Herts Hash Virtual Hash No.20

Zing-a-long is an early arrival but his seemingly endless typing leads the Hare to ask “Are you writing War & Peace?”  Zing-a-long-a-max replies like Dylan the Rabbit “Peace, man. There's no war here!”  The he adds “Count me out of this one. I'll be laying a trail in a local park in Wellingborough for my grandchildren and daughter to follow later🏃🏃🏃. No pub or down downs of course, but we'll all be wearing Hashits 👘🌞 Have a good trail. . . on on... Zingalongamax”

Mr X than asks “Are we all Happy Clapp–y with the Gooners winning some silverware yesterday 🏆⚽?”

Canary joins the Pack “Boy Morning 👣” & then Sludge chips in with “Morning all, Fliptop and Skip are happy!” is a reference to the Arsenil beating Chelski 2-1!  Fliptop finally announces his triumphant entrance with “Hi all happy gooner GM welcomes you all to HHH virtual run 20!”

Rustler joins the fray on her first virtual Trail “Morning! Rustling away!”

The Hare then takes the Circle & announces “Here we go again, its Virtual Hash No.20!  Just as is seemed that there was going to be a green light to get back out together in the real world the government delays the easing of restrictions on 1st August!”  Then Tent Packer joins late “Wait for me!” as he is cadjoled by the Hare with a “Come on Tent Packer!” 

Mr X then continues with “We start in a town that is not mentioned in the Doomsday book, but it predates the Romans & Celtic site have been discovered here!  The last time we Hashed from here there was a very small Pack, so no doubt it’ll be the same today?”

My Li’s is virtually tapping his watch as time has now ticked around to the appointed hour to get under way.  As the Pack leave Fliptop adds “Anyone wanting a real trail should make their way to Royston........Hare & Hounds, Cambridge???  The Hare puts things right as he adds “Yes I saw H5 were due to start & Cambridge are up & running again!” Shame we are languishing when even Herts Hash Hackers are out & about losing their balls in the rough!”

The Hare then remembers “Oh, welcome Rustler to the Virtual Hash!”  Rustler then wonders “Are we in Welwyn? Roman baths or so?” The Hare replies “Nope, you have to guess where the Trail goes by the clues, you can google like TBT OBE if you want”

Having to knock out another virtual Trail has left the Hare in a surly mood where he isn’t going to be kind to My Lil’ & so the first Check of the day is right outside of the Estcourt Arms Pub, which sits on the corner of a Crossroads Junction of terraced Victorian back streets 🏠 🏠 Canary Boy shows he’s keen with “On! On!”

There are five options from here, the choices are to search northwest by the front of the Estcourt Arms Pub, southwest by the side of the Pub, head southward over the junction, or south-eastward down a Regal 👑 sounding Queen’s 👑Road back street, finally there is a north-eastern option beside an old boot of a Wellington Pub across the road & then on to pass under a railway bridge?

Zing-a-long-a-max hasn’t gone anywhere with his grandkids just yet & puts in a guess “Harpenden?”

Things slow down as Psycho sends a message “Morning all, sorry not to be able to join you today. Having to keep my distance from anything that breaths for 7 days as I am radioactive 😨👽. Have a good one. 🏃🏃🚶🚶️”  Tent Packer is in Hilda Ogden mode & enquires “Do you glow in the dark?”  The Hare adds “Good to hear from you!” Psycho leaves Tent Packer wit “Only on the inside!!”  Tent Packer replied to Psycho “Might have been spectacular!”

Meanwhile Fliptop starts off by not being his normal self as he & Tent Packer pick up the Trail heading away in to the shade under the wide railway bridge 🛤️, the roadside path comes out to a roundabout on Orphanage Road & arrows point the way straight across to the northeast as the road then turns eastward for about 60 Feet to arrive at the second Check of the day.

Rustler seems set on following Canary Boy who warns her “No good following me Rustler! I’m always lost! 😂”  Rustler seems unfazed & asks Canary Boy to “Just chirp so we know not to follow”

Choices now are to search the footpath leading away northward on a tree-lined path up through a modern estate, to continue eastward on the road or cross over to the southern section of tree-lined 🌳🌳🌳footpath that runs behind the south section of housing estate & a large factory like BT Fleet building to the west.

Another late arrival as the Pack are greeted with “3D here.  Not too late. Slug driving! Reading out the clues!”  3D  & family may be late but are just in time to see Fliptop revert to form & take the wrong option, both Tent Packer & Sludge are daft enough to follow him!

Rustler now claims “Uh oh fish hook spotted!” but the Hare is not sure as H4 don’t normally use these, we leave these ‘Shabby Tricks’ to H5!

Tent Packer is deluded as he runs to the west, claiming “I am on a roll now!” The Hare tries to warn him “You’re still on the wrong track Tent Packer!”  3D spots “TP on. a losing streak today. 🥵” as the Hare adds “He will if he follows Fliptop!”  Fliptop now realises his mistake “Must be on back to southerly tree lined route???”  Sludge too “Yes, on back!”

No Eye Deer catches up as Tent Packer fails again, as Fliptop redeems himself & Southbound it is for a 65 yard 🏃♂🏃♀️ trot on a shaded footpath that turns to the southwest as it leads on to a foot tunnel that is longer than the earlier bridge as it passes back under the railway tracks 🛤️ to come out on to an alleyway leading back some 80 feet to the street of terraced with a Regal 👑 👑 sounding named Queens Road.

No Check here, just arrows pointing the way a few easterly degrees off of due south & after 🏃♂🏃♀️ 50 yards the Trail arrives at a small roundabout where the third Check of the day is found, there are only two options, carry on southward, or take the easterly side Radlett road that snakes its way back over the Railway 🛤️?

No Eye Deer now ducks out “Will have to catch up again later.  Having brunch in the Cotswolds 🥐🥓” While 3D is going East, Rustler is happy to slow up to start the Knitting 🧶 Circle!

Surely this Trail would be too much for Kylie, so its lucky he’s not present today, as for the third time the Pack go to the opposite side of one section of the railway, this time via a bridge that crosses what appears to be a branch-line? It’s the line to Watford High Street & Bushey  🙋♀ After a 100 yard trot 🏃♂🏃♀️ on the elongated S-bend road the Pack arrive at a Check by a T-Junction where a road heads away to the southeast.  Your choices are to continue to the east & the main section of the main-line railway 🛤from Watford Junction to Euston, or take to the southern housing estate 🏠 🏠 🏠?

Sludge is keen on going Easterly s along the snaking route, while 3D asks “Is that dust I spy?  Rustler wonders if the Pack are in Cole green?  “Not Cole green!” Says the Hare & Sludge chimes in with “No railway at Cole green since Dr Beeching!”  Fliptop gives up on the British Rail history lesson & calls out “East back over the railway... where is Kylie when you need him? Choo! Choo!”

No joy for Fliptop or Tent Packer out by the four 🛤🛤️mainline tracks, Rustler makes a wrong move in following these two & should have listened to the chirping as it’s into the southern area of homes as Canary Boy finds 🙋♂️ Trail & the Hash run between two lines of small Victorian Terraced Homes 🏠 🏠 🏠 that were no doubt railway workers homes, after 40 yards 🏃♂🏃♀️  there is a split in the trail as the road has a Y shaped junction & arrows direct the Hash down the right-hand fork of Shaftesbury Road to head south bound for 90 Yards & then on to a Check at the northwest corner of a green space.

There are two option from the corner of the Waterfields Recreation ground, to search due south on the hardcore path, or search the almost due eastward gravel path?

Fliptop goes Hardcore for his choice, 3D thinks following Fliptop is a good idea but Tent Packer warns her “I tried that and it didn’t work!”

No Joy for Sludge but 3D makes a shrewd (some would say miscalculated?)move in following Fliptop, who at last fares better as he follows Canary Boy 🙋♂️ as they search in to the thicker woodland 🌲🌲🌳🌳🌳 & find Dust still beside the river Colne’s edge for almost 200 Yards, half way along this route the Trail sticks with the path as it passed below a ring-road & then under an access road a few yards on.  Then after 22 Yards the 🏃♂ 🏃♀️  Trail arrives at a Check, there are only two options on the split in the path, to take the southern option under the access road in to a Waterfield retail park, or the opposite south-eastern fork that stays by the river Colne’s side as it too passes beneath the access road?

Rustler signals the Trail is found by “Blowing the horn!” (borrowed from Leroy!) – [Thankfully Pebbledash isn’t here today!! – Ed]

The Hare wonders at the no-show & asks “Is TBT OBE running with H5?”  3D adds “Not seen Teebs for a while!” Sludge clarifies things with “TBT’s Sue not well this week!” 3D replies with “Really sorry to hear that.”

Sludge choses the River Colne side as he claims it to be better than shops! Rustler agrees with “Give me riverside any time!” & Tent Packer joins them as Rustler says “I’ll let you lead the way... On! On!” but down by the water’s edge 🌊 is a failure for Sludge & Rustler, Fliptop choosing that option should have given that away!

Rustler shouts out “Thx @Fliptop soaked now!” as calls everyone “On back ....again!” on his return Tent Packer bemoans “My shoes are wet!” as the Hare reminds him “Your shoes are always wet, don't pee into the wind!”

Eventually having come back & fare better as they lead the way 🙋♂ 🙋♀ straight down on the southerly path that cuts right through the centre of the Waterfield retail park 🏬 🏬 then after 110 yards the path turns on a curve to the southwest to lead the Hash on by a Watford Fire Station 🚒, which gets the girls excited!  Anyhow the Trail is marked with arrows to a crossing 🚦, a press of the button by & once the lights 🚦 are red the Hash can cross over & then a short way up the road arrows point beyond a Hyundai car 🚗 dealership to a footpath off to the southwest by the new builds 🏠 🏠 🏠 to the north of the dealership.

The Harriettes have calmed down after seeing the Firemen, now the footpath ends after 50 Yards 🏃♂🏃♀️ & the Pack now find themselves on the top end of a green open space of Waterfields, the Trail turns to Dust as it crosses an island of broadleaf trees 🌳🌳🌳 before it reaches the cross-bar of a T-Junction, no stopping as the Pack are taken down the trunk of the T as it cuts the recreation ground in two, it’s a 125 Yard trot 🏃♂ 🏃♀️  along the roadside path on the north-western section of the green space, there in the wooded 🌲🌲🌳🌳🌳 south-eastern corner is a kids play area & there a Check is found at Watford Recreation Fields

The options are now to search Due North on a footpath over the playing field?  Or follow the road 🚗 around to the south?  Your third choices is to cross over in to an estate of Victorian terraced homes 🏠 🏠 🏠?  Meanwhile Rustler confuses the Pack with “Hey that’s a lot of strong flour!”

Nothing for 3D (Who lets slip she has a ting for old houses) & Fliptop to find in the estate 🏠 🏠 🏠, but the path up to the north pays off bigtime for Canary Boy  ️ with Tent Packer close on his heels, Sludge too as the Trail leads some 70 Yards 🏃♂ 🏃♀️  up by a local Infant & nursery school, where the Trail turns in between two of the new apartment blocks & out on to a crescent that was hidden from view when the Hash ran down through the green space.   Arrows now point the way up through the small estate 🏘️ named after the old building Pump House that took water from the river, the building now houses a Pump House theatre 🎭 the Hash now have a 20 Yard trot up to a footbridge spanning the railway below 🛤️.

3D says “Love a period property!” which is lucky as there's more period housing to come for 3D!  Once over the tracks there are three options from the Check on the cycle/footpath 🚲, either search nor-nor west the few feet to the underpass for a Exchange Road ring-road that you may see a bus 🚌 🪄 🧙‍️ with Harry Potter painted on it, or take the north-eastern arm of the path, or the southwestern arm of the path?

Rustler “Now we are admitting defeat to Canary boy who is just destroying his reputation

Canary Boy I’m flying 👣 Tent Packer

Its not so wizard for Fliptop & 3D as nothing is found under the ring-road, as he says he’s ‘Flying’ as Canary Boy call “On!” 🙋♂️ as he & Tent Packer search the path as it turns westward.  Tent Packer’s rationale is “If Fliptop is going there I’ll go sou-sou-east!”  A wide arcing route of Lady’s Close is taken as the Hash run some 140 yards 🏃♂🏃♀️  by following all by a Watford Girls Grammar School 🚺🏫 🎓 & then up to a Bar Check on an old narrow Victorian road 🏠 🏠 🏠!

A turn around for some 40 yards & the Keenies see the Hare marking 👑 the Trail off down a narrow western footpath leading between the grounds of two separate schools, after 60 yards the alleyway emerges out on Wiggenhall Road to the bottom of a triangular junction at the bottom of a group of Victorian Homes 🏠 🏠 🏠, the Pack don’t hang around as they have come out by a fitness Centre to cross over & follow the arrows on the western edge of the triangle all of the 20 yards to the western tip.  A Check is found here.

Options are to search north-eastward through the small shopping parade in an area named The Hornets after a branch of the genus vespa 🐝 Or take the southwestern option down toward a Watford FC Football ground, or head north-westward up the terrace street 🏠 🏠 🏠?

Fliptop heads out toward the shops, claiming that “I prefer a Lambretta!” while Southwest with Sludge & Rustler 🙋♂🙋♀ toward the Football ground seems to pay off, Tent Packer follows on but after 40 yards a Bar Check is found, so its back up toward the Check to see arrows have now been set by a Pedestrian crossing 🚦 then back to the southwest for a matter of 30 feet to find the Trail leading through the open ornate gates of a large Vicarage Road cemetery ️.

The arrows lead the way on the main drive through the cemetery for 60 yards, then it turns by 90 degrees to the southwest for 40 yards, out of respect 🙋♂ 🙋♀ just arms are raise to indicate the Pack are “On!” & there are no Checks in the graveyard as arrows point the way through a counter 90 degree turn for 25 yards to reach the northern edge of the Cemetery ️to run all the way down behind the back of the homes 🏠 🏠 🏠 up against the consecrated grounds & then allotments at the top of the western tip of the grounds 🏃♂🏃♀

Sludge calls out “On back!” while Tent Packer puts his hands up! 3D now claims “I know where we are! 3D Port was born in this town!”  Indeed 3D knows where she is, & is correct as Port was born here, in fact just up the road form where she is now!  At Watford General Hospital

It’s not a direct route as the Trail takes to a narrower path between the burial plots before the path turns north-westward & on to a footpath leading out of the cemetery by a 30 yard trot up by the Allotments 🥕🥕 & then out on to a street Chester Road with a north-western town’s name.  Arrows point to the left to lead the Pack out a few yards out on to a main arterial road that runs from southeast to northwest, the Trail crosses to run up the eastern side of the road for 25 yards 🏃♂🏃♀️ then over the start of a side road.

Sludge is now taking pot-shot guesses “Redbourn? 3D lets him know “Nope! Just got it sludge!” 3D Sludge now claims “I follow 3D now!” as she knows where she is.

This section is turning out to be the longest section of Trail without stopping, but the Hare is safe in the knowledge that the pack are now ultra-fit during these days of lock-down?  Anyhow it’s a two hundred yard uninterrupted run up the urban street of Harwood Road terraced side streets 🏠 🏠 all over on the opposite side of the road & heading away to the southwest.  At a crossroads the Trail crosses straight over to the northern side where the houses are now mostly detached homes 🏡. 🏡

The final section of the street is a mere 35 yards before reaching its end at a T-junction with a busy main road, here there is a Check & there are only two options, Southwest or northeast, but 3D is happy Lingering on the check, so Sludge is also going to ‘do a Cranberries’ & let it Linger!  Tent Packer reckons that this is a Cunning ploy, while Rustler says “Can’t let us do all the work!”  3D ribs the others with “Anybody on?”

While 3D lingers on the Check, Fliptop who unusually is spot On! as he is with the High Flying Canary Boy who picks up the Trail away to the southwest on the main Rickamsworth Road calling “On!” 🙋♂🙋♀ then after 60 yards 🏃♂🏃♀️ arrows are found by a pelican crossing.  Buttons pressed & over to the northern side of the main road where the Pack are led north-eastward by the front of a musical school 🎼 🎓, Watford School of Music then it’s a sharp turn off on to a northbound side streets Shepherds Road of large homes 🏡 🏡 for some 130 Yards on & the Pack reach a Check at the offset crossroad 🚗

Choices now are to look westward toward a Watford underground Station 🚉? Eastward back toward the town centre or cross the Cassiobury Park Avenue road 🚗 to search up the dead-end continuation of the road toward a Grosvenor Lawn Tennis club 🎾 on the southern edge of a large Cassiobury park & the Cha Cafe?

3D now seems to fade “Losing signal might have to finish later!” While Fliptop aks “Anyone for tennis?” 3D replies “No thanks!” Tent Packer now tries to cajole 3D with “Before you go can you tell us where we are please?” Fliptop soon gets in with “Don't tell them Pike!” as the Hare adds another classic Dad’s Army Line of “No Soggy Chips!”  Canary Boy now has sussed where he is & asks “Does it begin with W?”

Tent Packer baulks at the idea of the Café, real people not social distancing is off putting but there will be no joy for hi9m & Canary Boy, who finally puts a foot wrong, toward the Station 🚉, nor is there much luck back toward town for 3D, it “On!” 🙋♂️ with Fliptop  over the road & up toward the café , Ice cream 🍦anyone by this Tea sounding café?  For there is a Held Check up by the junction of footpaths in this section of the Park that once belonged to the Earl’s of Essex.  It’s also the Sweet Stop 🍭🍬 🍭🍬 🍭🍬 time - Canary Boy 🍫🍭🍬 Rustler🤤  Rustler now syas she prefers “Haribo for me!” as Tent Packer asks “Any gob stoppers or black jacks?” A grimacing Tent Packer now exclaims “That’s another filling just gone!” Rustler adds “And no dentists! 🦷 Is it 2:30 yet!” [Christmas Cracker joke time? – Ed]

Rustler questions the Hare “Any lakes? Rivers?” & he replies “Yes, way up to the northwest but your heading away from the Lakes & Canals!”  However, The Hare has good news as he lets the Hash know “Your over 3/4 of the way around, Christ you guys are fit during this lockdown!”

Refreshed from the respite, it’s time to resume & there are plenty of options in this large park, there’s plenty of shade as well as the main paths have avenues of trees 🌳🌳🌳 along them.  The main options are westward, north, or eastward on the main footpaths?  Fliptop cries out “Anyone on! Are you!?”

Canary Boy now seems to have lost his mojo while Fliptop has got his in abundance who now calls 🙋♂️ it with Sludge up to the bandstand in the north & after 80 yards the Trail turns as arrows point the Pack on down to the southeast as the path runs 250 yards 🏃♂ 🏃♀️ , its nice day for a long trot to come up to the eastern tip of the large park, here by the main road the Trail leaves the entrance & a Check is found, the options are to search south-eastward under the main Rickmansworth A412 road or search the cycleway 🚲 /footpath along the main road 🚗 as it gently curves away to the north-east?

Tent Packer has also been at the cracker box as he comes out with “Where is flour when you knead it!” The Hare gets in a quick “Oh Dear TP!” if this isn’t bad enough Fliptop adds “If you knead it you get dough!”-  Tent Packer compounds things “Doh!” as Canary Boy does a mynah bird with a “Doh!”

Only a T lays in store for Canary Boy, whose Hashing Compass has gone haywire as he reaches the path under an elevated section of road, so it back to the cycleway/footpath to find the Hare & the rest of  the Pack following Tent Packer & Fliptop as they start a 300 yards trot 🏃♂🏃♀️  along the tarmac route, only the wide road to view on the right but on the left the Hash pace by Peaceful sounding Peace Hospice building, then a large Watford Colosseum Theatre 🎭 & then the path comes around to the large red-brick Watford town hall & there the next Check is found, options are to head north-westward away from the Town Centre or southeast via a wide underpass to the Town Centre Shops 🏬 🏬  ?

Fliptop admits “Lots of clues there but still can't guess!”

Canary Boy goes wrong but the lure of the shops 🏬 🏬 is too much for Rustler who calls , 🙋♀️ & after 30 Yards the Hash climb up the steps to emerge on a pedestrianized zone, here arrows point the way south-eastward through an area dominated by food shops of all type, from Japanese 🍣 , Chinese 🥢 & lots of take-aways 🍔 , the Hash run 🏃♂🏃♀️  on over a diagonal footbridge spanning the long rectangular pond .  There are also a lot of Bars including a ‘spoons 🍺Colombia Press named after one of the Printers that made up one of the industries that were based in this Town.

After 250 Yards the Trail passes beneath a fly-over road, 🏃♂ 🏃♀️ as the pedestrianized area continue for another 40 yards before giving way to the High street as it bends around from another theatre 🎭, this is the main area of Bus Stops 🚏 🚏 & the Town’s second Spoons 🍺 Moon Under Water but the Trail is not on this section for long as arrows point the way north by Burger King 👑 🍔 (Other Fast Food restaurants ae available) here the Pack are led nor-nor-eastward for 80 yards, passing the front of a large indoor market on the way. 

There are still guesses that are still far off target Tent Packer - Hemel Hempstead? Sludge – Radlett?  They're both wrong! Also on the way it’s time for Canary Boy to strut his stuff, he entertains the Hash & the Public alike as he goes through the motions 🕺 👮♂️🤠 👷 as the Pack pass by the large YMCA to arrive at a crossing at a set of lights 🚦 on Beechen Grove section of the ring road 🚗.  Once the traffic stops the Pack can cross over & on the north side of the Junction the On Inn is found on the by a multi-story car park, the Trail is marked northward as the Estcourt Road street becomes one of Victorian terraced homes.

It’s a 200 Yards with no deviating to run all the way back to the Pub, Where have you been Hashing & Dancing to Village People (Canary Boy) Yep Watford it is, 3D got it early, as have Rustler & Canary Boy, out witting most of the local Hashers! Rustler Hurray

Fliptop Ah Watford Tent Packer I got the W right

Watford; The Escourt Arms – The one that Sloppy Seconds drove by the frozen wastes of Mount Tower Hill in Ware, to a Newie over to in the snow & boost the Pack numbers to 4!

Wellington Pub

Main Line to Euston

Shaftsbury Road

The River Colne

Waterfield Retail Park

Watford Fire Station

Watford Fields

Pump House (Theatre) Does real Ale!

Watford Girls Grammar School

The Hornets

Vicarage Road (Watford FC)

Vicarage Road Cemetery

Chester Road

Watford Underground Station

Cassiobury Park

The Peace Hospice

The Colosseum

The Borough Town Hall

The Colombia Press

Palace Theatre