Run No. 1928
Sunday 20th June 2021
Venue: The Pembroke Arms
Beers: Doombar; Tim Taylor Landlord
Hare/s: No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays
Hash Hounds: 2
Membership: Sadly no joint R*n with H5 due to only 30 allowed outside.
Everyone knows that one of these Hares has a reputation for having Trails where there is some rain involved somewhere along the way, with the weather forecast earlier that week looking ominous & the pack would get a little damp, but the RA managed to wangle his magic & the day was dry, if not somewhat overcast.
Whatevershesays was found at the top of the stairs between platforms at Biggleswade Station, which was handy as the Train was running 2 minutes late &he would escort Mr X, My Lil’, Noisy F#cker & this week’s newbie Erin, who is training to be a veterinarian locally, & her pooch Stella. Not that My Lil’ & Mr X didn’t know where the Pembroke Arms (Formally the Brown Bear) was, but Whatevershesays utilized a cut-through that saved them walking a few minutes around a slightly longer route.
The Pack had been held up outside the Pub, newbie Erin & Stella her pooch were introduced to the Pack. Then No Eye Deer informed all those gathered that the Trail was laid in flour, which she had used plenty of, but with the rain overnight it may have been washed out a bit?
Then the Pack were ushered away over to Mill Lane, but only for a matter of feet before being stopped in their tracks as Kylie called out “Hold on!” as he wanted everyone to stand outside the Pub’s frontage for the obligatory photo. Mr X pointed to the sign on the Pub door that declared “If my dog doesn’t like you, nor do I!”
A re-run of the start saw Pod 1 heading away to the west along the eastern section of Mill Lane, passing the Whistle & Flute Pub to reach the crossroads with the wider Teal Road. A CHK was found on this corner, but it didn’t take much for the Keenies’ Pod of My Lil’, Tent Packer, Howard, Mr X, Slug & 3D [Yes you did read the last two name correctly! – Ed] crossed straight over to pick up Tail on the western section of Mill Lane.
Fresh looking Trail led by the old Mill on the navigational section of the river Ivel, then crossed the water to come on to a CHK on the west side of the waterway. Noisy F# & Mr X searched the footpath to the north, between the river’s edge & the Showmens’ Circus camp filled with trailers of all kinds of Fun Fair rides, while My Lil’ searched to southbound equivalent into Franklin Recreation Ground, however they were both wrong as the Trail was picked up on the wide west-bound farm track.
230 Yards along the stony track, following what now looked like splats of dough until the next CHK was found, two options from here, further west toward the A1, Noisy F#, Tent Packer, My Lil & Howard were soon on to the Trail with Port in tow as the Dust was picked up on a footpath that breaks off to the southwest. This narrower route made its way over toward the A1 to almost at the edge of the motorway where the original route of the footpath crosses over, however with Health & Safety these days there is a slight diversion available now, & the Hares opted for the sensible choice of Safety First.
Howard was spotted going off into the dense foliage of the tree line to scare the squirrels, right where an arch sits under the motorway, everyone else continued heading southward along the eastern treeline to the dual-carriageway to a point where a series of five more tunnels, with corrugated metal arches that support a concrete section, for Fliptop these looked like the Hash were running through an WWII Anderson Shelter.
Here the Trail passed through the middle arch, though for the taller members of the Hash they would have to stoop down to avoid a bump on the noggin.
A CHK was found on the western side of the A1, here Port went wrong as he searched down along the edge of the motorway, while Fliptop, Noisy, Tent Packer & Howard all picked up the Trail heading northwest on the farm track, where they would cross a small pack-bridge that spans the narrow non-navigable section of the River Ivel.
The Dust would now lead up on to the north-eastern corner of an nature reserve made up from the land that was used for gravel extraction & now open with lots of permissive paths. A CHK was found on the split in the path overlooking a small pond, the two options through the wild grassy area, head out west, or southward?
Here Noisy F#cker was impressed by the carpet of wild flowers to the south, a bright swathe of purple & white clover was enhanced with the yellow & white of Oxeye Daisies. No Eye Deer said to those gathered at the CHK that she should have told the Pods to bring Binoculars to look at the…. As Mr X jumped in with “Dogging?” well Pebbledash, nor Paxo, weren’t present & a she said to Howard “Someone has to lower the tone!”
No Eye Deer really meant to use binoculars to view the wildlife, as there are lots of bird life around this open area, including skylarks who were pretty loud serenading away to each other. Back to the Trail & the Keenies followed the Trail westward, as the serpentine desire line meandered it was way along before turning southward for a short way to a CHK point near to an information board.
The Falsie to the south was found by Pod1, while Mr X checked it out to the east but on his way through the clover & wild flowers he could see the SCB Pod of Roadkill, her daughter Amy, Crusty, Erin & Stella where being led toward him by Whatevershesays, but the SCB Pod all had to stop & say “Cheese!” as Kylie held his phone high up to get a selfie with the others in the background.
So, it was back to the CHK & back up to the old original Footpath leading over some 50 yards to Gypsy Lane, care was needed to get over the sometime busy lane to carry on the north-westerly direction, after some 300 yards on this straight as a die track between the crop fields, a CHK was located at the T-junction with a path that starts away to the south. As the Keenies Pod discovered Trail to the south, the Hare confessed to the RA that the plan was to continue on to the largest of the lakes in this area, but the two Hares deemed it to be too wet. So, all the decent Shiggy was missed!
Mr X was surprised that Slug & 3D were still up with the FRBs, he asked “Are you sure you know where you are?” in relation to being at the front of the Trail. After about 180 Yards along the edge of the drainage ditch between the crops, the Keenies Pod suddenly came to a halt at a possible Bar CHK, Fliptop looked lost & came back toward lead the rest toward the Hare, but it turns out that they had missed the Trail crossing over the ditch from the west field to the eastern one of the pair. The Pods made their way along by the ditch until reaching the eastern edge of Ash Covert, there the next CHK was found.
The choices here were to head westward along the bottom of the plantation, or head eastward above the top of the separate long plantation of ‘the Alcove’ beside the lake that was once a quarry. The doughy marks were found leading to the east, where, after 80 yards these turned the Hash southward between the plantation & the lake. This would now be a long unbroken tort of 350 yards before reaching the next CHK, only two choices now, southbound to the village of Broom or southeast along the bottom of the lake?
There was no going into Broom, keeping the Hash away from the Cock [Public House, Pebbledash! – Ed] as the Trail continued around the bottom of the lake before turning northward & up to a cutting in the tree-line along Gypsy Lane, an arrow pointed the way over narrow tarmac & through the corresponding tree-line to a CHK on a footpath running parallel to the north-south lane.
My Lil’ & Mr X arrived here & picked up Trail heading southward, for it seemed too early to head northward & back to Biggleswade. They were now surprised to find Howard, Port, Noisy F# & Tent Packer had all gone wrong & were now catching back up with them, all as they began to circumnavigate the fenced off area of rough uncultivated land with its bushes & lakes, looking over this area it could be seen that there were cattle on the eastern side of this enclosure keeping some of the wild plants at bay.
The Trail came along the southern edge & then onto a CHK at a crossroads of paths, to the south Southhill Lane that Tent Packer, Howard & Fliptop all searched to no avail, or to the north a farm track between the crops that My Lil looked along, but he didn’t get too far as the others came back & found dough on the eastbound path through the potato field, this route would change tack to go around Broom Grange, passing the hedges of dog-roses [The UK’s original native rose! – Ed] & out on to Southill Lane.
It looked as if the Pods were going to be take through Jordan’s Mill, home to healthy food production, founded by William Jordan in 1855 when he bought Eaton Ford Mill, since then each son (all named William) have taken up the reigns of Milling. It is now in the hands of William Jordan the Sixth.
However, the Pods weren’t going to be getting their oats today [Whey-hey Pebbledash! – Ed] as just by the old road bridge over the Ivel, the Trail turned northward & led up through to the wide hard-capped permissive path on the inside of the field & not on the old navigation towpath on the opposite side of the treeline.
This long stretch of the Trail led up for over 800 yards to a CHK by the end of the treeline & a fork where the choices were nor-nor-west to stay in the field, or nor-nor-east to head under the A1 where it spans the river Ivel. Under the main road it was, the floor of the cement path running beneath the concrete flyover was flooded, so the Trail had the Pods having to straddle the concrete blocks of the flood barrier, to make their way over the washed up spoil on the river bank, then coming back over at a far easier lower start of the concrete defence.
It was a nice trot along the towpath, after 120 yards the Trail moved to the western side of the hedgerow, leaving the narrower & partly overgrown towpath, now Tent Packer, Noisy F# managed to see the Dust moved over to the wider hard capped route, but Howard didn’t & he continue on along the tow path were there was no Dust. My Lil’ was convinced that Howard would come back as Mr X called “On!”, but it came as a shock that he didn’t.
A 420 Yards run on the cinder like track would be the last leg of the Trail before the On Inn, located back up by the Showmen’s Grounds, but as the RA passed the On Inn & turned back toward the Mill, here spotted Howard coming out of the Franklin Recreation Ground, Mr X then reckoned that Howard must be ‘Sludge’s Apprentice’ in sticking with a path with no Dust & not coming back to get back on the right Trail. [Could there be a Hash name coming? – Ed]
A simple case of crossing back over the Ivel, it’s time for a bit of History: The navigation was built upon this tributary of the Great Ouse, to allow waterway traffic from the Great Ouse & bring Coal from the Great Ouse Port of Kings Lynn, it was intended to run all the way down to Hitchin where the Hiz would be made in to a Navigation via Henlow, but the Navigation work only got as far as Shefford, then it suddenly closed in 1874 when a steam engine fell in the Navigation when the bridge near Jordon’s Mill collapsed. All of which was after the Railway was opened in 1850 & took away the need for the work to be completed & it was the end of the Navigation, incidentally Biggleswade was the first Bedfordshire town to get a mainline station.
Back on the Trail to retrace steps along Mill Lane to pass the Whistle & Flute. Pod 1 were back just on the hour mark! 3D & Slug had continued to Run & weren’t too far behind them, but they didn’t stay too long & headed off with Port before the walkers were back. On the downside the nearby Gunns’ bakery wasn’t open on Sunday’s, otherwise Mr X would have gone in & ordered a Clanger, its one place you can still get the Bedfordshire version of a farm labourer’s staple food, like a long pasty, these come with meat in one end of the pastry & a sweet at the other.
Last back was Sis, who went around with Teddy. Sadly our Newbie, Erin, couldn’t come in the Pub with Stella, as the resident pooches couldn’t be minded upstairs & were in the bar & the garden, the Landlord did apologies & hoped she wasn’t upset by this. So, she & Stella headed off, which was a shame but we shall meet up the following week. It was also decided that the book & the Circle would all happen the following week, especially after the false alarm of the Covid Self Isolation scare. Thankfully most of the Hash have access to Covid Lateral flow test. My Lil’ reckoned that TBT OBE was absent due to this & back home wrapped in cotton wool.
All in all the Hares were given a vote of “Great Trail!” that had some nice flora, ornithological life, as well as the bright blue damselflies on the grassland near the lakes. More importantly was that it was a No Eye Deer Trail where it didn’t rain!Erin would miss out on seeing Kylie’s eyes light up on his little face as he received a Railway locomotive calendar, the excitement of which was perhaps too much as he was later photographed as sleep in his chair, still wearing his Hash gear!