What a cracking weekend!
Walnut Whip Willy & Willy Warmer get wedded in wonderfully warm sunshine. The wedding was in fact a joy and everything was simply perfect.
The forecast was not so great for Monday, but as it turned out it didn't rain and was not half as bad as I feared. Underlay arrived spot on time and Tarzan is crying her eyes out. Not an emotional outburst, but a reaction from peeling the onions for the sausage rolls.
Laying the run was pretty uneventful. We actually managed to find a new footpath which for Shefford is no mean achievement. There was slight amount of concern as it took two hours to lay and according to Underlay's GPS a tad on the long side.
The pack was huge (35-40 runners) so it was going to be a challenge to keep everyone together. Setting off Shagpile calls On-inn straight way (old habits never die). The pack eventually finds the correct route away from the house along Campton Road and under the underpass.
Young Skippy is off like a whippet and is first to the numbered check as we approach Campton church. Nik Nak arrives at a ladies check and seems very keen to get on with things and has to be restrained until more ladies turn up.
After a few fairly long falsies, the pack eventually find the long footpath that heads off in the direction of Clophill. It's a long old stretch so a couple of numbered checks are essential to keep everyone together. Crossing the A507 was a bit treacherous and took a fair while, but eventually everyone got across safely.
Time was pressing on and there was a danger that the bangers might be burnt to a cinder so it was decided that the run would need to be shortened (in fact halved). The hares decide to turn the run into a live hare and invite the pack to chase them down after a 3 minute head start. 30 seconds after they set off the hounds decide that the 3 minutes is up (hmmmm!!!!).
No worries though because as the hounds are led into the forest they quickly lose sight of the hares. The route goes past the faceless monk, across the wooden bridges and into a large field where the hares simply wait for the pack to spot them. After being spotted it's just a simple matter of looping around the field keeping just enough distance between themselves and the pack. Shagpile tries to shortcut across the field, but the grass is way too tall to be able to make any distance on the hares.
After exiting the field, it's a quick dash back home to consume copious hot dogs (many thanks to Bangers for bringing in extra supplies), drink plenty of Shefford ale, admire the new chimney pots and check out the wedding photos etc.
There were plenty of down-downs and I can remember only a few, but the important ones were Count and Lady P (celebrating their anniversary). Bangers (anniversary). Maureen (birthday). Sebastian (Deca mug). Underlay and Capt F (superlative haring).
Underlay & el Capitain
On-on to The Compasses, Greenfield