Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

6 December 2010

I mentioned last time the message I'd had from TJ about the address of the person trying to organise a SW London Clarion in 1895. It looks as though my guess that the name might have been changed as a result of anti-German sentiment during the First World War might not have been too far out. TJ has sent me another message (which some, but not all, will have already received directly). He writes:

With a bit of Googling and studying the map, via an online archive of Gen Booth's walks notebooks, I managed to work out that Wirtemberg Street became Stonhouse Street, Clapham.  This is confirmed by a website about old pubs (in this case the Wirtemberg Arms), confirming the road was renamed on 14 March 1919, so, unusually, after the end of hostilities.

It is, indeed, as I originally guessed, close to the old Claud Butler factory.  Two streets along, in fact, as that is Clapham Manor St.
Trivia, but interesting trivia, nonetheless.  Interesting to know where & how our predecessors lived.

I must also mention that the redoubtable Fred seems to have solved the mystery of the bit in the 1895 verse

That they rode on a bicycle made for two,
Which was very ad Cup-Tandem, O!

Seems to have been a play on ad captandum = For the sake of pleasing. Thanks, Fred.

Next Sunday (12 December) Christmas Social
Joyce writes:

A reminder about Sunday 12:-
1. Some people will go for a swim and/or sauna in the Prince Regent - Meet at 12 outside Prince Regent
2. Some will not swim but go for a walk or do something else (Jenny will contact)
3. All will meet at the Pizza Express for a meal at 1 - 1.10
4. Afterwards  those who wish are invited to Tessa's at 38 Lorna Road for mulled wine and mince pies.

See you then and please let me know if you haven't what you wish to do.


After the report of yesterday's ride you'll find another poem from Leon. This time, he says the inspiration was something remembered about being a shame that we didn't have a camera to record the beauty of the autumn colours near Horam that Joyce said on the Cowbeech ride.

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.

Well, I can't say I've been overwhelmed with offers of rides for next year – yet. But John has something in mind – not yet confirmed – for the 23 January. An offer for 9th January would be very welcome

Sunday To/Led by
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 - Ian
9 January Can you fill any of these blanks?
23 January John?
6 February  
20 February  
6 March*  
20 March  
3 April  
17 April  
1 May  

* Ian not available

I won't be able to make next Sunday's Christmas Social - I'll be at Sue's Uncle Ken's 90th birthday celebrations in Nottingham. So, unless I see you on our final ride of 2010 best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


The Next Ride

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

19 December 2010
Berwick Circular
c 14 Miles only

Our now traditional last ride of the year a really short and flat one that maybe will tempt everyone out unless the weather is atrocious. We'll do the usual loop round the Berwick, Ripe, Chalvington area and stop for lunch at the Yew Tree pub. This will be not only the last ride of 2010 but the one on the shortest day we'll have been out on.

Distance: c 14 miles.
Hills: If I say there aren't any hills, someone is bound to point out that the road went 'up' for 10 or 20 metres at some point – but it really is pretty flat
Off road: None
Traffic: Quiet roads
Catering: Yew Tree for lunch. Possible tea stop (depending on train times and our own progress) at the Berwick Inn for tea

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at Berwick station at 10.43. Train back at 14.48 reaching Brighton at 15.12 or 15.48 (16.12)

(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave)

Ian's mobile number is 07770743287

The Last Ride - Joyce's Report

[More photos on Flickr]

Sunday 5 December
West of Hove

On a cold, sharp, clear day Angela, Jenny, Joyce, Roger, Suzanne and Sue met at the Pier, to be joined by John at Marocco's . This was a ride destined to be stop and go, either of necessity or for cultural interest. The first stop was at Marocco's when we realised that Roger was not with us. After what became a long wait and much stamping of feet, Suzanne went off to find him. When she did not come back John went and we were wondering whether we should not all go when it was determined that Roger had a puncture and we should go on and he would meet us at the pub (Not surprisingly, he arrived there before we did!). On this ride instead of 'water stops', or 'taking off jumpers stops', we had 'nose-wipe' stops. And then, the stop when Angela's chain came off and proved very difficult to put back. In the mean time John and Sue had sailed up the next of the frequent hills and only made it back when we women left behind had triumphantly succeeded.

Blatchington Mill

But there were also the 'interest' stops - a discussion about the history of the old windmill and the church. All this time climbing up - I for one never realised just how hilly this area is , but no bad thing as it happened - kept us warm ... A look at Hangleton Manor but we did not cede to the temptation to go in though it is now a public house. By this time the sun had shown itself and it was a glorious winter's day - if very very cold.

Red Lion, Shoreham, 5th December 2010

So it was with some relief that we coasted down into Shoreham and the Red Lion to find Roger, and a really great menu at reasonable prices. A long lunch with conversation moving from China, the Dalai Lama, to cycle lanes. The ride home was the familiar one from Shoreham. Some went on to call in to see Tessa, others went straight home and I went to the sauna.

Tessa dishes out the mulled wine

A great ride really glad we did it despite fears about the weather, thank you Roger.


Winter draws on
By Leon Moore, 2010

On the track to Horam
We met heaps of summer's leaves
Red blending to gold
Beautiful in their death
A still life to be remembered.
Talking, laughing, busily peddling,
Being in unison with our machines.
While the weak winter sun beams
over the twiggy treetops
Like the face of a clown
Mocking our dreams.

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

73. "Random Scrip on a Tandem Trip"

This followed on from the verses that appeared in the last episode. We're still on 8 June 1895 and it seems that Swiftsure is away and others are looking after the week's "Cycling Notes". As a general rule I give the whole text of anything I find that is cycling-related in order that we have a full and rounded picture of what the Clarion was up to but occasionally with long and rambling pieces - something of a Clarion speciality on occasion - I do indulge in a bit of editing. What follows is an account of a cycle tour in the West Midlands on a tandem. The participants seem to be - if I've interpreted the initials correctly - J D Suttcliffe, a member of the national committee of the CCC and "The Candid Friend" the editor of The Scout. It's too long - and in places (to us) obscure - to give in full; I've tried to pick out bits that give an idea of the route and/or seem interesting in one way or another.

The Candid Friend (CF from now on) "never moves a muscle, but sits on the hind seat and sleeps, and sleeps, and sleeps"

They begin their tour at Lichfield where the CF criticises the "ancient sculptors" for mixing up "the reprobate kings of England with good old prophets and saints" on the cathedral façade. But they decide that "the west part of Lichfield cathedral, with the close and adjoining houses, make up a combination as harmonious to the spirit of Merrie England as the lark's hymn the harvest". On to "Brummagem" (about 15 miles from Lichfield) where they meet others from the National Clarion Cycling Club, one of whom, Atkinson "prophesied that 2,000 Clarion cyclists would attend the next meet, and demanded that if Nunquam did not attend his head should be brought on a silver charger."

While in Birmingham they visit Steve Muir "ostensibly to see the Clarion Cycles Works, but surreptitiously to borrow a lamp." Setting out that evening for Coventry they were "pursued" by Birmingham Clarion cyclists to Stonebridge; "we hear as we course madly down the last hill, a distant shout of 'Boots! - the pubs are closed". Some verse follows which I will spare you - this time. A Scout meeting is held "and the Birmingham chaps frightened the nightingales with the number of their resolutions, and the way they carried 'em."

Next day to Kenilworth castle. "C.F went to buy a guide-book, but before the returned Tandem Captain secured to living guides - pretty girls, very. C.F hid his guide book"
. . . . . .

"We were doing well - seven miles in three hours. Had to leave the girls behind and proceed to Warwick where we called at the Wool Pack for refreshment."

Continued next time

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