Date =                            29th April 2019

Run Number =            1850    

Venue =                        The Plume of Feathers

Location =                    Ickleford

Hare/s =                        Mr X

Beer =                           Trawlawney, DooooomBaaaarr

Runners =                    14                                               

Virgins =                        0

Visitors =                       0

Newies =                       0

Après =                          1

Hounds =                      1

Total =                          16

Membership =             Meeting Three Nuns & an absent Pie!


            Storm Hannah hit during this week, causing very little problems for the majority of residents of Hertfordshire but sometimes there can be after effects.  There were some delays on the roads of the County, the worse conditions being far worse in Ware, it must have snowed lightly to prevent Paxo & the normally hardy locals from descending Mount Tower Hill?  Txt messages flew back & forth warning of delays, but the rest of the Pack seemed to get through to the venue with little inconvenience.

The early arrivals, like Fliptop, were surprised that Mr X, My Lil’ & Wanktlers had walked to the venue from Hitchin Railway Station, which only took around 20 minutes by utilizing an alleyway.  Mark E Mark’s entrance, with Lobby Lobster, Ketchup & Prince Garmin meant No Eye Deer was soon being welcomed with a “Great all that food last week!” as Mark E Mark rubbed his belly, obviously he was still proud of his stacking of food on his plate, if this was an Olympic sport he’s be a gold medallist!

            There was no TBT OBE available this week to make a pig’s ear of the introductions, he was out in France partaking on a Battlefields Tour.  Instead, Fliptop was on hand to smoothly carry out the honours.  With the intro’s done the Hare was called forward, where Mr X would go through the spiel about the Trail markings, the fact that there were Short Cuts & also a Held CHK with a Sweet Stop were noted, but what did catch the attention of the Hash was the mention of a Beer Stop, so money was need for this Trail.

            After a bit of faffing about for change, the Pack finally set off out of the back of the Pub Car Park, where the Hare had just placed a CHK for My Lil’s benefit.  A grumbling My Lil’ just stood there, not even using the nearby bench to sit on, as the CHK was in his opinion ‘Far to close’ too the Pub.  No Eye Deer went the wrong way into the nearby housing estate, but it was down to Wanktlers to find the Trail just out down Chamber’s lane.

            The next CHK was pretty visible as the Pack came around a short walled corner, which made My Lil’ wonder why this couldn’t have been the first CHK?  At least he was now checking out for Dust from this CHK which sat by the footpath signs pointing north-westward along the eastern edge of the local Sports & Social Club.  Wanktlers & Where’s Wally? were soon on to the Trail as it headed out behind the housing estate, on a footpath running beside the crop fields on a route toward the Bedford Road.

A Bar CHK would terminate Where’s Wally? & Wanktlers progress, they would return to find the Trail markings had been altered & the rest of the pack were off away on a footpath along the western side of the Sport Complex, the Hare explained that when he was setting the Trail the day before the was a large party of French Folk playing Boulle (or Petanque) against the locals.

Sludge was now well away on the footpath that leads along the tree line & then through the small pine plantation at the north-western corner of the sports ground, passing through the gate & the other Keenies of My Lil, Tent Packer, Milf & No Eye Deer ventured out along the edge of a crop field after Sludge.

 Wanktlers & Where’s Wall? would now catch up with the Hare on the path out to the north of Ickleford, it wouldn’t take too long before they had also caught up with Lobby Lobster, Ketchup, Mark E Mark & Prince Garmin, as the Pack were soon milling around a CHK a few hundred feet along this path.  Another option of heading over to the Bedford Road was the preferred option the Trail could take to, with Sludge being the exception & he would pick up the Trail.

            The Trail would continue along to the northwest, to a point where another CHK was found by yet another footpath over to the Bedford Road, with Sludge not seeing the Dust on the correct Path he was on & his turning back lured the rest of the Pack to look out down this option, which was wrong!

The Hare indicated that it was a Falsie heading out to the west, at least having been caught out had a nice green vista of farm land, with no sign of the any roads.  Sludge had turned again before the rest got back on track, so he was well ahead of the rest of the Pack & he was spotted running eastward along by a brook, there was no dust on the southern side of this.

Sludge must have spotted the Dust on the northern side of the brook & he was soon seen scuttling back to the CHK point, which was located on the small wooden footbridge spanning the brook as it runs through a small wooded area.  Wanktlers found the correct Trail, with Tent Packer following on, Fliptop & Teddy came back from the Falsie which lay to the west.

The narrow eastbound path of tall grasses, cow-parsley & a few nettles runs between the wire fence of a paddock & the edge of the brook, which was dotted with trees.  Mr X made sure that Mark E Mark, Lobby Lobster & Ketchup with Freddie & Prince Garmin, by marking the route around the south side on the permissive path that Sludge had run along earlier & gone back on.

The two paths would meet at a point where the water disappears under a wide grassy section to allow farm equipment to cross over, though Kylie seemed more preoccupied with the old sleepers that made up a part of the structure.  The path was straight forward as it headed over toward the Next CHK, which was found on the crossroad intersection with a north-south footpath, the southern option was easily dismissed as this led straight back to Ickleford, though No Eye Deer was tempted!

This left the eastern hard-capped option into delightfully named Snailswell, or the Northerly footpath running through the fields to the north.  Fliptop & Teddy, Sludge, My Lil’ & Tent Packer passed in amongst the trees by the Small Holding [Steady there Pebbledash! – Ed] on the edge of Snailswell, a menagerie of fowl & other animals could be seen through the surrounding tree-line.

Meanwhile, Wanktlers had made his way to the north, & as the Hare pointed out to No Eye Deer of how far Wanktlers had gone before he had called “On!” - the Hare would not have gone that far to set a Falsie!  The Pack would now run the longest section of the Trail so far to find a CHK where this path terminates on the T junction with another east-west footpath.

 This CHK didn’t seemed to cause many problems as the Hash soon moved up on to the short section of path to the north-east.  The Hare was happy to see those ahead of My Lil’ & No Eye Deer had gone off around the corner on the farm track around into Upper Green.

Fliptop could be heard enquiring from Sludge, Tent Packer, Where’s Wall? & Milf if it was a Bar CHK they were coming back from, the simple answer it was!  They were soon on their way back, only to see My Lil’ & No Eye Deer were heading away to the north, though the angle the path would take made it appear that it was heading north-eastward instead of due north.

The Pack had a really pleasant run out between the fields, everyone was impressed by the nice warm evening the day had become, No Eye Deer was more than delighted to hear the Skylarks in the fields as the Pack headed out toward New Ramerwick Farm.

A CHK was found by the permissive footpath heading over toward the not so delightfully named Pestol Farm, a place that derives its name for the fact there was once a pit there where Plague Victims were buried, this option tempted Where’s Wally?, Tent Packer, My Lil’, Sludge, Wanktlers, Fliptop & Teddy, at least this time Milf managed not to get caught out here for she had slowed up to take photos.

The Pack were not too far apart as the Keenies came back to continue Northward between the crop fields, until reaching the CHK point by the east-west Hedgerow.  Prince Garmin was one of the first to this point, but he waited for the more seasoned Hashers, like Sludge, to arrive.

The Dust was found by Sludge on the eastward ‘Permissive Path’, Wanktlers was soon with as was Where’s Wally? as the route ahead looked fairly easy, a nice very, very gentle descending wide grassy track heading toward the Tree-line to the east.  However, with the absence of Sparky & TBT OBE, No Eye Deer took it upon herself to slip & fall on her derriere, all within the RA’s sight, for he was behind her.  No Eye Deer tried to deny she had fallen back, but the seat of her jogging bottoms told a different dusty story!

The Trail would now pass through the hedgerow & out on to scrubby wooded section of Ickleford Common, there a CHK was found.  The Trail now headed southward through the common, which is flanked on its eastern side by the River Hiz.   It was in this section that the Hare had requested Dogs to be kept on leads & the Hash to walk, in order not disturb the live-stock, which as predicted would be at the southern end, the sheep section of the common.

 The Trail weaved its way along a serpentine like path amongst the trees & bushes, it was pretty well marked, so well-marked that it allowed Ketchup time to look at the old lorry trailers & cabs, that appeared to be pre-1960s, many looked as if they were a part of the hedge & tree-line for Pestol Farm.

The Pack would emerge from the scrubby wooded west side of the common, there it would pass through the area near to the sheep, the Pack all obeyed the Hare’s instructions & walked this section of lush long grass.  The Sheep & their lambs didn’t seemed bothered by the Pack.  Many noted how the lambs have grown so big already.

Arrows now pointed the way out along the dusty stony farm drive as it turned from due east to due south, taking this route meant that the Hash would be away from the cattle enclosures.  Milf thought that she saw something in the bovine enclosure, was it a Badger, or some other large mammal?  Mr X had seen a muntjac the day before while setting the Trail, perhaps it was one of these small deer?   [News in from Scotland, Beavers are now a protected by law! That is the end of this Bulletin! - Ed]

The Trail led by the few homes lining the end of the western side of the track, before coming out on to Lower Green, at the northern end of Ickleford, a village that’s name is from the fact that its named after the Icknield way that passes through it. 

The Trail was marked on one side of the avenue of trees as this arched around the uncapped road, to be led by the entrance to the local stables, where the Trail had been kicked out a little.  Even Sludge & Where’s Wally? could see what the markings were supposed to be & followed the Trail up to the northeast & on to the Arlesey Road. 

By the time the Hare reached this point he could see the bright lime green day-glo top of Where’s Wally?, as he bobbed along over behind the trees of a small common area over the opposite side of the road.  Calls of “Held Check!” managed to get Where’s Wally? to come back, possibly from scaring the local squirrels over there, to the Held CHK by footbridge over the River Hiz, located just before the railway bridge at Cadwell.

Milf recalled this bridge, at the side of the road, from a previous run where the surface was extremely slippery, thankfully this was not that case on this day.  The Pack now regrouped, as the Hare handed out ‘Foam Bananas’ but it seems that Tent Packer doesn’t like Bananas, but it didn’t stop the rest digging in!

Prince Garmin was up with the FRBs at this point & stuck with them as they crossed over where the Hare had marked it to avoid the other paths around Cadwell to head along by one of the slower flowing of the many streams around here that feeds the Hiz.  Where’s Wally? complained about the bity-things buzzing around the slow moving water, Mr X told him to run & then he wouldn’t get bitten, perhaps the colour of his top was not the best as no doubt it was a bit of a magnet to the bugs?

Anyhow, the small bit section of common was run, with the FRBs keeping an eye out through the scrubby bushes for Kylie, Ketchup, Lobby Lobster & Mark E Mark, who were the tail of the Pack still on the opposite side of the rad.  The time was now heading toward ten to the hour, so once back on the western side of the road the Pack would head southward to where a large BS was found outside of the Cricketers. 

The Hare hung back long enough to be spotted by Kylie, then the last three of Lobby Lobster, Mark E Mark & Ketchup, they also spotted the Hare, soon all of the Pack were in the Cricketers enjoying a nice pint of Clophill or JHB.

Mr X & No Eye Deer went off with the Landlord to have a look at the function room he has built, as well as the other improvements he’s making to the Pub, could be a potential meeting place, but definitely a place to Hash from in the future, especially with the new Permissive Paths that link the Common to the farm land north of Ickleford.

The Pack would set off again just after the hour, trotting along the short distance back to the Plume of Feathers, only Fliptop looked off from the CHK by a side street to the footpaths behind the homes, he was called back by the Hare.  It was clear that Sludge wasn’t fooled by this rouse, he wouldn’t be turned from this straight & fast route back.

Along the way passing the nice cottages & homes on the west with the slightly new estates & the village Hall over to the east.  The Pack passed by the On Inn & turned on to Upper Green, with its prominent Shelter which was dedicated to King George (V) & Queen Mary & stands almost centrally on the edge of the green, the Hash were now all walking, as they passed by what looked like Alms Houses to the Pub.

In the Pub & the Hash were asked to sit in one end of the Bar, as there was a Dart’s Match in progress, so the Pack squeezed in.  Mr X popped out to change, while outside of the front of the Pub he saw the figure, a somewhat rare sighted figure these days, of Pôrgu Pie.  Seems that his time of being let out is very limited these days, but who knows in the future he may get the odd day off for Good Behaviour?

Pôrgu Pie joined the pack inside, proudly showing films of Aoife – who had grown since the Hash last saw her, but swimming, Yoga & other things prevent him escaping on a regular basis.  The Pack chatted about the London Marathon, with two of our own completing it, but only one of them successfully finding the City/London Hash Beer Table!  And then Gemma threw that away after a few sips – No Doubt Mr X will get a Down-Down for letting London Hashers know their race number when he meets up with them next?

When it came to the Down-Downs Fliptop managed to get the Pack outside, thankfully taking the RA away from the embarrassment of the Pack eating Pork Scratchings that were now purchased in the Pub [Are we turning in to the Hare & Hounds?  We’ll soon be having down-downs of cheap canned beer in the car park! – Ed] all of which one of the Sisters running the Pub may have clocked as she looked slightly miffed.

After the Toast to the Hash, the Hare was asked to step forward.  Mr X received his Down-Down, for what everyone agreed was a great Trail!  Then he took over as RA, so in no particular order we had: Lobby lobster for lost property, a New Hash T-Shirt (that came with a free Beer).  Pôrgu Pie for turning up & not going to the rear car park where the first CHK point was, signing the book & parting with £2, it’s obvious that he hasn’t lost any of his drinking prowess – it’s still as slow as an elderly Galapagos tortoise!

Also out was Wanktlers, for not only going to the Quorn Hash Weekend, but also coming back with & showing the Herts Pack a Menu from the Three Nuns Pub, a Beer Stop that was especially changed for his benefit, as he was in character as Father Jack Hackett!

No Eye Deer had hers for standing in, or rather falling over, for TBT OBE!  Then it was time to retreat back into the Bar.