Run No. 1906
Monday 7th September
Pub: The White Hart
Beers: Mac’s AK Country
Hare/s: Kylie et Milf
Hash Hounds: 1
The Pack: Long & loopy shortest Trail
A nice evening was in store, with those venturing out encouraged by the Hares promises of this being their "Shortest ever Trail!" With cunning short cuts & a host of other ‘devious devices’ to keep the Pack amused!
This week saw Howard, Philippa & Amy, former neighbours to Kylie, make an appearance after a long absence, nice to see them back.
Some of the Hash were eager to get going, what with the night’s drawing in. Milf said that she would keep an eye on the first group of Keenies who were away at twenty to the hour, but toilets stops delayed the "Keenies" getting under way for a further 5 minutes!
Finally things got under way while Kylie hang around to marshal the last group to start around the hour mark. So, Mother, Lemming My Lil' & No Eye Deer, Howard, Philippa & Amy set off with Mr X & Sludge a way behind them, to search from a CHK Kylie had just drawn out on the end of the old Braughing lane, My Lil’ didn’t go anywhere except to move to one side as Paxo drove in to the short dead-end of the old Braughing Lane going over & stopped on the CHK!
Paxo moved his car around to the car park, which Kylie had created meticulous maps of, with large arrows showing where the Hash should park up on our Farcebook page, as well as which entrance to use when returning to the Bar! Anyhow, for Mother & a disgruntled My Lil' (he doesn’t like CHKs right outside a Pub) favoured starting route was beyond the 5-bar gate & on to the now cut-off section of the densely tree-lined old lane to Braughing.
With Sludge & Mr X in tow behind, Dust was found, but this only led up to a T, as Sludge & Mr X went back to the CHK the other two to cut through the treeline where Trail had now been found in the field on the southern side of the trees by Ketchup & Lemming. Yes dear reader, you did read correctly that Sludge went back to the CHK! He must have either become a reformed character or more likely couldn't squeeze himself through the narrow gaps in the hedgerow?
The Dust led the strung out line of Keenies away to the northeast, before turning around the corner of the farm field, the short cutting Mother & My Lil' were soon up ahead as the sou-sou-eastern footpath along the edge of the crop soon changed tack to swop to the opposite side of the hedgerow to reach the tree line running at the bottom of the ridge between two separate levels of arable farm fields.
All along this route there were calls to watch out for dogs eggs, seems the good people of Puckeridge don’t pick up after their pooches. [Probably too busy on Social Media warning people about mysterious poisonous white powder? – Ed]
After a north-eastern turn the Trail was picked up, for some 60 yards on the slightly overgrown in places path, the FRBs were now well out of sight as the RA arrived at a CHK, here there were four options, due north still within the treeline which caught out Mr X & Sludge, then Mr X was amused as Sludge was duped again when he spotted Dust & managed to slip out through the large gap to search on the outside eastern side of the treeline, where he found another T!
Back at the CHK & with the other FRBs out of sight & earshot, the search for the Trail resumed with a blonde late comer arriving to pick up the eastern uphill option on the outside of another, Sludge & Mr X wonder who the blonde was making good progress up along rising treeline separating more large parcels of arable land, but the spring in her step would soon stop, and the mystery of who it was revealed as Flying Solo's making her way back from a T!
By now Paxo had caught up & he spotted the option of the centuries old footpath hidden within the treeline & so here the real Trail was found as this section of the Hash made their way the 110 yards to the north- western tip the woodland, this was an old route with ‘Sparky & TBT OBE traps’ to look out for as they were disguised as tree roots from the ancient trees & bushes
Flying Solo made ease of running the Trail as it led south bound out along the edge of a large enclosed farm field to the north of Puckeridge, with a fenced-in sports field of a local School to the southeast visible from the descent of the hill. The Trail turned in to the wood & from a CHK in the south-eastern corner of the arable field, here the Keenies were led back in to the wood & up on a rising north bound route.
Somehow Mr X ‘Sludged it’ through the wooded thicket back up in the northwest corner of the wood, all of which was very pleasing while Sludge completed the trot down to Puckeridge & back up through the wood. However, no matter how much Mr X felt pleased without doing Sludge, Milf gave the RA a ticking off, as he ran the wrong way through a T to find the next CHK in the heart of the woodland.
Mr X soon picked up Dust to the southeast as it led down a level, here Flying Solo caught up as he found a CHK on the eastern edge of the wood & his years of Hashing gave him an instinctive feeling to follow the path southward, Flying Solo was impressed when Dust was found this way, she would soon dash by him as the path became wider as the Trail emerged from the wood & out on to the western edge of the old Bunt, the former Buntingford Railway Line which ran from Buntingford to St Margaret’s in Ware, the section of line sits above the ancient meadow below.
Mr X now got by Howard & Amy, as Mr X had a little trot along the flat easy to run path, he looked back to see Ketchup, Lemming, Mother, My Lil' & Sludge following on behind. Meanwhile up ahead the blonde locks of Flying Solo could be seen getting even away further in the distance. Then as Flying Solo passed by the path out by Roger de Clare School (Named after the Norman Noble & 2nd Earl of Hertford) he knew that the Hash were on a long anticlockwise loop around the meadow by the river Rib & then back up to the wood, unless there was a river crossing.
No wet feet, as Tent Packer was absent this week, & then Mr X was beside himself to look over the meadow & see the figure of Sludge was actually running the teardrop shaped loop, Ketchup passed by Mr X as they climbed the wide mown path back up to the old railway route into the wood, where Milf had been waiting.
There was now some confusion as Ketchup followed the arrow down the Bunt only to find a T! Flying Solo had found this earlier & come back to search back up the wooded ridge, however Mr X realised that one of the Hares had not kicked out the T or changed it to an arrow!
Mr X was proved correct as just beyond the T a northward pointing arrow was found, so a call went back for the T to be kicked out as the Trail began a long straight northward run. Along the way calls of "On!" could be heard being directed back toward Flying Solo.
When Ketchup & Mr X caught up with Milf they explained that Flying Solo was back in the wood, so Milf too joined in with a hootering [See what I did there Pebbledash? – Ed] & a hollering, which worked as Flying Solo was soon emerging from the trees. The 300 yard trot was taken in Flying Solo's stride with ease, later she would let slip that she has been running 10K (or a Proper 6.2 miles) a day while in lockdown!
The Trail eventually arrived at a CHK by the Sluice & the drive way to Gatesbury, Philippa was caught up with here but now some began to wonder what had happened to Paxo & No Eye Deer who had both seemed to have dropped off if the radar! Which was a shame as they too could have ribbed Sludge about his running of the loop!
Fliptop & Teddy now caught up with the Tail end, he hadn’t seen No Eye Deer & Paxo either when asked! Anyhow, Flying Solo returned from the Falsie out by the Gatesbury Mill on the River Rib to the east, while Sludge was being called back from the arcing tree-lined drive out to the Braughing road, most thought that they wouldn't see him again as he continued scuttling off toward the road!
"On!" was further north as the wide old line headed up toward the road bridge the trains would have passed beneath to the Braughing Station House on the north side. Of course one of the Hares could not resist taking in the view of the restored Station house, platform, rolling stock & rails at this private home that Kylie would love to live in!
The Trail now turned nor-nor-east to emerge out on to the Braughing road, crossing over the narrow road to the even narrower footpath running its edge. Turning toward Braughing, Mr X & Fliptop were shocked to see Sludge hot on their heels & hadn't 'Sludged' back to Puckeridge!
The Hash were now nicely spread out in socially distancing small groups, just as the authorities would expect! It was a long 400 yards until reaching the tip if Braughing, at least some could look at Mustang Maniac along the way, its lucky that Junior doesn’t Hash anymore as he'd be straight in there & would be a job to winkle him out of the place full of Yankee motors!
The War Memorial was clearly visible opposite where the Trail turned off into the meadow by the river Quin, here the Dust led out over wooden duckboards to the edge if a cattle field. The Trail turned from west to north on a wide fenced off strip between the cattle & the Quin.
The Trail turned on a westerly arc, running due west when it took to come out of the Pearce’s farm drive a rising route below the southern end of Bingles Wood for 120 Yards up to the A10. The Hash were now on the last leg of the Trail, which was good as the light was fading toward twilight, at least the way was now lit by the glaring lights of the Le Mans like cars whizzing by on the dual carriageway!
The Pack ran by the car park & entrance of Pearce's farm shop, then passed by parked up Lorry Cab on the 400 yard trot back via roundabout’s edge, then in to Puckeridge, this long stretch made sure that the Pack were well spread out to arrive in small groups.
It was nice to be able to sit outside in the Pubs extremely large garden, Paxo & No Eye Der arrived back as the rest set about abusing Sludge from a distance about him going around all of the Trail without short cutting!
Mr X & Ketchup supped away they explained why after being brought up on McMullens it’s hard to go back some times, not that its bad beer, but it’s a little bland on the palate compared to the other selections now available of Dark Ales & Hopped IPAs – that said the Oatmalt Stout they produced before lockdown & Stronghart are spot on. It was a good Trail & everyone was round in just over an hour, which did make it these Hares shortest Trail to date!