenny to find that the CHK had been marked away from the nearby bus shelter to point northward up the A10.
My Lil’s refusal to check out from the first CHK worked in his benefit, for he was soon off up the old Roman Road of Ermine Street, & opening up a large gap between the rest of the Pack. The Trail passed by the small estate of the Square, running by the old red phone box that now houses a defibrillator, the Pack then came up to a CHK by the corner of the garden of the last house on the west side of Chipping.
Jenny continued up Ermine Street as it rises up Chipping Hill, she would be called back as My Lil’s knowledge of previous Trails around these parts took him off beside the house in a westward direction along the edge of the open crop fields, there he would pick up the Trail.
The Path would turn to a nor-nor-west direction, having turned the corner where the field meets up with the tree-lined dried up bed of the River Rib, peering down between the trees & bushes the sad sight of the dry bare stone bottom of the former river could be seen. My Lil’ was first to the CHK point where the footpath crosses over to the western side of the Rib, he stuck with the eastern side to CHK it out further along by the old River toward Buckland Bottom
No calls of any progress were heard on the eastern side, so Mark began to search on the unofficial path back over toward Ermine Street, all to no avail. Mr X chose to search the south option on the west side of the treeline ditch, he would not find any Dust either. Meanwhile Sludge, No Eye Deer & Jenny searched toward the nor-nor-west on the western side of the river only to see My Lil’ reappear up ahead of them, having cut through from the eastern side, the Pack seemed puzzled as to where the Trail went?
The Hare arrived with Gemma & Rose who then set about taking to the desire-line Path within the wooded edge of the ditch, there the Dust was found. Unlike Sludge, Kylie, Sparky & My Lil’, Mr X decided that while still being RA, it was worth taking to the path that the Trail was on, so he was safe from any “Short Cutting” remarks as he safely followed on behind Gemma & Rose while the others stuck with being off-trail on the outside of the tree-line.
The Trail emerged up from the end of the wider strip of trees, to now head along the western edge to a CHK at a fork in the path. My Lil’ headed out through the field of brassicas, while the rest of the Pack stuck with the Hare who walked around the easier easy strip around the edge of the Rib, which was a far flatter & even surface. Sludge soon caught on to the fact that My Lil’ had spotted Dust & had now turned off of the nor-nor-west path to head westward up the hill.
Sludge now lead Sparky, Mark, Jamie, No Eye Deer, FWB, Rose & Gemma on the way up between the edge of two fields to follow on behind My Lil’, meanwhile Mr X was making up lost ground & was passing by Flanders, then Kylie & Whatever She Says as they too turned the corner. Little Hole, Psycho & Skip made up the tail of the Pack. Teddy was let off the lead here & immediately went in to the crop field to defecate, Kylie said “Good luck finding that one Fliptop!” as Teddy kicked back the earth & ran off.
The Trail turned to the north, as it came around the end of the field separating ditch, but Kylie seemed more concerned at a small pile of white pellets that were spilt from when the farmer was spreading fertilizer across his crops, than looking for Trail. This North bound trot was only a few yards before a CHK was found by My Lil’, he was quickly heading up toward through the crops to the top of the ridge that Hodenhoe Manor sits upon, Sludge & Sparky joined him on this route, only to find a T at the top.
The Rest of the Pack were far enough behind to still with be with the Hare, who marked the way up toward Hyde Hall Farm & this saved them from falling for My Lil’, Sludge & Sparky feigning that they were at a regroup, as they stood waiting upon the ridge in the hope that the rest of the Pack would fall for their rouse, it clearly didn’t work. AT least there was a nice green vista through the vale, with no roads in view.
Ironically on the way up toward Hyde Hall Farm, the Trail would stop at a Held CHK by the outside southern corner of the a hedged-in paddock, not that far around the ridge from where the other three had been caught out. There was a plethora of different sweets being handed out by Rose, it was like being in a confectioners awash with Wine Gums, Jelly Babies, Liquorice Allsorts& Haribos, all of which were enjoyed, there were plenty to go around & the Haribo’s even made Fliptop speak in a high-pitched childish voice, just like the TV advert!
As the Pack looked back down the hillside they saw a scene that could have been from The Last of the Summer Wine, as My Lil’, Sludge & Sparky came back ‘On Trail’. Further back on the Trail Psycho, Little Hole & Skip were on their way as well, Skip was encouraged by the Pack calling from up the hillside.
The Hare now mentioned something he negated at the Pre-Trail Circle, a fact that the next section of Trail would come around by an open Cess-pit on a bend, this was to be avoided, Mr X asked Fliptop “Why didn’t you have the Sweetie Stop there?” after which the Keenies were allowed to continue with the Trail.
With Skip at the regroup the Trail continued, My Lil’ & FWB were over the stile through the hedgerow & into the paddock behind, this was split in to two, with a third of the rectangle being separated by wire fencing as it had been cultivated for a crop, it was this bit that My Lil’ & FWB went in to, but had to be called back from, as the real Trail was found by Jenny in the larger horse paddock section, though the gate was pretty well jammed & Mr X had to use brute force to open this.
Out of the opposite end of the paddock & the Pack would head westward through the lush, wet green grass, ash boots became damp on the way to the corner of the hedge where the slurry pit was found, no one fell in as they made their way through the gate in the hedge & then up the path in front of the single row of terraced homes beside the farm, this is not just a working farm but a small industrial estate as well, with several small works units dotted around.
A CHK was found on the western side of the Farm, there My Lil’ choose, as he called it “The wrong option!” out through the farm fields to the southwest, while Mr X chose the south-eastern option though the farmyard. On the way Mr X explained to the woman that the Pack were following white marking if Flour, which would not harm her Black Labrador or her Twonky-dog (a border terrier)! Mr X wasn’t put off by a local woman’s claims that there was no Public Right of Way through this, even when the marker posts were pointed out to her, Mr X ignored her protests & carried on out through the farm drive that the footpath follows through a dog-leg turn in the drive.
Behind him Mr X could hear Sparky calling out “Are you?” while Mr X called out “On! On!” then just so those behind really got the message Mr X then raised his arm to indicate that he had found the Trail. Sparky questioned whether this was because there were Horses (Which is understandable as it is the normal sign for indicating Horse on Trail & ‘Hash Hush’ to be obeyed, in order not to scare them) Mr X said that it was due to the fact that Sparky wouldn’t have heard Mr X’s calling [Must be the exception! – Ed] so a raised arm was used to indicate the Trail had been found.
There was no CHK by were the footpath turns off of the drive to head way to the west, but the Trail stuck with the dusty gravel drive to the south, & so a long gentle down-hill trot by Bush Wood was ran to come out on to the road. A CHK on the bend in the lane out to remote homes at Brookside caught most of the Keenies out.
Sludge took to one side of a hedgerow to the east, while Mr X searched on the opposite southern side of the hedge, neither found any Dust. Then it appeared that “On!” was called down on the lane out toward Brookside but Jenny & My Lil’s progress seemed to peter-out.
TBT OBE kicked the CHK through in that direction toward Brookside, then the FRBs turned back as Mr X said the Hash should check it out toward the solitary footpath sign to the south, TBT OBE than attempted to correct the break in the CHK that he had broken! The Hare knew of TBT OBE's over-eagerness to mark some of the CHKs & Fliptop had been repairing these breaks in the circles & then adding an arrow in the correct direction.
Of course Dust was found to the south when My Lil’, Gemma & Mr X headed down that way, but for them they would go astray as carefully placed blob of flour led them on to the footpath off of the opposing bend & out by an open barn, Jamie & FWB also followed on before everyone realised that the Trail did not go that way.
On the way back to the lane, they stray FRBs saw Sludge had followed the road around & he was calling “On!” all of which had seemed to have a spring in his step, now Sludge was at the front of the Pack on the narrow lane heading away to the east. Gemma took over looking after Rose on the lane, allowing Jamie to run & catch up with Mark & the Keenies. Mr X was now happy to head this way, for he knew that a footpath around here would cut across over Mill Hill & back into Chipping.
Sure enough the Trail would leave the lane, heading on to the edge of the farm field, there Sludge was spotted cutting across the crop toward the hedgerow, on the other side of which was the footpath ran. Sludge ignored the comments about being ‘Off Trail’! Now wayward & '’cropping' Sludge feigned deafness, then it looked like he was going to turn back toward the FRBs but he managed to squeeze through a small gap in the hedgerow to get on to the final north-easterly rise on the footpath over Mill Hill.
At the end of a steady clamber, & once over the crown of the hill, it was a straight down-hill trot back to Chipping Hall, but as is the norm it wouldn’t go as planned for some. My Lil’ was now determined to catch Sludge & he did pass by him just before the On Inn. Most of the Keenies reached the On Inn without any issue, finding the Trail that would take to the right-hand side, where the very first path the first Falsie was on, joins the Track.
One would think that the end of the Trail should have been a simple task to follow this backward? But not for TBT OBE, who opened the gate with the “DOGS RUNNING LOOSE, NO ENTRY!” sign upon it. Thankfully the RA was on hand to call him back, for TBT OBE wouldn’t be able to get out at other end of his little trespass, to be fair although he claimed he didn’t have his glasses to read the sign, TBT OBE did admit that “It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t trespass!”
Once over the busy road the Keenies soon found that getting back in over an hour, meant that they weren’t there for when the Pub opened, & so the Hash’s usual seats had all be taken up by locals, so the Pack became a little spread out. This didn’t spoil anything, as Trashes were handed out, with voting forms, then Ewok, Paxo & 2-1-2 Maureen arrived to join the fold for the nosh later. It was noted that TBT OBE hadn’t delivered the Trashes to Pebbledash & Pepé le Pew, as well as Ewok & Paxo’s from the weekend before as requested to by the RA! Excuses of Pepé le Pew dashing off cut no ice with the Scribe!
Jenny thought that the What3words app email was a Spam email from the Herts account, which had not been hacked! Though early in the week the Herts email received a spam phishing email to say we had been caught ''Masturbating on our Webcam' (Steady there Pebbledash! - Ed) Jenny was put right before she left early.
The What3words concept is simple, once it is explained, but it takes time when we are dealing with people who can not understand that Post Codes are for Post Office sorting offices to bundle up mail going to the same area, not the same single address. [Seriously herding cats us easier! - Ed]
The Pack would have a raffle, the proceeds of which are going to be added to the cheque for St Clare’s Hospice, in memory of Sloppy Seconds. There were a range of prizes from bottles of Wine to your normal Hash tat, all of this was accompanied by lots of comments like “You didn’t sell that many tickets!”
Down-Downs were ordered, Ewok sorted out the voting results, but then the food was available & the rest was soon all placed on the back burner as Paxo organised the Vegetarian, Faketarian, Women & Children First [He would have made a good steward on the Titanic! – Ed]
Time to tuck in to the soup, sausage platter, haggis platter, roast spuds, sausages, which again was extremely good.
Whatever She Says made it clear that he thought that the Circle should be held outside, but traditionally we have always held it inside as it entertains the Landlord & locals alike, plus Paxo clucked about the weather had now turned to rain, which Whatever She Says' phone had predicted earlier. Meanwhile Kylie was more concerned about his newly purchased local free-range eggs! He was also chuffed that he had announced the venue for his Trail, the following Monday, more than 48 hour warning this time around.
With some going around for seconds, it took a while before the results of the Voting was announced to the Pack by Ewok, unlike the UK government there was no calls of "Order! Orrrdddeeer!" As the results were read out, to reveal that there was little change in the committee, as you can tell by the header to this Trash.
In Tent Packers absence, he was re-elected to Haberdasher, Milf too was kept in her position & as for the rest of the mismanagement who were present they all accepted their Down-Downs. The other categories of Newie of the Year went to Rose, who was also presented with a toy Unicorn. The Trail of the Year went to Fliptop for his Birthday 'Hunt the Blue Plaques of Royston'; Hare of the Year was My Lil'; Venue of the Year was the Countryman, so the Landlord was also handed a Down-Down.
Jamie, Rose & Mark all received their 10th Run bum-bags, mark remained in the Circle as he was given the Hash Handle of 'Hash Test Dummy' (Don't forget the other three are in need of a Hash Name! -Ed) Mr X may have been voted in ahead of Reg Holdsworth as the Herts RA, but he managed to forget Gemma’s Birthday, which it was that very day!
After the Circle Kylie commented on if Mr X was going to put something about Fliptop’s Band playing, in t the Trash, then Mr X pointed out that it was already in the Trash he had been given that day, on the paper & on-line Hare -lines! Perhaps Fliptop’s Band could be playing at the Sausage Tossing Competition, which will be taking place on the same day as the Gibberd Garden Beer Festival Trail, Saturday the 15th June! Hopefully we can get a couple of Tossers over to Chipping to keep up our ‘Champion Tosser’ record?