The Next Two Rides

30 January 2020

Berwick Circular  Sunday 2 February

Berwick to Berwick

A perfect winter’s ride – level a lot of the way and a wonderful pub stop for lunch –The Roebuck.

We meander through some beautiful Sussex countryside, including the pretty village of Ripe and its beautiful manor house, Eckington Manor and visit Laughton Tower with its own miniature moat, gloating over the surrounding landscape.

Please let me know if you are coming so I can book numbers for the pub. My phone 07814 457 680 or

Depart Brighton station at 10.05 for Berwick, arrive 10.32

There are no coffee stops en route but the Berwick Inn is open from early for coffee and breakfast; I suggest we bring a thermos and have a hot drink while admiring the tower.

Lunch at The Roebuck and return

Trains once an hour at 55 minutes past; if we are early the Berwick Inn provides tea

Angela and Nick


Sunday February 9th: Gatwick Circular Ride via Outwood

Gatwick – Horley – Burstow – Outwood – South Nutfield –

Redhill Aerodrome – Horley – Gatwick

Amazingly, this ride doesn’t seem to have been done for over 9 years, although we did cover part of the route in a Redhill ride in 2016 (which is also due for a repeat, but we can’t do that until water levels subside a bit on Nutfield Marsh!)

The ride goes through some rarely-visited territory to the east of Horley which may be a little soft underwheel, but there are alternatives if it gets too bad. Assuming it doesn’t, we will pass the site of Thunderfield Castle, “one of a very small number of complex moated sites in the South East” according to Historic England.

Lunch will again be at the Bell at Outwood, at 1pm. Last time I described it as “not an ideal Clarion pub – a bit too snooty for me” but Tessa’s ride report from 2016 seemed to give it the thumbs up, and the prices today look pretty much what we would expect.

On the way back to Gatwick we will have a tea stop at the café at Redhill Aerodrome. In 2010 I mused about “why on earth a group of eco-warriors like us should want to sit and watch planes taking off and landing” – but these are small planes, and the air ambulance is based here. When (in the hopefully not-too-distant future) Gatwick Airport is a museum, Redhill will still be going strong, rescuing people and training future rescue pilots, and the private planes based here will be used mainly for ferrying the pigs around …..

The return leg features a long stretch of NCN21, including a wooded cycle path and a quiet concrete road.

There are no obvious “fast loops” for this ride, and in any case there doesn’t seem to have been much demand for them recently. However, directions will be supplied for anyone wishing to avoid dithering and spend more time in the pub.


Length: 20 miles.

Start time: 11:00, Gatwick Airport station. Meet outside the exit ticket barrier on the bridge if not going by train from Brighton.

Hills: One serious hill we can walk up; a few undulations.

Traffic: Mainly quiet lanes and bridleways/tracks.

Surfaces: The bridleways and tracks have hard surfaces, so if it is wet the worst problem will be water rather than mud; however we can take detours along roads if we have to.

Duration: about 5½ hours.

Getting there: Catch the 10:27 train from Brighton. Anyone desperate to lop off a couple of miles can change at Gatwick for a train to Horley (hopefully from the adjacent platform), where we can rendezvous, as the route goes past Horley station.

Return trains from Gatwick at 10, 28, 40, 58 minutes past the hour.


Clarion Latest: 25 January 2020

30 January 2020

Burns Night Edition

Dear All

As you will have seen from her google group message Angela has had to change the date of her ride from tomorrow to next Sunday 2 February. Details of the ride are below again as are those for Jim’s ride on 9 February

There wouldn’t be enough time to get a newsletter out between these two rides so I’m sending it to you today. Nick has now taken 23 Feb.

March rides, anyone?

Opening attachments (or not)

With the last newsletter (13 January) I asked ‘  if you can’t open one of the versions attached please let me know and I’ll send it as a (longish) email’ One recipient did reply saying the attachments couldn’t be opened so – for the time being at least – I’m going to revert to the 2019 practice of pasting the newsletter into the email as a – less elegant but still readable – alternative to the attached version.


I’ve checked with Anne ands Mick and they are happy -at least at the moment – to host our AGM any day in March except Tuesday 31st;

Finding a date that suits everyone is always a problem.

So please let me know if there are any dates in March that are not OK for you and/or days of the week when you have a regular commitment that might prevent you attending the meeting.

Can’t guarantee that the date will be good for everyone but as usual I will do my best!

I’ve started writing my report on last year which will eventually be circulated with the agenda. Other officers are invited to do likewise, of course. Please let me have them ASAP.

If anyone has a proposal to put to the AGM it would be good if it could be included in the agenda so everyone can think about it – and perhaps discuss it before the meeting.

Dave on safety and pavement cycling

In response to the last newsletter I had two emails from Dave Churchill raising, I think, some important points. It’s at the end of this newsletter.


If like us you’re having haggis this evening, and you’re familiar with the poem, do bear in mind what happened to Tam O’Shanter’s horse and take the poet’s advice to go easy on ‘Inspiring bold John Barleycorn’!


Dave Churchill’s Comments

Reading Nick’s Ride Report only convinces me that one has to ride defensively on the roads following Cycling UK, Sustrans and British Cycling’s Leadership Training stance especially riding two abreast to make traffic wait instead of passing at inopportune moments and cutting in.                                                                                                                                                          Putting on my H & S professional hat in eliminating or substantially reducing a hazard and risk is called for which is why I ride off road on bridleways etc preferring to fall off and get muddy and bruised rather than killed or seriously injured by a vehicle.

Most of my friends are of the same mind finding it difficult to understand why anyone would want to ride on any road for leisure!

I am also a Member of the Institute of the Motor Industry who uses a car when essential such as for business so I appreciate the problems facing both side, good and bad drivers and good and bad cyclists.

Unfortunately there are many car drivers that have not cycled for years so don’t appreciate the problems and I regularly encounter cyclists riding down one way streets and riding on the pavements and these problems do not help mutual understanding.

The attached guidance (below) seems to imply that police have to decide if there is a real risk to a cyclist when one is seen  riding on the pavement for example at a very busy junction as well as risks to any pedestrians at the time.

Speaking to police officers they have said that that a cyclist cannot just say they are nervous of the traffic and decide to ride willy nilly on the pavement instead of pushing their bike as this would set a precedent and open floodgates to cyclists on pavements.

There are some pavements at certain times could cope safely with cyclists but Western Road Brighton on a Saturday afternoon couldn’t!

Unfortunately from my reading of some posts on Bricycles FB page there is an assumption that as saviours of the planet cyclists should be given carte blanche to ride where they like and ignore pedestrians.

The guidance on pavement cycling referred to by Dave

Cyclists should not be fined for mounting the pavement to escape dangerous sections of road, a transport minister has told police amid claims officers are ignoring official advice.

Robert Goodwill urged police not to penalise cyclists for moving off the road at congested junctions after complaints £50 fines are being handed out too readily.

He said enforcing laws which prohibit cycling on the pavement is a matter for police, but added that discretion should be exercised “where a cyclist is using the pavement alongside a dangerous section of road out of fear of the traffic”.

Mr Goodwill reiterated guidance from 1999, when fixed penalties for cycling on pavements were first introduced, which states that the goal is not to penalise “responsible cyclists”.

In a private letter to a cycling safety group who raised the issue, he also advised campaigners to take it up with Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), to ensure the advice is followed.

The guidance, which was first issued by Home Office Paul Boateng 15 years ago, states: “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.”

“Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

Campaigners have been concerned at the increase in fines being handed to cyclists since the launch of Operation Safeway, the major road safety drive launched in the wake of six cyclists’ deaths in a two-week period last year.

Almost a third of penalty notices issued under the operation, which has seen hundreds of police staged at major junctions across the capital, have been handed to cyclists despite the fact they make up a small minority of road users.

Donnachadh McCarthy, spokesman for Stop Killing Cyclists, claimed police officers stationed at London Bridge told him they had been advised to ignore any guidance and issue fines every time cyclists were spotted on the pavement.

In one unconfirmed case, he said, a cyclist had reported being fined for riding a “Boris bike” a matter of feet from its docking station to the kerb.

He said: “Fining vulnerable cyclists for cycling responsibly on the pavement at extremely dangerous junctions like Vauxhall Cross is a bedroom tax on two wheels as there is no safe alternative for them to cycle on.”

Mr Goodwill wrote to the group after they raised their concerns with ministers, telling them “I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law”, and advised them to write to Sir Hugh Orde.

He later said in a statement: “Pedestrians should expect to be able to use the pavement without fear of being in a collision with a cyclist and we are determined to discourage dangerous behaviour, which is why last year we increased the fixed penalty for this offence to £50.

“Enforcement is a matter for the Police but we endorse their approach of showing discretion in instances where a cyclist is using the pavement alongside a dangerous section of road out of fear of the traffic, but is being mindful to not put pedestrians at risk.”

National Policing Lead for Cycling Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said: “We welcome the re-issued guidance from the Minister for Cycling in respect of cycling on the pavement and have re-circulated this to all local forces.

“The issue of cycling on the pavement, as in other areas of law enforcement, varies according to local circumstances. The ministerial guidance supports the importance of police discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach, with safety being a guiding principle.”


The Next Ride: Berwick Circular Sunday 26 January

17 January 2020

This ride has still to be checked out, Full details will be posted via the google group on or after 20 January.

Trains – catch the 10 05 from Brighton to Berwick

Return is every hour at 55 minutes past the hour from Berwick station

Angela and Nick

The Last Ride:  Sunday 12 January 2020

17 January 2020

The Last Ride –Nick’s Report

Hassocks to Lewes

‘We have the right of way here too, you idiot!’, I yelled as the car accelerated
away from us. Sikka joined me in admonishing the unpleasant 4×4 driver,
who had stopped briefly to tell us why he thought roads were for car drivers
only. The unhinged motorist may not have heard our disapproving shouts
as he sped away, but yelling at this narrow-minded fool was certainly
therapeutic for us.

We were relieved to find that the example of car driver road rage was an isolated incident in an otherwise blissful 18-mile cycle ride from Hassocks station for lunch in Lewes, on a mild day in January. As well as ride leaders Tessa & Sikka, it was Angela D, Angela C, Joyce, John, Doris, David & Nick who comprised the Clarionista nine for Sunday’s ride.

It was a short cycle ride of only a few miles to the coffee stop at the Plough Inn, which opened at noon. We arrived a few minutes before midday, so had time to sample the vegan biscuits Tessa & Sikka had generously brought along to share with us.

Although I had visited the Plough Inn before, I’m not sure I had ever ventured inside. The pub decor consisted of a spitfire & biplane hanging from the ceiling, motorbike illustrations, a bus stop sign and pop music ephemera from the 1970s (Bob Marley, The Clash & Marc Bolan). I was particularly interested in the Marc Bolan ‘Say it loud’ promotional poster for the NME (circa 1970?) displayed on the wall.

January 12, 2020: Hassocks to Lewes

As we drank our coffee, the room was warmed up by a blazing coal fire next to the table we were sitting at. The pub jukebox treated us to a UB40 track (So Here I Am), followed by St Etienne’s version of Neil Young’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart.’ I thought the coffee we were drinking was a little weak, so appreciated Frankie Valentine’s lively syncopated electro Latin grooves (identified by Shazam as the track ‘Spanish Dance’) to help us get in the mood for the ride to Lewes for lunch.

Tessa was right to warn us of the badly cracked concrete path which formed part of the route to Lewes. Recent heavy rain had left the path waterlogged in places and was potentially treacherous for cyclists. We all concluded that walking our bikes along the disintegrating path was the best approach, even if we had to cope with wet feet when walking through the occasionally deep puddles of water.

The route to Lewes was fairly straightforward (via Cooksbridge & part of the A275). Although Tessa & Sikka said they had cycled it many times, it was all new to me. I think I counted only one or two steepish hills we had to cycle up, which is quite rare in East Sussex.

Crossing the River Ouse towards Lewes, it didn’t take long for the familiar Harvey’s Brewery building to appear. Our lunch stop (and ride end) was across the road from the brewery in the John Harvey Tavern. I had visited this pub for the first time earlier in the week and sampled what I thought was an alcohol free beer for Dry January. Their ‘low alcohol’ beers do actually contain some alcohol, so I opted for a pint of lime & soda this time.

January 12, 2020: Hassocks to Lewes

I had a bag of chilli peanuts to accompany my pint of lime & soda for my Dry January/Veganuary lunchtime experience. Most of the other Clarion cyclists had a more substantial meal though. Joyce’s vegetable curry option looked particularly appealing.

The CND t-shirt I was wearing prompted Joyce to recall the anti nuclear demo she went to outside Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland a few years ago. Other topics discussed over lunch included the inevitability of Scottish independence, HS2 and how we all hoped to be flying around with jet packs very soon.

Thanks to Tessa & Sikka for an efficiently organised cycle ride with plenty of memorable moments. None of us got lost either, which must be a Clarion first!


Clarion Latest 13 January 2020

17 January 2020

Dear All

Angela (D) and Nick have volunteered to take on the 26 January ride, so now we are looking for an offer for 9 February (and/or 23 February)  Anyone up for taking on one (or both!)?

Thanks  to Nick also for getting the report of yesterday’s ride  to me with exemplary speed.  Pity about the nasty 4×4 driver. Who do such people think they are?  And what century do they think they are living in​?  Born in 1941, I still catch myself writing ’19–‘ on cheques etc.  But at least I actually know we are nearly a fifth of the way through the 21st century.  Some people!

National conference motions

I explained in the last newsletter that  with motions for the Clarion national conference – at the Easter Meet in Warwick – we need to make any proposals  ‘no later than 2 months before the annual conference.’   That means – as I also explained –  that I need to receive any in order  to allow time for a meeting if necessary by Friday 18 January  – this Friday!  None received so far.


I’ve had a message from Anne saying that she and Mick are willing to host the AGM in March once again.

Great!  That’s a load off my mind. Thanks to them  both.

As soon as I can find time I shall begin putting my Secretary’s report for last year together.  I wouldn’t want to twist anyone’s arm, but it would be nice if other office-holders sent in a written report for circulation –  as has often been done in the past

I’ll be consulting Anne and Mick about which day in March will be best for the AGM.  Then – assuming there is more than one possibility –  as I have done in the past I’ll ask everyone to choose the best one for them.  Inevitably, it’s             all too likely that it won’t be  good for someone – but it does seem the fairest way of doing things.


The Last Rides: Xmas Beano and New Year Ride

17 January 2020

Clarion Gastronauts Xmas Beano 21 December

Anne’s Report

The chalice of the Xmas Lunch was handed to Sean from Wendy & he rose to the challenge, picking ”The Walrus” on what turned out to be  a wet & windy day, though warmer than previous seasonal celebrations, organised by Jim, Angela, Jenny & me.

Clarion Xmas lunch 2019

Wetter & blighted by Brexit, which we all deplored & by Labour losing the disastrous December 12th General Election & Friday 13th living up to [down to] its reputation as a very dark day.

12  of us made it to the table on top floor of the rambling Walrus, in its Xmas decor. There are some super snaps on Flickr of all of us & most of the tasty food.  Sean, Mick & I had chosen the mysterious ”verinne ”-mainly out of curiosity- salmon eggs atop smoked & steamed salmon mousse atop cucumber & watercress jelly.  Neither Sean, nor I ,got through to the jelly, as both had tender tummies & none had spoons, but Mick did & was underwhelmed by the bottom. Would have been easier to reach its depths with a spoon, but too tricky with knife & fork

Next course was light & juicy-cod with samphire, mussel[s] & potatoes which looked like scallops but were even nicer [especially for tender tums.]   Traditional turkey & vegan options were provided but I was surrounded by fish eaters.& we were all charmed by the dish.

By dessert course my tum was delighted to receive both a chocolate tart & a plum & vanilla cheesecake-having agreed to go halves with Mick.  Joyce got her vegan custard for a not very fruity crumble &  Angela D. said custard better than the traditional Xmas pud proffered. Sean’s cheese & biscuits looked pretty & he told me charcoal biscuits were good for the blood, so I’ve been chomping on the ones I bought recently from Lidl wondering why they were black & thinking maybe ”having coal for Christmas”.

Angela Coulter challenged us to say what was our favourite Clarion Ride of 2019  & I plumped for the Ride for Leon, organised by Joyce, David Jezeph & John Clinton.  Fred said he’d missed Joyce’s speech but Joyce replied that it hadn’t really been a speech, more happy recollections of wonderful times together with Clarion & others had chipped in. She mentioned the photos she’d chosen for the grave & the frames that they found in India on their trip there together.  She told us about her time working in France  for UNESCO & about French pensions[in the news again as Macron tries to”reform”] & the better childcare facilities there.                                                           

I thanked her for pointing out to us all the Interegs money that EU gives us for  benefits to the environment-such as Cuckoo Trail/Avenue Vert & NCN linking Channel Ports.  All saddened that most people don’t seem to have known ”what the EU ever does for us”.   Misled by Boris’s lies we’re now at the mercy of US Vulture Capitalism. Shame that John Pilger’s documentary on NHS was suppressed until after the General Election. Scales may have fallen from some voters eyes, had they seen that before the vote.

Ian thanked Sean for organising the event , at short notice,  & to everyone’s acclaim & enjoyment.  Mick & I were the only Clarionistas to cycle there, I think, &  had the strong West wind to push us home, before more winter storms began.   Angela Devas had encouraged us to join  her ride from Hove Park on the next day & we did, when it was sunny & bright all day long

Shortest Day over but Burning of the Clocks must have been  a washout on  21st, whereas our Christmas Beano  was jolly good fun..  Thanks to Sean for organising & for turning up on the day, since he’d been out late in London on night before & trains were disrupted by.floods, in spite of engineering works having been carried out to prevent floods to tunnels.  The election disaster can only make climate chaos worse as Tories plan to build more roads & more concretisation , whereas Labour had an ”oven-ready” Green New Deal” which FoE  applauded.    Hope the New Year heals some wounds  & that all have a healthy, happy Yule etc.      See you all on the annual Carrats Cafe Ride on Jan 2nd.


The New Year Ride 2 January

Suzanne’s Report

There was Tessa and Sikka. There was David and Fred. There was Ian and Anne and Suzanne. There was John and Ian with Mick and Nick and last but not least Roger and Joyce. There were old bikes and new bikes, helmets and headscarves, socks and cycle clips.

January 2, 2020: Clarion cycle ride to Carats

There was cycling from Palace Pier to Carat’s Café. There was a wardrobes-worth of (peaceful and peaceable) yellow jackets. There was a stiff sou’wester but the rain didn’t date put in an appearance.

There was laughter and chat and debate: politics, personalities, planning, postulations and even some expostulation of the very best kind … that between friends.

A lovely way to start the New Year and thanks to Ian for getting all 13 of us together. Obviously 13 is now our lucky number.



Clarion Latest 3 January 2020

17 January 2020

Dear All

I’m quite used to getting emails from my friend – indeed our friend – Peter Roscoe who I first met at an Easter Meet about 15 or so years ago when he was the Clarion’s national treasurer and secretary of Bury Clarion. Hope I’ve got that right.

As I’ve reported from time to time in these newsletters he is on our mailing list and very much enjoys reading our ride reports. Sometimes I get an appreciative message about them which I then pass on to everyone in this newsletter.

However, this week marks the first time I’ve heard from him about – not a report of a ride – but in response to the ride details from Tessa and Sikka (repeated below) which I had sent out in advance.

            Happy New Year to all in Brighton Clarion. May you long continue as the club you  are.

I have just done the 12th January ride in my mind with you – it ‘was’ wonderful.


Thanks Peter. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy reading our newsletter for many, many more years and let us know what you think from time to time.

National conference motions

I’m proposing to call our AGM, as usual, sometime in March – but it’s not too soon to volunteer to host it.

I am also sending on to you the message I’ve received from Ian Clarke, the national secretary, with attachments concerning nominations and motions plus the draft agenda for the national conference on 10 April.

You will see that he’s asking for any motions or nominations to be sent (see Nominations and motions to conference doc) ‘no later than 2 months before the annual conference.’ In the past we have not been exactly prolific in proposing motions or making nominations at the conference. But this time we might want to. Since the conference is on 10 April that means that we will have to make any proposals by 10 February.

I propose that anyone wishing to suggest a motion or nomination lets me know ASAP and in any case – since our constitution requires me to give you notice of meetings at least 21 days in advance – not later Friday 18 January. If I’ve received any by then I’ll call a meeting – Sue and I will volunteer to host it. It should be then in time to meet the deadline assuming that whatever is proposed is agreed. I think that’s a better solution than bringing our own AGM forward to early February. If there’s time – if I get a proposal well before 18 January – I might put whatever is proposed out to everyone to see whether there is any opposition, in which case a meeting might not be necessary if there is none. Hope that’s OK with everyone.


Below you will find reports of the Christmas Lunch by Anne and of the New Year ride by Suzanne

2020 Subs – one last time!

Just in case there’s still anyone who hasn’t renewed their membership for 2020 – and wants to I’m repeating our Treasurer/Membership Secretary’s message below once more


Next Year’s Subs Message from Julian

Your Clarion subs for 2020 will be due on 1 January. The fee will be £15, as Brighton & Hove section agreed at its last AGM to a local sub of £3 to supplement the national fee of £12. It is some time since we had a local sub, but it is necessary to levy one every few years as our bank balance dwindles. (The £12 all goes straight to the national Clarion).

The £3 will contribute towards various costs such as website fees, together with providing a buffer in the event of an increase in national Clarion fees (last year we lost a substantial portion of our reserves following an unanticipated national fee rise). The subscription does NOT buy members any “services” other than third party insurance, which is covered by the national portion of the sub. All our rides and other events are organised by members, on a voluntary basis.

Membership details are held in an on-line database called “Membership Mojo”, to which you should have been given a unique login that does not require a password, and you can use this to update your details.  Membership Mojo has the facility to renew directly by making a payment to Paypal, but we have disabled this because we cannot access our Paypal account. Instead, you need to EITHER transfer £15 by BACS to our account at the Co-Operative Bank, sort code 08-92-99, account no. 65377325, with your name as the reference, OR send a cheque for £15, payable to Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club, to:

Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club
92a Springfield Road
Brighton BN1 6DE

Julian Arkell,