Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

2 January 2010

Everyone who knew Sheila will be very sad to learn that she died a few days ago - between Christmas and the New Year. Joyce will I hope be writing something about her for a future edition.

Joyce, Sheila and Sue (with Sydney)

Sheila with Joyce and Sue at Carat's Cafe on New Year's day last year

National Clarion Meet 2010 - Eastbourne at Easter
Just to remind everyone that two of our members Bob and Colette are organising the national Clarion Meet at Eastbourne over the Easter weekend. I hoping to have more details from Bob - including what we might be able to do to help soon.

Volunteers Still Needed
Thanks to those who are looking at offering rides in March when I definitely can't make it, but don't let that discourage anyone else from volunteering for any of the dates below except Easter Sunday obviously – nothing is fixed yet apart from that. I'm trying to commit to a lot fewer rides than in the past; the back and leg problems I had in September makes me a bit unreliable these days – especially in the winter when I can't cope with very cold weather any more. So please think about volunteering a ride. If every 'regular' would take on just one each year the problem would be solved!

Future Rides
Sundays 24 January; 7, 21 February and 7, 21 March. I can't make either of the March dates. 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.)

AGM and Subs - Reminders
Members with items for the AGM agenda should let me have them by next Sunday (10 January) if possible. I'll be compiling and circulating the agenda as soon after that as possible The meeting will be on Tuesday 26 January at Roger and Suzanne's - 39 Regency Square.

Jim has already received quite a few renewals but if you haven't already done so pleases send £7 (£6 national subscription plus our £1 fee - to Jim Grozier, 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE. Make your cheque (or P O) out to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club. Please don't delay so that Jim will then be able to send a single cheque for £6 x the number of renewing members to the national membership secretary before the end of January.

New Members?
Anyone not yet a member who would like to join us here's what to do.
lease print out and fill in the PDF membership form, sign it and send it to Jim with your sub.

Cycle Forum
Roger will be attending the Cycle Forum on 12 January. If you have any issues or views you'd like him to put forward please let him know ASAP and in any case by the 8 January.

He's at or (01273) 321794)

* * * *

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

Happy New Year


The Next Rides

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

Sunday 10 January 2010
The Villages of the Lower Ouse Valley

First, a new suggestion for Clarion rides: if you're coming, but not catching the train at Brighton, call the ride leader to let them know. Two reasons: so we don't leave without you and so the leader can warn you if there's a problem.

We will start this ride in Lewes and follow the road on the west side of the river Ouse down to Newhaven, visiting most of the villages along the way. The first and largest is Kingston, look out for the view back towards Lewes Castle and the 13th century bells in the village church.

A little way further down the road is Ifield; we enter it past an up-market horse riding establishment and leave it past an imposing barn (full of grain when I did the trial ride), the countryside at play and work.

Next up is Rodmell, possibly the most famous of the bunch, certainly amongst literary types. It was here that Virginia Woolf lived with her husband Leonard in Monks House. It was also from here that she set out one day in 1941 to walk down to the river to drown herself. Leonard stayed on in the house until 1969. It is now owned by the National Trust, but unfortunately will not be open for visits when we pass by.

On past Rodmell church to Southease, well known to train travellers as a halt on the line between Lewes and Newhaven. We will make contact with the river itself here as we digress briefly to see the old swing bridge, which is Grade 2 listed and is due shortly to be re-furbished to take vehicles of up to 20 tons. Look out for the church's round tower, one of only three in Sussex! The last 100 yards or so up out of Southease will be a good opportunity for a walk.

Our final village visit will be Piddinghoe. Look out for the bottle shaped brick kiln, the only one remaining in the country. Also the church, which has another of those rare, round towers.

From Piddinghoe it is only a short hop into Newhaven where we will cycle alongside the harbour for lunch at the Hope Inn near the harbour entrance.

The final stage of the ride is entirely without villages. It takes us along the splendid National Cycle Network route 2 to Seaford where we can enjoy a cup of something at the Coffee Shop in Broad Street (closes at 4pm) or just jump straight on the train back to Brighton


NB This is not a circular ride – it starts at Lewes and ends at Seaford.
Distance About 14 miles.
Meet Outside Lewes Station at 10:25
Getting there Take the 10:09 from Brighton - be at the station by 9:45 for a chance of a group-save ticket. Buy a return to Seaford but get out at Lewes! Possible suggestion for if you're coming by car: park at Seaford and catch the 9:53 train to Lewes for the start of the ride.
Hills A few ups and downs, but nothing too serious.
Traffic We will use the Lewes to Newhaven road which can be fairly busy, but we will divert onto parallel routes where possible.
Off road Mostly on roads or well surfaced cycle paths, but we will take one or two short tracks which may be muddy if the weather has been wet.
Catering Lunch at the Hope Inn at Newhaven (British style menu) and possibly tea at the Coffee Shop in Broad Street, Seaford (closes at 4pm).
Getting home Trains leave Seaford for Brighton at 28 (direct) and 53 (change at Lewes) minutes past each hour.
My mobile 0789 985 1172 Please let me know if you're planning to meet at Lewes rather than catch the 10:09 from Brighton.


Sunday 20 December
Clarion Christmas Meal
- Jim's Report

[More photos on Flickr]

Roger and Suzanne had laid on an impressive do, hiring the function room of the Open House pub and preparing a cycling quiz for our pre-lunch delectation. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't playing ball; the snow had come down two days before and then froze. It had taken Joyce half an hour to get down Bentham Road, but she persevered and made it to the pub. Mick turned up but without Anne - she was on her way up Ditchling Rise, and half an hour later she was still on her way - but just before we all went out to look for her, she too arrived. Understandably, several of the people who had planned to come were put off by the weather, and in the end there were just nine of us.

The quiz, part 1

Having delayed the quiz to wait for people to get there, we decided to go straight on to the lunch. There were meat roasts and veggie roasts, child portions and adult portions, all very much enjoyed.

For the quiz we split up into two teams. With Roger asking the questions and Suzanne doing the marking, there were enough people for one team of four and one of three. My team consisted of Angela, Anne and myself while the opposing team was made up of Mick, Fred, Joyce and Tessa. And yes, the questions really were about cycling! So, predictably, scores were low, with Angela and me just pipping Fred, Joyce and Tessa by one point (the Barrys having left half way through for the next event in their social whirl).

Happy diners

Then it was time to set off on the long, slow and careful walk home – walking in the road and hanging on to parked cars being the favoured tactic. Thanks to Roger and Suzanne for organising the event and let's hope we get better weather, and a better turnout, next year.


Clarion New Year's Day Ride
Palace Pier to Carats Café and back
- Jim's Report

[More photos on Flickr]

The annual Carats ride was overshadowed by the recent death of Sheila Schaffer. Joyce has written a piece about Sheila. We will all miss her. She had been out of the saddle for some time, but always attended the New Year events. Over lunch, it was noted with sadness that Sue had been accustomed to bringing two passengers in her car each year – Ed and Sheila – but this year she travelled alone.

The start at Palace Pier

So six subdued and thoughtful cyclists set off from the pier, into the west wind – Ian, Joyce, Fred, Mick, Anne and myself. We were joined at the café by Jenny, who has had her operation and will soon be cycling again, and by Sue, and two potential new Clarionistas, Les and Liz.

Outside Carat's Cafe

It was sunny but cold, and there were divided opinions about sitting inside or outside the café. But 'fellowship is life' - so what else could we do but split into two opposing factions? However, when Fred and I had eaten, we joined the 'outside' group along with Jenny and the Bullocks, and several people gave me money. That's because the subs are due, folks! So if you haven't paid yet, pay soon and we will see if we can call the boys off.

The sea

Just before we left, the wind behind us now, we saw a very brave (or maybe foolish) young man having a dip in the sea. In true 'herding cats' style, the six cyclists returned to the pier in two groups of three, but the groups were reunited en route. At the corner of Hove Lawns, a woman accosted Fred and asked for £1 for the parking ticket machine. It transpired that this was no common highwaywoman, however, but one of Fred's many friends. Nevertheless, this did not stop us discussing the fundraising potential of similar activities on future rides!


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

50. The Clarion staff at the first Easter Meet 'The Evolution of the Cycle' The Clarion, 20 April 1895

It was the great sight of the century. Even the Beery Person admitted that after Whiffly had endeavoured to wipe the floor with him. We couldn't convert him because he disarmed us by his artless and ingenuous admissions.

"Aw don't know owt," he said, when pressed by the Scouts. "and aw don't want to know owt."

Such a line of defence was impregnable and worth in every respect of Ashbourne which is, perhaps, the sleepiest hollow in England. But I anticipate.

As usual, Whiffly accomplished the great feats. He had purchased himself a six-and sixpenny pair of knickerbockers and a pair of convoluted stockings and yet people did not tear him to pieces. Whiffly is a brave man, and people are forebearing.

When Dangle saw these sartorial eruptions he went into secret places and communed darkly with himself. But the shops were all shut.

To be concluded Next time

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