Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

3 November 2008

Planning rides

Just 3 more rides in 2008: 16 Nov (see below), 30 Nov, 14 Dec. No one has dissented from my proposals for the beginning of next year – so we'll consider that agreed – at least for the time being: New Year's Day – 'Brunch Ride' to Carats Café then rides on 11, 25 January, 8, 22 February, 8, 22 March ( I can't do 8 Feb – but both Jim and Roger have possible rides in mind for that date).

Christmas Festivities - message from Joyce

Hi all - so far the response about the Christmas Clarion get together has been disappointing, I hope that only means you have not got around to it yet. Because of diary problems for some it will now be on Sunday 7 December , So far we have:-
Jim  and Sheila - not bothered what we do                                       
Ian - prefers boules
Fred -  prefers boules
Joyce  -  prefers boules
So the decision is:- Sunday 7 December - meet for a game of boules on the terrain at Al Frescos  at 11 and lunch at Al Frescos. For those who don't want to play you can come and watch - wait for us at the bar of Al Frescos, or join us later.
But PLEASE let me know if you are coming and if you have a set of boules (we will anyway try to borrow some). I'm at and 01273 680705.


And later that day everyone is invited to a show at Tessa's house, 38 Lorna Road, Hove, for mulled wine and mince pies to see the work of 7 artists - ceramics, painting, etchings, glass, jewellery, textiles, cards and buttons.

Also on the next day or the following weekend the Open House Christmas Show continues: 6/7th and 13/14th December 11-6pm
To find out more contact Tessa at  38 Lorna Road, Hove BN3 3EN 01273 777574.

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



The Next Ride

Sunday 16 November 2008
Cuckoo Trail

It's a while since we had a ride on the Cuckoo Trail – apart from dipping into the beginning of it as far as the Old Loom for tea. Heathfield proved not such a good idea lunchwise last time and at this time of year there'll still be leaves on the ground that can be tricky – especially in the last few miles of the Trail. So I'm reviving a ride we haven't done since October 2004. So:

Up the Trail as far as Horam then off to Vines Cross to the Brewer's Arms returning by quiet roads through Vines Cross, Cowbeach, Stunts Green (wheelies at your own risk), Ginger Green, across the Levels to Rickney, then back to Cuckoo Trail and eventually Polegate.

Distance: about 20 miles.
Hills: the ex-railway Trail climbs almost imperceptibly. Only little inclines where the bridge that used to cross the road is no longer there. There are a few minor 'ups' coming back until we get to the Pevensey Levels – whose name speaks for itself!
Off road: Well surfaced Cuckoo trail
Traffic: Shouldn't be a problem – quiet roads and the Trail.
Catering: Brewers' Arms for lunch. Possible tea stop (depending on train
times and our own progress) at the Old Loom

Catch the 10.20 from Brighton station or meet at 10.49 at Polegate station.
(Be at Brighton Station by 9.50 for Groupsave.)

Ian's mobile number is 07770743287.

The Last Ride - Roger's Report

2 November 2008
Shoreham Beach and the Old Toll Bridge

[More photos on Flickr]

It was 10:30 am on the first Sunday of November, so the veteran cars were starting to trickle onto Madeira Drive in Brighton, as nine Clarion riders assembled in the sun in front of the Palace Pier. They were Angela, Ian, Jim, Joyce, Leon, Roger, Sue, Suzanne and Terry. Tessa joined us at Hove seafront, where a coffee drinker at Marrocco's café kindly volunteered to take the group photo.

At Marocco's

Then we were off westward along the seafront and the harbour road. At the next café (Carats) near to the Shoreham locks we split briefly into two groups, one opting for refreshments and the other taking a detour down to the harbour entrance, which also marks the end of the Monarch's Way, and hence the point from which Charles II escaped to France after his defeat by Cromwell at the battle of Worcester in 1651.

At Carat's

On across the newly configured locks, through Southwick and into Shoreham itself, where we walked over the footbridge to Shoreham Beach, stopping on the way to enjoy the sun and watch the sailing dinghies making the most of what little wind there was.

Crossing the harbour

We circumnavigated Shoreham Beach (if that's the right word), with short stops to admire the recently established lookout station (run by the National Coastwatch Institution), and to photograph the Gaudiesque seat on Beach Road. We then crossed Widewater Lagoon and made our way into Shoreham Airport for a welcome break at the Fly-In Bar and Restaurant in the 1936 art-deco terminal building. The food was promptly served and tasted very good, except perhaps Jim's after he had dropped a full salt cellar into it.


Then came the celebratory bit of the ride. From the airport we returned to Shoreham via the 'old' toll bridge, now re-constructed and officially opened just a few days earlier by the Duke of York. Congratulations to the many enthusiasts who helped to make it happen, including quite a few Clarion members!

On the Toll Bridge

As is often the way with rides along this bit of the coast, members left the group at various stages on the return journey, but all were agreed that it was a splendid day out. Many thanks to Ian for planning the ride, and for leading the way in spite of suffering from an early winter cold.


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

20. More Liverpool activities and 'The Bounder on Tour' near Stratford upon Avon.

I included a letter from the Liverpool Clarion CC that appeared in Swiftsure's cycling page on 13 October 1894 in the last issue. On another page in a regular feature about local socialist activities called 'Notes from the Front' the following appeared at the end of a very long report from Liverpool, signed CITIZEN.

The local Clarion cycle scouts report excellent work done – leaflets, labels, 'Merrie England', Fabian Tracts, and 'Practical Politics' scattered broadcast. There is also much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the action of the wicked Labour party and that's all.

[Merrie England was Robert Blatchford's best-selling little book advocating socialism. Advance demand for the new penny edition – which would be the one the Clarion scouts were distributing – in October 1894 advance orders were such that the initial printing had to be doubled to 200,000. Fabian Society pamphlets were called 'tracts' a semi-ironic reference to the tracts issued throughout the period by religious organisations 'Practical Politics' defeats me… but let me know if you can elucidate.]

We have met Edward Fay (aka The Bounder) before – being roped in as President of the Birmingham CCC for example. Much of the Bounder's humour hasn't aged that well – but anyway, here he is 'On Tour' He's reached Stratford-upon-Avon where he encounters John Barlow of 'Drunken Bidford.'

No visit to Stratford is complete unless it is extended as far as Bidford; unless Barlow shows you his collection of pictures, his scores of pewter dishes and the boars' heads of olden times, and unless he has taken you over Bidford Bridge, with its nine different pointed arches, pointed out to you Bidford Church rising sheer and square from the shore of the Avon, until you have tasted the delicious stewed eels and his home brewed ale, and above all, show you what was the Falcon Inn where Queen Elizabeth stopped and where, the legend has it, Shakespeare drank not wisely but too much.

* * *
I think the Clarion Cycling Club must give Mr Barlow a call

Sounds great – but a bit far for one of our Sunday rides

Next time: Reports from Bradford and Liverpool plus a recommendation from Swiftsure

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