Next Ride

8 May 2023

Details of our next ride will be posted when known.

Ride report – Emsworth circular April 30, 2023

8 May 2023

As last Sunday’s Brighton Clarion ride had a later than usual start from Brighton station at 11am, my plan was to make a quick visit to the 2023 Vegfest in Brighton Centre and then catch the noon train to Emsworth. If I cycled fast enough, I felt reasonably sure I could meet the rest of the cyclists at the Hare & Hounds lunch stop in Stoughton.

Although it was too early in the morning at Vegfest for a plate of gourmet vegan pasta, I picked up a couple of bags of vegan cat food (not for me to eat!) and had a brief chat with the friendly Animal Rising team. I usually investigate the vegan comedy area, but there wasn’t really time for that this year.

I reached Brighton train station just before noon and caught the planned train to Emsworth. About 30 minutes before arriving at Emsworth, I was amazed to receive a text message from Jim to say the rest of the group had been delayed due to an incident on the railway line. Their ETA was 13.33, which meant I would now arrive at the start of the ride before everyone else!

Steve had arrived on a different train and was waiting on the platform when I arrived. I sensed he wasn’t that interested in my tales of vegan cat food from the Brighton Centre, so we talked about Emsworth station’s retro cafe instead. It was a slight concern that they would only give you a key to the station’s loo if you bought something in their cafe first. There wasn’t really enough time for a coffee this time, but it’s worth noting that Emsworth station could be the place for an early coffee stop on a future ride.

Jim, Rupert, Doris, Tessa and Sikka did indeed arrive at 1.33pm, After a short photo opp, we were ready to start the day’s cycle ride. (Strava and Flickr links from the day appear below).

April 30, 2023: Emsworth circular

I was grateful to be given a few chips to smaple by Tessa & Sikka before leaving the Hare & Hounds. We all agreed the chips served at the Hare & Hounds were of a very high standard. Our Clarion chipometer gave the chips either a 9 or 10/10, which is possibly the highest chip rating ever given on any Clarion ride. We all agreed that it would be worth returning to the pub for another chip eating opportunity in the future.

April 30, 2023: Emsworth circular

I was in a rush to return to Brighton because I had booked to attend a comedy show in Brighton Dome. I decided to leave the Hare & Hounds early in order to attend the 7.30pm show. Continuing the circular ride back to Emsworth station looked fairly straightforward. I stopped to photograph bluebells, daffodils and some glorious smelling wild garlic.

My cycling navigational device suggested I had taken a wrong turn. I cycled back for a few miles and found the rest of the Clarion cyclists had caught up with me! We cycled together at a brisk pace to Emsworth station. When the return train terminated early at Hove station, I realised I was going to be late for the Dome show. Despite being heckled from the Dome stage for my lateness by Stewart Lee, this had been a great day of cycling. Thanks to Jim for organising.


April 30, 2023: Emsworth circular

Click here for Flickr link
Click here for Strava link

News – 8 May 2023

8 May 2023

Hello all

I hope you’re all managing to cope with this weekend of enforced monarchy celebration.

Cycling to the coronation

I’m not sure why I took my bike to yesterday’s Republic protest in London. There really weren’t many cycling opportunities and finding somewhere to lock the bike was a little inconvenient.

It was good to be part of an alternative to the pro-monarchy propaganda we’ve all had to endure recently. There were some great chants to sing and many witty messages to read. I totally agreed with the ‘Elvis is the king’ placard someone had brought to the protest. An Elvis coronation would certainly have been a good deal more fun than the humourless, pompous and expensive display of anachronistic nonsense parading the streets of London on Saturday.

I’ve been stopped by the cops before when cycling across London and thought something similar might happen on Saturday, particularly as the Met had been randomly arresting innocent anti-monarchy activists earlier in the day. I was pleased to find a quick getaway along the excellent new Embankment cycle path, without police interruption this time.

Brighton Clarion cycling survey for 2023

We’ve had a few responses to this year’s cycling survey, but it would be good to have a few more. It only takes a few seconds to answer the questions – click here to participate.

Future rides

I have a route for a Lewes via Kingston and south Downs circular ride ready, which will hopefully be programmed soon. It would also be good to return to the Knepp rewilding project again. Jim is currently working on a date for the Rusper ride. Any other ideas for future rides would be gratefully received.

Sunday 11th JuneClarion Sunday, Clarion House

Friday 14th JulyLondon Clarion’s night ride to Brighton



Next Ride: Sunday 30 April 2023: Emsworth Circular via Westbourne, Stoughton and East Marden

18 April 2023

From Emsworth we ride through the delightful village of Westbourne along mainly quiet roads; we’ll see the Racton Monument, a ruined 18th-century folly that is said to be haunted, to which we can ride or walk up a track (just under half a mile each way). Lunch will be at 2pm at the Hare and Hounds at Stoughton, and then we ride on to East Marden, with its unusual thatched well. After ascending the one real hill (for which, luckily, a “bike-carrying” service was provided last time though cannot be guaranteed on this occasion) we’ll continue westwards until we reach the Waterloo-Portsmouth railway line at Idsworth, where St Hubert’s church (1053) has 14th century wall paintings and also a 20th century one. Riding south alongside the railway, we reach Rowlands Castle, and then back to Emsworth, via a lovely wooded path.

Terrain: All hard surfaces, mostly quiet lanes. Undulations: Remarkably few.

Distance: 20 miles.

Start at: Emsworth station at 12:10 pm. This ride has a late start because of lunch venue availability.

Getting there: Catch the 11:00 Southampton train from Brighton station. Return trains are at 14 and 38 minutes past the hour.

Ride report: Lewes to Polegate, 16 April 2023

17 April 2023

Doris, Jim, Angela, Wendy, Nick and Tessa caught the train to Lewes.

Leaving the station Nick turned left to follow an alien cyclist, the rest of us turned right. “5 minutes” said Nick when we reached him by phone and arranged to wait for him by Bill’s cafe in Lewes centre. We started considering other Bill’s cafes in Sussex when the 5 minutes stretched? …

Reunited, we headed east out of town, crossed the road into Cliffe Industrial estate and wound our way through to join the cycle track alongside the A27. Soon we turned left onto quiet but undulating Chalcombe Lane which led us to Glynde.

Crossing the railway we undulated a little further and rejoined the A27 cycle path. We crossed the road at Firle and continued parallel using the old A27 till we joined the new recently opened cycle track. What a joy! Great tarmac surface fringed by newly planted saplings that will in time dull the thunderous road noise. At one point the track headed south towards the downs and away from the road.

At the signpost for Berwick we crossed the A27 and on a mix of small roads and cycle track headed for our lunch stop, The Yew Tree in Arlington, negotiating a a long and deep puddle that resembled a pond.

Excellent food for 5 of us, Nick was on sandwiches and bike guarding duty in the garden before the cold brought him in to join us. Good accoustics (carpet on the floor) enabled lively conversation which focussed on family dynamics and healing rifts within them. When Nick joined us, the teasing began and a rather chaotic discussion about future rides.

After lunch we headed towards Hailsham along a tiny lane that shouted ‘Spring is here’ at us. May blossom above us and celandine, primroses, cuckoo flowers, crocuses even the first bluebells, below us. Nick, Jim and Tessa stopped to photograph and identify the purple cuckoo flower (see photo).

At Hailsham we joined the Cuckoo Trail for a few miles leading us into Polegate where we had a short wait for the train to Lewes. At Lewes the train to Brighton was waiting for us and all boarded except Wendy who was just too late despite our efforts to delay its departure.

Thank you Doris for a marvellous day out, and an introduction to the new cycle track.


Next Ride: Sunday April 16th 2023: Lewes to Polegate via new cycle track

9 April 2023

This is a cycle track which eventually will go all the way to Eastbourne. We are joining it between Firle and Polegate.

A mainly tarmacked ride with a few hills along Ranscombe Lane to Glynde and hopefully dry track along Robin Post Lane. Returning via the Cuckoo Trail to Polegate Station.

Lunch at the Yew Tree, Arlington. (Because the only available lunch slot was an early one, there will unfortunately not be time for a coffee stop – we can get coffee at Brighton Station before we board the train if we want.)

Getting there: 10.05 Eastbourne train. Get return ticket to Polegate.

Starting the ride at Lewes.

Getting back: Trains leave about two an hour

Distance 20 miles

Please let me know if you are able to join the ride so I can book lunch.
Doris Edwards


4 April 2023

This Thursday (6 April)’s transport & travel hustings, organised by Bricycles, looks like it will be worth attending. The event starts at 7pm in the Brighthem Centre. Spaces need to be pre-booked on this link.

National Clarion’s AGM takes place on Zoom this Friday (7 April) at 7pm. I hope we all agree that the two Saddleworth motions below are worthy of our support.

Motion 1
That the wording in the constitution deleted by the Tuxford motion to Conference in June 2021 and referring to “the promotion of socialism” be reinstated.

Motion 2
In addition, Saddleworth Clarion propose that the National Clarion should donate 10% of its annual income to charity. The recipient Charity to be agreed annually at conference by a vote of members.
Seconded by London Clarion.

Other events

Sunday 11th JuneClarion Sunday, Clarion House

Friday 14th July – London Clarion’s night ride to Brighton.

Ride suggestions

More ride routes have been added to the B&H Clarion website. Any thoughts on potential future ride destinations?

That’s all for now. Hopefully see some of you on a cycle ride soon.



Ride report: Berwick Circular via Laughton Place, 26th March 2023

4 April 2023

Jim Sue Tessa Wendy Doris

Five stalwarts met at Brighton Station, with one noticeable absentee!

The forecast was rather grim but it didn’t stop us turning up for Jim’s ride. We started the ride at Berwick Station and after a short time stopped for lunch at the Yew Tree, Chalvington. Very enjoyable meal with amazing chips and roast dinners.

The sun came out as we made our way via flooded lanes to Laughton Place. A rather solitary building surrounded by a moat and wet fields.

Retracing our steps we stopped to look at the golden goose at Eckington Manor before continuing towards Berwick Station.

Luckily we just missed the train which gave us the chance to enjoy delicious deserts with tea and coffee at the Berwick Inn.

A great day out.


Sunday March 26th 2023: Berwick Circular via Chalvington, Ripe and Laughton

21 March 2023

Today’s ride may have to be cancelled due to bad weather in the Berwick area (which Brighton is likely to escape the worst of). Some of us will be meeting on Brighton station concourse to make a final decision before buying tickets.


This is a new version of a ride we’ve done before.

We’ll have a look at the impressive remains of Laughton Place, formerly the chief manor of that well-known Sussex family, the Pelhams, originally built in 1400 and remodelled “on a grand scale” by Sir William Pelham. All that has survived is the tower, which stood close to the main hall, “an outlook post and set of secure private rooms combined. By 1600 the family had abandoned Laughton, driven by the damp, to build again on higher ground, and slowly the house decayed.” (text from the Landmark Trust, who now own it and let it out if you can afford it!)

On the way back we’ll go through a bit of the delightful Vert Wood if it isn’t too wet.

Distance: 20 miles.

Terrain: Mostly tarmacked roads, about a mile of good quality “byway”. Very flat.

Lunch: The Yew Tree at Chalvington at about 12:15.

Getting there: Take the 11:05 Eastbourne train from Brighton, arriving at Berwick at 11:32. (Remember to put your clock forward if it doesn’t happen automatically!)

Getting back: Trains leave Berwick at 55 minutes past each hour. Hopefully we’ll get the 17:55.

Clarion ride report Sunday 12 March 2023

21 March 2023

Hassocks to Shoreham via Blackstone and Small Dole

Participants: Jim, Nick, Doris, Angela

Hassocks station is swish and modern but we were firmly instructed not to linger in present times but to go back to when this ride was first envisioned, ‘a long time ago’ our leader informed us. When pressed he admitted to never having been on the original ride but it took assuredly took place in ancient times. Our leader appeared a little shifty as he told us this; when pressed he admitted that it may have occurred in the era of the dinosaurs or possibly in the time of the Neanderthals but he promised a mud hut with sticks to rub together to make a fire should we wish for a tea stop. At this point we all looked up at the clouds and imminent rain and wondered collectively if sticks worked in wet weather. And did said Neanderthals have a recipe for toasted tea cakes? We were too trusting and too polite to mention these doubts to our leader of course.

March 12, 2023: Hassocks to Shoreham

We should not have doubted. Teacakes and tea were to be had in Hurstpierpoint; Doris informed us that the café and its owner had been there for millennia but over the years the tables had decreased in number so we were only just able to squeeze ourselves in. On we cycled until Small Dole where a long and leisurely lunch was had by all; fortunately our earliest ancestors were in possession of chip friers and vegetarian options.

We ambled out to discover pouring rain but worse was to come, much worse. Unfortunately one of our number (and here I shall retain anonymity to preserve all due decorum), one of us had espied Brighton Excelsior Cycling Club speeding off like demons in the distance. Our companion’s eyes widened in wonder and in envy; our beloved Clarion member climbed onto their bike with a gleam of the possessed and showed every intention of disappearing off into the river mists. Fortunately we had a dangerous obstacle course to negotiate with mud, stiles and slinging of bicycles and we took this opportunity to remind our friend of all that they would miss from our beloved Clarion. ‘They don’t allow chips’ we argued and ‘They start at 6 am without coffee’ and what we thought of as the coup de grâce ‘They haven’t even heard of the illustrious leader, Jeremy XXXX, let alone shown him due reverence’.

Alas the fire of fanaticism burned on and as soon as we were free to ride along the river, our fellow traveller sped off without a backward glance or goodbye, chasing the chimeric riders in front of us, themselves a distant blur in the distance; whether our cherished comrade ever caught up with them we do not know but as we approached the footbridge near Shoreham, on the far side of the river, there was a loud cry followed by a splash. It was not possible for us to offer any assistance; we were too far away and beside we had a train to catch and warm dry homes to go to. Our leader vetoed a suggestion of a doffing our cycle helmets to honour our Clarion partner with a minute’s silence, and sensibly suggested we do this out of the rain when we were all snug and cosy back home. This suggestion was unanimously agreed.

March 12, 2023: Hassocks to Shoreham

At Shoreham station we all reassembled, our number complete; I don’t know how this happened and didn’t like to ask. I do think planners of future rides should scrupulously avoid any convergence with Brighton Excelsior in order to forestall the possible loss of our treasured Brighton member.

Many thanks to Jim for organising this ride.

Angela Devas

Strava link