Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  


Dear fellow members and friends

9 February 2009

Thanks to everyone's co-operation I've achieved my ambition of sending off all the subs renewals – plus our new members' application forms – in one go. We ended 2008 with 34 members; we now have 37 and will have 38 when one new member sends me her form! There are now just three people I've paid the subs for in the collective cheque who need to let me have their £6. If you are one and haven't already done so, and you don't see me soon, could you please make a cheque out to me and send it to the address below?

I won't be repeating this for a good while, but if there is still anyone who wishes to join and hasn't done yet please download and print off the membership form, fill it in – in block letters where requested please! - and send it to me – with your cheque or £6, of course, made out to 'The National Clarion Cycling Club'. My address is: Ian Bullock, 104 Bonchurch Road. Brighton, BN2 3PH

Isle of Wight Weekend - UPDATE from Jim

First of all, a special prize to anyone who spotted that the dates at the top of the attachment I sent out were wrong – the ride will be on 4/5 April, not 3/4! Sorry about that.

Secondly, do please get in touch soon if you want to go. I already have 9 definites. However, 7 of these are women and only 2 are men! Since Fred doesn't want to have to share a dorm with snoring ramblers who get up at 5am, let's have some more men please! In fact, let's have more women too! The hostel is pestering me for final numbers (remember that the reason we had to book it so far in advance is that they get very busy), so if anyone, of any gender, wants to go but hasn't told me, please get in touch ASAP!

Joyce has kindly pointed out to me that if you are *not* a member of the YHA, you have to pay a supplement of £3 (or buy a year's membership at £15.95). Alternatively, if it worked out cheaper, we could club together and buy group membership, but since that costs £25 there would need to be 9 or more non-members to make it cheaper that way.

Please contact me at or telephone 505550.



[It is cheaper (and still legal!) to join the Scottish YHA - £9 a year (or £7 for seniors) - fred]

CYCLE FORUM - Fred writes:

It was suggested at the AGM (by Jim) that we have a Clarion 'forum' 
in which to discuss the issues raised at the Brighton & Hove Cycle 
Forum meetings and maybe mandate our representative Roger to speak 
on. Rather than set up a new Yahoo group, I suggest that for now we 
use the existing Flickr group for any discussion needs.

This currently has 6 members (2 of which are Jim!)

It won't send emails to your in-box like a Yahoo mailing list, but 
you can be informed of anything new by means of an RSS feed. You will 
have to join Flickr (but you don't have to upload photos if you don't 
want to!). There is also a Facebook group which currently has 7 members 
(including a mysterious Daddy Orden!)

The Brighton & Hove cycle forum website/ Yahoo mailing list website 
is at

but I think you have to be approved to join in!

Planning rides

2009 rides for the rest of the first half of the year will be on Sundays 8, 22 March; (4/5 April IoW weekend –see above), 19 April; 3, 27, 31 May; 14, 28 June.

All offers gratefully received for any of these dates. 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. Suzanne has sent me a calendar of Sussex festivals in a response to Fred's suggestion at the AGM that we should look out for more possibilities like the Chiddlingly Festival which we visited last year. I'm forwarding this to the usual suspects (with lots of previous when it comes to ride organising) but anyone else can have one if they let me know.

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 22 February 2009
Seaford, Newhaven and Nearly Everything in Between

This is a fairly short ride, designed for a short winter's day.

We start at Seaford station and take a tour through some of the town's residential streets, which will bring us to the eastern end of the sea front, on the lower slopes of Seaford Head.

Keep an eye open here for Corsica Hall, a large building which tries hard to impress, but doesn't quite manage it. Originally it was built in Wellingham (Norfolk) in the 1740s, but in the 1780s it was moved stone by stone to its current location, apparently by the Harben family who were wealthy clock makers in Lewes. In recent years it has been an educational institution. It was converted to apartments around 2003.

We will cycle along the seafront on part of National Cycle Network (NCN) route 2. As we leave Seaford the route offers two alternatives, an off road track along the beach or one which follows the main road. We will take the former, which will bring us to the east side of Newhaven Harbour.

We can take a short detour en route to see the remains of the village of Tide Mills, which until about 1900 was the home of a working mill, powered by the tide. The final residents were forcibly removed from the village in 1939, probably for 'security reasons' - after all, there was a war on.

As we come into Newhaven, look out for the Famous Parker Pen Factory on the right. Crossing the harbour by Newhaven swing-bridge we will follow a cycle route down the west side of the harbour past some interesting new residential development. Lunch will be at the Hope Inn near the harbour mouth, nestling in the shadow of Newhaven Fort.

Our route back will use the alternative version of NCN 2, a well surfaced off road track for most of the way. Once back in Seaford we should be able to find some tea. Alternatively we could pay a visit to the small museum – an idiosyncratic collections of all sorts of things, located in the Martello Tower on the seafront. Admission is £1.50 (concessions £1) and it's open between 2 and 4 pm.


Meet: Meet at Seaford Station at 10:41.
Getting there: 10:09 from Brighton (be at Brighton station by 9:45 for a chance of a Groupsave ticket). There is a car park at Seaford station, which is free on Sundays.
Distance: About 16 miles.
Hills: A few short climbs in the early stages, then pretty flat.
Off road: The track along the beach can be pebbly in places so we may have to walk a bit.
Steps: We will need to cross the railway line by a footbridge as we enter Newhaven, which should not be a problem, given some teamwork.
Catering: Lunch at the Hope Inn, Newhaven – menu includes full meals and snacks. Seaford station has a café and there are other possibilities nearby for afternoon tea.
Getting home: Trains leave Seaford for Brighton via Lewes at 28 and 53 minutes past the hour.
My mobile: 0789 985 1172


The Last Ride - Suzanne's Report

Sunday 8 February 2009
Lewes Circular Ride

[Many more photos on Flickr]

Ask not how they got there, just admire them for making their way to Lewes station by 10.30 am on a not-quite-so-bright Sunday morning: Alice, Angelica, Angela, Anne, Helen, Jim, Joyce, Mick, Simon, Suzanne and Tessa stood ready and posed for the group photo. Don't be surprised by the open mouths in the photo: our friendly passer-by was obviously a proud Lewes man and insisted that we say 'Harvey's' instead of the more traditional 'cheese'.

At Lewes (minus Helen)

Jim then lead us on a nostalgic tour of the sites of the two former (now vanished) Lewes railway stations: this is where we learned that if a picture is worth a thousand words, an 1873 map is worth 10,000,: so thanks to Jim for bringing documentary evidence to support his fascinating insights into some hidden corners of the county town and of its railway history.

Joyce and the Clarion First Aid Kit

Then pedal power came to the fore as we clambered slowly up out of Lewes, across the A26 and onto the up gradient of the Ringmer road. On the outskirts of Ringmer, a headcount revealed that we were missing Angela and Angelica – it transpired that Anglica had had to give first aid to Angela's new bike which had succumbed to cramp in its brakes. And then we were off, flying over those lovely flat(ish) lanes: Norlington; Green and Harvey's (of course!) of that ilk, round Crump's Wood, along Horsted Lane and, Oh Heaven, Oh Joy: stopping at the Laughing Fish at Isfield station – a hostelry and former station hotel, despite its bizarre 1960s name. In the absence of Fred we actually had to eat all the delicious food instead of just letting it be photographed – and excellent it was.

Isfield Mill

Then the moment of truth, as the already aching limbs climbed back into the saddle for the rather more challenging and longer part of the ride. Isfield Mill towered impressively by the road, still advertising Pig Meal and Ground Oats on its brick walls. But where there's a millstream, there's valley sides – no, let's call a spade a spade: the words Buckham Hill tell the tale. But the sun was out, walking was a pleasure, the ancient houses pleased the eye and, as well we all know, fellowship is life – so we were really living.

Jim's Lewes ride 019

Piltdown came and went, as did the village / hamlet of Spithurst where the tomb of the local worthy family seemed to be nearly as big as the Church itself. Spithurst was closely followed by Mount Pleasant … and by this time several members of the party were beginning to suspect that anything to do with a Mount was not at all Pleasant.

Harveys Lane

It was decision time at Barcombe Cross: to sup or not to sup of tea and cakes. The non-suppers carried the day, which is probably 'A Good Thing', for as we passed Curds Farm and Packham's Brow (who on earth makes up these names?) the clouds began to gather and a cold rain started to fall. At the southern end of The Drove, a little turn and a steep incline brought us onto the main A275 at Offham … and brought us nose to beak with a Red Tail Buzzard who just happened to be off for a walk (or a hunt) sitting calmly on his owner's gauntlet – brave Angela to have stroked the sharp-billed predator.

Fanny the Redtail

The wetness underfoot precluded the quiet, scenic route from Offham down to Lewes, but with the help of the pavement to keep up clear of speeding cars on the narrow main road we eventually swooped our way back to our starting point. Some did their swooping faster than others and managed catch the 4.15 train for an early hot bath; Angelica hopped upon a waiting Victoria train; cars were ready to convey other home and the stragglers brought up the rear on the 4.45.

Distorted View

Many thanks for Jim for a superbly planned ride; it had a bit of everything and was a good training to begin to get us fit for the longer 'summery' rides.


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

27. We move into 1895 with a meeting to form the Manchester club announced and a message from the Potteries by 'Clincher'

Along with the advertisement he refers to, the following appeared in Swiftsure's 'Cycling Notes' on 12 January 1895.

I desire to call to the attention of Manchester and District Cycling 'Clarionettes' to the advertisement on page 4 calling a meeting for all who are interested in joining a strong Clarion Cycling Club in Manchester. The meeting will be held at the Labour Church Institute, 3 St John's Parade, Deansgate, Manchester on Wednesday evening next, the 16th, at 8 p m. Ladies are especially invited; and political differences will be no bar to membership, providing they are only readers and believers in the Clarion and its good work. En avant! Mes Camarades, come join the Clarion crew.

The following week – 19 January 1895 – this appeared in the 'Notes'

I must make room for the following from the Potteries Clarion C.C., by which will be seen that they don't intend to be the last of the Clarion C.Cs in energy and strength

Dear Swiftsure,

Will you allow me to remind your readers that the Potteries Clarion C.C. is still alive although we have done but little cycling of late. We intend to hold our annual general meeting early in February to which all cyclists and friends of the movement are invited. Despite the secession of one or two of the scorching fraternity who go to join a racing club, we hope to have a better club this year than last. We hope, also, to have more of the esprit de corps of our Birmingham comrades, and as we shall be doing business at the old stall, so to speak, we shall be glad to welcome new recruits.

If the cycling season is as propitious as the political world promises to be eventful*, we shall have a jolly time, With greetings to al our comrades, and with the hope that we may soon meet again on our 'bikes', I am impatiently yours


* This is possibly a reference to the likelihood of a general election in 1895. Hopes were high in the ILP that their candidates would do well. But this was not to be and Keir Hardie, who had won a parliamentary seat the year before the ILP was formed was to lose it in 1895.

Next time. The Manchester Clarion CC is formed

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