Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting

4 April 2017

held on Tuesday 28 March at 12 Abbotts, 125 Kings Road, Brighton

Present were Corinne Attwood, Anne Barry, Ian Bullock, Sue Bullock, Angela Devas, Jim Grozier, Joyce Edmond-Smith, Roger Hinton (Chair) Suzanne Hinton, Leon Moore, Jeanne Openshaw, and Fred Pipes.

Apologies for absence were received from Julian Arkell, Mick Barry, Sean Burke, Angela Coulter, Bob Harber, Jenny Millington, and Tessa Wolfe-Murray.

Ian reported that Sean was ill and the meeting sent its best wishes for a swift recovery.

The minutes of the 2016 AGM were agreed as accurate.

• There were no Matters Arising from the minutes.

Webmaster’s Report
•  4.1 Fred’s report had been circulated prior to the meeting. Ian, on Sean’s behalf, raised his request for ‘a clear procedure’ for uploading photos. There was considerable discussion during which Joyce asked how photos were selected for the website, Roger noted the praise for our section received from Peter Roscoe, and Jim drew attention to the national website.

•  4.2 It was agreed that Fred would write a guide to uploading photos on FLICKR which Ian would include in the newsletter.

•  4.3 Fred’s report was accepted with thanks.

Treasurer’s Report
•  Julian’s report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

• Corinne expressed concern about the future of the Co-op bank in the light of recent press reports.

•  The report was accepted with thanks.

6. Racing Secretary’s Report
Bob’s report had been circulated before the meeting and was accepted with thanks.

7. Secretary’s report

•  7.1 Ian’s report had been circulated with the agenda papers.

•  7.2 It was suggested that it might be added to the website, Joyce said it provided a very good summary of the year’s activities and Jim suggested that it might be used as the basis for the next report in Boots and Spurs.

•  7.3 The report was accepted with thanks.

•  7.4 Arising out of the report, Angela (D) raised the question of the possibility of more joint rides with members taking on the planning and leading of rides together. After discussion it was agreed that Ian would feature this in the newsletter and pass on requests for partners.

8. There were no other reports.

9. Election of Officers

•  9.1. The following were duly nominated, seconded and elected

Chair – Roger Hinton
Vice Chair – Anne Barry
Secretary – Ian Bullock
Treasurer – Julian Arkell
Social Secretary – Angela Coulter
Webmasters – Fred Pipes and Jim Grozier
Racing Secretary – Bob Harber
Campaigns Organiser – Joyce Edmond Smith

•  9.2 Angela (C) had, via Jim, expressed her willingness to serve again as Social Secretary and Sean had stated his willingness to step in if the position was ‘unoccupied and available.’

•  9.3 Angela was thanked for organising the Christmas lunch

•  9.4 In connection with the Campaigns post Joyce drew attention to recent local
meeting attended by Mick, Leon and herself.

10. There were no motions

11. National Annual Conference Business

Ian reported that only the proposed rule change attempting to prevent any other organisation using the Clarion name or logo was contentious. He was concerned that it would be unenforceable without financial resources well beyond those the Clarion could command but asked to be allowed to listen to the arguments put forward and cast the section’s votes after consultation with the rest of our delegation

12. Proposals for Activities in 2016

•  12.1 Summer social. There was a strong preference for a picnic.

•  12.2 Away weekends. Leon raised problems with booking with the YHA and the need for someone to take this on. On a show of hands about half of those present expressed an interest in taking part in an away weekend. The possibility of one in Normandy was briefly discussed.

•  12.3 Anne suggested that anyone planning such events should take into account the dates of national Clarion activities.

13. Other Business

•  13.1 Joyce drew attention to a local charity bike ride in April. Ian would publicise
the details in the newsletter.

•  13.2 Leon said that the practical application of our slogan ‘Fellowship is Life’ must include being very careful not to leave people behind or ‘lose’ them on rides. It was vital that all ride leaders stopped at junctions where there was a change of direction. Ian would draw attention to Roger’s website guidelines on leading rides in the newsletter which cover the points made by Leon.

•  13.3 The question of third party insurance was discussed and Leon drew attention to the possibility of acquiring comprehensive insurance which would cover the loss of a bike with ETA as explained in the 21 February newsletter.

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

Ian Bullock, Secretary
29 March 2017

AGM: Secretary’s Report for 2016

4 April 2017

From my personal point of view 2016 was a very worrying and frustrating year. I had contrived to break an ankle just a few days before Christmas 2015 and was not able to return to cycling for the next three months. Soon after I was just about getting back to normal Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment which included two operations and chemotherapy which lasted for pretty well the rest of the year. And is still on-going of course. Not surprisingly I was not seen on many Clarion rides in 2016.

The year began rather inauspiciously. Roger had taken over the organisation of the New Year ride but the day before was forced to send out a message cancelling the ride since as he accurately put it ‘The weather forecast promises continuous heavy rain and southerly winds of over 40 mph for tomorrow and Sunday’ However he did add that ‘Ian and Sue are still planning to be at Carats Café from about 11am tomorrow (Saturday) and will be pleased to see anyone who does fancy a morning out, whatever their mode of transport.’ I was subsequently able to report in the newsletter that no few than 14 of us turned up though only Tessa and Sikka – what heroes! – came on bikes.

The weather was slow to improve. But in spite of discouraging forecasts no fewer than 9 set out on Mick’s Newhaven ride on 10 January. The sea was so rough that the intrepid Clarionettes avoided the Undercliff until Rottingdean where, as Jenny reported, ‘the sea was pounding spectacularly over the sea wall, full of sand and stones, although we managed to avoid the worst of it by hugging the cliffs to Saltdean.’ With the sea coming over the harbour walls at Newhaven, the Ouse threatening to burst its banks and the rain resuming in earnest after the lunch stop at The Ark what had been intended as a ‘circular’ had to be curtailed and the return was made from Seaford by train.

Water was very present in the second of Mick’s rides on 24 January which attracted only two further participants Sikka and Jenny. According to Sikka’s report Mick was able to find the most shallow route across what she described as ‘ a minor flood.’ The ride ended at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne whose café was no doubt as welcome as the exhibitions, much as the latter were appreciated. . Of the five who met in February for the ride led by Jim and Julian from Emsworth two were members of the Gosport Clarion – both, it seems, called Paul. ‘Moist conditions,’ to quote Tessa’s report, continued for Jim’s Outwood Lane ride which was joined by Martin of the London Clarion at some point.

Meanwhile, Joyce and Leon had represented us at a Stakeholder Workshop where a number of local problems affecting cyclists were discussed. The first ride in March began with Sikka’s vivid dream in which her co-leader, Tessa, was too ill to take part and then Sikka herself managed to get lost. Fortunately it was just a dream. The weather was again not very encouraging but Jim concluded his report with ‘Thanks to Tessa and Sikka for enduring hail, snow, and nightmares to bring us this lovely ride.’ So all was clearly not lost. The AGM was well attended on 14 March (see minutes) but the ride on 20th had to be abandoned when no one volunteered to lead it.

Illness again visited us in April with both Joyce and Leon with serious problems – Leon with throat cancer, from which he eventually was to make a great recovery, thank goodness. Jim organised a ride planning meeting which had some success. As Kate reported, he had to leave his Hayward’s Heath ride on 3 April very early on with the result, she said, that it turned into ‘ a mystery tour where we had to stop frequently to find the next clue.’ But, she continued, ‘Julian stepped into the breech with aplomb so that never once did we need to retrace our path.’ The ride also featured Nye, aged 4, almost certainly the youngest participant ever on one of our rides

The other ride that month took place not on our usual Sunday but on a Saturday. This was to link up with a London Clarion ride to Eastbourne. Junction was made at the Three Crowns at Ashurst Wood. The origin of the pub’s name featured in lunchtime discussion. after which there was a small diversion to look at the ruin of Brambletye House. Only Julian and Sean – whose ride it was – turned up on 1 May. The ride to Seaford was similar to Mick’s ride in January and like it featured the Ouse Estuary Nature Reserve. The following ride in May had a much better turnout but started with the train being too long for the platform at Lewes which since our people were in carriage 7 led to them having to return from Berwick before they could even start. One lane on the way to East Hoathly was called Hollow Lane, and as Sikka reported ‘in honour of this memorable name, Jim brought the poem The Hollow Men which Anne read out to us over lunch’ at the King’s Head. Either Sikka or Jim – or possibly both – sent me the whole text of Eliot’s poem – not the shortest one in the treasury of English Lit and I included it in the newsletter for the delectation of those of us who had missed the ride.

At the end of May we had a very welcome and useful report from Sue (Priest) on the opening of the new section of the Egrets Way between Lewes and Newhaven. Roger’s ride around Chichester – literally – saw 14 participants, including for the first time in 2016, me, though I had to leave before the end because of a previous engagement. In contrast, the ride on 12 June was – almost literally again – a washout. As I put it in the newsletter ‘Was it the rain, or was it the wind, or perhaps the naked bike ride? Whatever it was, it persuaded all but one Clarion rider not to join Angela’s planned ride and picnic yesterday.’ In fact Angela was ill – but dutifully turned up at the Velo Café to make sure no one was left wondering where she was and what was going on. By then the rain had set in and only Julian plus Joyce – who had turned up simply to say hello to people but was not up to going on the ride – were there, so it was abandoned..

Sue(P)’s ride on 28 June took place , as reported by Anne, on ‘a splendid summer’s day with super cycling’ It was not without incidents, the strangest of which concerned a young bloke apparently comatose lying by the side of the road. After efforts to wake him failed an ambulance was summoned – but had to be cancelled when further efforts succeeded. It is not clear whether or not he attempted any explanation of his strange behaviour. On Julian’s 10 July ride the usual stop at the Crown and Anchor was full and, as Tessa reported, there were ‘mixed opinions’ about the food at the Boathouse Café. Sunday 24 July saw Chris Froome win his third Tour de France with Adam Yates who began cycling with Bury Clarion fourth. Much closer to home –and B&H Clarion abilities (with a couple of exceptions) – eleven took part in a ride to Rottingdean via Falmer. 30 July – another Saturday – saw Jenny and Jim set off to meet the London Clarion – plus our own Bob Harbour – at Ditchling Beacon, after which, with a few additions on our side, the party repaired to The Signalman.

In August Helen’s ride included a favourite tea stop at Oldland Mill. Later that month the Cuckoo Trail featured in one of Julian’s rides. Somehow three participants were temporarily lost en route but all ended happily. A round dozen turned out for one of Jim’s rides early in September. Prudence, who supplied the report, found the first stop at The Dragon ‘a rather upmarket dolled-up place,’ though the food was good. But she liked the Half Moon Inn at Balcombe where a stop for tea took place . It was up for sale and she hoped it would not change too much. David’s ride to Littlehampton later in September was – at c 30 miles – a long one by our usual standards. But there was a good turnout of 13 nevertheless.

Sean had to abandon his intended ride early in October but later that month saw the very welcome return of a now recovered Leon to lead a circular ride based on Lewes. There were no offers to lead the ride scheduled for 30 October – which may have been just as well given that it was the end of BST with all the possible confusion that that can entail. Jim’s November ride was delightfully characterised by Julian as ‘notable for sunshine all day and a profusion of Autumn colours on the trees and leaves carpeting the ground.’
Southern rail company did its best to sabotage our ride schedule by cancelling the train that participants were told to catch on 27 November but in spite of their efforts – and a temporary worry at the end of the ride about how Leon and Joyce might get back to Brighton – seven of us had a very enjoyable day out. It was the first time I’d managed to get out with the Clarion since Roger’s Chichester ride much earlier in the year. Angela organised a Christmas lunch at Hangleton Manor on 10 December and the following day Julian led the last ride of the year. Once again the Crown and Anchor was booked up and lunch was taken at Fishbourne in the café attached to the Roman palace.

Thanks to all those who led rides, wrote reports, organised things and generally contributed to the life of our club. It’s you who make it what it is.

Ian Bullock