Run No. 1924
Monday 24th May 2021
Venue: The Station
Beers: Tring T-Bar Drop; Polestar
Hare/s: My Lil’
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: In a nice, warm, open, friendly community owned Pub!
Only a week to go before the meteorological summer begins & still dark clouds filled the skies for most of this day, the Hare was after some sympathy as he said that he had to deal with rain at the start of setting the Trail, & then again at the end of the Trail.
For those who braved it to come out today, they had a long dry gap between in the downpours & it looked like they were going to stay dry for the Trail, the RA was there so no one should have been worried about getting moist! [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] Paxo was absent today, not due to the weather but he had his second covid jab & was feeling tired [At his age you’d have thought he’d have been vaccinated months ago? – Ed]
Mr X, Zing-along-max & the Hare were found inside the Pub, which was open to serve Drink & Food! They were joined by Sparerib & Loud F for a quick drink, as the RA explained that the Hash Pods would be coming in for a drink after the Trail. The Hare was back to his old ways by tapping at his watch to get the Hash under way by the advertised 18:45 to 19:00Hrs window! Ah, but this is the Hash & most seemed to miss the arrow the Hare had out down outside the car park. Just as Pod 1 were about to set off, H4 were now joined by Crusty Ring, who had driven straight from w*rk & just pulled into the car park.
So, there was a further delay as Crusty now announced to the Hash that she didn’t have any Hash Gear & would have to walk around in her work clothes & leather boots, though she needn’t have worried when she asked if anyone else was walking since Skip & Kylie were present today.
Mr X decided that he was going to start off & he began leading Pod 1 away down to Gun Lane in a sou-sou-easterly direction, passing by the local British Legion along the way. Mr X said that this could have been the back-up in case the Station did a Farmer’s Boy & had door firmly bolted!
As the Pods progressed the RA overheard Crusty admitting that Knebworth was an old haunt of hers, and when she was 15 years old she used to date a guy there. Sparerib tried to coax her to let slip how long ago this was, but Crusty was cagey as Mr X said later things have changed in the [Cough! – Ed] ten years since she was last here!
Pod1 of Zing-a-long-a-max, Noisy F, Tent Packer, Ketchup, Milf & Sludge were soon led away up a back-passage [Just wanted to get this in early for Pebbledash! – Ed] Mr X would take to this route as it was flat, straight & an ideal test for the old ‘Sportsman’s injury’!
A 100 Yards between the panelled off sides of the path, the Pods emerged out on to Lytton Fields where an arrow pointed the way over to the green space, taking the Keenies onto the next section of tarmac footpath on the southern edge of the Park to move south-westward away from the play equipment & out of the corner to come out on to the dead end of Stockens Dell.
The Hare, who was obviously feeling the effects of setting the Trail earlier that day, called out to Crusty to join him on the short cut he was taking, by sticking to Gun Lane, named after Gun Farm which the older part of the village built by Lord Lytton’s ‘Knebworth Garden Villages Company’ (His attempt at building a Letchworth like Garden City was cut short by the First Wold War, then afterward the building of Welwyn Garden City) it became known as ‘New Knebworth’ when the Railway Station was built there.
Sparerib, Skip & Kylie would all take this shorter option as well. Meanwhile back on the longer option, Mr X’s local knowledge kicked in & his ‘Hashing senses’ tingled as he said to Ketchup that he thought that Zing-along-a-max, Noisy F, Tent Packer, Milf & Sludge were going to be coming back from a Bar CHK on the alleyway at the opposite southwestern dead-end arm?
Sure enough, the first Pod came back to join the other two on longer the south-eastern section of Stockens Dell, they would follow this to the south & then arrows pointed the way to the east at the next junction. While the rest ran eastward by the Convenience Store on Stockens Green, Mr X began to lag behind, which brought comments from a civilian getting into her car as she shouted to Milf “Don’t leave him behind!” as she pointed at Mr X!
The running Pods soon found that the CHK by the Mainline Railway line was already marked by the Hare as Crusty, Sparerib, Skip & Kylie were seen already making their way southward between the railway embankment & the back gardens of the homes on Gun Road Gardens. It was 240 Yards on the wide sheltered path before the Pods emerged out by the eastern end of the new Knebworth Cemetery to find the next CHK in the north-eastern corner of the farm field.
A Falsie was found along the bottom of the Cemetery to the west, instead the Trail was picked up on the only other option & that was south bound along by the railway. A long 650 Yard straight lay ahead to reach a CHK on the edge of Wych Elm Lane, options were to head south-westerly on the footpath across the fields toward the woods of Mardley Heath, or head under the railway & into Woolmer Green?
The Woolmer Green option won out & the Trail picked up, however, the FRB Pod was not going to get too far away from the walking Pod, as at the end of Bridge Road they were led up London Road to a Bar CHK up to the North, they were all on their way back as Crusty & Sparerib followed Mr X & his local knowledge to cross over to a snickett virtually hidden by the large hedge at the bottom of a small industrial area.
Probably the only famous event to happen here was the last Fieseler F1 103 or flying bomb (known as a ‘Doodlebug’ by Sparky’s generation) landed in a field close to a sewage farm at Woolmer Green at 9:00am on Thursday 29th March 1945. There were no casualties.
Mr X added that as the footpath headed eastward, those with him should look out for the large red spider climbing frame, which Crusty commented on it looking rather phallic for being a kids’ play thing in the small park area! [Mr X was just grateful Pebbledash wasn’t present! – ED]
The Dust now led out in to the small Garden Close estate, from a CHK here the Pods were split again. The Runners being led away to New Road to the southeast, there the longer section of Trail would take them a long 370 Yards out through the crop fields to the barns of Mardleybury Farm, then once through the farmyard to the north, the Keenies would be led along the outer contour of Cave Wood to complete a 960 Yard trot before meeting up with the Hare & the SCB Trail on the short diagonal footpath up from New Road & through the rising crop field.
Meanwhile, those on the short cut were treated to the sight of a garden that had been filled with placards & other objects with very corny jokes written upon them, Sparerib soon spotted the placard about ‘What’s a Bra? A Booby Trap! Mr X took a couple of pictures as evidence of this effort in support of the NHS with dealing with covid.
Ketchup was the first of the Pod1 to reach the gate into the paddocks, but he would inadvertently take the north-eastern ‘short cut’ option of the two diverging footpaths to cross the two fenced-in paddocks, Crusty Ring pointed out the butter cups & daisies, a case of ‘He loves me, he loves me not’ & daisy chains being mentioned as a bit ‘Girly’ for some? Which was better than asking which car was Spareribs? A Blonde moment? Probably not, it’s most likely like the rest of us the lack of social contact!
Sludge & Tent Packer would choose the correct easterly footpath over to Rectory Lane at the west end of Datchworth, as they would lead Milf & Noisy F around another loop, this one by way of the footpath that runs northward by the horse paddocks of Pound Farm to come out on to Briars Lane.
Sludge was well ahead of the others, for he knows this area pretty well, but however well he knows the lay of the land he doesn’t know the Hare so well! As the SCB’s came out on to Baines Lane they spotted Sludge running off up Swangley’s Lane to the northeast, the Hare chuckled as he said Sludge was on a Falsie! Mr X would now do a bit of running for Sludge’s benefit to see him head off ‘On Trail’ to the northeast.
It was 300 or so Yards of gentle uphill trot along the narrow country lane to reach a small triangle where it joins Bragbury Lane, Mr X called “On!” just for Sludge to hear far back behind him. An arrow on the triangle showed the way along toward the farm house of Keeper’s Cottage some 250 Yards to the nor-nor-west, at the elbow in the lane was another arrow, this one pointing down the old by-way heading northward.
It was a long steady drop down between the patchwork of farm fields above on either side of the sunken lane, it was pretty soft under foot for some 600 Yards until a slight kink in the by-way, it was here that Zing-a-long-a-max & Ketchup safely passed by Mr X on the wide track, just by where it rose up for 250 Yards to come out on to the Watton Road.
There was no CHK on the Watton Road, just more arrows pointing the way up toward the Harwood Crematorium, but the Trail would cross over & take to another section of the old by-way, for those at the back in the walkers Pod, the Hare placed an SC & arrow pointing down the Watton Road back into Knebworth.
551 Yards further on another subtle, easy downhill run to the northwest, the tree-lined by-way passed under the railway to lead into the Bragbury End of Stevenage, no sooner than Zing-a-long-a-max & Ketchup had entered the edge of St Evenage than they were taken under another railway arch on the Hertford Loop line Train Tracks to come out onto the open fields to the south of the line.
The contact with St Evenage kept to a minimum, the Trail headed south-westward on a wide track between the crop fields, here there are some new permissive paths that run around on section of crops, perhaps it’s to let the good people of Knebworth to get some exercise without actually having to enter Stevenage?
Anyhow, Sludge caught up with Mr X, who was now walking as he wanted to keep an eye on a guy who was wandering the fields, this chap’s behaviour was slightly odd. Mr X pointed out to Sludge, the two dots in the distance that were Zing-a-long-a-max & Ketchup, a way behind them was Tent Packer all on their way to Knebworth.
Sludge now dropped to a walk, as he & Mr X waited for Milf & Noisy F to catch up & get by the odd-fellow, who was now walking into the wet crop. Sludge reckoned that the thing in the cover he was holding could be a gun, (though it would have had to be a sawn-off shot gun) & he was looking at shooting Hares, adding that he could start with the one coming up behind them both!
Of course Mr X made sure that the Herts Hash Hare was informed about Sludge’s thoughts on him being dispatched! Milf & Noisy F caught up on the 600 Yards to the edge of Oakfields Avenue, as a light precipitation began to fall, Sludge pointed out where he used to live there in Knebworth.
Hare now added that the three ahead were actually going to be running a loop,
starting north-westward along Oakfields Avenue, then up a long back passage to
come out on the Stevenage Road turning back along Oakfields Road, luckily Sludge
wasn’t with them, for without his ‘distracting influence’ these three came back
‘On Trail’ instead of just
Sludging Short Cutting down the Stevenage
So, Zing-a-long-a-max & Ketchup came back to the elbow in the residential street to take to the path leading into the northern end of Knebworth Recreation Park, this cheered the Hare as his Pod turned southward through the avenue of lime trees to reach a CHK at the T-Junction of paths. The Hare was cheered up even more as he could see Zing-a-long-a-max & Ketchup had gone wrong again at the last CHK of the Trail & were now heading back to the westerly path.
the Trail came to its end, Sludge couldn’t resist
Sludging Short Cutting,
even if it was only a for few yards the temptation was too great for him, as he
cut across the soccer pitches with Milf & Noisy F, Mr X eventually abandoned the
cover of the lime trees to the west & he too took to the pitches. Comments of
Mr X’s Short Cutting now came forth, so Mr X (In RA Mode) pointed out that he
was “Closer to the Trail than thee!” to Milf, Noisy F & Sludge as at least he
could see the Dust on the trees on the west side of the park, to come out to the
southwestern exit to the Park, there the On Inn was found.
One last back passage to come out on to the roundabout junction in Knebworth where the Watton Road comes in. A short walk back to the Station, where the Pods were booked in with NHS Track & Trace Covid Apps & taken to tables by the staff, who were extremely efficient. So efficient in fact that one of the girls would come around just as the beers were reaching the bottom of the glasses, most excellent timing!
Talk started off with the post-mortem of last week’s Trail, where were Paxo & Fliptop? Then Zing-a-long-a-max mentioned that the BearIsland Pale Ale the bar had on tap, a ‘craft beer’ is not from some exotic place or North America as its name suggests, its actually brewed in Kent [It’s a subsidiary of Sheppard Neame & brewed on an Island in the Faversham Creek, where a Bear & its Keeper were once landed! – Ed]
Crusty particularly enjoyed a good Trail of just over an hour, for it was the first Hash she’s been on since Friday 13th in March 2020, before the first lockdown! It was also nice to have a couple of good real ales & be looked after by such attentive staff in this now Community owned Pub, but time flew by & some had to juggle the time before catching Trains home.