Clarion Latest

5 October 2019

Dear All

First, thanks to Roger for looking after things while I was away on holiday and to those who sent messages wishing us well I am happy to confirm that we had a great time in France. From my own point of view what was very encouraging was that most of the time at least I had no trouble walking around. Just over a year ago I was not able to even walk down the road without stopping every twenty yards or so to rest my left knee. But after two steroid injections, some chiropractor treatment and lots of physio exercises things are much, much better.

The next target is to get back on the bike properly. This year I only managed – just about – the little New Year ride and, so far, less than 100 miles all told. I realise I’m not going to ride up Ditchling Beacon again – and probably not even Elm Grove – but I’m hoping to get back to coming out on at least the occasional,gentler, Clarion ride.


Good to hear from Jim that Julian is back at home.

Yesterday– and the Ride for Leon

Conditions here weren’t quite as bad as they were in Yorkshire where the men’s world championship race was turned into something resembling bicycle water polo, but Angela was absolutely right to cancel the ride and I trust that everyone got the message. Because of this there are no ride reports but we do have to consecutive rides with Leon remembered on 20 October.

Ride Cancellations – should we change the system?

At the moment the system is for ride leaders needing to cancel to phone me – or one of the other 3 people with the mailing list – in time for a cancellation to be put out by 5 pm the day before the ride. Some ride leaders, as Angela did on Saturday, also announce it via the google group. This is a good ‘belt and braces’ move since the last thing anyone would want is someone turning up at the start of an advertised ride not realising it had been cancelled.

It would be simpler to ‘cut out the middleman’ and simply ask leaders to make any cancellation via the google group. The problem is that there are about 10 members who are not in the group and quite a few others, apparently fed up with long sequences of google group discussions clogging up their inbox, who select the’ no emails” option. If everyone – at least everyone who would like to know when rides are cancelled – is prepared to join the google group and those who prefer ‘no emails’ are content to check the day before the ride we could change to the simpler system. I would still try and send out a second message via the mailing list but it would take some pressure off me and the others.

So, please contact me if you don’t want to make this change and are – for whatever reasons – opposed to changing the current system. No need to explain – just let me know. We will keep the existing method for the moment and I will let you know what everyone decides in the next edition. And, of course, remind you how to join the group if that’s what everyone prefers.

Final chapter of Clarion History

To describe this short final episode as gloomy is an understatement. But I think it illustrates how, while women, children and civilians in general have always been major victims of war, modern technology brought this home to many people in Britain in 1914. It was an accurate prediction of the horrors of 20th century warfare if very small scale compared to what happened later.



Clarion Latest

16 September 2019

Dear All

Sue and Ian are hopefully enjoying warm sunshine in Montpellier. Meanwhile, Clarion continues to provide its members with opportunities to cycle around Sussex, whatever (almost) the onset of Autumn throws at us.

In this issue you will find reports on the two rides we have already had during September.  Don’t forget that, unusually, a third ride is still planned for this month.  it will be led by Angela (D) on the 29th. Details will be emailed shortly.

Looking ahead to October, a special ride is planned for Sunday 20th in memory of Leon.  It will be a short circular from Hassocks station, including a stop at the natural burial ground where he is buried. Lunch at the Jack and Jill Inn.  Non-cyclists welcome: there is parking at the Inn.

The ride will be led by Joyce, John (Clinton) and David (J).  Full details in the next newsletter but please put it in your diary.  If you want lunch at the Jack and Jill please let Joyce know as seating may be limited (email: or text: 0776 162 8836).


 Ian writes:

After a long period when I had real trouble finding people to take on rides, we are now OK up to the end of November except for 10 November (see grid below) – any offers?    If anyone wishes to follow the lead of Sikka and Tessa and propose an extra ride please let me know.


Toads Hole Valley Development

 Our Campaigns Officer (Angela (D)) sent the following to the Brighton and Hove planning department on 19 August

 Dear Madam/Sir

 I am writing in my capacity as Campaigns Officer for Brighton and   Hove Clarion Cycling Club about the proposed Toads Hole development.

Climate change is now high on the agenda of Brighton and Hove citizens.

This development does not go nearly far enough in tackling carbon emissions, especially those emitted by cars.

The development does not prioritise cycling and walking as per the national planning policy.

The target of 40% of journeys to be made by walking or cycling is much too weak; the target needs to be set much higher at 70%. People can and will make big changes to their mode of transport if the right infrastructure is in place.

The doctors’ surgery is set in a sea of car parking. Why not set the surgery in a park with plenty of bike racks, trees and access for disabled people?

The proposed cycle route across the A27 is a really poor design with 5 crossings, a chicane and a gate. This is not access to the South Downs but a ridiculous obstacle course. Build a proper bridge.


Angela Devas

Campaigns Officer Brighton and Hove Cycling Club


Changing Your email

It’s easy to forget to let people know when you change your email address or other crucial details.  Here’s a message from Jim our Acting Membership Sec

You can log into your Clarion membership record by using the unique URL that you will have been provided with; this is of the form**** where the four asterisks are replaced by a combination of letters that is unique to you. Paste this into your “browser” (i.e. Internet Explorer or equivalent).

 This will return an invitation to sign in with or without a password. If you don’t have a password choose the “without password” option and the system will send a link to the email address with which you are registered.

 Clicking this link will take you to your membership record, which you can then edit.

 If you do not know your unique URL, email Jim ( and he will send it to you. It’s a good idea to keep it somewhere where you can find it again in case you need it!”

 Train Availability

If you’re planning a ride please do make sure to check train availability if trains are needed. Rail Enquiries is warning about possible ‘Industrial Action’ and it is not unknown for Southern to make changes at a fairly late stage


Clarion Latest

23 August 2019

Dear All

I have had a number of replies to my message about the very sad death of Leon. And more people have made use of the googlegroup to make their tributes. Of the direct responses to my message, some people who didn’t know him have sent messages of condolence including Ian Clarke, our national secretary, Peter Roscoe of Bury Clarion, and Angela Devas.

Of those who did know him, Fred says ‘I remember the first time we met him, on a station (I don’t think it was Hassocks, further up the line) after a Clarion ride… he was interested in who we all were, the Clarion, and was an enthusiastic member from then on.. A great character who will be missed by everyone who knew him…’ Dave says ‘I met him a couple of times and had a laugh with him so my sympathy goes to his family, friends and to the club members’. Chloe : ‘I’m really sorry. I only met him on the bus once and I thought he was jolly and lovely.’ Anne , ‘He was a great asset to our club & we will miss him greatly.’ Joan, ‘We enjoyed riding and talking with him when we were first members.’ Angela Coulter ‘He did indeed love his cycling and he always had a cheerful way which is how I shall remember him.’ Sue and Chris, ‘Leon was such a lovely gentle person and we so enjoyed the rides we did with him He will indeed be missed by many .’

I very much concur with what everyone has said about Leon. My most recent memory of being with him was back in March when he gave Sue and me a lift home from our AGM. I understand that, to the end, Leon was as optimistic as ever and looking forward to getting back to joining Clarion rides. If you’d like to send condolences to his family, and haven’t already done so, Tessa tells me that the address is Joyce Moore, 14 Manor Ave, Hassocks, BN6 8NG.


Two September rides are already taken but since, as I suggested last time, it is unlikely that we would want to have rides three Sundays running I’ve left out 15 September. The next scheduled ride is on 29 September but we could have one on 22nd instead. I’ve updated rail routes. The Chichester direction has a ‘bus replacement’ on 29 (and so do both Hastings and Seaford routes on 22nd). Details of both 1 and 8 September rides below.

Anyone want to take on either 22 or 29 September? If you do please contact both me -and Roger – – who will sending out the next newsletter, after the 8 September ride,while I’m away on holiday



News Dieppe Raid 2019 27th June to 2nd July  

11 July 2019

Graham reports

This year only three cyclists made the journey, David, Prudence and I plus David’s wife Terri, having hired a lovely house in Dieppe conveniently on the cycle route out of Town about half a mile from the town centre.

Leon, Joyce plus John and Jo Clinton had booked just to attend the event meal on the Sunday. We would have met up but sadly none were able to travel.

Our outward journey on the Thursday was marred by unplanned sickness so David and Terri caught the 9am ferry as planned, while Prudence and I rebooked onto the evening crossing arriving at the house a little after 11pm having successfully negotiated the Dieppe streets at night.

On Friday we discovered the weather was set to become increasingly hot. We settled in and David and I made an out of town cycle trip to the Local shopping centre for some essentials but otherwise it was a rest day.


With Prudence improving David, Prudence and I we were able to make a short 7 mile ride in the morning to Arques-la-Bataille before the temperature climbed too high and spent some of the afternoon exploring the market until temperature reached an unbearable 35 deg, returning to the house then back into town later for an excellent meal out.

Dieppe Raid 2019Dieppe Harbour


We were promised a return to English weather and dutifully turned up at the Salle Paul Eluard for registration at 8:30. Clutching our raffle tickets we returned to the house for essentials and set off on the 30km route arriving at the provided tea stop on the Avenue Verte 7 miles later where we met other clarion cyclists but not London Clarion.

Dieppe Raid 2019

Setting off again we extended the ride further down the Avenue Verte to a cafe at Saint Vaast d’Equiqueville.

Dieppe Raid 2019

To our dismay and despite on line research only coffee was available as it was apparently out of season. We then retraced our route to rejoin the 30km route returning to Dieppe but not before David insisted on stopping for a snackette of chips, which strangely seemed to have a Burger attached, and Salle Paul Eluard after a satisfying 26 miles at 9mph. Checking our raffle tickets Prudence had won a prize . Supposedly a scarf which was mysteriously missing but after some bartering and trying on of t-shirts, an excellent blue water bottle was chosen.

Later David and Terri briefly came across the London Clarion in a bar exhausted but they were gone when Prudence and I cycled into town.


Again the weather was cool and we set off at 9:30am on a planned trip southwest along the Véloroute du Lin (Linen Route) railway trail and having made a steep climb out of Dieppe we headed for the village of Luneray about 14 miles away.

Dieppe Raid 2019

This had once been a hilly railway running between Hautot-sur-Mer, near Dieppe, to Fécamp with two 300ft climbs along just our section of the route. We were diverted on the way in search of coffee but everywhere was closed on a Monday, however arriving in Luneray about 12am, we were delighted to find an open cafe in the town square, where David ordered what he again described as a snackette. It looked more like Ham and Chips.

Dieppe Raid 2019A Snackette


Dieppe Raid 2019

On the return Journey we took the railway trail all the way to the coast at Pourville-sur-Mer for our first real sight of the sea since arriving then followed the coast into Dieppe and along the promenade arriving after an excellent trip to do a little shopping have a well earned beer and a good meal out. 34 miles altogether at 8.8mph

Dieppe Raid 2019David fights Burger


Our return trip, arriving in Newhaven around 2:30pm we were struck by the contrast of a neat and lively Dieppe and the view of the dockside scrap yard in Newhaven.

French Railway Cycle Trails

Forgot to say that the French railway trails are a wonder to behold. 3m wide perfect tarmac stretching for mile after mile with standardised road crossing points and old railway buildings intact. No odd deviations round bits that are sold off or bridges demolished. In comparison the Downslink is just rubbish.

Dieppe Raid 2019Crossing

Also the French car drivers are so careful and patient with cyclists.


Despite a shaky start a great trip with great company and hopefully an experience to be repeated.



14 June 2019

Downs Link Pop-Up Ride 2-3rd June

On the 2nd Chris and John (David’s neighbour) cycled from Shoreham up to Guildford on the Downs Link and myself, David and Prudence travelled up by train to meet for our overnight stop at the local Premier Inn

In the evening we had an excellent meal out at the local Red Rose Indian Restaurant followed by pints of Hogs Back TEA beer at the Row Barge pub on the banks of the Wey (until 11.30pm!).

Downslink Ride 3rd June 2019

We started out from the hotel in Guildford at 9.45am after a full English breakfast, and found ourselves on the river Wey towpath at the start of the Downs Link10 minutes later, when one of our group decided that she wanted to see the cobbled High Street with a tour of Guildford.

Downslink Ride 3rd June 2019

Having completed our tour which involved cycling the wrong way down a steep cobbled one way street (A bit like the Hovis Ad) Chris guided us down the river and onto the railway part of the Downs Link south of Shalford.

Our planned first stop at The Milk Churn at Rudgwick was a disappointment as it is closed on Mondays, so we headed for Christ’s Hospital after a diversion to inspect and discuss the Double Bridge. So it was that 20 miles down the trail we discovered the delightful Bax Castle pub, and enjoyed its sunny garden, bouncy castle, cheesy chips and Ringwood Brewery Boon Doggle.

Downslink Ride 3rd June 2019

Downslink Ride 3rd June 2019

Pedalling on we stopped at West Grinstead Station for a half hour rest, where we also discovered a new stop for a future ride, the Orchard Garden and its restaurant. Arriving at Stan’s Bike Shack we found that was also closed so we continued on to the Red Lion Inn, Shoreham at the end of our ride, where we enjoyed well earned pints of Greene King Yardbird in the garden on arriving at around 5 pm.

So the 38 mile journey took seven and a quarter hours at an average speed of 5.25 mph, cycling for 4 hours 15 minutes at 8.9 mph (a speed all of us can easily do on the flat), with more than three hours for discovery, food and drinks, rest, toilet stops, photography and discussion.

Graham and David (Most of the words)

What I thought would have been quite a challenge turned out to be the best and most enjoyable Clarion ride that I have ever been on. Such was the feeling of esprit de corps and joie de vivre that en route I found myself behaving like a child on a bouncy castle. The next morning I even had energy for tennis and a full day of activities.

I’m already looking forward to the next ride along the length of the Downs Link, perhaps in the other direction?



30 May 2019

Brighton Cycle Challenge 19 May 2019


BHT 30 Mile loop Report (David and Graham)

Start at Brighton Velodrome


Graham and I survived a gruelling ride around the ‘short’ 30 mile Devil’s Dyke Loop in the rain, there was a refreshment stop at Woods Mill and a cafe stop in Shoreham by which time the rain had stopped.

Arriving back we were rather disappointing to find only Roger and Suzanne had been doing laps of the velodrome for such a worthwhile cause.

I don’t know whether it was just the effect of the intense thirst that we had built up during the ride, but the Bedlam SMaSH craft beer at The Hare and Hounds after the ride was the best beer that I’ve had for years; a delicious blend of Golden Promise malt and Mosaic hops that explodes the tastebuds and aroma with tropical fruit, citrus, peaches, and apricot.

We could have stayed there all afternoon. The chips weren’t half bad too!


This year the 30 mile ride had a lot more riders maybe 30 or so all of the Lycra clad variety. We made it round in four and a half hours at a respectable 10mph ride speed, noting that the Lycra clad one’s are happy to just get wet.

As David says the level of Clarion support this year for this local cause was very disappointing. The 30 mile route is really not that hard (not gruelling) and surely well within most members capability, although the 9am start is early. Everyone should at least be doing laps of the velodrome.


16 May 2019

Dear All

After quite a long period when we’ve had lots of offers for rides we are now running out. Anyone like to take on 9 June or 23 June – especially the former? Haven’t yet had any response to my appeal, but it’s early days. If we do get a volunteer I’ll let everyone know as usual.

The ‘target date’ for the next newsletter is Tuesday 28 May. But it’s also the day I am going on holiday – which makes things a bit awkward. Roger has kindly agreed to stand in for me, as he has often done in the past. So from now on please send reports, ride offers, and anything else you’d like in the newsletter both to me at

and to Roger at

I will be in the process of putting the newsletter together until I go away but if you send things to both of us that will make sure nothing gets left out

July Picnic

As you’ll see from the Future Rides grid Graham is proposing to revive our old tradition of a summer picnic. It will probably be at Pevensey Castle with a ride to the venue but also accessible by car or train. Watch this space!

Brighton Festival – Artists Open Houses Message from Tessa

This year a change of venue!  I am taking a break from my May Festival Open House in Lorna Road.

Instead I am invited to show my work at ‘Art in Bloom’  also part of the Hove Arts Trail.

Karen Hollis would love to welcome  you to her beautiful home and garden where six artists will be showing their work. If you would like to join us at our Private View on Friday 4th May  please email me for invitation  details.