Date =                           1st March 2020

Run Number =            1901    

Venue =                       The Prince of Wales

Location =                   East Barnet Village

Hare/s =                       Mr X

Beer =                          TT Landlord; London Pride;

Runners =                   15        

Virgins =                       0

Visitors =                      London Hash

Newies =                       0

Après =                          0

Hounds =                      1

Total =                           14

Membership =              Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!                         


            Finally the rain had eased of as storm Jorge waned & it was far less windy than the last couple of weeks, it was a damn sight drier as the sun came out to warm the cockles of the Pack, especially those who had manged to do the previous day’s Leap Year Trail in London, which included today’s Hare!  Yes, Mr X is a glutton for punishment & after the most bizarre day of travelling on Rail replacement buses, including getting stuck on one that was driven on to the green at Hadley Wood & with a months’ worth of rain, the Bus soon became grounded!

Anyhow, Mr X got around to set the Trail then came back to the Prince of Wales, where he met up with the really early bird of Fliptop.  Part way in to his much deserved pint, a txt message came through from My Lil’, who couldn’t work out how to get tot eh prince of Wales & had gone in to the ‘spoons at New Barnet, this was followed up later on by another that said that My Lil’ was going to go home!  So, Mr X set off to retrieve My Lil’, leaving behind those who were debating the start time, should it be noon, a quarter past of half past?

Having got My Lil’ from New Barnet Station, Mr X marked P-Arrows back down to the Prince of Wales, where the two turned the corner to see the Pack running off across the junction outside of the Pub!  So, the Pack didn’t have any Chalk-Talk or the Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus he had been practising for the open circle, though it was probably a blessing as it probably would have sounded like Robert Downey junior!  As for the rest of the missed Hare’s speech there was much of a difference from the normal Herts Hash markings.  Fliptop came back so My Lil’ could stow his bag, then it was of over to the first CHK was found by the War Memorial on the corner of the Cat Hill junction, My Lil' should have taken some comfort that the Hare hadn't put it directly outside of the Pub. 

This area was once a village in its own right, with around 30 houses, a mill & a mansion (no longer there) the Clock House, the clock now being a part of the redeveloped shopping parade, interestingly the most famous resident was Ralph Gill, he was the ‘Keeper of the Lions’ at the Tower of London!  East Barnet Village used to be a part of Hertfordshire when it was a part of the East Barnet Urban District of Hertfordshire until 1965, when it became a part of the Urban Borough of Barnet.

Wanktlers had seen the CHK as he walked down that way from Cockfosters Tube, which eliminated searching up there.  The Trail was picked up over on the rising elbow of Elton Avenue, which turned south-eastern run down the longer section of the suburban street, when the Hare arrived up on to the level he was pleased to see that the Bar CHK had been found & the Keenies had come back to far to look up Bohan Road.  Mr X was pleased to see that it wasn’t that bad a turn out, especially after the previous day’s Leap Year Trail, as he could now see the Pack grouped up for the first time.

Ushered back to look again for sign for 23A, the Keenies now saw they had been beyond this & found the Trail on the gravel passageway heading north-eastward up behind Bohun Grove, this allows access to the garages behind the homes.  The three uncapped routes form a triangle around 32A right in the middle.

The Trail went around the small white one storey building, which looked to have once been a couple of garages converted to accommodation to head away to the south, then emerging from the back passage [Careful Pebbledash! – Ed] out on to Elton Avenue [Ooh what a coincidence? – Ed], then the FRBs were led down the urban street to a sharp turn from southeast to due north then non to a another uncapped snicket, this took the Hash up between the rear gardens & garages of Windsor Road to the left & Ridgeway Avenue to the right.

This route was a bit rougher underfoot, as well as having various piles of waste littering the way back up to Bohun Grove, it was not very scenic with pallets & other fly-tipped junk but it was all left behind as arrows pointed the way out of the T-junction taking the right option to run a few yards out off of the gravel & on to pavement of Ridgeway Avenue.  Not Out, Optimist, Knickers, Sludge, Tablewhine & Tent Packer nipped across to Chestnut Road, while Rambo & Wanktlers were tempted to look elsewhere, but they were called back as the Trail headed eastward to a CHK beside the Hellenic School of High Barnet, the front of which had several nude statues dotted around. 

Those who ran around the kink in the road to the front gates of School would discover a T, so it was back to another ginnel, this one running southward between the back of the homes on Ridgeway Avenue to the west & the grounds of the two schools to the east, not so much abandoned rubbish on this stretch.

The route had a slight diversion at the last section by the Primary School entrance was a little overgrown with brambles & the Hare didn’t want the London H3 townies getting stuck on the bramble runners or heaven forbid rip their socks!  So, the Trail went out to the road to head southward to the junction where Daneland begins off to the east.

A CHK was found there, a Falsie was discovered at the small spur like end to Ridgeway Ave, tempting it overlooked Oakhill Park below.  Instead the Trail was picked up on a short cut-through to the back of the homes lining the south side of Danelands, this section of access road arced around above the wooded drop down in to Oak Hill Park, following the road around to the north,

Plenty if Shiggy as the uncapped drive had the least amount if any hard-core or ballast to fill in the puddles.  This way had lots of green concrete filled metal posts all the way along eastern side to prevent any vehicles going over the edge & down in to the wooded drop.

Almost at the end of the route & the trail cut back through to Daneland, where the Hare was found loitering, after he had sent Scrumpy & Juices Flowing on an earlier short cut up by the school entrance, the likes of Rambo, Optimist & Not out soon ran up the road to a CHK on the Junction with Mansfield Avenue off to the east.

Ryde discovered the Trail on the private drive like appearance of a cut-through between two of the properties to yet another old uncapped way, this now lead northward up on the east side of the school grounds, Black Hole now joined the Hash here, after taking the Short Cut.

Out on to Cat Hill, where Scrumpy & Juices Flowing were already ahead of the rest, having crossed the zebra crossing & were away down Heddon Court Avenue, which turned slightly from due north to a few degrees to the east.  A few hundred yards in & a CHK was found by a footpath intersecting the road from northwest to the southeast.

The south-eastern option up the alleyway would in honour of St David’s Day lead out by the Trinity Welsh  Chapel then on to Freston Garden, with a short trot down to Leys Garden, where the Trail would led on to the main Chase Side Road, by the end of the shopping parade, some were puzzled by the arrows around the pillar box, the Hare was going to take the Trail away up to a different crossing island than the one that was used.

Arrows directed the Hash over the busy road, then on around the end to head eastward on to Bramley Road, at the roundabout.  CHK was discovered, Rambo was keen in looking further down but “On!” was called over the double crossing separated by a traffic island, but once over the road the Trail appeared to be lost, until the Hare was spotted by the Chickenshed Theatre.  The Chickenshed is an inclusive charitable theatre company that first began in 1974. Primarily based at Southgate, they create theatre for all ages, running successful outreach projects, education courses throughout the year.

My Lil', was soon on to where Mr X was & so picked up the arrows leading down to enter the Bramely Sports grounds, home to Old Minchendenians Cricket Club & more famously Saracen FC (RFU) now days the Amateur teams play here.  As Mr X said “With all of the off-field issues at Sarries, we’ll probably be back playing here next season!”

A trot through the centre of the park would turn on to Green road to run by the front of the Saracens Club House & out to Chase Side Road again, over the crossing to a CHK by the brick wall to Oak Hill College.  A turn back up to the roundabout seemed unlikely, but it was the way to go as Dust was hidden from earlier view by being placed on the back of the trees.  

My Lil' led the way as Mr X directed Big in Japan on the Short Cut from the Chickenshed Theatre over to the brick pillared gated entrance to Ebony Court, the newer built apartments that lay behind the old Duck pond side of the roundabout.  This route looped around the small estate & would take the Hash back out of the opposite pillared gates on to Cat Hill road once more, far enough away from the roundabout for the Trail not to be spotted.

A short trot along to the west, then the Trail peeled off to head down Mansfield Avenue leading on to a CHK by Vernon Crescent, here there were two choices & both were searched.  Mr X laughed as it didn’t really matter which one was taken, as he pointed out the key word was ‘Crescent’ as Big In Japan called “On!” just after this a figure of Not Out appeared from the opposite end of Vernon Crescent & back on to Mansfield Avenue.

As the Mansfield Avenue came around to the bottom of its u-bend, arrows pointed the way into the woodland, Knickers was now found hesitating whether to following the Trail around to the left, her excuse being that it had deep Shiggy that way!  Mr X confirmed that it was the correct direction, adding that the Shiggy got far worse when it dropped down in to the valley! 

So, a southward descent in among the broadleaf trees took the Hash down to the vale of Oak Hill Woods Nature Reserve, where a wood-pecker could be heard hammering away at a nearby tree.  The CHK, by the stream that feeds in to the Pymmes Brook, had been kicked out by some numpty, but it didn’t stop the FRBs from finding the Trail over the narrow wooden footbridge spanning the stream & on its eastern bank. 

If Kickers was not keen on the earlier Shiggy, then this stretch would not hold any favour with her as the Shiggy became deeper with the Trail turning southward to lead through the woodland & down to the eastern edge of the open Oak Hill Park.  Mr X had told Ryde that there was a place where Hash Boots could be cleaned in fresher water, so after crossing another footbridge made of a couple of planks of wood, Ryde & others jumped into the flowing brook & washed the Shiggy off, which was all fine & dandy, except the Hare hadn’t mentioned that when the Trail led out from by the old Bandstand to the pavilion, the meadow like ground was sodden after weeks of rain.

Not only was this cold deep & wet, but the area around the wide flat bridge over the Pymmes Brook had become churned up as if it had been under the hooves of a herd of cows, which is apt as Cat Hill probably gets its name from the Katbrygge, a medieval cattle bridge mentioned in 1406 that crossed the Pymmes Brook, this in turn gave its name to the Cat Inn, which stood in East Barnet Village from the 18th Century until it burnt down in 1955

The Pack were asked to regroup at the Held CHK, which was still there on the tarmac path running by the Pymmes Brook, across to the south from this was the pavilion, which had the graffiti of “Free Julian Assange” sprayed in large letters on both side! 

Anyhow, this was the Herts sweet stop, where the Pack were offered Jelly Babies & new Sours Fizzy snakes, Rambo asked where the alcohol was, so he was given the packet of Winegums to open & share around.  The FRBs were now offered up two options, one was to run away to the south, down by the flooded plain by the brook, this was for those who wanted to keep stretching their legs, for it would be a loop around to the south & then along to the northwest.  The Keenies would be a parallel route to that the Short Cutters would now take on the companion path on the opposite side of the Football Pitches, which were dry enough for a match to take place.

Knickers, Ryde & optimist were among those who did take the lop, while the rest headed away on the short cut, the two routes would meet up on the other side of a tree-line toward the north-western end of the park, where the ditches & the brook were being cleaned out by a few volunteers in their orange Hi-vis waistcoats. 

While the majority made their way along the Trail, Fliptop, Scrumpy & Juices flowing all decided that they would cut off the direct route to the Pavilion, instead cutting diagonally over to the west, trouble was this was just a boggy as the area the Trail took to.

Mr X waited for them when them where the two trails meet, here he offered up the sweets, Fliptop had a couple of wine gums, but Scrumpy & Juices Flowing declined the offer, saying if it had been chocolate then that would not have been turned down!  Somehow Sludge & Tent Packer had gone AWOL, perhaps on one of Sludge’s little off Trail excursions that went wrong this time?  They eventually reappeared later on back at the Pub.

The tarmac path would lead nor-nor-west over the last green area, which had a couple of old tall cast-iron Stink-pipes along the way, to come up to the On In at the corner by the end of Little Grove, then it was a case of walking a few yards back to the Prince of Wales.

The Pack settled in, with Mr X telling those who hadn’t already bought a drink, that the Pub offers CAMRA discounts!  He would tell Rambo that we have this on our Hare-line, followed by a symbol for ‘well behaved dogs’ & then Children, in that order! 

Time for the Circle & this was kicked off by Fliptop & Rambo, with Mr X adding a few Down-Downs.  Mr X received the first one for setting the Trail, then others were called forward, My Lil’ for giving up & trying to go home, until his RA went & fetched him from the Bus Stop!  

Optimist was out for playing with the table top Six Nations game, this had four different coin games that were supposed to represent a Rugby match, Scrum, Line out, Try scoring & of course kicking penalties & it was the later that got him a Down-Down, for to take a penalty you had to get a coin held between both thumbs & then in wrist action the thumbs were flicked forward to release the coin.  The couple sitting at the other end of the bar were none too happy when a 500 pence piece hit their table!

Tablewhine awarded his Hit for comparing the senior Herts Hashers, who were sitting on a bench seat, he told of a ‘Settle’ a wooden tall backed bench, & one such that existed in a Pub down Bristol way, where the ‘Old Boys’ used to sit in a line with the eldest nearest the door, & how it always seemed to the next one to pass away, then the rest would move up one, with a younger one taking the vacant place at the other end!

Black Hole was out for another hit as was Mr X, his being for Lofty’s tempting talk at the Leap Year run about a Beer Stop at her house, which the Trail ran near to, but when asked if she was happy to hold a drink stop there, she replied with “No, I am away!”  Soon both were out for a third time as Mr X told of his time in the Golden Lion, while enjoying a quite break before returning to the Leap Year Run, with another 200 noisy Hashers!  It was how he looked through the old window separating what was two Bars years ago, at first he thought it was a mirror, which left him thinking he needed to lose some weight, then he realised that it was Black Hole on the opposite side when he didn’t put his pint down!  This these two had to down their pints in the ‘Nellie the Elephant’ style, back to back & holding one hand between their legs! [Best not to dwell on that thought!