Date 27th Oct 2019
Run Number 1879
Venue The Post Office Arms
Location Hemel Hempstead
Hare/s Des Res
Beer Fullers London Pride, Oliver’s Island
For some the choice of Public Transport meant that on their walk from the Bus Station sections of Trail markings were spotted, so at least four of the Hash would have a slight advantage when things got underway later on.
After the stunning England win, some were on the mobile devices to keep abreast of how Wales were getting on against South Africa for the other World Cup Rugby Final Spot, this was fine until Milf arrived. Milf was very insistent on not being told the score then the imminent result, a she wanted to watch it later on catch-up. So, she placed her fingers in her ears [I know a song about that! – Ed] accompanied by lots of “La de da de dah’s” from Milf’s in an attempt to block out any further comments.
Each arriving Hasher was told not to mention the Rugby Score, Sludge looked like he may give the game away after walking back from the top of the road, but he probably wasn’t happy not to be able to park up right outside this Pub located in the myriad of little backstreets?
It was fine to talk about England beating the All Blacks, Kiwi Hashers on Farcebook were mentioned by Lofty & Mr X – the Best Facebook post being that Leicester City score more goals in their soccer match against Southampton than the All Black’s Scored in the semi.
Anyhow, the Pack was welcomed to the correct Run Number by Fliptop, before the Newie of TBT OBE was introduced, then the Hare was introduced to the Pack. Des Res stepped up to explain what markings would be out on Trail, as well as any features to be observed or avoided. Des Res also cleared up that an H in a CHK was a regroup? Once this was confirmed the Pack were given an option of heading up the road or down it.
When it came time to move, there was no hesitation from Wanktlers, Mr X & My Lil’, who had seen the Tail on their way to the venue, Fliptop too had some knowledge of the start as he had met the others after wandering down for a cup of Hot Chocolate.
Mr X instinctively kicked the CHK through at the end of Puller Road, marking the direction to the next CHK as the Trail moved on along St John’s Road to the junction with Anchor Lane. A crossing opposite the Catholic Church of Saint Mary & Saint Joseph was used to get over to the northwest corner of Boxmoor Common.
Trail was found by My Lil’ on the diagonal footpath over Blackbird Moor, a nice green space on the north of the Grand Union Canal. The Dust led on to the edge of this waterway, then the Hash were taken up a flight of steps up to the A4146 road above the common. The Trail would soon be back down at the canal level as another set of steps were found with Dust heading down to the GUC’s tow path. There a Held CHK was found.
Milf wanted to get a photo for Kylie, by now she was feeling pangs of guilt at not capturing a shot of the Pack outside of the Pub, for the absent Kylie, but there was a narrowboat passing by to be caught in the background. While the Keenies waited for Paxo & Pebbledash to catch up, My Lil’ went off to explore a footpath over the southwestern section of the moors, although there was an ulterior motive in searching behind the trees, for a chance to scare the squirrels!
Below the wider A414 road bridge over the GUC a CHK was found, a woman out jogging enquired what the gathered Hash were up to? So, a card was handed out to her explaining the Hash. Meanwhile Wanktlers headed westward along the tow-path, but nothing was found there & he was soon back to search under the road bridge to the east, it was in this direction the Trail was found. The day was a nice sunny one, but in the shade from the trees & bushes that line the canal sides there was a slight chill still in the air.
Those who fruitlessly broke off of the tow path at several CHKs, along to the east, briefly benefited from the warmth of the sun-shine while out on the common land to the south of the waterway. Wanktlers went astray by continuing along the towpath under the A414 road bridge, while the Trail was found by Tent Packer & Milf up the short southern rising path up to the roadside, there a sharp turn to the north would have the Hash moving on toward the New Town section of Hemel.
On the way through the centre of the green space to the southeast of the Town Centre’s ‘Magic Roundabout’ & eastward of the Cricket Club, another Jogger asked what the Pack were doing? Another card was handed to him, as Milf explained briefly that you don’t need to be a serious Runner to join the Hash, after he said he didn’t run much anymore due to his knee being a problem. As the card says “If you have a half a mind to Hash, then that’s all you need!” Mr X said that he too had knee issues, as do others on the Hash.
My Lil’ was keen to point out to the RA that Wanktlers wasn’t holding the Held CHK, situated by one of Hemel’s scenic waste bins, & was now subterranean exploring the nearby underpass! Another one who was ‘Off Trail’ was Paxo, who as Pebbledash put it “Has trouble with his water works” & so had scampered over to the local B&Q to sort out his old ball-cock!
Another Photo shoot took place around the bin, while Pebbledash did a ‘Pole-dance’ around the adjacent lamppost, then Hash-shoes were photographed around the Held CHK before the rest of the Pack could disappear down the steps to the subway passing under the A4146 arm leading off of the 6 small roundabouts in the larger gyratory system of one large roundabout.
Sure enough Wanktlers had found the Dust, as he missed out the next set of rising steps, instead choosing to pass through the next subway under the Leighton Buzzard Road to follow arrows up the flight of stairs to a CHK up by the service road at the southwestern end of the Marlowes shopping precinct.
When Sludge & My Lil’ arrived here they opted to get in the nearby lift, rather than do what Where’s Wally? did in climbing up the steps to the footbridge over the busy Leighton Buzzard road, however when the lift door opened at the top there was no Trail up there on the bridge & so the ‘Lift Buddies’ came back down in the elevator.
When the Trail resumed it would take the Pack over a footbridge spanning the narrow river Gade as it flows from the water-gardens, Milf took a picture of the ‘yarn-bombing’ of knitted Red Poppies along a wooden bar. Meanwhile Tent Packer managed to get by the front of TK Maxx, not stopping off to rummage around for cheap options as Hash haberdashery garments.
The north bound trot led over the crossing to the southern end of the Water Gardens, running on by the small lake in the area designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1957 to transform an area of orchards, watercress beds & an old iron works in Hemel Hempstead. In the lake is the stylised ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ sculpture of two naked figures jiving, designed by Hubert Yencesse to look as if they are dancing on the water.
His serpentine channelling of the River Gade was opened in 1962, these would become neglected in the 1980-90’s to an extent that they were recently overhauled by a Heritage Lottery Grant to restore the gardens & add new features. The Pack were led up in to the raised ‘Howdah’ of flower beds area, named after the raised platform used to ride Elephants of camels. This retains its original design set out by Susan Jellicoe.
After running small loop everyone came back down to the edge of the Gade. My Lil’ avoided the loop, for he had seen the Trail earlier, Wanktlers called out “Short Cutter!” toward him, while Mr X pondered on why he had gone around the loop! There Mr X pointed out a shopping trolley abandoned in the wider end of the river, hopefully this was not one of the ‘New Features’ added the small park? Perhaps the Crocodile head that TBT OBE had found was a new addition?
A CHK was found by the footbridge over the Gade, here Wanktlers went off to the north, but was called back by Des Res as the Trail would to be found in the adjacent Water Gardens Car Park North. More steps & a trot across the open upper story of the concrete structure, a decent down to the Leighton Buzzard Road where the Pack were pointed away to the north.
A CHK was found on the Coombe Street junction, here My Lil’ & Sludge were tempted by the pedestrian crossing but were called back as the Pack continued northward on the Leighton Buzzard Road until reaching a Held CHK by the roundabout where the B487 joins it. Sludge nipped across the road, he was offered up a short cut by the Hare but inexplicably, & some would say ‘out of character’ he came back over to join the rest on the east of the main road & being a junction there was a Held CHK there.
A few broke away to make good a lull in the busy lines of traffic, the likes of Wanktlers, Tent Packer, Fliptop, Mr X & My Lil’ would wait on the north side of the road until the Hare & Milf crossed over. Nearly everyone moved on through into Gadebridge Park.
Fliptop disappeared in to one of the toilet cubicles, while the rest wandered
over toward the Rose Gardens to the east, here the majority obeyed the markings
& went in through the gate in the walled Charter Gardens, My Lil’ & Sludge had
to be coaxed in by the prospect of getting some
Scooby Snacks sweets,
they came in through the doorway the Pack were going to leave by, exiting the
pretty gardens the Pack were without any sweets just yet!
Not that much further up to the North & again My Lil’ & Sludge need to have a bit of arm-twisting with the prospect of Sweets being offer by the Hare, all to encourage them to follow Trail up through the grounds of St Mary’s Church & out on to the High Street in the old section of Hemel Hempstead, again they did this via the wrong route!
The Trail passed through the Old Town Hall building via stone steps to where a Held CHK was found up on an open area opposite the Olde Kings Arms, in the olde worlde established part of Hemel with its mix of old stone or black & white timbered buildings making it a very nice area.
As the sweets were handed out by Des Res, Milf went to get a photo of the ‘yarn bombed’ red pillar box that had the RAF Roundel upon it, here a civilian was taken up on her offer to take a snap of the Hash around the post-box, giving Milf the unusual chance to be in one of the Photos with Pebbledash, Mr X, My Lil’ Wanktlers, Where’s Wally? Tent Packer & Sludge. Then as the line-up broke up, Wanktlers noticed that the Ghost Train being set up to one side had one of our own immortalised in a model that is a part of the Ghost Train, the figure uncannily looked like none other than our very own Sparky!
Away from Sparky & his the spine chilling ride, [No not his car! – Ed] to descend another set of stone steps to run through the northern side of the grounds of the Norman Church of St Mary’s, this westward trot would lead back out into Gadebridge Park, to where they would all be turned northward once again.
The park was pretty busy as it contains various amenities, tennis courts, bowls greens & a host of things to amuse the kids. The Next CHK was found by a tarmac footpath heading westward away over the green space to the white old wrought-iron bridge spanning the River Gade. Sludge was soon spotted cutting across the grass in anticipation the Trail would go this way, & he cunningly made out he went that wat to put a sweet wrapper in a bin, then taking to a diagonally route over the damp grass as he would head toward another bin over to the west.
Dust was found & the Pack made their way over the river to come out to the eastern side of the Leighton Buzzard Road once again then under the subway to the west side, here CHK was discovered, but some who have been here before knew that the Trail could head northward, before coming to a southbound path that runs above the entrance of the subway, Where’s Wally? ran this bit & looked down as My Lil’ & Mr X took to the southern ram pout of the subway & he joined them running along behind the hedge running along the side of the busy road.
By now it was noticed that TBT OBE was no longer with the Pack, nor was he in sight when looking back, Mr X explained that TBT OBE thinks he knows the area, since he worked near to these parts, but like his home area he can easily get lost! Lofty & Henry would also get left behind a bit as there would not be another Held CHK for quite some time. Pebbledash was still up with the rest of the Pack.
A nice grass section lay ahead, it may have been kinder on the old knees, but it was long & uphill over wet grass toward the southwest. On the way up the Pack had to pass through an area where some youngster were out training in some ‘military style’ fitness routine, an offer from one of the lady instructors to join them was returned with one for her to join the Hash in the Pub! Neither were taken up.
The Tail came out on to the Warners End Road, but crossing this up by the local schools wouldn’t be that easy as the Traffic seemed relentless. However, once over the road Wanktlers, Milf, Where’s Wally? Tent Packer, Sludge, My Lil’, Fliptop all crossed over to move on up south-westward by the Collett School on Bury Hill. Mr X & Pebbledash weren’t far behind.
Now the Trail took to Lockers Park Lane, which started off heading south-eastward, then abruptly changed to the southwest as Bury Hill lane cut across it, then it turned acutely again to run for a few yards to where it headed off down an alleyway through behind the homes on Melsted Road.
While the majority took to this back of the homes route, Pebbledash was offered a Short Cut by the Hare, meanwhile this scribe was trying to find somewhere to ‘scare the squirrels’ but failed dismally in the built up area. SO, with full bladder & also having pulled his heel on the way up the grassy slope, it was a better option to miss out the final loop around & short cut through just a couple of the back streets back to Puller Road.
Even though he walked these last few streets, Mr X was surprised to find that the rest of the Pack were not in the Post office arms as yet & still out on Trail, however there was a Hasher there at the Bar & that was Honey Pot. After a reliving stop in the gents, Mr X could have a chat with the old former Papua New Guinea Hasher who ran with H4 a few years back, long enough for TBT OBE to forget who he was.
Eventual Wanktlers arrived back, a so did most of the rest over a long period of time. The result of the Rugby was still kept under-wraps for Milf, while Mr X learnt that no one was concerned when he went missing on Trail! [Nice to know who your friends are! – Ed] Things got worse as Honeypot had a [Fatist] dig about the RA getting larger every time he sees him! AT leqastv he could take solice in seeing that there was a small ‘H’Angus the Monkey’ by the TV screen, so someone is a Hartlepuddlian Monkey Hanger in the Pub. Members of the Monkey Hanger Hash House Harriers have their own H’Angus’s, each with a noose around its neck!
Fliptop on the other hand was eager to get in that his band Quixote’s Beard were not playing at the Green Man in Royston, but the Lord Protector in Huntingdon, seems there was a clerical error by his PA? [That’s one Down-Down sorted for the Sunday Trail! – Ed] He also added that the Sunday Trail would be an Ale & Cakes run for MacMillan, then he left before the Circle was called.
Anyhow, the Circle eventually formed inside the Bar, the Hare was rewarded for a good Trail; no short cutters were punished, instead we had the Missing Persons with leaky waterworks (Paxo) & Teebs who also appeared to go AWOL; finally Honey Pot was out for doing some of the rail on his way to the Pub.