The Next Ride: Sunday 3rd April 2016 – Haywards Heath Circular

22 March 2016

Haywards Heath – Cuckfield – Slough Green –  Goddards Green – Burgess Hill – World’s End – Haywards Heath

This is a repeat of a ride we last did in July 2010. On the way to Cuckfield we will go through Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow nature reserve, which has a good cycle path. We encounter three very nice Clarionesque lanes: Buncton Lane, Stairbridge Lane and Jobs Lane.

Our lunch stop last time, the Bolney Stage pub, is now out of bounds to us because they require pre-orders for large parties. Instead we will try the other pub on the route – the Sportsman at Goddards Green, where we should arrive at about 12.30.

After lunch we continue eastwards towards Burgess Hill, and so come to Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve, which is a nice nature reserve although not ideal cycling country – we can choose whether or not to visit it. We are then at World’s End, known to the builders of the railway as “Wivelsfield”, when, to be fair to them, it was probably just a load of grass and trees. The option to return home from Wivelsfield Station, mentioned last time we did this ride, is now a real possibility thanks to the new ramp to the southbound platform. This will take about 4 miles off the ride. Those opting for the full whack, however, will be able to see what has become of the “High Bridge” since our last visit.

A Tea Stop will be possible as we ride back through the main streets of Haywards Heath, South Road and The Broadway.


Start at Haywards Heath Station at 10:45. Meet at the station entrance.

Length: 17 miles (13 if returning from Wivelsfield)

Duration: About 5½ hours, including lunch and tea stops.

Terrain: Mainly quiet tarmacked lanes, some B roads. The nature reserves have some good cyclable surfaces. Mainly flat with a few “undulations”.

How to Get There: Catch the 10:14 Bedford train from Brighton, or any earlier train.

Return Trains: From Haywards Heath: every 10-15 minutes. From Wivelsfield: 32 minutes past the hour, or change at Haywards Heath.


Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting

22 March 2016

Held at 104 Bonchurch Road on Monday 14 March 2016.

Present were Julian Arkell, Anne Barry, Mick Barry, Ian Bullock, Sue Bullock, Sean Burke, Helen Byrne, Angela Coulter, Jim Grozier, Bob Harber, Roger Hinton (Chair) Jenny Millington and Fred Pipes.

1. Apologies for absence were received from   Joyce Edmond-Smith, Chloe Bullock,  Suzanne Hinton, Leon Moore, Amanda Ostermann, Adam Pride, Sue Pringle (Sikka), and Tessa Wolfe-Murray.

2. The minutes of the 2015 AGM were agreed as accurate.

3. There were no Matters Arising from the minutes.

4. Webmaster’s Report

Fred’s report had been circulated with the agenda papers.  He added that since he wrote it posts had increased to 599 and views to 34, 232. The Flickr pool had also increased.  The new national website was discussed.

Fred’s report was accepted with thanks.

5. Treasurer’s Report 

5.1. Julian’s report had been circulated prior to the meeting. The report was accepted with thanks.

5.2. There was discussion about membership cards.  No one had experienced difficulties in obtaining discounts, but it was felt that it would be better if the issue of cards and dates when they were valid could be synchronised.

6. Racing Secretary’s Report

Bob reported that both he and Mick had taken part in events at the Easter Meet and drew attention to the table in the current edition of Boots and Spurs which showed that there were two sections below Brighton and Hove in the points competition.  The report was accepted with thanks.

7. Secretary’s report

Ian’s report had been circulated.  It was suggested that it might be added to the website. The report was accepted with thanks.

8. Stakeholders’ Workshop report. 

8.1 The dangerous situation at Duke’s Mound was discussed and it was agreed that Anne would write, expressing B&H Clarion’s continuing concern, to Gill Mitchell, with copies to Warren Morgan and Becky Reynolds.

8.2 Jim raised the possibility of taking up issues that affect our rides outside Brighton and Hove – such as the possibility of a bridge over the Ouse north of Lewes.

9. There were no other reports.

10. Election of Officers

10.1. The following were duly nominated, seconded and elected

Chair – Roger Hinton                              Vice Chair – Anne Barry

Secretary – Ian Bullock                           Treasurer – Julian Arkell

Social Secretary – Angela Coulter        Webmaster – Fred Pipes

Racing Secretary – Bob Harber

10.2     It was agreed to continue to suspend the office of Campaigns organiser for the current year.

10.3   Angela was thanked for organising the Christmas social.

11.   There were no motions

12.  National Annual Conference Business

12.1   Only Bob was definitely attending the Meet at Lincoln, though Anne and Mick would also attend if possible.

12.2. It was agreed to support all the rule changes and new rules proposed by the national committee.

12.3 After some discussion it was agreed that we would be interested in the possibility of including 3rd party public liability insurance in the membership fee.  The cost would be a determining factor as regards our support.

13. Proposals for Activities in 2016

13.1   Summer social. Angela would explore further the possibility of combining this with a ride to somewhere also accessible by public transport.

13.2  Winter social.  The possibility of holding this after rather than before Christmas was discussed.  There was some support for the idea of a later event but the majority preferred it to take place before Christmas.

13.3  Away weekend.  Angela and Helen would try to organise a New Forest weekend starting on Friday 16 September.

13.4   Autumn Meet at  Ironbridge.  This was scheduled for October. Jim would keep members informed via the newsletter.

13.5  Dieppe Tour.   Noting that he and other B&H and Joyce and Leon had taken part in 2015, Bob drew attention to this possibility for the current year.

13.6   Possible “off-season” in January and February.  This was discussed but there was general agreement with Anne’s argument that the weather was often as bad and as unpredictable in July as at the beginning of the year.

13.7   Saturday 16 April.  Jim would explore the possibility of organising a ride to meet up with the London section.   There was support for his wish to find a way to reciprocate the hospitality we had received from London.

There being no other business Ian and Sue were thanked for their hospitality in hosting the meeting.

Ian Bullock, Secretary.                                                                        15 March 2016


22 March 2016

Dear All

In the last but one  newsletter (23 February) I explained that though we had had a big increase in the number of people leading rides in recent years, ‘recently everything seems to have fallen to the lot of the “usual suspects” – above all  to Jim.’   In the last one on 8 March I wrote ‘No-one, this time, has “come to the rescue” with a ride for 20 March.  I’m still not able to “backstop.”  So, as things stand the next rides will be on 3 and 17 April – that is if anyone volunteers to take them on!’

Well, no one did volunteer for 20 March so there was no ride yesterday.  Over the years we have had plenty of occasions when rides have been cancelled – almost always because of bad  weather – but as far as I can recall this is the first time since we started back in 2004 that we have had no ride on a previously designated ‘ride day.’

And when it comes to the two April rides you will see that – not for the first time – Jim is taking on two successive rides.   So what about the rides in May –and beyond?  There is plenty of time for you to come up with a ride for one of the dates.  There is plenty of help available for those planning rides .  You can scroll through the reports on the blog/website  and/or have a look at Jim’s collection of ‘ready made’ rides on   I look forward  to hearing from you!

The AGM  did see a good turn-out on 14th March.  I’m attaching the minutes with this newsletter.  You’ll see that there were several good  ideas for later in the year.  Angela and Helen are planning a New Forest weekend beginning on Friday 16 September and in the much nearer future Jim undertook to ‘explore the possibility of organising a ride to meet up with the London section.’  He has now made all the necessary arrangements and the full details will appear in the next newsletter.  The thing to particularly note is that it will be – not on a Sunday as usual – but on  Saturday 16 April    As things turned out it is probably just as well we are not planning a ride the following day since the Brighton Marathon could cause problems for some – and would in any case rule out a ride starting at Palace Pier.

Also since the meeting Bob has sent me the following

Tour des Trois Vallees 25th June – 27th June 2016

The 45th annual Tour des Trois Vallees in 2016 is a series of touring rides organised by the Cyclo-Club Dieppois based on the roads and lanes of the countryside in and around Dieppe, offering various distances (from 30k to 200k) to suit both families and keen club cyclists. A walk is generally offered for non-cyclists.

You will also see that Anne was going to write Cllr Gill Mitchell, Chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee concerning the problems at Dukes Mound reported by Joyce and Leon in their report on the Stakeholders’ Workshop.  She has done this and received the following reply:

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your email and comments in relation to Dukes Mound and speeding traffic.  I will find out why the road was not included in the 20mph scheme and see what the possibilities are for getting it included.  Within the council’s Local Transport Plan capital budget I have included a specific amount for 20mph limit monitoring of phase 3 and any associated works that may be needed to support that, so there could be a possibility of Dukes Mound being looked at in conjunction with that work.

Best wishes,


I will keep you posted of developments in future newsletters.


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

22 March 2016

A report from a new London club from The Clarion 11 July 1896.


Secretary’s Report for 2015

15 March 2016

Presented to the AGM, 14 March 2016

We couldn’t have had a sunnier day for our New Year ride on 2 January. We formed a sizeable group at Carats Café.  A really good start to the year!   But the first “real” ride on 11 January to check out the new Egrets way did not go off quite so well.  As Amanda reported, it was “most certainly a ride of two halves” with “a howling icy blast” to contend with in the later stages. Meanwhile, we had had our AGM.  The minutes have been circulated but it is worth in this context mentioning two decisions that affect this year’s meeting.  Finding that we now longer needed, by national rule, to hold our AGM quite so early, we changed our own rule to enable it to take place any time up to the end of March.  We also decided to facilitate the task of collecting subs by making the decision a year in advance, so at this year’s meeting we will need to fix the fee for 2017.

There was a good turnout also for the other January ride with the London Clarion which took the participants to Greenwich and London Bridge.  Sally, out with Brighton Clarion for the first time, wrote the report.  No one offered a ride for the first date in February, which was probably just as well given the weather that day.  Rides now started to be definitely led by the “usual suspects” with   Anne and Mick who had already led a ride in January taking on two successive ones in February and March, while Jim who had organised our end of the London ride leading the other ride in March. Yet there was no shortage of “takers” for our rides. Anne and Mick, for example, had 15 on their Hassocks to Poynings ride in March.

When we reached April I was tempted to try my hand at a bit of Canterbury Tales pastiche – only for Jim to point out that a much better effort had been made back in 2009. It appeared in the 5 May newsletter along with other poems by members and later in the year we had another one from Leon. Chris announced an “Easter Bonnet Ride” and after promising “Quiet lanes, rural pubs, neo-nazis and an old workhouse” went on to invite everyone to “celebrate Easter by dressing up (optional) –an Easter bonnet, fancydress, and Easter egg, your plus fours and tweed, or whatever.”  It seemed to have worked because no fewer than 18 turned up, though, as Jim reported “although nobody wore a bonnet, Chris’s bowler hat was very impressive, and Helen had brought daffodils, and Easter treats to hand out at teatime. “It was on this ride that Joyce had a nasty encounter with the wing mirror of a car whose driver didn’t even bother to stop.  Fortunately, she got away with a bruised arm – and being shaken up by the experience.  But not the sort of thing you expect, let alone want, to happen on a ride.

Memory is a strange thing.   I was convinced before I started to trawl the newsletters that I had made it clear from the very beginning of the year that I wasn’t “back-stopping” or, after a while, coming out on rides, because my cataract problem had become so bad that I didn’t feel confident enough to ride in a group.  In fact in January I simply pleaded other commitments – which was true enough – and in February though I did mention that I was waiting to be summoned to the eye hospital for surgery I didn’t make the full extent of why I wasn’t available clear.  It actually wasn’t until the    beginning of April that I came completely clean about it.

Also in April we had lively reports of the Easter Meet at Llangollen from Mick and Anne.  Six people – a record I think – from our section attended: Bob Anne, David, Fred. Mick and Terri.  Mick’s account concentrated on energetic achievements in the two club rides, the Horseshoe Pass and the 8 mile time trial which turned into a hill climb of less than half that distance.  Anne told us about the less fearsome aspect of the Meet including the dinner attended by – among others – an allegedly well-behaved dog who, sadly, failed to be awarded a prize. Mick did a little better winning a mug in the raffle.

At the end of April I had some problems with my old computer – now replaced.  Fortunately Jim was able to get a mini-version of the newsletter out with all the vital info. The first ride in May, led by Helen, featured a return visit to Oldlands Mill. The next ride continued the high turnouts with 18 turning up. Among much else Anne reported on the damage done to David’s bike by a pothole and a close shave with a “white van man’” Bad weather forced Julian to cancel the final May ride. For the first ride in June Leon had suggested a “Pier to Pier” ride from Brighton to Worthing but was unable to take it on himself and Amanda came to the rescue – not for the first time.  Also in June we had as well as the usual “last ride” reports Mick’s account of a ride over the St Gotthard Pass and Joyce and Leon’s report of the “Dieppe Raid” together with one from Bob on the same subject.

The first ride in July was frustrating for me.  One of my eyes had been done, so I could see where I was going again, and I set off the meet everyone at the Velo Café- only to have my transmission seize up completely after about a mile.  As Julian reported the rest of the ride went well in spite of high winds and some rain.  Similar inclement weather returned for the second ride that month which ended in Hastings. As Jim reported, “Hastings was awash with pirates, many of them superbly kitted out with bandannas, pirate hats, feathers, swords, old-fashioned pistols, and even a peg-leg. Apparently the idea is to break the record for the number of pirates gathered together in one place; for several years there has been competition between Hastings and Penzance for this honour.”  You certainly live on learn on a Clarion ride! It was around that time we also had Anne’s Report on a “Swiss Holiday Trip to UCI & Velo Rte 1-Andermatt/Brig.”

Early in August Julian recycled  – in all senses –  the Dell Quay ride which bad weather had forced him to cancel earlier in the year.  It went very well in spite of some confusion at the Crown and Anchor over “prawn and salmon salads” as Corinne reported.  There seems to have been more luck in September at The Inn on the Green, where, in Anne’s words, “Food was fine & varied, whitebait, roasts, child roasts [from local pigs], salad nicoise, ham & eggs, haddock & chips, apple crumble, all arrived promptly & were enjoyed.”

I finally managed to lead a ride on 4 October. My idea was to repeat our visit to the Chiddlingly Festival in 2008.  Unfortunately it turned out that the various attractions and stalls we had sampled on our first visit years before  were not, in 2015 at least,  available on the final Sunday of the festival. But the Bells proved a good substitute and afterwards we called at one of the outlying “art houses” of the festival where Tessa was exhibiting.  Tessa was about concerned about cake running out and she phoned me to suggest we get a move on if we didn’t want to miss it. We took advantage of the presence of cards for sale to send a “get well soon” one to Helen, which, as she told us in the newsletter which followed, cheered her greatly.  I was keen to take part in Julian’s and Jim’s Worth Way ride but was thwarted again when my chain got jammed and it took too long to hold up the rest of the company to get it unjammed. Still I did get to have another look at Worth church which made it worthwhile nevertheless.  But I missed out on Gullege (or Gulledge – there seems to be  some uncertainty about the correct spelling) House, the Bluebell Railway and other delights of the ride.

David’s Shoreham to Littlehampton ride at the beginning of November was praised by Julian for being “a ride with no ‘undulations.’”  Julian also reported the ride with Gosport Clarion which I was particularly sorry to miss.  Julian seems to have caught my “seized up gears” complaint on this ride but it all turned out very well in the end.  Being conservative in everything except politics I had hoped to be able to lead the Berwick circular which we have been doing as the last ride of the year since 2004 – more or less.  Unfortunately, maintenance on the Coastway East rail line put this out of the question.  Instead we did a ride which featured in the words of   Angela’s report “Twineham and Wineham, (what a lovely rhyming couple)” and – I think for the second time in 2015 – the Royal Oak for lunch. I seemed to have shocked my companions by suggesting that some of the more luxurious-looking places we passed might be the retreats of retired drug dealers; but, after all,  the poor things have to live somewhere!  And when you think about how long  large-scale illegal importation has been going on and how few of the “top” people involved get caught, there must be quite a few around.  And so we came to the final event of the Brighton and Hove Clarion year – the Christmas lunch which Angela had organised at the Café Rouge. All twelve of us had a very good time and Anne had some nice glittery brooches to distribute.

Throughout the year we had sightings of interesting wild –and not so wild – life.  In late January, for example, Sally reported that in  South Norwood Country Park “the lake was dotted with goldeneye ducks and drakes, coots and moorhens, and a big white Aylesbury, who reminded Joan of her childhood duck Kate, memorable for regularly laying double-yolked eggs,” while on the last ride of the year in December Angela recalled that” Julian identified the birdsong of a green woodpecker, robins and possibly a song thrush, who were also ‘in good voice’.”  Other creatures great and small made at least fleeting appearances on many of the rides in between.

And so we came to the end of another year – generally a very successful one though a bit frustrating for me at times.  In 2014 we had 15 different members involved in leading rides.  By my count it was slightly fewer – 13 – in 2015.  Let’s hope there are even more ride leaders in 2016.  Meanwhile, it was nice to hear from our friend Peter Roscoe of Bury Clarion from time to time through the year. Thanks to Julian for continuing with the onerous task of treasurer. Thanks to Roger who kept the newsletters going while I was away at various times during the year and to Fred – and Jim – for keeping the website up to date and to Jim for saving the situation when I had computer problems. Thanks also to everyone who led a ride – especially to Jim, Anne and Mick who, as usual, did much more than their fair shares. Finally, thanks to all who wrote  reports, or contributed to the newsletter discussions during the year.

Ian Bullock


10 March 2016

Dear All       


It had to happen sometime! No-one, this time, has “come to the rescue” with a ride for 20 March.  I’m still not able to “backstop.”  So, as things stand the next rides will be on 3 and 17 April – that is if anyone volunteers to take them on!

If anyone in the meantime comes up with something for 20 March I will, of course, send it on to you ASAP. If you are seeking inspiration  as well as the reports on the blog/website you should have a look at Jim’s collection of rides on


Just to remind you The 2016 AGM will be on Monday 14 March at 8 pm at 104 Bonchurch Road, Brighton

Bonchurch Road is between Elm Grove and Hartington Road – coming up Elm Grove it is on the left after the school. Going up Hartington Rd from Lewes Road it is first on the right.  Main buses at Hartington Rd end (Melbourne St. stop) are 25 and 49. At Elm Grove end (Bonchurch Rd stop) 21, 22.

I have already circulated the agenda and minutes of last year’s AGM but I am including them again for your convenience. Also attached with this newsletter are the following documents

Secretary’s report; Treasurer’s and Webmaster’s reports

I’m also including, at Joyce’s suggestion, the Report on the Stakeholder Workshop, 9th February, which was included in the last newsletter. We don’t have a Campaigns organiser at the moment but there may be things we should discuss in the report. (Contact us if you are reading this on the website and would like copies of these documents).

Please make your own copies of the agenda and other relevant documents and bring them to the meeting. If you can’t make it I am collecting “apologies” – I’ve had  three to date.


The Last Ride. Jim’s Report

10 March 2016

Sunday 6 March 2016

Hassocks to Lewes – a Dream of a Ride


Sikka, our co-leader, went round to collect Tessa, the ride leader, only to be confronted at the door by Tessa in her nightgown, explaining that she was too ill to go out. So Sikka agreed to take over, but worried that she might not be able to remember the route. Off she went, but sure enough, she got thoroughly lost. She knew there was supposed to be some sort of Arabian market on the ride somewhere, but try as she might, she couldn’t find it …

But here was Tessa, large as life, at Brighton station, dressed in conventional cycling gear rather than a billowing nightgown, sharing a pre-ride coffee with me at the Waiting Room, and listening to Sikka recounting her strange dream. Maybe some it had been prompted by anxiety resulting from an awful-sounding practice ride on Wednesday, when she and Tessa had battled against first hail and then snow in order to present us with this wonderful Mother’s Day ride.

We got on the train along with Anne, who explained that Mick was cycling to Hassocks from home via Woodingdean, Stanmer Park and Ditchling Beacon; and sure enough, there he was at Hassocks station with Angela (who had been chauffeured by her son).


At Hassocks: L-R Sikka, Tessa, Mick, Anne, Angela, Jim

The six of us set off eastwards through Ditchling, on a road I don’t think I had ever cycled on before, despite its being so close to home. Then up Spatham Lane and onto a track. Tessa had promised some unevennness and perhaps a little under-wheel “moisture” on this route, and offered an alternative tarmacked route, which Mick opted for as his bike was not suitable for off-road use; Sikka accompanied him, and the rest of us set off towards Streat, on a lovely quiet lane in the sunshine, with the South Downs on our right, birds singing in the trees, and only a little moisture.

Streat Church

After Streat Church (complete with its own telephone box) and a glimpse of Streat Place, we were back on tarmac and heading northwards on Streat Lane. Angela spotted a sleeping fox in the garden of a house; it did not look very lively, and we wondered if it had mange.


The northward push continued along Hundred Acre Lane (or 40.4686 Hectare Lane, as it is to be re-named) and so to the lunch stop, the Cock Inn at Wivelsfield Green. We had a delicious lunch with not too many mothers in evidence, washed down in my case by a very nice pint of “Legless Rambler”. Lunchtime conversation centred around Tessa’s fascinating recent trip to Myanmar (Burma).

After lunch we struck out south-eastwards to East Chiltington via the delightful Novington Lane, then Cooksbridge and across the A275 into Hamsey Lane, shortly after which we entered the Eastern Hemisphere.

Sign Anne

Anne participating in the Meridian Crossing ritual at Hamsey

Back to the A275 at Offham, but on the pavement now, until Offham Road offered some respite from the roaring traffic. Down to the Pells, over the Ouse and alongside it to Cliffe High Street, where a promise of tea succeeded at the third attempt – the Riverside Cafe, with chocolate brownies, hot chocolate, extra strong tea, extra weak tea, and a wonderful-looking smoothie made from lime and cucumber. Mick had left us by this time for the ride back home; then after tea, Angela left for a rendezvous with her chauffeur, and the remaining four got the train home.

Thanks to Tessa and Sikka for enduring hail, snow, and nightmares to bring us this lovely ride.



Sikka and Angela

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

10 March 2016

In the light of both our imminent AGM and the announcement that the 2017 Meet will be in Chester, these extracts from “Cycle Trifle” The Clarion, 26 March 1898 seemed appropriate