Run # 758
Sunday 12th March 2006
chez Knobber, Stotfold
Hares: Knobber & Donut
The Hares were relieved to find that the snow that threatened to arrive had not appeared, and the trail lay in white flour the previous day could still be seen. However, this did not prevent some immediate confusion at Stotfold crossroads, as the pack searched for the trail on the wrong side.
Eventually, Screamer led the way down towards Stotfold Common, and the pack reconvened in time to take a trip down Count Roadkill’s memory lane to his previous dwelling, a traditional Stotfold chalet-style property acquired in 1970. How appropriate that he should happen across it in 2006, another World Cup year. Meanwhile, Smiffo had set off across the common, and picked up a long false trail. If he had looked back at all, he might have noticed that the pack had veered away towards Astwick, whereas he was heading for Arlesey. The next check lay at the end of a field on the other side of a ditch, so a bit of a leap was needed to avoid wet feet.
The Hash was moving at a fair pace at this point, reported by G-String’s GPS to be running sub 7.5 minute miles, and used its momentum to motor along the trail and across the fields to the derelict Bowman’s Mill (where else?) In Count Roadkill’s time here, it would have been fully operational, but now, the millstream was suffering from a low tide, and no longer was the water crashing over the wheel and into its state of benign effervescence below.
After taking in views of the mill from various aspects, the Hash found that the trail led alongside a wood, to emerge at Taylor’s Mill – now a posh house with a tennis court and a friendly ghost. From there, up to the top of Taylors Road and across to the riverside. After a ladies check, and another false trail, the pack found the trail running by the river, and up to the Ford Bridge, where it was nearly mown down by a reckless OAP in a motorised wheelchair. Then further along the river to Mill Lane, and the refurbished Stotfold Mill. Otherwise known as Randall’s Mill, it is listed in the 1086 Domesday Book and its workers are said to have ground flour for a certain J. Arthur Rank (source: Stotfold Reflections, Streets, Baldock 2003). This would most likely have been before the Truck Act of 1831. The Mill was gutted by a fire in 1992, but is now being completely restored by a local group, the Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust. There you are, a bit of history for you Pongo, and well worth a visit to one of the open days.
Much of the pack became concerned at this point, because the trail took a turn away from the anticipated on inn, and went further alongside the river up to New Bridge, before looping back along Baldock Road and down footpaths to St Mary’s Church. Finally, a short run along Church Road took the pack past the on inn and back into Marschefield. G-String's GPS said 7 miles 200 metres, mixing imperial and metric.
In the circle, there were down downs for the Hares, birthdays Alex (represented by Fizzy because he was partying) and me, along with BoF and Stallion’s anniversary. Cap’n Fantaaastic was downed the yard of ale, and Lady P was awarded the Good Crack award for being consistently at the front of the pack and therefore an FRB. The circle then retired to drink beer all afternoon, and by the end of the day had consumed a magnificent 64 pints! A true drinking club with a running problem!