Dear All

Sorry about the non-appearance of the last newsletter and special thanks to Jim for getting out a mini version at short notice. My computer problems have continued – but I have a new machine on order. Unfortunately it won’t be up and running in time for this newsletter – so fingers crossed that my old banger will carry on working for long enough. Thanks to  Sue (Priest) and Julian the next two rides in May are now accounted for. What we need now are offers for and the June rides

Mentioning June reminds me.  I now have a date then for getting my cataracts   sorted out – or at least the first eye.  I’ve mentioned my problem before to explain why I haven’t been “back-stopping” rides. It has got considerably worse since the New Year.  I’m not driving and wouldn’t want to put others at risk by coming out on rides – or worse still trying to lead them – when I can’t see where I’m going properly.  I also realise – because I’ve been told – that I’m passing people I know in the street without acknowledging them.  My apologies if you’re one of my “victims” in this respect.   But I hope that before too long I will be able to get out with the Clarion again – and perhaps there’ll also be fewer errors in these newsletters! (Hope springs eternal!)

Easter Meet  at Llangollen – Anne’s Report

If you thought the sporty report from Mick last time was uncharacteristic of Brighton & Hove Clarion & wondered what the other 5 [5.5 if you count David & Terri’s dog] did at the Meet, then this is for you. We had a fun time too & could bask in the reflected glory of Bob & Mick’s exploits, while enjoying gentle bike rides [gentler for David who did the group ride & gentlest for me, who struck out alone] or walks along the canal to the famous aqueduct, explore the steam trains, dance till we were giddy in the ceilidh, partake of several meals along with our section & mix  & mingle with the other sections from across the UK, watching the young & the old enjoying themselves & learning about the club’s illustrious history from their mouths as well as its bright future from the eager youngsters.

Mick drove Fred & I up the motorways to our rented cottage overlooking the River Dee. David & Terri & their dog were in the hotel a short distance up the road & Bob was in the  hostel organised by London Clarion; all a 20min walk or short drive away from the conference hotel, so we met up in town for a Bangladeshi meal on Friday night, after registering at the hotel & receiving our embroidered ribbons for 2015.

At the AGM I learned about & met Life Members – in their eighties – who told me of previous meets they’d attended with thousands participating, having cycled there & back again, camping rather than big hotels. I enjoyed the  AGM itself & appreciate all the work that went into organising both the Meet & the Clarion Club Year & super Boots & Spurs magazine. Mick proposed an amendment to the rule change that tried to put all racers into registered section shirts/colours by excluding sections which did not yet have registered racing colours (i.e. us!) from the rule and his amendment was carried. Mick did buy the super new Clarion cycling top for the T.T. hill climb though & very pleased he did. There were volunteers for all the vacant positions & [eventually] Fenland said they would hold the Meet in 2015 in Hunstanton, after Cheshire had volunteered for 2017. So we’re all set up for more fun then.

Ceilidh on Sat night saw almost all participating, young & old twirling & mingling. West Lothian Section had brought along some mugs for sale & we bought one for ourselves and put one of them into the raffle, as each section added their prize to the table. Mick won another cycling mug provided by a different section. It was funny when Anthony Bowles [North Cheshire (?) – I think] won 7 or 8 raffle prizes, which he distributed to worthy members of his & [possibly] other sections including 1 of the Life Members in their 80s.

The dinner & prize-giving on the final night was enlivened by the cross-toasting. Young Alex Ball rising to toast all who weren’t taking alcohol, Stuart Walsh rose to toast all who participate in the Clarion International Brigade Commemoration Ride, Mick was able to stand when a cross toast for first time hill-climbers was announced & 4 of us stood for the 1st-timers at a Clarion Meet. It was a lot of fun & then the prize giving; so many beautiful trophies & so nice to see the children receive the cups on behalf of their sections. There was even a well behaved dog at the dinner, though he didn’t get any prize. Some sections had arrived all kitted out in a phalanx & were awarded including  the Tom Groom trophy – a very handsome globe, as I recall. Probably more details will appear in Boots & Spurs.

For more please read Fred’s blog;

Tessa’s Festival Weekends

As usual Tessa will be hosting an extensive range of her own and other peoples’ work at 38 Lorna Road, Hove.  Opening times are 11 to 6 on Sats and Suns and also Bank Holiday Monday.

If I can I will try to forward a flyer with more details.


The Clarion Tales

When I did my – feeble – Chaucer parody at the beginning of the last newsletter I wasn’t aware – ‘cos I wasn’t on the Isle of Wight ride – that something similar – but infinitely better –  had been done back in 2009.  Jim put me right about this

He writes:

As I recall, I noticed on the recce that somewhere on the cycle path to the west of Ryde there was a box on a gate with a slot in it, and a noticeboard nearby, and it said you could post poems in the box and they’d put them up. I appealed for contributions and got a haiku from Fred, and a short poem from Joyce, then another one from Fred. I think the “Clarion tales” must have been all my work (and Geoffrey’s of course!), although I did circulate it for approval beforehand. Anyway we put them all in the box but never found out whether any made it to the noticeboard.

Well, such literary talent cannot be allowed to hide its light under the proverbial bushel any longer.  So this time, I shall leave out the usual extract from 1890s Clarions at the end of this newsletter and devote the space instead to “Clarion tales” and the other splendid pieces



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