Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

31 May 2010 Spring Bank Holiday Number

A more slimline circular this time after several 'bumper' issues. Which is a bit of a relief for me in my role as 'editor' at a time when I've got an awful lot on.

If you're not on the Bricycles mailing list you will not have received the following message from Becky Reynolds. I haven't any more details

Please keep an eye out for a press release about a ride in memory of Marie Vesco, the 19 year old cyclist who was sadly the victim of a road traffic crash on the A23 on 4/6/08. Her family and friends are conducting the ride on National Cycle Routes 20 and 21 on the 3rd and 4th of June. They are also looking for support from cyclists to audit the route. Sorry, no further details at present, though I believe there is a Facebook group.
Becky Reynolds
Bricycles Campaigns and Newsletter -

Our Iconic Artist (or Fred Pipes Up)

Anyone who has been passed the old Astoria building will have been delighted to see a whole wall full of Fred's splendid 'Modernist and Art Deco buildings' series. Modest to a fault as ever Fred says, in response to my query about including this item 'you may like to point out that the Council commission came from 'environmental  improvements' - the dept responsible for street cleaners and toilet  attendants rather than anything cultural!' [ There are some very 'cultured' street cleaners, Fred, not to mention lavatory attendants - for whom considerable degree of aesthetic sensitivity is reputed to be a requirement of entry into the profession. IB ]

Me and Astoria

Photos from our Rides

Jim has asked me to include his appreciation of 'Leon's wonderful bluebell photo from May 16th – it is after all a remarkable picture'. He adds that he'd like to 'see more pictures of wildlife, both flora and fauna – in future reports'. As a non-photographer and flora and fauna ignoramus I second that. [Please also remember to add any photos to our Flickr group so that I can link to them in the reports - Fred]

Clarion. Bluebells on Woodmancote Lane

2011 Weekend

So far Jim has had only 4 responses to his plea last time for ideas and preferences for a follow-up to this year's Dieppe Weekend. If you're interested in doing something similar next year please get in touch with him now To remind you, the suggestions so far outlined in Jim's piece were Ireland, Grand Union Canal etc around Milton Keynes, Oxford, New Forest but you may have other ideas. Please - if you want there to be a weekend 'expedition' next year at least let Jim know you're interested.

Future Rides … for the rest of 2010 (hope the new format, suggested by Roger, is helpful)

The ones marked with a * are ones I already know I can't make – and there may be one or too more.

Sunday Led by
27 June Jenny
11 July Jim
25 July Leon
8 August Bosham Ferry Ride – Ian?
22 August  
5 September  
19 September* Possible London ride – Angelika?
3 October*  
17 October  
7 November  
21 November*  
6 December*  
19 December  

Offers to organise/lead rides are more than welcome.. We seem to be OK now - thanks to Jenny, Jim and Leon - until the autumn. But please be thinking about what you might offer for the dates indicated then (and any others!

We resume the extracts from the Clarion in 1895 at the end of this newsletter.


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 13 June 2010
Horam via Abbot's Wood

This ride has a 'challenge' rating a little above average (some of them have to). It is slightly longer than usual and has a few steepish hills, but nothing that can't be walked. On the plus side it takes us past a secluded lake, and through some of the prettiest lanes in Sussex.

We start on NCR21 (known to its friends as the Cuckoo Trail), but turn off very soon onto NCR2 which takes us under the A22 and into the woods. There is a bit of a climb through Oggs Wood and past Nate Wood. Then we turn into Gate Wood on a track called Robin Post Lane. Take care here as the surface gets a bit bumpy in places, especially just before we reach the lake, where there is a narrow, dry ditch across the track that I really wouldn't want to cycle across - remind me to point it out before anyone tries!

No doubt we will want to stop and look at the lake before moving on into Abbot's Wood itself. (The name dates from the time of Henry I who gifted the wood to Battle Abbey.) There's a rather stony bit of track after the lake and then we're out of the woods. We will soon find ourselves on some fairly familiar lanes which bring us to the Yew Tree pub at Chalvington, which is an option for an early lunch (9 miles). Alternatively we could get another couple of miles under our belts and then eat at the Golden Cross.

After lunch things start to get a bit hilly (sorry – bad planning!), but remember, hills go down as well and up, and you learnt to walk before you learnt to cycle! No matter how you cope with them, the hills are worth the effort, because they take us into some beautiful countryside. They also deposit us on the Cuckoo Trail at Horam from where it's nine miles gently downhill all the way (almost) back to Polegate.

Meet: at Polegate Station at 10:49.
Getting there: 10:20 train from Brighton - be at Brighton station by 10:00 for a chance of a Groupsave ticket.
Ride length: About 25 miles
Hills: A few fairly steep climbs between Golden Cross and Horam.
Traffic: We will use mainly tracks and very quiet roads.
Off road: About half the ride is off road; the Cuckoo Trail is very well surfaced; some bits of the tracks through the woods are a bit rough.
Food & drink: A choice for lunch between the Yew Tree Inn at Chalvington (main meals and starters, including soup) or the Golden Cross Inn (wider range including baguettes). Tea and cake at the Old Loom, train times permitting.
Getting home: Direct trains to Brighton leave Polegate at 42 minutes past the hour, or catch the 6 minutes past and change at Lewes.
My mobile: 0789 985 1172. Please let me know if you're coming but not meeting at Brighton Station.


[NB 13 June is also the date for the World Naked Bike Ride, starting at The Level at 12 noon - Fred]

The Last Ride - Jenny's Report

Sunday 30 May 2010
Upper Beeding
Don't have the soup

Assembled at the Palace (sorry, Brighton) Pier were Anne, Ian, Jenny, Joyce, Mick, Nick, Roger, and Suzanne, soon to be joined by John just after we set off. At Marrocco's we were joined by Alice, Richard and Sandra.

Pulborough Brooks 10.05.19 and Clarion 009

There was a chilly headwind as we made our way past Carat's Café ('How do you make gold soup? Use 22 carrots') and over the lock gates at Shoreham. In Portslade all too soon Suzanne bid us farewell. The rest of us rode along the Coastal Link track, where before too long we came across Leon. He had been on his way to meet us when he fell in with a group of young lady cyclists who needed the use of his bicycle pump while mending a puncture (at least that was his version of events).

And so eventually we came to the Rising Sun at Upper Beeding, having been unable to go back to our usual haunt The Bridge, which has closed. We took over the conservatory and most of us enjoyed lunch. However, those who chose the tomato soup found it pretty well inedible - an unpleasant taste and smell, and too much cream. Perhaps it was what the late US comic Milton Berle used to refer to as 'cream of yesterday' - it didn't even warrant a photo. (In fact this report breaks new ground in not including any pictures of food, as far as I know - I'd rather see pictures of people anyway!)

Pulborough Brooks 10.05.19 and Clarion 011

After lunch everyone adjourned to the garden and sat in the sun before setting off back to Shoreham. Leon left us along the way. Some of us went to the airport for the now-traditional tea and cake on the terrace - Anne and Mick didn't stop but went on to catch up with Alice near Carat's and check she wasn't suffering from after-effects of the unbeautiful soup ('Beautiful soup, so rich and green. Waiting in a hot tureen!', sang Lewis Carroll's Mock Turtle), which had made Anne feel unwell. We should all be aware that the 18th-century name for a tomato was Lycopersicon esculentum, which translates as 'edible wolf's peach' (they were believed to be rather poisonous…).

Pulborough Brooks 10.05.19 and Clarion 012

Leaving the airport we headed over the Toll Bridge, past the mud flats disappearing under the tide, and into Hove through Southwick and many little suburban back streets. As we rode along, one by one riders left the group to head home, after a very enjoyable day covering what was familiar territory for most of us. Thanks Ian - lovely ride as usual, apart from the soup! If only it had been bean soup, I could have included the old joke: 'I know it's bean soup, but what is it NOW?'


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

61. A "testimonial" from John Trevor

Not for a change from Swiftsure's "Cycling Notes" but Blatchford himself from the "Clarion Post Bag" 11 May 1895

As I was saying, why has not Liverpool a Glee Club?

Yes and why have not all our towns Glee Clubs and Scouting Corps and Cycling Corps – that reminds me…

In this months Labour Prophet John Trevor * alludes to the Scout in the following friendly words:-

The rasping nature of Continental Socialism and of certain sections of English Socialism, too, makes one realise the debt that England owes to Robert Blatchford and the men of the Clarion. They have humanised us, they have taught us, without preaching at us, that smiles are stronger than curses, and joy than bitterness. In the battle in which we are engaged this is a new force for our movement. It all means the awakening of life and strength and joy among us. Never was a cause better served than by our friends in the Clarion

* Trevor was the founder of the Labour Church – which some Clarion cyclists such as Tom Groom and the Birmingham Clarion were at least on friendly relations with. Labour Prophet was its regular organ.

Next time. Blatchford on The Scout

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