Date                    8th December 2019

Run Number    1886

Venue                 Mind The Gap/The Old Cross Tavern/Six Asbos Templars

Location            Hertford

Hare/s                Mr X

Beer                  Tring White IPA; Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Imperial Irish Cream Marshmallow Porter; New River:Twin Spring & First Snow Ale; Otter Otter Claus (Plus a host of other Crimbo Ales)

Runners             21

Virgins                  0

Visitors                 0

Newies                 0

Aprčs                    0

Hounds                1

Total                    22

What3words      railway.excellent.ale

 

            The Trails & tribulations of a Hare would begin with the Train from Welwyn Garden City to Stevenage was late, then to compound things there was no information to where the replacement bus service picks up from, mistakenly thinking it was from the regular Station Bus Stop where Bus replacement services pick up from during engineering works times, but as this is a longer going work with a new platform being put in for Herts bound Trains, the Rail teams have built a new Pick up point on the Leisure Park side!  The first the Hare knew about this was when the Bus driver dropped off passengers, then waved the Hare away & drove off!

            The Hare finally arrived in Hertford 40 minutes behind schedule, he was setting the Trail in the morning for he went around the previous Sunday’s Trail the day before, all in order to produce a R*n report! [Sad Sod! – Ed]  After a mad dash around setting the Trail, the Hare arrived back at 25 to the hour, so he had time to pop in to the local ‘Spoons where he found Wanktlers enjoying a coffee, later they’d be joined by Whatever She Says who said that eh Pack were assembling in the St Andrew’s Street car park.

            As the time came around to 11:00Hrs, the Hare arrived with the other two.  TBT OBE had to carry out the honour of the introductions as Fliptop was going around & around searching for a parking place.  TBT OBE got the run number correct, then it was over to the Hare.  Usual Herts Hash markings were mentioned, there would be short cuts & there were two Held CHKs, one was a regroup & the other was a Beer Stop!

The Hare add that sometimes you just can’t win, as it was commented on that “It’s not cheap in HQ anymore! Why can’t we try the ‘spoons?” to “I can’t take my dog in ’spoons!  Can we stick with the Old Cross Tavern?”  So, it would be split between the two venues, not that it matter too much as Teddy was the only pooch to turn out this morning!

Just as the Pack were about to set off, Flying Solo arrived with her girls, so the Hare would go back to offer them up a Short Cut.  He went out on to St Andrew’s Street & warned the Pack to mind their heads on the overhanging timber eves of the old wattle & dawb building that almost appears to be falling out on to St Andrew’s Street, which was one an Antiques shop, though some of the Pack were pretty much safe in not being anywhere close to banging their heads.

Still standing outside is the old stone carving of the almost life sized figure of William Caxton, who has seemingly been there forever, the Pack would then move on by the front of St Andrew’s Church to a CHK outside of the Ruby Indian Restaurant, a large old russet coloured building.  Falsies were found on the opposite side of the nearby subway beneath the A414, as well as further down to the end of St Andrews Street as it becomes North Road.

So, it was back to the footpath that runs along the edge of St Andrews Church grounds, this footpath begins with a redbrick wall on one side & a flint, stone one on the church side, a large family group asked the Hare what he was doing as he marked the CHK, he explained that it was a paper-chase style run.

Heading away to the southeast the path would lead on by the ancient weathered headstones set into the red-brick wall before crossing the River Lea to find a CHK by one of the southern entrances to the grounds of Hertford Castle.  The continuation of this path as it runs parallel to the A414 turned out to be a Falsie!

Mr X now led Flying Solo, Elizabeth & Isabelle out the back of the car park & across the park within the old flint & stone walls of Hertford Castle, cutting across near the frontage of the Castle they would see Kylie following the Trail out to the old Stone gates that lead out through a small garden area on the edge of Castle Street.

Here the Hare caught up with Sparky, who looked to be dithering when the Trail was clearly marked away toward Parliament Square, however the Trail turned away from heading toward the large War Memorial as double arrows pointed the way over the end of the road by the A414 Roundabout to pass by the old Police Station, with its recognisable Blue lamp still prominently jutting out from the building.

Flying Solo & the kids now disappeared along the narrow footpath along by Gascoyne Way which then descended the slope to the underpass beneath the A414, there a CHK was found before the subway, a Falsie had already been found back toward Fore Street in the Centre of Hertford, instead the CHK was kicked through in the direction out on to the southern side of the A414, up the steps (or the ramp if you have a scooter) & arrows pointed the way in to the grounds of All Saints Church, the large, imposing rose stone edifice stands out on the Hertford landscape.

As the likes of Wanktlers, Lemming, My Lil’, Mother, Waragi, Rose, Hash Test Dummy, Jamie, Ketchup, Prince Garmin, No Eye Deer, Whatever She Says, Fliptop & Teddy were being slowly caught by Flying Solo & girls.  They all ran through to the tarmac path that sits on the opposite side of the Churchyard iron railings.

Further back & Mr X put in a Short Cut along by the Church for Sparky to follow.  It was here that Hippie Hunter caught up & then followed on up the western side of the graveyard to follow the Trail through an iron railing gate to the footpath that is cordoned off along its length by the Church grounds.

A CHK was found just outside the iron railing gates at the top of the southwestern corner for the Church Grounds, Hagsdell road was searched before the Trail was found still within the inside of the Churchyard, this led on to the opposite southeaster corner & then back around down the eastern side of the grounds but this ended in a Bar CHK, so it was back up to the kissing gate to find Trail out along Hadsell Lane to the east.

            The Hare made sure that Hippie Hunter was going to find the correct snicket footpath from along the suburban road, saving him from running to the Bar CHK at the end of Hagsdell Lane.  The Pack would now embark on a long trot down the alleyway descending gentle to the north, from running behind fenced-off back gardens the Trail crossed another path & continued along down by the side of a local School & then on the opposite side of the Post Office offices to come out on to the edge of Gascoyne Way once again, where a CHK was found by the corner of the fenced-in school playing field.

            Thankfully the Trail was marked so well that even Sparky had found the Short Cut, so by the time the Hare had made it around to the underpass Sparky was already on his way up to the end of Fore Street.  Sparky needed a wee bit of encouragement to follow the arrows on to the corner by the Jungle Bar, perhaps he saw the large fake lions & other African animals around its exterior as being real ones?  The Trail now ran down South Street & at the corner the Lord Haig sits upon the Pack were directed over to the North-eastern arm of Railway Street.

            Along through an area that has seen a lot of redevelopment in recent times, with the small garage & other old businesses being replaced by housing, to reach the corner by the Dolphin, a great old Victorian Pub that sadly went years ago for redevelopment, though this took some time for this to occur as they had to get Paxo off of the pool-table in there!

            Anyhow, the Pack bunched up at the end of Mill road when the found the Held CHK near to the footbridge over one section of the long weir, near to the basin for narrows boats which were moored up in.  The Hare arrived & the Pack weren’t held up too long as Sparky came hobbling into sight & so were let loose again, Fliptop was hesitant saying “This Hare’s been too crafty!” while TBT OBE said he had another name for the Hare! [Meow! – Ed]

Anyhow, Ketchup now had a slight advantage on the rest, as he had seen the Hare setting the Trail right outside his new house early that morning.  He had come out to see someone wearing Texas state flag shorts bending over & putting double arrows down, so he called out “Not there mate!” a couple of times, as the Hare initially ignored him as he thought these words were directed at the guy backing his car up!  So, Ketchup & Prince Garmin crossed the first bridge & then turned on to the second bridge spanning the second section of the weir to pick up the River Lea Navigation.

Meanwhile Waragi was happy to look out over the view from the long weir with its loud gushing sound of the rushing water cascading down the steps, while My Lil’, Wanktlers & Hippie Hunter  headed off up by the Canoeing centre in a westerly direction over Hartham Common, they weren’t for coming back even though there was no Dust there, as My Lil’ knew where the Beer Stop was, & unlike Ketchup, My Lil’ was prepared to do a Sludge & spoil the Hare’s efforts in arriving at the Beer Stop on the Hour, in order to stick with the local licensing laws.

The Hare bemoaned this selfishness, adding that if the Keenies arrived at the Beer Stop & had to wait to be served, then it was no ones’ fault but their own!  Anyhow, all was not lost as No Eye Deer, Whatever She says, Flying Solo, Elizabeth & Isabelle all followed on along the correct route by the Lea Navigation behind Ketchup & Prince Garmin.  Fliptop & Teddy also chose the correct route passing by the allotments where some thought that Sparky may have picked up the pair of old boots left hanging upside down from the allotment fence, but it seems he didn’t.

A CHK was found by the corner cottage with Frampton Road, there wasn’t much need to check it out as by now Ketchup was on the way down toward his new home & where he had met the Hare earlier that morning.  At the dead-end of the road the Trail rose up a short set of steps to the level of the car park, where My Lil’, Wanktlers & Hippie Hunter, who dragged Waragi, Rose, Hash Test Dummy & Jamie along in their wake, they were all heading over toward the old McMullen Brewery end of the Hartham common, the Victorian building stood out large & proud in the sunshine of what had now become a very pleasant day.

Out of the Hartham Common car park & the Trail led on over by the Sainsburys Store, where the Pack passed up by a metal sculpture that was about the waterways around this area, where the rivers of the Rib, Beane, Mimram & the Lea all meet to flow as one in the Lea & Lea navigation on the way to join the Thames.

Descending from the green spit of land the sculptures sits upon, the Trail crossed the service road & headed on to a footpath by another car park, this one would lead out westward over to the Port Hill side of town.  The Pack would now get stretched out as those who had short-cutted earlier had already crossed the nearby Pelican Crossing over toward what was once the Reindeer Pub, now a Veterinary practise, by the time the rest arrived. 

The FRBs had already shot off down Port Hill toward Cowbridge, picking up the Trail on the Sidings side of the Cowbridge Road, this was nice for Kylie as this used to be where the old link between Hertford East & Hertford North Stations used to run, long since gone but there are talks about reinstating the remaining cut off sections as a footpath.

At the end of the road behind the bridge, the Trail would turn to the northwest as it headed out along Port Vale, crossing over before the Two Brewers Pub to a CHK next to the footpath running south-westward beside the ground of a local school.  This was where the Trail would be picked up, leading from behind the fenced off playing fields, that had knitted stars on the chain-link by the small school allotment, & then turning north-westward as it followed the contour of the river Beane in to the park.

Along this route Flying Solo took her turn on the scooter, which beforehand was being changed by the two girls in taking turns, as the route came up to a CHK in the middle of the new parkland.  This was no more than a token CHK to try & slow up anyone who weren’t familiar with this area, it wasn’t going to stop the ‘Beer-hounds’ so the Trail would now come out to Beane Road.  Here a convoluted job of crossing over the road, then heading south-westward along to the end of the road before crossing back over to run over the Lights crossing in front of Hertford North Station, outside of which was the final Held CHK.

Inside the Station the Beer Stop was had at ‘Mind the Gap’ an enterprising venture run by Ray & his sister.  As well as cans of Craft Beers, he also stocks real ale in Pins (36 Pints) & it comes straight from the barrel, no bright beer as it was tapped the day before for the Hash to appreciate!

The Pack enjoyed their time here, with the Hare purchasing bags of Wine Gums, as well as Mini-Cheddars, then Ray brought out Bombay Mix & more Cheddars.  Sparky arrived & he, like Prince Garmin, went for the delicious sausage rolls.  The Beer was so good that Lemming, My Lil’, Wanktlers & the Hare stayed for another before moving on.

The final leg of the Trail, when it was resumed by the Pack member at their leisure, was to follow the Arrows up by the entrance to Hertford Hospital & then crossing over the lights to head off up North road & find the On Inn just before the end where it becomes St Andrews Street. 

Lemming decided to dice with death as he tried to get one of the lads to ask Mother to hurry up with the car keys, since their bags were stowed in Mother & Lemming’s Car, they were falling for that & said “Mother, Lemming says Hurry up with the car keys!” [He survived dear reader, well at least until he got home! – Ed]

The next port of call was the old Cross Tavern, a regular haunt of Herts Hash that it soon became known as HQ!  With the kids being present, the Pack sat out the back undercover which left the bar empty.  Waragi, Hash Test Dummy & Jamie left early, just before the Down-Downs took place.  They would miss out on Sparky revelling to all that he can “No longer keep it up!” which brought proceedings to a halt, while the majority thought it was good fortune that Pebbledash was not there!

When it came to the Down-Downs the Hare was awarded for a splendid Trail, then normal service was resumed as the RA (who was also the hare) could punish My Lil, Wanktlers & Hippie Hunter who short-cutted through the car parks in a desperate attempt to be first to the Beer Stop! [The Hash is supposed to be non-competitive! – Ed]