Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

22 November 2010

I'm tempted to call this issue the 'poetry special'. I'd already promised (threatened?) to include some pretty dreadful verse from 1895 in my ongoing series of extracts from the Clarion (why should I suffer alone?) and then I received the contribution just below from Leon, which, he explained, was inspired by our ride to Cowbeech and some of the locals at the Merrie Harriers. No literary critics have pronounced (as yet) on Leon's work. But I think we can say with confidence that by avoiding a constant repetition of 'O!' (as in the 1895 offering) he has reached an altogether higher plane. Judge for yourselves:

A poem by Leon Moore
November 2010

Clarion Cycling Club
Brighton group

The Brighton Clarion love to ride the Sussex lanes beyond the oil,
and blend into our chalky downland soil.

The pace we set is leisurely that's true
but if you lag we will wait for you, and you, and you.

The hills to us are a pleasure descending,
when the ups and puffs are not too demanding.

The bikes at the pubs are stood in the yard,
leaving them now is never too hard.

In the pubs are the regular folk
sitting at bars telling stories and jokes,

In we walk met by old man's faces
echoing the Sussex countryside's wondrous places.

We like our lunch stops the food and the beers,
and the aches that appear when the ride's end draws near.

But that's not all
The train journeys home are a welcome relief for muscle and bone
when the Clarion cyclists are returning home

A message from Joyce:

Our Christmas social event is scheduled for SUNDAY 12 DECEMBER.

As we usually combine some activity (which is not cycling) with our group lunch, the proposal this year is: swim at the Prince Regent followed by lunch at the Pizza Express in Jubilee Street (opposite the Prince Regent).
For those who do not wish to swim before lunch there is the option of watching those who do disport themselves from the spectator balcony (£1.20 admission) - or if it is a nice day perhaps a walk to the museum or the sea front. Alternatively there is the library where one can spend a pleasant time. Or, of course, there is the option to only join us for lunch.
Entrance to the Prince Regent is £3.55 (with sauna and steam room, £5.80) and for those over 60 the entrance fee is £2.20 (bring proof).
Suggest we all meet at the Prince Regent at between 11.45 and 12 noon - and aim for lunch at 1.15.
Please let me know if you are coming to the lunch so I can confirm the table.

Main points from the Cycle Forum Meeting on 16 November 2010
Roger's Report

The Council has decided that pedestrians should have priority on the Undercliff Path, but cycling will not be prohibited. New signs will be installed shortly. There will be 'Cyclists dismount' signs and chicane barriers at the café near Ovingdean. Technically it will still be illegal to cycle on the Undercliff unless you are travelling to or from work. This could mean that insurance claims resulting from riding on the Undercliff could be rejected if the insurance company realised it was illegal.

£10,000 had been allocated to establish an off-road walking and cycling link between the Woodingdean cross roads and Falmer. Unfortunately the Council has now said that this work will not go ahead. Improvements to the road junction at Woodingdean will still go ahead with a budget of £410,000.

There is a useful way onto the NCN80 near Hangleton, which is blocked by barriers. Provided local residents don't object, the barriers are going to be removed; the path will be widened and given a new surface suitable for cycling. We will be using this link as part of the next ride (5 December), although the work won't have been done yet. So we'll have to lift our bikes over the barriers (not difficult).

Transport 21 is holding a public meeting about the new Local Transport Plan and about air quality at the Calvary Church in Viaduct Road, probably on 2 December at about 7 or 7:30 - exact details not yet finalised.

The Forum will not be responding to the Council's consultation on the Local Transport Plan - mainly at the suggestion of Councillor Ian Davey who said it would not be necessary if individual cycling groups are going to respond.

Cycling officer Tracy Davison is preparing guidance, which will clarify the legal and enforcement issues discussed recently about parking in cycle lanes. The document will be on the Council website and will be given to parking enforcement officers. Of course it will not solve the real issue that enforcement against motorists who stop for two or three minutes to use a convenience store is not feasible.

The Council is hoping to get general approval to install 'No entry except cycles' signs where appropriate. At present Department for Transport approval is needed for each sign of this kind. This may mean that contraflow cycle routes can be introduced through the North Laine, which is almost impenetrable at present.

There was a lot of discussion about the effectiveness of the Cycle Forum. It doesn't have a regular chairperson at present; attendance is poor; the Council does not consult about new cycling related schemes. I tried to point out some of the small but useful positive outcomes of our efforts. There is a chance that it will fold at the next meeting if things don't improve.


More from Ian:

After the last edition TJ sent me an email saying that

… following on from your entry in the newsletter about the formation of London Section, we were prompted to look for the address. Sadly, I think that street no longer exists, but we think it was quite close to the old Claud Butler factory.

There are of course any number of reasons why the street disappeared - bombed out of existence in World War II, urban redevelopment at any time in the last century or so. But another possibility is that the name was changed from Wirtemberg Street during the same World War I outbreak of anti anything-that-sounded-German hysteria that caused the Battenbergs to become the Mountbattens and the Windsors to be invented.

TJ also attached a copy of the Brighton Section entry from the Clarion CC handbook for 1936. I've put it in below, just before the usual 'origins of the Clarion CC' extract. Compare with the 1937 extract already on the history page of the website.

There are now only two more rides left this year - and so far we have none at all for 2011 (except the New Year's Day brunch ride). One thing that has been very good this year is that we've had a steady increase in the number of people offering to lead rides. I've had several messages from people who are exploring possibilities - which is great - but so far no definite offers. It would be good to have some for the January rides at least.

Offers - definite or provisional - for any of the dates are very welcome.

Finally, you may remember that I included a note in one of the July issues about a message I'd had from Ed Spencer about him 'raising money for a small charity called African Revival by taking part in a 500km bike ride across Zambia'. He now tells me that 'We are down to the last ten or so places on the Zambia bike challenge if any of your members had a yen to join us now is the time'. Bit out of the range of most of us, I think, but if you know anyone who might be interested please pass on the message. For more info please contact Ed at


Future Rides … for the rest of 2010
It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday To/Led by
5 December* Roger - West of Hove, starting at the pier
19 December 'Traditional' end of year Berwick circular - Ian

* Ian not available

…And until the beginning of May 2011

Sunday To/Led by
Saturday 1 January Traditional brunch ride to Carats café
9 January Can you fill any of these blanks?
23 January  
6 February  
20 February  
6 March*  
20 March  
3 April  
17 April  
1 May  

* Ian not available

The Next Ride
Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Sunday 5 December
West of Hove

This ride starts and finishes at the pier in Brighton and takes us on an exploration of some of the hidden treasures that lie to the west of Hove.

We start by heading west along the seafront, turning inland just after the King Alfred. We will pass the Hove Museum and Art Gallery and continue north across Portland Road, beneath the railway line at Aldrington and then over the Old Shoreham Road into Hangleton.

After a short climb, we will come to the old windmill and, over the road, St Peter's Church. Unfortunately the mill is only open in the summer months so we will pause only briefly to admire it and then continue to the high point of the ride, which gives us splendid views over the sea and the downs.

Then we go down into Benfield Valley where we can pause, again briefly, to look at Hangleton Manor; yes, it is a pub, and no, it's not the lunch stop. Its interest is of a more historical nature: it is claimed to be the oldest secular building in Hove and is little changed since the mid-16th century.

We'll probably want to walk up Hangleton Lane, which takes us out of the valley again and on towards Portslade Village. Here we can walk through the churchyard of St Nicolas, which dates from about 1150 and is claimed to be the second oldest church in the city (St Nicholas in Brighton being the oldest). Nearby, look out for the old industrial building, which towers above the rest of the village centre, and its amazing chimney, which towers even higher.

A few quiet, if not boring suburban roads bring us to the Kingston roundabout and a largely downhill run to Old Shoreham, where we will pass yet another St Nicolas church and stop for lunch at the nearby Red Lion, a 16th-century coaching inn - mind your head on the beams!

Refreshed, we will ride into Shoreham-by-Sea via the new Ropetackle development on the east bank of the Adur. In Church Street we will pass the site of the original school founded by Nathaniel Woodard, which went on to become Lancing College. Woodard was curate at the church of St Mary, which we will pass in the centre of Shoreham-by-Sea before joining the familiar route back to Brighton via the locks, Basin Road South and Marrocco's (again).

Meet: Brighton Pier at 10:30 am or at Marrocco's on King's Esplanade at about 10:45.
Distance: 20 miles (approx).
Off road: A couple of short sections on tracks, otherwise all on roads and cycle paths.
Hills: It's a bit of a climb through Hangleton and then up and down as we cross a couple of valleys. After that it's downhill or flat all the way.
Catering: Lunch at the Red Lion. We could stop for tea at the Meeting Point (open air) or Al Fresco (sit in or out) once we get back to Brighton.
My mobile is 0789 985 1172. Please let me know if you are planning to join at Marrocco's rather than the pier.


Tessa adds:
Everyone is invited for mulled wine and mince pies after the ride on the 5th, but mulled wine will be flowing throughout the weekends in exchange for a small donation to Amnesty. I will also keep a stash of mince pies for my friends throughout! That's at 38 Lorna Road, Hove. More info on /

The Last Ride - Jenny's Report

Sunday 21 November 2010
Gatwick Circular

[More photos on Flickr]

Four cyclists came to Gatwick station by train: Jenny, Roger, Suzanne and Tessa. On the main airport concourse we met Jim, who had travelled up on an earlier train, and Nick, down from London after a long absence. We encountered a rare brusque refusal by a passer-by when we asked if he would take a group photo - perhaps he was late for check-in or intimidated by the bizarre sight of fluorescent-clad cyclists and their bikes in the airport crowd.

Jim led us through the melee and out onto a cycle route that went through an underpass and over the Gatwick Stream before entering Riverside Garden Park, an oasis in the noise that looked lovely and included a lake and a Millennium Walk. However we were all too cold to stop and admire the view, so sped on and through minor roads to Horley station where Angela was waiting for us, wearing her cycling helmet in a new experimental way. Here we were to rendezvous with John, who had valiantly cycled all the way from Brighton, but he had been delayed along the way by helping a foreign visitor to understand his satnav - we Clarion members are a bit like boy scouts sometimes, aren't we?

Angela and the new helmet style

Eventually John appeared, and we didn't allow him much of a rest before we set off down a route that involved some off-roading. Not too much mud but some very large puddles, and underwater obstacles led to poor Roger and Tessa getting wet feet. Some attractive and remarkably quiet lanes followed. We speculated that all the traffic uses the motorway, which was rumbling loudly nearby and must make sitting in the garden in the summer round there really horrible.

Roger and Tessa get wet

We paused briefly to admire the lovely Smallfield Place, a Jacobean manor built in 1600, and to wonder about the roots of the term Jacobean. Apparently, ahem, it derives from the neo-Latin used in science and literature after the Renaissance, and arises from the Hebrew name Jacob, which is the original Graeco-Latin form of James, for James I of England. (Thanks Wikipedia.)

Redhill Aerodrome Nov 21st

At the Bell lunch stop in Oakwood the staff had laid a large table for us and we enjoyed the very good food, the warmth, some lively conversation and the sight of Tessa's socks steaming gently on the radiator. Rather later than planned we got on our way again and headed for Redhill Aerodrome, which would have made a good tea stop on a sunny summer's day. Today it was too cold, too soon after lunch, and the café was closed, so we didn't linger after a photo-opportunity, but headed briskly back to Gatwick with lights switched on now as dusk was approaching.

A very interesting route and a lovely chilly winter ride - thanks Jim!


1936 Clarion Handbook

Captain: George Cree
Hon. Secretary: W. R. Newman, 22, Whichelo Place, Brighton, 7, Sussex

The first week in every month is a Mystery Run, arranged and led by a member of the Club. The third week is impromptu. On these dates we shall endeavour to arrange joint activities with other Sections.
Tea places bracketed.

Sunday Runs

12 Heathfield (Crown Inn, Blackboys)
26 Rudgwick (Tea Gdns, Dial Post)

9 Ashdown Forest (Chequers Inn, Maresfield)
23 Cranleigh (Alma Cottage, Southwater)

8 Wilmington (Trevor Arms, Glynde)
22 Arundel Park (Blacksmiths Arms, Adversane)
29 Cross-in-Hand (Ringles Cross Hotel, Ringles Cross)

12 Easter activity to be decided later
26 St Leonards Forest (Arden Grange)

10 Petworth (Queens Head, Bucks Green)
24 Cowdray Park (The Angel, Petworth)
31 Whitsuntide activity to be decided later

7 Hammer Ponds (Red Lion, Cowfold)
21 Crowborough (Crown Inn, Blackboys)
28 8am Century Run (County Oak, Crawley)

12 Fittle Worth (Blacksmith's Arms, Adversane)
26 Tunbridge Wells (Chequers Inn, Maresfield)

2 August activity to be decided later
9 Kirdford (Queen's Head, Bucks Green)
23 Beachy Head (Trevor Arms, Glynde)
30 Houghton Bridge (Ye Olde Toll-Gate, Bramber)

13 Hartfield (Ringles Cross Hotel, Ringles Cross)
27 Duncton (Houghton Bridge Hotel, Houghton)

11 Hurstmonceux (Crown Inn, Blackboys)
25 Slaugham (Alma Cottage, Southwater)

8 Billingshurst (Elephant & Castle, West Chiltington)
22 Nuthurst (Chalet, Cowfold)
29 Jevington (Trevor Arms, Glynde)

13 Worth Forest (Arden Grange)

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s

72: A report in the daily press inspires (?) some verse (??)

As far as I can make out, Swiftsure seems to have been away the week of 8 June 1895 - with pretty awful results; but my mission is to bring the early Clarion involvement in cycling to you, warts and all! However, I do like the name for (presumably) the Telegraph - can we revive it?

Last week at Ashstead a wedding party rode to church on bicycles, the bride and the bridegroom on a tandem, the bridesmaids on safeties*. All were attired in knickerbockers.
Daily Troglodyte

The only law that rules the world
Is that of fluctuation, O!
It rules the Court, the camp, the grove
And makes for Reformation, O!

Arts, habits, manners, customs, they
Must all be alterated, O!
For the world would be very dull today
If it never fluctuated, O!

At Ashtead, which is not in Kent
A thing occurred to shock us, O!
For a wedding couple went and went
To church in knickerbockers. O!

And I hope to make it plain to you
(For these rhymes are writ at random. O!)
That they rode on a bicycle made for two,
Which was very ad Cup-Tandem**, O!

And the bridesmaids followed in the way
Upon the safety* saddle. O!
And I'm reluctant for to say
That each one rode astraddle, O!

And they who run might also read
(I know this sounds most shocking. O!)
The gartering above the knee
And the clocking of the stocking. O!

And now I'll end this lyric bland
For my throat is getting arid, O!
With a nuptial paean for the Cycling Queen
Who wore 'em 'fore she married, O!

* "safety" = "safety bicycle" = the bike as we know it. The "ordinary" bicycle was what we sometimes call the penny farthing.
** No, I've no idea either.

Next time: "Random Scrip on a Tandem Trip"

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