Date 15th December 2019
Run Number 1888
Venue Chez TBT OBE
Location Amwell (Or Great for those with delusions of Grandeur)
Hare/s TBT OBE
Beer Dooombar; various bottles including Hobgoblin, Dark/Ruby & Gold;
What3words all.dust.gone (btw these are not the proper what3words)
The night before the Trail there was a deluge that had the Hare (almost) worried that there would be nothing left of the Trail he had set that afternoon, but he soon retired to his bed to ponder on preparing the buffet for the après Trail Birthday Party & no doubt slept soundly!
The Hash all gathered at Chez Teebs, with the start being held up by 5 minutes as My Lil’ & Mr X were walking from the bus stop to the venue. There was another slight delay as Flanders enquired where he shoes were? Sludge, like a faithful retainer, went of the boot of the Range-rover to fetch the afore mentioned footwear.
Then some wondered where Sparky was? Mr X said that he had been that Sparky should be alright finding the place as he had been in email conversation with Mr X about House numbers & Post Codes yet again. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also had TBT OBE mentioning that the Post Code & area name was wrong, it was GREAT Amwell & not just plain old Amwell! In his defence Mr X did add that since neither the Hare nor Hare Raiser had passed on any further info he just has to use Streetmap to point a Large RED arrow at the site & gain the Post Card.
Fliptop did the honours with the Run number, then it was over to the Hare. TBT OBE would mention that there were short cuts, there was only one Held CHK, being marked with a Circle around a Post & the H drawn on top of the 4 by 4 timber! However, TBT OBE was worried that the Trail may have been washed out, but due to him being ‘Master Chef’ for the day, he hadn’t even been out to see if any of the Trail was remaining outside his door.
The Pack were ushered away around Furlong Way but there was no sign of any markings on this bright sunny morning, so TBT OBE shouldn’t have been surprised that no one found the Falsie leading off down the dead-end of Bridle Way. So, Mr X, My Lil’, Ewok & Milf carried on around Furlong Avenue, calling out “Looking!” as they ran in an anti-clockwise direction to come out on to the junction with Yearling Close & Furlong Way, still no Trail was seen! Ewok said that the theme to today’s Trail would be “Looking!” & “Are you?”
Ewok & Milf went back when called to return by the Hare, but with no T’s to stop any progress [Something to cheer Sludge up! – Ed] so, My Lil’ & Mr X continued out on to Yearling Close to head northward & then north-westward up through a cut-through to the footpath that runs out to the uncapped track leading up to a level crossing on the Ware to Stansted St Margaret’s.
While My Lil’ stopped to scare the squirrels, Mr X continued north-eastward to take heed of any passing railway transport as he ran over the lines & through the gates but Dust was not to be seen, so he continued calling out “Looking!”
As the rest of the Pack emerged from Black’s Close, they too would follow the RA out over the tracks to find faint remains of a CHK by Hardmead Lock on the River Lea Navigation.
Mr X chose to head away along the southeast bound Navigation tow path, here he spotted the washed out splashes of Trail flour on a couple of the marsh trees along the tow path’s edge, finally he could call “On!” along a long stretch down to the next crossing point on the Lea Navigation.
By the brick bastion of the bridge spanning the Lea Navigation a second CHK was found, Mr X chose to head out over the water way, as he wrongly thought that when the Hare said that “I got a bit carried away!” meant he thought he may set a long loop around to Stanstead Abbots via Holycross Road? Mr X was wrong, but he would be misled on to thinking that he was on the correct route as some white powder like marks could be seen on a section of new wooden fencing. It was only when he reached the Railway bridge that he realised the Trail didn’t go this far, but on the way back he photographed the markings as evidence. Mr X wondered why he heard no calls of “On back!” as Milf wasn’t too far from following on behind him?
So, it was a long trot back toward the Navigation then over the bridge to the south-western bank, even the walkers were long gone by the time Mr X had made it back over the waterway, but at least there was fresh flour pointing the way on to a path in to the small section of wooded nature reserve. Now on a narrow path the Hash were heading back toward the railway line, eventually the Trail would lead Mr X to a fresh CHK point, just reinstated minutes ago & this was marked to the southwest.
Through the large white wooden gates to cross the Railway line again via another level crossing, on the opposite side of which the Trail would head down to Amwell lane [Not Great Amwell Lane? – Ed] Away from the trash littering the end of the uncapped access road & the Pack were still having issues spotting any Trail, even Paxo’s ‘Tonto Tracking skills’ were put to the test!
By this point
Waragi & Rose were catching up with the walkers, they were late due to taking
part as Marshals in the Welwyn Garden City Santa Dash! Emerging out on to
Amwell Lane & the Pack instinctively went up the steps opposite, leading up the
War Memorial to where a CHK should have been on the footpath running along the
edge of the New River. In this area of Little Amwell, it seems those with large
houses around the bottom of the hill prefer to call the place Great Amwell, its
rather like a reflection of Eric & Ernie’s jokes about ‘Little Hampton’ to which
Eric would say “I am sorry to hear that!”
Sludge & Fliptop, with Teddy, must have gone wrong here as they were just still
in sight as the RA came out on to
Great Amwell Lane, they were now
spotted heading north-westward to the footbridge spanning the New River & on to
the dead-end of short St John’s Lane, in Little Amwell, still there was little
sign of the original Trail!
The Pack managed to find their way up the steps in to the Churchyard of St John’s, passing by the grave of Harold Abrahams (Olympic Gold Medallist mentioned before in the Hash Trash!) it was up in the southern corner of the graveyard that a ring of doughy remains of flour around the footpath marker post could be seen, & on top of the wooden post were the faint markings of an H!
Mr X received a half-hearted cheer as he arrived, he was placated with the offering of some sweets, as this was the sweetie stop, then before he had even dibbed into the sweet packet he had to get into the group photo! Eventually it was time to move on again & there were three options, one to the southeast toward St Margaret’s, to the northwest out to Amwell Hill or the option of heading up to the sou-sou-west.
Eventually something was discovered up to the sou-sou-west, as the pack moved on along by the stone & flint wall on the right, & a fenced off driveway to the large house on the left, Kylie stopped to admire an old metal gate set in the wall, while Flanders claimed she didn’t know that Amwell was so hilly, the RA added that’s why the top bit is called Great Amwell!
Out on to Hillside lane & somehow the Pack were On in the right direction as they passed through a wrought-iron gate to head down a tree-lined footpath to the southwest on a route gently descending to the A1170 on Pepper Hill. No car boot sale was visible over to the southeast this day, but this didn’t mean the Hash would be not going near the entrance to the boot fair.
Out on Pepper Hill & the Keenies all headed northward toward Van Hage’s Nurseries, but low & behold they found a T which was still visible without a magnifying glass! [Something that messed up Sludge’s potential plans! – Ed] So, they changed direction to move southward but after seeing one faint arrow on the path behind the roadside tree-line, the Trail disappeared. “Looking!” & “Are you?” Soon became the not some comforting but familiar sound.
So, once out from behind the trees Sludge & Fliptop crossed over the busy dual carriageway checking both was including up to the busy Amwell Roundabout. Others stuck with the side leading by the guys selling Christmas Trees, one of whom asked if any of the Pack wanted to purchase a festive pine? Other things were on the Keenies minds as there were still there were no markings.
So, Mr X headed back to find Rose & Gemma making their way toward him, with Paxo & the Hare in tow, after another about-turn for the RA, the Hare called for the Pack to dice with death by shouting out “Cross over the road!” The Large White van in the lay-by would hinder visibility in spotting oncoming traffic, but that wasn’t the only threat as once over the central reservation the traffic in the opposite direction came flying around the bend from off of the A10!
Somehow the Pack all survived crossing the road & followed on behind Sludge who was heading westward down Hertford Road from its dead-end, this area of detached homes would lead down to the Stansted Road, amazingly on the way a single exposed arrow was seen to be unaffected by the overnight rain, Sludge, Milf & Mr X commented on this, Ewok was even happier as this was the first sign of Trail she had actually found so far on the Hash!
As the FRBs headed toward the A10 Bridge, ahead lay a scene of flying water, with cars passing at speed in either direction creating huge splashes of rainwater from the overnight flooding, suddenly the Keenies felt less keen with the prospect of being soaked with dirty road covered water! Thankful Ewok would spotted her second bit of Trail markings as doughy remains were spotted on the rockery of one front garden to lead the Pack up Gypsy Lane & back up to Pepper Hill.
Emerging out on to the busy road, Mr X said to Milf & Ewok that he thought the Trail would head northward by Van Hage’s & then cross over to take to Church Walk, a footpath back to Amwell? So, he crossed before with a break in the traffic before the traffic island by the entrance to the Garden Centre, no Dust was found on either side until the trio reached Church Walk, there it was discovered on the wooden fence that separates the footpath from the dead-end lane.
Mr X, Ewok & Milf made their way straight over the junction with another footpath off to the right, they would come out in to Amwell & then turn to head down behind the George IV on Cautherly Lane to come down to the level of the New River, crossing it & then taking to Lower Road at Little Amwell.
However, those like Paxo, Flanders, Whatever She Says, with the Hare would get would fall behind Rose, Waragi & No Eye Deer, who intron were left behind by Sludge & My Lil’ as the Trail was supposed to head off on the footpath right before the Garden Centre, head away to the Stanstead road again, then come back up the opposite side of Van Hage’s & out on to Walnut Walk, then back over the A1170 Amwell Hill Road to Church Walk.
Back at Chez TBT OBE & the Pack would come back in dribs & drabs, having been spread out over the tail end of the Trail. Everyone noticed the Sparky Mobile outside the house, noticeable by the guano still on part of his car, though the roof look like it may have been brushed off! Ewok didn’t hang about as she was doing Parent visiting duties.
With everyone back, the inquest began as TBT OBE, aided by No Eye Deer & Milf, in getting the food out on to the dining table. Plenty of grub to go around while Alexa was commanded to entertain the Hash, but it seems that Rose knows all the words to the Christmas Songs that seemed to be selected, seems she a bit of a Supertrooper - luckily Alexa obeyed Mr X’s over-riding commands “Do not Play Wham’s Last Christmas!”, thus saving many from a mass Whamagedon!
Mr X really enjoyed the ‘Vindaloo’ Mix [Can’t call it Bombay Mix as Vindaloo comes from Goa! – Ed] & these were complimented by some really strong Wasabi Peas! Kylie thought both were a little on the hot side! Meanwhile Sludge, Fliptop & Whatever She Says were doing their best Three Wise’ Monkeys impression.
An Ambulance parked up across the road from Chez TBT OBE, many thought that Sparky had arrived back but thankfully he wasn’t on-board the First Aid Vehicle. He eventually made his way back on his own, though even with the Hare remarking the Trail Sparky struggled in places & was forced hobble very quickly over the busy Pepper Hill Junction, when a Short-Cut couldn’t have been put in straight down Pepper Hill to pick up Church Walk!
Milf & Kylie decided to invite the Paramedical in for a quick bite & a cuppa, which they appreciated, though probably not so much of Sparky telling them of his ailments. Thankfully TBT OBE didn’t get to inform them of all of his maladies! He was too busy getting the cake sorted, which amusingly had 'Happy 79th Birthday' written on it, when his age was supposedly 70, like the cards had on the front.
Waragi & Rose had to depart early, but not until after a couple of bottles of Waragi’s Homemade “Charity Sloe Gin” were purchased, it was going to MND [Motor Neuron Disease, which you may have seen on Sport Personality of the year, when Doddie Weir was presented with the Helen Rollason Award later that night on TV?]
Down-Downs included the Hare, there was a slight mixed reaction to the RA’s question of what the Pack thought of the Trail? There weren’t many who could be held responsible for Short Cutting, for Sludge almost had a Carte Blanche Trail out there. The RA had heard of two of the Pack meeting up in Welwyn Garden City, in a Charity Shop on Saturday looking for Christmas Pressie! [Cheapskates! & they don’t sell Alcohol in most Charity Shops! – Ed] As My Lil’ & No Eye Deer were called out.
Finally the Birthday Boy was out again for a chorus of Hashy Birthday, after
which the merry band slowly went upon their different ways. Sparky looked
puzzled as he pondered on the bit about Christmas Jumpers to be worn after the
following week’s Trail, was he to dress as
Satan Santa Claus? Later a
puzzled Sparky would email the Hash email address to clarify things!