Run No. 1911
Sunday 11th October
Pub: The Three Magnets & The Garden City Brewery
Beers: Lancashire Red; Elgood’s Plum Porter; GK Abbot; Ruddles
Hare/s: My Lil
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: Some suffering from “Big Thumb syndrome”
A change of Hare the week before saw My Lil’ take up the gauntlet of setting the Trail, a dodgy knee & pooch sitting getting in the way & limiting the time the original Hare had available, something that the Hash perhaps would regret later on? The weather for the day had improved from some overnight rain, but the Trail was still intact, albeit now piles of yellowish dough that could be seen by those who walked over from the Station before the off.
Good News was that those regulars who had turned out could receive their ‘free Hash gift’ of a personalised Hash Hand Gel bottle to carry around with them, remember Hands! Face! Space!
The Hash began to arrive & by 10:50 we had enough to set the first Pod of Milf, Howard, Ben off, so the Trail got underway well before the hour, then the second Pod of No Eye Deer, Whatevershesays the penultimate Pod would be Mr X, Paxo, Philippa, Pebbledash walkers set off.
The Trail began by taking the Hash by the front of the Brewery & out
down the Wynd to come out on to Station Road, Philippa reckoned the
Recycling at Garden House Market’s pile of furniture behind the railings in the
Wynd reminded her of her home! Some didn’t make it too far up Station Road as
Milf & No Eye Deer disappeared into the local Lenny Henry’s [Premier Inn! – Ed]
following a different Trail of Black Squirrels to scare any that may be hiding
Some knew that he Trail headed south-westerly along to the crossing by the end of Leys Avenue, by Station Place & then around on to Bridge Road, which just happens to be named after the bridge that crosses over the railway line.
Anyhow, just over the tracks & double arrows pointed over to the west side of the road, then On down the steps that lead on to the footpath that runs by the side of the grounds of the large, brick edifice emblazoned with the title of the Spirella Company of Great Britain high upon its frontage, famous for being the former Spirella Corset manufacturers & Second world war parachutes. Thankfully Paxo, Mr X & Philippa negotiated this section without Pebbledash mentioning anything corsets related.
The earth footpath moved on beyond the grounds, running through the edge of the tree-line beside the railway’s south-westerly route down to Hitchin. Plenty of discarded trash, that shames some Letchworthians, could be seen on the long start to the Trail, as it runs around 400 Yards before arriving out on to a cut-through that joins the two sections of Spring Road via the wide tunnel under the railway lines. It was around this point that Sludge caught up with the last Hash Pod. As the Trail had already been marked by the Hare Sludge had ample room to scuttle by the rear of the Hash & was soon under the Tracks.
Another long trot lay ahead as the Trail stuck with the almost due south bound Spring Road for over 500 yards, there was a CHK point put in by an alleyway that cuts through between the homes through to Broadwater Dale to the east, but it was a Falsie down there! On the way up Spring Road, Philippa mentioned the small shop called ‘Down Memory Lane’ a shop that sells old nick-nacks, Mr X made a pun that in a few years ‘Down Memory Lane’ will probably end up as an Alzheimer’s Charity Shop, at least Pebbledash laughed at this!
The Trail passed by the side of St Francis College to arrive at the Sollershot Circus, the UK’s first roundabout, which at its 1909 inception didn’t have any rules as to which way to go around it, until there were a few crashes! It was at this point in the Trail that Flying Solo caught up, while she was running, Elizabeth & Isabelle had an easier option of cycling the Trail on their bikes, & with a few words of encouragement the girls managed to get by Mr X as he declared that “Scooters are old Hat!”
The Hash Pods made their way around the eastern side of the roundabout in the middle of the six option junction, crossing the Broadway & then on Sollershot East a curved arrow was found to point the way down the last leg of Spring Road, but instead of sticking with the roadside tarmac path the Trail would take the Hash off through the desire line running through the long wooded stretch on the east of the old lane.
Senior members of the Pack safely got beyond the entrance to St Catherine’s Maximum Security Twilight Home & out on to the A505 Baldock Road, here on the T-junction a CHK was found by the old ‘Village Shop’ which only just recently shut up shop for ever, here the girls & Flying Solo had crossed the main road by way of the crossing & had stopped for a ‘sweet stop’ since they could no longer take their custom to the old corner shop.
Mr X continued straight over to follow the marked Trail down Muddy Lane, which is no longer as claggy as its original name implies, since it’s all tarmac as the narrow lane comes to a halt where it becomes Adlington Lane, this in turn narrows to a wide footpath running away from the Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club & Sports fields to the east. The Pack moved on away from this too sporty area in a south-easterly direction through to the southern estate at the bottom of Letchworth as it edges toward Willian.
For No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays this was home territory as the Trail would turn eastward in the estate to take to the alleyway that cuts through the top section of the Aubrys & then it was out just yards from No Eye Deer’s abode to an alleyway through to the end of Fouracres & a CHK where this path joins another coming down from the north. No Eye Deer & Whatershesays could have walked the Trail to the start instead of driving.
Now most of the Pack manged to find the Trail easily enough at this end of Letchworth, but for Ben it was a different story as he left the other FRBs then promptly went off Trail, & Off Trail he did go by quiet some way, as the rest would find out later on!
Whatevershesays seemed to be just far enough ahead of Mr X & the other walkers to remain out on his own for the whole Trail, but he could be seen every so often like a beacon to indicate the way the Trail went. He was spotted at the end of the enclosed meadow that was once a part of the grounds to Puncharden Hall, a 17th Century Grade II listed building with its refaced 18th Century distinctive red-brick work.
Care of not making contact with opening the gate was taken to enter into the enclosed meadow, then it was a diagonal trot through the mown path to the opposite corner, which kept the Pack away from the large village duck-pond. In this corner the fitter members could ‘limbo’ under the single 4 x 2” wooden beam, while Howard could manage this as he demonstrated his dexterity, rather than putting their backs out or banging heads, others took to simpler option of using the old gate beside to reach the Willian Road.
Arrows pointed the way to the east & away from the Fox, an inviting looking Pub sat back on Willian Green with the parish Church of All Saints sitting behind it. The Trail passed by the quaint black & white Village Stores, then on over to the northern side of the road & by the drive to the Three Horse Shoes Pub. No Beer stops, not as we are all being sensible & obeying the Covid-19 recommendations.
The Trail was heading toward the Willian Village Hall, but before getting that far, arrows changed the way to a northward one up the hard core drive to the two separate lines of terraced homes set 100 feet back from the main village road, they were some long front gardens with what looks like allotments! The Trail then to passed through the gap between the two lines of homes & on to the area of garages behind the homes in Willian Dell, looking back it could be seen that the homes don’t have much in the way of a rear garden.
By now the RA had got far enough for his morning pint of tea to have taken effect & he nipped off to scare the squirrels in the hedgerow for the Lordship Farm fields behind the garages, he came back just as Sparerib had ambled by after his late start. Seems the Ribster couldn’t find the car park & ended up on a side street that had an hour’s grace for free parking!
The Trail made its way up through the small wooded reserve, thankfully the Hare had set the Trail on the newer curving path & kept the Pack off of the steep old steps to the west, the two came out roughly at the same place. Paxo, Pebbledash & Philippa were now within earshot of the RA & Sparerib. Seems Army rations aren’t that appealing to Ben, mum’s food is far better, give him another 9 years & he’ll appreciate them.
The Hash emerged from the alleyway footpath & out on to Penn Way, however it soon took to another alleyway that heads northward up between the back to back rear gardens of Howard Drive to the west & the small backstreets to the east.
Now, as the Trail came out on to an open green space Ben finally caught up with the back markers & was soon by them utilising a wide berth to take to the now marked footpath that continues northward on a long footpath, this route of hedgerows & fences eventually led out to what is locally known as the ‘Longabout’ an elongated roundabout at the Letchworth Gate end area of town.
There was no hanging around here as the Trail was marked down the subway at the southern end of the traffic system & moved the Hash along to Radburn Way on the edge of the Jackman Estate, the Hare definitely wanted no hanging around here as the Dust headed eastward & on to a series of footpaths linking the small back streets. The locals around here would probably eat a Lemming if they caught one!
Starting by White Way, passing Kings Community Church, then Dust led down between the small clusters of homes to reach a footpath running up by the bungalows lining the rustic (Old) Baldock Lane for 200 Yards until reaching a CHK before the road bridge spanning the A1(M) in the cut-out below.
A gravel footpath off to the west was the most promising option & as the Keenies searched by the local ‘Prior Way’ allotments, this tree-lined route proved to be the correct option as it leads away to the north-western direction for over 300 Yards until it reaches a crossroads with another footpath running down from the Woolgrove School, where the footballers could be heard playing in the School Grounds, a sign here indicate that the grounds were ‘Private Property!’
The south-westerly & the north-easterly options were False & the Hash had another 400 Yards to run along the tree-line footpath, as it runs with Letchworth Rugby Club to the east & the Herts FA Headquarters’ grounds to the west before emerging out on to the Baldock Road.
It took a while to cross the busy road, with traffic going to the sports grounds & the trading estate, Paxo, Philippa & Pebbledash caught up with Mr X, once across the road Mr X was convinced that the Trail would cross over the sports pitch to the west of Dunhams Lane, as he knew that there was an alleyway in the north-western corner, but the Hare had other ideas & the Trail headed down Dunhams Lane.
Paxo was amazed at how this area has changed as there is now a Travelodge virtually opposite the drive to Letchworth RUFC grounds, a place we know well & it has been suggested that perhaps we should hold out next ‘Numbered Weekend’ there when Lock-down is over & book the nearby Hotel instead of camping out? Pebbledash was all for that idea. [No doubt many of the senior members of the Hash would be as well? – Ed]
As the Trail headed northward into the industrial area, Philippa was heard to say “Are we there yet?” while Paxo & Pebbledash replied in union “Only three miles!” which they would explain had been a running joke for the last 3 miles at least! The Trail continued northward, but Sparerib had spotted that up ahead Whatevershesays had turned off & taken to the old alleyway way that cuts below the industrial Park & out on to Pixmore Way.
Philippa was concerned that there was no dust along this route, but she was reassured by the rest that Whatevershesays is almost accepted as a local these days, & that the Hash has used this passageway before on other Trails. At least it was now a lot smarter than last time, someone had been down there clearing it up & removing the encroaching brambles & the dogs eggs have disappeared.
While the rest of the Hash were led down to Works Road & back toward Station Road, the ‘unofficial route’ now dubbed ‘Sludge’s Alley’ brought the SCBs out on to Pixmore Avenue & then they walked straight over the junction to Ridge Road as it arcs around to meet up with Birds Hill, where they joined the real Trail to come Inn! No Eye Deer was found here walking back to find Whatevershesays before thy headed back home in their car, they could have walked half the Trail there, & the other half back home!
Now back at the car park Lemming was all a quandary, he looked very fraught as it dawn on those who wished for some refreshment after the Trail that the Brewery doesn’t open until 14:00Hrs!! So, while Milf, Philippa, Ben & Howard all toured the local shops, remembering to follow the Squirrel [Letchworth’s favourite black tree-rat is being used as a logo for Covid -19 safe distancing Trail! – Ed] the others took to the local ‘spoons, where the fluorescent jacketed Covid -19 marshal took their details & sat them in their Pods in the small, spate dinging booths near the back of the Pub.
Paxo thought that he was being clever & tried to outdo the rest of the Hash, by using the ‘Spoons App he thought he’d not have a long wait for the table services like Mother, Lemming, Tent Packer & Sludge, then Mr X, Sparerib & My Lil’ in their booth were experiencing, but Pebbledash would later ‘spill the beans’ that Paxo had ordered two Plum Porters using the ‘Spoons App on his phone, while he only wanted one pint with his trembling fat finger he must have hit the screen twice & so he ended up with two pints of Plum Porter!
Lemming will be downloading the ‘spoons app now, then when Mother wonders why he has so many Ales on the table he can blame the App! [Bet he’s not on his own there? – Ed]