The Next Ride: Sunday 21 September 2014 – Dell Quay Mark II

10 September 2014

Chichester – Centurion Way – West Stoke – Fishbourne – Dell Quay (for lunch) – Salterns Marina – Chichester Ship Canal Basin (for tea)

We meet at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15am and then go round over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park.  After a mile we begin a northward ride on the Centurion Way and in about three miles we take the West Stoke Road which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village.  We turn south down Lye Lane and on down until we go round the north and east of Fishbourne then passing under the A27.  We take the Apuldram road and soon reach the Crown and Anchor Public House at Dell Quay.

After lunch we take the Salterns Way track south and cross over the Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Ship Canal.  At the end of the Marine Entrance road we ride along the towpath on the east side of the canal until we cross over the Poyntz canal footbridge, from where there is a distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees and no sign of any urbanisation.  The ride ends at the Canal Basin where there is a fine tea facility.


Trains:  Brighton 10.00 and Hove 10.04 arriving at 10.56.  Victoria 9.17 arriving at 11.02.

Meet on the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15

Terrain:  a gentle gradient up to West Stoke, then downhill to the north of Fishbourne, and thereafter mainly flat.

Roads:  a mixture of cycle tracks, footpaths along the canal side, and quiet country roads.

There are four busy roads to cross:  B2178 SE of Ashling, A259 in Fishbourne, A286 at Cutfield Bridge and B2201 at Crosbie Bridge.  However, we do not have to cycle along them.

Lunch:  at the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay.

Distance:  16 miles – see O/S Explorer Map 120 “Chichester” (1:25000)

Tea: by the Chichester Ship Canal Basin, just south of the railway station.

Return trains times to:

Hove: 16.15, 16.29S, 16.53S, 17.15
Brighton: 16.15C, 16.29S, 16.53S, 17.15C
Victoria: 16.15N, 16.29SC, 16.53SC, 17.15N

C: change at Hove, with only 4 stops before Hove
S: stops at all stations
N: no changes: only 4 stops before Hove, also stops at Clapham Junction

My mobile number is:  0789 635 3563


The Last Ride : Sunday 7th September 2014 – Brighton to Seaford and a day full of Brownie Points  

10 September 2014

Go East”, decreed Anne, so East we went … and it was loverly.

September 7, 2014: Brighton to Seaford

Anne, Annie, Corinne, David, Jim, John, Julian, Nick, Roger and Suzanne met at the Palace Pier on a hazy early autumn morning, just right for Clarion.  Once the technology had been discussed (David’s new micro-video camera, Julian’s zoom capacities) and a bog-standard group photo taken, it was off along Madeira Drive (apologies to the cyclist on the “Doitforcharity” cycle ride who thought/hoped that our gaggle of momentarily stationary Clarion cyclists was the Finishing line) and thus onto the (… cliché alert …) sunny uplands of the cliff tops as far as Rottingdean where a vertiginous drop brought us down onto the Undercliff Path, Saltdean and Angela who was waiting to join us.


Then we were eleven.

Once we had conquered the daunting rise to Telscombe Cliff, Anne led us on a complicated but fascinating tour (aka “almost NCRN2”) of Peacehaven and finally onto what seemed like the top of the world above Piddinghoe. First set of Brownie Points to Anne for knowing the code to open the gate across the private road so we did not have to lift the bikes over.

Following a quick whizz down through Piddinghoe (Jim getting giddy by insisting on reading the inscription wound round their Millennium “pole”)


and round the back of Newhaven and once again we were in open cycling country, on our way to Seaford where all made a concerted attack on our sandwiches, scones etc sitting by (…cliché alert …) a sparkling sea. Our lunchtime was enlivened by the sight of (a) a lifeboat rescue practice and (b) Anne taking an energetic dip. Fortunately (a) did not attempt to rescue (b).

September 7, 2014: Brighton to Seaford

Jim opted to leave us at Seaford, thus missing the highlight of the ride – a first for many of us, and a loved, familiar spot for others – described rather boringly as “The South Hill Barn”. The area is, in fact, a charming nature reserve on the top of Seaford Head. Unfortunately Angela did not feel like making the last climb of the day up to the reserve, but Brownie Points to David for going down the mighty hill to check that she was OK, and then ( … mixed metaphor alert …), to burnish his halo even brighter, he looked after the bikes while the rest of the group went to see the (…cliché alert …) stunning view of the Cuckmere Valley and the Seven Sisters.


Sun drenched and tired we all met up with Angela again at the bottom of the steep hill, only to realise that Roger had left his helmet at the top. Not sensible! So it was then his turn to do an extra climb back up. Fortunately two kind people had put the helmet on top of a post where it was eventually found. Brownie points for them.

The ride back to Seaford Station was gloriously downhill. There was a very keen desire on the part of many to stop for tea. However, as a train was standing in the station ready to go,the unanimous decision was that an early cup of tea at home would do instead. In addition to our nine bikes (Brownie Points to Angela’s son, Jack, for going to Seaford to collect her in the car) there must have been another nine non-Clarion bikes spread over the four carriages. Brownie points to Southern for accommodating all of us with a smile.

Many thanks to Anne for an excellent, new, ride.



10 September 2014

Next Newsletter

I’m going to be away until early next month and Roger will be sending out the next newsletter.  So if you are doing the report on the next ride or have anything else you’d like included in the newsletter please send it to Roger at

19 October

Jim is liaising with Alex about the possibility of a ride based on Haywards Heath with London Clarion.  If you have any ideas about this please contact Jim at   It looks as though there may be problems with the trains.

Jim adds:

Dear all

“It looks as though there may be problems with the trains” in Ian’s latest circular is a bit of an understatement. On 19 October there will be no trains between Brighton and Three Bridges, so the proposed Haywards Heath ride with the London Clarion is pretty well doomed. I have written to Alex of London Clarion to explain this but have not had a reply. The most sensible option would appear to be to move my Rye-Battle ride to the 19th (as eastward trains are fine that day) but that will mean we’ll be short of a ride on the 5th (when again, the London line will be closed). Does anyone have a suitable ride that could fit in on that day? Or, if not the 5th, we can keep my ride on that day but we’ll need an alternative on the 19th. Westward trains will be running as far as Barnham.


Extraordinary General Meeting

Just to remind you that the brief meeting about the Co-op bank account will take place at 11 a m this Thursday (11 September) at 39 Regency Square. No other business will be considered. Please come along if you can.

Something to think about during my absence – our New Year ride

It may seem a bit early to start thinking about 2015 but time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!  Since we started the club back in 2004 we’ve always had a “Brunch ride to Carats Café” on New Year’s Day. Except this year. If you recall the weather forecast for 1 January was so awful I postponed the ride until 2nd.

It struck me then – and still does – that 2nd Jan might be a better date to have it anyway. There are two possible advantages to doing this. Carats is always crowded at lunchtime on New Year’s Day and has been getting increasingly busy then in recent years. Having it on 2nd January also makes it possible for those who have other engagements on New Year’s Day – or are still having problems recovering from 31 December revels – to join us. On the other hand those still pursuing gainful employment may not be able to make a ride on 2nd.

My feeling at the moment is to go for 2nd (but revert to 1 Jan if the weather forecast seems to suggest it would be significantly better) but I’d like to hear what other people think. No rush – have a ponder and let me know in October


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 166. Back to June 1896 Club reports from Darlington and Wigan

10 September 2014


We have had a very satisfactory two months’ runs, and we distributed and sold large quantities of Clarions and other literature bearing on Socialism, and I hope when a little of the enthusiasm for wanting to ride long distances and break records, or their necks (I don’t know which it is they are trying for) wears off, we will get into a more systematic method of propaganda, and stir up the villages round about us. We had the Yellow Van of the Land Nationalisation Society here on June 13th and 14th when they gave some good addresses in the Market Place, our members attending in good force. When the “Woman’s Van” comes to our neighbourhood, if it ever reaches here, we intend mustering in full force and assisting our comrades in their noble work anywhere within cycling distance, weather being anywhere favourable.”

J Newton Carter, Hon.Sec.


The Wigan CCC have since the last report visited Charnock Richard, Morecombe and Leyland, leaving at each place leaflets &c. We have also made a point of enjoying the beautiful country that is to be found in these places; this may have been a particularly favourable one all sunshine. As a consequence the country has been exceptionally beautiful – hawthorn, lilac and chestnut, all being dressed in their best, and giving forth a perfume that made the hearts of us townsfolk glad.

The country bowling-greens also came in for a share of our attention, our members giving their minds to this old-fashioned game in a right hearty manner. It is a noble summer sport, and would suit the Bounder down to the ground. It is impossible to pocket the balls and there is no fear of losing them. I don’t know whether there is an increase in Clarion rides this season ; but I am pleased to say we meet them more frequently on the road than we did last season, and there is always a pleasant exchange of greetings.”

Jas. Cavey, 37 Kendall Street, Wigan.

Next time: More advice from “Swiftsure” and a brief London Clarion announcement

The Next Ride: Sunday  7 September  – Brighton to Seaford and/or Berwick (Sussex!)

27 August 2014

Meet at Palace Pier at 10am & cycle east to Seaford Head along the NCN2 with some modifications & some chance to escape back by train, should weather, health or inclination incline.

Mick & I modified the NCN2 East ride to Berwick the other week, so that we rode from Seaford to South Hill Barn. I think this would be a nice alternative to going to Berwick, as trains from Seaford are half hourly & 3 or 4 carriages, whereas Berwick uses Ashford’s hourly packed 2 carriages. We can still picnic if the weather is good & nice walks on Seaford Head Nature Reserve. Have checked the trains and they are the same times 27 & 57 minutes past the hour. Would add that it will just be me leading as Mick has a new whizzy bike & is doing a CTC Bright ‘n’ Breezy 100km ride that day with Bob Harber. Hope they wear Clarion gear & that some mechanically able join me, as I am feeble.

We could modify the route depending on who turns up, but yesterday we took the more undulating top route rather than the Undercliff to Rottingdean & the Hoddern Farm road to Newhaven, rather than the exciting [!] clifftop footpath! If weather is still warm, we propose picnic & swim at Seaford, but, if slow or nasty weather can eat at The Ark at Newhaven.

We can stop for tea at the Litlington Tea Garden & proceed to Berwick Station for the train back to Brighton, or return by train from Seaford for a shorter ride.

Trains leave Berwick station hourly at 48 mins past 3, 4, 5, etc & Seaford station half-hourly at 27 & 57 past 2, 3, 4, etc.

Lunch bring picnic or  if nasty weather can eat at The Ark, Newhaven.

Terrain Almost all on quiet roads with considerate drivers [yesterday anyway!] Somewhat undulating in parts, but only short parts. Good views.

Distance: 23 miles.

Anne and Mick

The Last Ride: Sunday 24 August 2014: Shoreham Beach and Lagoon – or A Bridge Not Too Far

27 August 2014

Ist start at the Palace Pier

Waiting at the Palace Pier were Ian, Leon, Joyce, Linda and Rob (who volunteered to be back stop) and after a quick group photo we set off westwards along the sea front, taking a detour onto the main road as we passed where the i360 will stand.

2nd start in Hove

Into Hove and at Marrocco’s we picked up Tessa, Corinne, Prudence and Richard. Another group shot and we were on our way, past Zippo’s circus (that use chip fat to power their wagons) and swathes of poppies and other wild flowers along the Hove cycle path.

Hove poppies

At Hove lagoon we turned onto Basin Road towards the power station. The sea was as still as a mill pond and the weather pleasantly warm and dry.

Shoreham locks

We by-passed Carat’s cafe, crossed the lock gates and headed into suburban Southwick passing various schools and churches (see Ian’s description) until we reached the new shared-space bridge at Shoreham.

New Shoreham footbridge

There was a festival of sorts going on but we didn’t have time to investigate. We headed back towards the power station, but this time on the opposite side of the Adur following a line of flying swans, until we reached Shoreham Fort, which was undergoing some restoration. Then it was west again past the rows of houses with balconies and bungalows that constitute Shoreham Beach, once home to an actors’ community living in railway carriages.

Widewater lagoon

At Widewater Lagoon, we walked (or cycled) across a causeway and onto the busy Brighton Road, before turning off to the airport, where we had lunch. Coincidentally Roger and Suzanne were there at the bar and with one section indoors and another outdoors, we compared meals and the changes since the cafe became Hummingbirds.

Shoreham airport

I also had a pint of Spitfire to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

Then it was round the airport periphery, over the wooden Old Toll Bridge, which we helped to save all those years ago, and briefly along the riverside cycle path before plunging into housing estates on our way back to Brighton, losing people along the way, until back near Zippo’s in Hove, we bumped into John coming the other way, and Ian declared the ride at an end.


More photos on Flickr.

Leon's T-shirt

I must just add that originally Linda had volunteered to write the report but felt unwell when we got to Shoreham fort. Hope she recovered quickly. Ian


27 August 2014

Dear All

Our next ride is the one Anne and Mick tried to do a fortnight ago – but were defeated by the remnants of that hurricane.  Let’s hope it’s a case of “better luck next time.”

19 October – with London Clarion?

After the last newsletter I received an email from Alex of the London Clarion.

Have you managed to find a leader for your ride on 19th October yet please? If not, perhaps London Clarion could travel down to Brighton or somewhere close and lead a ride terminating in Haywards Heath where Martin, our secretary’s, son has an off licence with a bar downstairs in which he could host some drinks for us.

That seems to me like an excellent idea. No-one else has come forward with a suggestion.  Bearing in mind our liking for short rides, starting and finishing at Hassocks might suit us.  This would give us a ride of 14-16 miles (depending on where exactly in HH Martin is located.  By putting in a loop round by the Polish Battle of Britain memorial and Wivelsfield we could make it a bit longer.  Hardier souls (e g from London) might want to skip Hassocks on the way back and ride into Brighton – where maybe we could see them for a drink later.

But that’s only my first thoughts. What do other people think? I think I’ll be OK for 19 October – haven’t (yet!) marked it as one I couldn’t backstop – but I’m not 100% sure.  Also, I’ll be away for most of September and the first few days of October. So it might be an idea if someone who will be around then would take on liaising with Alex. He’s at But (both) please keep me in the loop.

Other rides

Time goes faster and faster – or so it seems. One minute it’s still early 2014 and the next we are hurtling towards Christmas. You’ll see that I’ve put myself down for the 30 November ride. Since we started back in 2004 we’ve always tried to end the year with this short ride based on Berwick. Being conservative in everything except politics, I’d like to keep the tradition up – but I’m otherwise “spoken for” on the Sunday of our last ride date – so I thought we could do it on the penultimate date this year. Always assuming that the trains are right – which one can’t yet check.

That leaves (assuming we take Alex up on his offer) just 3 more rides yet vacant for the year – 2 and 16 November and 14 December. The only one I could backstop is the first one – so we need 2 – and preferably 3 – more volunteers to see us into 2015

This week’s extract from the Clarion 

I have to say that I feel very ambivalent about all the attention currently being given to the centenary of the First World War and am somewhat reluctant to inflict more WWI stuff on you. So I’d better explain how today’s contribution came about. I was asked at the beginning of the year if I’d do a short article – or possibly more than one – about socialists and the war for the magazine Chartist. I agreed to do this and so far two of my pieces have been published and a third one should be appearing in the final issue of the year.

More than any other part of the political spectrum, the Left in Britain was seriously divided by attitudes to the war and this had implications for what happened later. My first piece was about this and how the post-war reaction to the slaughter helped the Labour Party to replace the Liberals and Ramsay MacDonald – vilified by the right-wing press for “anti-war” attitudes – to become prime minister in 1924. The second looked at the BSP weekly Justice in the early months of the war. It eventually became “pro-war” but earlier had reflected a whole range of different takes on the hostilities. My third piece, still to appear, looks at the Clarion.

The first wartime issue of the paper on 7 August (Britain had declared war on 4th) carried Blatchford’s article “The Drums of Armageddon,” which began “I have lived a whole week in a kind of waking nightmare.” A week later he came out unambiguously in (reluctant) support for the war. He was supported by his friend and fellow Clarion editor Alex Thompson – who had been born in Germany and had German as his first language – and other Clarion stalwarts. But this was the beginning of the end of the paper’s previously huge influence on the British Left – though it staggered on until the early 1930s and was briefly replaced by the TUC-supported New Clarion.

I promised “something different” last time – and here it is. I came across the Tom Groom piece while researching my Chartist article but didn’t use it there.

I’m planning to revert to 1896 next time.

More on Shoreham

In my ride details last time I mentioned the opening of the Prince Phillip lock. Soon after I sent it out I received this message from Mick.

Thanks for the bulletin Ian. As a trivial matter of interest, I was present in 1958 when Prince Philip opened the new lock; we got a day off school! Also my parents used to live on the corner of Buckingham Road Shoreham and Old Shoreham Road in a house called “Eldesorham”, which of course means Old Shoreham so it really was the road to Old Shoreham for me!

BTW – before anyone points out all the “points of interest” I didn’t mention last time, my defence is that I was careful to use the word “Some” I didn’t include the various interesting features of the High Street because my planned route didn’t take us down (or up) it. So the fascinating medieval Marlipins with its chequerboard front – of which no one is sure of the original use didn’t get a mention. Then there’s the striking pub sign of the Crown and Anchor which I can’t shed much light on. The large figure is usually described as a pirate – but he looks to me more like a regular seaman from the Middle Ages – true he’s armed, but you’d have to have been a real optimist in those days to venture into the Channel without a cutlass. There’s also the neoclassical former town hall which began life in 1830 as the customs house and is now (I think) a restaurant. And at the end we have the fairly recent Ropetackle building. How to describe it? Inoffensively post-modern – or is that unfair?



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