Run 1285

Sunday 1 November 2015

Devonshire Arms, Hartington

Hares: Nik Nak and
(AWOL) Catch It and Clap Trap


Read on humming the tune of Nat King Cole – Autumn Leaves...
'The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold...'

The autumnal trip to Hartington Hall was carefully planned by the Hares. Topically, Nik Nak was spellbound by Derbyshire and found the Hartington village bewitching, with its rustic charm and with the forecasted mist and fog. Despite having chosen the spooky Hartington Hall as our residence for the Halloween weekend we ended up with sunny skies and autumnal colours. However the excellent village pub, the cosy Charles Cotton Hotel, a tea room and a cheese shop came to our rescue.

Most of us got to the Charles Cotton Hotel by early evening and the log fire kept us cosy and we were well fed. GorJoyce and Twicza were too busy on the M1 chatting up owners of nice cars to bother with supper. We managed the hill back and snuggled up in our pea-green beds and mostly slept peacefully through to the early morning. Captain did go and have a chat with the goats in the small hours, as nobody else cared to talk to him about his missing cheeseboard.

Hartington Hall, House of Horrors

GM enjoys Friday evening meal

Capt F in relaxed mode

The appropriately named "Slack(er)s" green bus took us all to the start of the trail on the next morning. Elevenses, in the shape of Bakewell puddings were handed to the eager travellers as they boarded. We were then driven through the mist, to arrive at the start of the walk. We adjusted our back packs before setting off at a good pace up onto the Monsal trail. It is on the path of the old Midland Railway line where steam-powered trains used to puff along, moving goods and people to Bakewell.

Ready for the off at Monsal

On the trail

Through a mini tunnel

Our walk took us through several tunnels, over glorious bridges, where we admired the views and had coffee- and pie-breaks at the stations. There were plenty of old platforms provided to sit and reminisce about the past. At one point Arkwright’s Mill could be seen far below. (He started with 200 workers, more than the locality could provide for, so he built housing for them nearby, one of the first manufacturers to do so. Most of the employees were women and children, the youngest being only 7 years old. Later, the minimum age was raised to 10 and the children were given 6 hours of education a week, so that they could do the record-keeping that their illiterate parents could not. A forward thinking guy!)

Gorjoyce after a cuppa

Ringer mistakes bridge for Notre Dame

Nik Nak up Monsal Head

Team RA in unison

All done at Bakewell

The old shirts are the best

'Alluring' fairy?

Back at the Hall the spooky ghosts, several witches, and an alluring fairy appeared before we had our evening meal. Quiz teams finally got the correct number of participants who contemplated a few tricky questions whilst munching on eyeballs and orange cake.

Pussies tries her luck

39% of Atomic wishes she was somewhere else

The window that Blow Felt opened

One hare went AWOL. The snoozing (and possibly snoring) went on through the night. Dawn eventually broke to another glorious day. Now we get to the autumn leaves and a window bit I believe – or was that the day before?? Sing along time: 'the autumn leaves drift by an OPEN window'...)

Circle up

Blue skies and dry walls

FRBs go for it

The Sunday run was laid in pink and the sunshine helped the weary hashers on their way over the dales. Eighteen of the original 20 hashers circled up in the garden of Hartington Hall on the last day of a spooky weekend. Most were happy to hike the short cut trail that was set by Catch It on Friday but Capt F, The Count, Knobber, Ringer, Forking, Bangers, Gorjoyce and Underlay raced away to take the longer trail set by Nik Nak.

Forking finds a room for next year

Underlay and Ringer don't do bridges

On back to Hartington

As if by magic the two groups met up at the 1st held check and a slower pace was taken down to the bridge over the River Dove. A cave, set in the rocks just to the left in Wolfscote Dale known as 'Frank o' the rocks', provided a photo opportunity, but it was only Forking who made the ascent.

Following the path to cross the river, required that a choice be made, the narrow footbridge or the stepping stones. The river was running fast enough for all but Ringer and Underlay to avoid the stones.

Hashers were alerted to look out for 'Beresford Tower' a folly high up on the rocks and the 17th century fishing house of Sir Izaac Walton who with Charles Cotton wrote the Complete Angler in 1643. The book has something in common with Lady Chatterley's Lover: while many know the title, few have actually read it. Yet it's the most frequently reprinted book in the English language after the Bible – so it obviously still has an audience. A winter's must-read folks! (A leather 2 volume edition is for sale at £1,618.75 on eBay.)

The trail continued along the river over the grass and the "runners" were forced to hop over the largest of cowpats and the worst of the shaggy [shiggy I think the hares meant to write – sorry Shaggy: Dep Ed]. Then it was on Inn to the Devonshire Arms.

Tricoteuse Underlay waits by her shiggy trap

Nik Nak's wellies come in handy

Nothing like him

Down downs were awarded to the ladies of room 17 who had lost a room key, to Ringer for a soggy bottom, Count for exposure & something about Izaac Walton's fanny, spare body parts on Underlay (... and some more, but the RA's notes are confusing!) Not forgetting the hare, Oh, but the hare was forgotten and RA had to go on back to the bar! There was some more cake-munching in the garden to finish off Catch It's cake. Prizes were given out to Forking for the lone climb to the cave and 'Which Witch Screams Fairy' for winning Saturday's quiz. Which Witch was Pussies? Blow felt? Atomic? or Rapid? – We know, don't we?

Nik Nak says down-down without showing teeth

The RA is faced with scepticism

Ringer is guilty as charged

On, on to The Globe Inn, Leighton Buzzard!

Catch-It & Nik-Nak (ed. Clap-Trap)

How Underlay led the FRBs round the Hartington trail