Run No. 1904
Sun 22nd March
Mon 24th August
The Akeman The Doctors Tonic
Beers: Greede King Abbot & Old Speckled Hen
Tring Welwyn Garden City
Hash Hounds: 0
The Pack: Seemingly lost their Virtual Running fitness?
Well finally after some 23 weeks, a false start when the Government put things back by a couple of weeks, unless of course you were self-isolating in London to Durham & then needed to drive 30 miles to check your eye-sight, we are finally back!
Lots of work behind the scenes from some at H4, & with hostelries bringing in Covid-19 precautions to their customers at their venues, thee was also worry that some of the Pack could have issues following simple instructions were given the benefit of the doubt & the restart Trail was planned, all information on the Pub’s one way systems, ordering & just about everything else was thought to have been checked out in advance, with the exception of Kids not being allowed after 20:00Hrs, which left Ketchup & Prince Garmin in a quandary! [Unfortunately with only one person doing all the work then this was bound to happen? – E]
Anyhow, in this current lock-down time we made a decision of abiding by English Athletics Guidance for Athletes & Runners [Loud Cough! – Ed], & not those used by Yorkshire & Scottish Football Clubs! So, the Trail was laid by a hobbling Hare that morning.
Mr X sat & enjoyed a pint after finishing setting the Trail, he spotted No Eye Deer & Whatever She as early arrivals setting off before 18:30Hrs, with an arrow outside of the venue pointing down to the end of Church Road, they knew that they could start going around the Trail which was ready. The presence of the arrow indicating that the Tral was ready to be r*n!
Others who set off before 19:00Hrs would include Tent Packer, My Lil’, Lemming & Mother which is fine since there will be no opening circle & they would at least be running, this also allowed the HGM of Fliptop to arrive at his leisure & not embarrassing himself as is the norm in getting this Run number wrong, especially after his getting the last Virtual Hash Trail number 22 wrong, it wouldn’t have surprised anyone!
Anyhow, if there was any worries about a large group of Hashers going around & not adhering to Social Distancing measures, these would soon be allayed as the small group of 4 ‘Keenies’ had already Run off, while the rest soon broke down in to their natural positions on the Hash, they would be separated into small ‘social bubbles’ as they got under way – Mark E Mark & Lobby, Pebbledash & Paxo with Milf set off, keeping their distance from the Hare, who was slightly sweaty after having just set the Trail, while Kylie was social distancing on his own by trying to catch up after faffing about plugging his car in to charge! Also he was held up looking at the old red bus that is now a play bus for a local nursery, no doubt he had the words of “The wheels on the bus!” going around in his mind now?
The Trail started by taking the Hash just the few yards to the end of Church Road, there the Trail turned on to Longcroft Lane to head sou-souwest down the urban tree-lined commuter street, as the Hare approached the first CHK on the junction with the inter-connecting side road of Parkfields, up ahead of him Mr X could see the figure of Tent Packer come running out of the dead-end of Birdcroft, some 100 Yards ahead of this group of the Hash, so the Check was now marked with a short-cut straight on down Longcroft Lane after Tent Packer.
The Hare was happy to know that not only Tent Packer, No Eye Deer & Whatever She Says, but Ketchup & Prince Garmin had also followed the Trail out through the double 90 degree turns on Parkfields to the Parkway, to run down this wide green avenue to a CHK by the Health Centre at the western end of Birdcroft, here the Trail would head to the east end of Birdcroft, a street of whitewashed & black wooden shutter-boarded homes back to Longcroft Lane.
All three roads used to be joined at a T junction but now are all stopped with dead-ends, as Longcorft Lane is divided in to two section to stop it being used as the ‘rat-run’ that it was at one time.
Ketchup & Prince Garmin, came out of Birdcroft just before the others arrived there, then it was to make their way over the dead-end restrictions to follow the Trail down the southern section of Longcroft, after 120 Yards the Trail arrived at a CHK on the bend as it becomes Rooks Hill.
By the time the middle order arrived the CHK had been kicked through, which like the one in Birdcroft saved the Hare from having to do so. The Trail was picked up down Rooks Hill to the west, after 120 Yards a CHK is found on the edge of a roundabout & here a bit of searching had to be undertaken as it didn’t appear to have been as clearly kicked through compared to the other two CHKs. Perhaps My Lil’, Mother & Lemming, being followed by Tent Packer were too keen on Running than marking through the Trail?
Thankfully with all the issues of Covid-19 lockdown it has been decided that the Keenies would not have to search too far to find Trail, the Trail & all falsies not being more than 50 yards from the CHK Points. So, once over the two-way section of Parkway, Milf & Lobby Lobster were quickly on to the Trail, spotting Dust on the trees arcing around the green sector of the southwestern quarter of the four-way roundabout.
Lobby Lobster was on the ball again as she spotted the Dust placed under the shrubs & hedge leading the way up Turnmore Dale & “On!” was called as this group made their way up on the curving tree-lined road as it moves around from west to almost due north. After 200 Yards the Trail turned westward at the T junction where the Pack joined Barleycroft Road an area of large detached homes, here the arrows had the Pack cross the road & on to the crossroads with Handside lane. Arrows pointed the way straight over to a CHK sitting between the large old roots of a towering ancient Oak.
The Trail had been found away to the north on Handside lane, as Mr X explained to Kylie that this road is older than Welwyn Garden City as it was an old lane that passed by Handside & Home Farms on a route down to the old Great North Road at Lemsford.
The Trail now took the Pack by the green space that has the 1922 Daily Mail ‘Model Village’ behind it, these full-sized house were constructed in a competition run by the Daily feMail newspaper to design homes for the future. On the opposite side are the remaining part of the Handside Farm Barn that now forms a part of the Bar Theatre, behind this is the local Synagogue.
The Trail ran on beyond the green, here the Pack could see the mix of different house styles, some stone, some with a Flemish style & Dutch tiling, one thing that they all have in common is that they all have to have Georgian style windows.
The Dust moved the Hash on to another crossroads, here arrows pointed the way to the west as the Trail led down Young’s Rise, after 120 Yards this would drop down the short hillside to a crossroads on Valley Road, arrows pointed the way over the junction to a CHK on the north-western side. The Trail from here would lead the Hash up hill, on High Oaks, a road that Kylie noted had oak trees that had been seen some topiary being carried out on them to make them look almost like ornate poplars!
A CHK was found just as the hill side rise of residential homes levels out a bit, this had been marked through for the Hash to continue along the arcing & slightly rising High Oaks to due north, it was noticed that the homes here are all large detached homes of various designs, also it was spotted the Blue Plaques that indicate the homes that were once the residences to the early pioneers of this Garden City. These red-brick Neo-Georgian homes were the preferred style of French-Canadian Architect Louis de Soissons who was the among the pioneering Architects of the Garden City.
At the end of High Oaks, by a red Pillar-box, arrows pointed straight over the T Junction where it joins Brockswood Lane & on the northern side a CHK is found. The CHK had been marked down Brockswood Lane to the northwest, as it drops downhill quite rapidly to run out of the edge of Welwyn Garden City into the green belt beyond.
At the drop in the small vale to the left of the Pack is Welwyn Garden City Golf Club & the Brocks wood section of Sherrards Wood to the right, Brockswood derives its name from the old English for Badger, the whole of Sherrards wood is now a place of SSI (Special Scientific Interest)
On the way down to the bottom of the dip in the old lane & calls of “On!” could be heard over in Sherrards Wood & so a the CHK just within the woodland, the Hare marked a short Cut that Milf & Lobby, Mark E Mark & Ketchup were heading up a marked Falsie, while Kylie went off to scare the squirrels by the local Scout Hut! [Dodgy! – Ed]
The climb that Lobby & Milf, with the Hare were taking up between the broadleaf trees would cut off a loop around toward the top of Digswell Hill, as the middle order came out to the top of the wooded ridge they could see Tent Packer running on by after searching the other options from a CHK on the way out toward the Red Lion.
Tent Packer had scuttled off down the wooded drop & disappeared from sight as the rest began the descent through the trees & holly bushes to the old Ayot Way, former Railway branch line from Welwyn Garden City to Wheathampstead & Luton beyond.
The Hash were now on the nice level bed of the former Rail line as it heads southward & then gently curves around to the east in one large arc within the woodland. Milf had plenty of tissues available for Kylie being on the former track-bed as the Hash made their way on the longest section for the Hash to Run. Mr X now picked up on the fact that on the Virtual Trails that everyone was an FRB, & now the majority were nearly all reduced to a walk as it seems that the time off hasn’t been used to boost fitness levels. Hey Ho! It is the Hash & no one wins!
The longest part of the Trail was in the cool shade of the tree canopy, by now the sun had gone in & the clouds above were slightly on the dark side, but the RA knew, as did the Pack in their Heart of Hearts that it wasn’t going to rain & spoil the first Trail back after all of the weeks.
There were a few dog-walkers out on this section as the Route led up to what was once a level crossing over the low ridge of track bed that is raised up as it runs behind the back gardens on Bridge Road, a CHK was found here, there were three options, carry straight on, take a left to go into Reddings, the oval street within the edge of Sherrards Wood or southward down by the former Chappel & the yellow brick ‘Railway Houses’
The Trail was now approaching its end, as it was picked up down on Bridge Road, where the Pack crossed & the headed up the south side of the street, crossing the start of Handside Lane, passing the 1603 built cottage that predates the Garden City to turn southward from eastbound on to Guessens Road.
A short trot down Guessens road, passing by the blue plaque on the outside of a larger Red-brick Neo-Georgian Home, this one being of Ebenezer Howard, founder of the Garden Cities of Letchworth (The First) & then Welwyn in 1920. Yes, Welwyn Garden City is 100 years old & the planned World’s End Pub Crawl Part 4 is still awaiting a performance!
Then to turn eastward up the end of Russelcroft Road to come out on to the Parkway, the ‘Spine of the town’ which is almost a Mile in length, there the Pack were led over on the southern side of the (1953) Coronation Fountain & then down the eastern side of the Parkway to find the On Inn beside the local Sainsburys.
The Pack entered the Pub, via the one way system, where they were seated in groups by the bar Staff, who did a wonderful job in organising the seats & also enforcing the Social Distancing rules when some of the elder Hashers came over to converse with the others. The Keeneis of Lemming, Mother, My Lil’ & Tent Packer were now seated with No Eye Deer & Whatever She Says, the rest were sat inside.
The Scribe had Trashes to hand out, these were Covid-19 safe since they were printed out on March 19th & hadn’t been touched by human or Hashers hands since! A few mentioned the now four month out of date Hare-line on the back! Yes, but we are getting there & the Hare is being kept short in case there is a local lock down & the venue needs to be moved. It would also keep the Pack on their feet to check with the on-line Hareline. [Who the F*ck are you kidding, they can’t read Parking restriction on the Hareline, posts & emails! – Ed]
Even though we couldn’t all sit together, it was nice to catch up, albeit from a distance & it’s good to see many are doing well since the Lockdown began, with the exception some had with their Pace – bu everyone seemd to enjoy the Trail, probably as it was only 3 & a half miles! If there were to be Down-Downs then Milf & Kylie with their big red ‘Covid Free’ badges would be up there for one each! While Mr X sported a rather dashing Rutland H3 face mask (or was it Canary Boys Thong?) some on Table X said a Herts Version would be nice?
The Hare couldn’t stay longer then a pint, for even with his gammy knee, he was carrying out Pooch-walking duties as he was dog-sitting over the week! No doubt we will all get a chance to chat over the coming weeks.