Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

23 January 2005

You may notice that these rides are even shorter than is usual with us. There are two reasons for this – you can't predict the weather and if it's cold and/or wet, and if you're at all like me, an hour and a half or so actually out on the bike is as much as you’re likely to feel like. After that it starts not to be enjoyable as toes turn to ice etc.  Secondly, we’re keen to attract those folk on the mailing list who want to come out, perhaps even made New Year resolutions to do so, but need to start the year with nice easy rides. Look no further!

Sunday 30 January 
Berwick Circular – only about 14 miles

(and we can make it c 3 miles less by cutting out Selmeston if that’s the vote on the day. Could hardly be easier) 

All on quiet and pleasant country roads from Berwick station to Chalvington and Golden Cross (where we can have a stop at the pub of that name) then back down to Ripe (possible stop at The Lamb) then Selmeston (tea rooms?) and back to Berwick.

Catch10.40 from Brighton Station or meet at Berwick Station at 11.13. Aiming for return by 15.04 from Berwick arriving Brighton at 15.35. Both trains involve a change at Lewes.

Sunday 13 February  
Clayton – Plumpton – Plumpton Green – Hassocks

only 15/16 miles

A mile along the urban/suburban road towards Hurstpierpoint then down the little road that goes past Danny Park to Clayton. Follow Underhill Lane (being careful not to run down stray Hobbits) past the foot (emphasise foot) of Ditchling Beacon to Westmeston – continue on to Plumpton then north to Plumpton Green. More country lanes to the outskirts of Burgess Hill then down to Keymer and back to Hassocks station.

Catch 10.58 from Brighton Station or meet at Hassocks Station at 11.08. Aiming to return by 15.38 from Hassocks arriving Brighton at 15.50. Both Southern trains. No changes.

This is a  route with Fred and other keen photographers in mind. [If you haven't already done so check out Fred's photos in the 'reports' on the web.] The previous one on the 30th is very pleasant – but a bit lacking in architectural interest and photogenic sights generally. (Though I'm sure Fred will manage to get some good snaps as usual). This route – especially the first 3 or 4 miles is crammed with such interest. Pevsner sums up Hassocks succinctly, if cruelly – 'no church and no identity' – but after a mile and a half we'll be passing Danny Park which has both a late Elizabethan front dating from the 1580s and an early 18th century one dating from 1728.

Not long after we'll be reaching Clayton.'First we'll see what Pevsner calls 'two engaging oddities': the entrance of the Clayton tunnel built in 1840 with its castellated turrets (and small house – Joyce thinks she may know who lives there) and on the downs above us the Jack and Jill windmills – a tower mill of 1876 and a wooden post mill of 1821. The great treasure, though, is of course the little church with what Pevsner's  Sussex  in The Buildings of England series describes as 'Wall paintings unique in England for their extent, preservation and date' (about 1140).  By contrast he thought St Martins at Westmeston 'over-restored' and its 19th century stained glass 'as terrible as only Continental mid C19 glass can be' – so perhaps we won'’t linger there.'Past Plumpton Agricultural College we pass Plumpton Place – a C16/C17 century house 'done up', tastefully as ever, by Lutyens in the 1920s for the then owner of Country Life. But we might take a rest at the Half Moon pub. [Otherwise we can go on for another mile or two to one of the pubs in Plumpton Green.] Not so much architecture after that, though on the way down to Keymer we do pass near Oldland Windmill – an C18 post mill. Don't forget your camera, Fred!



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