Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  




Dear fellow members and friends

6 September 2009

Roger would like to hear about any issues you would like raising at the Cycling Forum on Tuesday 15 September; he's on or (01273) 321794

I'll be away for the next ride. Roger will be doing that and the circular, so if there's anything you want included please send it to him. Likewise with any volunteer for 15 November.

Meant to mention this last time. If you'd like to read TJ's amply illustrated account of the 8 August ride on Yet Another Cycling Forum you'll find it on

Proposed Clarion Dieppe weekend 2010 - see last circular. Any more responses to Joyce on

Future Rides

The rides for the rest of the year will be on Sundays 4 (Roger), 18 October, 1, 15, 29 November, 13 December.

As always I'd welcome offers to organise/lead on any of the dates above that have so far not been 'claimed'. We've had a wonderful response over the summer – I hope it's not going to fade away as the colder weather approaches! In the absence of other volunteers I should be OK for the rest but I definitely can't make 15 November so a volunteer for that one would be particularly welcome. Make sure to let me know at least 3 weeks before – and to let he have full details at least 2 weeks before the date of the ride.

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


The Annual Picnic 2009. Roger reports

[More photos on Flickr]

Eleven members met at the cycle track in Preston Park on August bank holiday Monday. They were Alice, Anne, Fred, Ian, Jim, Joyce, Mick, Roger, Sheila, Sue and Suzanne.

Clarion bank holiday picnic

The light covering of cloud started to clear as people arrived and the sun was soon sending some of us scurrying for shade or sun-cream. The festivities started with Giant Jenga, a ridiculous game which involves trying to make a pile of wooden bricks higher by removing bricks from the lower part of the pile to add to the top. Logic suggests that there will be a limit to how high the pile can become, but that this limit will only be discovered after the pile has collapsed. And so it was: I can't remember which players caused the various collapses, but the best result involved twenty eight bricks being moved before catastrophe struck.

Clarion bank holiday picnic

We soon moved on to something more cerebral, Giant Connect Four. This game involves putting plastic disks into slots and trying to get four in a row before your opponent does. It turned out that Roger had been practising and was showing signs of beating all comers. When he dropped out, a knockout competition developed, with a new player challenging the winner of each previous match. By the end Joyce remained undefeated and challenged Roger to a 'final', with the winner gaining the honour of writing this report.

Making a Move

Of course the real purpose of the get-together was to eat. A vast array of shareable goodies was produced and spread before us. There were salads, crisps and pizza, apples, brownies and date slices (all home-made), plums (some home-made), juices, sparkling water and chocolate covered dried apricots (really!).

Clarion bank holiday picnic

Some people had come by bike and there was much talk of riding around the cycle track, but in the end I think Fred was the only person who actually completed a circuit.

It was a glorious way to spend the bank holiday. Thanks to Suzanne, our social secretary, for organising it, to Ian and Roger for transporting the games, and to everyone for bringing such wonderful food and drink.


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 20 September
Highdown Hill

Yes, you did read it correctly. The title of the next ride does contain the words 'hill' and 'high'. Am I insane? Time will tell.

The aim of this short ride is to get to the top of Highdown Hill near Angmering. Once there, we will be able to enjoy fabulous views (weather permitting) in both directions along the coast. On a clear day you can see the Seven Sisters. We will also be able to wander through the site of the ancient hill fort, visit the grave of John Olliver, the eccentric miller, stroll around Worthing Council's beautiful Highdown Gardens and enjoy tea and an amazing selection of cakes in the nearby tea rooms. And it's all free, except the tea rooms.

But it is up a hill. We start from the station at Goring-by-Sea and cycle along the coast to Ferring and past Kingston Gorse. Then we head inland to Angmering village. So far it's fairly flat. We leave Angmering along Dapper Lane which takes us underneath the race track known as 'the A27'. This is a bit of a climb but the reward will be lunch at the Fox, a large pub on the old, little used, Arundel Road.

There's a nice downhill run immediately after lunch then a short climb to a bridge back over the race track. This takes us onto a bridleway which goes to the top of the hill. It gets a bit bumpy and quite steep towards the end, two good reasons to walk rather than ride.

Once we've had our fill of sight-seeing and cakes on the hill top, there is a short, sharp, downhill run back to the station at Goring.

Meet: at Goring-by-Sea Station at 10:58.
Getting there: 10:20 train from Brighton (10:29 from Hove) – no group-save tickets available on this date because of various festivals including the Skyride in London. There may be cycle restrictions on London line trains so if you're coming from the north, check before you leave. Free on street parking by Goring station.
Distance: About 14 miles
Hills: Yes, but worth the effort – see above.
Off road: We will use a footpath between Ferring and Kingston Gorse and a gravel bridleway to get to the top of the hill. Otherwise it's all on good and mainly quiet roads.
Catering: Lunch at the Fox - main meals and starters/snacks - Tea and cakes at Highdown Tea Rooms -
Getting home: Trains leave Goring-by-Sea for Hove and Brighton at 22 and 52 minutes past the hour.
My mobile: 0789 985 1172


The Last Ride - Suzanne's Report

Sunday 6 September.
Polegate to Polegate via Vine's Cross

[More photos on Flickr]


Fred, Leon, Roger and Suzanne, who had bought their group-save at Brighton station and were unaware of any other Clarionettes at Brighton, were delighted to see Annette and Kevin emerge from the same train at Polegate station.

But Nick had beaten everyone to it by having both the longest train journey and the biggest breakfast 'in the best café Polegate has to offer' (sorry, Nick, couldn't quite work out if there was any tinge of irony there – cheese and tomato toastie for breakfast... um!)

Ian was there to meet and greet ... and who's this come to join the gang. Hurrah! It's Amanda. The SatNav's behaving itself for once.

Polegate start

Stage One

The Cuckoo Trail was not at all busy and we wended our way north with Suzanne as backstop ... at least she thought she was until, as if by magic, the breakaway group suddenly appeared behind her and the peleton. Mystery solved when we discovered that the leading group had missed a turning in the outskirts of Hailsham – but of course they had the best of possible excuses: they were chatting!

Once more back on track, it was over the Cuckmere (the first of several crossings of the day), past the sadly defunct Hellingly station.

Cuckoo Trail

By the time we reached our turn-off point at Horam we had climbed almost imperceptibly from the lowly 5 metres above sea level at Polegate to the giddy heights of 60 metres asl. A few gentle undulations (at least that is what Ian calls them) brought us struggling up to Vines' Cross and the Brewer's Arms where Roger, Leon and Nick were promptly pilloried – literally.

Nick and Leon

Food ordering was a little hit and miss, as was the service in the pub/ gastro pub / restaurant: two different menu boards in two different bars had us eating a wide range of meals (Fred's appetite for photographing food seemingly more ardent than his appetite for actually eating it) and chaos in the kitchen meant that Annette and Kevin had to wait over half an hour for a bowl of chips and a venison pie. However, the delay did give us all a few extra moments to recover our strength for Stage 2.


Stage 2

This involved real undulations: the fact that we were crossing part of the High Weald being a bit of a clue to the dulation-ness of the undulations. Yes, there was that lovely long swoop down to Beeston's Farm but another testing rise faced us before we could fly down Hammer Lane to Sheepwash Bridge where we crossed the Cuckmere for the second time. Right at Stunt's Lane (65 metres asl – yes, all the way up from the Cuckmere valley) and then a truly exhilarating run down through Ginger's Green (I'm not making these names up, honest) down Cricketing Lane and out onto the sunny lowlands of the Pevensey Levels. Don't be put off by the fact that we crossed The Bowley Sewer, the Magham Sewer and the Whelpley Sewer. They are completely innocuous drainage ditches and, in one place at least, fit habitat for a couple of stately swans. Looping round the Down Level we came back into civilisation, passing a rash of little farms and, oh Heaven, oh Joy, it seemed no time before we were back on the Cuckoo Trail and a downhill couple of minutes to tea and cakes at the Loom.


Lap of honour

The need for curtain rings detained Annette and Kevin at the Loom, so the unMagnificent Seven set off for various forms of transport: Ian and Amanda to their 'horsepowered' carriages, Nick to his electrified public conveyance which would take him straight to Victoria (the station, not the queen) and the unFab Four squeezed into a suitcase / bike/ buggy-crowded railway train back to Brighton.

Yellow Jersey – Leon (the rest of us only had yellow tabards)
Green Jersey – Ian (well you have to cross all the lines first when you're leader)
Polka Dot Jersey – not awarded because of drugs (or too heavy a lunch or whatever)

Many thanks to Ian for shepherding us so expertly round a favourite Tour route.


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

42. Reports from Clarion in Nottingham, Manchester and Blackburn.

Still with More Swiftsure's 'Cycling Notes' on 13 April 1895

The Nottingham Clarion C.C has made a good start with seventeen members. Their meeting place or headquarters is the Morley House Café, and the secretary is J E Cannam, 170, Woodborough Road, Nottingham. Since they are within easy riding distance of Ashbourne, I hope they will muster up well on Easter Sunday morning for the conference at Dovedale.

* * *

The number of Clarion cyclists is really astonishing. Although it was ought but a promising afternoon last Sunday, some twenty-seven members of the C.C.C Manchester and District turned up to carry out the club run to Marple. Six of these were from Oldham.

The remark of a Stockport lad – as we were passing through there – about "hit off" the impression we gave to the wondering public to a nicety. "Hey, meister," said the lad, "be this a cycle parade?"

* * *

Blackburn Clarion C.C have stared their club with a membership of fourteen. They have decided to arrange their runs monthly. The runs for April are home runs, except:-

April 21, to Garstang via Preston, start at 7 a.m.

April 28, to Morecombe, via Preston, start at 6 a.m.

The hon. Sec is E Norbury, and their place of meeting Venetian Hall, Darwen Street.

Next time. The Clarion Board and the Ashbourne Meet – and a plea for 'lady' members in Liverpool

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