Run No. 1934
Sunday 1st August
Venue: Chez Paxo
Beers: Adnams Ghost Ship; Broadside;
Hash Hounds: 0
Overcast cloudy grey skies & it seemed that there could be more than a chance of Rain for the day, but nothing like the sharp suddenly downpours the day before, which happened after the Hare had been around once to set the Trail! So, Paxo had set out again this morning & having been around twice, he was not going around a third time & he roped Flying Solo in to Mark the Trail & be his ‘stand in Hare’ to mark the Trail & the CHKs for the back of the Pack.
Two early arrivals were My Lil’ & Mr X, Paxo was surprised at how early they were, as he then became befuddled when he learnt that they had in fact got the 395 Bus service to the road behind his, something Paxo was blissfully unaware of & the fact that it runs up Mount Ware, even in bleak deep snow-capped winters! [And him with a Bus Pass! – Ed]
While these two had time for a bottle of beer, it was now their time to be surprised to be asked if they had seen 2-1-2 Maureen on their way up? She was on her way from getting the 310 bus to the base of Mount Ware! However, she wasn’t on the connecting bus that climbs to the top of the summit. None of this caught My Lil’s attention, for he was more concerned that the Beer was too warm, he eventually coaxed Paxo into placing the bottles in to a bucket of cold water & also in the sink of water.
Fortunately for 2-1-2 Maureen TBT OBE was driving up & along the way he spotted her, so he stopped & offered her a lift! But he also had his push-bike for when he was going home, peddling back would allow him to do parts of the Trail & have a drink, then he would pick his car up in the morning. Another one with a bike was Rose, who left Hash Test Dummy to carry it through to the rear garden!
No Eye Deer & Whatevershesays arrived bearing gifts of home-made Coleslaw, Hash Test Dummy had brought along some rather nice freshly baked Turkish bread. Milf & Kylie then arrived, Roadkill & Howard were soon there as well & Pebbledash managed to walk all the way around from two doors down.
Soon the gathered Pack were ready for the off, Rose let the RA know that “Mummy says you can give me a Hash name today!” but first Paxo had to explain that he was not going to go around the Trail as he had been around twice & due to knee deep Shiggy & torrents of flood water, instead he was going to get the Barbeque ready. He had a stand by, & after she had finished her stretching exercises, Flying Solo was handed a bag of flour & some pavement chalks.
Paxo said that the Trail started out to the right & down Parnel Road, however there was no sign of any markings for quite away, Flying Solo was now worried as she had chalked arrows over the junction with Jubilee Avenue & this was not the correct route? Finally Mr X spotted Dust by a lamppost over on the eastern side of Tower Road from the T-junction. Now the Trail was pretty easy to follow as it was freshly laid, it now led on down Beechfield road for just a short way to Cozens Road to cross straight over to a CHK.
Mr X, My Lil’ & Fliptop thought of previous Trails from Chez Paxo, they concluded the most likely way he would have gone, or so they thought, was down to Beacon Road & into Beacon Park that lays at the end of the short Cul-de-sac. Just as they reached the footpath through to the Park a call of “On! On!” could be heard from back on Cozens’ Road.
Having made their way back they could see No Eye Deer marking the CHK, while Flying Solo was marking the way up ahead, with Howard, Road Kill, Hash Test Dummy, Rose, Tent Packer, Milf, Whatevershesays, No Eye Deer, Canny Cant, Gen & Tonic & Kylie all following on for the 200 yards or so as the suburban street curved around to the northwest. The Trail led on by two side streets before the Keenies arrived at Elder Road, here the Trail headed northward along the tree-lined footpath running between the fields & paddocks of the local stables & up to Fanhams Hall Road.
My Lil & Mr X arrived at the edge of the lane to find everyone was searching to the east, but these two knew better as they decided to search to the west, just as they set off Mr X spotted fresh flour, overlooked by the others, it was leading to the west, so “On!” was called to bring the others back on Track as it was just a few yards to the footpath heading almost northward down through the crop fields.
There was plenty of Shiggy on the surface of the footpath down through the crop fields, but it was not that deep as the path led on to where it ends at a T-junction with a northeast-southwest path beside a drainage ditch in the bottom of the farmed valley.
At the CHK there Mr X went wrong as he headed away to the northeast, as he turned back he saw to his left Pebbledash & Roadkill coming down to the CHK, then as he passed by the CHK he spotted something to his right on a farm vehicle crossing over the ditch. He glance over to see a figure just disappear out of sight around the bend in the tree lined track. Quite often the RA reads reports of bewildered elderly folk getting lost in the countryside, escaping from Maximum Security Twilight Homes & the Emergency Services have to be called out to search for them.
So, Mr X now decided to peel off from the correct route to see if this was an OAP in distress? He left the footpath & the Trail down to the southeast that runs behind Ware Youth Football Club’s grounds & down to the solitary black & white timbered cottage at the start of the drive to Round House.
The mystery figure ahead followed the route through the long grass on the way up to a wooded path, as the RA stalked his prey, he got nearer to the figure to see that it was none other than Sludge, who was obviously expecting the Trail to go down to the cottage & then back up to the tree lined route he was now on. Sludge would be disappointed as there was no Dust along this way!
Sludge turned to the southwest as he now hoped that the Trail may go on to the northbound path behind Round House & on to Moles Farm way up on the hill, the farm is pretty noticeable from a distance with its water tower that stands out, but it wouldn’t!
Mr X now caught up with Sludge, he too was hoping that the Pack would be coming up the main route to Moles Farm, sadly when he reached the intersection there was no sign of a CHK or any Dust! A turn to a sou-sou-east course led back down to the old by-way the others had been on, then it was a turn to the southwest & out to the tarmac lane by the cottage at the start of the drive to Round House.
Sludge was about to find that the RA’s following him would now have one benefit at a CHK on the edge of the drive. This had been marked to the east by Paxo, where a there was a drop down to the stream which hardly had the raging torrents of rain water the Original Hare had warned of? It had also been marked on the other path over the water course that joins it.
While Mr X didn’t have a problem with the Trail leading in to the park to the west, Sludge was having confusing issues as he found Dust on a path going over the stream & when he saw it on the other path he began to doubt the RA! Eventually Sludge was saved from going around & around the two paths that both had Dust on! Mr X called Sludge “On!” so he could break his hamster wheel circles.
The Trail stuck with the southern, bottom end of the park of a gentle hillside of wild grasses, 250 yards on & the Trail came out of the park on to urban street of Kingsway. Straight over the road & the Trail now lead into Wooden Park, a long parkland with trees that has the Upper Bourne running through it.
By now Mr X & Sludge would have thought that they would have caught the SCBs,? There was no sign of any of the others of the Pack! Crossing in to the Park these two questioned themselves, surely they hadn’t ‘Sludged-it’ that far off Trail to be so astray? Had they missed part of the Trail out? Who knows?
Not to be perturbed they carried on into the Park in a southwestern direction down to the end where the Dust arrived at a CHK by a footbridge over the stream, the RA peered down at the little trickle of a steam with a solitary abandoned Heineken bottle in it & wondered where the raging torrents of water the Hare had talked of actually where?
By the time Sludge & Mr X arrived at the play area the rest of the Keenies had moved on from playing on the rustic playground furniture, which included a swing with a rope seat that was large enough to tie up the Titanic, that was something Howard enjoyed having a play on, while Milf preferred the Spider web of a rope climbing frame!
As Mr X & Sludge split to search for Trail they seemed to lose the Dust, nothing up toward Milton Way & as they came back to regroup, a friendly local who was out with her granddaughter in the fenced off kids area, informed them “The Others ran that way!” A bit of luck at last as they took to the alleyway that runs between the back of the homes on Milton Road & Orchard Close.
There was no Dust to start with, then after a few yards it was found on the 200 Yards down to emerge out on to The Bourne, a residential side road, where a CHK had already been marked through to the corner with the Wadesmill Road. With this section of Trail freshly marked, Sludge & Mr X knew that they were now behind the Runners of the Pack, surely they still couldn’t be that far behind?
Once down to the roundabout at the northern end of Ware High Street, they passed by the Bulls Head [Mmm Theakston’s Old Peculier! – Ed] & just after Ware to Eat [Mmm bacon! – Ed] they pulled themselves away from such tempting earthly delights & crossed over at the lights, it was here that Mr X spotted Kylie just up & about to go around the first curve in the High Street.
Kylie was soon out of sight as he turned off on to Priory Street to the west, the other two began to run to try & catch up, following the road turned to the northwest as it led by the public Priory Park, then the local Lido as it arced on way & then the other like a snake to take the Hash by the Glaxo Smith Kline buildings, where it had The Union Flag & a Pride Rainbow Flag flying outside. The day before was apparently ‘Pride Day’.
Kylie & then No Eye Deer were seen heading southward to take to the series of bridges linking Priory Street to the western end of Fletcher’s Lea Island of the Priory Gardens, with the River Lea flowing on either side of it. The Trail crossed the canal Lock for the Lea Navigation for narrow boats travelling to Hertford, then on to the next bridge at an offset angle over the weir to come out on to the southern side of the River Lea.
Here there were two Held CHKs, one on the bridge & the other was by a bench just aside of the bridge. While Whatevershesays, No Eye Deer, Milf, Kylie, Flying Solo, Fliptop, Howard, Tent Packer, Rose & Hash Test Dummy were all waiting for the back markers to arrive, we were still missing Road Kill & Pebbledash, however there was no sign of My Lil’, the RA knew where he was as he had already heard a call of “On! On!” from the riverbank to the east, it was My Lil’!
With no sight or sound of the SCBs, some of the Keenies were eager to get on with the Trail, the time was heading toward the quarter hour & the thought of a barbeque on the go was too much for them! [They would be disappointed when they got back, but more on that later! – Ed] So, off went Mr X, Tent Packer & Fliptop, who had been down the Falsie toward Hertford, all went off along the bank side path, the going was slowed up in places, as the Pack had to avoid kids out walking with their families, dog walkers, cyclists all taking up the narrow room.
The Trail kept to this path of the Lea Valley Walk to reach the next CHK by another bridge crossing the River Lea Navigation, Mr X went up the ramp to search northward on Burgage Lane on the other side of the waterway, this road derives its name from the old name for a burgh (as in Edinburgh) an area of land that was held by payment of crops or rent to the local Lord or King, in Scotland it was always the King.
Mr X was quickly called back by Fliptop as Milf called “On!” from the east as the Trail stuck with the southern bank. There were plenty of waterfowl to see on the navigation, one family were feeding the coots, Fliptop said that they could get sun-burnt as the Sun was now shining, Mr X reminded him that they saying is “As bald as a coot!” so Fliptop removed his Hash Hat as it to acknowledge this.
The Trail now lead up to the Amwell End road, where there would be a loop down toward the railway crossing to the south, fortunately having run by the various shops they found that the Trail didn’t cross the tracks, instead it took to Station Road & up to Viaduct Road, where it would turn westward to come back down by the navigation & on back to the junction at the North end of Amwell Road.
My Lil’ led the way to run on around by the front of the Waterside Inn, formerly the Navigator amongst other names it has been called, he was closely followed by Howard. Those passing by the front of the Pub were glad to see that Sparky was not stuck like a blue-bottle in the double doors that are only used as a Fire Escape, these are kept shut in order to prevent people spilling out on to the busy street junction.
Suddenly Mr X & Fliptop were seen on the other side of the street, seems that they had ‘Sludged it’ over the roundabout junction. They were soon berated by the rest on the southern side of the street where the Trail was, their claims of ‘Checking’ were ‘pooh-poohed’ by the rest!
The Trail led on down Star Street, passing by the now closed & up for sale Victoria Pub, Fliptop commented “There’s another one gone!” he then added “It look like the Countryman may be shut for good!” to which Mr X replied “Did you know the Nags Head is shut?” in reference to Fliptop’s infamous Trail he set from there about 25 years ago, they day after it closed for good & the Landlord literally gave away his stock to be drunk by the customers for free!
The Dust continued for another 500Yards & the Trail was not turning off. TBT OBE now went flying by on his bike, shouting “On! On!” which left those who he’d cycled by all thinking the same thing, that was that he should keep his mind on where he was steering & avoid the traffic, parked cars & other obstacles rather than trying to make the others jump!
The time had gone by opening time, so a breakaway group decided to take to Vicarage Road, though Flying Solo carried on marking the Trail & she tried to encourage them to cross over & join her in doing the whole route, the ‘gang of four’ were not tempted & off on Vicarage Road they went. They also know that if the Trail went on the B1004 Widbury Hill Road it would be a long loop of an extra Mile!
While the others continued along further eastward, the gang of four made their way up a series of back streets to cut through King George’s Field, on the way Tent Packer raised a conversation about aching body parts amongst them [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed] as Mr X admitted his knee & his foot were giving him gip by now, then Sludge, Fliptop & Tent Packer mentioned their ankle, knees etc respectively, when My Lil’ was asked if he had anything that ached, he simply replied with “Everything!”
The Keenies would now cross over & leave the Widbury Hill Road, to head up behind a farm to take to a series of Farm Tracks to the east of Ware, this was a long loop & it would keep the FRBs out for a lot longer, though Milf stopping to have a go on a swing between the trees would eat away at the time as well.
TBT OBE would now get his legs covered in Shiggy as he cycled through the water logged track, he would eventually leave these ruts to come out on to Cozens Road & then cutting through a side street to Cromwell Road & the On Inn. Still, there was no need to have rushed as there was no smell of any charcoals alight, at least My Lil’ could have a cool beer as they had been in the bucket of cold water for well over an hour!
Yes, it seems that the original Hare had spent his time with his feet up, there was no food on the go, he even had Pebbledash, Roadkill, Mrs Mallet, Flanders & 2-1-2 Maureen there who should have kept him on his toes! Pebbledash had to leave early to go to work, but at least she had brought Paxo the Finesse Range of Burgers. In the end it was worth the wait for the food, as Fliptop assisted Paxo with the three barbeques on the go, the small disposable one being for the veggies & faketerians amongst our ranks.
After the First round of food there was rain, chairs were moved under the gazebo, though Milf failed to notice that Mr X’s jacket one was left partly outside, after getting it back for the rest of the day he would have a damp shoulder.
The Turkish bread brought along by Hash Test Dummy was really heavenly & went well with the sausages & burgers & there was plenty of it before we eventually got around to the sweets!
Time for the Down-Downs & the Hares & Host, Stand in Hare were called forward; TBT OBE was out for his Bashing it around the Trail on is bike & getting covered in the most Shiggy; Sludge for ‘care in the community’ & go astray on Trail. Rose was named & her Hash name from now on is Supertrouper, one that suits her singing & acting ability!It was a good Trail & a good barbeque