Run No. 1933
Sunday 25th July 2021
Venue: Attimore Hall
Beers: Dooombaar; UBU Purity
Location: Welwyn Garden City
Hare/s: My Lil’
At Finsbury Park: 1
Hash Hounds: 0
Membership: InterHashtional Rescue
For the few days before this Trail the weather forecast was not promising, threats of flash floods & thunderstorms must have kept the majority of the usual regulars at home, or was it because there was no barbecue to gorge on after the Trail? Or was there an outbreak of Plantar Fasctiitis preventing them hobbling around?
Anyhow, there was only a light precipitation in the air as the Pack arrived at Toad Hall, as the Attimore Hall is jokingly known by the locals, however, as time came around to the hour the small Pack were coaxed out from under the shelter of the car park’s tree canopy as the RA had managed to weave his magic & the rain had ceased, it was nothing more than miraculous!
the second week with an absence of GMs, Mr X welcomed My Lil’, Waragi, Hash Test
Dummy, Rose, Paxo, Milf, Kylie, Mother & Lemming to the Hash, with the correct
Run number I may add! Then the Hare was introduced, some may have also had
suspicions that knowledge of this week’s Hare for this Trail may have
deterred a few as well, but the Hare reassured the nervy Pack that there were
Short Cuts, which came as some relief to Mr X after the previous day’s
shenanigans at the Christmas Shed Party with the F.U.K. Full Moon H3.
The Hare marked the way, as if there was going to be a late comer it would be Noisy F#, who due to train delays through the Pingdemic meant she boarded the wrong Trail when the Fast One came in before the delayed Stopping service at Hitchin, there are only 3 minutes between the Train times. Mr X had already been to Welwyn Garden City Station to meet Noisy F# but with her going beyond WGC to Finsbury Park, she told him to go to the Hash & she would try & catch up later.
It was a southbound start down the Ridgeway, but it wasn’t too far until the Trail peeled off to the left as it headed into the strip of woodland to the east, soon the Hash were making their way to the southeast between the trees, with Lemming & Milf leading the way to the CHK. While these three searched the southern option, Mr X & Waragi searched to the east on National Cycle Route 61, with Mr X’s instinct paying off as this was the correct route, which led into a small elongated park with a play area.
The arrows led some 350 Yards to the eastern corner entrance, along the way Mr X spotted Mother taking a short cut across the grass & not following the winding path’s longer route to come out on to Black Fan Road, its name is derived from a local Farm that is now long gone. The Trail stuck with the South eastern Cycleway/Footpath running along the south-western edge of Black Fan Road.
The RA noticed that Mother was happy to run along the Cycleway section of the wide path, while Milf & he stuck with the right-hand side that was a different colour tarmac to distinguish between pedestrians & cyclists. Thankfully for Mother there was no one out on a bike to make her move to the correct side for the next 470 Yards before the Pack were directed by a set of double arrows into the woodland to the left.
Mr X now caught up with Milf & Mother, for they had stopped to say hello to a young puppy, who was full of beans as he was out for a walk with a family, once by this happy furry hold up the route would lead for less than 100 Yards on a meandering desire line to the west side of the wood, emerging out on to the green of Holywell Hyde.
The Trail now crossed over Cole Green Lane & a CHK was found by the old Holywell Hyde Lane, while Mr X went wrong searching back up toward Black Fan Road, Mother, Milf, Waragi & Lemming fared far better as they found the Trail down the wooded Holywell Hyde Lane. On his way back to the CHK, Mr X was passed by Kylie & the Hare as a Short Cut was now being marked from where he had been, with the Hare promising Kylie a look at the old Railway branch-line from Hertford to Welwyn Garden City!
While Kylie’s gate was now hampered by the thought of going on to a former railway line, Mr X’s attempts a trying to catch up were hampered when Noisy F# txt him to ask if the Pack had left, then when she found they had set off she let him know that she was now going to head straight home to Hitchin & was going to give today’s Trail a miss. All of which meant the RA was going to fall further behind the other FRBs, he last glimpse of which was Lemming breaking off temporarily to scare the squirrels!
900 Yards to try & claw back lost ground in an effort to catch up lay ahead for Mr X, but then he went wrong as the Dust seemed to vanish, which had him taking a peek out between two of the homes on Thistle Grove, as that’s where he last saw Lemming on that side.
More time was wasted & when he finally returned to the long old lane as it left the western edge of Welwyn Garden City, Dust was found on the tree-line with Holywell Hyde Lake hidden behind to the east, then once around an elongated S-bend, beyond the small car-park at the end of the tarmac section, arrows pointed the way off of the wide track.
Dust could be seen over the fallow land, it was situated on the white marker post in the hedgerow, but once through to the larger expanse of fallow fields, some of which was reclaimed from Landfill, Mr X arrived there was no sign of the other FRBs, nor any SCB’s either.
The Dust was now pretty sparse, Mr X struggled to find any Dust, combining this with a lack of calling from anyone ahead of him but at least the silence meant he could hear the birds tweeting away! A field searched to the south, then the north before he eventually gave up & decided that he would just short cut over the undulating ground in the most direct option to the old railway’s route.
After a convoluted 630 Yards through long wild grasses, with lots of black & white butterflies & other insects moving out of his way, to eventually reach an old section of hard-core track. When he finally came out to the former branch line behind the large grey edifice of the new recycling centre, he was disappointed to see that arrows were pointing the way along this to the south-east on the Cole Green Way, he realised he had now taken a long-cut!
Now realising his mistake, it wasn’t the way he was expecting but he plodded on but with so much time & distance wasted he knew he was going to struggle to even catch up with Kylie! It was a long 720m Yards until he reached the Next CHK, this was now marked with an arrow for the long Trail runners, & an SC for the short cut to carry on along the tarmac along the western edge of Great Captain Wood.
Missing out the long trail anti-clockwise [That’s Counter Clockwise to our American Cousins! – Ed] loop back out into the fallow land & around behind the Cole Green Recycling Centre (The local Tip) Mr X took the 500 yards quicker of the two options up over a rise in the old line’s route, then on down to the underpass beneath the A414,
Here some of the Pack managed to get a group Photo with the brilliant graffiti on the walls of the underpass, the Halloween images being very good. With the Long & Short Trails meeting, Waragi & Hash Test Dummy met up & changed who was running along with Rose.
Out on the opposite side of the A414 a CHK was found up on the former Railway line where the Old Coach Road bisects it, the Trail was picked up once more to the northeast on what was the original ‘Hatfield Road’ before the By-pass replaced it.
The weather was still pretty sultry & it was a long 660 Yard on the hedged-in route that still had old cats eyes in its centre, three quarters of the way further on & the Trail passed through a set of metal gates to restrict access to this by-way, then it was on through to the lane’s end by the few cottages to the west of Cole Green, where it joins Birchall Lane.
At this Junction the Trail would cross over the ‘Old Coach Road’ as it is now named, & over to the dead end of Panshanger Lane, after 300 Yards on what is now just a farm access track, the Pack were on to a wooden fenced-in chicane around narrow path at its end, obviously this in place to safely bring them to the edge of A414 Dual Carriage Way.
A mad dash over to the island in the central reservation, another sprint was needed to reach the outside corner of south-western tip of Panshanger Park, here there were two options, one was north-east on the path that rises above the A414 but this was to be false. The right route was to head nor-nor-west along by the padlocked closed gates to the landfill site entrance, so there was now a short bit of road running down Panshanger Lane, which doesn’t see much traffic these days.
As Mr X trotted along this section he caught glimpse of something to his right in the undergrowth to the fenced off High Grove Wood at the western edge of the Panshanger Park, on a second look it was a small deer. It was when it moved its head that he noticed it was stuck between two of the wooden fence stakes. It couldn’t have been there too long, & for sure it wasn’t anyone in the Pack ahead of Mr X calling out that would have scared it, as he hadn’t heard a peep out the rest of the Hash since way back on Holywell Lane!!
Mr X backed off & tried to find a suitable RSPCA number, but its seems these are all to do with Animal abuse, so, as it didn’t seem to be in any distress, he approached it again & using sheer brute-strength broke the wooden stays. [No doubt he’ll get a bill for the damage? – Ed] He lifted the deer up, & it was still really calm, perhaps it was just as well it was only rescued by one of the Pack & not surrounded by them.
The deer was pretty heavy & felt healthy when he lifted it up, then once on its feet it took a couple of leaps in to the undergrowth, then stopped & looked back at the RA. But as soon as he got his camera out to take a picture as evidence the ungrateful sod trotted off, hopefully the rest of the herd weren’t too far away & it picked up their scent.
With Bambi off to find Thumper, Mr X continued with the Trail, a few yards further down the lane & arrows pointed the way over to the western hedgerow, where a footpath starts heading out on a long straight trot to the south-eastern corner of Birchill Wood, it was rather pleasant in the cool of being under the Tree canopy! Here a CHK was found, again there was another short option available, with the Trail heading northward into the plantation, whereas the short-cut was further westward.
Both Trails would head toward the south-western corner of Moneyhole Lane Park, from the end of the Park the Trail would now take to one of the many cycleway/footpaths that criss-cross the Panshanger area. As Mr X made his way from Dalewood to one of the longest back passages in the area, he didn’t think he’d see any other Hashers until he reached the On Inn, however he would be mistaken.
Having crossed Sylvian Way the fenced-in passage way continued behind the back to back rear gardens, around 350 Yards along this route Mr X then became aware for a runner behind him, it was none other than Hash Test Dummy, who had gone wrong back in Moneyhole woods & was completely bamboozled. He was quite pleased to find that he was now back on Trail as they reached Panshanger Drive at the end of the 500 yards.
The Trail crossed over, then it just as quickly changed direction from North to west, cutting through a small green space to take to Panshanger Drive. Mr X was happy now as he knew the area & that the Trail could head back to the roundabout where Morrison’s sits off of, if it didn’t he was still going to ‘Sludge’ it & take that route.
As the two walked along the dirt path by the road’s edge, up ahead they saw two figures & they soon realised that they were Mother & Milf coming back from the alleyway behind the school ground of Sir Fred’s (Fredrick Osbourne School) after 300 Yards they too reached the CHK that had caught Milf & Mother out, to follow on to the roundabout & then off on the nor-nor-west Black Fan Road.
After simply crossing the road at the lights, it was a short trot back up to the Ridgeway & the On Inn. Almost all of the Hash were back at the On Inn, ahead of Mr X & Hash Test Dummy, they were found sitting outside to start with. Later there was a change to sitting in the conservatory as most of the Pack had lunch.
However, Mr X soon discovered that those who were trying to use CAMRA vouchers & were shocked that they weren’t being taken! It’s quite simple, normally ‘Spoons & Stonegate Pubs accept the voucher scheme, while Greede King & others Pub Co Chains give a 20 pence off a pint if you show your CAMRA Card – it is not Rocket Science! There was even a large notice on one of the Pubs pillars by the Bar explaining they offered a discount if cards were shown!
As the Pack relocated to the Conservatory, they were then joined by Zing-along-a-max, who was going to have a pint, then go around the Trail, so before he set off he was warned that some of the Trail would be hard to find, especially if he did the whole Trail, so he was shown a map on Mr X’s mobile of that section. Hopefully he made it around in one piece & didn’t get lost, or stuck in between two fence stakes?
Down-Downs were put off until Paxo’s Barbeque Trail. Paxo was keen to find out if Zing-a-long-a-max was going to his place for the following week’s Trail, when Zing-along-a-max said he wasn’t going, Paxo said he could now cut his lawn!
Zing-along-a-max was now in Sparky mode, as he suggested that the scribe ads more detail in distance & features so a Trail could still be followed suing the R*n report in the future, long after the Hash Markings had gone [rather like part of today’s Trail! –Ed] However, this would be too much for some, who admit they find it hard to read the Trash, which is surprising as they have loads of time with their feet up at the moment.
This was not the only veggie related wise crack going around the tables, it was mainly a recurring joke about Limes & Mother’s reaction to Lemming’s normal antics!