Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

20 March 2010

As I explained in the last issue, I'm going to be away for the next week so I'm sending this out early

I hope tomorrow's 'Berwick Circular' led by Jim (see 10 March circular or website for details) goes well and that the weather stays fine - at the moment the forecast looks pretty good

I'll try to do an extra circular next week which will include the ride report for tomorrow's ride - as long as I have it by early on 27 March that will be fine this time.

I've had some queries and suggestions about charity rides which I haven't time to sort out – but will do, if not in the next circular, then as soon as I can.


Good to see in yesterday's (Friday 19th) Guardian that the obit that Peter Avis submitted weeks back has finally appeared in the 'Other Lives' section. I'm attaching a copy together with this circular [see below].

Membership Cards

To save some postage Jim brought the new membership cards with him on the Cuckoo Trail ride - in a envelope which along with the rest of Jim and the rest of us - got a bit soaked. So he's had to get new cards in some cases from the national membership secretary. He's already mailed some of these out - but for more regular ride participants he's going to bring them along - in a sealed plastic folder (!) - to the next few rides and then mail any not collected after that.

Still time to join us

We have many more people on our three general mailing lists who have not yet joined us, and while we wouldn't dream of pressurising anyone into doing so new recruits are always very welcome. If you would like to join, follow the instructions at the bottom of the home page.

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010

Sundays 18 April; 2(Jim), 16, 30 May; 13, 27 June; 11, 25 July (Leon?), 8, 22 August; 5, 19 September; 3, 17, October; 7, 21 November; 5, 19 December.

Offers to organise/lead rides are more than welcome.

* * * *

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s latest episode, as usual, at the end of the circular.


The Next Ride

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

Easter Sunday
2010 Easter Meet 'Leisure Ride' (aren't all ours!)

I've no idea as yet how many people coming to the Easter Meet will want to take part - though I hope we will tempt a few out at least

I've scheduled the ride to start from the conference hotel - the Cumberland - at c 11.15 which will give me time to meet those of you coming from Brighton at Eastbourne station and guide you to the hotel. After that we'll head along the seafront for a little while and then find our way onto the southern section of the Cuckoo Trail.

This will take us to Polegate where the main section of the Trail begins.

We'll leave the Trail just north of Hailsham and stop for lunch at the King's Head at Lower Horsebridge. After lunch, a mile or so on, we'll pass through of Hellingly and strike east for just a couple of miles and then take the small country roads southwards across the Pevensey Levels to Rickney.

At Pevensey itself we'll stop to have a look at Pevensey Castle/Anderida.

From Pevensey it is just a few more miles back to Eastbourne and the hotel and then the station for those returning to Brighton.

Being Easter Sunday I've already alerted the Kings Head and promised to phone them with approximate numbers the week before. So if you're likely to be joining us please send me - Ian Bullock - an email to or give me a ring on (01273 682133) by 27 March. The pub has a restaurant that does 'carvery' meals on Sundays - so if anyone wants to indulge in one of these - rather than the 'lighter' fare - ploughman's, soup, chilli con carne etc - available in the bar - please make a special point of letting me know so I can reserve a table.

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station – or meet at Eastbourne station at 10.58 – or the Cumberland Hotel at 11.15

Trains back include 15.55 (one change) and 16.34 (straight through arriving 17.12).

Sheila Schaffer obituary
by Peter Avis

The Guardian, Thursday 18 March 2010 18.14 GMT

My friend Sheila Schaffer, who has died aged 82, adorned political and civic life in Brighton over three decades. She continued to be a doughty campaigner after retiring as a Labour councillor in 1999.

Her causes were many and varied. Having chaired the innovatory women's committee on Brighton council, she more recently chaired the local United Nations Association and was chair and secretary of the Brighton and Hove Pensioners' Association. She was a member of the Youth Hostel Association and of the Clarion Cycling Club (remaining a biking socialist until her 80s). Mayor of Brighton in 1995, she had an authoritative presence in chairing meetings and a good sense of fun at other times. She was photographed by the French press during her mayoralty, posting a petition in Dieppe, Normandy, from visiting Brightonians to President Jacques Chirac, urging him to end nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific.

Sheila's first political commitment – as a teenager during the second world war – was simultaneously to the Young Communist League and to Habonim, an organisation for young Zionists. She quit the Communist party after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Her admiration of Israel was tempered by seeing the reality of the occupation suffered by the Palestinians.

Her recent involvement was with the Network of Engaged Buddhists. "But she probably wouldn't have called herself a Buddhist," recalls her friend Joyce Edmond Smith. "She didn't like words with 'ist' on the end."

Before the fruitful years of retirement, Sheila had been a senior librarian at Sussex University. Her life was always surrounded by the atmosphere of academe. She was the wife of Bernard Schaffer, fellow of the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex at his death in 1984 (they had met as students at the London School of Economics). She is survived by her son, Simon Schaffer, a historian of science at Cambridge University; her daughter-in-law, Anita Herle, curator at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; and her granddaughter, Eva.

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

56. Cycling accidents and some rather alarming advice on bike management from Swiftsure.

Following the extensive reporting of the first Easter Meet [see episodes 44-55] in the Clarion 20 April 1895 it is not surprising that Swiftsure's 'Cycling Notes' got squeezed out the following week in what was essentially the May Day issue with lots of fraternal greeting type messages from around the world. But he was back on 4th May.

There have been at least six fatal accidents to cyclists during the past few weeks, and if it were not that cycling is almost universal with all who can afford to indulge in it, there would surely arise an outcry against it similar to the periodic tirades against the evils and dangers of football.

There can be little doubt that many accidents - even minor ones - are preventable. The novice who cannot control his machine to a few yards is sure to be seen in the midst of traffic. The man who has seldom tested his powers of back-pedalling is almost certain to go touring in hilly districts without a brake. In fact, it is just those who ought not to risk these accidents to whom they most often happen.

Too much stress cannot be laid upon the necessity of a beginner learning to control his mount under all circumstances. Never mind speed; devote yourself to acquiring what may be termed a pocket edition of trick riding. Learn to dismount on either side of by a backward spring; learn to keep your machine erect whildst almost stationary, to swerve rapidly out of the path of danger, to dart forward or slow up suddently at will; in fact, learn to ride with your head, control your nerves, and move your machine as though it were part and parcel of your whole being; and the accidents which are only too frequent, will be fewer.

Next time - More on accidents and how to avoid them

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