Date 24th November 2019
Run Number 1884
Venue The White Lion
Hare/s No Eye Deer
Beer Wadworths 6X, Greede King IPA/Abbot
The Hash gathered in the car park on this cool but thankfully now damp morning, the overnight rain had passed on but there was little sign of any sunshine peek through. This week saw the return of Max factor & Alfa Male to the fold, though the old Alfa Romeo has now gone to pastures new to be replaced by a more reliable Mercedes. For some this wasn’t the first time they had been around just lately, as they came along to be on the ‘Losing team’ on the Hash Treasure Hunt [Would you drop the Winning Team bit! –Ed] but first time they had turned out for a Hash Trail for a while.
With Fliptop going through the normal formalities, after the welcome it was over to the Hares, who by their tone were hoping that the Trail was not too washed out! It wouldn’t be long until their fears were realised or elevated, with the Pack being sent out on to the High Street to the north for a few feet before passing through a gate & taking to the north-easterly footpath out from between the homes lining the eastern side of the High Street.
It was soon established that the going underfoot was a tad damp as the Hash made their way through a paddock & then to the meadow beyond to find a CHK were this path joins the footpath running up from Winters Lane on the south end of the meadow to the northern end with Church Lane. Mr X headed out toward the Church of St Mary the Virgin, picking up Dust on the way out over the ford in the river Beane & on to Church Road, there some fun & games would begin.
Mr X was keen on searching the footpath to the east of St Mary’s Church Yard but found no Dust, so he headed back down Church Lane, which to those behind him made them search southward down the narrow lane of Bookings, however, by the time he got there the rest had run on well beyond the washed out remnants of a Bar CHK he spotted on a lane-side boulder, so he called them back.
Having returned from the Falsie, Ewok would now lead the way up Church Lane passing beyond the footpath Mr X had gone to look at, she called “On!” further up the tarmac lane, but before she advanced too far another call of “On back!” would show that she was not enjoying the best of starts in finding the correct Trail this morning!
Sludge was first to pick up Dust on the very footpath Mr X had looked at earlier, frustratingly for him the Dust was beyond the solitary cottage & in the fallow field behind, where the route split in to two. The northern option of out over the wooden bridge over the Beane & in to the field of winter crops was stopped before reaching the Shiggy path, as Sludge called “On!” from the almost due easterly option to the end of the enclosed field.
While Whatever She Says explained to the couple walking two French Bulldogs what the Hash Trail was about, eventually adding the drinking club with running problem bit! Mr X wished the pooches a “Bonjour mon amis!” the dogs ignored him as he headed out to follow the rest out through the corner of the fallow field.
A CHK was discovered on the opposite side of the hedgerow & Ewok was tempted by taking the hedged-in option southward back down to uncapped end of Church lane, why Mr X followed her that way was a mystery with her current form in picking the right option.
By the time Mr X had returned from this Falsie, Whatever She Says & Paxo were leaving the now marked CHK to head eastward, he was further delayed in catching up as he had to get rid of one of the two pints enjoyed at the Standard Bearer in St Evenage while in transit to the Hash.
After passing by Whatever She Says, Paxo & then Kylie on the north bound footpath, he was happy to see up ahead of him in the misty morn that My Lil’ & Sludge were leading Alfa Male, Max Factor, FWB, Where’s Wally?, Ewok, Fliptop & Teddy around the wooded spit of land toward the disused pit, he was happy to see that the senior Hare of No Eye Deer was marking the Trail in the opposite direction, out toward the Northeast on what would be a long single trot around the top end of Ardeley Bury.
The Pace dropped as the Hash passed through an enclosed equine field, sticking near to the iron railing fenced tree-line that the old House & moat sits behind in the grounds Ardeley Bury. On the way Where’s Wally? commented on the amount of horse manure in the field, he said that he should had come along with a wheelbarrow to take it home to put on his tomatoes, Mr X said that he preferred salad cream on his tomatoes, but each to their own!
Dust was spotted on the solitary old mighty Oak & by now the Hash were far enough away from the horses, who had given up on coming over to see what was happening in their home field, so the pace picked up once more. Passing out through the gate & over the Ardeley brook footbridge, the path moved around to the southeast & out of the field to a CHK on the elbow of the lane in to Ardeley.
The FRBs were now on to the Trail pretty quickly, as they took to the south-bound track by the Lodge to the estate, Mr X was puzzled by a sign that asks passers-by not to peer in their neighbours windows? [Peeping toms? – Ed] Anyhow, the route would be sheltered on either side by a line of trees that form a natural barrier around the estate. The by-way descended down the gentle incline through patches of Shiggy & gravel, this would dry out a little when it began to rise again having panned out by a circular route away to the east for locals to take their kids & enjoy the local Farm.
The Hash didn’t deviate from the wide main track until reaching a CHK that contained an S within in it, the likes of Ewok, Max Factor, Alfa Male, My Lil’, Where’s Wally? Mr X & Fliptop all knew that after two long stretches that this was the ‘Sweet Stop’ some took advantage of the wooden obstacles laid out to prevent the by-way being used to prevent unwanted traffic, by sitting upon them while awaiting No Eye Deer to arrive with the first lot of sweets. My Lil’ disappeared away in the bushes, seems he was tackling the effects of his two pints!
Jelly Babies & Marshmallows were the order of the day, as the Keenies waited for Kylie, then Whatever She Says & Paxo to arrive, when the last two did arrive a couple more bags of sweets appeared! After No Eye Deer had asked if the Hash were Sweetied out?” she allowed the Pack to continue, with Mr X keen on searching around on the option beyond the barriers to the west, ignoring the more obvious by-way of heading westward by the delightfully named Squitmore Spring!
Mr X found Dust & just after he had called “Three & On!” he came out to a CHK in a farm field, here he would go wrong after continuing westward on the path through the winter wheat, at least the T was still visible & not too far along the way for him to turn back with arms out stretched to indicate it was a Falsie! Sludge & My Lil’ weren’t too far behind him. This rouse kept the Pack together as Where’s Wally?, Alfa Male, Max Factor, Ewok & FWB took to the southern track dropping down in the contour of the hill, toward the King & Bailey below Walkern Bury Farm.
The Trail came to a CHK in the vale floor, there was no running up the opposite side toward the old King & Bailey, as the nice flat option to the west proved to be the correct one as the Keenies again began to pull away on a long stretch, which in fact leads all the way back to the uncapped end of Church Lane! But before reaching the Short Cut option, which No Eye Deer had mention in her ‘Chalk talk’, the FRBs were taken off of the uncapped route & on to a south-easterly path that cuts diagonally over the crop field to drop down on to Vintners Lane.
Still the Pack were not turned toward Walkern in the west, as the Trail crossed the lane & then headed sou-sou-west toward the Brickfield plantation, FWB seemed hesitant at the CHK there while all the other FRBs made no mistake in all choosing the north-westerly path running along the fallow land to the north of the pine plantation. Turning southward through the western edge of the trees, the Hash came around by a woman out with her kids to head south-westward on a footpath by yet another brook as they ran on down toward Finche’s End.
Ahead of the Pack at the end of the open field the Walkern Sports & Social Club could be seen, bringing back a lot of memories of seeing bands there over the years for Mr X, not to mention a Herts Weekend many moons ago. Sadly the music doesn’t seem to happen anymore with bigger names like the Hamsters performing! [Yes, I know the Hamsters have retired! – Ed] the path turned slightly westward & the white edifice of the old Wrights of Walkern Brewery could be seen.
The final stage of the Hash was upon the Pack, with one last CHK being on the eastern side of the river Beane, there My Lil’ went wrong as he checked out the footpath through the crop field on that side, he came back as the way Inn as found on the western side of the watery ditch of the Beane, leading northward a short way behind the new homes behind the eastern side of the High Street.
Then a turn to the west down a short alleyway allowed the Pack to reach Walkern High Street, then it was a trot up beyond what was the Robin Hood Pub, then the Yew Tree to reach the White Lino, you have to admire Walkernites for having two McMullens pubs almost right next door to each other in the village, they must have had strong constitutions back in those days!
While Mr X went straight to the Bar, bagging an area of seats for the Hash, the rest went to the vehicles & in the car park they would find the Sparky-mobile parked up. The dirty white, guano covered car was definitely Sparky’s, with a Trash on the back seat & the Sat-Nav still turned on, but no sign of Sparky, who was out on Trail after a late start. His progress around the Trail, which was well marked, did have a hiccup as he was bamboozled at the S CHK, putting two & two together & coming up with Short Cut, not Sweet Stop! He arrived back as the Hash had been steeled in for about half an hour!
The Down-Downs were held inside, with the Hares rewarded for a great Trail which took an hour & 5 to complete, the other Down-Down went to Max Factor (Who wasn’t driving), she protested she had done this for a while, but sank her Ale as if she hadn’t!