Run No. 1932
Sunday 18th July 2021
Venue: Chez Flying Solo
Beers: Hobgoblin Ruby; Shepard Neame Bishops Finger (The Nun’s delight!)
Location: Letchworth Garden City
Hare/s: Flying Solo, Elizabeth & Isobel
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: Basking in the sun
As it always is in Blighty when the warm weather arrives there’s not much of build up with the heat, its straight into the top end of the old thermometer & so it was for today’s Trail, blazing sun & temperatures hitting 29°C by midday on Sunday.
This day would see the return of Sparky, after last being seen well before lock-down, then we had Flying Solo’s neighbours making their debut as this week’s Virgins. Sparky had previously expressed concerns in an email that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the walking Pod, he needn’t have worried as Skip & Little Hole would be there this day to keep him company on the way around.
Two of the early arrivals managed to stop off at the local ‘spoons, the RA being in need to use up his CAMRA vouchers before they pass their sell-by date, something that even Sparky couldn’t use. Hashers en route had to negotiate the 4-way roadworks at a nearby roundabout before arriving at the venue. Mr X was heard to be guffawing away as he reached Chez Flying Solo, for there was a large CHK point right outside which cheered him up.
Much to My Lil’s further distain the start on the hour was delayed as some, like Noisy F where just arriving & needed to drop off bags. Finally, Time came around to the start of the Trail, Mr X carried out the welcome to the Herts Hash, in absence of any GM’s! after the Hares had carried out the introductions of Virgins Kate, Leon, Farrah & Layla, then Flying Solo mentioned the colour coded Short Cuts being marked in Green chalk, it was time to move on.
My Lil’s was off & straight over the road, he refused to come back for the mandatory group-photo Milf wanted to take in Kylie’s absence. My Lil’ had distanced himself from the CHK & searched up to Eastern Way, which was away in a northerly direction, its name comes from the fact it runs on the eastern edge of The Grange Estate which began life in 1952.
The start was slow one, in the heat it took most a while to get into their stride, the exception being the girls on their bikes as they formed a peloton as the road bends to the northeast, the Trail now reached the First Split of the Trail with green arrows & Short Trail pointing the way on a footpath to the east, the rest would follow the Peloton on the Long Trail up on to Northfields in a north-westerly direction to reach a CHK by Whitehicks.
After 330 Yards on the dead straight side street, the Keenies Pod of Tent Packer, Noisy F#, Milf, Our Virgins of Kate, Leon, Farrah & Layla, the Hare & the Peloton, followed by no Eye Deer & finally Mr X as the Trail turned left to head up to the entrance of the Grange Recreation Ground, where the next CHK was found. Here Mr X went wrong as he headed to the east, he was called back by the rest, who had now picked up the Trail on the western edge of the recreation Ground.
Meanwhile the other Short Trail Pods were heading off from the cut-through onto the corner of Croft Lane, where the likes of Hash Test Dummy, Rose, Paxo, Sludge, Pebbledash, Whatevershesays, Flanders who were then followed on by Sparky, Skip & Little Hole, they would be led by My Lil’ through the end of the old orchard to reach a north bound footpath through the fields of wild grasses on either side. This would be a long dusty track just off of due north, it was a 1,000 Yards until they would see the Keenies when the two Trails would join again.
Now beyond the skate park in the northern corner of the recreation ground & the Keenies would now take to another of the light brown dusty tracks to the north of the First Garden City, this area was designated to be the Agricultural area of Ebenezer Howard’s ‘Agricultural Belt’ which was a precursor to the 1935 Metropolitan Green Belt proposal & the 1947 Town & Country Planning Act. It is an area that is still under threat by developers & the local heritage groups are trying their best to protect it.
After continuing on for another 230 Yards a CHK was found by the T-junction where the Track ends on one with hedgerows on either side. It didn’t take the Keenies too long to find the correct route away to the southeast.
Mr X was now feeling his left shin was aching, too much compensation for the other leg, this left him seemingly getting further behind as he had to stop to do some stretching exercises. No Eye Deer looked back & stopped as she thought Mr X was collapsing being bent over, before he had rid himself of the cramp like pain & stood up straight to continue.
Mr X did see a guy in red shirt over disappear into a gap in the distant hedgerow to the north, he initially thought it was My Lil’ leading the SCB’s, although he was tempted, thankfully he didn’t ‘Sludge it’ over to the hedgerow in the north, as he would discover later that the Trail wouldn’t go that way & it wasn’t My Lil’!
The Keenies & the Peloton Pack disappeared into the cloud of dust some 140 Yards ahead of the RA on the dry old farm-track as it now turned to the northeast, then it was another couple of hundred more to head over to the Norton Road, where a few yards from the track’s end the Short Trail joined the Trail. With the others already out of sight, Mr X arrived just as Whatevershesays joined the main Trail, with Paxo & Pebbledash behind him.
There was a slight delay in crossing the road, as there was not only cars to contend with, but cyclists coming from the other side of the road. Care was taken & everyone crossed safely as the Trail took to the path as it continued easterly through the southern end of the Radwell Wood, there was now some shade & very welcome it was but it didn’t last long enough as the track left the wood & now only had hedges on either side.
After 300 Yards the Path changed direct by a few degrees further to the southeast, there the Trail abruptly changed direction to lead off of the dusty stony path to take to a meandering path through the long uncut wild grass, then there was a bit of most welcome shade as the route made its way through Radwell Meadows Country Park, some of the Hash recalled this from one of the Herts Weekend’s as the Beer Stop was staged there many years ago.
Other would recall the area for the car park with its automatic rising bollard that comes up in the evenings to prevent the area being used by Doggers, seriously this place had a bit of a reputation a couple of years ago! Out through the car park entrance & arrows pointed the way down Nortonbury Lane to the elbow by the entrance to the local black wooden panelled Stables.
It was on this farm track by Nortonbury Spa & Events venue that the Held CHK was found, here there was a sweetie stop [First one we have had for what seems like ages! – Ed] this was done with covid compliance on what was ‘Freedom Day Eve’ though many still believe that there could be issues arising in the future, but let’s make the best of what we’ve got & stay sensible. Though there were no humbugs for Whatervershesays & My Lil’!
Here the Pods could hear about Hash Test Dummy’s recent parachute jump, Mr X add that he was tempted to reply to Hash Test Dummies Farcebook page with a “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” but it didn’t seem apt. Waragi was away this week, she was taking part in a charity Run
Pebbledash & Paxo managed to get themselves by the former notorious ‘Dogging Spot’, with Pebbledash claiming that there was no rising bollard for her & she must be dog something wrong? With just Sparky, Little Hole & Skip still to arrive, the senior Hare pointed out that there was another break in the Trail, with Milf leading the Keenies away to the east on a wide light gravel path that heads over toward the A1(M), as she set off Milf was told by Flying Solo that if she was first back where she could find the beers!
The Keenies Pod of Milf, Tent Packer, Noisy F# now headed away around a series of Paddocks to the west of the Motorway running by the edge of Baldock, where the prominent Steeple of St Mary’s could be seen from quiet away, then crossing the Norton Road, they would make their way clockwise around a further two larger fields, it would be an extra 1.2 Miles for them out in the sun.
The Shorter Trail runners were warned that the first bit of their next section was actually Private land! Something that TBT OBE would have loved if he had been there. It was only a short way to reach where the footpath proper runs up through the wood from the lane.
Cool shade from the trees was brief as the SCB Pods made their way up behind the trees above the old Nortonbury Lane before dropping down onto its footpath, here the Dust led up & over the Norton Road T-junction. Spurred on with knowledge passed on to Milf as to where the Beers were, this could have briefly clouded Mr X & My Lil’s judgement? For both Mr X & My Lil’ went wrong as they thought that the Trail would head beyond the old wooden gate & up through the meadow to the northeast of St Nicholas Church at Norton.
However, local knowledge saved them as Mr X choose the footpath that runs from the end of the short Church Lane & out around behind a cottage to get back ‘On Trail’ on the southwest found footpath through the long grass of the fenced off by-way above the crop fields. This right of way would also keep the Pack safely away from the Three Horseshoe at Norton, which was just about to open its doors.
After 150 yards the long Trail joined the short Trail, this would eventually become a footpath alleyway running from above the allotments, then the new builds & finally the established older homes to the south of Norton, eventually the Dust led the Pods put on to Green Lanes, on the junction with Norton Road where the ‘mock Tudor’ black & white former Post-office is, here both white & green arrows pointed the way up to & over the junction to take the south-western section of the road back into the centre of Letchworth.
Along the 750m Yards remaining of Norton Road heading back into the established suburban streets of Letchworth, there was one last CHK by Casio Lane to the north, Mr X reckoned that the ‘On Inn’ could be that way, but he was saved from checking it out the wrong way as Elizabeth spilt the beans as to the correct way to go, considering it was the last CHK of the Trail the kids had done pretty well not to give the game away before!
The last leg of the suburban street would lead up to the On Inn just below Eastholme Green, this would actually be the short option, so Mr X was happy not to have gone wrong one last time in the heat. Needless to say that those at the front of the Hash were now overtaken by the Peloton on the way back to Chez Flying Solo.
Thankfully shaded seats were a plenty, as well as boxes of Ales Flying Solo was getting out, & a quality selection it was! Trashes were handed out, as the Pods came back in, Mrs Mallet joined the Hash, so did the late arriving Sparerib who looked like he had been running the whole Trail on this sultry day, even though he only did a part of it!
When Paxo arrived back he soon donned his pinafore to start the barbeque, man vs fire or Mrs Beaton? Very good the food was too, upmarket enough to have Asparagus & there was plenty of it to go around. Though Sparky’s cheese biscuits, that were over a year beyond their sell by date, were safely put out of the reach of Children & Sozzled Hashers alike!
In all it was an excellent day, with the Hares being rewarded for an excellent Trail, with Elizabeth & Isobel receiving their (late) ‘10 Run Bum-bags’ [Our Haberdasher is working on new ones for the rest who are coming up or surpassed that number of H4 Trails! – Ed] other Down-Downs went to our Virgins
Then there was time for some to play on Flying Solo’s sit-down tractor, before Tent Packer & Sludge decided to play Lewis Hamilton which led to it stalling & getting flooded!!
COVID 19 UPDATE
Although restrictions in England have been lifted, it has come to our attention that some venues can legally require you to prove you have had both Jabs of the Covid Vaccine before you get any service. (The first Pub in Norwich for Friday 13th is insisting on proof)
Please carry your Covid Vaccination card with you in case you need to show it for a beer in a Pub, or download the NHS COVID Pass App (This is not the Track & Trace app) so you can have it on your mobile as well.
You will also be required to still wear a mask on some Train & Bus company’s Services