The Next Ride: Sunday 11 November 2018

30 October 2018

Hassocks loop via Hurstpierpoint, Washbrooks Farm, Muddleswood, Twineham, Goddards Green

Please remember that sunset is at 16:19 so make sure that you have working cycle lights.   This is a delightfully simple 15 mile winter loop ride to lunch with an early coffee stop.

From Hassocks station we will make our way through Hurstpierpoint to Washbrook Farm for a coffee stop. Hopefully quieter than on the recce during half term when the noise from the small people was horrendous.

As it will be Remembrance Sunday and also the 100th anniversary of WWI, which ended a century ago in 1918 members may wish to observe a two minute silence at 11am hopefully we will reach the cafe by then.

Leave your bike outside the entrance, they charge to go round the farm but not to just use the cafe.

Leaving the cafe we will turn right and follow the B2117 across the A23 down to the Ginger Fox where we turn double right on Shaves Wood Lane and north via High Cross to Twineham.

There we turn right and follow Hickstead lane back to the A23 After crossing we find and follow Jobs Lane on the far left side of the roundabout. Before getting to Burgess Hill we cross the A2300 at Bishopstone lane and the final stretch to our lunch stop at The Sportsman Pub.

Then we follow the Cuckfield Road, turning off to pass Hurstpierpoint College then Hurst Wickham and back to Hurst Road and our return to Hassocks Station

Length: 15 miles and largely flat apart from the Hill to Hurstpierpoint from both directions, all paved surfaces.

Duration: 5 hours including stops

Meet: at Brighton station at 9:40 to catch the 10:08 train to Hassocks (Buy a return ticket to Hassocks)

Start: We will start the ride at 10:20 at Hassocks station (West side) for anyone arriving by car.

Return: from Hassocks about 15:30 (Frequent trains)

To help me book lunch please email me if you are coming.



The Last Ride. Tessa’s Report

30 October 2018

Clarion Ride Glynde to Berwick   28/10/18

Ten of us gathered at Brighton Station: Angela D, Chris, David, Graham, Jim, Nick, Prudence, Sikka, Tessa and Wendy.

Tessa had the interesting experience of her bike getting stuck in the middle of the double gates leading to the platform whilst chatting to the railway guard. No way would it allow him to open them and the only way was to lift the bike clear. Lucky it wasn’t an electric bike!

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

L-R Jim, Wendy, Prudence, David, Angela D, Sikka, Tessa, Chris, Graham. (Photo by Nick).

Setting off from Glynde we encountered our one and only ‘H…’ It was definitely more than an ‘Undulation’. We quickly arrived at Middle farm, our coffee stop via country lanes and a spell on the bike friendly pavement alongside the A27.

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

When coffee and second breakfasts had been consumed we set off on more country lanes fringed by cropped hedges and autumnal trees.

After Ripe we headed for Laughton, stopping for a moment to count ginger cats in a farmyard. The skies were full off swirling wind-driven clouds with a hint of rain.

We crossed the A2124 to ride along a byway through Laughton Common Wood. It was well-timed. Rain had become heavier but we were protected by overhanging trees.

October 28, 2018: Glynde to Berwick

By the time we reached Vert Wood where the track was wider and the trees less protective, the sun was out.

Crossing the A22 we continued on country lanes to Chiddingly and our lunch stop, the Six Bells.

Opinions of lunch were mixed, Angela being pleased she had eaten a hearty Cornish pasty at our coffee stop.

It rained during lunch so many decided to don their waterproof trousers. TherOctober 27, 2018: Glynde to Berwicke was much mirth at Wendy’s all-in-one waterproof trousers and overshoes which made her her look a clown about to enter a crime scene.

We stopped in Muddles Green at Farley’s Farm House to see an exhibition of Lee Miller’s recently found archive photographs, really varied and interesting.

The sun was low as we cycled the remaining miles to Berwick station along a mix of byways and lanes. Those really keen to catch the 15.55 train to Brighton raced ahead with directions from Graham. Others were delayed and did not get there in time. I believe they spent a convivial hour in the pub waiting for the next train?

Thank you Graham for a voyage of discovery along those lanes and byways.


Jim adds: Yes, we “lost” Nick and waited for him to catch up, but it turned out he was ahead of us! He could have caught the earlier train with Tessa et al., but gallantly waited for us to arrive before repairing to the pub. As we waited on the platform, we witnessed a lovely sunset. I’d like to thank Graham for finally introducing me to Farley’s, which I had heard of on an earlier ride but never managed to pinpoint. As well as Lee Miller they were also featuring an exhibition on space, time and relativity by Sir Roger Penrose, who is the cousin of Farley’s current owner, Antony Penrose, the son of Lee Miller. This was “right up my street” as I am currently studying the philosophy of relativity!  Sadly, both exhibitions were closing that day, and we had little time to tarry.

Berwick sunset


30 October 2018

30 October 2018

Dear All

We are now short of only two rides to complete the year –   25 November and 9 December. Best stick to short ones at this time of year, I think. Any offers? For many years I used to lead the last ride of the year – and I intended to offer it this year when my leg seemed like it was getting better. Perhaps next year. It was based on Berwick station with a lunch stop at the Yew Tree.  If anyone fancies taking it on I can provide full route details – but you’ll need to check trains nearer the time.


I had only two responses for my request for suggestions for dates to avoid other than the ones I mentioned. Sikka pointed out that pubs were usually full on Mothering Sunday (or Mothers’ Day) which makes things difficult. It turns out that in 2019 it is the same date – 31 March when BST begins . So I’ve gone for a fortnightly sequence which avoids that. The end of BST is not such a problem since if you forget to put your clock/watch back the worst thing that can happen is that you turn up an hour early for the ride – which is a lot better than turning up an hour late when the clocks go forward and being puzzled that no-one else is there and then realising they’ve departed an hour earlier.

The London-Brighton ride is always a problem because while some people often want to take part it is in any case impossible to get a train to anywhere from Brighton. So I’ve had to leave a 3 week rather than a fortnight gap in June (The BHF ride is on16 June next year). Jim thinks it’s best to avoid Pride weekend. Next year it’s on 3 and 4 August so rather than lose another summer ride I’m suggesting we have rides on two consecutive weeks in July 21 and 28 . This makes up for the 3 week gap in June. It’s not an ideal solution it will mean letting everyone know the details of the second July one more quickly than usual. If anyone can think of a better idea please let me know.

With that proviso and a request to check out the dates yourself and tell me if I’ve got anything wrong here are the ones I’m proposing for 2019. We still have plenty of time to make changes.

13, 27 January; 10, 24 February; 10, 24 March; 7, 21 April; 5,19 May; 2, 24 June; 7, 21, 28 July; 18 August; 12, 15, 29 September; 10, 24 November; 8 December

We can have our traditional little New Year’s ride on Wednesday 2 January – to avoid the crowds. I hope I will be able to do it (fingers crossed!) but I’ll be there one way or another anyway.

Latest on Julian

Jim has been to see him and I spoke to him on the phone on Sunday. He’s had a bit of as setback during the last few days – some new physio exercises seem to have left him with a ‘frozen’ leg.   Let’s hope it proves a very temporary problem.

Mitre Meeting – a message from Graham. Jim and Wendy

All members are invited to meet together at The Mitre Pub, Baker Street at 8pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018

A chance for members to come in from the cold and get together for a general social and discuss rides during the dark months of December, January and February.

There will be opportunities to share ideas on:

  • Possible rides (Anyone got a ride they’re planning?  Which date?)
  • Share ideas for Spring and Autumn weekend rides
  • Discuss use of Google Group
  • Express opinions on ride length, difficulty, start times and trains
  • Discuss ideas to increase active membership
  • In discussing these points, we may want to consider that this year
    • Of 36 members only half ride
    • Of 36 members less than a quarter ride on a regular basis
    • The average active group is less than 7
    • Only 4 individuals or pairs lead rides on a regular basis


Christmas Lunch – a message from Angela

Hello Clarionistas,

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I ask you to choose from a Xmas Menu and I will do my best not to get muddled as I did last year.

It will once again be at The Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport because it is one of very few venues that do not ask for a deposit from everybody which, in the past, has made things very complicated. Also, I think that most people were happy with the food last year. It will be on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.  I have provisionally booked for 15-20 people.

The restaurant has asked that the group choose from either the two course or the three course menu ‘on block’ as they feel they cannot deal with some people having two courses whilst others have three. So, I am going to propose that the group opts to choose from the two course menu. I do hope that is OK with everybody.

Please let me know by the 1st December if you would like to come and let me know your menu choice.(see attachment) The Hummingbird needs to have a firm idea of numbers by the 1st in order to plan their seating, so I am having to say that if I don’t hear from you by the 1st, I’m afraid that you will not be able to opt in after that date.

Look forward to hearing from you.

My email address is:

Since replies to me about the Xmas Lunch will be in November, I’m afraid that I will not be able to acknowledge by return email your menu choices as, up until the 25th November, I shall be in a country where I will not be able to use the internet very easily, if at all, (China). Sorry about that. Will respond to your emails when I get back.

Love – Angela xx

Graham’s report on Thursday ‘Rehab’ programme

A very successful sunny day, Shoreham to Stan’s Bike Sack via Steyning and Ashurst and back  via the Downslink.  Anne, Chris, David, Prudence, Richard and Sikka.   Lots of new shiny chains and gears on show. Only one member complained of having a screw loose. Luckily turned out to be a real one.  Photo on Flickr


When sending in ride reports please include the date in the title – otherwise it gets listed along with other ‘ride report’s way down in my eccentric inbox. And I might miss it. Thanks

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter. I realise not everyone is equally interested in the history of the Clarion – but I know that some are. If anyone would like more info or more explanation about anything I mention in this series just send me an email.


Clarion History 12

30 October 2018

Hail Referendum!

Unless you’ve read the book I mentioned last time – or even more unlikely my UoS thesis on which it was largely based – you may be unaware how much advocacy there was of ‘direct democracy’ (Or what the Swiss would call ‘semi-direct democracy’; apparently for them you have to meet face-to-face in large field for it to count as ‘direct’.) It didn’t begin with the Clarion but the paper was an enthusiastic supporter of the ‘initiative and referendum’   The initiative meant that a certain (pretty large) number of people could demand and bring about a referendum on anything they wanted to

When the Social-Democratic Federation- the first modern socialist organisation in Britain at national level – was formed in 1884 it included as the second point in its programme ‘Legislation by the people in such wise that no project of law should become binding till accepted by the majority of the people’ while the next point demanded ‘The People to decide on Peace and War.’ All of which meant having a lot of referendums – even when there was no threat of war. The ‘peace and war’ point was something, incidentally, that Justice the SDF weekly reminded readers about both at the beginning of what was then called the Boer War and again in 1914.   As we will see in a moment  the referendum and initiative was also taken up -enthusiastically -by the Clarion

This enthusiasm for direct legislation was far from out of step with what was supported by other socialist parties of the time. In 1904 R.C K. Ensor – the future author of England 1870-1914 – published Modern Socialism, as set forth by Socialists in their speeches , Writings and Programmes. It ran through at least three editions before the outbreak of war in 1914 and showed, for example, that, like the SDF, the German SPD, the Austrian Social Democrats and the now united French socialists all included the referendum and initiative in their programmes.

In the case of the Clarion it was Alex Thompson (aka ‘Dangle’), rather than Blatchford, who took the lead -or at least did most of the work. But during the 1894 debate on ‘Real Democracy’ – which I gave a snapshot of in the 9th episode of this series – Blatchford wrote that the would ‘put the people into the place of the House of Peers so that every measure of importance should, after passing the House of Parliament, be referred to the nation for refusal or acceptance.’ This was very like the SDF’s second demand which I’ve already mentioned.

The following week – we’re at the end of 1894 and the start of 1895 – Thompson went much further and suggested that a system of direct legislation ‘would absolutely annihilate Parliament and the whole tribe of politicians.’ Always a popular cry. He went on to explain that during a recent visit to Paris he had met up with the prominent French socialist Jean Allemane. As a child – his parents were a 19th century equivalent of ‘strolling players’ who worked throughout Europe and Thompson always said that his first language was German – Thompson had been in Paris during the Paris Commune and the ‘Bloody Week’ that followed. Allemane had commanded the Communards’ barricade in the street where the Thompsons lived. During the 1894 visit Allemane had explained that he wanted every citizen to have the right ‘either to vote upon the law proposals of others or to initiate laws himself.’

The 1893 Congress of the Socialist International, held in Zurich, had endorsed the idea of the referendum and initiative and the time must have seem propitious for Thompson to take up the issue. Perhaps the fact that the Fabians had been the main opponents of this helped push things on. They were not popular in either the Clarion or the SDF. They were seen – not without a smidgeon of justification – as advocates of bureaucracy

The result of Dangle’s labours was the pamphlet Hail Referendum! The Shortest Way to Democracy. Blatchford fully supported this and in the summer of 1896 expressed, like Thompson had, his distrust of politicians – even radical ones. He suggested that the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution had come about because of ‘gangs of elected scoundrels’ and had been ‘the price “the people” paid for their folly in delegating their public duties to the rascals who made the most noise.’

Thompson went on to write two more pamphlets on this subject – both preceded by several Clarion articles – The Referendum and Initiative in Practice which took a very positive view of the Swiss experience with the initiative and referendum– was published in 1899 and The Only Way to Democracy a year later at the start of the new century.

I’d better leave it there although there was considerable debate about these issues right up to the outbreak of war in 1914. Anyone wishing to read arguments against ‘direct legislation’ from this period should have a look at the best ones – in my opinion – made by Clifford D Sharpe in 1911 in Fabian Tract No 155 The Case Against the Referendum.

Next Time   The First Easter Meet 1895


The Next Ride

14 October 2018

Sunday 28 October 2018:

Glynde to Berwick via Ripe, Laughton, Chiddingly and Muddles Green

*** Please email Graham if you are coming (see below) ***

This ride welcomes all those clarionistas who remembered to put their alarm clocks back 1 hour on the Saturday.

Also please remember that sunset is at 16:42 so make sure that you have working cycle lights. We will need to keep to schedule to make the 15:55 train back in daylight.

This is a delightful and easy 18 mile ride down some lovely quite and largely flat lanes and byways which should provide some amazing autumn colours. I believe the last version of the ride was done by Sue in Nov 2011

From Glynde station we will make our way to Middle Farm, following the cycle path on the north side of the A27 for coffee at the café there.

Then from the farm car park we follow a quite lane north east to Ripe where we turn left towards Laughton via church lane. Turning right onto the Lewes Road at Laughton we pass the Roebuck inn and then turn left onto a track leading into Laughton common wood and then Vert wood (This track is wide and flat with a better surface than much of the downslink).

Emerging a mile and a half later we cross the A22 and curve round to Chiddingly and our lunch stop at the Six Bells pub. This pub has lots of atmosphere and could well have a Jazz band playing depending on what time we arrive.

After lunch we go the short distance to Muddles green where we will call in at Farleys House and Gallery where there is an exhibition on of unseen images from the Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection.

Then we cross the A22 again and follow a long straight byway-lane-byway for 3 miles ending to the east of Chalvington. From there it is a short spin to Berwick station.

Length: 18 miles and largely flat including about 3 miles on byways.

Duration: 6 hours including stops

Meet: at Brighton station at 9:40 to catch the 10:05 train to Glynde (Buy a return ticket to Berwick) Start: We will start the ride at 10:30 at Glynde station for anyone arriving by car.

Return: from Berwick at 15:55 (last train in daylight)

Warning : on the 28th there are no London bound trains and as a consequence Southern have lengthened the Glynde train to 8 carriages which is too long for the platform. Please check the signs and only get on I think the front four Carriages.

To help me book lunch please email me if you are coming.




14 October 2018

14 October 2018

Dear All

It’s always unfortunate when a ride has to be cancelled – but it’s no fun getting soaked while pretending you’re enjoying yourself. I’m sure Jim did the right thing in cancelling this morning in the light of the forecast.

Graham has switched the dates for the next two rides . We’re just looking for offers for 25 November and 9 December now.

I’m sending this out two days earlier than usual – it gives everyone maximum time to look at the next ride. If anyone was planning to send a report for this newsletter I will send it out separately – if I get it, of course!


In the next newsletter I’m planning to include the possible dates for rides in 2019 so that if I’ve got it wrong you can put me right. I always try to avoid rides at the beginning and end of BST 31 March and 27 October in 2019 – especially the first where there’s always the danger that someone will turn for the start of the ride only to find everyone else has left an hour before – and the London-Brighton Bike Ride on 16 June. If anyone can think of any other dates we should avoid please let me know at once.

In Case You Missed It

Just now and then you get a message that makes you feel that in our very small scale and modest way we are doing something worthwhile as well as enjoying ourselves. If you’re in the google group (see below if you’re not) you will already have seen this – but it’s not something I would want anyone to miss. Haven’t yet checked with Fred and Jim – can we take up Emily’s suggestion?   And would a report based on this be a good idea for the proposed Christmas Boots and Spurs. Let me know what you think

My name is Rachel Walters, and I just wanted to let you know how much my daughter Emily enjoyed your page, . She just recently learned to ride a bicycle at the end of the summer, and has been really hooked on it since! Her birthday was over the weekend, and we finally got her her own, as she’d been learning on a bike we borrowed from my sister’s kids who are a few years older. Needless to say she was ecstatic!

Emily has been spending her computer/free time reading about biking safety, tips, and upkeep- And that is how she came across your page- She called me over quite a few times to point out things she was learning, and I mentioned that it might be nice to send you a quick thank you note- Emily thought that it’d be great to share another article about basic bike maintenance,– as well! I thought it was a neat article, and was hoping you’d be able to include it on your page? I’d love to show her that she could contribute another helpful biking article- she’d be thrilled!

I’m proud of her for being so proactive about learning more about safety and upkeep for her new bike! Thanks again for providing such cool and helpful resources for bike enthusiasts new and old! Hope you enjoy the article Emily wanted to share, and if you end up being able to include it, please let me know so I can tell her! Have a great day and hope to speak again soon!

Denis Pye Memorial

Denis, the author of Fellowship is Life: The Story of the Clarion Cycling Club which I strongly recommend to anyone without a copy, sadly died earlier this year. I’ve recently had a letter from Charles Jepson of the ‘1895 Clarion’ about a plan to remember him with a memorial bench at the Clarion House – run by the Nelson ILP Clarion Society – at Roughlee and asking for donations. I met Denis a couple of times early in the century – and I’ve visited the Clarion House. I’ve sent a small donation; should you want to do the same, send a cheque made out to NCCC1895 to Wendy Pye at 34 Temple Road, Halliwell, Bolton BL1 3LT

Google Group

As I mentioned last time it’s good to see so much useful discussion in the google-group. If you’re not in it do join   It’s on the web page:

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Good to hear that Graham’s great idea of short rides on Thursdays is starting to work. If it keeps up long enough I hope to be able to join in at some point. I’ve recently had X rays of my left knee and hip which has shown degree of arthritis and I’m waiting to hear from the orthopaedic folk to see what I should do next. I may have to follow Sean’s example.

Until yesterday I hadn’t been on the bike since before the fall I had in August which resulted in six stitches in my nose. I’d been having a bit of trouble getting on and off the bike before then and the fall -although it had nothing to do with that – just shook my confidence. But I managed a tiny ride on the seafront yesterday and I’m hoping – leg etc permitting – to gradually work up; from there and perhaps join the rehab group.

Good to hear also that the Mitre meeting was so productive of good ideas

Re: Good News for Bury Clarion

After my reference to the success of Simon Yates in the Vuelta I had a message from our old friend and keen reader of our ride reports Peter Roscoe. He writes:

Pleasing to see you mention me in relation to the Yates brothers. I liked the bit about keeping chips warm – I’m always dismayed on holiday when the meal plates have not been warmed properly. There must be a market for plates that can be kept warm during a meal.i.e. battery heated.

Bury Clarion are enjoying some glorious years. I managed to be relieved of Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary at this year’s AGM. At 84 I have some personal affairs to sort out.

I was baffled for half a second by the reference to chips – then I remembered Nick’s report. Peter really does read our ride reports!



Clarion History

14 October 2018

11 The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club – a national link-up?

We’re still in 1894 -and indeed rather earlier in that year than last time. In trying to give an idea of how the Clarion developed and what it stood for; I want to tie in as far as I can something of the story of the CCC, using where possible some of the material I collected and put out in earlier newsletters some years ago. Two episodes back I used Tom Groom’s ‘Advance Birmingham’ letter which appeared in the paper at the end of April 1894. A month later the piece that follows appeared. It’s part of a report from ‘Manchester and District’ by Leonard Hall. Hall was a long-term ILP activist, probably best known later on, in 1910, as one of the authors of the ‘Green Manifesto’ (not an environmental tract, I’m afraid, but so called from the cover of the booklet). Its official name was Let Us Reform the Labour Party (yes, even then!). The story is told – I think I can allow myself a plug after all this hard work – in one of my chapters (the ‘political’ rather than ‘union’ ones) of Logie Barrow and Ian Bullock,Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement, 1880-1914, Cambridge University Press, 1996, now available in affordable paperback from CUP! I’m drawing on this a lot for other episodes of this ‘history’ But enough of this self-promotion – here’s Hall’s report from the end of May 1894

The latest and greatest ‘idea’ in the world is that of a National ‘Clarion’ Cycling Club with local centres. The electrical Tom Grooms and the oak-hearted Harry Atkinsons of Birmingham have the honour of inspiration but there is nothing ‘Brummagem’ about it. These neighbours of Joseph the Pneumatic have already a lively little society of ‘jiggers’ who wear in their caps a natty gilt badge consisting of a miniature bugle with the legend ‘Clarion’ in silver letters – all permanent wear and who not only enjoy themselves but spread the gospel by way of sticking I.L.P. labels and texts wheresoever they wander on wheels. Besides which they can lend a hand – or rather a voice – at struggling branch meetings in adjacent districts wherever occasion calls.
. . .
I.L.P. cyclists – and their name is now legion – all over the country can have the aforementioned emblems by applying to Comrade Chris Thompson, 253 Park Road, Hockley, Birmingham, who is the designer. And local societies that wish to fall in with the National ‘C’ C.C. should communicate with the same gentleman at once, as it is proposed to organise a great gathering of the clans later in the summer at some convenient centre – say Derbyshire.
. . .
By the way, why not have a great ‘Clarion’ picnic for all and sundry some August weekend, in some happy English valley, to which should come the faithful from the four corners of the world, on wheels, on legs, in trains, ye Bounder to preside over the revels and – er- the vittles.

Which, among much else, tells us about the origin of the Clarion silver badge.


Next Time       Hail Referendum! (no certainly not that one!)


The Next Ride

2 October 2018

Sunday 14 October 2018

Today’s ride has been CANCELLED due to bad weather.


The Last Ride. Nick’s Report

2 October 2018

30 September 2018

Bosham – Bosham/Itchenor Ferry – Witterings – Chichester

Clarion cyclists: Wendy, Wendy, Angela, Angela, Sally, Jim, Graham, Nick, Prudence, Tessa & Wilma

Angela and Wendy’s promise of ‘country lanes interspersed with watery views and cycle paths’ in a route from Bosham to Chichester attracted eleven cyclists on the last day of September. The weather was dry with occasional sunny spells, but there was a slight autumnal chill in the air too.

Bosham church was our first destination when leaving Bosham station. Although the church has been around since Anglo-Saxon times and features in the Domesday Book and Bayeux Tapestry, I had been there recently and didn’t stay inside the church for too long. A service had just finished when we arrived and the pleasant smell of incense lingered in the air, as we investigated what is Clarion member Julian’s favourite Sussex church.

September 30, 2018: Bosham – Bosham/Itchenor Ferry – Witterings – Chichester

While the others continued to spend time taking in the historic significance of Bosham church, I waited outside and was advised by a stranger on the best bike shops in the area and the correct way to fix the loose bearings in my back wheel.

When the rest of the group emerged from their Sunday morning church experience, we all headed off to the highly anticipated ferry journey we had all been looking forward to. As we approached the Itchenor/Bosham ferry, Wendy’s back tyre developed a sudden puncture, which she decided to fix during the scheduled coffee break planed after we had completed the ferry crossing.

September 30, 2018: Bosham – Bosham/Itchenor Ferry – Witterings – Chichester

L-R Prudence, Sally, Jim, Wendy T, Wilma, Tessa, Graham, Wendy S, Angela C, Angela D

The narrow plank used to carry bikes onto a tiny ferry a few years ago, has been replaced with a more user-friendly system. Cyclists are now able to wheel their bikes onto the ferry with ease and I was surprised that the ferry was able to accommodate all eleven cyclists and their bikes. I don’t recall the tiny ferry from my last visit in 2010 being quite so spacious.

The ferry crossing to Itchenor was very brief (most of us would have liked the ferry ride in sunshine to have lasted a little longer). For the leisurely cyclists in the group, it was good to follow the crossing with a coffee break in the excellent Quarterdeck cafe. We managed to complete an entire loyalty card and must return for our free cup of coffee soon.

We all gathered outside the Quarterdeck cafe, with the shipyard backdrop, to watch Wendy and Graham’s masterclass in how to fix a bicycle puncture. The puncture was fixed very quickly and Wendy was pumping up her revitalised tyre just as we finished drinking our cups of coffee.

September 30, 2018: Bosham – Bosham/Itchenor Ferry – Witterings – Chichester

We then headed to the sandy beaches of West Wittering, which entailed  the longest period of cycling of the day so far. On a warmer day, a pre-lunch dip in the sea would have been a great idea. Although I hadn’t packed my trunks, I was impressed that some members of the group were considering a late September swim in the sea.

September 30, 2018: Bosham – Bosham/Itchenor Ferry – Witterings – Chichester

It was a short ride from West Wittering to the lunch stop at The Old House, where their chips are still served in buckets. I thought chips in buckets were an unnecessary fad until relatively recently, when I realised that the metal of the bucket helps to keep the chips warm.

Wendy and Angela had no time to discuss the presentation of chips (or buckets) because they were busy fine-tuning the final leg of their cycle ride. There was a brief discussion about whether we should turn left or right as we left the pub. The decision was taken to turn right, which led us to the final part of the day’s ride.

The final part of the day’s ride took us along the Chichester canal, with plenty of moorhens and swans to keep us company. This was a great way to reach Chichester station and avoid the roads.

Black swan

I was surprised how close to the station the canal route took us. The only negative aspect of the afternoon’s ride was that Wendy’s puncture problem reappeared and her back tyre had to be pumped up again.

Thanks to Angela and Wendy for expertly crafting a fascinating ride on completely flat terrain. We should certainly consider doing this one again in the future.


Wendy adds:

When Julian heard about our proposed visit to Bosham he was keen that we shouldn’t miss out on visiting the church, which is one of his favourite Sussex churches.  Glad we did.  Hopefully everyone got to see his notes from a talk he’d attended – I passed them round in the church.  Julian had looked out all his Sussex church books to show me, as this is another of his many ’special interests’, so maybe the photo can go in the ride report. I think we have several people who like a good church stop on a Clarion ride, so if anyone wants any further info on a particular church, Julian’s the man!


2 October 2018

2 October 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Roger for looking after the last two newsletters when I was away.

Graham has taken on 28 October and 11 November so we now need offers just for 25 November and the final ride of the year on 9 December if anyone is thinking that far ahead.   I think the London line will be operational again by then – but it’s always best to check any trains needed at an early stage before putting too much time and effort into planning a ride.

Beginning while I was away there has been considerable discussion in the googlegroup about the possibility of including some shorter and easier rides in our programme.   I think this is right. We have always had a variety of different sorts of rides in our programme. For example, some of us aren’t keen on off-road cycling while others prefer it and if you look back at the rides we’ve done since 2004 you’ll see that we’ve always had plenty of both kinds. Similarly, we’ve had more and less demanding rides. Before I was put out of contention (I hope temporally) by my leg problem the rides I was hoping to offer this year were all in this category and I hoped they might attract people who had not been on a ride recently.

Following up on the discussion, Graham has come up with what seems to me – and judging by the responses via the google-group others as well – an excellent idea for helping to get those of us who need it back into shape. I just wish I was up to taking part in it at the moment – but I live in hope!   Of course one would have to add to Graham’s mileage whatever it would take to get to and from the Peace Statue but this is a really good suggestion. At the end of his suggested programme Graham says ‘Could start next week.’

As always when you’ve been away, I’ve had a lot to catch up on – apart from Clarion things and am almost certainly out of touch. So, I’m not sure whether or not any of the suggested rides have taken place. It would be good to have some brief report or reports – not necessarily more than a sentence of two – about how it is going.   Anyway, with thanks again to Graham, here it is again

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Every Thursday weather permitting at 11am

Starting point Angel of Peace Statue

Initially 5 ride lengths with cafe half way.

  1. 4 miles Return   (Big Beach Cafe Hove Lagoon)
  2. 8 miles Return   (Carrots  Cafe Shoreham Harbour)
  3. 12 miles return     (East Beach Cafe’s Shoreham)
  4. 16 miles return     (Lancing Beach Cafe)
  5. 20 miles return     (A Steyning tea room) (Drop out at 1 or 2)

You can drop out, take a break and return at any of the Cafe points.

Longest ride maybe 3 hours  + Cafe  (Strictly no photo stops or reading of nature signs or eating roadside fauna or flora)

Group decides distance on the day

Should self function

Good News for Bury Clarion

It was good to see that Bury Clarion got a mention in reports in both Guardian and Observer when Simon Yates won the Vuelta (Tour of Spain – one of the 3 three-week grands tours.) I’m sure our friend – and regular reader of this newsletter, Peter Roscoe, Bury’s long-time secretary, was pleased.

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter,