Date 13th December 2019
Run Number 1887
Venue The Admiral Byng
Location Potters Bar
Hare/s Mr X
Beer Exemoor Winters Tail; Greed King IPA/Abbot;
And so Friday 13th Part 48 came around to be a joint run with Herts & FUK Full Moon. With the possibility of some London folk turning out, the start was delayed until 19:15, yet Fat Bastard & Legolas, Lofty & Testiculator were all at the Admiral Binge well in time.
Fliptop & Tops did the honours for their respective Hash Numbers, then it was over to the Hare. As well as the normal Hash Markings, Mr X mentioned that there were Short Cuts, Three story Stops & a bit where the words 'Look' would be seen on the road side, this was for the Keenies to look over at the Lych-gate & memorial to the cemetery that once was the resting place of German Sailors who were the crew of the two Zeppelins to be shot down, but more of that later.
As Windsock & Tops retreated to ‘bag-sit’ the change of clothes, off the Pack went, crossing the road to head off sou-sou-west down Darkes Lane, passing the various shop fronts along the way, including a certain Bookmakers & a couple of obligatory charity shops to arrive at a CHK opposite the Footpath beside the Railway bridge. Crystal Balls searched under the railway bridge, he was called back by Guzzler when the Trail was picked up on the footpath by the lime as it heads southward toward Kings Cross.
The long south-eastward path left edge of the McDognuts car park to rise up to emerge out on to Mutton Lane, the Keenies were taken on out to Mutton Lane, it was here that the Lytch-gate could be seen into St Mary’s Churchyard. Here the Burials sites of the Z31 & L31 Crews were for a time. St Mary’s Church has an alter Cross created with the remains of Z31 airframe.
Meanwhile the SCBs had been directed up The Walk earlier from Darkes lane. The Keenies of Milf, Smartarse, Crystal Balls, Guzzler, Des Res & Standin Shit, Fireball & Lofty & Henry would leave the busy Mutton Lane to run along the set back side street of section of Mutton Lane on a parallel route beside the larger main road until reaching a CHK by a footpath off to the North, on this path the Trail would be found.
The likes of Wanktlers, My Lil', Digger, Fergie, Fay Bastard all came to the CHK just a fraction before Milf emerged from the path running below Potters Bar Cricket Club, by which time the CHK was marked up to the High Street. There arrows direct the Pack over the road to Oakmere Park with the Pack following a route through the ornate Park Gates by Salisbury Close to take an anti-clockwise trot by the southern side of the lakes which would bring the Hash to Stop 1.
Pork Scratchings were handed by the Hare & as the Pack munch away Mr X explained that these apparently taste like 'Long Pig' which cannibals used to call human flesh due to it tasting like pork, here they would hear about the deaths of the two aircrews & for some the penny dropped! Crystal Balls refrained from the pork scratchings & who could blame him.
Knights of the Sky or Baby Killers
On the night of the 3rd September 1916 the war arrived in a very real way to the small village of Cuffley. A Schutte-Lanz German Army airship SL-11 (a wooden airship which was lighter than a Zeppelin) was on a bombing raid over London and was successfully attacked by 2nd Lieutenant (later Captain) William Leefe Robinson of the No.39 Home Defence Squadron. His small biplane used a new type of incendiary ammunition, the Buckingham bullet in combination with Pomeroy bullets to set the ship alight.
SL-11 came down to earth behind the Plough Inn at Cuffley. The entire 15-man crew was killed. It became the first airship shot down on British soil, for this action Leefe Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. A memorial stands on the sight of the crash today.
Potters Bar Air Crash, October 1916
In the early hours of the 1st October 1916 Zeppelin L-31 aluminium framed German Naval airship was part of a major raid of 11 airships on London. On hearing the airships were heading for London, pilot Wulstan Joseph Tempest [Played by Digger who took his thespian duties to heart like a method actor] of the No.39 Home Defence Squadron had ignored orders to patrol the Thames and had instead taken his tiny biplane to a high altitude in hope of crossing their path. His luck was in.
Also involved in the detection of Zeppelin L31 on 1st October 1916 was the Hertfordshire based Barnet Searchlight Detachment. On the night in question they were crewing a specially equipped tram, painted in dark green, with a searchlight mounted on it. From their position outside Barnet church they were able to illuminate the raider during the course of the engagement thereby greatly aiding the work of Tempest as he attacked the airship. Hash torches were used to highlight the model of L31.
One such "knight of the Air” was 32 year-old Capitan-leutnant Heinrich Mathy, [played by Crystal Balls in a style more akin to that of John Le Mesurier’s Sgt Wilson!] the most experienced and audacious raider who, by October 1916 had taken part in more raids than any other member of the Naval airship service - 14 combat flights in the course of which he had dropped about 34,000 kg of bombs. A very skilled navigator, Mathy showed real audacity, coolness and daring, and he seemed unstoppable. He soon had a reputation of an Űber Menchen. (Superman)
It was Mathy who had made the most successful single raid on Britain with Zeppelin L 13, when he attacked London itself - This raid had taken place on the 8th of September 1915 killed 22 people & caused 1.5 million pounds worth of property damage. This one raid would eventually account for nearly two thirds of all Zeppelin damage inflicted on Britain during the airship campaign.
On the night of 1st October 1916, Mathy was heading for London again, this time in one of the new larger "super-Zeppelins," the three-month-old L31. Things had changed since Mathy's famous 1915 raid on London. Defensive aircraft no longer sat on their runways, faced with an hour-long climb to reach the Zeppelin's height. They flew in relays now and there was probably at least one already at the same height as the Zeppelin, ready to attack as soon as the pilot was able to see the ship.
After emptying three drums of ammunition, all while single-handedly flying his BE2c bi-plane, Tempest finally ignited the Hydrogen, with Digger as Tempest, dressed in Flying Helmet, with a moustache & pipe, moved his airfix model of a BE2c around the card model of L31, however the model Zeppelin was as much of an effort to set alight, but eventually Digger managed to get the thing to burn & went it did it popped away as it was full of toy gun caps to simulate the ammunition going up.
Reporter Michael McDonagh described the last moments of the zeppelin as ‘a gigantic pyramid of flames, red and orange, like a ruined star falling slowly to earth.’ The Zeppelin limped away but only as far as Potters Bar. It eventually came down over Oakmere Park. The entire crew were killed. Once, outside his favourite cafe, reporters asked Mathy, Burn or jump, what will you do, your ship’s on fire, you see death and have seconds to decide? Mathy, answer “I won't know until it happens!”
Mathy is the only example of a Captain choosing to jump out an airship prior to crashing, he is also said to be the only person to have momentarily survived the landing. Mr X produced a photo of the imprint from the impact in the soft earth which taken after the body removed. Local farmers found Mathy still wrapped in his leather flying jacket a thick scarf (a present from his wife) face up in the field near the burning wreckage, falling to earth a little way from the ship, which crashed with an indescribable roar onto the "Zeppelin Oak." Crystal Balls assumed the position of the ground, where an outline of a body had been marked out in flour for a ghostly silhouette.
The hissing of burning gas was combined with the wrenching sound of the aluminium framework, the splintering of branches & seconds later the rattling detonations of the Zeppelin's ammunition and the explosions of its fuel tanks.
There were other dangers, too. A policeman hurrying across the fields was horrified to see one of the L31's huge propellers cartwheeling madly, coming straight towards him at colossal speed. He dived to one side, watched the propeller demolish a hay-rick and sensibly decided to wait until things had quietened down just a little before going any closer.
Pilot Wulstan Joseph Tempest received a DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for his actions. There is even a Tempest Avenue named after him near to Oakmere Park as a tribute to his actions.
The bodies of Mathy & his comrades were buried in the local churchyard, the second airship crew to be buried there, for an Army airship, the SL11 - the first airship to be shot down. In 1930, the Potters Bar branch of Toc-H (Army Christian Group -predecessor to the NAFFI) noted the appalling neglect of the graves & decided to clean up the burial-site, on their own initiative, without asking approval of any authority. This act of reconciliation and kindness was reported in the local press then the national papers. Before too long the Potters Bar Toc-H branch began receiving requests from relatives of the crew-members for photographs of individual sailors' graves.
On Armistice Day, November 11th 1931, a Toc-H member visited the churchyard to lay a wreath only to find Baron von Nidda, the German Ambassador to Great Britain was doing the same thing. The two men decided to instigate an annual remembrance event which, they hoped, would help cement Anglo-German relations. This excellent idea was not the long-term success they had hoped for, as by 1933 Hitler had come to power, the annual ceremony began to have a strong Nazi presence, with the likes of Oswald Mosely in attendance, until by 1935 it was wholly a German event, with Nazi salutes & the whole ceremony being conducted in German. The last "Heroes Day" was held in 1939, attended by the then German Ambassador, von Ribbentrop
In the 1960s the German Authorities allow the removal of the remains of the airmen for reburial in the large German Cemetery at Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire, where all German war-graves from all over Britain were being concentrated. Today, not far from the entrance to the new cemetery, in a little courtyard of their own, lie the crews of the four German airships shot down over British soil, including the L31
Wulfstan Tempest survived the War & died in 1966. Leffe Robinson was later shot down by the Rd Barron’s ‘Flying Circus’& was a Prisoner of War, which left him in a weakened health, in 1919 he succumbed to the outbreak of Spanish Influenza & died
On again & the Keenies were taken around on a loop around Wulfstan Tempest Avenue then on to & by Wulfstan Close to complete 3 sides of almost a rectangle to find a CHK outside the eastern gates to Oakmere Park. A trot through the north side of the Park led the Hash out near to the local Harvester & back through to another set of stone pillar gates & out in to the High Street only yards from where the Pack entered the Park.
The SCBs crossed to the western side of the A1000, then followed arrows into the small Parkfield Nature reserve, passing by a the duck pond & then the Japanese Garden, there was a CHK here but as the SCBs were ahead of the fast approaching Keenies, the Hare marked it straight through to lead out of the woodland & over the green Parkfield Open Space to find another CHK by the dead end of Byng Drive. Legolas wasn’t as sure in believing the Hare as she saw the likes of Wanktlers & My Lil’ heading away down Byng Drive.
Passing between the two squat red brick pillars, the Keenies were led along this suburban street until being turned westward on to & then out in to Park Drive, where the northbound Trail immediately crossed the token roundabout on Billy Lowes Lane to head off up an alleyway, which was fenced in on either side with wooden panels.
The Pack emerged from the dark alleyway to briefly turn to the west before crossing before a red Pillar Box to run by a small green & on to another alleyway by the Tilbury Nursery School [Was that done for Digger & Fergus’s benefit? – Ed]
This last footpath on an alleyway which would turn from north to west, along this dark enclosed route by the grounds of the Potters Bar United Reformed Church, the Hare pointed out the graffiti of an arse shaped Full Moon, Kylie took photo of My Lol' & Mr X either side of this rather good bit of spray painting.
Exiting the ginnel & the Pack were led over & up Darkes Lane, away from the Station end to turn nor-nor-eastward up to Mount Way, now heading north easterly through the street of larger houses to its end where the street turns 90 degrees it was hear on a small open area that Stop 2's tale would be re-enacted in all its gory glory!
Smartarse recounted the next Tale from Friday 29 April 1955.
Elizabeth Currell [Admiralty played by Fireball] worked at a shop in Darkes Lane, Potters Bar and would normally get home around 6pm. Elizabeth Currell and her husband had dinner together which Elizabeth Currell had cooked. After dinner they both sat and read the newspaper for a while and then Elizabeth Currell cleared up the dishes and they both washed up. After that the husband went upstairs to change and when he came down he started to watch TV. He wasnt sure if Elizabeth Currell was still in the house at that point
She always took the dog out for a walk every evening. She would get to the golf course by going through the tunnel under the railway and then following a footpath down to a concrete pillbox and then turning left at the pillbox, taking a footpath right across the links. Elizabeth Currell would generally be gone for 30-40 minutes and was always back before dark.
A quantity surveyor had gone for a walk across the golf course between 8.15 and 8.30pm when he saw what he first thought were two dogs near the 17th tee around 8.50pm. When he got closer he saw they were two people and they looked like they were embracing while standing up. He said he got home at 9.15pm
Mr Currell watched TV until about 9.30pm. As soon as the program 'Facts and Figures' came on he went out to look for his wife. He went into the garden and saw their dog sat on the lawn. He walked with the dog under the tunnel and across the golf course but didn’t see his wife. After which he reported her missing to the police.
Elizabeth Currell was found the next day early in the morning by a police constable out looking for her. She had lacerations to the scalp with fractures of the skull and injuries to the brain due to at least four blows delivered with a heavy sharp linear object such as the tee marker later seen in evidence.
A stocking had been tied around her throat, she had been beaten with a heavy iron tee-marker that was found nearby on which the police found a bloody palm print. She was naked from the waist down. [Well a cartoon apron with a female torso & 3 dimensional boobs on it!] The victim, like those within a short radius were covered with a spray of Ketchup to add to the fake blood that the Pack were adorned with earlier in the Pub.
The Police couldn’t find the palm print in their files and so they took over 9000 sets of prints from people in the area & eventually matched them to Michael Queripel [Kylie was selected to play the part of the perpetrator] who was a clerk at Wyllyotts Manor with Potters Bar Urban District Council. Elizabeth Currell lived nearby at Dellfields, Cranborne Road, Potters Bar & Michael Queripel lived at 15 Dugdale Hill Lane.
On 19 august the police went to Michael Queripel's place of work to question him. The policeman said 'Do you know why we want to see you?' Michael Queripel said “Yes I know what it is all about. I found her. She was dead”. When the policeman asked why he didn’t tell the police he said “You wouldn’t believe me”. Then after a long pause he said “I hit her and then I tried to strangle her”.
He was then taken to Barnet police station, cautioned & then made a statement.
He said that he had had a migraine & had walked out on the golf course to clear it & had hit out at her, finally battered her to death after tearing at her clothing. When his mother was cross examined she confirmed that Michael Queripel had had an accident with an air rifle in 1950 when a pellet had penetrated his left eye resulting in the need to the whole eyeball to be removed three weeks later for which Michael Queripel was in hospital for three & a half months.
The day after the murder Michael Queripel's mother took her son a cup of tea as usual up to him in his bedroom at 7.30am. She noticed that his clothes were blood stained, both the jacket & the trousers. When she asked Michael Queripel if he had had an accident Michael Queripel said that he had cut himself around at friends. She asked to have a look Michael Queripel held up his arm, showed his mother one long cut & two or three shorter ones. After, he went to work. His mother then washed the trousers to get out the blood stains which she did but then ripped them up as they were not worth repairing, and then sponged down the jacket but did not remember whether it too ended up in the rags.
He was convicted of murder and ordered to be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure, apparently he was released but not much is known what happened to him since except he did go back to Potters Bar!
One thing we have learn is not to live in the Cranbourne area of Potter Bar, or go around the Golf Course if you are a local! Time to move on again, which was a simple case of heading down Manor Way, crossing the roundabout & following on the second half of the road in an area that could easily be Stock-broker belt housing, then around a counter 90 degree turn on to Heath Drive & back out on to Darkes Lane.
Here Wanktlers could narrate the third & final tale from Wednesday, November 19th, 1947
A boy looking for golf balls in the pond by the seventh hole at Potters Bar Golf Club, Middlesex, in May, 1948, found something he wasn’t looking for, a manicured human hand. It had been there for six months.
The pond was drained & raked, piece by piece, the body of a man was recovered. The head had been partly burned before being thrown into the pond, along with the hacksaw used for the dismemberment. It was established that the body was of a shortish man, well built with a protruding lower jaw. Thirty-six missing men fitted that description & 35 were eliminated. The one who remained was Albert Welch, 45, a railwayman, known to his workmates, who regarded him as morose and restless, as Snakey, [again Kylie, with his railway connections was chosen to play the part of Albert, while his wife was a mere bit part for our Newbie Legolas to play!]
Welch left his council house in Cranbourne Crescent, Potters Bar, in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 19th, 1947, leaving a message to his wife on the kitchen table: Phyllis, I have gone for a walk. Shan’t be in for tea. Albert took with him his ration book and identity card.
A plaster cast of the feet found in the pond fitted Welch’s boots, despite the long immersion in water, police managed to obtain one nearly perfect fingerprint. But a railwayman with manicured hands? Impossible, said his wife, who had initially believed that he had simply walked out on her. My husband had rough, workman’s hands. His workmates had a different view. Snakey, they said, always wore gloves when he was working and spent his breaks manicuring his hands.
Wanktlers got out hack-saw & with the aid of tomato sauce, he cut up Kylie. So, who did he meet that afternoon, who killed him, cut him up and threw the pieces in the pond?
At the time of the murder Potters Bar was under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police, though local rumours believed that Mrs Welch was having an affair with a Police officer? They could not ascertain who the Murderer was.
As a cold case the Met revisit the original investigation in 2018, a Met spokeswoman told the Welwyn Times: “A review of the available evidence in relation to the unsolved murder of Albert Welch in 1947 is being carried out by SCD1 – the homicide and serious crime command. “As with all unsolved cases, any potential new lines of enquiry will be carefully assessed.”
However this abruptly came to a halt as Documents on the case – housed at the National Archives in Kew – have been restricted for 89 years and are not due to be declassified until 2045.
A spokeswoman for the National Archives said: “Government files are usually closed for 30 years.
Citing “exemptions” to the Freedom of Information Act, which allow them to circumvent the act.
The two categories under which the Welwyn Times’ request was denied were ‘law-enforcement’ and ‘health and safety’ grounds. The explanation as to how the decision was reached was sketchy, but under health and safety rules it was deemed the revelations could “endanger the physical or mental health of any individual”.
“But if they contain personal data or sensitive information pertaining to identifiable individuals (or their relatives) who may still be alive, they will remain closed for longer periods such as 75 or even 100 years under the Data Protection Act.”
There could be another reason, that the perpetrator was, as local rumours believed, in fact an officer of the law & if this were true, then all evidence in cases this individual had worked on would now be found to be inadmissible, or were the stories of a local heavy, a former sailor, who used to run ‘The Door’ at various places, including greyhound racing stadiums, by employing local policemen to be true. He never confessed to the murder, even when questioned on his deathbed by detectives.
Mrs Welch never went to her husband’s funeral, stating that it wasn’t him that was being buried!
Time to move on all of the 200 or so Yards to the Admiral Binge - Down-Downs went to the Hare/story tellers, as well as Victims & perpetrators.
Mr X also admitted that he wished he hadn’t made the Airfix model & as for the card Zeppelin, he used to do origami as a kid, but making that model was pretty fiddly & hard, as it didn’t show which way to fold the card, whether inwards or outwards. Windsock was happy to hear about this, as the 39th were based near to where he lived.
Digger mentioned his sore fingers, due to the heat of the lighter in trying to set light to his quarry on the Trail.