Dear fellow members and friends

Sikka and Tessa to the rescue!   They’re going to do the 24 Feb ride   Anyone want to take on 10 or 24 March?

Final Reminder for members

If you still haven’t yet renewed your membership please send a cheque for £7 payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club to Jim Grozier at 92a Springfield Road, Brighton BN1 6DE.

Jim stresses that if you pay by bank transfer to sort code 08-92-99, account no. 65377325; please email him with the date so he knows who it’s from.  He has two renewals he can’t identify.  So if you have already paid this way please let him know-

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People have been up to all sorts of things in the last fortnight; Jenny is now settled in Hove and Mick  (we assume it’s him!)  has had an excellent letter in the Argus.  If you missed it it’s on

Meanwhile eagle-eyed Jim spotted that in a photo used in the Observer to illustrate a piece about the CTC at least two of the late C19 or early C20 Harrogate cyclists were carrying copies of the Clarion. He’s now put the photo on the blog. (See “About/The Clarion Movement”) [I cannot tell a lie … it was actually eagle-eyed Sally who spotted it – Jim]

Message from Jim about the Norfolk Weekend

Just checked the National Rail Enquiries website re the Norfolk weekend. All trains are running, so:

(1)  We will be able to get a train form Sheringham to the Broads to do one of our rides (the other does not involve trains)

(2)  Anyone wanting to go home on the Sunday (as opposed to Monday) or arrive on the Saturday (as opposed to Friday) will be able to do so by train.

More info on Norfolk after the 24 February ride.

Driving Test cycle awareness

Leon suggests that “As cyclists we should push hard to bring about change in the driving test for car drivers.” Here’s the link,187NH,259829,45P74,1

More on this in a recent Bricycles Update   Becky writes

Whilst the driving theory test has some optional cycling awareness questions, not everyone is tested with these and the practical driving test does not have any particular focus on cyclists. If drivers are not trained to be aware of cyclists and how to drive around them they will retain the lack of awareness after they pass their test. British Cycling supports the motoring organisations which are calling for harder tests and the inclusion of cycle awareness in the test. British Cycling’s manifesto says: changes to the driving test to make cycle awareness a core part of driver training and
testing with emphasis on how much space to give cyclists and how to safely overtake cyclists. We need to make this happen and stop people being needlessly killed on the roads

Get Britain Cycling

And the CTC reports on a development at national level

The first session of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry was held in Parliament on Wednesday this week; CTC gave evidence alongside other organisations. The discussion became one of the most talked about topics on Twitter – follow what is said in future sessions using #getbritaincycling. The second session, on safety will be held on Wednesday 30 January, with CTC’s evidence to focus on ‘Safety in Numbers’ and the means to get there. CTC also raised these issues, together with AA President Edmund King and representatives of other organisations, earlier this

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Last issue issues

Roger points out that as well as himself, Nick and Fred there were also Suzanne, Linda, Tessa, Angela. Richard and – on his first Clarion outing – Julian on the “Academic Corridor” ride a fortnight ago.

I was interested in the bit in the ride report about passing the Level where “some of us recalled this had been the location for many Brighton political marches and demos over the years” Such things may go back a lot longer than most people think.

Nick’s comment reminded me of a couple of things I read back in the early 70s (so the detail may be a bit imprecise” There’s a 1969 University of Sussex thesis on “Chartism in Brighton” by Thomas Kemnitz, who if memory serves me right was an American research student.  In the early C19 it was customary to have a huge Guy Fawkes bonfire on the Level. On one occasion in the mid 1830s – I think 1835 or 1836 – there was an attack on the top local official, the Head Borough, I think he was called, by proto-Chartist local radicals who were frustrated with his opposition to interpreting the complicated local franchise – Brighton had become a parliamentary constituency as a result of the 1832 Reform Act – in a way that denied most local men the vote, They tried to push him into the already blazing bonfire, and though he was rescued by his underlings, he spent the rest of the evening besieged in the pub that’s now called the Countess of Brunswick.

Brighton was a surprisingly radical place even before this or the arrival of a real industrial working class with the advent of the railway works in the 1840s.  A decade earlier when Sussex was one of the centres of the “Swing Riots” – what the Hammonds called “The Last Labourers’ Revolt” when threshing machines were smashed and ricks burned during the winter of 1830/31, many in authority couldn’t believe that the normally docile farm labourers could have revolted of their own accord.  Some actually believed there really was a “Captain Swing” who (like Ned Ludd in the East Midlands a decade or so previously) was sending letters threatening farmers that if they didn’t get rid of the machines that put men out of work in the winter he would come round and cut out their “black hearts” According to Eric Hobsbawm and George Rudé in Captain Swing those blamed for stirring up the trouble were radicals from Brighton and Horsham (Horsham!]



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