Date =                            15 June 2019

Run Number =             1857

Venue =                        The Gibberd Garden Beer Festival

Location =                     Old Harlow

Hare/s =                         Mr X & Captain Hook

Beer =                            Loads – It was a Beer Festival

Runners =                    13                                               

Virgins =                         0

Visitors =                        0

Newies =                        0

Après =                           0

Hounds =                       0

Total =                          13

Membership =             Wouldn’t trust Greater Anglia with a Hornby Dublo


            Early this morning of overcast skies were threatening to rain, with the grey clouds seemingly moving around in circles but allowing bright, warming sunshine to peek through every so often.  Because of the previous day’s wet conditions the main Hare decided that he would get over early to set the Trail, also in tow with him Captain Hook from Hammersley Hash.  These two went around to set what the Hare described as a wonderful Trail that took in all aspects of Essex, just across the Herts Border, which around here is formed by the River Stort.

            Having marked out the Trail, including short cuts for Parking over on Hart Road, Mr X & Captain Hook met up with Fergus on their way down Hart Road.  Returning to Harlow Mill Station, & after clambering the concrete steps over the Railway line to Cambridge, they passed out to the car park where they found Tops & Windsock were parked up at Harlow Mill Station.  These two weren’t staying as they were off to attend a Wedding later on in the day, but were happy to be at the start of the Trail, with Trashes, Run Stats etc for the F.U.K Full Moon side of this joint Run.

            While awaiting a Train to come in, those present saw an overly large local woman pass through the car park, she was accompanied by a man who was wearing a Plymouth Argyll FC top on.  The RA said that he believed that he was wearing this to lure her into bed, since Plymouth Argyll’s major shirt sponsor is Ginsters & no doubt she’d associate this with food?

            With the expected London Train due in at one minute past the hour on Platform 2, things should have been on time to get the Pack around the Trail & on to the Gibberd Garden Beer-Festival for opening time but the Hare’s intentions for the day’s Run ‘The Best laid plans of mice & Men often go awry’ as Rabbi Burns once wrote!

Around ten to the hour Stand-in Shit called the Hare, he informed Mr X that the Train from London Liverpool Street was now delayed – not that you could tell anything about this from the scuffed & faded information monitor by platform 1.  All the rolling formation panel on platform 2 could inform the Hash was that it was delayed.  Windsock checked with the National Rail site, where it said that the Train had arrived, but clearly nothing had stopped at platform 2.  The last Hasher to alight there was FWB, who was still nursing the end of her cold, but put in the effort in expecting a Trail to R*n.

The Hare now put in a Short, Short Cut from platform 1, back over the concrete bridge to platform 2 & then out through the dark, shaded cut-through up to the edge of the Cambridge Road.  When he returned he found Smartarse had arrived, having got the bus from Chelmsford.  Smartarse had seen some of the Trail in Old Harlow on his walk to the start of the Hash, so the others knew there was a Trail out there.

            Still there was no sign of any update on the arrival of the Train, this was also the service that My Lil’ was waiting on at Harlow Town Station.  Mr X updated My Lil’ & Stand-in that there was now a ‘Short Short Cut’ marked & if they took this they could all meet at the White Horse. 

Time moved beyond the hour, still no Train.  Eventually the Hare made an ‘executive decision’ to cut the Trail short, short enough for the others to catch up with the Pack at the White Horse, the direction to which had become something of a tongue-twister.  Being confused with the White Hart, for the White Horse sits at the end of Hart Lane, which was an easy mistake to make.

            With the Time approaching 25 past the hour the Hare set off to change the Markings again, so that there was Hash Trail leading onto the final leg of the Hash Trail that was already set out there, thus ‘Plan B’ would give those who had made the effort to get over to Run a chance to complete enough of the Trail to get their name in the Herts Hash book!

            The rest set off after Tops had finished the welcoming speech, they were soon over the bridge & out on to the SSC marked Trail, following it up on to the eastern edge of the Cambridge Road & then around by the Old Cathay Chinese to take to Hart Road, it was on here that any late comers were informed to meet at the White Horse, which like the rest of the plans so far would soon falter as this hostelry doesn’t open until Noon!

            Having set fresh Trail along the footpath, which was marked with a Gibberd Garden Beer-festival direction signage, there was now an option above the railway embankment, the late arrivals of Stand-in Shit, My Lil’ & Kevin took to this option behind the homes on Hart Road. 

At the end of the recently cleared footpath, which on previous walks to the Beer Festival was full of trash, like abandoned TV’s, beer bottles & cans, they would come out to a CHK from the end of the Trail on the opposite side of the road, right upon the junction the White Horse sits upon.

Tops & Windsock had been to the White Horse, discovered it was closed, so sent a TXT message on to let the Hare know that they had moved on to the Wedding.  The late arrivals made their way to the White Horse just a few minutes behind Smartarse, FWB, Fergus & Mr X arrival, with Captain Hook bringing up the rear.  With the Pub shut, plan C was now coming in to operation, no regroup was needed now so the Hash were allowed to move on from this Held CHK & take to the footpath off of the small cul-de-sac of wheat fields, running beside the Pub.

            Now all together, the small Pack all advanced through the wooden gate, via a slightly overgrown section with brambles, long grass & nettles (which don’t sting this time of year!) to emerge from the secluded path between two of the properties on to the farm land over the east.  The open expanse of wild grasses had a repositioned footpath over to the east, this route had been changed from the old one which has been used on previous excursions to the Beer-festival, & ran nearer to the railway line.

            FWB was soon up front, getting by the civilian who was also making his way over to the Beer Festival, on the change of direction in the path that leads down toward the Railway to a CHK point at the split in the route, where an adjoining path over the meadows from the osier beds outside of Sawbridgeworth joins the track that heads underneath the Railway line.  Surprisingly with all of the recent rain, the uncapped route through the tunnel was not completely flooded, as it has been in the past, so feet remained dry on the way up the Track which is tree-lined on either side.

            An arrow pointed the way beyond the footpath off up on to the fields to the south of the railway tracks, this has all been levelled & prepare for the expanding housing estate right up beside the Gibberd Gardens.  Having made their way up by the grounds, the Hash spotted some of the ‘Artworks’ that are dotted around the grounds, the one that seemed to stick out to some of the Hash were the two shiny silver objects, which reminded Mr X of the foil bladders from inside a box of wine, which coincidentally can be used as an inflatable pillow when emptied of wine.

            The Trail may have bene ruined by Greater Anglia playing with their Train-set, but fortunately the Pack were second in line to pay to get into the Beer-festival, which meant they were there early enough to grab a table & chairs under the blue tent smaller blue tent, though at one point a gust of wind nearly took this way, with Hashers trying to grab the frame to steady it.  It also kept off the brief path of rain that always seems to happen at this Beer Festival, again this meant that most were sadly confined to the area near the Bar, & not being able to go around the grounds to admire the Artworks!

Fergus, who had the Hash bags arrived, but not after he had stopped to talk to a couple of construction workers he knew, who were game fully ebbing employed on the new estate that is still being built, an area where the footpaths run by the Hash in the past are no longer accessible.

            With Stand-in Shit starting on the strongest Ale, of 7.5% other decided that they would work their way up through the ABV & not down.  Having a couple of drinks under their belts the Hash now brought out what My Lil’ described as ‘Contraband’ as various snacks appeared on the table, to make sure that the Hash complied with the ‘No Picnic’s’ Rule at the Beer-fest, Stand-in Shit took a black pen to the mini-picnic eggs packaging, so it now read just eggs, which brought them under the remit of being Bar Snacks – the Hash could now relax in knowing they weren’t breaking any rules!

            Ketchup & Prince Garmin arrived, he too had ‘Bar Snacks’, what else could pickled eggs & pickled shallots be classed as other than great British bar snacks?  Mind you the Hash didn’t have half as much the seemingly Tudor style

Banquet as another table, where it looked as if one woman had half a chicken in a whole loaf being pushed in to her mouth.  If only they had a suckling pig on the table it would have completed the scene.

            When it came to the Down-Downs Mr X managed to procure some empty hot drink cups & so enough Ale was brought for everyone to have a Hit, the choice of Ales being Kursaal Gold to represent the absent South-End Hashers (Top & Windsock) & Moonshine/Pando for the AWOL Panda!

Mr X & Captain Hook were awarded their Hits for setting a really good Trail, which no one completed expect them!  Kevin, Stand-in Shit’s friends, had his Down-Down for completing his first F.U.K Full Moon & Herts Hash Trails all in one, even if it was a cut-down version!

            Among the laughs the Hash had at the Beer Festival, it was noted how much fun you could have over an Ale’s name, like Juice Rocket!  Then attention turned to the “Never substitute Crap for Quality” as the hot drink cups had various awards written in biro around the base.  These coffee cups would soon receive lids, so that the take away Breakfast Stout would appear to be coffee when taken on board the bus home!

            A good day was had by all, even though it was a long day!  The Hare said that he’s keep the Trail in the bag for next time!