Run No. 1905
Bank Holiday Monday 31st August
Pub: H5’s Boots Trick & Six Templars
Beers: Nun’s Delight, Spitfire
Runners: 16 + 1 eight hours later
Hash Hounds: 0
The Pack: The Subtle art of Herding Cats!
There were two early arrivals, who got the Train down to Hertford North where 30% of the Train passengers were ignoring the fact that face masks are now compulsory on Public Transport, these two would see a larger percentage on the return via the 724 Bus Services were half the passengers were mask-less! So, meeting up in social bubbles for the Hash is nowhere near a risk as using the buses & trains at the moment with Covid-19 rules being ignored to such a degree.
Any boredom waiting for the Hash to arrive was soon forgotten as Pebbledash & Paxo drove in, the level of the conversation was soon lowered within seconds of them exiting her car & Paxo was accused of wearing out Pebbledash’s batteries! The things we have missed during lockdown?
Anyhow, the Hare had arrived in the Hartham Common Car Park, which as advertised is accessible via Port Hill, the what3words pointed to this section of car park, as did the arrow on the map links on the weekly email, the farcebook page yada-yada-yada, so it was a surprise that some parked up in the (adjacent) Hartham Lane car park, which is accessed via Hartham Lane by Sainsburys. All of this led to comments heading toward the Hare about where the Hash Start was? Paxo dealt with an incoming message from Milf as to the Pack’s location, as Ketchup & Prince Garmin just wandered along the short distance from their home to the start.
This week saw Canee Can’t & Jen & Tonic join the Hash again, they were waiting for Tent Packer & Mrs Mallet to arrive, when they eventually made an appearance they too parked up in the Hartham Lane car park. Finally the Hash got under way in small stretched out groups, plenty of room for ‘Social Distancing’ to be obeyed as those who had come in via Port Hill knew the arrows would lead over the wooden planks of the Bailey Bridge spanning the River Beane to come out on to Port Hill. On the way out No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays passed by on their way in.
Arrows pointed the way over the pedestrian crossing to the west side of the rising road, then the arrows pointed the way down Port Hill, away from what was the Reindeer Pub, now Medivet, here the Trail descended below the side of the dark brick road bridge that was once had the branch through from Hertford East to old Hertford North Station running through it, of course this is no longer in use but there was talk of the former line to be turned in to a Cycle & walking route, it is believed that permission was granted for this to happen, so who knows, one day we may have a new path to Hash along?
Back to the Trail, the arrows now led down the old Port Hill road for some 70 Yards & then it turned north-westward at the corner with Port Vale road. My Lil’ had run off, leaving a hobbling Mr X with Ketchup & Prince Garmin to follow on in his wake down Port Vale. Mr X then spoke some prophetic words to Ketchup as they passed by the Two Brewers, that if he was Hare he would put a falsie up Balfour Street from where My Lil’ was calling “On!” & loop the Hash bac around to Port Vale.
Sure enough the Trail climbed the hill & the three looked down at the old overgrown line below before tuning from north to northwest along the next section of Balfour Street with its rows of small terraced homes. Only 45 Yards & then more arrows, these directed the Pack down Byde Street, a short dead-end road where the Trail led on to the alleyway that leads down by the edge of the fenced off former line, here a local resident of the homes that line the one side of the footpath was clearing the front of his small home by flinging the detritus over on to the old line by a rapid action with a shovel!
The Trail came back down to Port Vale & it turned to the northwest to the crossroads with Beane Road, there a CHK was found but My Lil’ had already found Trail straight over the junction as the road becomes Molewood Road, not only was My Lil’ ahead of the middle order of Ketchup, Prince Garmin & Mr X, so were Paxo & Pebbledash up there!
My Lil’ was well on his way down Moleswood Road as the route turns gently to due north at it end. On the way it was noticed that a couple of the homes were leaning backwards, not very good foundations was Ketchup’s opinion! Meanwhile back on Port Vale Milf was posing for a photo that Pebbledash would approve of, as she made the Two Brewer’s wall sign read “Do Not Park or drive over flaps!” [I’ll leave it there! – Ed] all of which would slow their progress down for a bit.
The Trail led on into the southern tip of Little Moles wood, where a CHK was found. From up on high, at the very top of the steep climb of a set of steps some 35 yards away & 140 feet up - if you do the maths is 50 degree climb, [Correct me if I am wrong & someone will – I couldn’t give shit, its rough estimate using basic trig! – Ed] It was Steep! Steep! Steep! My Lil’ could be seen on his way down & he was heard bemoaning the fact that there was a T along way up right at the very top, he grumbled that he should have recalled the bit about the Trail being talked up by the Hare as ‘Scooter Friendly’ before setting off to scale the heights of Little Mole Wood.
Back on the level & the Trail was soon picked up by Mr X along the narrow shaded lane under the tree canopy of broadleaf trees, this was a pleasant section by the, now dried up, section of the river Beane that Paxo lamented being a proper flowing river way back in his youth! The uncapped track of the lane takes a gentle large arc around to the nor-nor-west. On the way Pebbledash stopped to read an information poster about the local efforts to reduce water extraction & restore the water way back to its former glory instead of a dry bed of large cracks.
The Trail came out by the old redbrick Victorian Pub House with its ornate carving & stones with various dates including 1888 on them. Just beyond the pump-house a CHK was found. Ketchup asked Mr X if he recalled the old Moleswood Garage that used to be near here, Mr X said he did, as Ketchup went on to elaborate that he once worked there as a kid, & that everyone knew the owner as Mole. Sounds like we are getting into Kenneth Graham’s territory with ‘Wind in the Willows’!
The options here were to head in to the gates of Woodville Place, where behind the pillars a footpath runs steeply up the hillside or to continue along Moleswood Road away from Little Mole Wood, on the driveway section running beneath the Hertford Loop-line bridge & then heading out to the A119 Stevenage Road. There was no sign of My Li’ either way, no calls of “On!” from him either. Surely he could not have got that far ahead, perhaps he was brooding about the steep climb on the previous Falsie & not calling “On!”?
Mr X, Prince Garmin & Ketchup, had made their way up the long way up some 70 yards on a steep climb in to the wooded edge before a T was found. Mr X turned & indicate to the other two this was falsie, it took the RA a lot longer to descend the path back to the driveway, the Hare commented on this as Mr X said at the bottom that the descent had aggravated his knee.
On the uneven descent the others began to speculate on whether My Lil’ had been caught out for a second time on another steep long Falsie, had My Lil’ now ‘Sludged it’ & not returned down the steep, tree root laden path that would have been a dangerous trap for the likes of Sparky or TBT OBE if they had been there to venture up the edge of the fenced off (with barbed-wire) paddock on the hillside.
Back on the level & the Hare now said that he was no longer marking the CHKs, since he believed that the rest should be doing some work in searching for the Trail as it is the basis of Hashing, however the RA suggested that this may backfire as Tent Packer, Canae Cant, Milf & Kylie, as well as No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays were still way behind. Bear this in mind dear reader!
Halfway along another notice by the Hertford Loop Railway Bridge was seen by Pebbledash, this had a set of car keys hanging from the wire, so if you’ve lost a set of Vauxhall car keys then you can find them down Moleswood Road. Pebbledash then added that if Ewok was there today, that she would be excited at the sight of the horses roaming the paddocks to the southwest of the drive.
Meanwhile back at the Little Moleswood path Milf, Kylie, No Eye Deer, Whatever She Says, Canae Cant & Tent Packer were all caught out with the Falsie as the Hare hadn’t marked the CHK, at least Tent Packer had some good fortune on this path as he foraged some large mushrooms on his way back down, hopefully he has double checked with the ‘Observer Guide to Fungi”?
Mr X caught up with Ketchup & Prince Garmin after the turn out on to the Stevenage road, they were found halfway up the steep High Moleswood ‘Private Road’ as they had followed the arrows but had stopped on a bend on the steepest climb (for most) on the Trail so far, they were taking a peek at the new build large detached home, since he know the guy who is building the place just outside of Great Mole Wood.
The rise up the tarmac drive which then became a narrow uncapped track, was probably the longest stretch so far, the fit bodies from the Covid-19 hiatus weren’t on show as it was a rather laboured 240 Yard climb up to the level, where over in the distance the large edifice of a concrete water tower could be seen in an area of tall trees around it.
Eventually the Trail came out of the footpath & on to Cowper Crescent, where arrows pointed the way northward. As Mr X, Ketchup & Prince Garmin headed away, they were called back by Paxo, who now explained that there was a Bar CHK further up there!
With a Bar CHK being to the north, there still no sign of My Lil’ when the group had joined Pebbledash & Paxo on heading south to The Avenue, the Hash passed by the small parade of shops, it was around here that the Hare got another phone call, from a disgruntled Hasher that the Trail was not marked, Pebbledash let slip that he had a similar call earlier from ‘Mr Angry of Herts’ back on Molewood Road as they were passing by a guy walking his greyhound. See dear reader, there is Karma!
Anyhow, the Trail made its way over to an alleyway way that cut the Pack through to Lys Hill Gardens & then out on to The Avenue, where the Trail turned there was still no sign of My Lil’ & lots of speculation began to fly around, since he was no longer in sight on the 200 yards straight as a die road, the others began to believe that he must have ‘Done a Sludge’ earlier on the steep Little Moles Wood footpath & gone through the T to pick up the Trail in the estate upon the hill?
On this southbound urban street the Trail progressed to find a CHK by the junction with the Drive away to the northeast, opposite tis T-junction is the end of the footpath that rises up through Northern edge of Little Moleswood & what the rest surmised was where My Lil’ had come out of after ‘Sludgeing’ it through the T’s way back up from Moleswood Road!
The Trail was found heading south bound all the way down to the elbow to the east, where the Road becomes Church Road, those with keen eyes would have spotted the green footpath sign that is the end of the earlier footpath up the southern end of Little Moleswood that caught My Lil’ out & he was seen t come back from.
Dust now ran to the end of Church Road, still there was no sign of My Lil’ on this 200 yard plus long straight street, the accusations of him ‘Sludging’ grew in number as they Hash came out to a CHK on Duncombe Road, this was marked with a kick-through, so someone had been here before the rest. But was it by My Lil’, or was it be Sludge, who had arrived late & somehow managed to get by No Eye Deer, Whatever She Says, Tent Packer & Canae Cant, Paxo, Pebbledash, Milf, Kylie, Mr X, Ketchup & Prince Garmin without them even noticing.
However, Sludge’s ‘Sludging’ wasn’t enough for him to get by My Lil’, as his ‘Sludging’ had brought him up to find Sludge wandering the Bengeo estate on top of Moleswood Hill! If you want to know where then ask them for their version of events & bear Hans Christian Anderson in mind [More like the Brothers Grimm! – Ed]
The Trail made its way out to Bengeo Street, this route kept the Pack well away from the Greyhound, the White Lion & the Bengeo Club, nasty Hare! Now on the top of Bengeo Street, arrows pointed the way to the south to lead down Port Hill. The Hare somehow managed to convince the majority to follow the Trail down the hill, & then half way down to turn off at the gatehouse & pass through the ornate gates to pick up the Trail on the drive.
The Trail started to descend the tarmac drive, but then after about 100 Yards arrows pointed the way up a set of wooden shored-up steps cut in to the steep tree lined hillside up to Warren park road at the top, this was the forth & final climb of the Trail!
The Hare let off Mr X from the climb, as his knee was aching, but he was not the only one to miss this out for with local knowledge & short cutting under their belts Sludge, along with My Lil’, weren’t tempted to take the steep climb up & safe in the knowledge that they were unlikely to receive a Down-Down they negated in the climb to follow the Dust along the path just below the fenced off back gardens of the large homes of Warren Park.
Pebbledash, Ketchup, Kylie, Milf & Prince Garmin all went up the steep route with the Hare, as there was still 20 minutes of to kill, this also meant they would have a slightly less steep descent back down to the drive as it comes down from St Leonards. The arrows now led them south-westward to a foot bridge over the river Beane & then the Dust ran on the marked athletics route between the Beane & behind the Hertford lawn Tennis Club, this was the final stretch of the Trail as it emerged on the opposite bank from the old pitch & putt, which is now long gone.
Mr X crossed the enclosed paddock behind the car park & not by the way the On Inn was, for he saw My Lil’ & Sludge, master & apprentice in the dark arts of Short-cutting, in the opposite corner & went over to them.
Ironically My Lil’ moaned that he had been waiting there for ages! & he hadn’t found the “On Inn” He would have to wait a lot longer before Pebbledash & the Hare arrived back to open the car for access to an Ale, Sludge wasn’t hanging around for long & he left before the rest of the Pack arrived back. Some of whom didn’t believe the RA & My Lil’ that Sludge had been out on Trail, albeit it his own Trail!
Mrs Mallet & Jen & Tonic arrived back, Mrs Mallet asked Mr X where the local Sainsbury’s is, so he pointed at the large building with a large orange Sainsbury’s sign that sits just a few yards behind the ehdge, which was tall enough to obscure Mrs Mallets view, but not the rest!
The Pack had a good laugh & chat over a beer or two (Three) with Mr X & My Lil’ finding the Old ‘Nun’s Delight (Bishops Finger) rather nice & fairly amusing. Canae Cant was soon caught by the Habersasher & a new Herts Hash T-Shirt Sale was rung up!
A chorus of Happy Birthday was beamed state-side for Milf’s Grand-daughter! The Sun was still out & it was a rather nice day all around.
Then after several packets of crisps, which tasted of alcohol as the Pack were
all using gel on their hands, half the Hash moved on around to the Six
Templars for a drink & a couple more Ales!
Later on Flying Solo posted that she arrived at the venue for 19:00Hrs & could only find some body building weightlifters! [Herding cats! Herding cats! – Ed]