Run No. 1913
Sunday 24th October
Pub: Fairlands Valley
Beers: Hobgoblin; Adnams; Ghostship
Location: St Evenage
Hare/s: No Eye Deer/Whatevershesays
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: Surprised in Silkingrad!
What a contrast for the previous day’s tempest, when the Hares efforts at laying the Trail were in two staggered parts as light rain fell halfway around their projected Trail, then overnight the deluge hit & all of the Hares’ hard work was obliterated. You had to feel for No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays as Sunday was going to be an early start for the to reset the Trail, but at least now the rain had eased & blue skies could be seen over slowly edging over from the southwest.
The early arrivals saw the return of FWB, as well as 3D & Slug who made an appearance as well. Tent Packer arrived & parked his boat in the car park, ignoring the ‘advice’ from Mr X & My Lil’ top drop anchor in the nearby lake! There would be no lakeside splash today.
Looking out over the car park toward the Lake the Hash could see a circle of civilians out doing their ‘Boot Camp’ training, something that even though we had all had an extra hour in bed, looked far too energetic for the time of the morning, with Star Jumps & other moves to fling arms & legs akimbo! [Yes, the last bit was added especially for Pebbledash! – Ed]
Everyone was surprised how busy the park was, but as Mr X said, this gets voted the best part of Silkengrad, Silkengrad was the name given to Stevenage when Lewis Silkin set to work on turning the Roman settlement, mentioned in the Doomsday Book, into a New Town began, with protesters daubing the railway station with this new name to reflect their belief that with all of the modern concrete structures it resembled a post War Soviet Town.
Back to the Hash & the usual suspects were soon ready to set off in their Pods, albeit under grey skies & it seemed like it was trying to rain but it managed to stay off. The first group got under way, with Tent Packer & My Lil’ soon staking their claim to be the Trails chief FRBs for the day as they headed northward down by the Fairlands Valley Centre outbuilding to head up by the area where many small sailing boats are moored up.
The First CHK of the day was found at a fork in the path, with My Lil’ & Tent Packer out of sight the following Pod of 3D, Slug, Paxo, Port & Kylie were soon on to the right-hand fork in the hard-capped gritty footpath & as they headed away No Eye Deer marked the CHK through so Mr X, FWB, Milf & Philippa were straight on to the correct Trail.
Philippa explained that she was on her own this week as Howard has a foot issue! Mr X then added that she should see the Haberdasher as he was informed she had brought new gear for Hashing, sadly there is no circle for he RA to call her out! [Best get your new shoes broken in on a town run while we are under current restrictions! –Ed]
Northward up by currently closed ‘Stevenage Cycling Hub’ by the smaller top ‘nature reserve’ lakes, an area the local waterfowl seem to like, probably the flowing springs here have something to do with this?
After 100 Yards or so the Trail’s next CHK was found, here there was a change in direction as the Trail was found off on the tarmac path heading due east, leaving Fairlands Valley Park to run up a tree-lined path for some 90 Yards, on the way on Pod had to move to one side to allow a cyclist to pass by, for she didn’t want to stop peddling on the climb up out of the valley, she claimed she wouldn’t be able to get going again.
The footpath emerged from between two of the homes on Telford Avenue, the streets around this area of St Evenage are all named after famous inventors & scientists, not that any of them actually lived in the area! Anyhow, the third Pod spotted No Eye Deer & Sludge heading away down to the southeast but instead of changing direction to follow them, the group stuck with the Trail & headed eastward along the edge of a triangular green, then at the apex by Faraday Road they saw Pod 2 were now heading back along the front of the row of homes to Telford Road again!
It was along here that the Hash got the first wiffs of a very different Hash wafting on the cool breeze [Yes, wacky-backy! – Ed] as the Trail now ran 110 Yards to reach the edge of wooded area, the smell of cannabis became stronger & Philippa wondered what the pungent odour was? She was now educated by Milf as to what the guy was puffing away on, as he seemed to be following the Trail. Mr X wondered if the guy has seen the Herts Hash on-line & thought it was something else?
Anyhow, the Trail led into Pestcotts wood, with the Guy still puffing away sticking with the Trail, but was a long way & perhaps he lit up another reefer, not being high enough yet? He wandered along between the second & third Pods, in his little world he was not fazed by the loud sound of shot guns echoing away, could the noise be coming over from Aston to the east, or was there a hold happening?
It reminded Mr X of the old Joke about the What’s the difference between a gun going off in Glasgow & one going off in Edinburgh? You know it’s One o’clock in Edinburgh!
Anyhow, the golden leaf littered route amongst the broadleaf trees proved autumn was here. The Trail turned & headed southward where it then moved on through Ashtree wood, to the west the grounds of the Marriot School could be seen before the Hash emerged out on to by the school entrance at the end of Britain Way.
Arrows led the way to the end of Brittain Way where the Trail crossed Six Hills Way, here the Hash were no more than 300 yards away from the car park where they started, but the Trail wouldn’t be that short as arrows directed straight over beside the roundabout & then off down Shephall Way & the Kia Dealership. The distance between the Pods became a little stretched out on this section of urban Silkengrad.
By now the weather had broken, gone were the grey skies & the sun was out, there was now a much needed noticeable rise in the air temperature, enough to make Paxo remove an outer layer of clothing, best to get his core warmed up before returning to his igloo after the Trail.
Flying Solo caught up with the Hash just as the Trail passed opposite a small parade of shops & a convenience store, no kids this week, perhaps they have heard off putting tales of St Evenage? [We did hear shotguns going off! – Ed] However, as Mr X said there is an amazing amount of greenery still left in amongst the new town estates.
The Trail now took to a side passage that led on to Long Hyde, lines of homes that face each other across the wide path, were there is no road. Out on to Wigram Way & the first Pods were taken straight over to the go up the steps & next section of lies of road-less homes of the back street path, this would be a loop around the back of the homes on Ashleigh to come back out on to Wigram Way.
No Eye Deer emerged out from the loop before Slug, 3D Paxo & Kylie joined the third Pod being directed on a Short Cut by Whatevershesays. Two Pods were now in the same area, but keeping Covid-19 restrictions in mind one Pod stuck to the eastern side of the street while the other Pod stayed on the west, simples! However there was some banter between the two separate groups, with substantial grumbling from those who had done the loop at missing out on the Short Cut!
The Hash were now taken down to Hydean way, then after a turn to the west the Trail crossed to the southern side to make its way up to the Shephall Green lane, by the Peartree Spring School. At least when this area was developed in 1953 they allowed the area by the Church to retains its rustic old village feel, which was noticeable as the Hash came around by St Mary’s Church & then the Red Lion that overlooks the ancient Shephall green.
Here the Pack could see the old covered village Well, that sits beneath what looks like a tiled lych-gate, or they could admire Sludge bending over! Thankfully here a CHK was found, & those who wanted to take their mind off of such a sight soon found the correct route heading back up to Hydean Way & some of the first Pod could be seen heading away.
Milf soon lead her Pod away passing the Barnwell School & the Shephall Centre, then it was a 150 Yard trot to the west end up to the T junction where it joins Valley Way. Milf gave a young girl some ‘Girl Power’ inspiration as the Pod gave way to the novice cyclist under instruction from her dad. Meanwhile Philippa was interested in seeing if she could find a school that she would be supplying blinds for later that week.
The Trail now crossed over to run up near to the Peartree Pub & then off into the Shackleton Spring Woods behind, while the Keenies make their way around meandering paths within the wood & out by the Scout Activity Centre, with its high-ropes climbing equipment, Whatevershesays offered up a short cut down the easier tarmac route to the Scout Centre, Milf, Flanders & Philippa were not for the Short Cut & headed off to make their way through the woodland.
On the way through Milf & Sludge found time to stop & play with the multi-coloured bunting that was strung out through the trees by the Scout camp, some of which had Halloween faces drawn upon them. Des Res had now made it to this wooded area on the eastern edge of southern section of Fairlands Valley Park, as he popped out from the wood bank, surprising the second to last Pod just as they arrived.
The Trail dropped into the valley & then out over to the wide green open centre, the footpath then climbed up the western bank of the grassy valley to the edge of Millennium Wood. A CHK was found just by the wide track into the woodland & the Hash were led through amongst the trees, this area was pretty water-logged & there was plenty of Shiggy & slippery paths to negotiate as the Trail turned nor-nor-east within the wood for a soggy run of 302 Yards up through Whormerley Wood section & then to the edge of Six Hills Way.
Via an underpass the Trail crossed to the north side of Six Hills Way, safely avoiding any would-be Lewis Hamiltons practising on a road named after the Tumuli located at its western end in St Evenage, then utilising the cycle/footpath in an easterly direction it was a 100 Yards or so to follow the arcing road down to the southern end of the north Sailing Lake section of Fairlands Valley Park, where it was a short run around the footpaths to the bottom of the sailing lake & then back to the Car Park.
One strange notice was seen at the end of the Trail, it was one for ‘No Dogs Fishing Only’
Now, the Pack did their warm-down excesses, mainly by the use of their elbows. Paxo panicked that he saw a Panda Car drive by at the other end of the car park, as Whatevershesays wondered on the legality of drinking outside in St Evenage! Mr X really did wonder as St Evenage has almost a blanket ban on street drinking, but if Plod did come over he may have suggested that the drove around the Chells estate with the window down & smell the pot!
The Pack enjoyed a quick refreshment before moving after a good Trail, which thankfully had a decent turnout after the effort the Hares had put in setting this Trail.