The Next Ride: Sunday 10 February 2019

31 January 2019

Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier and Return

Trying to predict the vagaries of meteorological conditions for a weekend sometime next month that are guided by chaos theory is always fraught, So I have proposed another short, easy ride between the two piers, a distance of only 12 miles each way. The advantage is the opportunity for several stops along the route if we have to duck inside for cover.

I was thinking of adding a short, cultural extension to visit the “other” Sistene Chapel in Goring but it is closed for viewing until April, so perhaps I can make it the subject of a ride later in the Spring.

We can either take lunch at the Pavilion Café on the landward end of Worthing Pier, or try the Southern Pavilion Café, which would require locking up our bikes and strolling the length of the pier. St. Paul’s would make a good lunch stop, but it reverts to a church on Sundays, so it might offer a good mid-week pop-up ride. I am still exploring possible pubs in town offering suitable clarionista meals and beers. If I find one, I would need an indication of numbers (see Google Group messages).

We should have time for a coffee stop on East Street in Shoreham and on the return leg. Unfortunately The Coast at Splash Point is being completely refurbished again and won’t be ready until mid-February.

Assemble at Brighton Pier at 10am for a 10.15am departure.

David

Advertisements

The Last Ride –Nick’s Report

31 January 2019

Sunday 27th January – Hassocks to Shoreham

January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham

The intrepid trio gathered on Brighton station for Sunday’s ride included Nick, Prudence and ride leader Graham. Although the Clarionistas can be a hardy band of cyclists, the blustery and rainy January weather on Saturday night may well have deterred some from attending Graham’s Hassocks to Shoreham Sunday ride.

Bright sunshine created good light for a few group photos outside Hassocks station, as we prepared ourselves for the first leg of Graham’s ride. Morning coffee in Washbrook Farm was our first stop and a relatively short cycle ride away.

By the time we arrived at Washbrook Farm, foreboding rain clouds had replaced the blue skies we had experienced earlier in the morning. I had read there was a 33% chance of rain on the BBC’s weather forecast,  so the dark clouds weren’t entirely unexpected.

January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham

Although we had only cycled a couple of miles, it was quite hard to move away from the warm wood fire we had been sitting in front of to resume our ride. Instead of cycling against the wind to the Partridge pub in Partridge Green for lunch, we agreed with Graham that we should change the lunchtime destination to the Fox in Small Dole.

We were an abstemious bunch for our lunchtime meal. Both Prudence & myself opted for lime & soda, which I combined with a packet of salt & vinegar crisps. Graham seemed to be enjoying his leek & potato soup and half of ale. Although the crisps I ate were perfectly fine, maybe I’ll sample the soup next time.

The ride after lunch was particularly enjoyable. We cycled through Bramber to join the South Downs Way and Downs link. I’ve never invested in a pair of waterproof trousers, so felt slightly left out as Graham and Prudence took the opportunity to change into their waterproof trousers under a bridge during a sudden rain shower. The rain stopped as soon as 2/3 of the group had changed into their over-trousers and I decided I could probably continue taking part in rides without adding trouser waterproofs to my cycling baggage.

The waterproof trousers break was the last I saw of the rest of the group for a while. I became distracted when photographing dark clouds over the River Adur. By the time I had finished photographing clouds and a South Downs Way sign, my Clarion comrades were nowhere to be seen.

I knew the direction to Shoreham, so continued along the River Adur in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the group. The abandoned London double decker buses and Underground sign left outside the dilapidated former Shoreham cement works seemed worthy of a few brief photographs.

January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham

January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham

I had photographed the Underground sign and an abandoned fire engine when someone drove up in a 4×4 to tell me I was trespassing on private property. I never did find out why the London buses had been left in the former Shoreham cement works, but it would be great to return to take a few more photos of the London bus graveyard very soon.

January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham

I caught up with Graham a few minutes later. He told me that he and Prudence had been waiting in the cold for me for about 10 minutes. I had to apologise for my photographic diversions and hoped he appreciated why I found a London Underground sign in the Shoreham cement works so intriguing.

Prudence had gone on ahead to seek out a suitable end-of-ride coffee stop. Ginger & Dobbs was a fine place to end the ride. As well as drinking coffee, Graham and myself agreed to sit still while Prudence drew our hands for an art course she was doing. Perhaps there’s a future for the two of us as male models?

As ever, thanks to Graham for organising a terrific cycle ride. I must try and take fewer photographs and peddle faster next time.

Nick
January 27, 2019: Hassocks to Shoreham


News: 29 January 2019

31 January 2019

Dear All

I had two responses to my appeal for volunteers for the 10 February. Jim got in first but, frustratingly, his planned ride proved not to be practical. He hopes to offer it again a bit later in the year. The situation was then saved by David – details of whose ride you will find below in the usual place.

Graham has taken on 24 February which completes our calendar for the next month. We are now looking for offers for the March rides on 10 and 24.

Easter Meet and National conference

I’ve still had no suggestions for motions or nominations to date. They have to be notified to Ian Clarke the national secretary by 19 February. So, if I get any I will circulate them ASAP to see if anyone objects or opposes and if necessary quickly call a meeting to make a decision.

Our AGM

As you already know Anne and Mick have offered to host our own AGM in March again. They have suggested the following possible dates:

Monday 25, Tuesday 26, Wednesday 27 or Thursday 28 .

We’ll follow the usual procedure we have used in the past If you’d like to come to the AGM but can’t make one (or more!) of these dates please let me know in the next two weeks – before the newsletter following the 10 Feb ride. Just tell me which day or days you can’t make. If that leaves more than one date as a possible I’ll leave it to Anne and Mick to make the final decision. With a bit of luck, we’ll end up with a date that suits everyone.

National Clarion Subs.

(in case there’s anyone who still hasn’t rejoined for 2019)

Important   If you’re paying by bank transfer please let Jim know at j.r.grozier@btinternet.com so that he knows who has paid this way’

Normally, Clarion subs for the year include two elements, the national fee and a local one.  We have suspended our local sub for the last few years and did so for 2019 at the last AGM.   So the total we need to pay is £12.  This covers not only national membership but also third-party insurance without which no-one should risk going out on a bike.  At £1 a month this is a real bargain.

In recent years this has been done via a PayPal account. We have been having problems with this account.  We have also realised that PayPal charges us fees.  For these reasons, we have decided this year to collect subscriptions using the old fashioned method, using our equally old fashioned Co-op bank account.

Jim has kindly volunteered to act as treasurer while Julian is recovering, so if you would like to join or renew your membership please do one of the following:

Send or give to Jim a cheque payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club or make an online bank transfer to our Co-op bank account. Contact Ian or Jim for details.

In due course, Jim will pass on the subscriptions received to the National Clarion and you will receive a membership card, as usual.

Ian


Clarion History 18

31 January 2019

The ‘Clarion Scheme’ or NIGFTLU (Part 2 )

I finished the last episode with the ‘new unions’ helping to produce a revival of working-class – and working-class oriented – politics which resulted in – among other things – the launching of the Clarion in December 1891 and in 1893 the foundation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP)

In previous episodes we have seen how Blatchford’s attempts in, especially, the second half of the 1890s to encourage the two main socialist parties, the SDF and the ILP to unite came to nothing. We need to bear this in mind as part of the background to the Clarion scheme which was being promoted at more or less the same time

Another part of the background vital for understanding the nature of the attempt to promote a radical form of trade unionism is the nature of Clarion politics during these years.   We have seen in earlier episodes that – in, arguably, an over-simplistic way – Blatchford and Co had been very opposed to anything that might lead to bureaucracy or the professionalisation of socialist politics. This in turn led to the advocacy – especially in the pamphlets written by A M Thompson (or ‘Dangle’) – of direct democracy in the form of the referendum and initiative. Blatchford was even critical of the Cycling Club for using a delegate system rather than holding referendums to make decisions.

After the dodgy plebiscite of 2016 it is, quite understandably, even harder than it usually is to make the case for referendums – which as we shall see played a major role in NIGFLTU (aka the ‘Clarion scheme’.   But there are a few things we should bear in mind. At a time when at something between a quarter and a third of men and all women were denied national voting rights, whatever criticisms can be made of their partiuclarl proposals, the intentions of the Clarion were definitely to promote democracy.   Secondly, the ‘initiative’ -the right of an agreed number of electors to call a referendum – was always what was intended   rather than plebiscites arranged by the government. If the UK intends to go down the direct democracy route maybe we should have some public enquiries into the experience of Switzerland and those US states where people regularly vote on ‘propositions’ resulting from what the Clarion (and others) called ‘initiatives’?

But back to the trade union scene in the 1890s. The upsurge of ‘New Unions’ is far less well remembered than what followed, which is what has become known a ‘the employers’ counter-offensive’ In the earlier part of the decade even the unions representing the well-established ‘coal and cotton’ trades came under attack with, to name just a few examples. a mining lock-out in 1893, and a bitterly fought Lancashire Cotton-Spinners’ struggle the same year as well as a dock strike in Hull.

Meanwhile, among more radical trade unionists – especially those with socialist convictions – discontent grew with the TUC. Critics were stronger in local trades councils which were represented at the annual congress than on the Parliamentary Committee which looked after – inadequately the rebels said – union interests for the rest of the year.

In 1895 the TUC leadership carried out what was seen as a ‘coup.’ It came up with a new procedure which included the block vote, proposed the exclusion of the trades councils from Congress representation and then used the new system to get this through – which many saw as sharp practice. All this encouraged the   belief that something more -and more representative of the grassroots and more radical – than the TUC was needed if the employers’ counter-offensive was to be resisted and union demands for the eight hour day and other improvements in working conditions were to be advanced.

Things came to a head in the summer of 1897 when a near-national lockout by the Engineering employer’s co-ordinated by a Col Dyer began against the ASE – seen since the 1850s as the most powerful and secure trade union. This lasted into 1898. In the Clarion Blatchford described it as ‘the Engineers’ Sedan’ a reference not the famous chair but to the decisive defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War which among other consequences brought the Second Empire crashing down. Was the same fate about to happen to the British trade union movement?

Not surprisingly with concerns about the success of the counter-offensive rising even before this thoughts began to turn to some form of allianceor trade union federation that could do more to resist this than the TUC seemed able or willing to do. Various schemes were suggested including the one that came to be known as the ‘Clarion scheme.’ It’s author, P J King seems to have turned up at the paper’s office early in 1896, persuaded Blatchford and Thompson to back his radical scheme which was then promoted on a virtually weekly basis sometimes under Blatchford’s own non de guerre of ‘Nunquam.’

Next time we will see what was the nature of this scheme and what became of it

Ian

 

 


The next ride: Sunday 27th January – Hassocks to Shoreham

18 January 2019

via Henfield, Partridge Green, Ashurst, Steyning.

Please remember that sunset is at 16:43 so make sure that you have working cycle lights for the return from Shoreham.

From Hassocks station we will make our way through Hurstpierpoint to Washbrook Farm for a quick coffee and loo stop.

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 right onto the Brighton Road for a short distance before going left onto the back roads to Henfield.

We cycle through Henfield and take the downslink north to Partridge Green and our lunch stop at the Partridge at 12:30.

After lunch we will take the Horsham Road south to Steyning and follow Clays Hill to the roundabout at Bramber and onto the downslink to Shoreham.

Length: mostly on road 23 miles and free of Major undulations. Two sections of downslink .
Duration: 5 hours including stops
Pace: We will need to maintain a good pace on this ride to keep to timing.
Meet: at Brighton station to catch the 10:09 train to Hassocks
Start: We will start the ride at 10:20 at Hassocks station (West side) for anyone arriving by car.
Return: from Shoreham Station from about 3:30pm(Frequent trains)

To help me book lunch please email me at clarionistas@gmail.com if you are coming.

Graham


The Last Ride: Sunday 13th January 2019 –  Balcombe to Wivelsfield

14 January 2019

January 13, 2019: Balcombe to Wivelsfield

Jim, Sally, Wendy, Sikka, Angela, Mic and Nick caught the early train (9.08!) to Balcombe. The weather was good – fresh and bright and in the afternoon wintry sunshine bathed the countryside in beauty. Now and then we were treated to the scent of woodsmoke as we cycled among the wooded hillsides. Views opened up between the trunks of trees whose discarded leaves lay dry and brown below and after reaching the summit of each undulation we were treated to far-reaching panoramas.

January 13, 2019: Balcombe to Wivelsfield

We came across a few interesting curiosities on our journey, offering momentary respite from the rigours of cycling. First, an essential pause to admire the magnificent Balcombe Viaduct, next in a set of diversified farm buildings, the offer of counselling, foot health and trichology at the Hair Sanctuary. Lindfield was noted to have a number of attractive Georgian homes and taking a short cut along a bridleway we stopped to admire a smallholding and envied the smallholder her cup of tea! She told us about her hens, pygmy goats, rabbits and fighting cockerels.

January 13, 2019: Balcombe to Wivelsfield

We were joined in The Farmers at Scaynes Hill for lunch by Graham, Prudence and Chris who had taken a later train. The menu catered for various diets and Wendy was able to enjoy the rare treat of a totally vegan nut roast meal – while sitting under the head of a magnificent hunted stag. Over the meal Angela proposed a toast to one of our members on account of his promotion to Compost Monitor in his neighbourhood. Much discussion ensued about compost and the compost monitor and Mic asked ‘was the compost monitor ‘compos mentos?’

January 13, 2019: Balcombe to Wivelsfield

In the afternoon we all cycled back to Wivelsfield station together and landed safely back in Brighton just as dusk was falling.

Thank you Jim for a very enjoyable ride.

Report put together by Sikka from various contributions over lunch!

Addendum

The need for speed (Graham)

After plugging Jim’s excellent ride instructions into Ridewithgps and despite the extreme undulations revealed i thought it possible to do a fast ride starting an hour later and catch up with the advance group before lunch. So it was that Graham, Chris and Prudence set off from Balcombe station at 10:45 following Jim’s route. We caught up after 9.5 miles and an hours hard cycling free of chickens, roadkill and viaduct photos while approaching the Sloop Inn with 2 miles to go to lunch. The run was helped by enabling live tracking on WhatsApp so that Nick, Wendy and I could look at each others progress. Later there were murmerings of no signal and we would have cycled faster if we knew you were catching up. So could we!

Thanks to Jim for organising the ride and an excellent lunch stop.


News

14 January 2019

Dear All

Jim was was hoping to take on 27 January but what he’d wished to do turned out not to be possible. So, at the moment there is no ‘Next Ride’. But if anyone can send me in details of a ride for 27, I’ll circulated it separately immediately. Otherwise we are looking for offers for 10 February.’

Easter Meet and National AGM
You should have already received details about the Easter Meet in York – at least once if not twice! If you haven’t please let me know.

https://clarioncc.org/events/clarion-easter-meet-2019/

I’ve had no suggestions for motions or nominations to date. You’ll see that we – and the other sections – have until 19 February to send them in.

With the newsletter I’m sending a separate document featuring the provisional motions which the national committee is proposing. I’ve had a quick look through and haven’t spotted anything contentious – but please check yourself and let me know if I’ve overlooked anything.

Motion (No 3) about changes in the method of paying subs is something we need the advice of Jim and Julian about. If we want to carry on with the old methods (see below) much depends on how the word ‘should’ in the committee’s proposed rule change is going to be interpreted.

There may be more or revised motions coming from the national committee later and of course from sections. I will circulate any such as soon as I receive them.

In the past we have considered motions for the national conference at our own AGM along with all the other business. Holding our AGM in March should enable us to consider any motions that come in from other sections as well as the ones I’m sending together with this newsletter from the national committee.

In the past our practice has been to instruct our delegates (i e whoever attends the Meet) on anything we have a definite view about but otherwise to ask them to listen to the debates and vote – or abstain – accordingly.

I’ve also had the following message from Alex of London Clarion:

‘Grateful if you also let your members know about our (London Clarion & National Clarion 1895) non-racing Easter Meet in Bradford at Easter. About 15 coming so far. Ribbons have already come! Full details here https://www.londonclarion.org.uk/clarion-easter-meet-2019.html

National Clarion Subs
(in case there’s anyone who still hasn’t rejoined for 2019)
Important If you’re paying by bank transfer please let Jim know at j.r.grozier@btinternet.com so that he knows who has paid this way.

Normally, Clarion subs for the year include two elements, the national fee and a local one.  We have suspended our local sub for the last few years and did so for 2019 at the last AGM. So the total we need to pay is £12.  This covers not only national membership but also third-party insurance without which no-one should risk going out on a bike.  At £1 a month this is a real bargain.

In recent years this has been done via a PayPal account. We have been having problems with this account.  We have also realised that PayPal charges us fees. For these reasons, we have decided this year to collect subscriptions using the old fashioned method, using our equally old fashioned Co-op bank account.

Jim has kindly volunteered to act as treasurer while Julian is recovering, so if you would like to join or renew your membership
The instructions are in the newsletter.

In due course, Jim will pass on the subscriptions received to the National Clarion and you will receive a membership card, as usual.

Ian