Run No. 1920

Monday 26th April 2021

Venue: Doctors Tonic

Beers: GK IPA, Abbot & Old Speckled Hen

Location: Welwyn Garden City

Hare/s: My Lil’

Runners: 12

Virgins: 0

Visitors: 0

Newies: 0

Après: 0

Hash Hounds: 0

Total: 12

Membership: Not short of a Parking Space!


             For some of the Mismanagement the Nightmare continues with finding suitable venues, SO, please note the change to the Eight Bells Hatfield on Monday 10th of May, the previous venue closes at 20:00Hrs when the food service stops!  However, after a lot of work it should be all good now through to the next stage of ‘Six inside a Pub’ from the 17th May??

            Today’s Trail had early arrivals of Lobby Lobster, Mark E Mark & Ketchup, who had all got the 724 Bus over from Hertford, all drinking behind the hedge to the Pub’s front patio garden.  Noisy F#cker & Mr X were the next two to arrive, not long before the Hare turned up.  No Eye Deer then joined the fray & soon the conversation between herself & Noisy F#cker came around to central Asian Republics the latter had visited, Mr X added that Hertfordshire had a connection with Kazakhstan as it’s twinned with Stevenage. [I kid you not, Borat’s home is twinned with St Evenage!  Not sure what the good people of Nur-Sultan thin of that? – Ed]

Anyhow, there was some shifting around of vehicles from the main Church Road car park, where charging costs are up to 20:00Hrs, to the small parking area outside of the Pub, where parking is free after 17:00Hrs!  The Hare was anxious to get on with things & get Pod 1 off on the Trail, as he said it was a long Trail [No change there then! – Ed] but it seems some just refuse to read the Hareline, emails or Farcebook page about start times & about anything else in general!

            As the Pods set off in the marked direction to the roundabout at the eastern end of Church Road, Kylie was still faffing about & moving his car over to the cheaper parking option after being told the difference, then as Mr X started off he could see Ketchup & Tent Packer peering through the hedge to the Playschool car park where there were only two vehicles parked up, one being a Ford GT40 & the other being the old bus that is used as a play bus!

            As Milf started off, Mr X pointed out the two vehicles at the Playschool & said that Kylie would prefer the Bus to the American muscle car, she tended to agree on that one!  The Trail crossed the roundabout junction as arrows moved the Pods over to one side of the end of Church Road & back again due to the lack of footpaths in sections, finally the Pods were on to a CHK just by the Pelican Crossing off of the roundabout at the junction with Osbourne Way.

            No Eye Deer had ventured over the crossing to the northbound footpath by the railway, but stopped when “On!” was discovered by the rest of Pod 1, who were heading away down Osbourne way to the south beside the Osbourne Way car park, but the Hare marked the Trail to where she was coming back from, as Noisy F#cker, Tent Packer, Sludge, Milf, Ketchup & Mark E Mark all ran down the Falsie.

            Back over the crossing & the Trail was picked up on the footpath that runs beside the railway line, opposite Platform 4 of Welwyn Garden City Railway Station.  No Eye Deer led the way as the Trail ran up the steps on the footpath running on the service area behind the ground floor shops of the Howard Centre, it was certainly a different aspect of the world’s second Garden City.  The non-cultural tour didn’t stop there, as once down a couple of separate sets of steps, arrows led the way into Hunters Bridge Multi Storey Car Park.

            ‘Elf & Safety briefly reared its ugly head & it was not covid related, for the RA asked why no one was sticking with the red painted pedestrian walkway.  By now Milf & Noisy F#cker had caught up, Ketchup & Tent Packer had also regained the lost ground as the Trail ran over to the north-eastern stairwell & up a level to come out on to western end of Hunters Bridge, then it was over the off-set crossing to come out down by the side of Waitrose, the former sight of the Cherry Tree Pub, a place of memories for two of the day’s Hashers.

            The Trail now moved on through another car park, Sludge commented on the tour of Welwyn Garden’s parking spots, very scenic!  The Trail eventually left the shoppers vehicular area via a cut-through on to the end of Gresley Close, an urban back street of newer homes that is name after Sir Nigel Gresley the famous Train designer, The Flying Scotsman & Mallard are amongst his creations! 

Lots of trees in pink blossom brightened up this back street, the Garden Cities do look nice at this time of year, making it a pleasant 350 Yard trot to reach the end of the road where arrows showed the way to the east, where the Trail crossed the bridge over the main-line railway, this route has been restricted to allow only bikes & pedestrians to come out on to Lyles Lane, a service road that runs along the east side of the railway & behind Shire Park.  It was a crafty Hare who had set a long Falsie down there.

Mr X had the good fortune of being behind the 1st Pod & saw the Hare mark the Trail down by the garages in the hollow below ‘The Vineyard’ on the western side of the railway line!  Mr X was now leading the way, albeit at a slower pace, as he followed the Dust on the corner of the garages & on to a footpath that weaves its way up behind the homes & out up onto The Vineyard, then on through a green space to the west before eventually reaching the CHK on Vine Close.

Here Mr X tentatively looked down the steep drop in the wooded dell, which was once a sensory garden for the blind, sadly it has been let to go to pot & wasn’t worth venturing down into, also the Trail didn’t go that way as it was soon picked up heading northward, crossing the Vineyard once again & then out of a long cut-through between the houses to reach Knightsfield Road.

No respite here, no CHK, just arrows directing the Hash over to Harwood Hill, by this point Pod 1 were again back at the front, with Milf, Noisy F#cker & No Eye Deer doing most of the Checking, with Ketchup, Tent Packer & Sludge arriving to keep up the end for the Boys!  The Girls found the Trail on this north-eastern road, with Milf picking up the change of direction to lead on through the green spaces between the blocks of flats on the western side. Ketchup & the lads followed the Hare through a diagonal cut through to hear Milf whooping on her way to the under-pass below Digswell Road.

No Eye Deer admitted that she had no idea of where she was, Ketchup too was a little bewildered as the Trail now led out the end of the parade of shops of ‘Shoplands’, here the Hare pointed out the SBB sprayed on the wall, which has been there for years, not the best graffiti in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough – that goes to the one at the Hilltop in Hatfield which declared “This is Free Hatfield!” from the days of the Poll-Tax unrest.

Ketchup was surprised to see the Hedgehog Pub, known locally as just ‘The Hog’ & the consensus was the couple of times the Hash have run from here in days gone by must have all been on Sunday’s as he’s never been in there.

The Trail was picked up again to take the Pack some 200 Yards the end of the northern section of Ingles to reach Kirklands, over this T-junction was CHK overlooking the drop down into the grassy valley behind the homes.  Pod 1 found Trail & descended the gravel path down away to the northwest into the green valley, however, Milf, Noisy F#cker, No Eye Deer & Tent Packer were caught out as they ran on to a Bar CHK, looking back they could see that the Hare was now leading Mr X, Ketchup, Sludge & Zing-a-long-a-max over to the northern side of the small valley which leads into the wooded area beside St John the Evangelist Church.

            Mark E Mark, Lobby & Kylie were now catching up, as Pod 2 were making up ground after the Pod 1 were falling for so many of the Falsies set by the Hare.  A CHK was found up by the Church, here Mr X was keen on heading around by Digswell House, the white former stately edifice that is now flats (Sorry) Exclusive Apartments & on to the path running along the western edge of these & the local Cricket Ground, where a game & net practise were in full flow.

Sure enough the Trail was picked up the Trail this way, & passing by the practise nets Zing-a-long-a-max said that he was running around this area a week or so earlier, on the Welwyn Garden Centenary Way Run, it was at this point he realised that all of the cricketers were lined up paying their respects with 2 minutes Silence for HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh during his Funeral service. 

It was fairly obvious that the Trail would follow the southwestern path out on to the wider avenue of Monks Walk.  Dust led up this to the Knightsfield Road, then once across & having been photo’d by Milf, there was the sight of the long steady climb up the next section of the tree-lined wide avenue leading up toward Sherrards Wood.

It was a long 370 Yards which no one was running, many admitted that lock-down has taken its toll on their fitness & they were not Flying Solo in doing 10K’s a day!  The Pods trudged along to the next CHK, located at the top of the plateau & just off on a smaller path off a few degrees westward into the trees. 

Zing-a-long-a-max now seemed preoccupied with finding a Welwyn Garden City Centenary Walk marker post, as he failed to find it on his previous run around here, a Trail where you had to locate various ‘points of interest’ & this was one, he was now under the impression it had been removed?  In fact it’s further around by an entrance via Roundwood Drive!

Milf went out to Monkswood Road & onto the westward footpath beside the drive to the solitary house up on the hill, Tent Packer, Ketchup, Noisy F#cker, Zing-a-long-a-max & Sludge were all sucked along in her wake, shame it was a Falsie & it must have been a long one as Mr X, who had chosen the opposite option, running along by the wooden fence on a path leading back into the Templewood section of Sherrards Wood, for he managed to get a long way into the woodland of SSI (Special Scientific Interest) before Pod 1 made their way back on to the true Trail!

The long Falsie also allowed Mark E Mark, Lobby & Kylie not to be too far behind the rest as they came back into the woodland to follow the Dust out to a CHK overlooking a deep dip in the woodland.  Tent Packer found the T to the South on the top of the opposite steep bank!  So, it was back down & then up to find the rest of Pod 1 making their way westward along the northern end of the wood by Rectory Road, & on toward where the concealed reservoirs are located.

The trot among the broadleaf trees was rather pleasant, there were blue bells popping up in various places, not quite a blanket of blue but it’s been a bit chilly of late & this seems to have retarded their bloom so far this year.  Anyhow, the Trail would turn southward & of course no Hash through Sherrards wood would not be complete without taking the Hash 240 Yards down to Six Ways.  Having five options to check out form here, this is the ideal place for a CHK in the centre of the broadleaf woodland.

Reaching Six-ways & the Pods could enjoy the various tree trunk carvings surrounding the CHK, all very nice with animals hewn out of the trunk to form a seat, one is certainly a fox & the other some kind of rodent [It could even be a beaver Pebbledash! – Ed] There are also some giant ants & insects that looked like something from out of a 1950’s Sci-Fi B Movie, these are carved into the upright trunks.

Would the Hare take the Pack the most direct option back?  Nope, he was sticking with his devious Trail as after a photoshoot by Milf, the Pods were led all the way down one of the Horse Rides & through to the managed conservation area of the woodland, where the invasive non-indigenous rhododendrons had been removed some years earlier. 

The Trail would now lead up to the Ayot Way, the former Welwyn Garden City to Luton Line, yes before the Beeching Axe you could go from Hertford to Welwyn Garden & then on to Luton, something for Kylie to lament.  It was a brief time on on the former railway line, before coming back around into the broadleaf woodland, then out into the Reddings, an area of a small exclusive estate.

Things moved back to the south as the Dust led up a wide tarmac path that was once a level crossing in the old line, here the Final CHK was found around the sign post on the Ayot Greenway.  For some there were no choices to search, other than running down the opposite southern slope, by the old Parsonage to Bridge Road, it was this way the Trail was picked up on the southern side of this east/west road. 

However, Pod 1 were lead into a false sense of security as arrows ran around to the east & around down by Handside Green on to Handside Lane, named after someone called Han, this is probably the oldest road in Welwyn Garden City, outdating the 100 year old Garden City by several Centuries!

The Hare had one last trick up his sleeve, as once by the small green space the arrows pointed the way across Russellcroft Road & led On further along Handside Lane but after reaching the first Garden City Home to be occupied, bizarrely its number 43 Handside Lane, a Bar CHK was found! 

So, back from the history & on to Russellcroft Road where the Trail led a short way toward the Coronation Fountain in the Parkway, but again it would not be a straight run back as the Trail changed tack yet again, now it led off down Guessens Road to find the On Inn at the start of Church Road by St Francis Church.  It was here that there was a good view ahead of the Pink Super Moon to the east.

Away from this Church, the Trail crossed the Parkway to take to the eastern section of Church Road to pass by the United Reform Church & the Doctor’s Tonic.  Lobby Lobster & Mark E Mark of Pod 2 managed to make it back before Pod 1, though they aren’t sure how as they joined Mr X at one of pre-booked tables.  The Pods settled into at their respective tables to enjoy the evening, even if it did get a little chilly as the sun went down, leaving us with a big pink moon {No not that type Pebbledash! – Ed]