The Next Ride: Sunday 25 |November 2018 – Palace Pier to Lewes via Telscombe and Southease

16 November 2018

Please remember that sunset is at 16:02 so make sure that you have working cycle lights.

Starting at the Palace Pier at 10 am we take the undercliff to Saltdean and a cafe stop either at Rottingdean or Saltdean.

Then we follow the road up towards Telscombe from Telscombe Cliffs with a short section of Bridleway to the top of Gorham’s Lane and the run down to Southease.

At Southease we will either go down to the river and along part of the Egrets way to Lewes although part of this is still technically a footpath or along the C7 into Lewes, depends on the ride recce.

Lunch will be at the end of the ride in Lewes, probably at the Snowdrop Inn.

Post Lunch members can either take the train back to Brighton or cycle (7 miles)

Length: 14 Miles approx
Duration: about 4 hours to Lunch.
Start time at Palace Pier 10am

Nick and Graham


The Last Ride: Sunday 11 November

16 November 2018

Hassocks loop via Hurstpierpoint, Washbrooks Farm, Muddleswood, Twineham, Goddards Green

The 3 of us paused for a group selfie outside Hassocks Station, wondering if our fellow Clarionisters had been deterred by the showery weather forecast, which proved to be a fine example of fake news, perhaps because we were north of the downs.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Graham led Nick and me off towards Hurstpierpoint, where a small crowd had gathered at the crossroads outside the church to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. We paused to observe the 2 minutes silence and hear the traditional bugle rendition of The Last Post before continuing on to Washbrooks Farm for our coffee stop. We were rather impressed by the magnificent pumpkins on display, but completely blown away by the silver sparkly toilet seats, unfairly only available in the women’s toilets.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Blue skies and wispy clouds contrasted with the golden autumn foliage and leaf fall as we continued along the B2117 and on to the quieter Shaves Wood Lane, then north towards Twineham. A traffic-free lane led us along the final stretch to our lunch stop at The Sportsman Pub. We were impressed with the quality of our food choices. Graham’s Nut Roast was served with beautifully cooked veg, my chips were served with a complementary side order of Cumberland sauce but Nick surprised us all by going crazy with an order of sweet potato chips, which came with a complementary side of braised carrots and parsnips. In honour of Julian, we perused the extensive dessert menu before returning to our cluster of bikes and heading off on the last leg of our journey.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

More quiet roads and country lanes took us past Hurstpierpoint College on our return to Hassocks Station, where we waited about 2 minutes for the next train, which was a direct service to Brighton.

November 11, 2018: Hassocks circular

Thanks a lot Graham for leading us on this enjoyable ride, which fortuitously avoided the blustery showers forecasted for Brighton.



16 November 2018

Dear All

Nick tells me that he will be ‘investigating the Pier to Lewes ride detailed on the attached with Graham this Sunday’ So I think we should assume that the ‘Next Ride’ is ‘on’ unless we hear differently from Nick.

Assuming that goes ahead as planned all we need now to complete the year is an offer for 9 December.

Lots of interesting ideas from the Mitre meeting. When is the 2019 AGM? It’s not due till March – which gives us the chance of taking a position on any national issues that are going to be debated. I’ve always left it till nearer the time when everyone knows what they are doing and we can choose a date which suits if not everybody then the majority of those intending to attend.

Mitre Meeting Wednesday 7th November 2018 Wendy’s Notes

Present:  Graham, Nick, Wendy, Sean
These are not minutes – just notes so others can share the gist of the Clarion-related conversations.  Other conversations were available.

Possible Winter rides

Some discussion about offering a London ride, and possibly inviting London Clarion. Will discuss again when Jim’s around, and anyone else who knows London well, e.g. Prudence. Not enough people here to find out who’s got ideas in mind for the next few months. Agreed starting around 10am makes sense if we are to cycle around 15 miles with a coffee and lunch stop, returning around 4pm during the darker, colder winter months. If anyone has an idea for a ride, perhaps a ‘pop up’ ride could be organised to recce it.

Ride Schedule for 2019

Graham and Ian have been tinkering around with suggested ride dates for 2019 in an attempt to miss most of the disruptions caused by local events and scheduled railway engineering works. Graham has generated a rather impressive spreadsheet showing 3 possible configurations and will discuss further with Ian.

Sunday 6th January 2019

… was suggested as a possible date for a Post Christmas Lunch for everyone, especially working people and others who were unable to make the official Christmas lunch on 14th December.

AGM 2019 When is this?

Google Group

All present expressed satisfaction with use of the Google group, although others have grumbles, which Jim has kindly made suggestions to alleviate.

New Members

Graham knows of someone with a hand-build recumbent bicycle who would like to join.  Not sure how he will manage with trains, off road routes etc.


Dates for Next Year

After my suggestions in the last newsletter, Graham produced a couple of alternative options which were discussed at the Mitre meeting last Wednesday. It’s always been a bit of a problem avoiding dodgy dates and is even more so this time because there are still so many weekend rail closures to come. But unless anyone spots anything problematic about the following here are the dates for 2019

13, 27 January; 10, 24 February; 10, 24 March; 7, 28 April; 12, 26 May, 9, 23  June; 7, 21, 28 July;  18 August; 1, 15, 29 September; 13, 27 October; 10; 24 November; 8 December

Christmas Lunch – at the Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.

Don’t forget to let Angela know your menu choices by 1 December

Just to remind you, the main course choices were roast turkey, sea bass or baked leek and Gruyère tart. while the pudding choices were Christmas pud, Belgian choc tart or cheese.


Clarion History 13: The First Easter Meet

16 November 2018

I included a number of extracts from the Clarion about the first Easter Meet at Ashbourne (near Dovedale) in the series I did a long time ago now but which still can be found via the blog if you follow the link to the old website.

What follows is just a small selection. First, here is ‘Swiftsure’ who presided over the weekly cycling column at that time – from the issue of 20 April 1895

Had there been more consultation beforehand between the various clubs interested, I feel sure the conference would have been more satisfactory.

But, however, a start has been made, and the formation of a National Clarion Cycling Club is a fact which, I believe will have far-reaching influence.

* * *

On behalf of the Birmingham Club, the “O’ Groomie O” gave a most interesting report of what their club has done since its formation, by the distribution of literature, and various other methods of scouting. And I must say that if every Clarion Club now formed were to do as much as this next season the cause of “Socialism” would be advanced in the country villages in a manner which is greatly needed

* * *

Before I leave the subject of the Ashbourne “meet” I should just like to say that the thanks of nearly everyone who went – and I believe they numbered nearly 200 – are due to Captain Atkinson of the Birmingham C.C.C for the indefatigable manner in which he looked after the visitors.

We all know that a Socialist who only does his duty requires and asks for no thanks, but all the same a true word of appreciation makes a man feel that his efforts are not thrown away.

There were several Sheffield cyclists at the “meet” and they expressed a wish for a “Clarion” C,C to be formed in Sheffield. Mr Jas. Ashurst, 29 Baker Street, Attercliffe, has offered to act as organiser in the first instance. Will all who are interested in the formation of such a club for Sheffield please communicate with him.

In the same issue A M Thompson (aka Dangle) was rather more fulsome.

No healthier or brighter force exists in all the movement than the ardent legion of young and lusty Scouts and Cyclists with whom we so pleasantly forgathered in the restful vale of the Dove. Their fervour, their intelligence, their readiness and resourceful of with (sic), their broad sympathy, and, above all, their kindly good humour, brought some of us who had presumed to think our services needful to were not wanted at all – except perhaps – as their disciples

* * * *

These men will serve. They formed the National Clarion Cycling Club at Ashbourne which is destined to make history.

Rather a lot of ‘men’ – but fortunately it didn’t stay that way for very long. Finally, for this edition, here is an account that throws light on how ‘Boots and Spurs’ – which came originally from one of Blatchford’s army tales – was first used in the cycling club. I’m not sure who the author was but it purports to tell the tale of the arrival at Ashbourne.

First we got oiled and blown up at Timberlake’s Repository.

“A great gent like you,” says Timberlake, when he saw my non-perisher tyres, “should have a better machine than this one.”
” A great gent like me,” I reply, ” Why, what sort of gent am I?” and Timberlake looked three ways for daylight and also scraped himself. “Well, ” he said, at last, with a critical air, “you look like a gent who could do with his portion.”

“You’ve guessed it at once,” said Whiffly and so we bestrid our wayward steeds, an after a brief halt at the “Buck in the Park” went in for records.

We got there, and, under the circumstances, we claim this as the greatest of cycling records. Cycling papers please copy.
Halfway is a village called Brailsford, with a contription. Ha! Ha! I need say no more.

It was a mile or two after this that Whifflly riding down a long steep hill with that sublime confidence which marketh the new beginner, lost control of his machine. Talk about Gilpin’s ride, it was nothing compared to Whiffly’s. He disappeared in a cloud of dust, out of which on the right-hand side a man and bicycle presentely turned double somersaults on the grass bank. Talk about De Quincey’s “Vision of Sudden Death”. In those cases where you are suddenly face to face with grim death, it is wonderful how coolly you philosophise.

“If Whiffly had fifty necks, ” I said to myself as he careered past, ” he’ll break every one of ’em this time.”

Instead of which, he was, beyond a few bruises, practically uninjured. It is unsafe to make predictions concerning him, he is such an unreliable person,

When I say practically uninjured I mean that the new knickerbockers were rent in twain. But we borrowed some string from a village blacksmith and tied ’em up behind a hedge. After which we smoked pipes on the grassy verge, and rode into Ashbourne, where we were welcomed by a knot of young fellows on the bridge with a cry of “Boots” to which we gave the Clarion countersign “Spurs –  and plenty of ’em.”


Next Time – The General Election of 1895

The Next Ride: Sunday 11 November 2018

30 October 2018

Hassocks loop via Hurstpierpoint, Washbrooks Farm, Muddleswood, Twineham, Goddards Green

Please remember that sunset is at 16:19 so make sure that you have working cycle lights.   This is a delightfully simple 15 mile winter loop ride to lunch with an early coffee stop.

From Hassocks station we will make our way through Hurstpierpoint to Washbrook Farm for a coffee stop. Hopefully quieter than on the recce during half term when the noise from the small people was horrendous.

As it will be Remembrance Sunday and also the 100th anniversary of WWI, which ended a century ago in 1918 members may wish to observe a two minute silence at 11am hopefully we will reach the cafe by then.

Leave your bike outside the entrance, they charge to go round the farm but not to just use the cafe.

Leaving the cafe we will turn right and follow the B2117 across the A23 down to the Ginger Fox where we turn double right on Shaves Wood Lane and north via High Cross to Twineham.

There we turn right and follow Hickstead lane back to the A23 After crossing we find and follow Jobs Lane on the far left side of the roundabout. Before getting to Burgess Hill we cross the A2300 at Bishopstone lane and the final stretch to our lunch stop at The Sportsman Pub.

Then we follow the Cuckfield Road, turning off to pass Hurstpierpoint College then Hurst Wickham and back to Hurst Road and our return to Hassocks Station

Length: 15 miles and largely flat apart from the Hill to Hurstpierpoint from both directions, all paved surfaces.

Duration: 5 hours including stops

Meet: at Brighton station at 9:40 to catch the 10:08 train to Hassocks (Buy a return ticket to Hassocks)

Start: We will start the ride at 10:20 at Hassocks station (West side) for anyone arriving by car.

Return: from Hassocks about 15:30 (Frequent trains)

To help me book lunch please email me if you are coming.



The Last Ride. Tessa’s Report

30 October 2018

Clarion Ride Glynde to Berwick   28/10/18

Ten of us gathered at Brighton Station: Angela D, Chris, David, Graham, Jim, Nick, Prudence, Sikka, Tessa and Wendy.

Tessa had the interesting experience of her bike getting stuck in the middle of the double gates leading to the platform whilst chatting to the railway guard. No way would it allow him to open them and the only way was to lift the bike clear. Lucky it wasn’t an electric bike!

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

L-R Jim, Wendy, Prudence, David, Angela D, Sikka, Tessa, Chris, Graham. (Photo by Nick).

Setting off from Glynde we encountered our one and only ‘H…’ It was definitely more than an ‘Undulation’. We quickly arrived at Middle farm, our coffee stop via country lanes and a spell on the bike friendly pavement alongside the A27.

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

When coffee and second breakfasts had been consumed we set off on more country lanes fringed by cropped hedges and autumnal trees.

After Ripe we headed for Laughton, stopping for a moment to count ginger cats in a farmyard. The skies were full off swirling wind-driven clouds with a hint of rain.

We crossed the A2124 to ride along a byway through Laughton Common Wood. It was well-timed. Rain had become heavier but we were protected by overhanging trees.

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

By the time we reached Vert Wood where the track was wider and the trees less protective, the sun was out.

Crossing the A22 we continued on country lanes to Chiddingly and our lunch stop, the Six Bells.

Opinions of lunch were mixed, Angela being pleased she had eaten a hearty Cornish pasty at our coffee stop.

It rained during lunch so many decided to don their waterproof trousers. TherOctober 27, 2018: Glynde to Berwicke was much mirth at Wendy’s all-in-one waterproof trousers and overshoes which made her her look a clown about to enter a crime scene.

We stopped in Muddles Green at Farley’s Farm House to see an exhibition of Lee Miller’s recently found archive photographs, really varied and interesting.

The sun was low as we cycled the remaining miles to Berwick station along a mix of byways and lanes. Those really keen to catch the 15.55 train to Brighton raced ahead with directions from Graham. Others were delayed and did not get there in time. I believe they spent a convivial hour in the pub waiting for the next train?

Thank you Graham for a voyage of discovery along those lanes and byways.


Jim adds: Yes, we “lost” Nick and waited for him to catch up, but it turned out he was ahead of us! He could have caught the earlier train with Tessa et al., but gallantly waited for us to arrive before repairing to the pub. As we waited on the platform, we witnessed a lovely sunset. I’d like to thank Graham for finally introducing me to Farley’s, which I had heard of on an earlier ride but never managed to pinpoint. As well as Lee Miller they were also featuring an exhibition on space, time and relativity by Sir Roger Penrose, who is the cousin of Farley’s current owner, Antony Penrose, the son of Lee Miller. This was “right up my street” as I am currently studying the philosophy of relativity!  Sadly, both exhibitions were closing that day, and we had little time to tarry.

Berwick sunset


30 October 2018

30 October 2018

Dear All

We are now short of only two rides to complete the year –   25 November and 9 December. Best stick to short ones at this time of year, I think. Any offers? For many years I used to lead the last ride of the year – and I intended to offer it this year when my leg seemed like it was getting better. Perhaps next year. It was based on Berwick station with a lunch stop at the Yew Tree.  If anyone fancies taking it on I can provide full route details – but you’ll need to check trains nearer the time.


I had only two responses for my request for suggestions for dates to avoid other than the ones I mentioned. Sikka pointed out that pubs were usually full on Mothering Sunday (or Mothers’ Day) which makes things difficult. It turns out that in 2019 it is the same date – 31 March when BST begins . So I’ve gone for a fortnightly sequence which avoids that. The end of BST is not such a problem since if you forget to put your clock/watch back the worst thing that can happen is that you turn up an hour early for the ride – which is a lot better than turning up an hour late when the clocks go forward and being puzzled that no-one else is there and then realising they’ve departed an hour earlier.

The London-Brighton ride is always a problem because while some people often want to take part it is in any case impossible to get a train to anywhere from Brighton. So I’ve had to leave a 3 week rather than a fortnight gap in June (The BHF ride is on16 June next year). Jim thinks it’s best to avoid Pride weekend. Next year it’s on 3 and 4 August so rather than lose another summer ride I’m suggesting we have rides on two consecutive weeks in July 21 and 28 . This makes up for the 3 week gap in June. It’s not an ideal solution it will mean letting everyone know the details of the second July one more quickly than usual. If anyone can think of a better idea please let me know.

With that proviso and a request to check out the dates yourself and tell me if I’ve got anything wrong here are the ones I’m proposing for 2019. We still have plenty of time to make changes.

13, 27 January; 10, 24 February; 10, 24 March; 7, 21 April; 5,19 May; 2, 24 June; 7, 21, 28 July; 18 August; 12, 15, 29 September; 10, 24 November; 8 December

We can have our traditional little New Year’s ride on Wednesday 2 January – to avoid the crowds. I hope I will be able to do it (fingers crossed!) but I’ll be there one way or another anyway.

Latest on Julian

Jim has been to see him and I spoke to him on the phone on Sunday. He’s had a bit of as setback during the last few days – some new physio exercises seem to have left him with a ‘frozen’ leg.   Let’s hope it proves a very temporary problem.

Mitre Meeting – a message from Graham. Jim and Wendy

All members are invited to meet together at The Mitre Pub, Baker Street at 8pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018

A chance for members to come in from the cold and get together for a general social and discuss rides during the dark months of December, January and February.

There will be opportunities to share ideas on:

  • Possible rides (Anyone got a ride they’re planning?  Which date?)
  • Share ideas for Spring and Autumn weekend rides
  • Discuss use of Google Group
  • Express opinions on ride length, difficulty, start times and trains
  • Discuss ideas to increase active membership
  • In discussing these points, we may want to consider that this year
    • Of 36 members only half ride
    • Of 36 members less than a quarter ride on a regular basis
    • The average active group is less than 7
    • Only 4 individuals or pairs lead rides on a regular basis


Christmas Lunch – a message from Angela

Hello Clarionistas,

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I ask you to choose from a Xmas Menu and I will do my best not to get muddled as I did last year.

It will once again be at The Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport because it is one of very few venues that do not ask for a deposit from everybody which, in the past, has made things very complicated. Also, I think that most people were happy with the food last year. It will be on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.  I have provisionally booked for 15-20 people.

The restaurant has asked that the group choose from either the two course or the three course menu ‘on block’ as they feel they cannot deal with some people having two courses whilst others have three. So, I am going to propose that the group opts to choose from the two course menu. I do hope that is OK with everybody.

Please let me know by the 1st December if you would like to come and let me know your menu choice.(see attachment) The Hummingbird needs to have a firm idea of numbers by the 1st in order to plan their seating, so I am having to say that if I don’t hear from you by the 1st, I’m afraid that you will not be able to opt in after that date.

Look forward to hearing from you.

My email address is:

Since replies to me about the Xmas Lunch will be in November, I’m afraid that I will not be able to acknowledge by return email your menu choices as, up until the 25th November, I shall be in a country where I will not be able to use the internet very easily, if at all, (China). Sorry about that. Will respond to your emails when I get back.

Love – Angela xx

Graham’s report on Thursday ‘Rehab’ programme

A very successful sunny day, Shoreham to Stan’s Bike Sack via Steyning and Ashurst and back  via the Downslink.  Anne, Chris, David, Prudence, Richard and Sikka.   Lots of new shiny chains and gears on show. Only one member complained of having a screw loose. Luckily turned out to be a real one.  Photo on Flickr


When sending in ride reports please include the date in the title – otherwise it gets listed along with other ‘ride report’s way down in my eccentric inbox. And I might miss it. Thanks

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter. I realise not everyone is equally interested in the history of the Clarion – but I know that some are. If anyone would like more info or more explanation about anything I mention in this series just send me an email.