Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

6 September 2010

I'll be away for the time when the next newsletter is due. Roger will be doing the honours. I'll be sorry to miss Angelika's London ride, which sounds great.

Something else I shall miss - but I hope as many people as possible will support in one way or another - is The Joanna Walters Memorial Ride on Saturday 11 September. Here's a message from Becky of Bricycles:

Dear Bricycles members and contacts,

Bricycles is organising a bike ride in memory of Joanna Walters, the newly
qualified teacher from the University of Brighton who was cycling on the
cycle track near Stanmer Park earlier this summer when a series of events
sadly led to her death as she was hit by a delivery van. We are working with
some of Joanna's friends. A trust is being set up in Joanna's memory to
support causes and projects which she cared about.

If you are interested in taking part, see:

and also on Facebook where 23 people have already signed up to take part:

If you would like to help, (marshalling / helping with signage etc) please
let me know and I will check with Carrie what jobs need doing later in the
Thanks very much,  

Becky Reynolds

Bricycles Campaigns and Newsletter -

Cycle Forum - Message from Roger

I will be attending the next Cycle Forum meeting on the 14th of September.   If you want me to raise anything please let me know or 01273 321794).  

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010

The ones marked with a * are ones I already know I can't make. It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday Led by
19 September* London ride – Angelika
3 October* Roger – West of Chichester Circular
17 October Ian – Shermanbury
7 November  
21 November* Jim – Gatwick circular
6 December*  
19 December 'Traditional' end of year Berwick circular - Ian (subject to train availability)

Offers please for 7 November and especially 6 December, which I can't make). Volunteers please let Roger know at before the next newsletter (on c 20 September) if at all possible.

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s, Episode 67 is at the end as usual.


Bank Holiday Monday 29 August 2010
Clarion Summer Social, Devil's Dyke

Joyce points out the missing apostrophe to Leon

As I (Jenny) don't live in Brighton I joined the ride late, at the entrance to Hove Recreation Ground, but I'm reliably informed that nine riders started off from Brighton Pier: Angela, Anne, David, Joyce, Leon, Roger, Sue, Suzanne, and Terry. Sue and Terry went off to have a quick swim before catching up with us later, which was not difficult as our progress was rather sedate even by B&H Clarion standards. Of course, going from sea level to the Dyke inevitably involves a lot of, erm, gentle uphill work so the group became fragmented, with some resorting to Shanks's pony at times. As a result Ian and Sue, who went to the meeting point by the open-top tourist bus, were there for an hour watching the paragliders before the rest of us appeared. Fred caught a later bus and described the journey as 'freezing', but he managed a regal wave as the bus sailed past us grinding up the last hill and he was on hand to photograph us gurning as we climbed the home stretch.

Jenny 2nd

Our intended picnic pitch was just too chilly and windy, as well as overrun with people, dogs, and paragliding paraphernalia, so we relocated to the other side of the pub and found quite a peaceful, sheltered spot in the lee of the hill and the trees. Here we enjoyed a cheery picnic (thanks for the amazing bread, Leon) and wide-ranging conversation, which included the perils of sitting in the front row of a performance by a comedian, and an extended punning session about proctologists (don't ask). Then Roger produced his magnum opus: a list of eight very cryptic questions, the answers to which were to be found around and about the place. We went off in teams to investigate, with varying degrees of success, and at the reckoning-up four teams tied for first place with a very underwhelming four points out of a possible eight. Fred won the tie-breaker question, due to his extensive personal knowledge of the 1970s Brighton punk scene, and won a box of chocolates that the rest of us helped him to eat.

Roger enjoys Leon's pizza bread

Some people who had longer journeys ahead left at this point by bike or bus, while the remainder moved to the pub terrace for tea and more conversation, this time mostly about the Labour leadership election, so no more scatological puns. Then we enjoyed hurtling downhill back into town after a very sociable afternoon. Thank you to Roger and Suzanne for organising everything, leading the ride, and especially for the clever quiz. It was great fun.


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 19 September 2010
Green Circular London Bike Ride - with Picnic

Clapham Junction - Wandsworth Com. - Wimbledon Pk - Wimbledon Com. - Richmond Pk - Barnes Com. - the Thames - Wandsworth Pk - Clapham J.

Starting from Clapham Junction 10.30 am (meeting in the Cl. Junction main hall close to the exit).
Train: 9am from Brighton to Cl. Junction arriving 10.11 am. Return: from Cl. Junction every half an hour 16.08, 16.38 etc.
Meet: 10.30 am in Main Hall close to the exit.
Distance: will be assessed by the cyclists who join and have the gadget. I reckon 15–20 miles.
Hills: Only one or two in beautiful Richmond Park where it is a pleasure to get off the bike, walk and look around.
Refreshments: Bring a picnic. If no time to prepare anything, Clapham Junction has Sainsbury's, Tesco and even Waitrose and a bakery around the corner. The cafes and pubs tend to get very busy on a Sunday except when the weather is not brilliant.
Extra info: The route will only be on smaller roads and in parks except two very short bits of main road which will be walked instead of cycled. The first break will be in Wimbledon Common with the view of a windmill. The second is in Richmond Park.

I hope you will enjoy making the effort to travel all the way to London. It is an interesting and lovely route. If there is interest we can have a look at a Buddhist Temple and or Cinnazaro Park; both close to Wimbledon Common.

I will try to give everybody a map of this route, just in case anybody gets lost. Am already very much looking forward to leading my first bike ride.
My mobile phone no: 07864 832048.

The Last Ride – Roger's Report

Sunday 5 September
Lewes Circular

[More photos on Flickr]

Twelve cyclists met at Lewes Station on a pleasant September morning: Angela, Ann, Corinne (now a paid-up member of National Clarion - our 47th), Fred, Jenny, Jim (our leader), John, Leon (with his new bike), Roger, Sue, Suzanne, and Tessa (with her new bike); apologies were noted from Ian who has been having problems with his old bike.

The start at Lewes Station

The purpose of our meeting was to hear a lecture on the history of Lewes station, delivered in fine style by our leader.

We then set off in search of wonders which we duly found. The first was the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve, around which we cycled, literally, since we ended where we had started.

Absence of bridge

Then onto the disused Uckfield line, which took us as far as the river Ouse, but no further: someone had removed the bridge, several decades ago. So we admired the distant view of Hamsey Church, bemoaned the loss of a valuable railway route and resolved to persuade Sustrans to adopt it and put back the bridge! Then we turned round and cycled back to where we had started, well, not quite.

Wonder number three was whether we were ever going to get out of Lewes, but we did, via the deliciously named Earwig Corner and onto wonder number four: the new cycle path to Ringmer; it was still in the course of construction, but we made good use of what was there.

New cycleway at Ringmer

Then the unimaginable occurred: a challenge to the leader's route, which he generously accepted, given that all eleven of those being led seemed to prefer the proposed alternative.

Bridge over the River Ouse

Was it to re-assert his authority that he then challenged Jenny to the Norlington Speed Trials? The aim was to register the highest maximum speed over a measured distance in Norlington Lane; the distance specified was 'hardly any' and the winner was our, undisputed leader with a miraculous maximum of 23.3 mph. Jenny came a disappointing second with a miserable 23.2.

Wonder number five was the station at Isfield, at least for the railway enthusiast amongst us, and number six the lunch in the nearby Laughing Fish.

Ladies' table

Onwards through the wonder of later summer sunshine, along lanes, through fields, across footbridges over streams and onto another section of disused railway line which led to the former station at Barcombe Mills.

Our next wonder was the Church of St Mary's at Barcombe and the fine old country house opposite with its wonderful ornamental pond. And just behind the church, another wonder: the remains of a Roman settlement, currently the subject of an archaeological dig.

Barcombe Roman bath house

Our final calling point was Cooksbridge, first to view some wonderful paintings at the open house of artist, Tom Walker; my favourite was the game of snooker on top of the leaning tower of Pisa; surreal snooker seems to be the main theme of Tom's work. And finally wonders 11, 12, 13 etc. The mugs of tea and plates of cakes provided for us by Jenny at her home.


Thoroughly refreshed we quickly covered the 3 miles back to Lewes and hopped onto a waiting Brighton train. The train manager tried his best to get angry about the fact that there were so many bikes on his three carriage service, understandably perhaps since some (not Clarion's) were blocking the corridor. However, a bit of re-arrangement at the next stop seemed to satisfy him.

Many thanks to Jim for a wonder-full ride, and to Jenny for helping him plan it and for providing the much-appreciated afternoon tea.


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

67. Swiftsure returns to the treatment of pedestrians - and other bits and pieces

[But first an apology. I make plenty of mistakes in these newsletters but I don't usually knock off in the middle of a sentence as I seem to have done last time with the details of the new Hyde Clarion CC reported in the 18th May 1895 edition of the paper. It should have ended like this:

The hon.sec. is R Chadwick, 28 Grafton Street, Hyde, and all Clarionettes in the district are invited to attend.

To attend the meeting in Marple, that is.]

[Corrected retrospectively - fred]

Regular readers of this feature (if such exist) will recall that episode 58 (see history page of website) included Swiftsure's wise words on the treatment of pedestrians by cyclists in his Cycling Notes on 25 May 1895.

My remarks a short time since on the first right of foot passengers to the roadway have called forth several letters from correspondents, who express their decided approval thereof. One of them considers that such knowledge and directions should be contained in every cycling club's rule book.

The moment most riders are astride their machine, they look upon foot-passengers as their natural enemies, who should always keep to their proper place - the footpath. On the other hand, the foot passenger has unfortunately come to regard the fast-increasing body of cyclists as a positive danger to the public - and ought to be harassed at every possible opportunity. This state of feeling ought not to be and if every cyclist would but use their "speedy steeds" at the will and convenience of the passenger, that antagonism would speedily be moderated.

Nothing directly to do with cycling, but in the same issue it was reported that Oxford students had debated a motion that "the Socialist tract 'Merrie England'" (Blatchford's hugely popular little book) was "but the baseless fabric of a vision". The motion was passed by 103 to 54 - a pretty good showing for the pro-socialist camp at that time -

The Clarion commented, "The comic element is in the arguments." Also from 25 May's "Cycling Notes":

P Lindley, 492, Bolton Road, Pendlebury near Manchester, informs me they have started a Clarion CC. He also says: "We shall be pleased to have a call from any club passing through Pendlebury on a Sunday or Swintin in the afternoon where meetings are held…And thereby arouse the curiosity and interest of the inhabitants."

Next time - Blatchford on "sticking labels on things".

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