Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

1 June 2009

The weather was brilliant for Sunday's ride. Let's hope it will be again in a fortnight for Roger's Bognor ride – details below. Nice and flat!

Toll Bridge Ride

If you want to take part and haven't yet sent off your form do it this week before the entry fee goes up

If you still need a form emails are and And/or phone 01273 885994 or 01273 462233. We need to sign up by early next month – otherwise it costs more.

If you aren't doing it yourself – and haven't already donated - why not sponsor Joyce? She's at

Planning rides

2009 rides for the rest of the the year will be on Sundays 28 June ( Leon), [5 = Toll Bridge ride], 12, 26 (Leon) July, 9, 23 August, 6, 20 September*, 4 (Roger), 18 October, 1, 15, 29 November, 13 December.

As always I'd welcome offers to organise/lead on any of the dates above that haven't yet been claimed by Roger or Leon. But the one marked * I definitely can't do. If you want to do a ride please make sure to let me know at least 3 weeks before – and to let me have full details at least 2 weeks before the date of the ride.

Latest instalment of the Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s at the end.



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 14 June 2009
Picnic at Bognor

This is a circular ride from Barnham station, much of it through the well-manicured, West Sussex countryside, but with a chunk of urban seaside for variety.

We start by heading north to Walberton, where we turn west. We will pass close to Fontwell race course, hence the numerous signs of horse-related industry. Past Fontwell we swing south and head for the A259 into Bognor, but fear not: there is a separate cycle path most of the way alongside the main road.

Bognor seafront has everything needed for a picnic. There are nice views of the sea, places to shelter if it's wet, pubs for those who want a lunchtime pint, shops for those who didn't have time to make any sandwiches, cafés for tea or coffee (there probably won't be a later tea stop) and, of course, loos.

Once we've exhausted the delights of Bognor we head east to Butlins and then north, back towards Barnham. Part of this final stage will be on a recently opened, cross country cycle route, which was the initial inspiration for this ride when Fred found news of it last year.


Meet: Barnham station at 11:05. Assemble on the forecourt of the pub opposite.
Getting there: The 10:12 train from Brighton (10:22 from Hove); be at Brighton by 9:45 for a chance of a groupsave ticket. The car park at Barnham station is free on Sundays.
Distance: 20 miles (approx)
Hills: None.
Off road: We will avoid busy roads where possible by using some cycle tracks and three fairly short sections of un-surfaced track or footpath.
Catering: Bring a packed lunch and a drink, or buy something in Bognor.
Getting back: There are direct trains back to Hove and Brighton from Barnham at 2 minutes past the hour, and additional, faster trains to Hove at 22 minutes past the hour.

My mobile is 0789 985 1172

The Last Ride - Joyce's Report

Sunday 31 May 2009
Picnic at Cuckmere Haven

[More photos on Flickr]

All Clarion rides are unique and wonderful in their own way, but this one was close to ideal:- 'where every prospect pleases and [only cars were] vile'. A bumper turnout collected from diverse points at Berwick station : Alice, Angelika, Fred, Helen, Ian, Joyce, Leon, Nick, Richard, Roger, Sue. The day was glorious so we headed off in high spirits into what was the Sussex countryside at its very best , lush and green after last week's rain, with everything bursting with new growth, under a soft blue sky studded with little puffs of cloud. Through lanes with wonderful open vistas of fields of sheep and cattle, into cool wooded areas where we (I) was entranced with the patterns of the dappled sun on the road. All this with permanent bird song and a gentle breeze to temper the very hot sun.

The start at Berwick

Yes I said 'close' to ideal – there were the cars, the weather also brought out the Sunday drivers so there were more than we are used to. However the day must have affected them too because by and large they were careful and considerate, and, of course, there were lots of places where they were absent. Other groups were out too and we were pleased to encounter the Seaford branch of the CTC taking a parallel route to us.

The Long Man

We sailed past the Long Man, admired the White Horse, and sped down a wonderfully long descent (where Leon claims he did 35 mph), but life being what it is were brought to a halt further on ( fortunately not on the descent), when Helen came off her bike. But our luck held, no harm done except a slight graze. Onwards then to the track through Seven Sisters Park down to the Haven. Here I will leave it to Fred's pictures to describe and just say it was absolutely beautiful. The most strenuous exercise of the day was then hauling the bikes over the (very large) pebbles to get to somewhere for our picnic – after which Leon , Joyce and Alice hiked off to the sea for a paddle for Alice and a dip for Joyce and Leon.

The Seven Sisters


The way back went through Friston forest and a mental note was taken that another ride could take in a lot more of the lovely forest. On then to the '30s tea rooms at Litlington, where tea was accompanied by poems and Ian's jokes.

Tea at Litlington Tea Gardens

The day was so enjoyable that, arriving at the crossroads for Berwick, and noting we had time before the next train, we diverted off to Alfriston, losing Richard for a bit on the way. The Clergy House was much admired and even visited by Angelika and Roger. And finally down to Berwick along the cycle track where in rain-sodden 25 January I had said it felt like the northern moors. What a difference! That is what is so great about Clarion rides - one sees the countryside in all its moods.

Alfriston Clergy House

So many thanks to Ian, the weather and our luck in having the Sussex countryside, for a great day.


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

35. Clarion cycling continues to spread as the first Meet approaches

More from Swiftsure in The Clarion 16 March 1895

Blackburn have made a start with their Clarion C.C. fourteen members having already given in their names. A Clarion C.C. is proposed for Wigan and all interested in its formation are asked to attend a meeting to be held for that purpose at the Ropemakers Arms, Caroline Street, Wallgate, on Saturday, 23 inst. at 3 p.m.

Liverpool Clarion C.C meet at Newsham Park Gates every Sunday morning at 10 a. m. until further notice

The C.C.C Manchester and district have their run next week to Lynn. I hope that even those who don't intend to journey any further will turn up at the meeting place, Trafford Bar.


Nelson has formed the Clarion Cycling Club and will be glad to arrange meets with any other clubs which have not yet completed their list.

The following week – 23 March 1895 – Swiftsure reported

Those who are anxious to learn more about the Clarion Cycling Clubs are
referred to the new monthly paper the Scout, which will be issued on the 30th inst.

It will contain a list of the clubs, their officers, rules etc and more
particularly their fixtures for April

Next time. Arrangements for the first Easter Meet.

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