Run No. 1936

Sunday 16th August

Venue: The Two Willows

Beers: London Pride, Dooombar, Adnams Broadside

Location: Welwyn Garden City

Hare/s: Mr X

Runners: 11

Virgins: 0

Visitors: 0

Newies: 0

Après: 0                                                                             

Hash Hounds: 0

Total: 11

Membership: Where Town meets Country


            For some of today’s Pack this would be their 4th Hash Trail in as many days, starting with Friday 13th Part 50, through to the Saturday’s Black Shuck Trail to the Green Dragon Brewery, then the Sunday recovery Trail & now this one.  After all of that Hashing they weren’t looking too bad.

            The Pack gathered outside the Two Willies (As it’s known locally) to be entertained by watching Kylie plugging his car in to one of the two charging points & how happy he was when the LEDs all turned from Red to Green, though no one understood when the other socket’s LEDs then turned Blue?

            With Fliptop leaving it late to arrive, as he took the Train this day, the Pack would have a GM on hand to do the welcoming speech.  The Hare stepped forward & there were those, like Skip, who were happy to hear that there were Short Cuts, plenty of Short Cuts, then he added that the Trail started off over by the new Statue of Sir Ebenezer Howard the founding father of Letchworth & Welwyn Garden Cities, the first in the world.

            As Tent Packer passed by the bronze (looking) statue of Sir Ebenezer, who holds a shovel in one hand & in the other he has his removed bowler hat, he noticed the comparison to him looking like Mr Pastry  [Who? I hear you kids ask?  You have to be of a certain age to know of this old British Comedian from days gone by! – Ed]

The Trail now crossed over to the Parkway, reaching the west side of the long green space that runs through the centre of the town.  The Trail headed sou-sou-west to the junction with Church Road, there a CHK was found.  Milf crossed over the Pelican Crossing back to the green, while Des Res searched further along Parkway, but both were wrong as Tent Packer, Sludge & Fliptop found the Trail beyond St Francis of Assisi Church to the end of the short western section of Church Road, to where it joins Guessens Road.

The road turns from sou-sou-west to west in a large arc until it reaches the crossroads with Handside Lane, an old road that predates the Garden City, a CHK was found here.  While Fliptop headed sou-sou-west down toward the 1922 Daily Mail Model Homes & the former Handside Farm, Sludge went off in the wrong direction in the opposite direction, it was down to Tent Packer who was searching straight over on to Youngs Rise who would find the Trail.

The Trail would not run to the end of this urban street, Des Res was called over from the north side to join the rest in order for him not to pick up the Short Cut by mistake, the arrows led around the footpath on the high bank above the road to head south-westward down Elm Gardens, a street with Dutch Style Cottage with pantile roofing to come out on to a crossroads with Applecroft road, though most of this junction was closed to roadworks & vehicular access was limited.

As the Pack headed away, Mr X handed a piece of plasterboard to My Lil’ (another Fri 13th weekend survivor) & asked him to chalk the Trail down the last section of Youngs Rise to cross Valley Road & up High Oaks, there the Trail would be picked up again & would make sure Skip would not have to go out of his way.

Milf began searching up Elmwood, but calls of “On!” came from Fliptop & Tent Packer on Attimore Road, Mr X marked the CHK by the Applecroft Road Pillar-box on the junction, as he & Sparerib ran on behind the others on the 460 Yards along residential street of mainly large detached houses, built in the 1920’s in a Neo-Georgian Rectory Style. 

French-Canadian Louis De Soissons was the chief architect of Welwyn Garden City, some are Flemish in look, others like art-deco castles with outside turrets that are where the stairs are, or there are cottage style homes.  These designs were to fit in with the few original houses in the area & all the established trees, mainly Oak & Elms were mapped to incorporate them in to the Garden City layout.

Having made their way up the pavement littered in places with slippery fallen damsons, the next CHK was found by a dead-end cul-de-sac of Broadfield Place, the temptation for Milf was to continue searching along Attimore Road, but she was called back from the section where the older houses are whitewashed with long narrow windows to resemble a Charles Rennie Mackintosh style, the calling came from down Broadfield Place where arrows were found on a hedged-in passageway that was overgrown at the start, after a few yards it had a right angle turn from west to north.

A CHK was found by the next turn in the tarmac route between the homes in a section of woodland.  There were three options, to stick with the west bound tarmac alleyway, or search in the wood with a north-westerly earth path amongst the trees, or a north bound one that runs behind the homes on Attimore road they had all just run down?

Of course it had to be the one behind the Attimore Homes, this was the longest of the paths in the woodland, there were plenty of TBT OBE traps, tree roots, to avoid on this path as it turned slightly on its way to one final 90° turn to come out on to the green space at the southern end of Valley Road.  Arrows now pointed the way straight over the road to a footpath in beside the reeds of the small pond by a wooded section between Valley Road & the Great North Road. 

The Dust was found in the spinney & followed a curving path to then run parallel to the Great North Road.  The path rises up behind the hawthorn & greengage covered embankment rising above the Great North Road, not that you can see either through the dense hedgerow.

The path emerged from the thicket & out in to the northwest corner of the enclosed fallow field, there a CHK was found & there were only two choices, search up over the style then down the steep flights of steps in the embankment to the Great North Road, or head eastward through the wispy grass & up to the wooded area to the south of the Welwyn Garden City Golf Club fairways.

The Easterly option won out & the FRBs were soon into the wood as it rose up behind the Golf Course & then dropped back down to come out on Valley Road again.  Dust & Arrows led the Pack north-easterly along the Surban Street that has several speed reducing features incorporated into the road, as it near to Applecroft School, Mr X was walking this bit after setting another Short Cut, so he hung back as Milf & Tent Packer passed by, he took advantage of this & took a photo with them heading toward the blue Police Speed Check Area sign.

The FRBs arrived at the CHK where the SCBs should have gone through, but the CHK was not yet marked & Milf was about to go wrong, just as the Hare arrived to put them right on heading up High Oaks.  On the way, Des Res asked Mr X if the Golf Club here was the one Nick Faldo used to play at, indeed it was where he started his career all those years ago.  So, long ago that he was once sponsored by Robertson’s Jam & by golly his caddy was dressed as their former logo & in black-face, Ketchup said that they couldn’t do that now!

On the way up the gentle rising turning road to the north, Sparerib gave the Hare (& RA) some cheek, so when Sparerib passed by Dognell Green over to the right, he allowed Sparerib to head up to the Bar CHK!  Having been called back, Sparerib now followed on behind the rest as the dead-end Dognell Green turned to the northeast & there arrows directed the Hash through a narrow back-passage by the local Tennis Club, the three courts are hidden away out of view behind the homes.

The Trail now led up though Dellcott Close & up to Brockswood Lane, arrows pointed the way over to the opposite side of the road & there a CHK was found.  By the time the rest reached this, Milf was already on her way along Brockswood Lane to the west, there she picked up the Trail as the path began to rise above the road, then drop down beyond the end of the houses as road narrows to a single track lane between the two sections of Welwyn Garden City Golf Course. 

Thankfully it was only a few feet along the pathless lane, to reach a CHK just inside the Brockswood section of Sherrards Wood, Brockswood derives its name from the Old English for Badger!  Milf went wrong as she chose the middle path amongst the trees, while three lads on bikes came down the Brockswood Lane-side path inside the woods edge, that route was the correct one.  Sludge & Tent Packer now pick it up the Dust, meanwhile Fliptop had wandered off by the end of the local Scout hut to scare the squirrels!

While the other FRBs made their way up by the edge of the lane, then turning to head northward along the furthest end of the WGCGC Fairways, Mr X went up the Falsie to turn Milf around & then back through the T in order to save her running the an extra 400 yards the others had run to the next CHK.

Milf arrived at the CHK before the rest & was soon off down the narrow footpath which drops quite steeply between the brambles as it comes out on to the Ayot Way, the former Welwyn Garden City to Dunstable branch-line, sadly this was axed before Luton Airport was developed! 

A CHK was found by a Tree next to the steep climb up to the east, away from the southbound former railway line, here the Keenies were offered the Trail’s route up this way, then they would break off to run through the off track paths in the denser broadleaf woodland & then back down through the woodbine to re-join the Ayot Way later.  Milf, Tent Packer, Des Res & Ketchup took this option, while Sludge, Fliptop & Sparerib joined Mr X on the now marked Short Cut along the nice flat & very wide path the old line ran along.

The FRBs emerged back on to the old line as it curved around to the south east, running behind the homes on Brockswood Lane the Hash were on earlier.  The Short Cut would stick to the former line for 550 Yards, while the Keenies would go off an another loop back into the woodland of Sherrards Wood & then out through the southwest corner of the Reddings, an area of housing in this woodland built before it was granted an SSI (Special Scientific Interest) before coming up thought the a short path & up a set of new wooden steps in the old embankment built to celebrate WGC’s 100th anniversary walk.

Everyone would reach the CHK on what was the old level crossing over the railway, it was now 8 minutes to the hour & the Hare encourage the likes of Sparerib with the news that he pack were only 5 minutes away from the On Inn!  With this in mind the popular choice with Fliptop & Sludge was to head down the southern tarmac ramp by the old Parsonage to Bridge Road, sure enough it was correct.

Double arrows pointed the way to the opposite side & then to head eastward, crossing the end of Handside Lane, then on by a detached 16th Century House that sits on its own, the Hare had the Pack on this side of the road to get the senior members of the Hash by the retirement homes on the north side!

Arrows directed the Hash around on to the now dead-end of the start of Guessens Road, by the new Police Station, along the way Sparerib stopped to take a picture of a tall plant, was it a Digitalis (Fox Glove) or a Red Hot Poker? [Steady Pebbledash! – Ed]  Anyhow, it was short trot to Russellcroft Road, where the Trail turned left, here was the On Inn.  Mr X then joined Milf & the others who were running now.

Back to the Parkway, passing the NHS tribute in the bottom of an old Oak tree, then on to a crossing to reach the green space on the north side of the Coronation Fountain, where the Hash could admire ‘Blade’ the Henry Moore statue that is on loan to Welwyn Garden City for the 100th anniversary of its creation. 

Skip, Kylie & My Lil’ were caught up with here, Skip mentioned that Psycho like Henry Moore’s Work earlier & Mr X quoted the ‘To the Manor Born’ lines when Audrey Forbes Hamilton sees the new abstract statue Richard De Vere had brought in, Brabinger asks her what the statue is called, she says it called ‘Woman’ & Brabinger replies “Poor Madam!”

The FRBs, the Hare & the SCBs were now back at the Two Willies with 10 seconds to spare to make it an hour out on Trail!  The Pack settled in, talk of Friday 13th Weekend arose, this was also the reason the Circle & Down-Downs were postponed until Sludge’s Birthday Trail, they were too knackered to get up!

            Kylie was interested in how Howard managed to raise the money to purchase the land to build Welwyn Garden City, at the time Mr X didn’t know the answer, but he was ready Google it when he got home”

Without any government or bank interest in the building of Letchworth or Welwyn, Howard decided to get funding from "gentlemen of responsible position and undoubted probity and honour"  He founded the Garden City Association (later known as the Town and Country Planning Association or TCPA), which created First Garden City, Ltd. in 1899 to build the garden city of Letchworth,

Even when Letchworth proved a success, there still no backing, so, in frustration, Howard bought land for £5000 in 1919 at auction, with money Howard desperately & successfully borrowed from friends to house the second garden city.  The Welwyn Garden City Corporation was formed to oversee the construction.