Run No. 1914
Sunday 1st November
Venue: Gravely Village Hall/ Eorge & Dragon
Beers: GK Abbot, IPA, Olde Trippe, Trelawney
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: On a passage to Rooks Nest
Early arrivals of Mr X & My Lil' found one car in the car park behind the Graveley Village Hall/preschool
& Mr X wondered if this was Amanda, who had emailed about turning out for a Herts Hash the week before, startled at the sight of a masked man tapping on her side window, the lady driver exclaimed she was not Amanda!
Then a guy arrived & enquired if either of the two Hashers had unlocked the village hall barrier? Mr X said no, as the guy went on to say that he thought he'd be opening up this morning, so Mr X explained they were there for a R*n, dropping Sludge’s civilian name & he added that Sludge bears a resemblance to Santa, but all of this meant nothing to the civilian.
Finally a friendly face arrived with Lemming, the friendly face being that of Mother’s & not of the driver. Canae Cant, with Jen & Tonic were next to arrive, which made the RA correctly assume that Tent Packer soon be on his way, sure enough he pulled in &b engaged his ‘Engine Order Telegraph’ to Half Astern full to beach his big white boat on the pile of shingle & come to rest beside Amanda's car, then he rang in ‘Finished with Engines’ & then ‘STOP’ on the engine telegraph.
Yes dear readers, our virgin Hasher had arrived to be greeted by Mr X from a distance, which was rapidly followed up by words of advice not listen to, or follow Lemming! [Wise words indeed! -Ed] Amanda was also warned not to follow Where's Wally? as his ‘Off Trail’ running blind antics were explained. Being new these words of advice were probably not understood, sometimes you have to learn by your mistakes.
More arrived, keeping their distance, before enquiring to the Hare's whereabouts? It appeared that the Hare was still out setting the Trail. Lemming was not concerned & was now in ‘test the newbie’ mode, as he chatted to Amanda & learning that she had just moved up from Somerset, he claimed that she had picked up a zomerzet twang from her time spent there, but she hardly convinced that she now sounded like one of the Wurzels.
The RA explained to everyone that there was Trail out there as a CHK was seen by the corner of the Village Hall, thankfully for My Lil's sanity it was marked with an arrow pointing over the road to closed Waggon & Horses, as well as the Eorge & Dragon, the two village pubs that are feet apart, a short Pub crawl for the locals but must be a good one for someone to be ‘merry enough’ to steal the ‘G’ from the name of one of the hostelries.
With no sign of the Hare, the RA opted for the Hash to start & on the way out he saw the hall was in use for table tennis [Hope the players were abiding by Covid-19 protocols & like the Hash Hackers keeping their balls scrupulously clean? - Ed]
Across the High Street Milf, Sparerib, Noisy F#cker, FWB, Waragi & Rose could be seen searching for Trail by Pondside, which just happens to have a pond complete with waterfowl there. Mr X picked up on the fact they were now heading away up the narrow rustic Oak Lane to the west. So, Mr X called My Lil', Tent Packer, Canae Cant & Amanda back so they could follow on behind the first Pod!
The Trail led up by the old village Pump [No, not the ‘Village Bike Pebbledash! – Ed] then on to a CHK at the T junction with Ashwell Common road, Noisy F#cker was soon on to the Trail with Tent Packer, Where's Wally? Milf Lemming & Mother, then the rest following on, Amanda was up with the FRBs, obviously too good to languish with the hobbling crocks of Mr X & Paxo.
It was a welcome return for Waragi & Rose, right before a possible 4 week lockdown [Yes it was a four week lockdown in which Hash Test Dummy caught Covid-19! Yet the NHS track & trace only alerted Waragi to the fact of this 3 Days later! – Ed] but good to see them all the same.
The dull rumble of A1(M) could be heard over the ridge of farmland to the west as the Trail led up by stables on the bridleway section of Turf Lane, after getting by a couple who stood to pone side to allow the Pods to pass by them, Sparerib questioned Mr X with his local pub’s quiz's ‘connections questions’, something that is getting to a regular thing. Mr X sussed the answer after two questions relating to snooker players surnames being the answer.
Then it was down to Graveley Lane & a CHK on this route that passes under the A1(M) motorway toward Great Wymondley. Lemming had checked it out straight across where a car was parked in a farm field entrance, but no luck there, nor was there a change of fortune on his second attempt as he & the FRB Pod were soon stopped under the A1 (M) bridge. Amanda had now found her first Falsie, doubt it would be her last either as she seemed to be running with Where’s Wally?
This left Mr X, Spare Rib & a now returned Lemming to pick up the Trail back on the Gravely Road, indeed the Dust led up the steps in the tree-lined embankment, here the dishevelled wet waterproof wearing Hare was seen re-joining from the south after finishing setting the Trail.
The Hash made their way up the short flight of steps in the wooded embankment & on to the footpath that leads up on to the farmland of Gravely Hall Farm. It wasn't too far over the grassy area to find a CHK on the arcing hard-capped drive, here FWB went astray & had to be rounded up by the Hare to change direction to the eastward option down the hillside.
Rose & Waragi were impressed that there were some
actually using the campsite, & it was commented on in the damp cold wind that it
can be a Hashers nightmare trying to get an erection up in such conditions.
[Added especially for Pebbledash, who’d be happy to hold a pole up under canvas!
As the Keenies ran down the hill, there were more brave & hardy souls camped out, but also by the gazebos & awnings were some seriously large, & no doubt costly, Winnebagos parked up, a bit more glamping than camping for these. No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays had caught up with Paxo, while Whatevershesays slipped into his natural position near the back of the Pack, No Eye Deer was going after the Keenies & was soon away as the Trail made its way away from the end of the small green grass airstrip for micro-lights & down on to a footpath running by the tree-lined tributary of the Ash Brook.
The footpath crossed over a narrow footbridge to come around out beside the northern end of the grounds of Graveley with Chivesfield St Mary’s Church, once under ‘The Hundred of Broadwater’ & covered by the Hitchin Poor Law Union way back in Sparky’s Day.
The Trail turned to run away from St Mary’s, coming out onto the Back Lane, where it rose with the narrow lane FWB was impressed by the view looking back at the Church, while Mr X's photographic talents were captured after he hung back to catch Paxo & Whatevershesays ambling by an Elderly Persons triangular warning sign!
Care take to step to one side as a few cars were heading up to & beyond the
Maximum Security Twilight Home Halcyon Days Care home for the bewildered.
Thankfully the Hare had made sure that the Hash didn't go that far, as the elder
& more senior members of H4 were carefully steered away from another kind of
A nice soggy trot along away for Gravely Bury through an enclosed farm field to the southwest & the Back Markers could see that in the next field along the figures of My Lil', Tent Packer & Milf were all coming back from a Falsie toward the Cricket Club, it also looked like Amanda had chalked up bad call!
A turn to the sou-sou-east down between the larger open farm fields meant a nice 266Yard trot down to a T junction with a footpath running down the western edge of Ten Acre Plantation, a good place for a CHK on this nor-nor-east to sou-sou-west path, that comes down from now deserted village of Chesfield that disappeared due to the Black Death, its Church St Etheldreda’s now a ruin, the local manor grounds are now home to an Equestrian Centre & a Golf Club.
The majority consensus was to turn to the right & head sou-sou-westward as those in the know had an inkling that the Trail may be heading toward the Hare’s humble abode on the edge of St Evenage.
However, those who thought that they may be heading to Chez Sludge would be disappointed as the Trail would turn to the southeast along a tree-line, leading out over the fields to the west of Rook’s Nest Farm. The Hare had planned for the Pack to run up to Howards, near to the western edge of the Great Ashby part of St Evenage, for a bit of Culture. [Culture in St Evenage & not just in the local’s yoghurt I hear you ask? – Ed]
The Hash would now pass through the area that is known locally as ‘Forster Country’ as Rooksnest was the former Childhood home of EM Forster, the writer of A Room with a View, A Passage to India as well as Howards End, Rooksnest being included in the latter mentioned Book.
The Trail would turn back to the northwest after the Weston Road Cemetery, taking to Footpath 18 from St Nicholas Church as it moved on behind the homes to the southwest of the Farm land, here the long straight paths would stretch the legs of the keenest as the Pack as they would make their way on to CHK by the walk-through to the Brambles, however, there would be no street running as at the crossroads of footpaths the Trail was picked up to the northeast & run back over the edge of a farm field, running by a ditch to pass under the Pylons, described in an apt poem by Stephen Spender in 1930’s as:
Now over these small hills, they have built the concrete
That trails black wire
Pylons, those pillars
Bare like nude giant girls that have no secret.
Sludge would mention that all of this land has been earmarked for development as more new builds will be encroaching out of St Evenage, the New Town's tentacles ever grabbing more at the green belt.
While the FRBs took to the long loop around Howard Country, Mr X, Paxo, Waragi & Rose all accepted the offer of an earlier Short Cut through the Tree-line to find a path that runs within the double tree line. The Keenies would run back up to this & join the SCBs in heading north-westward on the zig-zag route over to the west toward the B197 North Road over in the distance.
As Mr X made his way between the double rows of pines he could see a figure out in the field to the south, at first he thought it was a scarecrow Short cut but it slowly moved, eventually as the Trail turned southwest he could see that there were Metal detectors out in the adjacent field. Mr X peered out from between the pines to see if one of the detectorists was Ketchup, it wasn't!
Another turn to the west & then one last south-western trot would take the Pack by the other pair of detectorists, who were no doubt making the most of it as there seem to be poles & workings set out in the field for future construction works. The Trail would leave the pines when it came out to North Road.
Despite earlier warnings, when the FRBs caught up with the SCBs by North Road, Amanda was found to be running along with Where's Wally? Mr X was further astounded to see Where's Wally actually looked as if he knew where he was running? No doubt Where's Wally? was in awe himself. Amanda was not expected to know where she was, having just moved up from Somerset (Accent lemming)
The Trail now kept to the wet, water-logged fields on the east of the Hedgerow & tree lines to nice flat dry path up to the High Street on the west, the Trail eventually came down to the south end of the High Street & a short walk along the roadside to the On Inn.
The Hare dashed off to grab some brownie points with family, no doubt he needs them (keeps longer than Lemming can) & not resting on his laurels meant Sludge didn't hear the plaudits of a fine hours run for all as the Hash made their way to the rear garden of the Pub for table service [We can really get used to being waited on hand & foot! – Ed]
While in the Pub garden Amanda spilt the beans, [Damn shame the RA can’t give her a Down-Down at the moment! – Ed] on her household consumption of Barrels of Ale!