Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

22 February 2010

When I said that yesterday's ride was partly inspired by the very first one Sheila, Joyce and myself did in 2004 as a sort of commemoration of Sheila's time with us (along with some of her reports - see below) I didn't intend that the weather would repeat the torrential rain we 'enjoyed' on that first ride. And the weather forecasts were way out! (see Tessa's report below)


To Nick who has just joined 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, follow the instructions at the bottom of the home page.


Nearly all our 2009 members have now rejoined and we hope that the remaining handful have just not got round to it - but will now, before the end of the month when Jim will be sending in the second - and we hope final - cheque to cover the national membership fees.

So, if you haven't done yet please send £7 to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE. Make your cheque (or P O) out to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club.

Thanks to Suzanne and Jim

Roger has had to withdraw from leading the two rides in March following medical advice after a leg operation which he was not expecting to have so early in the year. Thanks to Suzanne and Jim who have leaped into the breach (metaphorically speaking!)

Easter Meet

I'm attaching* the latest details from Bob about the Easter Meet along with this circular. The 'leisure ride' will also be one of our regular Sunday rides. Members will have also received booking details etc.

[* not inclued on the website]

Sheila's Reports

After the report of the last ride you will find another of Sheila's ride reports - this time I tried to include the photos but my computer didn't seem to like it. But do have a look at the version on the webpage

Longer, Faster Rides? 2nd Try

I suggested last time that there may be members (or indeed 'friends') who find our regular 'potterer' style rides too short and/or two slow and might like to organise alternative rides (perhaps on Sundays in between our regular ones) or simply to let others of like-mind know rides they are planning. I asked any such to let me know so I could put them in touch with each other and - if anything came of this - start advertising the rides in this circular. I've had no responses to date. Is there anyone who is interested?

Anyone interested in racing should of course contact Bob

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010

No response either to my proposal about skipping 21 October when BST ends - so that's what we'll do

Sundays 21 March (Jim), 4 April (Easter Sunday - This will be combined with a 'leisure ride' for people coming to the Eastbourne Meet who are not involved in the racing events. I've already planned this one.) 18 April, 2, 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 lead any of the unassigned rides - those not followed by someone's name – are needed and any volunteers, new or old, will be very warmly welcomed.

Low Tide Ride - Anyone Interested?

Roger has forwarded this message from Nick Sayers.

Hello, intrepid Low Tide and/or Naked Bike Riders
The next lowest tide of 2010 is coming up, on 2 March, and about this time
I'd normally start organising for the Low Tide Bike Ride over the exposed
sands of Brighton beach, as I have for the last four-and-a-bit years.
However, after 12 enormously successful and popular rides, I've decided to
call it a day. As a parent and artist, I want to move on to other things,
hopefully some of which will be paid for the hours I put in! I'm sure my
bike will also appreciate not going through salt water and sand yet again!
Would someone like to take over the reins? It's a great event, and it'd be a
shame if it passed away into Brighton history just yet. It doesn't take much
- at the bottom of this message is a quick how-to for anyone wanting to take
over organising the ride. Please get in touch if you'd like any help.
I'd already updated the Upcoming event listing for the 2 March tide, so if
anyone would like to meet then, ride and perhaps discuss continuing the
event, feel free! I'm not sure if I'll be there though, and I certainly
won't be the Leader!:
Good luck! See you out cycling sometime.
Vive la velorution nue maritime!
xo Nick 

* * *

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s latest episode, with an interesting light on attitudes to religion in Clarion circles is 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.

Sunday 7 March 2010
Hassocks to Preston Park

A ride using some familiar country roads but also incorporating a possible first for Clarion, the A23 cycle path - it's no jewel but it gets you in or out of Brighton fairly painlessly.

We'll head east from Hassocks to Hurstpieroint, and then Albourne Green, probably not named after the splendid green dome on the 1930s road house; this used to be a stylish stop on the main London Road, but now houses offices next to a quiet set of traffic lights.

Our next calling point will be the isolated village of Blackstone. The lanes get narrower and the Downs loom higher as we head towards Fulking; but don't worry, we're not going up them. We emerge from Clappers Lane into the village, which has some charming buildings, one, the Old Farmhouse, allegedly dating back to the 12th century. There's also a public tap dedicated to the memory of John Ruskin. Poynings is even more interesting because that's where we'll stop for lunch, at the Royal Oak.

After lunch we press on to Pycombe, where we join the A23 cycle path. This is a useful bit of the Brighton cycle network, but very little used; count how many non-Clarion cyclists we pass as we travel along it, with the din of the A23 on our left and the invisible and relatively quiet train line to London on our right. Note the storm reservoirs, designed presumably to stop the railway being flooded, but now looking very overgrown.

The last stage of our ride is on the A23 itself and takes us through Patcham and into Preston Park for a cup of tea at the café.

Note: This is not a circular ride: it starts in Hassocks and ends in Brighton.
Distance: 18 miles.
Meet: At Hassocks station at 10:56.
Getting there: Take the 10:44 train from Brighton; you only need a one-way ticket; be at the station by 10:20 for the chance of a Groupsave.
Hills: A few short, sharp climbs, mainly near Fulking and Pycombe; otherwise, pretty gentle.
Traffic: Mainly quiet roads and cycle tracks, but it will be single file only on the A23 for the last mile or so.
Off road: None - roads and well surfaced cycle paths only.
Catering: Lunch at the Royal Oak, Poynings - a good choice on the menu, but a bit pricey, unfortunately. Tea at the café in Preston Park, where the ride ends.
Getting home: For those who need a train, Brighton and Preston Park stations are a short ride from the café. [As is London Road - Fred]
My mobile 0776 516 0904. Please let me know if you're planning to meet at Hassocks rather than catch the 10:00 train from Brighton.


The Last Ride - Tessa's Report

Sunday 21 February
Cuckoo Trail

[More photos on Flickr]

I was very pleased to see Joyce and Fred when they turned up at Brighton Station. It was a rainy day but the optimists among us thought it would clear up.
We waited a few minutes to see if a fourth would arrive so we could get a Groupsave ticket. I decided to buy 4 tickets anyway, advised by the ticket clerk that it would cost the same as buying 3. Joyce and I were getting mathematic brain strain trying to work out if that was indeed the case when we suddenly realised our train was leaving in 4 minutes! We dashed through the barrier, and as we were running to the train, heard Anne calling us from the ticket hall. She hadn't time to buy a ticket but I shouted to her that we had one for her, so she too ran for the train. What luck! What an auspicious start to the day!

Jim joined the train at Lewes and we spent the journey planning a suitable 'inauguration' for Nick who had formally become a Clarion member. Ian and Nick were waiting at Polegate. Our luck was turning out to be mixed. I discovered I had left my warm and expensive ski gloves on the train. Luckily Ian had a spare pair to lend me and train expert Jim suggested I talk to the ticket clerk to see if he could retrieve them for me. Ticket clerk turned out to be a star - he bent over backwards to help, arranging for them to be dropped off at Polegate in time for our return journey - way beyond the call of duty.

The start at Polegate

Photo taken, we set off in steady rain. (It had started to hail at Polegate before our arrival, so the optimists among us thought we were lucky to have missed that!)
Ian sped off ahead, reasoning that it would be hard to get lost on the Cuckoo Trail. We passed a skittish pony harnessed to trap, a few cyclists, joggers and dog walkers.

Sheltering under a bridge

We were getting very wet, and under Woodham Bridge, all of us except Ian and Joyce, who were ahead, decided we would like to shorten the ride. We carried on to the shelter of Horsebeech Lane Bridge where we dug our heels in and after contacting Joyce by phone, decided to wait for their return - we knew our pub lunch stop was on the way back from the Heathfied end of the Trail.

Ian and Joyce on the way back

Reunited, 5 very cold and wet riders joined Ian and Joyce for the last few miles to the Kings Head pub where a watery sun was starting to filter through the clouds. Ironic that it turned out our only clear skies were when we were in the pub! What a relief to be in the warm. We stripped off, some more than others, and creatively tried to dry off bits of clothing - newspaper stuffed in shoes, constant use of the loo hand drier - Many had rather meagre bowls of soup, but it was hot and delicious, augmented by Nick's plate of cheesy chips which he shared.

Joyce explains Robin Hood tax

Conversation took in various cholestrol beating diets, fairy cakes, cinema and Joyce urged us to go on the 'Robin Hood Tax' website to click our support for a tax on speculative bank investments. [Don't forget to do this! IB]

Nick's 'inauguration' was to be 'Fellowship is Life. Lack of Fellowship is Death' announced loudly 4 times in the pub. He deferred, saying he needed time to practice, he would do it on the Dieppe trip!

The King's Head

We donned our still-wet clothes and headed off into the biting wind and rain. We got separated from Anne who took a slightly longer route back to the station It was only a few miles and we met up with her on the platform with only a few minutes to wait for our train. I had retrieved my warm and dry gloves from the ticket clerk. We waved goodbye to Nick, still on the platform waiting for the London train.


Sheila's Reports 2)

Sunday 22nd May 2005 - ride from Chichester.

{See the illustrated version here]

Six of us set off from Chichester railway station. It is a great station to cycle from as going we were almost immediately cycling along the towpath of the Chichester Canal. At the end of the path there was a heated discussion about whether to take the picturesque longer route even though we were we not meant to cycle along a small section of it, or take the shorter route along a busier road. We decided for the picturesque but took the wrong road and had to come back. Eventually we took the correct road and turned of the main road and cycled down lovely narrow roads with hedges full of cow parsley. We cycled through North Mundham and Fisher before a small discussion with two young men who told us what we already knew, that we shouldn't really have been cycling along this track. We eventually arrived at Sidlesham on the edge of Pagham Harbour and stopped for lunch at The Crab and Lobster. We ate well in the garden there. It is certainly a pub worth remembering.  Ian meanwhile sat on a seat at the edge of Pagham Harbour and communed.
After lunch we cycled west through Earnley and Bracklesham and through suburban East and West Wittering. We then wended our way north towards the ferry at West Ichenor. The ferryman managed to get all six of us and six bikes (and his dog) on a very small ferryboat. The tide was about as far out as it could possibly be so the journey had to be very short (no deck quoites for us). We pushed the bikes over seaweed and were soon cycling round the harbour at Bosham. There we took a democratic decision to stop for tea and toasted teacakes. We set off again and soon came upon a well marked cycle route that took us right back to Chichester Station. By the end we had cycled about 25 very pleasant miles.  Many thanks to all for their company. 


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

54. The Ashbourne Meet 'smoker' and Sheol. The penultimate episode of of 'The Easter Meet. Evolution of the Cycle' from the Clarion, 20 April 1895

Like me you may not have previously come across Sheol. It seems that it was, according to parts of the Hebrew scriptures/Old Testament where all the dead went - 'good' and 'bad' alike. Hence, presumably, the attraction of the concept to some Clarionettes. If you look back to the very first episode (on the history page of our website) you'll see that Tom Groom (aka the O' Groomie O) was also Secretary of the Bond Street Labour Church in Birmingham - with my explanatory note. You get I think an idea of the religious radicalism which for some was part of the 'socialist revival' of the1890s. Blatchford's attack on organised religion in God and My Neighbour in 1903 shocked some people more than his socialism. The appearance of the banker in the second stanza of 'A Dream' seems quite contemporary, doesn't it, though they don't seem to be so keen on charitable good deeds (or deodands - see note after the extract) these days?

It would have done the Chief good if he could have attended a smoker that night [the night they arrived in Ashbourne for the Meet. I B] Then did the great souls of the O Groomie O, McAtkinson, and the Grand Old Garbut of Birmingham meet and fraternise with the indomitable Citizen, the Lone Scout, and others of Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Halifax, Hanley, Nottingham, and other towns also sent their contingent, and a right merry evening of good fellowship was spent.

I'm sorry to say that we can't find space to mention all the good fellows who gave us "turns" with singing and recitations with "point" and good workmanship. Mind you. Here's one, however, by friend Milner from Bradford Aboo (sic) as an example.

A Dream

I dreamed a dream that after long hours of pain
And parting, I had died and lived again.
And floating somewhere - far beyond the skikes
Had found the guarded gates of Paradise
Where to the Angel of the Flaming Sword,
I showed my pass signed "Servant of the Lord"
"Enter," the Angel cried, "and have no fear
Friends of your Friend are always welcome here."
I bowed; the doors fled wide, I heard the singing
And saw the blest through golden ether winging
As thick as when an earthly sunbeam floats
Across the room, within it dance the moats

There was a banker, who from fraud-got store,
Had left a deodand to endow the poor;
The grim inquisitor, whose pious zeal
Showed heretics the flames he'd have them feel;
The gallows-houselled felon's care-worn wreath
For what are Hope and Charity to Faith?

But all of those who taught mankind to rise
Above the sordid world of woes and ties,
Of those by whom man's progress was begun
In love and wisdom I beheld not one.
My spirits sank, "Ah, sir, "with grief I cried,
"Have you no souls of the noble sort inside?
I dare not seek to live with such as these.
Where are Aurelius, Zeno, Socrates,
Spinoza, Galileo, Nunquam, where?"
The Angel answered, pointing downwards, "There!"
I turned and fluttered that way in affright
And reached at length a seen of softer light –
Where those I sought, and more with sober mien,
Were talking, active but serene.
"Nunquam" advanced, and , pointing to the door,
Said "Welcome, friend, to Sheol, Hell no more,
These souls you see, to friends of all their kind,
To make the most of evil, had no mind;
And truth to tell, had doubted from the first,
If there could be a region so accured.
Yet finding that in fact some things went ill,
Put forth their practised energy and skill,
Improved the climate, drained the lake of fire,
Talked to the fallen angels, trained the quire:
Put down bad language, stopt theology,
And made the agreeable Limbo that you see."

The O' Groomie O also read a paper dealing with the same subject - the conversion from a Birmingham point of view - of Sheol which was well received.


[After we sang 'The Red Flag' (all the verses!) at Sheila's funeral some people didn't seem to know the meaning of 'pelf' (let's hope because they've never indulged in it themselves) so perhaps I better explain that a 'deodand' is something forfeited or given to God. IB]

Next time - Easter Sunday at the Meet (and the'Beery Person' re-emerges)

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