The Next Ride: Sunday 24 June 2018

14 June 2018

Sunday 24 June     Downslink Revisited (What so soon!)

Following the last ride those who missed out or just want another visit to Stan’s or a lunch at the Plough have requested that I do it again. Due to Sue’s injury we have an early opportunity. Best wishes to Sue for an early recovery.

To spice things up and maybe entice more returnees, I am adding a First to Stan’s competition.

A free tea or coffee and cake for the first one to get to Stan’s, obviously not me. This may be hard to watch!!

This ride explores the Downslink trail to Shoreham which should be nice and dry unless the weather changes, and of course downhill most of the way.

The Downslink surface is mostly hard, compacted earth and stones, Apart from the road sections and the new surface coming into Shoreham. Ok for MTB or Hybrid.

The first section to Henfield takes us first via Southwater where the track is a bit narrow and we have to cross the Worthing Road and then a little further on Cripplegate Lane (There is a Cafe here should anyone need a comfort break) then on under the A24 and out into the countryside.

Then on past Copsale where we cross Bar Lane then under the Cowfold road and over the B2135 at Needs Bridge, and on into Partridge Green.

Here we have to turn right onto the B2135 for a short distance and then left again at Stans Bike Shack. (This is 8 miles into our Journey so option for Coffee and a break ).

Our Lunch stop is 3 miles further on in Henfield at the Plough Inn.

After our lunch stop we will retrace our route via Church Street, Upper station Road and Station Road back to the old Railway and south towards Bramber.

After About 2 Mls and just after crossing the Adur the track abruptly leaves the railway on the right and up short piece of farm track to Wyckham Lane, this is a bit rough and pothole strewn for the next mile until we get onto Kings Barn Lane then on into Bramber via King Stone Avenue and Castle lane.

We could break at the Castle for a rest.

To avoid crossing the A283 we then follow a track which runs SE parallel to the A283 and under the road bridge over the Adur cutting back in the opposite direction.

We then briefly join the S Downs way and over the Adur ourselves and down the last section of the Downslink into Shoreham. As the last bit of the footpath is closed we will finish the ride at Shoreham Station.

Length: 21 miles.
Duration: about 5-6 hours including lunch.
Starting at Christ’s Hospital Station 10:45
Getting there:
Suggested that we get the 9.27 Victoria train and changing at Gatwick Airport (14 minute wait) onto the Southern service from London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour.

If you miss the above then get the 9.42 Bedford train changing at Three Bridges onto the same Southern service from London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (only a 7 minute gap) . But do look out for us getting off the train from a different carriage.

If you miss both of the above you would be 50 mins behind as the next train arrives CH at 11:30. We could be catchable by Stans with some dedicated pedalling.

Single Ticket to Christ’s Hospital

Getting back: From the ride finish at Falconers Court there is the option of a train from Shoreham station or we can follow the NCR2 via Southwick then across the locks and follow the seafront to Hove and Brighton

Graham

Please email me or phone/text me if you are coming.

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The Last Ride. Tessa’s Report

14 June 2018

Sunday 10 June 2018: ‘Five go down (and a little bit up) the Downslink’

Five of us gathered at Christ’s Hospital station. Angela D, Graham, Tessa and new to Clarion, Wendy T on her electric bike had caught the 9.27 train from Brighton.

Prudence caught the later train and was relieved to find us in the car park, thinking she may have missed us.

A delightfully rural station only a stone’s throw from the Downslink, we set off on a narrow grass-fringed track that soon widened . The route alternated between being tree-lined in dappled sunlight and rolling meadows and fields.

We had a loo stop at Southwater Country Park but were not tempted by the café, preferring to wait for Stan’s Bike Shack further along the route.. Families were out in force, many canoeing on the small lake.

Cycling past a sign saying Copsale, probably once a station but now there was no sign of it, Wendy T and I had a telepathic thought: ‘ We were the Famous Five on an adventure’ Only Timmy the dog was missing but there were plenty of those around, mainly of the Cockapoodle, Labradoodle varieties.

We hit West Grinsted Station which had a train carriage and a platform so it became our first photo-opportunity.

WGrinstead

Arriving past a badly parked train carriage

Graham&Tessa

Graham and Tessa

Departing

Departing

We joined a road through the village of Partridge Green and suddenly there was Stan’s Bike Shed!

A delightful coffee stop not only for its food offerings but also for its bike friendly ambience. Free locks available to borrow, bike literature and a video screen to watch, and loads of lycra clad cyclists. Angela D said that every Clarion ride should have a coffee stop like Stan’s!

Cake

Wendy T, Angela D, Tessa and Prudence enjoying drinks and Cake !

We arrived at Henfield which was having a garden Open Day. On the way to the Plough, our lunch stop, we heard music coming from a garden close to a church. Prudence and Wendy stopped to explore and on joining us at the Plough reported that it was a lovely garden with craft stalls as well.

Everyone’s lunch was delicious and beautifully presented. Angela D told the waitress on the way out that is was the best Clarion lunch of all time!

We retraced our steps to the Downslink pausing to check out the garden. The music was over, the crafts mediocre but the garden was beautiful.

StBotolphs

On to Shoreham, stopping to look at St Botolph’s Church. Arriving in Shoreham Wendy stopped for tea and cake, the rest of us dashed for a train which we missed. Rather than wait 30 minutes, we decided to cycle home, it was a lovely evening with no strong headwind.

We dispersed at Hove Lagoon after thanking Graham for planning a delightful day in the saddle.

 

 


News

14 June 2018

Dear All

I’m standing in for Ian this time around.

Congratulations to Graham, whose first ride as leader sounds as if it was much appreciated by those who took part. See Tessa’s report below.

And now some bad news – commiserations to Sue (Priest) who has broken her wrist ad is therefore not able to ride for some time. Sue was to have led the next ride, but clearly she won’t now be able to. So, unless someone else can offer something at this late stage, there will be no ride on 24 June.

Don’t forget the Cycle Challenge (details below). I have some sympathy with Jim’s decision not to ride repeatedly around a cycle track – I hope the country ride goes well. The advantage of the round the world ride for me is that you can give up whenever you’re ready, and still know that you’ve contributed just a bit to something much bigger.

Don’t forget that the main point of all the rides on 1st July is to raise money for good causes, whether it’s Brighton Housing Trust or, as Angela (D) has pointed out, Friends of the Earth. So everyone who is taking part in one of the rides on 1st July needs sponsors!

Enjoy the rest of the newsletter – and don’t miss the next instalment of Ian’s Clarion history at the end.

Roger

*************************

Cycling round the world!

The circumference of the world is 40,075 km. That’s equivalent to 69,215 laps of the Preston Park velodrome.

So what?

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has issued a challenge to the cyclists of Brighton and Hove (and anywhere else). Let’s all cycle around the track until we’ve jointly done the equivalent of once round the world!

Why?

You guessed it – fund-raising, but it is for a very good cause. BHT runs First Base, a drop-in centre for rough sleepers and others with housing problems. It provides help with healthcare, training, learning and accommodation. Everyone is welcome and there are early morning sessions for rough sleepers. Last year 508 people were helped and 220 cases of homelessness prevented.

Guess what!

First Base needs funds. So, if you’d like to help, get yourself some sponsors and bring your bike to Preston Park on Sunday 1st July (not a Clarion ride day). In fact, how about a Clarion get-together at 12 noon?

The boring bit!

Click here to register (£15 fee) and print a sponsorship form or create a JustGiving page.

Other rides and charities are available

If riding round the World isn’t exciting enough for you, BHT is also raising money with two country rides on the same day (30 or 58 miles). Click here for details. Angela (D) has pointed out that you can also use these rides to raise money for Friends of the Earth as well.

Roger

 


Clarion History

14 June 2018

3.  The Clarion is launched

I finished the last episode with Blatchford in 1891about to leave Hulton’s Sunday Chronicle on which he had a well-paid job as a leader writier. By this time he was well established as a result of his Nunquam articles. The summer of 1891 had seen him adopted as an ‘independent Labour’ parliamentary candidate for the newly-formed Bradford Labour Union. To what extent this cost him his job on the Chronicle or at least contributed to his leaving the paper is still not clear.

But it may be useful here to sketch in something of the general background. Labour, along with Land and Capital was supposed to be one of the ‘factors of production’ – but one that unlike the others was at very least under-represented if not totally unrepresented in parliament. The idea of some kind of independent Labour representation had been around for decades – since Chartist times in the mid-century – but so far the attempts had been deflected into the Liberal Party. Since 1874 there had been a growing number of Liberal-Labour (or ‘Lib-Lab’) MPs who were usually prominent trade union leaders. Mining areas were particularly good as Lib-Lab constituencies since they were populated overwhelmingly by those who if not miners themselves were closely associated with mining and where the influence of the mining unions was strong.

As mentioned last time,organised socialism was represented by the Social-Democratic Federation (SDF) since the 1880s but had been unable to make a breakthrough electorally in the House of Commons. The late 1880s had seen an upsurge in trade unionism especially among (supposedly) unskilled workers. The most famous strikes were the ‘Matchgirls’ strike at Bryant and Mays in 1888 and the great London Dock Strike of 1889 but there were also conflicts in the northern manufacturing areas. In Bradford it was the long-running strike at Manningham Mills that finally broke the back of local Lib-Labism. The Liberal Party seemed to be totally on the side of the employers. Hence the idea that what was now needed was definitely ‘independent’ (that’s to say independent of the Liberal Party) representation. Hence the Bradford Labour Union – which was quickly followed by other local bodies of a similar nature

It was in this context that Blatchford left the Chronicle worked for a couple of months on Joseph Burgess’s Workman’s Times for which he wrote a series of articles on socialism. One of these asked ‘How is practical socialism to be brought about? Partly by education , partly by Parliamentary action. We want real democracy in place of the sham Party-ridden democracy now existent.’

And so – with the emphasis firmly on ‘education’ – Blatchford, together with his fellow journalists A M Thompson (aka ‘Dangle’) Edward Fay (‘the Bounder’) and a few others launched the Clarion in December 1891

Next time The Earliest Days of the Clarion

Ian

 

 


The Next Ride: Sunday 10 June 2018 – Christ’s Hospital to Shoreham Downslink

30 May 2018

This ride explores the Downslink trail to Shoreham which should be nice and dry unless the weather changes, and of course downhill most of the way.

The Downslink surface is mostly hard, compacted earth and stones, Apart from the road sections and the new surface coming into Shoreham. Ok for MTB or Hybrid.

The first section to Henfield takes us first via Southwater where the track is a bit narrow and we have to cross the Worthing Road and then a little further on Cripplegate Lane (There is a Cafe here should anyone need a comfort break) then on under the A24 and out into the countryside.

Then on past Copsale where we cross Bar Lane then under the Cowfold road and over the B2135 at Needs Bridge, and on into Partridge Green.

Here we have to turn right onto the B2135 for a short distance and then left again at Stan’s Bike Shack. (This is 8 miles into our Journey so option for Coffee and a break ).

Our Lunch stop is The Plough in Henfield.

After our lunch stop we will retrace our route via Church Street, Upper station Road and Station Road back to the old Railway and south towards Bramber.

After About 2 Mls and just after crossing the Adur the track abruptly leaves the railway on the right and up short piece of farm track to Wyckham Lane, this is a bit rough and pothole strewn for the next mile until we get onto Kings Barn Lane then on into Bramber via king Stone Avenue and Castle lane.

We could break at the Castle for a rest.

To avoid crossing the A283 we then follow a track which runs SE parallel to the A283 and under the road bridge over the Adur cutting back in the opposite direction.

We then briefly join the S Downs way and over the Adur ourselves. From here it is a lovely run on a good surface to our end point in Shoreham at Falconers Court.

Length: 22 miles.
Duration: about 5-6 hours including lunch.

Starting at Christ’s Hospital Station 10:45

Getting there:
Suggested that we get the 9.27 Victoria train and changing at Gatwick Airport (14 minute wait) onto the Southern service from London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour. (On Jim’s ride this train stopped at Three Bridges despite not being scheduled).  If it does that again get off avoiding the noise and smells of Gatwick )

If you miss the above then get the 9.42 Bedford train changing at Three Bridges onto the same Southern service from London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (only a 7 minute gap) Currently there is a yellow warning on the National Rail website “At present, we cannot confirm whether this service will run”.  So an update nearer the time if any problems.

If you miss both of the above you would be 50 mins behind as the next train arrives  CH at 11:30. We could be catchable by Stans with some dedicated pedalling.

Currently there is a yellow warning on the National Rail website “At present, we cannot confirm whether this service will run”. So an update nearer the time.

Single Ticket to Christ’s Hospital

Getting back: From the ride finish at Falconers Court there is the option of a train from Shoreham station or follow the NCR2 via southwick then across the locks and follow the seafront to Hove and Brighton

Graham


The Last Ride: Sunday 27 May 2018 – Christ’s Hospital to Pulborough

30 May 2018

Downs Link

After a hot train journey we set off on the Downs Link, which was pleasantly cool under the foliage. We were 4: Jim, Graham, Wendy and I. We passed an ancient aeroplane, wrapped in plastic and shortly afterwards a sign “low flying aeroplanes” and a field which was used as a runway. We could only surmise that the aforementioned plane had missed it!

Aeroplane wrapped in plastic

Later we passed another sign: “low flying owls” ! How bizarre.

A brief detour from the Downs Link provided a delicious ice cream and we were invited into Slinfold Church only to behold the sight of a family eating loads of doughnuts. Odd.

Double bridge

The waterways were of particular interest on this ride: we marvelled at the famous “double bridge” over the river Arun, which features in the Downs Link logo. After a pleasant lunchtime at the Mucky Duck (with a clock that goes backwards) we came across another waterway wonder: Drungewick Aquaduct, where the canal actually goes over the. River Lox. Pretty spectacular.

Double Bridge info board

Things got more normal after that, apart from seeing a sign “Holiday Home for Hens” outside a farm ????

We heard a cuckoo and spotted two buzzards too.

It was mighty hot on the ride but intrepid souls that we are we managed and had a really lovely ride.

Many thanks Jim for leading this very enjoyable ride.

Prudence

Low Flying Aeroplanes notice


News

30 May 2018

Dear All

My computer crashed at the end of last week and it’s only just been fixed. I think I’ve managed to catch up with replying to emails – but if anyone still hasn’t received a reply please get in touch again.

You’ll see that I’ve left Jim’s piece on the Bath-Bristol ride in September for at least a second time.

Poor (not so) old Simon Yates- but what a performance for someone barely in his mid-20s.

Clarion History
I ended my end-of-the-newsletter piece on Clarion history with an account of how I learned that the Cycling Club was still going decades after I assumed it had died out. This has inspired Bob to tell us about his first unexpected encounter with the CCC. And here it is:

Ian

If your Clarion riders at Bourne YH were indeed en route to Skegness, you are forgiven for being hazy about the year, as Easter Meet was at Skegness in each of the years 1971, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1987 and 1991.

My intro came at Easter 1996. I took the train to Llandudno with David and Jeane Lepper, for the Co-operative Party conference.
I had my bike with me, so as to ride back to Brighton after the conference.

From Llandudno railway station I was riding to the Co-op Party conference hotel when a weather beaten mature cyclist caught me up, then greeted me with

“Eh up, lad, off to Conference?” I concurred.

“Right, follow me, it’s this way.”

We went in the back entrance of a sea front hotel, into a large room full of bikes and riders. Cries of ‘Boots’ and ‘Spurs’ resounded.

I guessed I was NOT at the Co-op Party Conference; so enquired further, liked the explanation of a cycling club linked to socialism, and signed up to membership there and then.

I was dismayed to have to go on to the Co-op Party Conference, but I did sneak round to the Clarion Meet again over the weekend.

Bob

Message from Roger – Cycling round the world!
The circumference of the world is 40,075 km. That’s equivalent to 69,215 laps of the Preston Park velodrome.
So what?

Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has issued a challenge to the cyclists of Brighton and Hove (and anywhere else). Let’s all cycle around the track until we’ve jointly done the equivalent of once round the world!

Why?
You guessed it – fund-raising, but it is for a very good cause. BHT runs First Base, a drop-in centre for rough sleepers and others with housing problems. It provides help with healthcare, training, learning and accommodation. Everyone is welcome and there are early morning sessions for rough sleepers. Last year 508 people were helped and 220 cases of homelessness prevented.

Guess what!
First Base needs funds. So, if you’d like to help, get yourself some sponsors and bring your bike to Preston Park on Sunday 1st July (not a Clarion ride day). In fact, how about a Clarion get-together at 12 noon?

The boring bit!
Click here to register (£15 fee) and print a sponsorship form or create a JustGiving page.

Other rides are available

If riding round the World isn’t exciting enough for you, BHT is also raising money with two country rides on the same day (30 or 58 miles). Click here for details.

Roger

Bath-Bristol Weekend Ride: 1-2 September 2018
The weekend of 1-2 September will feature two wonderful rides. On the Saturday we will repeat the ride from Bath to Bristol that we last did in 2012, with some additional options. The Bath-Bristol cycle path was one of the first dedicated cycle paths to be created in the UK, and the route abounds with information boards about the area’s rich history. The basic ride will be about 25 miles long, but there will be longer and shorter options; as we have all day, we can take it nice and slowly (stopping to read the information boards is mandatory!)

The Sunday will feature the amazing Two Tunnels Greenway from Bath to Midford, which opened the year after our last visit. The two refurbished, dimly-lit railway tunnels on the former Somerset & Dorset line (one a mile long) create a unique experience which it is difficult to convey adequately in words. We’ll return to Bath via the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath, which we used last time. The circular ride is about 16 miles long. Being on old railway lines, both rides are largely undulation-free.

So far, six of us have signed up for the weekend, but we would welcome more.

Most of us are staying in Bath Youth Hostel, but of course there are plenty of hotels in Bath if you don’t fancy the hostel. It will be necessary to travel to Bath on the Friday in order to leave enough time for the Saturday ride. The return journey can be on Sunday or Monday. (NB the hostel is unfortunately on a hill, so if you are seriously allergic to hills you might want to look elsewhere.)

Participants book their own accommodation; if you want to stay at the hostel, you will have to book soon as it is currently undergoing a partial rebuild and has fewer beds than usual. But do contact me first (j.r.grozier@btinternet.com) as there may be spare beds in rooms that have already been booked by members of our group.

Jim.