The Next Ride: Sunday May 26th

15 May 2013

“Bluebells and Windmills”: Hassocks and Wivelsfield Green Circular

c 20 miles fairly flat,quiet pretty country lanes

We ride out from Hassocks via Lodge Lane,  take Underhill Lane to Westmeston,  Streat, and Plumpton. Lunch c 1pm The Cock Inn Wivelsfield Green.

Return via  Hundred Acre Lane, Spatham lane and hopefully catch the last of the bluebells. Tea in Ditchling or for the more adventurous, the option of visiting Oldland Mill and the possibility of tea there before returning to Hassocks station late pm . trains 05 and 36 past the hour to Brighton.

Catch the 09.45  (arr 09.54) or  10.15  from Brighton station  or meet at Hassocks station at 10.24.  Return trains at 05 and 36 minutes past the hour

For more details, or suggestion for an alternative meeting place for those coming by car, contact Helen 07890281112


The Last Ride

15 May 2013

Sunday 12 May 2013 – Barnham to Southbourne

Julian’s Report

Perhaps it was the prospect of a long train journey from Brighton, with a change at Three Bridges, due to the engineering works at Shoreham, combined with rain and icy wind weather forecast, that reduced the group to just four – Jim (leader), Joyce, David and Julian.

We set off north from Barnham station at 10.50 through the village of Walburton and were soon going along the shortest London Road in the UK and then under the A27. At mid-day there was a brief coffee stop at Aldingbourne Country Centre, but with no time to view the Alpacas. Then after seeing the distant hill-top Halnaker Wind Mill (pronounced Hannaker by the locals) we risked a soft track through a wood where the bluebells were a great feature and across the path of snarling 4x4s sliding through squelching mud for a rally.

Bluebells  in Tinwood Lane

The Boxgrove Priory had to be by-passed for lack of time and a long straight ride took us to the Lavants past the Goodwood airfield, with a vast metal-clad old hangar, and the Goodwood House estate hidden by a long high flint wall. After Waterbeach we reached East Lavant at exactly 12.53 as Jim’s timesheet predicted. Soon we biked south down Centurion Way for a short while and onto the Funtington road for a stop before at Wellies Restaurant and Tea Room on West Stoke Road at 13.20 for lunch.

The Centurions on the Centurion Way

The excellent and ample main course helpings stimulated discussions on climate change, over-fishing in the Pacific and the constraints of Health and Safety regulations for employees. The Italian canned fizzy lemonade was memorable, but we had no room left for the tempting desserts which would anyhow have sent us to sleep.

Wellies Restaurant

Once on our way again in the cold air we passed a stretch of stenching road-side mowed garlic and reached Funtington. Going down Watery Lane we passed a female Mallard duck mothering over 15 small ducklings along the narrow clear stream by the road, and it flowed down to a group of white farm geese being fed bread. Then we went by a village pond featuring Tufted and Mallard ducks and a black swan with a red bill.

IMG_2983Black Swan at West Ashling pond

By now it was raining and the icy wind was roaring noisily through our safety helmets. So it was quickly on to the crowded Woodmancote Inn for tea, hot chocolate and cream-laden cake.


Julian raced ahead while Joyce and Jim admired these young pigs near Hambrook

A final rush south was made to Southbourne in the lighter rain to complete the 20 miles. Joyce and Julian unwittingly held up the south-side level crossing gate from being lowered by standing too close, and only just caught the 16.41 train as its doors were shutting. We arrived back to Barnham station at 17.05.



15 May 2013

15 May  2013

Dear fellow members and friends

The last newsletter was one of the longer ones – so I’m trying to keep this one a lot shorter   If you haven’t already done so please sign the joint petition on the Number 10 website, calling for the Government to implement the recommendations supported by   the Times, Sustrans, the AA, British Cycling and the CTC.

Talking of the CTC, unless you’re a member you probably won’t be aware of this (from CycleClips )

CTC is shocked at the derisory sentence handed down to Gary McCourt, who killed 75-year-old CTC member Audrey Fyfe in August 2011. CTC Councillor for Scotland Peter Hayman, who attended her funeral, said: “A sentence of 300 hours of community service and only a 5-year ban is scandalous and goes against the efforts to encourage cycling.” Previously, the driver had served time in jail for killing another cyclist. Moreover, when explaining the sentence, Sheriff James Scott mentioned that Mrs Fyfe was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, which, in his view, may have “contributed to her death”. CTC is asking you to support Mrs Fyfe’s family in their appeal against the sentence by sending a letter to the Lord Advocate in Scotland

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Festival open houses

If you can do try and drop in at the Open Houses of our members Tessa and Fred.

Tessa Wolfe Murray and Guests.  Art and Gifts at 38 Lorna Road, Hove.Weekends and Bank Holiday

Fred’s  prints and “vintage oil paintings “  at 17 Clyde Road – round the corner from the Dragonfly house – on Sundays only.

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The ride on  23 June is becoming urgent.   I can’t be “backstop” this time- I’ll be at a university reunion in Sheffield that weekend. If you’re short of ideas Jim has a couple of “ready made” ride suggestions – contact him at

Any offers?


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Sheila Schaffer Memorial Lecture – Jim reports 

At least 5 Clarion members – Joyce, Leon, Anne, Richard and myself – attended the memorial lecture for former member Sheila Schaffer on May 10th, organised by Joyce on behalf of Brighton & Hove United Nations Association. With Leon chairing, both Joyce and Sheila’s son Simon gave brief portraits of Sheila’s life, before handing over to the main speaker, Victoria Brittain.

Victoria’s lecture, “Invisible Victims of the War on Terror”, was based on her recent book, “Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror” (Pluto Press 2013). She highlighted women and families who had suffered due to the incarceration of their husbands and fathers in Guantanamo, and also those detained without charge or trial in Britain’s own version of Guantanamo – HMP Belmarsh – as well as the families of those on control orders and immigration bail, and the pernicious rôle of secret evidence in hampering their right to justice. She pointed out that for many of these families the suffering and injustice continues, and they need our support.

All present – including those who contributed comments and questions after the talk – agreed that this was a topic that was close to Sheila’s heart, and that she would have been pleased with this well-attended lecture. Do read the book – if you can’t afford to buy it, I can lend you a copy.




The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s

15 May 2013

133 . A message from “The Gaunt One”

As last time, from “Cycling Notes” in  the Clarion, 18 January 1896


Dear Swiftsure – Will you please mention in your column that the Birmingham club is to float gracefully about in the dreamy waltz, also foot it featly in the  merry polka, likewise trip it trippingly in the lancers, and various other things, on Wednesday 22nd at the Wretham Road rooms. The advertisment column will give particulars

On Saturday 29th we shall hold a “smoker” at the Club Rooms, Knock’s Hotel, Church Street, Colmore Row. Whiffly Punctlo and Clarionette will be there, and a galaxy of talent,including Herbert Harvey, Birmingham’s premier entertainer &c &c, &c

Yours fraternally


Next time:  More social activities in Manchester