Clarion Latest: 9 March 2020

15 March 2020

 

Dear All

As yet we have no details of the ‘Next Ride’ which I understand (from an email from Jim) will be a ‘mystery’ one ‘facilitated by Angela D”. In the nature of things you can’t have details of a mystery ride without defeating the whole object, but participants will need to know when to meet at Brighton station or wherever the starting point is. I’ll let you have these vital bits of info as soon as Angela has had a chance to work out where she intends to take the ride and the when and where of the starting point.

Section Report for Boots and Spurs.

We had a really excellent report in the much delayed last issue and Joyce has volunteered to do a new one for the next Boots and Spurs which I feel sure will be equally interesting and reflect our activities in the latter part of last year really vividly.

Centurion Way Extension

You’ve probably seen Jim’s message about this on via the google group. Of course we used the southern bit of the Way as a means of getting out of Chichester on our Dell Quay rides which became a favourite with Julian. But early on we also had a ride that started on the Way and broke for lunch at the excellently- named The Fox Goes Free at Charlton. We didn’t do this one more than once or twice because of having to use a rather dangerous bit of the A286 for the last bit of the outward journey. But it may now soon be possible to think about reviving something like this.

Our AGM Wed 25 March 2020

It has become evident during the last week that going ahead with our plans to hold our AGM on 25 March was not such a good idea.  But I didn’t want to take a unilateral decision to postpone without consulting anyone – perhaps it was just me that was having serious doubts.  So first I got in touch with Anne and Mick who were going to host the meeting.  Mick replied quickly saying ‘‘I am getting more and more convinced that non-essential meetings in confined spaces are not a good idea for people of our age profile.’  Then I sent a message to our various office-holders, quoting Mick’s response and asking whether we should postpone the AGM. The replies were unanimous that we should.
So we will postpone the AGM until such times as it seems safe to go ahead.  There were no really urgent decisions to be taken.  At some point we will have to take a decision about he 2021 local subscription (the national one is staying the same) but there’s plenty of time to do that.
Sorry to have to send out a message like this – but I hope you’ll agree that it’s the sensible thing to do.

 

Ian


Clarion Latest 24 February 2020

27 February 2020

Dear All

Coming back down the M1 from Nottingham yesterday in pretty appalling weather with parts of the motorway partially flooded– following the national committee meeting on Saturday – I kept wondering how the ride to Stan’s Bike Shed was going and hoping those on it were having a bit better luck weatherwise than us. Sorry that Stan’s turned out to be not ‘on’ for all but Nick and that he arrived after it was closed. Better luck next time!. I think I’ve included everything suggested in the Future Rides grid – but please let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Norfolk Trip

I gather things have progressed a bit since the last newsletter. But anyone still thinking about it or having views about the best time of year to do this please let Jim know ASAP at j.r.grozier@btinternet.com

Our AGM Wed 25 March 2020

Thanks to everyone who responded to my plea in the last newsletter (and ‘last chance’ message).

If you intend to come do print out the agenda and any other papers you think you’ll need. In order that we can take a view and instruct delegates at our AGM I hope to be circulating the agenda for the national conference and the list of motions to be discussed fairly soon- once the final versions arrive.

Similarly, I’ll circulate any reports I receive from the other office-holders and any motions or general proposals you’d like discussed before the meeting.

The Warwick Meet, 10-12 April

We’ll all be getting info soon about this year’s Easter Meet – the 125th one. Earlier last year I actually suggested that Warwick might be a suitable place to hold it and wrote a little piece about the attractions of the area for those not involved in the various cycling activities. I’m putting it in this newsletter at the end after Tessa’s report (delivered exemplarily early as usual) of yesterday’s ride. Even if you’re not tempted to come to Warwick I hope you’ll find the bit about the Clarion connection with Daisy (aka the Countess of Warwick) and her exploits an interesting bit of ‘Clarion history’

Ian

Warwick Attractions and the Clarion connection

As with last year at York, the 2020 Meet will take place in one of Britain’s the most interesting county towns. There are plenty of possibilities for exploration in the area– Stratford-upon-Avon is not too far away and even the Cotswolds are not that distant.

But with the spa town of Leamington just a couple of miles away and the still impressive Kenilworth Castle within five there is really little need to stray that far. In Warwick itself St Mary’s church cannot rival last year’s York Minster but is still worth a visit.

But the main attraction is Warwick castle. Dating in part since before the Norman conquest, the castle was deemed the best in Britain by the 2003 Good Britain Guide. The castle is worth visiting for the setting alone – perched on a hill above the Avon. Owned and run nowadays by the Tussauds Group there are two impressive towers, dungeons and lots of displays and events going on throughout the day.

One feature of the more modern apartments is a sort of reconstruction of a 1898 weekend party hosted by Frances Countess of Warwick – better known as Daisy. It features wax figures representing the chief guest the Prince of Wales – future Edward VII – with whom she had had quite a long-running affair, her husband the Earl of Warwick and other guests including the young Winston Churchill.

Daisy (1861 -1938) was the inspiration of the 1892 music-hall song ‘Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do’ by Harry Dacre – still well-known. She was famous for her colourful, not to say scandalous, lifestyle, her lavish entertaining which eventually got her into serious debt and very nearly prison, her philanthropic activities, and her Left Wing politics which grew out of a connection with the Clarion.

In 1894, the year that Tom Groom wrote of the cycle tour that led to the foundation of our National Clarion Cycling Club, the paper published an article by its editor, Robert Blatchford, which criticised one of the extravagant Warwick castle parties put on by Daisy. Someone must have made her aware of this. She was incensed. She believed that she was doing a good deed by hiring lots of local people to help her to entertain her guests as temporary servants and so on. So she set off for London and confronted Blatchford in his office.

However, far from apologising abjectly, Blatchford explained his socialist beliefs and principles – and, surprising, converted her to his way of thinking. There was no looking back. Later she joined the Social-Democratic Federation (SDF) – generally regarded as the most radical of the socialist organisations. She was rumoured to be the only delegate ever to arrive at of its annual conference by private train. In August 1923 the SDF’s paper, Justice, described her as being ‘intellectually and sympathetically with the working classes’ and a few months later she stood as the Labour candidate in the general election against the future Tory PM Anthony Eden for the Warwick and Leamington constituency.

However you look at it she was pretty unforgettable. If you want to know more, there is Sushila Anand’s 2009 book Daisy. The Life and Loves of the Countess of Warwick and there’s lots about her on the internet including a video documentary and Nell Darby’s article from 2018 ‘Daisy, Daisy the Cycling Countess’ which looks at some of Daisy’s adventures and misadventures connected with bikes. She did cycle though whether she ever had a tandem as suggested in the song or whether she ever joined our club is not known.

In contrast to all the razzmatazz at Warwick, Kenilworth castle is relatively peaceful. It is ‘one of the ruins that Cromwell knocked about a bit’ as Marie Lloyd once sang. It was deliberately ‘slighted’ in 1649 to prevent it being ever used as a royalist stronghold in the Civil War. But though mainly ruins it is still one of the most impressive castles in Britain. It was put back on the cultural map in 1821 when Sir Walter Scott’s novel Kenilworth was published. This was set in the Elizabethan period and one of the main and most attractive features of the castle today is its reconstructed Elizabethan knot garden.

So, no shortage of things to do and to see in and around Warwick. The problem will be fitting them all in!


Clarion Latest: 9 February 2020

14 February 2020

 

Dear All
The ride planning meeting last Tuesday seems to have been very productive but I
will wait until I get a definite offer for 8 March before confirming anything. As
usual will let you know when I do.
If you’d like to take on 8 March please let me know and I’ll include it in the next
newsletter. Likewise if anyone wants to take on 22 March.
Norfolk Trip
One of the items from Nick’s report (see his google group message) of the
meeting was
When are people free for the proposed Norfolk trip? It was suggested that
September might be the best time for this, although the previous Clarion
Norfolk visit was in April (7 years ago). Would 5 or 6 people be able to
commit to the Norfolk trip.
Since then I have received the following message from Jim.
I would like to get a date fixed, and accommodation booked (at least for me
and Sally). A few from the Google group have expressed interest, but I’m
aware that not everyone is in the Google group.
So, please let Jim know ASAP at j.r.grozier@btinternet.com

Boots and Spurs
Suzanne’s report – complete with photo – did us proud in the last (much delayed)
issue of Boots and Spurs and I was very pleased that Angela (D)’s piece on
‘fellowship’ (which I sent in without telling her!) was also included.
The deadline for the next issue is the end of March. Anyone feel like doing a
brief report on our more recent activities? Do let me know.

Our AGM
I think the best time for our AGM will be one of the days during the final fortnight
of March which will give people the best chance of having proposals included in
the agenda and in the case of office-holders having their reports circulated – even

if they go out after the agenda in some cases.
I’ve had zero response from my request in the last newsletter that those intending
to attend the meeting let me know specific dates or days of the week that are not
good for them, but let’s try again.
I’ve checked again with Anne and Mick who are hosting the meeting and also with
our chair, Roger, as a result of which I’ve been able to reduce the choices to the
following 6 dates in March Mon 16, Wed 18. Fri 20, Tues 24, Wed 25, and Fri
27
If you can’t make any one of these dates (or more than one!) please let me
know not later than next weekend – Sunday 16 February. I’ll be sending out
the agenda etc as soon as possible after that. Any reports that arrive
subsequently will of course also be circulated.
Sorry the notice is so short but I have to attend a national committee
meeting in Nottingham the following weekend and I’m pretty busy at the
moment checking proofs during the rest of the week.
Angela (D) suggested using Doodle – which I attempted to do but without success
in the end, It was a good suggestion – just a bit too complicated for my tiny brain!
But since there are only 6 choices now it shouldn’t be too difficult for everyone
just to say ‘I can’t make………’
Finding a date that suits everyone is always a problem and I realise things may
come up before whatever date we agree that will make it difficult or impossible for
someone to attend. So, I can’t guarantee that the date will be good for everyone
but as usual I will do my best!
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. Again, let me know by next Sunday if there’s anything you’d like
included. I’ll be happy to circulate any other proposals that arrive after that
separately.
Sorry that Jim had to cancel the 9

th February ride – but it was clearly the right

decision in the light of the weather forecast
However, we have still got Sally’s account of the 2 Feb ride and you can see a
version brilliantly illustrated with photos on via the google group.

Ian


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.

Our AGM

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’!

Ian

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.”

 


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.

Our AGM

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.

Ian


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.

Peter

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

Ian

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,

Treasurer


Clarion Latest 10th December 2019

13 December 2019

Dear All

In spite of Chris sending me the ride report for last Sunday with admirable alacrity, because we haven’t any more rides until next year – apart from Angela’s ‘informal’ one which I remind you of below – I had planned to leave it for a while before sending out this newsletter.

But I’ve changed my mind. With dire predictions of the election from polls and bookmakers it struck me that if I left it until next weekend I would be in grave danger of spreading gloom and despondency in a very unseasonable way.

So, while there is still some hope of a better outcome, can I wish everyone all the best and -if you go in for it – ‘Merry Christmas!’

Next year’s rides

Anyone want to take on either of the other January rides 12 or 26? I’ve had no offers to date.

New Year Ride

For many years we always had our short New Year ride to Carats café on New Year’s Day. But eventually the place got more and more popular and full to the rafters so we switched to 2nd

January

Last year some people decided to make it a ‘real’ ride by going on afterwards – to Worthing and beyond, if I remember rightly, Should you fancy doing something similar this time that’s of course absolutely fine

I do intend to take part – but if I can’t make it (I’ve regressed a bit legwise recently) please go ahead without me. Whatever happens I will be at the café

I’ll send out a reminder about 2nd January between Christmas and New Year and should the weather forecast be absolutely awful we can move the ride to 3rd January

Sunday 22 December. Angela D’s. Informal. ride (there won’t be a report)

Meet at Hove Park Café at 10am for 1030 departure up to the Dyke, then down and along the Undercliff path to Rottingdean. Lunch stop in a café en route

2020 Subs

According to the last message I saw from Jim 23 people have already renewed for next year. If you haven’t yet – but want to – please read carefully the message from Julian that follows immediately below.

Ian

 

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 thhe address in the newsletter.

Julian Arkell,

Treasurer