Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

28 June 2010

Still hoping for a report from participants in the the London-Brighton ride. Any offers? In the meantime there's Joyce on the NBR which you'll find immediately after the 'Next Ride' details and before her report on yesterday's one (see website for illustrated version).

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010 (less than 6 months till Christmas!)

The ones marked with a * are ones I already know I can't make - and there may be one or two more. It is not possible to check train availability more than 12 weeks in advance, so later rides will be provisional for this reason.

Sunday Led by
11 July Hayward Heath circular - Jim
25 July Hassocks circular - Leon
8 August Bosham Ferry Ride – Ian
22 August Eastbourne to Hastings along the coast – Roger
5 September Lewes circular - Jim
19 September* Possible London ride – Angelika?
3 October*  
17 October  
7 November  
21 November*  
6 December*  
19 December  

Offers to organise/lead rides are, as ever, more than welcome!

Possible Weekend 2011

Jim has now received a number of suggestions.

New Forest
Oxford and the Thames
Grand Union Canal & Ouzel Valley, Milton Keynes
Norfolk Broads
Peak District

See also Jim's cycling page on his website - which also includes details of rides he has organised And if you want to discuss any of these possibilities with him or make further suggestions, he's on

The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s latest episode is, as usual, 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 11 July 2010
Haywards Heath - Cuckfield - Slough Green - Bolney - Goddards Green - Burgess Hill - World's End - Haywards Heath

This ride was originally inspired by the view of Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve that one gets from the train after leaving Wivelsfield station, although the tiny bit of the nature reserve that we will pass through (it is huge) is not actually the bit you see from the train. It was also prompted by hearing Leon talking of such places as Cuckfield and Ansty, and realising I did not really have a very good idea where these places are.

On the way to Cuckfield we will go through another nature reserve, Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow. Lunch will be at the Bolney Stage pub, which has a better selection of dishes than the Sportsman at Goddards Green (also on our route), which only does roasts on Sundays. The Bolney Stage is a bit pricey, but has starters for a few pounds and also a couple of cheapish veggie main dishes. Because the pub is quite early on the route, we will start quite late (see below).

After lunch we encounter two very nice Clarionesque lanes, Buncton Lane and Stairbridge Lane. I am not sure if we've 'done' these before - quite possibly since we have definitely done Jobs Lane, which comes after them - but anyway they are worth doing again. (On Stairbridge Lane we go past a place called The Beershop, but alas it is only a private house and does not sell beer. A bit like Monty Python's Cheese Shop, then.)

After Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, which is at World's End, known to the builders of the railway as 'Wivelsfield' when, to be fair to them, it was probably just a load of grass and trees, there will be an option to return home from Wivelsfield station, if you can face carrying your bike up all those stairs. This will take about 4 miles off the ride.

A Tea Stop will be possible as we ride back through the main streets of Haywards Heath, South Road and The Broadway. There are several cafes here, although some look a bit pricey, and the one veritable 'greasy spoon' is not open on Sundays.


Length: 18 miles (14 if returning from Wivelsfield)

Duration: About 4 ½ hours, including lunch and tea stops.

Terrain: Mainly quiet tarmacked lanes, some B roads. The nature reserves have good cycle-able surfaces. Mainly flat with a few 'undulations'.

How to Get There: 11.00 train from Brighton; 10.21 train from London Victoria (10.27 Clapham Junction); 10.42 from London Bridge; or meet at Haywards Heath station (main entrance) at 11.20. Be at Brighton by 10.30 for Groupsave.

Return Trains to Brighton at 16.21, 16.26 or 16.56; to London Victoria at 16.11, 16.25 or 16.41, London Bridge at 16.32 or 17.02. Trains from Wivelsfield leave at 25 minutes past each hour to Brighton, and at 16 and 36 minutes past each hour to London.

My Mobile: 07742-963239.


Brighton & Hove's Naked Bike Ride - 12 June 2010


It looked like there were two stalwart Clarionettes on this 5th NBR , Fred and myself , but of course it clashed with the regular Clarion ride so no surprise. For myself, apart from the pleasure and fun of the bike ride, there was the fact that the leader of the Council had tried to get it banned so I was not going to miss it. And it was a fantastic day, we were blessed yet again with wonderful weather and the turnout was awesome. The organisers said 800 – 900 ( 700) last year, but the police and local paper estimated over 1,000. The ride is of course part of the World Naked Bike Ride and there were eight other events in the UK and over 50 worldwide. Whether it was the publicity about the ban, people turned out in hordes, they were lining the streets clapping and cheering and it seems the ride has become part of the B & H calendar. As for 'frightening' the tourists, they loved it, cameras at the ready - I found myself posing with a delightful young woman from South Korea ... This time we had some really good music to accompany us - especially the young woman sitting on the back of a bike playing guitar and singing into a mike! And then of course there was the swim at the end - the water was bracing, the company genial and the music great.


The Last Ride – Joyce's Report

Sunday 27 June
Lewes - Chalvington - Glynde

On what was the hottest day of the year, two faithful Clarionettes Richard and Joyce turned up at Lewes Station to meet Jenny - others on holiday, out of Brighton, sunning it on the beach (or MAYBE , although I don't believe it, watching the match).

You have to believe we were there because our attempts to get the traditional start photo were scuppered by a young woman who kindly offered to take it, even saying she had done several so we had a choice, only to find there was nothing in the camera ...

New thatch at Glynde

Jenny led us out of Lewes by a quiet route I have never taken before - (always something new with the Clarion), until a short burst on the A 27 cycle path led us to Ranscombe Lane and on to Glynde. Then through lovely quiet lanes to the Yew Tree, Chalvington. It was a perfect route for the day and the weather - the odd hill just to remind what it is all about, but mostly tranquil lanes bursting with greenery and life - a hawk rising up suddenly from a field, squirrels running in front of us and seemingly nothing else on the road (were they all at home watching?).

Glynde forge, dated 1907 on facade

A lovely, prolonged lunch at the Yew Tree, where we decided unusually to eat inside in the cool - by this time it was very hot indeed and the sun cream had had much use. And there was no television ...

Off again - this was really Jenny's territory and she was able to point out places she had stayed dog or animal sitting. That explained the ability to find such lovely quiet lanes.

Gate keepers at Glynde Place

We decided after lunch to go through Vert wood where it as a bit bumpy but completely dry and lovely and cool. Then there were more quiet lanes to amble along, a salute to the llamas and as Richard said 'when one is cycling like this one could go on forever'. A last pleasure was tea and cake/scones at Glynde Place - again we were the only customers so we had the magnificent garden to ourselves. Then round the corner to the station for a 6 minute wait for the train. A really lovely summer's day - thank you Jenny.


Chalvington: horse-drawn transport.

Jenny adds: We saw this lovely horse-drawn omnibus full of people plodding along the lane from the pub in Chalvington, holding up the traffic. We couldn't tell why it was there, but wouldn't it be nice if it turned out to be a village bus service?

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

63. 11 May 1895 "Post-Bag" concluded - A Clarion call from Blatchford.

Having urged every Clarion reader to order the new monthly The Scout, Blatchford gave a list from its "Directory of Scouting Corps" of 23 such organisations together with their secretaries' names and addresses, and encouraged readers to start one in any district not already covered. What's more:

We want a Clarion Cycling Club in every town. Let every Clarionette who is a cyclist read the Scout; let him read the following "Directory of Cycling Clubs".

And as with the scouting corps a list of clubs, secretaries and addresses followed in Birmingham, Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester (without any contact details), Newcastle, Nelson, Nottingham, Oldham, Potteries, Rochdale, Wigan and Wolverhampton.

The value of these clubs is very great and there is hardly any limit to the possibilities of the scheme. Let every Clarion reader buy the Scout, and that paper will be made larger and better until it is the best monthly paper in the world. Let every town form its scouting corps and glee club and soon "Merrie England"* will be in sight.

Come, my friends we can do it. Let us say we will do it. Let us make our minds up that next year we will have a Clarion cycle meet, at which a hundred clubs shall be represented. Let us resolve to have a hundred corps of Scouts at work before we taste another Christmas pudding.

These things can be done. But they can only be done by each reader acting as if the whole thing depended solely on his own exertions.

* Merrie England was the title of the little book by Blatchford explaining socialism in an easily accessible way that is often said to have been the most effective and successful piece of socialist propaganda ever in Britain. Originally serialised in the Clarion in 1892/3 it was then produced in book form for a shilling. It sold 25,000 copies. Then, with the Clarion covering the inevitable loss, a penny edition in October 1894 sold over 700,000, with a later 3d edition taking sales up to nearly a million. It was said to have sold equally well in the USA and was translated into a number of languages including (oddly given the title) Welsh.

Next time: "The Philosophy of the Bicycle"

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