Run No. 1923
Monday 17th May 2021
Farmer’s Boy Old Cross Tavern
Beers: Tring Teakettle Stout; Mighty Oak & four others (As well as nice little selection of Belgian Beers)
Location: Brickenden - Hertford
Hash Hounds: 1
Membership: Needn’t have worried about having drinks taken off of us!
Dark clouds came & went earlier that day, rain, thunder & a fair bit of hail in places but things looked brighter on the horizon as the early arrivals decamped. Parking was now restricted to the side street in the village, due to the Pub’s car park gate being padlocked shut, which seemed strange. This was not the only thing that was ‘fermer ce soir!’
This week saw the return of Skip, & boy was he going to be disappointed as it was soon found that the door to the bar was well & truly bolted firmly shut, & peering through the windows it was dark & gloomier inside than it was outside now! The Hare looked unimpressed when he arrived back from his repairing the Trail after the earlier downpour, he had set it on Sunday & had even been in contact with the Pub, who promised that they would be open! A smell of fertilizer or maybe water logged drainage just then wafted through the air!!
A disappointed Pack began to assemble outside the shut bar, Mr X said that when sourcing Pubs' suitable for the Hash during the lockdown, he had proposed running from the Old Barge, but when he put this forward to Paxo it was pooh-poohed as “The Old Barge is far too expensive! The Farmer’s Boy would be better, Paxo claimed, as they have a large improved garden now for covid, & Mark E Mark could set the Trail!” [Pipe dreams, mere pipe dreams! – Ed]
Another two to make a return today were My Perfect Cousin & Standin Shit, who had both yomped down from Bayford Station, which meant they could back up Sis’s confirmation that the Baker Arms was also closed, ruling out that as an alternative for the On Inn for after the Trail?
The Hare was no doubt recalling the only other time that a Pub has been closed, coincidentally when Fliptop set a Trail from the Nag’s Head in Ware, a day after it closed for good & the Landlord literally gave away the last of his stock! Anyhow, Mr X said that several people would be mentioned in despatches in next week's write up?
Mr X added that he also be able to get all of the Trashes handed out, then TBT OBE admitted that he struggles with the run reports being so long, he gets bored part the way through! [Blimey, next he'll be saying the fat bastard of a scribe should go on a diet! - Ed] Mr X shrugged off the comments from those who have a short attention span but he was left with the thought of getting someone a copy of 'War & Peace' for the X-mas Party Secret Santa.
TBT OBE - you can stop reading now, just follow the Asterisks* down the left to cut out the crap, the you can read the bits were you are mentioned, allowing you to quickly get back to looking out the window at those naughty cats on your lawn!
Again the 18:45 advertised start seemed to be missed by the time the Hare got around to mentioning the Trail, more importantly he told how he had to go around again to repair the Trail & that there was a Short Cut that would save some from going through deep Shiggy in the large dark wood, where there were bears & doggers lurk! There were incidence’s of dogging taking place in the car parks within the Great Wood a few years ago, that Paxo warned the Hash of not having a picnic run from there due to these nefarious activities!
So, Where’s Wally? pulled up for his first Hash in ages, as the Pods were released [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] away from the corner of the Farmer's Boy, passing the old black & white timbered Five Horse Shoes, which has long been a private residence & as the RA said “As much use as the Farmer’s Boy for getting a drink?”
Pod1 of Tent Packer, My Lil’ & Zing-a-long-a-max were soon heading away to the northeast on the lane back up into the Horns Mill area of Hertford. The wayside was pretty much flooded in places, large puddles of rain water stretched out into the road forcing the Pods had to either take a trot down the centre of the road, or risk running over the wide, waterlogged grassy verge?
Most were too busy keeping an eye on the wet spots to look over toward the quaint Chapel of ‘The Holy Cross & St Alban. Fortunately there was little traffic & everyone managed to negotiate the widest of the roadside lakes, Mr X, Sparerib, Standin Shit & My Perfect Cousin were not far behind Pod1 as they arrived at the green some 450 yards after beginning the Trail.
The First CHK, well two CHKs were found on the green by the triangle of drives to the old Hall & its surrounding farm buildings. My Lil’ & Tent Packer came back from searching the footpath out to the east, running by the ornate gardens of the old Hall, My Lil’ was then lured down to the southern footpath as No Eye Deer thought she had picked up the Trail, but they came back after discovering that this too was a Falsie!
Tent Packer finally had the notion to search northward, over the damp grass of the green, here the Trail was picked up as it turned on to a farm track that runs eastward a short way by one entrance to the Celtic Harmony Camp, a place where you can live like Ancient Britons & get away from technology & modern life, you can live like our ancestors off of the land with no running water, [must be a bit like living with My Lil’ or Sparky! – Ed]
Anyhow back to modern days (for some of us), the hedged-in route turned northward for a few hundred feet, then it changed direction by some 45 degrees to head north-eastward on a dead straight route, it was along here that the first sightings of piles of frozen hail could be seen in the shade of the trees & hedgerows.
*While Tent Packer, Ketchup, My Lil’ & Zing-along-a-max began to get away, TBT OBE, Standin Shit & My Perfect Cousin all followed on, with Mr X plodding along behind Sparerib, who was using his modern tech along the way. Though tempted, Mr X wasn’t going to start running just yet, a few more weeks before he’s up for that.
Meanwhile Sis was walking Teddy, along with Skip in the last Pod [Sounds like Sis was walking Skip! - Ed] they were accompanied by Lobby Lobster, Paxo & Mark E Mark, the latter hadn’t really got going as yet! The next CHK was found where there was an option to turn off to the northeast on a drive that leads all the way up to Blackfields Farm way up on Mangrove lane, but those with local knowledge dismissed this straight away, preferring to turn south-eastward on a path behind the hedgerow for the single track lane to Monks Green.
After about 300 Yards the Trail came out to the edge of Monks Green, an area of farm houses & outbuildings that have been renovated & converted over the years, some are working units, others accommodation of varying types. All very neat & tidy as the Pods weaved their way through this narrow lane to find a CHK on the elbow, it was here that the Short Cut was marked.
At first no one was tempted by the Short Cut through a green paddock area to the west, instead the first couple of Pods made their way further eastward to what were the Chicken Sheds, there was a slight wiff in the air, but that could have been the now damp Hash Shoes, but there no sound of any livestock being kept within.
One sign marked Swimming Pool was spotted by Lobby Lobster, she wondered if it did actually have a pool up here, well there is a ‘Beauty Treatment place based there so there probably is a pool hidden away in the complex.
The Next CHK was located on the dog-leg in the lane where it turns almost due north, but the options of searching the green space surrounded by Jepps Wood to the east, or the southern track into Brambles Wood were the best options. Mark E Mark didn’t want to search to the east & end up on Elbow lane, otherwise he could have followed it northward & on to Hertford Heath, where he used to live.
*Where’s Wally? had soon caught up with Zing-a-long-a-max, Tent Packer, My Lil’ & TBT OBE who had all gone off down the main, wide fire-break of a path between Brambles Wood to the west & Highfield Wood to the east, but they seemed not to find any Dust, so Mr X went & found the same Falsie the other did earlier out over toward Jepp’s Wood, this caused some confusion as the others came back to his calls!
Meanwhile Ketchup had taken to the western option of the path running along the northern edge of Brambles Wood, but he too didn’t fare so well either, as he negotiated the flooded woodland. It seemed that no one was making any progress, No Eye Deer & Mr X were all now looking at the earlier Short Cut in a more favourable light, as they headed back they picked up Paxo & Lobby Lobster, who hadn’t seen the SC at all!
*It’s good to see that there is Spirit still in the Herts Hash as Standin Shit, My Perfect Cousin, Ketchup, My Lil’ & Mark E Mark all were happy to continue searching with Where’s Wally?, Zing-a-long-a-max & TBT OBE as their Scouts! [Three Blind Mice comes to mind! – Ed]
Anyhow, as Tent Packer, No Eye Deer, Paxo & Lobby Lobster went back to the SC, they were passed by the Hare, who was going to try & do more running repairs to the Trail & get the rest around another 3 K’s within the woodland. Fliptop’s words of 3 K’s with slippery Shiggy confirmed that joining Sis & Skip was the better option for the old RA’s wonky knee.
The Pods who continued with the Trail would be led into Brambles wood, heading down toward the Spital Brook, this would be a long loop down toward the Hertfordshire Way path, which run east to west above Broad Riding Wood to the north of Paradise Wildlife Park. The Spitial Brook was in full flow as the Trail crossed over it at one wide ford like crossing.
This area of woodland has its ups & downs on some wide forestry paths, of course being a working woodland these routes do have vehicular activity to create large ruts that were now filled with storm water, as well as some nice orangey claggy Shiggy, the going would slow on these as the Trail headed up away from the brook to enter the bottom of Cowheath Wood.
A long couple of straights lay ahead for the Pods on the main Trail, as the route crossed the wide main firebreak route, but it seems that not everyone would spot the Dust leading back, in a nor-nor-westerly direction to the tip in the north edge of the Bourne Wood section of the Great Wood, now a small group somehow managed to miss this & continued westward to come out on to Pembridge Lane, where there was no Trail!
Further back on the Trail & Sparerib had turned, he headed back to the Short Cut as 50 Shades was making her Herts Hash debut, after a late start, she was in contact with him & so he hung around to meet up with her & take her up the Short Cut. [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] Ahead of these two & Tent Packer was Keen to run the Short Cut, frowning eyes looked on a Hasher doing such a thing! No Eye Deer managed to let him escape from her phone’s view-finder as she took a picture of the nice blue sky & sun set over the fields ahead.
Yes, the grey clouds were on their way out as the SCB Pod & Keenies Pods all made their way back toward Bourne Orchard, with SCB’s coming in from the east & north of the Celtic Harmony Camp, while the others on the long Trail from the south & west of the Celtic Harmony Camp, both arriving back at the green space by the old manor house.
*Of course there was one exception, as back at the Farmers Boy those looking down the road saw TBT OBE, who was led along by Zing-long-a-max, My Perfect Cousin & Where’s Wally? all were off Trail in the 'Gotta get to Specsavers Pod' who emerged out of Claypits Wood, a name that gives away the Shiggy conditions underfoot in places.
On the way in, on the proper route, the Pods would pass by four individuals who were inspecting the iconic old Red Phone-box, with no phone in it anymore, Mr X speculated if it would become a library, art studio or a defibrillator home, as others have been turned into? Perhaps they were distressed Locals in search of a pint??
The SCBs were back at the still closed Farmer’s Boy in just over 40 minutes, there they found a forlorn looking Kylie sitting in his car after finishing his shift in the Smoke, the disappointment at a closed Pub was clear to see on his face!
The Specsavers Pod were back under the hour while the proper Trail Pod were back just over the hour, but all had to deal with the quandary of where to go for a drink, eventually Mr X’s proposal of going to the St Andrew’s Street Car Park & the Old Cross Tavern was popular with the Half of the Hash who didn’t go home.
*A brief introduction for 50 Shades, & a short chat to Skip before a restless Packs’ (half)minds turned to having a Beer! My Perfect Cousin, Sis, Skip, 50 Shades, No Eye Deer, Tent Packer, Fliptop & Paxo all went home, the latter two hanging their heads in shame with the Pub debacle.
So, half the other half of the Pack, of Standin Shit , My Lil’, Mr X, Lobby Lobster, Mark E Mark, Ketchup, Zing-along-a-max, TBT OBE & Sparerib, set off to Hertford. With the others departing for their homes, it meant that there would just be enough seats of three twos & a four were available for the Pods to escorted into the Bar.
It was good to be back in HQ (As it was known by Herts Hash for years) it was also nice to have such a warm welcome from the efficient staff, as well as the surprise in current climate of having a large selection of drinks to choose from. Sparerib was impressed with the small range of Belgian Beers, one of his favoured one, Brugse Zot was available, [Some in BMPH3 say it’s named in honour of Sparerib as it translates in to English as Brugse Fool! Since the 1488 Revolt against Maximillian, they asked if they could build a Mental Hospital to which Maximillian replied they only had to shut the town gates as it was already full of fools – since then the people of Bruges have been known as ‘The Fools of Bruges!] Lobby Lobster was not as impressed with it!
Originally in different parts of the venue, things improved when tables became free in the courtyard & though distanced the Pods were now all in one space. One topic of discussion was some of the Ales consumed a couple weeks earlier being as “A bit Wishy-washy! Lobby came up with a blast from a couple of years ago with a "Wash your willy!" catchphrase from the Adult Panto H4 attended a couple of years ago!
*A pleasant evening was had, with tales of Standin Shit almost choking on Sparky’s manky six year old mass of Malteasers that lowered the tone, TBT OBE was lucky that Mrs TBT kept ringing him up, so he didn’t have to listen to all of the tales of Sparky's diet! Those in HQ pondered on the financial loss that the Farmer’s Boy would have now had, without 18 thirsty Hashers going in for a beer or two, even the alcohol free stuff is just as expensive, sadly it was their loss.
The Devil makes light work for idle hands, as Sparerib took a couple of opportunities to pick up unguarded phones to take selfies, these were quickly deleted unlike the days of 35mm camera film [That's similar to your Box Brownie Sparky! (Careful Pebbledash!) - Ed]
A good evening was had in HQ, if only the RA had ignored Paxo & stuck with Hertford it would have been so much easier! As the last group left HQ, they encountered the bizarre scene of two guys chasing a small car down St Andrew’s Street, with the car driver slowing up enough for one guy to almost catch it, then pulling away as they guy tried to hit the car! It was like a scene out of Fawlty Towers! It’s good to see that the great British civilian public can still handle their Lagers down at the Six Asbos, now they can drink inside.