Date 22nd December 2019
Run Number 1889
Venue The Horse & Groom
Location (Old) Hatfield
Hare/s My Lil’
Beer Otter; GK Abbot; Brewdolf; & other seasonal delights
What3words what.no.trollies (btw Kylie, these are not the proper what3words)
With the holiday season fast approaching the days for guys to get the Christmas Pressies were dwindling to just a couple, perhaps this was the reason that there weren’t too many turning out for this Trail? Anyhow BP is open late on Christmas Eve! For those who were absent would miss out on some flavoursome warming Mulled Wine, the Cider the Hare had was saved for a later date when Ewok may be around. To compliment the Mulled Wine the Pack were offered mini stolen cakes, this would lead to too many corny jokes about the Hare purchasing the mini-cakes, playing on the similarity of the name Stollen & that they weren’t stolen!
Sanity returned or did it? As the Paxo welcomed Mr X, My Lil’, Hippie Hunter, Wanktlers, Milf, Flying Solo & Elizabeth to the Hash, then it was over to the Hare, who like the Mulled Wine warmed the cockles of some Herts Hearts as he mentioned Short Cuts. Then it was back to the Twilight Zone as the Hare did mention the Trail was set early in the morning, while it was still dark one after the rain had ceased, but there was a slightly odd thing that may have the Pack struggling to find Dust, for be claimed that local squirrels were seen eating the freshly laid Trail, he even did the actions of a squirrel eating with its paws to emphasis this.
Wanktlers added that even that there were only a few of the Pack out today, what we lacked in numbers was gained in quality. [So, no Down-Down for Wanktlers! – Ed]
Without further ado the Pack were ushered out of the car park to use the pass-through in to Salisbury Square, heading southward through the partially empty shopping precinct, lacking in active shops after being recently redeveloped. For Mr X, Milf, Hippie Hunter, Flying Solo & Elizabeth they would find the Dust would lead them in a loop around by the restaurants & back to the northern end of Salisbury Square, where the Hare, Wanktlers & Paxo were already heading out between the empty end shop & the Job Centre to arrive back in to the car park.
Wanktlers was happy with this, like others he would call out On Inn, but the Trail was not going to be that Short, there were no letters spelling out the end of the Trail! Now the Pack were led up out of Arm & Sword Lane to pass by the Great Northern Pub to the set of lights. Crossing over the junction to head westward over the Bus Stands for Hatfield Station, at the southern end of which the Trail would lead up the steps to the high footbridge over the main lines to come out on to Beaconsfield Road.
Hippie Hunter was first over Beaconsfield Road & through to the CHK point on the elbow of Endymion Road (Named after the Sheppard of Greek myth, a son of Zeus who was granted eternal youth & loved by Selene Goddess of the Moon) & Cranbourne Road, he would also be the first to find a Falsie out through the southern passageway down the steps to French Horn Lane.
Meanwhile Mr X continued along Cranbourne Road in this older area in Hatfield, this would turn slightly from due westward to join Old French Horn Lane, he had an inkling that the Trail would head up to the small Park between French Horn Lane & St Albans Road East. Sure enough, an arrow directed the Keenies through the entrance to the Park, heading northward out on to St Albans Road East, there it would turn to the west & lead up to the roundabout opposite St Luke’s Church.
The Trail would lead Mr X, Milf, Hippie Hunter, Flying Solo & Elizabeth down the ramp, which was good for scooters, down toward the subway in to the hollow centre of the Roundabout, but it wasn’t going to go through the underpass, instead the Dust climb up the opposite ramp to emerge back up on to the end of French Horn Lane.
There the Trail would run back down French Horn lane for a few yards before taking the Pack over the pelican crossing to run up on the southern side to the roundabout once more, after this Hippie Hunter would lead Milf, Flying Solo & Elizabeth around a loop that followed the perimeter path on the small green space, the Hare had already been through here & marked a short cut straight over the grass.
On the other side of the green the Trail led southward over the arching footbridge spanning Link Drive to lead on to a tarmac footpath heading southward, with Hedges on either side & the Breaks Manor Youth Club to the east at the start, then Southfield School grounds to the west, before the Trail came out on to Old Rectory Drive, it was here that the Hare & Paxo were finally caught up with as they started off down the next section of footpath.
A turn in the enclosed footpath would take everyone from southward to head sou-sou-west on a climb up by 2203 Squadron of the Hatfield & de Havilland Air Cadets’ Hut. The Trail emerged out on to Woods Avenue, here Hippie Hunter had got ahead of the rest & was running off down Woods Avenue, Dust led down the ramp to & passed by the subway on his way northward, Milf, Mr X, Wanktlers, Flying Solo & Elizabeth all followed on, only to be stopped when Hippie Hunter found a Bar CHK!
A descending return to the subway & beneath the road, where on the other side of the Trail had been marked southward away from Bishop’s Hatfield Girls School & around by St Philip Howard Primary to where an arrow directed the way up a narrow footpath away to the northwest, this concrete & tarmac path had a lot of running water flowing down its rough surface as it rose up to the top of Roe Hill, with a hedgerow on the side of the school grounds & back garden fence panels on the opposite side.
My Lil’ & Paxo were caught up with again, just before path changes direction to the west & after 20 yards or so then northwest to come out on to Briar’s Lane where Dust was seen on trees leading Hippie Hunter, Milf, Mr X & Flying Solo away, Flying Solo’s break from Elizabeth didn’t last long, as Paxo escorted Elizabeth on the short cut, for the others were going to go around a short loop on Roe Hill Park to the west, the going was somewhat slippery, with lots of Shiggy on the water-logged pitches to head southward, a flooded area around the park gate made getting out a little difficult out & down on to Briars lane once more.
Wanktlers was now with Paxo & Elizabeth as they headed down Briars Lane along with the Hare, Mr X began to get behind, as he had issues with getting a grip over the Roe Hill playing fields, he would eventually catch up after Hippie Hunter had gone wrong at a CHK around from the end of Briars Lane & down on Woods Avenue, opposite Heron Way. Milf & Flying Solo were already off on the correct Trail down Heron Way & the rest followed on.
A slight detour down Swallow Gardens on a path interlinking the back-street homes to weave their way eastward & out to Traveller’s Way, where a large skip was found & unbelievably the only two abandoned shopping trolleys of the Trail were spotted, it was unusual as in previous Hashes around Hatfield the Pack have always seen loads of shopping trolleys roaming free! Straight over the road & the Dust led on down Hare Lane to come out on to a CHK on the edge of the green space by Badger Way, the Hash were not far from where Hyena use to live.
Once Hippie Hunter had found the falsie to the north, Mr X led the way over the green to a gate on the other side of Deerswood Avenue. The Trail would now leave the south Hatfield Estate to head southward, passing near to the allotments but on the western side of the babbling brook within Stream Woods, which had plenty of rushing water due to all of the overnight rain. The days of precipitation had also created a lot of Shiggy & the route was rather slippery in places, eyes were down on where the Hash were trying to run as tree roots lurked in the Shiggy, with these trip hazards Milf ended up saying that if Mr X fell over in front of them, she & Flying Solo could end up landing on top of him, the RA didn’t want to lose his footings now!
Mr X said that he now believed that the Hash would be coming back on the opposite side of the stream, but at the end the Trail led out in to the open green area with its playing fields, so he dropped back to allow the others to run around the edge of the green to find the Bar CHK. Indeed the Trail did a 180 degree turn about to head northward on the eastern side of the stream to pass by the allotments & then back out to Deerwood avenue to lead over & run to the end of Badger Way!
An arrow pointed the way over Oxlease Drive to lead up Honey Suckle Gardens, by now Mr X knew the Hash were heading home, so instinctively he followed the road as it turns to & ends in the northwest. He was soon over the grass & in to the woodland that is on either side of the stream to head northward, the path between the trees of Howe Dell wood would meander slightly, but the Hare hadn’t finished with the Pack as he set the Trail to descend to the streams edge, then over to the western side behind the fenced off school grounds. For some with longer legs it could just be done in one leap, but others chose the safe option to wade through. Somewhere along the Shiggy sections of the Trail, Hippie Hunter took a tumble!
The Dust would come out near to the playground area & then over to the housing estate via Howdell, again the Hare still had a trick or two up his sleeve as he put in a small loop up to Glebeland & then back around down St Etheldreda’s Drive, named after the East Anglian Princess
St Etheldreda's Church, Hatfield is 13th century which was originally Saxon. It was named for Saint Etheldreda because it was adjacent to the Palace of the Bishops of Ely, who held her as their patron saint.
The Pack would to come down to French Horn lane one last time. Once over the road, the Trail led up a short flight of concrete steps to lead through the footpath passage in the railway bridge & then around to a subway under the Great North Road, here a small blue plaque mentioned a local who perished on the Titanic, it also listed a series of businesses that used to be in this area of Hatfield, including Burgess Funeral Directors, Beehive makers to name a few, it was here the On Inn was found.
Back into the (Old) Hatfield part of town, the Pack simply passed behind Hatfield’s answer to Liverpool’s ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ & around by another Church in to Salisbury Square. Mr X went over to have a quick peek in the Eight Bells, now that it is run by the Farr Brewery, he was pleased to see that they had Porter on tap, as well as guest Ales!
The RA walked by the front of the Horse & Groom, where Sparky’s car was found parked up outside, having grabbed a change of clothes, it was time to get to the Bar for Mr X, how was shortly joined by the rest. The last of the Stollen was kept for Sparky, when he returned, which was just in time for the round of delicious chips that came out! Hippie Hunter had to leave before the food, & so got away with not getting a Down-Down for his fall!
It was nice to see the display of Christmas Jumpers on display, Paxo nearly had the best one, for his had flashing fairy lights on the front, but Sparky won that one as you’ll read in a bit. When the Circle was called, inside as there weren’t many of us & seating at a premium, the Hare was rewarded for an excellent Trail, while Elizabeth had her first Down-Down as she wanted to be awarded one! Finally Sparky had his for wearing a Sigi Schreiber Christmas Jumper, he bought for Skiing way back in 1962 at Lillywhites of Regents Street in London! Making it older than most of the Pack, with a couple of exceptions!
While the rest departed, Mr X & My Lil’ popped over to the Eight Bells to sample a porter or two, rather nice it was too! Well, Merry Crumble one & all, I must write up last year’s Christmas weekend Report!