Date = 3rd June 2019
Run Number = 1855
Venue = The White Horse
Location = Burnham Green
Hare/s = Spotted Dick & Custard
Beer = Mac’s AK, IPA & Headless Horse
Runners = 9
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 2
Total = 11
Membership = Then there were nine!
The threat of rain never materialised, just a few spots on the carriage windows as Wanktlers got his Train from Potters Bar, he met with Mr X at Welwyn where they both walked up, on the way they clocked a part of the Trail but they were soon distracted by a guy who was cycling along without his hands on his handlebars, it wasn’t his balancing act that they noticed but the overpowering distinctive smell of cannabis, strong enough to almost stop them in their tracks.
Anyhow, on their now happy arrival they discovered that there weren’t so many of the regulars in the car park. Mr X wasn’t particularly at his best this evening, suffering from a combination of the ‘Bicester Bug’, which has laid Paxo low, & attending one of the (if not) the best Premiership Rugby finals at Twickenham. Fortunately he had more sense than Tequilher-over, who celebrated Saracens victory by swimming across to Eel-Pie Island in the Thames!
Back to the Trail, the Circle was called out on the green near to the triangulation point. After Fliptop’s welcoming message, the Hares stepped forward to explain what to expect out there on the Trail, the main points of interest where a bit of road running, so to be careful, & that with only seven Hashers at the Circle there were going to be plenty of sweets at the Sweetie Stop, which Custard explained wasn’t a Held CHK but more of a view point! Before the Pack set off, Mr X told the rest to look out for any stoned cyclists lying in the hedgerow!
Words of “Check it out!” from Spotted Dick must have irked My Lil’, even though there was no CHK outside of the Pub, but it was too close for the man who doesn’t like searching from the start! Mr X, on the other hand, was up for checking the footpath that runs nor-nor-west & almost hidden behind the bushes & trees beside the Pub, once out into the fields above Burnham Green he would find Dust leading away between the wheat crops. By now the earlier grey clouds had evaporated & the pack were running under almost clear blue skies.
It was a long start until Mr X reached the next CHK, sitting at a cross roads of Footpaths by a long spinney along the nor-nor-west route. Mr X headed off to the west, on a path though the wheat crop that heads over toward the edge of Harmer Green but as he called “On!” he heard what was not an echo from behind him but Ewok’s calls as she had picked up Trail still heading away to the nor-nor-west!
Mr X turned back as he heard Ewok still calling, cheekily Ewok then adding a “Wave to Mr X!” & so the flock of Hashers behind her obeyed like sheep & all waved to the solitary figure way over by the Barnes Wood at the bottom of Harmer Green Wood. Mr X waved back, then as he began to walk back to the CHK, then he espied that the Hares had stopped after marking the CHK for a second time & were now coming over toward him! Mr X’s waving was now more vigorous as he turned again after seeing Ewok, My Lil’ with Lola, Fliptop with Teddy & Wanktlers all turn back from the Falsie.
Mr X was pleased to hear his fresh calls of “On! On!” echoing over toward the others as he strode on toward the next CHK at the bottom of Barnes Wood, there he ignored the option to the left & the right, carrying on to run through on the footpath toward Harmer Green to the southwest.
Coming out to the area of homes dotted around within Barnes wood, there another CHK was located. Mr X was not for turning, not just yet, for he opted to go through the front garden to the footpath that runs beside the property. With the ‘Please shut the gate’ signs on the short five-bar front garden gate, then on the tall latched panelled gate to the footpath behind.
The rest would soon make up the ground he had gained, for Mr X walked a fair part of this section to allow them to catch up & to get over the weekend! Lola & Teddy were soon barked at after arousing the attention of the resident dogs in the homes that the path runs behind, here there was also a bit of a pong & the broken old street lamp-like pillar soon revealed itself to be a vent for a septic tank or a sewage system.
Away from the whiff & the Pack were soon bunching up again as the Trail came to a CHK by another crossroads of footpaths. While My Lil’ searched to the northwest, Ewok scanned for Dust to the southeast, Mr X doggedly continued to the southwest. All three option had calls of “On!” & knowing that there was Dust out on Harmer Green Mr X continued, he ended up ‘Sludgeing’ when he spotted a Line of Flour & continued beyond it.
Ewok was on the correct Trail out to reach the Harmer Green Lane, she crossed the lane & turned south-westward to run through the small wooded area where she could see that Mr X had nipped over a little way ahead of the rest before he called “On!”
The Trail followed the serpentine-like bending lane, passing the slightly hidden concrete carbuncle of a nuclear observation bunker to where the roadside footpath comes down in to Harmer Green. Away from the old Cold War legacy to a large arrow which pointed the way over to the green. A small island of grass in the ox-bow like tarmac lane, Ewok missed the second arrow & this was pointed out to her as Mr X & Wanktlers crossed the tarmac to follow the Dust down from beside the village Pond.
Taking to the delightfully named Pennyfather’s Lane, this would bring back memories for My Lil’, who as a kid once did a ‘Milk Round’ around these parts. [No it wasn’t a horse-drawn milk float! – Ed] The route to the southeast soon became uncapped as it reached a CHK in front of Keeper’s Cottage.
Here Wanktlers found the Falsie out to fields to the southwest, the other remaining options were to carry on ahead, or take a left on narrow track, it didn’t matter which one was chosen as the left option took to Vera Lane, but only for a hundred yards before turning to run behind Keeper’s Cottage & meet up to the main track. Wanktlers managed to do this loop as well, before following on behind Fliptop & Ewok who were ahead on the uncapped farm track.
The Pack could now enjoy a nice long downhill trot, along by the windbreak hedgerow separating the crop fields to the east of Digswell, the further the Trail dropped in to the valley the better the view became as the hedge thinned enough to allow the Hash to peer through toward Welwyn Garden City in the distance on the opposite side of the Mimram Valley.
Near the bottom of the valley Wanktlers would now go wrong twice, again as he searched both options on the northeast to southwest path that intersects the wide, stony & dusty farm track. Once on the level of the bottom of the vale a CHK with an X inside was discovered & all of the Pack stopped there for the Sweetie stop. Seems that not everyone is a fan of the sour sweets as Mr X, the Wine Gums being the preferred choice of most.
Time to appreciate the all-round view, Mr X stood in for the absent Hash-Flash – who was up at the National Railway Museum in York, getting through boxes of ‘man-sized’ tissues no doubt? Then with pictures taken it was time to head up hill on a steep climb into Dawley Wood, Mr X soon realised that chewing Wine Gums & climbing a steep slope wasn’t beneficial!
Once upon the wooded plateau there was a chirping bird up in the broadleaf trees that left Custard puzzled. Mr X didn’t know the birdsong wither, Ornithology isn’t that strong to recognise bird calls. Out of the tree cover & the track moved south-easterly through the fields toward Margery Green, not that it is much of a green these days, more of a horsey area on the edge of the crops.
A CHK was found at this point & it didn’t take My Lil’ long to pick out the Trail, as it headed north-eastward between the hawthorn hedges up toward the Upper Green end at the north-western end of Tewin. Spotted Dick commented that there was no way My Lil’ was going to be fooled, unlike Ewok who had carried on & Fliptop who had gone to the western side but then was seen to stop in the hedgerow, no doubt to scare the squirrels?
On by edge of Upper Green & the Trail would now turn northward, moving a few degrees to the west as it progressed along the longest stretch for the Pack, running out of a wooded area to take to the edge of fallow fields behind the properties on the western side the Upper Green Road, then making its way through the enclosed path between two large horse paddocks where the road was now Orchard Road. Spotted Dick kind of apologised for this section of Trail, but there are time that you can do much with the available paths & the local geography.
While there was only one last fallow field to make their way through, My Lil’ went wrong when he veered off to the west near the end, he realised his mistake when Wanktlers called “On!” As Mr X made his way along through the tall wispy grass he let out a long loud belch, suddenly from behind the tall hedges a little voice called out “Daddy, what was that noise?” to which her father replied he didn’t know! [Och, there’s a moose loos aboot this hoose! – Ed]
Passing through the north-eastern corner of the fallow field, once beyond the gate the On Inn was found. So, it by the village Hall & a Mile marker then finally a walk over the Green, passing the trig point & back to the White Horse, where one of the Ales was called Headless Horse. It is said that the White Horse pub got its name from the tale of the headless horse when it opened at the start of the nineteenth century, the local White Horse Lane is said to be haunted by the said decapitated equine.
White Horse Lane sits more or less on the boundary between Danelaw & ting Alfred’s Saxons land, one story is that the equine spectre dates back to a battle which took place in 1002, when a white horse was beheaded in battle and haunts the Lane to this day.
Another story dates back to the English Civil War when, it is claimed, Farmer Pennyfather, a Royalist, was beheaded by the Roundheads, with his head being placed upon a spike in the farmyard at Welches. T he Roundheads tried to take Pennyfather’s favourite horse, but it would not leave. So it, too, was beheaded & has haunted the lane ever since.
Having settled in & having had a Beer, the Circle was about to be called when Psycho & Skip walked in after completing all of the Trail. The circle was delayed until they had their drinks sorted out.
When it came to the Circle, Fliptop carried out the Honours, with both the Hares being rewarded for a great scenic Trail with lots of Herts Country side to run through, taking all of 55 minutes, while the other Down-Down went to Mr X for his Sludgeing Short-Cutting & his excuse of being over-powered by the smell of whacky-backy just didn’t rub!