Farkle & Felicia wonder what The RA is talking about
Edwina ran the wrong trail
The Sir John Barleycorn proved to be an excellent pub for a Hash, not just because of the friendly and helpful Landlord, the Timothy Taylors Landlord and Brains IPA, but also because it is situated on a fork in the road (or, on Sunday, it was a Forking the road), so you can go out one way, and come back the other. As Edwina discovered.
So after the opening circle, where Oscar declared himself to be 2 years old, the pack set off up Oughtonhead Lane, with Underlay finding the route up the alley and past Strontium Lodge. Rapid Withdrawal assisted with finding the back passage up to Hitchin Hospital, where we stopped for the first held check.
The hospital is now a shadow of its former self, as it was a first rate podiatric unit, treating Sir John Barleycorn and his mate John Bunyan, who both suffered with their feet after long pub crawls around Hitchin. Eventually, Sir John's corns became so bad that he could only make it as far as the lower end of Oughtonhead Way, so the pub was built there in his name. Bunyan Road was named after the other John, and is a short distance away off Fishponds Road, as John used to soak his feet in the fishponds along his way back to the station. The Hitchin Swimming Centre is now located there, although now there are no fish in the pools, usually.
With the terrain turning to trails, Bangers found the right way off Lucas Lane, (a play on words following recent revelations and the nanny involved), and up to a critical check which took the pack back into a built up area where Skippy appeared, dressed up for Judo. After a short run into Swinburne Avenue, the pack went left and over the football field, and into the nature reserve.
Basically, there are two ways round the nature reserve. The pack went one way, and Edwina went the other. Shufflecock had a dip with Underlay at the Scooby Stop, and again at "The Chalky". Hairy Gussett and Muddy Waters appeared on Lego and Socks, the latter (horse) supplying slobber for my shirt, soon to become a hashit.
The Sir John Barleycorn is described as "a hidden gem, tucked away on the edge of Oughtonhead Common", and therefore I found myself unable to find my planned route back there. Eventually, I managed to find the route back while avoiding the way out, and took the trail down the short stretch of disused railway line and past the row of railway cottages, back to the pub.
The story goes that the pub was originally a Station Master's house, built, along with the row of cottages the brewery Mitchell and Butler, so that they could run their steam locomotive "John Barleycorn" from there. However, after laying a short stretch of track, they discovered that there was nothing to join it on to, so transferred the steam engine to the London North Western Railway and opened up the Station Masters house as a pub, bearing the name of the locomotive. Follow the link for more information.
Muddy Waters in dressage mode
Meanwhile, G-String and Skidmark had settled down in the pub garden, after Grace and Emily had pulled them there by bike, and Edwina had stopped after circling the pub several times. In the circle, there were down downs for the Hare (me), Edwina, and Pongo, along with G-String, whilst Grace and Emily returned home as Farkle and Felicia. The hashits went to Edwina for running the right route, but in the wrong direction, and Underlay for being pedantic about my marking. Maybe there were a few wrong marks, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, so what?
This complete load of nonsense was brought to you by
And the real story about Sir John Barleycorn can be heard courtesy of Jethro Tull.
Here's the TRAIL PER THE COUNT
More on JB from The Deputy Scribe (the one who doesn't speak with forked tongue):
John Barleycorn is an Olde English folksong, in which the character John Barleycorn is the personification of barley and (from the point of view of Hashers, more importantly) the beer made from it. There are many versions of the song, one of which starts:
There was three men come out o' the west their fortunes for to try,
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die,
They ploughed, they sowed, they harrowed him in, throwed clods upon his head,
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead.
The death of Barleycorn enables Hashers to drink; so now you know.
Hashers have missed Boris after her trip to The Border. Mystery solved:
Well, not quite solved. Mucky Pirate? Member Pleaser? You tell me.
The Scribe, not wanting to be left out, adds: The song describes in vivid detail the gruesome treatment given to barley by farmers. Whilst this basic theme was put into verse early in the 16th century in Scotland, it took a London songwriter to come up with the idea of making JB a knight. In "The Pleasant Ballad of Sir John Barley-Corn" published in the 17th century there are three knights, Richard Beere, Tom Good Ale and William White-Wine, who swear to kill Sir John because they can only be made by the death of the barley plant.
Among members of Alcoholic Anonymous the name John Barleycorn represents the demon of alcoholism.
SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER - ORIENTEERING CHALLENGE
Take a mixture of a good idea and the RA's favourite weather, add a sprinkling of DE's expert organisation and you have another super H5 event. Many thanks to Spotted Dick, Custard and family for hosting, BBQing, teaching us the basics, supplying the kit and setting the challenge - 28 places for the team to find in 90 minutes with points and penalties for tardiness (no problem there, we were keen to be back for a drink in the sun).
The team that came out on top were Trixie's Tigers (aka I'm On The Phone) but the real winners were the 21 hashers who turned out for another triumph of Mismanagement over Logic.