Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

26 May 2008

I've been asked about donations to his favourite charities in memory of Ed Furey. I made enquiries after his funeral last Monday.

The charities are:-
60+ Action Group in Brighton and Hove
Amnesty International
Medecins sans Frontières

Sarah would like to keep track of what is being given, so that she can thank people and report back eventually, so please send a cheque to her – Sarah Furey - at 70 Larkfield Way, BN1 8EF. If you want your donation to go to one particular charity of the three make it out accordingly. Otherwise make it out to Sarah and she will divide up the total sent between them.

Planning rides

As we get more people offering to lead rides, I'm trying to take on the role of 'filler –in' But there are some dates which I now know I won't be around for. Apart from the Toll Bridge ride on 27 July which Jim is acting as Clarion co-ordinator for, some one else will be needed for all the dates in the list below that I've put in bold. This doesn't, of course, mean that volunteers for other dates aren't also welcomed.

Here are all the remaining dates for 2008:
22 June; 6 (Jim) , 20 July, 3, 17, 31 Aug; 14, 28 Sept, 12 Oct, 2, 16, 30 Nov, 14 Dec.

If you want to lead a ride on one of these dates: -

  1. Work out your route and – very important - check the trains on the possible dates making sure to research train availability – one needs to check the 'details' on the Journey Planner website to make sure it's a 'train' and not a 'replacement bus'.
  2. Contact me suggesting the proposed date for your ride (I'll then put your name beside the date so everyone can see what's still up for grabs)
  3. If you've booked a date some way ahead please confirm to me that the ride is still on at least 3 weeks before
  4. Just before the previous ride to the one you're planning – or earlier if possible - send me the details laid out in the familiar format so I can put it straight into the next circular.

Summer Special Weekend – 5 and 6 July

We usually only run to one ride a fortnight. This July will be different. We will have two extra 'specials' – the TakePart event and the Old Toll Bridge ride. So there will be 'regular' rides on 20th and again on 3 August and in between the Shoreham Toll Bridge Ride (for which Jim is co-ordinating our contingent - see below).

But before all that, on the first weekend of July we will be offering on the Saturday as part of the TakePart events a 'leisure' ride along the seafront visiting Shoreham Beach (including the fort and the lagoon) and then on the Sunday Jim will be leading the long anticipated ride on the Romney Marshes. Jim say's 'It's basically a triangle – Rye to Appledore to Lydd, then back to Rye via Camber (and a dip if it's nice).' It is about 27 miles (all pretty flat of course). [For full details see the very end of this Circular; I've put it there so no one (I hope!) will get it mixed up with the next ride and turn up at Rye the best part of two months early!]

So, while you can come on a Clarion ride on 2 consecutive days – if you can't make, or don't fancy, the Rye ride, please help to make up the numbers (or help out with the throng of new participants!) the day before. Meanwhile, Jim writes…

Save The Toll Bridge Sponsored Bike Ride – Sunday 27 July 2008

Yes, the Toll Bridge Ride lives on! Although work has started on the bridge, there is still a £95,000 shortfall, so they still need to raise money.

2008 is a MUST for Clarion people, because last year we complained at the length of the middle-distance ride, pointing out that we have to do an extra 6 or 7 miles cycling from Shoreham station to Coombes Farm and back again. And look what they've done! They've only brought in a nice short 16 mile option (which will be more like 22 miles when the extra miles are added in) – just right for the average Clarionette! (There are also 5, 6, 26 and 38 mile options for those with longer or shorter legs than average.) What's more, the 16 mile option includes in its title the magic words 'Wiston Tea Room'!

So do please support the Toll Bridge (or Tool Bridge, as it says on the Coombes Farm website) this year. You can download a form at And please tell me if you are going. I don't yet know the start time, as it isn't mentioned on the form, but will e-mail everyone nearer the time with details of a suggested train. We may also find that we can't use the Toll Bridge itself to get there due to the work in progress, so I will research an alternative route.

For those who haven't done it before – do come – it's fun! And you will be doing your bit to show all those keen young cyclists in funny clothes how it's really done!

Jim or 01273-505550
Cycling gardener
Fred writes: If anyone is in need of help in the garden I can recommend 'the  cycling gardener' - he carries all his tools around in a bike  trailer, but if you need to dump green waste too much for the compost heap, like hedge trimmings, you'll have to contact Magpie to collect them. Call Iain on 07989 972738 (or 357548) or surf to

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club in 1894 - Latest episode at the end of the Circular as usual.



The Next Ride

Sunday 8 June 2008
Surrey Revisited: Moles, Voles and Deer
Gatwick – Horley – Meath Green – Woodhatch – Leigh – Norwood Hill – Hookwood – Horley – Gatwick

About 20 miles, mostly on tarmacked roads; some bridleway; some concrete.

Hill rating: Hardly any.
Oil rating: Higher than I'd like, but tolerable (and maybe quieter on Sundays)
Wildlife rating: Excellent
Sewage Farms: None detectable.

Having finally discovered a means of escaping from Gatwick Airport, we can start this ride from there, instead of changing onto a Horley train, although we will actually pass Horley Station on the way. But there is a big bonus for us in doing it this way, namely the Riverside Garden Park. This green oasis comes as a pleasant surprise when one has only just emerged from the monstrosity that is Gatwick Airport; and as well as the fish in the Gatwick Stream and the pond, other creatures, like the bank vole I met on the practice ride, seem pretty happy there.

We again encounter National Cycle Route 21, as we did on our last Surrey ride – but we must resist the temptation to follow it all the way to Greenwich, as the signs suggest. Instead we head out along Meath Green Lane, which wanders around skirting the floodplain of the River Mole; we won't actually see the Mole itself until much later, however. The lane turns into Lonesome Lane, surely a worthy addition to our Interesting Road Names collection.

After passing through the suburbs of Reigate at Woodhatch, and finally crossing the Mole at Flanchford Bridge, we eventually reach Leigh (not the one in Kent), where there is a nice pub called the Plough where we can have lunch.

After Leigh we take the Newdigate road, but turn off and pass briefly through the delightful Hammonds Copse Nature Reserve. Part of this copse qualifies as Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, having been wooded for over 400 years. Here we may see deer (I spotted two on the practice ride).

All too soon we are out into the open again, but on a nice quiet road. On the way back we re-cross the Mole between Hookwood and Horley, and we should be able to have a cup of tea in Horley if anywhere is open.

Catch the 10.44 train from Brighton (Hassocks 10.52), arriving at Gatwick at 11.14. Those travelling by car may wish to park in the airport car park and meet us in the airport concourse (Zone J) just outside the station exit; or contact Jim ( to discuss alternative rendezvous points.

Trains back to Brighton leave Gatwick at 12, 20, 42 and 50 minutes past the hour. Journey times between 23 and 38 minutes.

Jim's mobile no.: 07742-963239

We can take advantage of the half-price 'Groupsave' ticket option if there are at least four of us. To do this, you need to be at the station half an hour before the train leaves, so that there is enough time to organise it. (Please try to be at Brighton Station by 10.15 if you want to get a Groupsave ticket).

The Last Ride - Leon's Report

Sunday 25 May
Hassocks circular (Twineham, Blackstone, Hurst)

[Click on Leon's photos to see them bigger on Flickr.]

The weather forecasts over the past few days predicted bad weather for today, they were wrong.

Clarion cycle ride 25-May-2008-01

Right from the start at Hassocks station the day felt good. There on the platform we grouped, our leader for the day Ian, Joyce, Anne, Roger, Mick, our guests for the day Laurence and Luke, and yours truly Leon. The now usual timed exposure photo was taken followed by another offered by a passing tourist from Sicily, but the first one turned out to be the best I think.

We all set off down Station Approach West eager to put distance between the built-up area and us around Hassocks station. Crossing the Keymer road can be a little tricky at times, but today the traffic was light and Joyce failed to notice a car heading in her direction. The car was driven by a young lady who was not speeding and did notice Joyce crossing in front of her, and slowed to give way to all our relief.

Up to the Stonepound crossroads where we were held on a red light for what seemed ages. Over Wickham Hill and into College Lane Hurstpierpoint. At the college left into Chalkers Lane and Danworth Lane without further incident.

Clarion cycle ride 25-May-2008-03a

There were many puddles and patches of loose gravel here and there where the lanes dipped. Sunshine was becoming more evident as we passed through dense shadows and open areas of countryside. Crossing the A23 at Ricebridge and back into more lovely lanes including Bob Lane where could be seen newly flowering wild roses.

Clarion cycle ride 25-May-2008-04

Downhill for a short while to reach our lunch stop at the Royal Oak public house.
The food was to our satisfaction and not too costly. After about an hour of fun and chat we resumed our steady plod south to Blackstone and beyond.

Clarion cycle ride 25-May-2008-05

Wending our way east through very pleasant lanes back to Hurstpierpoint where we had another stop, this time for tea at Washbrooks Farm where Laurence was told some of the history of the Clarion.

Clarion cycle ride 25-May-2008-06

I made the suggestion to Ian that a more pleasant way back to Hassocks could be found by avoiding the main road up Wickham hill and the Stonepound crossing. It was agreed that Ian would go on alone taking the main roads and that all the rest of us would explore the tracks back to the Hassocks station. After a very short dead-end error on my part near to St. George's chapel, the path was located and found to be most useful all the way to the A273 London road.

Arriving at Hassocks station east side just in time for the Brighton train.

Our thanks go to Ian for arranging this most pleasant ride of 20 miles.


[Click on Leon's photos to see them bigger on Flickr.]

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

9. Birmingham CCC's Tour of North Wales

You will recall (he writes hopefully) that the report of the Potteries' tour of Jersey ended. I think the last few paragraphs of the O Groomie O's report will strike a chord with many of our regular ride participants.

'Total distance about 700 miles. What price that, Brum?' (see last Circular)

On 8 September 1894 the following report from 'Brum' appeared:

The Birmingham Clarion Cycling Club have been on tour in North Wales. The route was via Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, a few Welsh towns with the usual LLs and Ws in, and on to Dolgelly. Shrewsbury was reached in safety, where we delivered ourselves into the hands of a guide. True it was raining, true the Welsh roads are composed of clay and chalk, and when wet have surfaces ressembling thick butter.

About eleven o'clock that night when we were thoroughly wet through and dog tired, we reached a miserable little village, where we passed the night. Ugh!!

After much plugging the next day we came to the shores of Lake Vyrnwy, a reservoir belonging to Liverpool Corporation. Our party split up here. One bit going with a guide who was certain of the road, the other staying with a guide who inquired his way of the natives. I chose the more modest guide.

This individual, whose own unaided ignorance is sufficient, was enabled by the assistance of local stupidity to take his party over a mountain 2,050 feet high. The only paths being sheep tracks, up which we had to push our jiggers. Near the top the 'Post' gave out, so we dragged him to a shepherd's cottage and begged for tea. That was our salvation and under its influence we became quite cheerful.

Once more we started climbing. At last we find ourselves on the down grade, and after a few hours arrive at the main road to Dolgelly.

We inquire the distance and are informed that it is eight miles. It is growing dark and still raining but we mount our machines and push on. After riding what seems to be an hour, we hear footsteps, and shout to know how far to Dolgelly. 'About eight miles' is the reply. A bend in the road shows us the lights of a town; so at last, tired out, wet through, and terribly hungry, we arrive at the Talbot Inn in Dolgelly.The others arrive in a quarter of an hour, the food supply is lessened considerably, and then to sleep.

The rest of the week is filled up with walking and cycling excursions, and despite the rain, we enjoyed ourselves. Mrs Williams you did us proud. Twenty four shillings for a week's board and lodging 'and such a board you gave us' was very sweet. We shall come again.

On the following Sunday the last of our party left, reaching Birmingham via Llangollen and Shrewsbury. The ride home was uneventful, except that it left off raining. That we slept, or rather didn't sleep, with an individual with a nose like 'Gabriel's trumpet', that we killed a dog, and that we rode from Wolverhampton to Brum without any members dying on the way.

Arrived in Brim once more we departed our several ways and sought our virtuous couches, there to sleep and dream of that sweet land

'Where bad roads shall cease from troubling
And "Vibrations" is at rest'

No, we didn't do seven hundred miles, but then perhaps that was because we didn't take a boat and because we occasionally stopped for something to eat and drink. Moreover, our club isn't great at distances. As the Rockman expressed it, 'What this club wants is not a speedometer, but a boozometer.'

However, here's to a merry meeting at Lichfield where we will try to deserve 'Clincher's' praise.

Next time: The rules of the Potteries CCC and and advert for the Clarion cycle

From Jim

Sunday 6 July 2008
Rye - Appledore - Lydd - Camber - Rye:

About 27 miles, mostly on tarmacked roads; some cycle paths

Hill rating: None. Really. It's dead flat.
Oil rating: Fine once we get past Appledore.
Wildlife rating: Excellent
Sewers: Lots (that's what they call ditches in these parts)

We leave Rye on the long straight Military Road that runs alongside the River Rother and Royal Military Canal. There will be light traffic, some of it going much too fast. But after Appledore, we are on delightfully quiet little lanes.

We will have lunch at the Woolpack, a 15th century inn in the middle of nowhere.

Lydd is an ancient town with a huge church. Unfortunately it is also home to an ugly army base. From Lydd back to Rye we will mostly be on a Sustrans cycle path that runs alongside the road. Camber is a grotty holiday resort, but we may go in for a dip here if we want.

Creatures we may spot: herons, oystercatchers, yellowhammers, swans (and possibly cygnets), sheep, rabbits, and two very fat pigs.

If time allows we can have tea in Rye before catching the train back.

10.20 train from Brighton, arriving Rye 11.44
(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave)

Return train: 16.45 from Rye, arriving Brighton 18.12

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