The Next Ride

26 March 2019

Sunday 7 April 2019: Berwick to Hastings

Apart from the start time this is a free ride with no specific lunch time, and as we are following an easy marked coast route NCR2 if the group is large we can easily split into a fast and slow sections if needed.

Please note: in the unlikely event of an easterly wind the ride may be reversed and start from Hastings in which case new instructions will be posted.

The ride divides into three sections

Section 1

6 miles to Hillier Garden Centre for loo stop and coffee.

We will follow NCR2 as far as the cuckoo trail then divert onto Otham court lane and a short section of the Hailsham Road to the Garden Centre. Mostly flat, there is a mile long wooded off road section of NCR2 as we approach the A22.

Section 2

After coffee we will rejoin the NCR2 and a 10 mile run along the coast via Pevensey and Normans Bay to Bexhill and lunch at the De La Warr Pavilion cafe. Sea bathing could be available for those who like cold spring seawater.

Whilst at the Pavilion we have the opportunity to see two exhibitions, both free.


An exhibition combining paintings, drawings and new sculptural works.


Exploring resistance movements and alternative forms of living from a gendered perspective.

Section 3

Anyone who wants to stay in Bexhill or only ride that far can return from Bexhill Station.

For those want to carry on to Hastings it is a further 6 miles. Sunset is at 7:40 pm so no rush to return, maybe a few beers in Hastings..

Length: 22 miles mostly on NCR2

Duration: Morning session 3 hours to Bexhill including coffee. Afternoon unlimited

Pace: We will divide into a fast and slow group as required.

Meet: at Brighton station to catch the 10:05 train to Berwick (Buy a return ticket to Hastings)

Start: We will start the ride at 10:35 at Berwick station for anyone arriving by car .

Return: Half hourly service from Bexhill, St Leonards or Hastings. Some trains require a change at Eastbourne. If you want to get back to Berwick you have to go via Eastbourne.

Please email me if you are coming


Last Ride – Sikka’s Report

26 March 2019

Sunday 24 March 2019

Circular from Brighton Palace Pier via Peacehaven

Graham, Prudence, Chris, David, Wendy S-M, Wendy T, Sikka, Tessa, Angela C, Nick, Richard and Rachel set off along Madeira Drive past the beginnings of a Motorbike Festival and onto the Undercliff. In Saltdean Angela peeled off for a friend’s leaving celebration and 11 of us continued up onto the cycle/pedestrian path, climbed a grassy knoll and examined a monument commemorating the Second World War. Wendy surpassed herself by commenting that the Meridian Line Monument would be better placed on that spot – then realised the implications!!

Graham, David and Prudence were so engrossed in a conversation about the Puttenham/Surrey trip they didn’t notice us move off and got left behind with Wendy T, who had no idea where the rest of us had gone. Looking back further on, our valiant leader, Wendy S-M spotted our 4 laggards diverting into the NCR2 and assumed they were heading for the Gateway Cafe. Graham had sung its praises as an alternative to the planned vegan coffee stop – what, coffee without cow’s milk?! So we continued without them – now down to 7.

A glorious view awaited us as we cycled behind the houses by the edge of the cliffs with the blue sky above and the sea spread out below. The day was so warm we shed layers, even divesting ourselves of our hi-vi’s as we were safely away from traffic. We had time to descend onto the Peacehaven undercliff, so quiet and deserted, with the cliffs looking sheer and very high above us.  Back up to the cliff path again and our refreshment stop at the Road Shack cafe where we enjoyed the novelty of coffees made with oatly milk, the nearest vegan equivalent to cow’s milk – and bemoaned Brexit.

March 24, 2019: Brighton Pier via Peacehaven to Cowley Club Vegan Beer Festival

On the way back we noticed the russet and yellow and sometimes purple of wallflowers decorating the tops of the cliffs behind the safety fence. At Telscombe Chris chose to make his way over the Tye to Lewes, so we were down to 6 riders until we met up again with the 4 Gateway Cafe splitters and boasted 10 until Prudence left us in Rottingdean! Here we took the cycle track along the main road as the undercliff was crowded, and back to Brighton where we managed to wind out way through the crowds in North Laine who were enjoying the Spring sunshine and arrive at the Crowley Club for a roast lunch and to participate in their Vegan Beer Festival. Here one topic of conversation focused around why vegans put up with imitation ‘meat’ products?

We were very pleased to welcome Rachel and Wendy T as new members of Clarion and hope to see them both again soon.

Sikka (with help from other Clarionistas)


26 March 2019

26 March 2019

Dear All

Easter is always difficult with pubs and cafes full to overflowing and difficult to ‘book’ unless you can be 100% accurate about numbers. Hence the longer than usual gap between the April rides. We’re still very well set-up for the next 3 rides but if anyone wants to take on 26 May please let me know.


I’ve recently received details of the plans to commemorate Denis Pye, author of Fellowship is Life. The Story of the Clarion Cycling Club. The plan is to unveil the Denis Pye Memorial Bench on Sunday 12 May at 2 pm at the Nelson ILP Clarion House, which, as Fred reminded us last month, featured in one of Portillo’s railway programmes recently. Most of the message is about a free coach from Bolton and other details of the day. I don’t anticipate many of us being able to attend although I’m sure we should send our best wishes. But I could be wrong about people not able to participate – won’t be the first time! – so if you would like me to forward the whole message I’ll be happy to do that.

A Bit of (our own) History

I will resume my Clarion History before too long. But in the meantime I have just stumbled on some early stuff from when we started in 2004 which somehow survived last year’s computer crash (though I lost much of the more up-to-date material – all very odd) I’ve put a bit of it at the end of this newsletter where the Clarion History usually is found.


I’ll be circulating the minutes as soon as possible.



Joyce writes:

The Planning Application for Toads Hole Valley (BH2018/03633) is causing great concern and disappointment amongst those who look for environmental and social improvements in large-scale projects such as Toad’s Hole Valley and B&H Clarion support the objections from Friends of the Earth Brighton & Hove on the basis that the opportunity to take the needs of cyclists and pedestrians  have been ignored. To   add your individual objection/support for Friends of the Earth email



We all love a challenge (I hope)

Slotted neatly between the 12th May ride and the currently vacant 26th May, is the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge.

I must of course declare an interest. I’m a trustee of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) which organises the event. As a result, I’ve had a chance to learn about the work that this wonderful organisation does and to meet some of the people it has been able to help.

It is not just a social landlord. Much of its work is about supporting people who are coping with addiction and mental health problems, and the threat of homelessness that they create.

The Cycle Challenge is an opportunity to raise funds for BHT or for any other charity you choose. I know that some Clarion members have already signed up for one of the longer rides. If you’re not wanting to do 30 or 60 miles, why not join me for a few laps at the Preston Park Velodrome as part of the Around the World Challenge.

Every lap you complete will be counted and will contribute to the target of 66,792 which, if achieved, would get us all the way round the world. Last year, on a pretty hot day, I managed 30 laps. Apparently, we got as far as southern Australia!

You can do as many laps as you like, with as many breaks as you want for tea etc. It starts at 8am and finishes at 5pm. If you can round up some sponsors then you can donate the proceedings to BHT or any other charity of your choice.

You can register on-line. It costs £15 (concessions £5) or £25 for a family. I’ll see you on the way round!


How we started back in 2004

26 March 2019

We began in February 2004. Here’s the minutes of our inaugural meeting

Minutes of the inaugural meeting of the prospective Brighton and Hove Section of the National Clarion Cycling Club.

February 2004

Taking Part   Ian Bullock, Joyce Edmond-Smith, Ed Furey

It was agreed

  1. to form a Brighton and Hove Section
  2. to adopt the draft constitution as circulated and amended.
  3. to apply to affiliate to the National Clarion Cycling Club.
  4. that until the 2005 AGM – or an EGM called by the Management Committee prior to that – Ed Furey would act as Chair, Ian Bullock would act as Secretary and as Joyce Edmond-Smith Treasurer.
  5. that until otherwise determined the membership fee would be simply the national subscription as determined by the national conference. (currently £4 p. a)


Weather wise we could hardly have chosen a worst time to get going.   At this stage we hadn’t decided what day of the week we might go for as is evident from this message I sent out a little later. Some of it’s no longer intelligible -if it ever was!


‘Boots’ to you all!

INAUGURAL RUN! a gentle canter down the Cuckoo Trail

God, I feel like Eisenhower trying to find a chink in the weather to launch D-Day!

I’m now tied up this week except Friday. I was going to suggest that as a possibility.

The Brighton weather forecast (from is OK in terms of temperature for a nice change and maybe we could risk ‘light showers’   But it’s very windy.

Unfortunately the following week doesn’t look that good either – especially as regards wind. Monday 22 looks the best though

Of course by the time we get there the whole thing may have changed quite dramatically.

I’m game if you are – for any of these dates. Send your e mails to everyone to speed the process up, and if you’re going to the start by train please make enquiries and let us know what time to meet at the start of the trail.

The next month for me – as things stand at the moment – now goes like this

  1. This week. Can only make Friday19 and away that weekend (20/21 March)
  2. 22nd – 27th OK any day Not Sunday 28th
  3. OK Monday 29 – Thurs 1 April (!) Away for just over a week starting Friday 2nd

[I appreciate Ed that you’re still in the process of getting your bike sorted and may not be able to join us – which is a shame, but I know you want us to press ahead.]


Eventually we did get going early in April. But the weather was still pretty atrocious as you can see from my account of our first ride

Inaugural Ride 10 April – The Cuckoo Trail

Three of us managed the ‘inaugural ride’ in the end – Joyce, our newest member Sheila Schaffer who some of you at least also know. (We’re now up to 7 with about as many more prospective joiners)

The weather was awful – cold, wet and windy and the Golden Martlet pub where we’d reckoned on having a break was covered in scaffolding and closed – but having survived World War II we were not going to let a spot of rain deter us. In spite of the weather we had an enjoyable day – and thanks largely to Joyce thoughtfully bringing a flask of hot soup we survived.

We decided that for the moment – and subject to general agreement – we’d reckon on having a ride every other Sunday and have sketched out plans for a couple of nice easy-peasie little ones of no more than 23 miles at the most for the next two.   Ian





The Next Ride

14 March 2019

Sunday 24 March 2019:

Brighton Pier, Peacehaven, Cowley Club Beer Festival Vegan Extravaganza

 We will make our way along the coast on the Undercliff and up on the cliff tops, via the Prime Meridian monument, staying right on the coast through Peacehaven as far as The Road Shack Cafe.  If the weather is glorious, we might be tempted to juggle our bikes and coffees down to the beach.

We will return to the Pier, then take the cycle paths to the Cowley Club, 12 London Road.

We should be there around 1pm, should anyone wish to meet us there for a vegan roast dinner and to assist in the beer, cider and kombucha sampling (Fred).

Distance: Approx 15 miles

Meet: Brighton Pier

Start: 10am



The Last Ride – Angela’s Report

14 March 2019

Sunday 10 March 2019: Three Bridges Circular via Weir Wood Reservoir

Ride leader – Jim Grozier; Present – Angela D, Tessa, Sally, Wilma

The high winds were so blustery on Sunday that one poor clarionista managed to get herself lost… on Brighton Station. However, she (sadly, it was the report writer who achieved this feat) was successfully scooped up by the other riders and deposited on a train to Three Bridges. The experience being a little overwhelming it was decided to stop at Three Bridges itself and have a coffee break – well the latter word is a misnomer as we weren’t breaking in the middle, we hadn’t even started. The others had coffee and buns – I suppose the politically correct word nowadays is Viennese pastries – but the writer had a crepe with scrambled eggs, although that term ‘crepe’ will be redundant by March 29th.


We all disembarked successfully and set out on the Worth trail, but the wind had other ideas and our way was soon impeded by a fallen tree. We all tip-toed round daintily and gallantly helped each other and our bicycles get to the other side.

This procedure unfortunately had to redone on several occasions, but we were helped by having some nice views of a pond and later of Gullege which apparently features in Pevsner and there was some discussion of whether Pevsner could be viewed online (he can’t) and talk of architecture and previous rides when people were knowledgeable enough to quote Pevsner in their reports.

Lunch was very welcome at Dunnings Mill where several of us had a vegetarian Wellington with lots of gravy and trimmings and I think we were all too windswept for any controversy.


IMG_1052aWe visited Weir Wood reservoir where some clarionistas, sensibly equipped with binoculars, were able to see the birdlife.

Then we managed to totter along a steep bridleway with some interesting big stones called Stone Farm Rocks but our eyes were a too glued to the stony and/or muddy path to take much in.


The high Weald is, unfortunately, rather high, and it was some rather weary legs who pushed bicycles up and up and then it seemed like up again. Where were the downhills? They seemed to have absented themselves. We stopped at Tulleys farm and their rather strangely named Escape Room offered us tea in plastic cups in front of a wondrously warm woodburning stove but night was coming on and after sending out several different scouting expeditions to find the toilets, we set off again.


We returned to the Worth trail for the last part of the ride, and this time round, at the fallen tree obstructions, all decorum and bicycle etiquette was abandoned in favour of slinging our bicycles over in one fell swoop. There was a train perfectly timed for our departure and fatigued but happy riders returned to Brighton.

Thanks to Jim for organising the ride.

Angela Devas


14 March 2019

13 March 2019

Dear All

Jim has taken the 12 May slot, so we are now well supplied with rides up to 26 May. I’ve now added the June dates to ‘Future Rides’


As I said in the last newsletter I’ll be sending out the (corrected) agenda paper for the AGM in both modes by the end of this week. If you are planning to attend the meeting please print it off together with whatever you think you’ll need of the other agenda papers that I sent out earlier. I don’t have access to copying facilities so I won’t be able to supply spare copies at the AGM


Message from Jim (as in googlegroup)

Membership cards have been sent out by the national Clarion club system. If you are a member but have not received yours, this may be because you have moved house in recent years and we have an out-of-date address for you.

If you have changed your address since joining the Clarion Club, please log into the Membership Mojo, using the login details that will gave been sent to you, and update it. If you can’t remember how to log in, please email me giving me your current postal address.