Date                    23rd Sept 2019

Run Number     1874

Venue                The Cowshed Chieftain

Location            Welwyn Garden City

Hare/s                 Ketchup

Beer                    McMullens

Runners               9

Virgins                  0

Visitors                 0

Newies                 0

Après                    8

Hounds                1

Total                    18

Membership      Piggin’ Out!!


            The weather wasn’t too kind for the Hare before the Hash arrived at the venue, the earlier Rain may have out a few off of making the effort to turn out this evening?  The few who were there for the off gathered as the rain eased to almost nothing at all.

            Mr X & Wanktlers were found already sitting in the Chieftain, located at the reserved table Mr X had pre-booked for the Hash.  This allowed Sis & Mrs Mallet to sit inside the warm & cosy Bar & not in their cars, while the rest braved the Trail outside.  The Hare arrived, then after some rather rapid moving of his car, he got out to find that Where’s Wally? was still in the Pub toilets delaying the off.

            Having found it up the steep steps, then having shaken it & descended the steps, Where’s Wally? managed to find his way back out to the Bar & to the Circle.  The Hare said that he was hoping the Trail markings were still intact, he had placed the flour at the base of trees & various bits of street furniture to help it last against the elements.  There was no need to worry as Mr X had seen the start of the Trail on his way to the venue!

            Ketchup added that there would be a Held CHK & there would also be Short Cuts, which was music to Paxo’s ears.  The RA was also considering these as an option if he would again struggle to get around.  Then as the Hare finished his rhetoric, Mr X said “Do we start by crossing the road to the CHK over from the Pub, which he had seen earlier on Homestead Lane.  The Hare hesitated & then said “Yes, it is that way!” & so off went Mr X, Tent Packer, Mark E Mark, Where’s Wally? Fliptop & Paxo who headed over Cole Green lane.

            Sure enough, a CHK was found on Homestead Lane, by the junction with Hyde Valley away to the northwest.  As Wanktlers had not seen any Dust on his walk from the Station, & Mr X knowing that there was no more Dust along Homestead Lane to the southwest, the option of searching in the nearby King George V playing fields was the best choice that Mark E Mark & Where’s Wally? were searching.

            Trail found & the path it was on arced around in a clockwise direction from southeast to due south, passing by the sports pavilion on the way out by the small Council depot on the spur road off of Beehive Lane.  Where’s Wally? was apologetic as he heard a crunch under his foot that was a snail, no doubt like the other brought out by the rain.

A CHK was found on the edge of Beehive Lane, while Where’s Wally? looked away toward Howlands to the south, while Mr X searched down Moorlands for his local knowledge was twitching as he knew of a footpath that cuts through to Howlands.

            Mr X picked up the Trail & led the way through the dark tree-lined path through between the back of residential homes & the grounds of Howlands House, a large place of residence for single mothers.  There was still enough light not to need torches just yet & Mr X emerged out of the darker copse to the half-light out on to Howlands, where a CHK was illuminated by the orange sulphur street lighting.

The RA would now find that his local knowledge would let him down, instead it would temporarily lead him astray as he crossed over Howlands to search on the wild grassy track that leads into the Commons nature reserve, in the Hatfield Hyde area of Welwyn Garden City.  There were no signs of any dust leading into the woodland beyond, so he turned back to Howlands.

Mr X pointed out the footpath sign to Wanktlers, that was back on the side of the road the CHK was on, Where’s Wally? had passed by the flour leading down the footpath by the old oaks on the wide green verge.  Where’s Wally? was called back as Mr X ventured down the wide grass verge to pass through the footpath between the end of two terraces of homes that emerges out on to Sheepcote.

While Tent packer & Wanktlers headed off down Sheepcote, Mr X stuck with the continuation of the northeast bound footpath as it lead out toward an open green space, though he did fall for the Dust that was strategically placed on the wrong side of the Trees to lure him up the dark dead-end in the wooded side of the green space.  So, back to the Dust & then on to follow on behind Mark E Mark, Wanktlers & Tent Packer as they made their way along the edge of the green space & then back out on to Howlands again.

Another CHK up near Hall Grove had the Hash searching in all possible directions, which allowed Paxo to make up ground until Mark E Mark & Wanktlers picked up the Trail over Howlands & off eastward down Caponfield to the next CHK at the Junction with Thistle Grove,

This was an area that Where’s Wally? knew from his Student days, though some would say that he’s gone back to relive those halcyon days now he’s a regular at Raves, which led him to say that he had been to a Drum & Bass event at the weekend, only to find that FWB was there at the front of the stage!

Mr X went wrong again from the CHK on Thistle Grove & had come back to catch up with Fliptop & Teddy as “On!” was called from the south to a dark uncapped footpath that cuts through the oval shaped road to the eastern side. There was no stopping as the Trail continued eastward on the continuation of the mud & stone footpath out behind the houses on Thistle Grove.

Torches were a benefit as the Dust led over into the darkness of Holywell Hyde Lane, there the Trail was marked to head northward on an older lane in Welwyn Garden City, running from beside the lake & the nature reserve to the east.  Where’s Wally had his head-torch on, but one of the settings had a strobe like effect, which could upset epileptics, but reminded him of his weekend Rave.

Mr X passed by Tent Packer & Paxo who were walking without an aid of a torch to light the way, the RA had his led torch to assist on his way to the end of the lane, where a Held CHK was found where the lane finishes out on to Cole Green Lane, but before catching up with Mark E Mark & the Hare, a shadowy figure was spotted in the undergrowth near to the Held CHK, it was Where’s Wally? who was scaring any nocturnal squirrels. 

As Mr X approached, where’s Wally? said “It’s a Held CHK!” to which Mr X replied “Whoa, I ain’t holding anything but my own!”  This seemed to be a cue for the rest of the Pack to stop & relive themselves as well!

At the held CHK Mr X decided that he’s get in to the bag of Jelly Babies before they became pea-babies!  Mark E Mark was also handing out some Maoam Pinballs.  As the Pack enjoyed their “Starters” as Ketchup put it, from out of the darkness they were joined by FWB, who after a late start had caught up.

Time to move on & the two with local knowledge went wrong, Mr X & Where’s Wally? chose to take the westerly option of Cole Green Lane in its direction to where the Pub sits upon it about a mile further along!  “On!” was called back over on the end of Great Gannet, where the Trail made its way northward & then around to the west before taking to Bushey Ley, where Mark E Mark, Wanktlers, Tent Packer, Fliptop & Teddy would go on a loop around via the National Route 61 through Bushey Leys Wood to the end of the Ridgeway.

Meanwhile Mr X, Where’s Wally?, Paxo & FWB had continued back to the roundabout where Howlands finishes & Heronswood Road continues northward toward the Centre of Town.  The lost sheep didn’t abandon the Trail, for they decided to not go straight back to the Pub, but to take to Heronswood Road until they intercepted the Trail again, this would take a little longer than they expected.

The Trail ran its way through to Sweet Briar, again using one of the many cut-throughs & alleyways that Welwyn Garden has a multitude of.   Mr X was amazed that Where’s Wally? actually found the Trail from the CHK as it would lead on by Blackthorn Primary School, one advantage of placing the Dust at the base of lampposts to survive the rain also meant it was illuminated from above.

Things turned in an almost southerly direction to come out on to Wellcroft Road, the Trail was now coming to an end.  The direction changed to due south at the junction with Wheatley Road, this saw the Hash being directed by a large arrow over the bend in the suburban back street to find the On Inn by a cut-through to Cole Green lane, this route was right beside the Chieftain & even Where’s Wally? could spot the lights of the Cowshed – as Mr X & some of the locals know it after one of the previous Landlords used to call the Chieftain.

The Pack returned, with most easily achieving this within an hour.  Milf & Kylie were found at the Bar, while Sludge & Flanders were sat with Sis & Mrs Mallet at the Hash tables.  With the Kitchen closing at 21:00Hrs, something that Mr X had alerted the Pack to via social media, even sending a link to the online Menu so they could choose in advance, as well as pointing this fact out in the Circle, there were some like Kylie who still dithered over what to order! [Why do we bother sending out all these details if people can’t be arsed to look at the info! – Ed]

The Down-Downs were put off until the following week, as the Hare & Mark E Mark tackled the Epic burger, which was chicken breast burger, a beef patty, onion rings, cheese & bacon all in one stacked up tall burger.  As the Pack began to chow down, Milf got up & dragged up a high-chair [No it wasn’t for Ewok, she couldn’t be there! – Ed] but Jack, Sarah & their little girl joined the Hash as they don’t live a million miles away, & as It was a good Trail & the evening meal was enjoyed by all, a few shared their Puddings & somewhere even force-fed a pudding! [Though it was very nice! – Ed]

Mr X mentioned the next week’s Run, where there will be a new Herts Conker Champion, Fliptop, in a humbug mood, decried the prospect of standing around for hours in the cold waiting for his conker to perish!  So we know who not to cheer on, eh Victor Meldrew?