Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

30 September 2008

Thanks to Leon and Jim for organising the two rides while I was away – very eventful ones judging from the reports. There seemed to be an awful lot of falling off bikes last time – and reading Tessa's report I felt slightly apprehensive about our chances of getting back to Berwick station after the Chiddingly Beer Festival without further casualties! As things turned out we all got back in one piece. (See Suzanne's report below.)

As Jim mentioned in the last but one circular, I was planning for us to do a ride to Upper Beeding (which we missed in the spring, because of the Old Toll Bridge being closed for repairs) as a sort of celebration of the reopening. But it doesn't rely on the vagaries of line closures for repair and so can be fitted in almost any time. But Roger's ride to Hayling Island is 'digging up the track sensitive' so that's what we'll do for the October ride. See details below.

After that there'll be a three-week gap between rides instead of the usual two. At the beginning of the year we agreed that it was a good idea to avoid the Sunday that Summer Time ends – it's always likely to confuse someone! So the next ride after 12 October will be on 2 November

Planning rides

Here are all the remaining dates for 2008: 2, 16, 30 Nov, 14 Dec.

Christmas Event

It's not too early to be thinking about what we'd like do this year. And thanks to Joyce and Roger we are not short of ideas. First, here's Joyce:

I have been thinking about possibles for a winter social event. Either just before Christmas or just after. I thought it might be nice to think a little further than the traditional meal.  So two possibilities might be:

1. A game of rounders on the Level in the morning - say elevenish - followed by an 'indoor' picnic with food brought by participants (this summer's picnic was so good I thought it worth repeating...). The picnic could be at a house reasonably near to the Level - I can offer mine - but it's only fair to say that it is up the hill...

2. A session of bowls at the Kind Alfred - again we could have two teams. We could follow that up with a meal in the area somewhere don't have anything in mind yet, but could investigate and any suggestions welcome - on the other hand we could again think of a a picnic if we can find a place.

These are only two ideas so if anybody has any others let us have them. Also thoughts on dates...  a Sunday? So far I am leaning towards the game of rounders...

To which Roger has already responded as follows:

Following up on your idea about a game of rounders, I mentioned it to Suzanne whose reaction was that she couldn't run at all.

However, I wonder whether a game of pétanque might be accessible to a
slightly wider range of people. We could use the terrain next to the West Pier (assuming work hasn't started on the i360 by then, in which case we would have to use the one at the Peace Statue.) Suzanne
and I have a set of boules each and three spare sets for visitors. Leon
also plays so he has at least one set. We could probably borrow some from the Pétanque Club if we needed more. We could follow up with a picnic at our house in Regency Square.

We will be away from 15-22 December. We would need to find a time when the Pétanque Club was not using the terrain for any major event.   I'm a member so I can do this if the idea is adopted.

This appealed to Joyce:

Sounds like a great idea , as far as I can see the best yet because all could play Should we go for a 'pub' meal or a restaurant, than a picnic - I prefer picnic myself but we can see . 

It appeals to me too; I bought myself a new set of boules a couple of weeks ago to replace the ones I had to abandon in Italy a few years ago. If Roger and Suzanne are away from 15th - and it might be a bit late to go for a date after 22nd I suggest we try to go for Saturday 13 December which is the day before our last ride for 2008. But what do you think? Do any of these suggestions appeal – or do you have an alternative idea? Please let Joyce know you view.

She's on

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



The Next Ride

Sunday 12 October 2008
Emsworth and Hayling Island

Hayling Island is attached to the mainland by a road bridge, near Havant. From Emsworth station we make our way down to the coast and then along the beach for a short way, to get to the bridge at Langstone.

The road bridge is busy but once across it we turn onto country lanes, which will take us to the suburban sprawl on the island's south coast. If there's time we can take a detour to see the East Hayling Light Railway and other rather sad looking seafront attractions.

We will use the Sustrans National Cycle Route 2 for our return; it starts at the ferry landing at the southwest tip of the island. For most of our journey it follows the 'Hayling Billy' Trail, which until 1963 was the route of a branch railway line; look out for the remains of the old railway bridge as we return to the mainland. We stay on route 2 for the final few miles back to Emsworth.

Distance: about 20 miles.
Hills: none.
Off road: about 5 miles, mainly on designated cycle routes
Traffic: heavy on the bridge onto the island; otherwise, no problems.
Steps: to the eastbound platform at Emsworth (no lift)
Catering: Lunch at either the Yew Tree Inn in the centre of the island, or the Ferry Boat Inn at the southwest tip, depending on timing; tea at the Flintstones Tea Room at Emsworth quay if there's time.

Getting there: meet at Emsworth station at 11:35. Catch the 10:17 from Brighton (10:28 from Hove). Be at Brighton station by 9:45 for a chance of a Groupsave discount.

There is a faster train from Hove at 10:26; if you catch it you could take a quick spin round Emsworth while you're waiting; it's a pleasant village, especially down by the water.

Getting back: fast trains to Hove at 4 minutes past the hour, with easy connections to Brighton (56 minutes to Brighton including change). Slower trains, direct to Hove and Brighton, at 38 minutes past the hour (1 hour 22 minutes to Brighton). We will probably aim for the 17:04, getting to Brighton at 18:00.

My mobile is 0789 985 1172


The Last Ride - Suzanne's Report

Sunday 28 September 2008
Berwick Circular or Sun, Festivities and Culture (Folk and High)

[More photos on Flickr]


After doing the Higher Mathematics course in railway tickets (i.e. converting one 4 person Groupsave and one 3 person Groupsave into a 7 person Groupsave) Tessa, Suzanne, Roger, Richard, Joyce, Fred and Angelica boarded an unusually deserted Eastbourne train (it's an ill bus link that brings nobody any good). The conversation reached the heady heights of composting food with worms. The train tried to abduct Angelica by not letting her off at Berwick, but finally the Magnificent Seven met up with the Magnificent One (aka Ian) and we were ready for the off… well, at least after the photo was taken, Roger had a spin on Richard's bike to try his new handlebars and we had all donned sunglasses. Yes, it was that sunny.


A gentle glide on quiet roads brought us to Golden Cross, over the big, bad main road and off to Chiddingly and its Festival. We took a small detour to once again admire Roland Penrose's house, to be given some interesting facts by Ian about Lee Miller and to wonder why it is the American who is commemorated by the plaque on the house and not her British husband.


And so to Chiddingly. The marquees were up, the stalls were open and the Morris dancers were jingling. There was a flurry of frenzied apple buying by Clarion members and then down to the serious matter of choosing between the local, homemade pies, the wild boar sausages, the venison burgers or the veggie platter. All to be washed down with a local brew. Art was inspected in the Church Hall, ice cream was eaten, friends were chatted to and then the belly dancers appeared. Not just one or two. Oh no! At least 12 of these pirouetting lovelies. The crowd greeted them enthusiastically and Fred was busy snapping away for the good of the Clarion website.


Another aspect of the Festival was the range of Open Houses in and around the village. We stopped at 'The Quadrangle'. This secluded group of cottages clustering round a grassy courtyard was originally intended to house injured service men returning from the First World War. It never played that role, but for us it still held many surprises: a shady wood harboured a photographic exhibition; the community's 1920's pump-house was studio to an artist of the geometric persuasion and two of the diminutive cottages were embellished with varied arts and crafts.


When finally Ian was able to round everyone up, we continued through the woods and along the hedgerows of the Weald and then, as we gradually dropped down toward the foot of the Downs, we came into the sunlit open countryside with glorious views of the Downs themselves. At which point the magic words 'tea and cakes' were heard rippling through the group.


The run down to Selmeston tea-rooms was a pleasure; the kitchen staff waved a welcome as we passed their window, out popped the chef to exchange cycling pleasantries with Richard and the tea, crumpets, teacakes, scones and carrot cake in the garden were a triumph. The waitress was a real professional, ensuring that we were served without delay so that we could catch the 4:48 from Berwick, the catch being, of course, that we had to cycle uphill out of Selmeston to return to our route. But the last couple of miles were an exhillarating ride in a downwardly direction as the shadows lengthened. Back to Berwick at exactly the right time with a short wait and a comfy ride home.

First prize to Ian as 'Shepherd of the Week' and for an enjoyable ride that did seem to have more downhill than up (how do they do that?!?)


[It's a secret I am keeping to myself for the moment! But thanks for the kind words – I was pleased that I managed to get the timing right throughout the day. Ian]

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

18. The Manchester cyclists' parade. Swiftsure's report continued from 13 October 1894

For the most part I had to watch the procession from amidst the crowd, otherwise I should have liked to have given something like a list of the various costumes which passed. I will therefore just give a few of those which impressed me the most.

The most worthy of mention was the excellent idea of the Longsight BC, who had rigged up a model of a lifeboat on eight bicycles, whilst the riders of the machines and the rest of their members were all dressed in full lifeboatmen's dress. Other dresses were: Australian digger, Red Indians, Robin Hood and his merry men, Punch and Judy á la tandem. 'two little girls in blue' (one of these girls had a deep bass voice) jockey and horse, Red Riding Hood and the wolf on tandem, fireman with minature escape on his machine, toreadors. Clowns, suit of mail, a ghost, vivandrière, Claudian, Old Father Time with his scythe, beef-eaters – in fact, I haven't space to enumerate a quarter of the eccentric costumes, though one more I must mention; he deserves it too, for the actual work must it must have been to him. He represented a broken down cyclist carrying the backbone and little wheel over his shoulder in front of him. Another rather vulgar creation was the mimicry of a female dressed in a nightgown and cap, carrying a candlestick. But stay, I'm rattling away as if I have the whole page to fill.

Mention should be made of the numerous harriers, in costume, who assisted in various ways to make the parade a success.

* * * * * *
The proceedings at the Botanical Gardens were of a lively description, and the musical ride was a good idea well carried out. To give a description of it would entail too much space. Suffice it to say that those who had the pleasure of watching it are loud in their praises of the novelty and execution of the ride. It was a pity that it couldn't have been carried out under more favourable conditions both for the spectators and the performers, and if on some future occasion it may be deemed worthy of repetition, a space should be secured where it can be done in a manner creditable to its originators.

* * * * * *
The duty of judging the various costumes must have proved a difficult one: but the following characters were awarded prizes: Fireman with fire escape, Little Boy Blue, Lohengrin, Old America, skeleton, gold digger, Little Tich with big cigar, rags and bones, Punch and Judy, captain, mate, and crew, strolling players 'Pagliacci', Napoleon and Josephine: whilst prizes for the largest club turnout were awarded as follows: Star Wheelers, 59 members in costume; Beswick Wheelers, 36; Robin Hood Wheelers, 30 members.

I understand that Birmingham is going in for a similar paraded for charitable objects shortly.

Next time - Liverpool CCC and 'Swiftsure' on Sunday cycling.

^ top