|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Dear fellow members and friends
1 December 2008
The Next Two Sundays
Sunday 7 December
Make sure to be there at 11 if you want to play – Roger will be organising the teams.
Joyce has booked at Al Fresco from 12.30.
And later that day everyone is invited to a show at Tessa's house, 38 Lorna Road, Hove, for mulled wine and mince pies to see the work of 7 artists - ceramics, painting, etchings, glass, jewellery, textiles, cards and buttons.
Also on the next day or the following weekend the Open House Christmas Show continues: 6/7th and 13/14th December 11-6pm.
To find out more contact Tessa at 38 Lorna Road, Hove BN3 3EN, 01273 777574.
Sunday 14 December – Final Clarion Ride of 2008
Berwick Circular c 14 Miles only
As is becoming 'traditional' for the last ride of the year I'm going for this really short and flat one that maybe will tempt everyone out unless the weather is atrocious. (Fingers crossed! We were dead lucky yesterday.)
We'll do the usual loop round the Berwick, Ripe, Chalvington area (with some variations) and stop for lunch at the Yew Tree pub.
Distance: c 14 miles.
Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at Berwick station at 10.43. Train back at 2.48 reaching Brighton at 3.12 (next one an hour later).
(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave.)
Ian's mobile number is 07770743287.
The Last Ride - Anne's Report
The Last Day of November
[More photos on Flickr]
Checking back to Fred's account of May 07, I see how lucky we were with the weather [especially compared to them] but how unlucky not to have Fred's photography skills this time, though I hope that Jim's pics have come out better than mine. Metcheck was forecasting sleet and NE winds so I piled on the layers and packed spare clothes of all description, but although there was a short, sharp shower as I started to leave the house and the rain is thumping down on our roof again now and many lanes we cycled down had huge puddles for splashing through with legs akimbo [unfortunately not able to photograph exuberance as too afraid of falling of and taking a soaking] a white sunshine accompanied us for most of the morning and we were able to eat lunch in the garden with splendid view of steep slope of Downs and pleasant brook. Ian's feet were cold so he and Leon had the last remaining table inside the popular Shepherd and Dog.
It's a cheap train ride to Hassocks and 4 of us caught the late running 10.44 to be met by anxious Ian and Leon. [Jim had tried to phone but tunnels must have interrupted the transmission] and quickly joined by Simon from the slightly later Southern train. So a Magnificent Seven set out after persuading a passer by to do the group photo. Annoyingly he seems to have missed out Simon and we only have the 1 pic of smiling six. However, I feel that the view from the inside of the station is more picturesque than the usual outside shot we take. Autumnal trees grace the track and the sky looks white, though fortunately, not with sleet.
Carefully crossing the treacherous road beneath the station we head off to Hurstpierpoint, down Blackstone Lane and Bramlands. It was around there that I again saw the ostriches or emus that I'd seen on a previous Clarion ride with Joyce. This time I had a camera and tried to immortalise them, but, as I was on the end, didn't take enough time or care and the resultant photo is such a disappointing blur that ostriches can not be identified, even by me on it, which is such a shame as this time there were baby ostriches as well and no-one else seems to have seen these chimeras. The route was a bit more undulating than usual for us and on the uphills it has to be said that the 4 men outrode the 3 women, but all equally enjoyed the downhill, especially when there was a large puddle to ford. Fortunately no-one fell off on the whole ride, in spite of some of the lanes being coated with large expanses of wet autumn leaves, leaving only a narrow path to steer, which we all skilfully managed. Hardly any cars bothered us, again this was just as well as there was so much water around and a couple we did see were going fast and thus splashing up huge waves of spray when they did hit puddles.
The Shepherd and Dog has a marvellous setting but the food was gastronomically priced [or should that be astronomically priced?]. It was good but not good value, though swiftly served and swiftly eaten by my companions. Us girls had extra hot water for our teas too, thanks to Angela's boldness and her dismay at their prices. It was a pub with no soup though and that is disappointing for me. The Royal Oak looked even more gourmetted up, as we passed it by afterwards and not much sign of the jollity of the 1880s or garlands. Simon left us shortly afterwards for a trip up and over the Downs to home. He had told us over lunch of his trip to Norway , Northern Lights and sparkling snow and other sea crossings were recalled and savoured.
We had a quick detour for Newtimber Place – the moated grange with huge, gorgeous oaks and geese, sculptures and glimpses of the lives of the richest 1% who'll doubtless suffer from Alastair and Gordon's extra 5% of tax to solve the credit crunch - hardly think it will make their pips squeak. The geese seemed to be having an exciting game across the other side of the moat, but my photos don't record it – hope Jim's do.
The equestrian route was fun and challenging, being muddy as equestrian routes often are, but no damage from dung, though Leon had to clean his bike earlier from dog droppings dropped carelessly and irresponsibly in his way. There was a vote on whether to stop for tea at Washbrooks Farm and it was agreed by 2-1 that we should. I was the one voting for a swifter return but was glad to be outvoted and adored the food and the farm. Amazingly beautiful and bountiful turkeys greeted us and after tea, when a great selection of goodies, scones and chocolate cake, at reasonable prices and with extra free hot water were offered, I visited the animals in the barn. A very messy llama was enjoying his tea too inside and the pigs and pygmy goats, ponies and carthorses enchanted me and other young[er] visitors.
Ian said goodbye as he rejoined his car at Hassocks station and we 4 sailed under the bridge and back up to the homebound platform. Leon waved us off on the train and Ian waved from the other side of the tracks. Jim's computer said 17.25 miles at average speed of 8.1 m.p.h with max speed of 26.4mph. Jim thought that may be a bit too fast, but it sounds good and felt good, going both up and down.
When we arrived home around 4pm it was still light [just] and Radio 4 had a programme on CF Cavafy's 'Ithaca' poem, parts of which seem to apply;
For 'Ithaca' read 'Ian' [and 'her' him] and thanks very much to all 6 for a delightful trip.
Thanks Anne, but if I start showing any tendency to see myself as Odysseus please do not hesitate to send for the folk in the white coats.
Planning rides for 2009
Dates – New Year's Day Brunch Ride - 11, 25 January, 8, (Jim) 22 February, 8, 22 March. It looks as though I may be away for 22 March so offers of rides – welcome for any date – would be particularly helpful for that one.
The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club in 1894
Fingers in a twist last time –Sorry! – 'stared a club as you suggested for purchase of machines or hisre system ' should have read 'started a club … hire system'. Latest episode at the end of the Circular as usual.
The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s
'The Bounder in Brum' including the B'ham CCC's dinner
As I said last time 'The Bounder's' humour – what's so funny about the letter K? - has lasted less well than some of the other features of the early Clarion. The extracts below are from 8 November 1894. The Bounder was met in Birmingham by our old friend Tom Groom. The Bounder had been, you'll recall, drafted in as the Birmingham Clarion Cycling Club's president.
Tom Groom's report at the end of Swiftsure's 'Cycling Notes' was a shade less 'poetical' - and the spelling was better.
[Leonard Hall was a well-known ILPer close to the Clarion and a personal friend of Blatchford. He is best remembered as one of the four authors – all members of the ILP's National Administrative Council - of what became known, from the colour of its cover, as 'The Green Manifesto' in 1910 - a tract entitled Let Us Reform the Labour Party. [Yes, even then!]
The 'Board' was of course the editorial board of the paper. A few years later in the midst of an intractable dispute Blatchford was to refer to it on at least one occasion as 'The Bored']
Next time – Swiftsure takes steps to create a Manchester CCC.