27 November 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Sikka and Tessa who have taken on our last ride of the year on 9 December (details below).

Along with her report of Sunday’s ride Angela (D) has sent me this message:

Wendy and I will be leading a post Christmas,  Twelfth Night ride of the Three Kings, or this being Brighton, the Three Queens aka the Three Wise women’ on Sunday 06 January 2019.

This short ride will involve a long stop at a suitable place for a convivial luncheon and a short pedal back home.

Sounds to me like a nice idea. I’ve asked for details for the next newsletter and added it to the ‘Future Rides’.

Anyone want to take on either of the other January rides 13 or 27?

I’m still hoping to be able to do the New Year ride. I have an appointment about my hip and knee X rays in early December so much will depend on what my options are. But in any case I’ll be there even if like in 2016 after I broke my ankle I have to come in the car rather than on the bike.

National Clarion Subs.

Normally, Clarion subs for the year include two elements, the national fee and a local one.  We have suspended our local sub for the last few years and did so for 2019 at the last AGM.   So the total we need to pay is £12.  This covers not only national membership but also third-party insurance without which no-one should risk going out on a bike.  At £1 a month this is a real bargain.

In recent years this has been done via a PayPal account. We have been having problems with this account.  We have also realised that Paypal charges us fees.  For these reasons, we have decided this year to collect subscriptions using the old fashioned method, using our equally old fashioned Co-op bank account.

Jim has kindly volunteered to act as treasurer while Julian is recovering, so if you would like to join or renew your membership please do one of the following, before the end of the year:

Send or give to Jim a cheque or cash (bank details etc can be found in the email newsletter)

In due course, Jim will pass on the subscriptions received to the National Clarion and you will receive a membership card, as usual.

Christmas Lunch
– at the Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.

Don’t forget to let Angela (C) know your menu choices by 1
Just to remind you, the main course choices were roast turkey, sea bass or baked leek and Gruyère tart. while the pudding choices were Christmas pud, Belgian choc tart or cheese.




16 November 2018

Dear All

Nick tells me that he will be ‘investigating the Pier to Lewes ride detailed on the attached with Graham this Sunday’ So I think we should assume that the ‘Next Ride’ is ‘on’ unless we hear differently from Nick.

Assuming that goes ahead as planned all we need now to complete the year is an offer for 9 December.

Lots of interesting ideas from the Mitre meeting. When is the 2019 AGM? It’s not due till March – which gives us the chance of taking a position on any national issues that are going to be debated. I’ve always left it till nearer the time when everyone knows what they are doing and we can choose a date which suits if not everybody then the majority of those intending to attend.

Mitre Meeting Wednesday 7th November 2018 Wendy’s Notes

Present:  Graham, Nick, Wendy, Sean
These are not minutes – just notes so others can share the gist of the Clarion-related conversations.  Other conversations were available.

Possible Winter rides

Some discussion about offering a London ride, and possibly inviting London Clarion. Will discuss again when Jim’s around, and anyone else who knows London well, e.g. Prudence. Not enough people here to find out who’s got ideas in mind for the next few months. Agreed starting around 10am makes sense if we are to cycle around 15 miles with a coffee and lunch stop, returning around 4pm during the darker, colder winter months. If anyone has an idea for a ride, perhaps a ‘pop up’ ride could be organised to recce it.

Ride Schedule for 2019

Graham and Ian have been tinkering around with suggested ride dates for 2019 in an attempt to miss most of the disruptions caused by local events and scheduled railway engineering works. Graham has generated a rather impressive spreadsheet showing 3 possible configurations and will discuss further with Ian.

Sunday 6th January 2019

… was suggested as a possible date for a Post Christmas Lunch for everyone, especially working people and others who were unable to make the official Christmas lunch on 14th December.

AGM 2019 When is this?

Google Group

All present expressed satisfaction with use of the Google group, although others have grumbles, which Jim has kindly made suggestions to alleviate.

New Members

Graham knows of someone with a hand-build recumbent bicycle who would like to join.  Not sure how he will manage with trains, off road routes etc.


Dates for Next Year

After my suggestions in the last newsletter, Graham produced a couple of alternative options which were discussed at the Mitre meeting last Wednesday. It’s always been a bit of a problem avoiding dodgy dates and is even more so this time because there are still so many weekend rail closures to come. But unless anyone spots anything problematic about the following here are the dates for 2019

13, 27 January; 10, 24 February; 10, 24 March; 7, 28 April; 12, 26 May, 9, 23  June; 7, 21, 28 July;  18 August; 1, 15, 29 September; 13, 27 October; 10; 24 November; 8 December

Christmas Lunch – at the Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.

Don’t forget to let Angela know your menu choices by 1 December

Just to remind you, the main course choices were roast turkey, sea bass or baked leek and Gruyère tart. while the pudding choices were Christmas pud, Belgian choc tart or cheese.



30 October 2018

30 October 2018

Dear All

We are now short of only two rides to complete the year –   25 November and 9 December. Best stick to short ones at this time of year, I think. Any offers? For many years I used to lead the last ride of the year – and I intended to offer it this year when my leg seemed like it was getting better. Perhaps next year. It was based on Berwick station with a lunch stop at the Yew Tree.  If anyone fancies taking it on I can provide full route details – but you’ll need to check trains nearer the time.


I had only two responses for my request for suggestions for dates to avoid other than the ones I mentioned. Sikka pointed out that pubs were usually full on Mothering Sunday (or Mothers’ Day) which makes things difficult. It turns out that in 2019 it is the same date – 31 March when BST begins . So I’ve gone for a fortnightly sequence which avoids that. The end of BST is not such a problem since if you forget to put your clock/watch back the worst thing that can happen is that you turn up an hour early for the ride – which is a lot better than turning up an hour late when the clocks go forward and being puzzled that no-one else is there and then realising they’ve departed an hour earlier.

The London-Brighton ride is always a problem because while some people often want to take part it is in any case impossible to get a train to anywhere from Brighton. So I’ve had to leave a 3 week rather than a fortnight gap in June (The BHF ride is on16 June next year). Jim thinks it’s best to avoid Pride weekend. Next year it’s on 3 and 4 August so rather than lose another summer ride I’m suggesting we have rides on two consecutive weeks in July 21 and 28 . This makes up for the 3 week gap in June. It’s not an ideal solution it will mean letting everyone know the details of the second July one more quickly than usual. If anyone can think of a better idea please let me know.

With that proviso and a request to check out the dates yourself and tell me if I’ve got anything wrong here are the ones I’m proposing for 2019. We still have plenty of time to make changes.

13, 27 January; 10, 24 February; 10, 24 March; 7, 21 April; 5,19 May; 2, 24 June; 7, 21, 28 July; 18 August; 12, 15, 29 September; 10, 24 November; 8 December

We can have our traditional little New Year’s ride on Wednesday 2 January – to avoid the crowds. I hope I will be able to do it (fingers crossed!) but I’ll be there one way or another anyway.

Latest on Julian

Jim has been to see him and I spoke to him on the phone on Sunday. He’s had a bit of as setback during the last few days – some new physio exercises seem to have left him with a ‘frozen’ leg.   Let’s hope it proves a very temporary problem.

Mitre Meeting – a message from Graham. Jim and Wendy

All members are invited to meet together at The Mitre Pub, Baker Street at 8pm on Wednesday 7th November 2018

A chance for members to come in from the cold and get together for a general social and discuss rides during the dark months of December, January and February.

There will be opportunities to share ideas on:

  • Possible rides (Anyone got a ride they’re planning?  Which date?)
  • Share ideas for Spring and Autumn weekend rides
  • Discuss use of Google Group
  • Express opinions on ride length, difficulty, start times and trains
  • Discuss ideas to increase active membership
  • In discussing these points, we may want to consider that this year
    • Of 36 members only half ride
    • Of 36 members less than a quarter ride on a regular basis
    • The average active group is less than 7
    • Only 4 individuals or pairs lead rides on a regular basis


Christmas Lunch – a message from Angela

Hello Clarionistas,

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I ask you to choose from a Xmas Menu and I will do my best not to get muddled as I did last year.

It will once again be at The Hummingbird Restaurant at Shoreham Airport because it is one of very few venues that do not ask for a deposit from everybody which, in the past, has made things very complicated. Also, I think that most people were happy with the food last year. It will be on Friday 14th December, 12.30 for 1pm.  I have provisionally booked for 15-20 people.

The restaurant has asked that the group choose from either the two course or the three course menu ‘on block’ as they feel they cannot deal with some people having two courses whilst others have three. So, I am going to propose that the group opts to choose from the two course menu. I do hope that is OK with everybody.

Please let me know by the 1st December if you would like to come and let me know your menu choice.(see attachment) The Hummingbird needs to have a firm idea of numbers by the 1st in order to plan their seating, so I am having to say that if I don’t hear from you by the 1st, I’m afraid that you will not be able to opt in after that date.

Look forward to hearing from you.

My email address is:

Since replies to me about the Xmas Lunch will be in November, I’m afraid that I will not be able to acknowledge by return email your menu choices as, up until the 25th November, I shall be in a country where I will not be able to use the internet very easily, if at all, (China). Sorry about that. Will respond to your emails when I get back.

Love – Angela xx

Graham’s report on Thursday ‘Rehab’ programme

A very successful sunny day, Shoreham to Stan’s Bike Sack via Steyning and Ashurst and back  via the Downslink.  Anne, Chris, David, Prudence, Richard and Sikka.   Lots of new shiny chains and gears on show. Only one member complained of having a screw loose. Luckily turned out to be a real one.  Photo on Flickr


When sending in ride reports please include the date in the title – otherwise it gets listed along with other ‘ride report’s way down in my eccentric inbox. And I might miss it. Thanks

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter. I realise not everyone is equally interested in the history of the Clarion – but I know that some are. If anyone would like more info or more explanation about anything I mention in this series just send me an email.



14 October 2018

14 October 2018

Dear All

It’s always unfortunate when a ride has to be cancelled – but it’s no fun getting soaked while pretending you’re enjoying yourself. I’m sure Jim did the right thing in cancelling this morning in the light of the forecast.

Graham has switched the dates for the next two rides . We’re just looking for offers for 25 November and 9 December now.

I’m sending this out two days earlier than usual – it gives everyone maximum time to look at the next ride. If anyone was planning to send a report for this newsletter I will send it out separately – if I get it, of course!


In the next newsletter I’m planning to include the possible dates for rides in 2019 so that if I’ve got it wrong you can put me right. I always try to avoid rides at the beginning and end of BST 31 March and 27 October in 2019 – especially the first where there’s always the danger that someone will turn for the start of the ride only to find everyone else has left an hour before – and the London-Brighton Bike Ride on 16 June. If anyone can think of any other dates we should avoid please let me know at once.

In Case You Missed It

Just now and then you get a message that makes you feel that in our very small scale and modest way we are doing something worthwhile as well as enjoying ourselves. If you’re in the google group (see below if you’re not) you will already have seen this – but it’s not something I would want anyone to miss. Haven’t yet checked with Fred and Jim – can we take up Emily’s suggestion?   And would a report based on this be a good idea for the proposed Christmas Boots and Spurs. Let me know what you think

My name is Rachel Walters, and I just wanted to let you know how much my daughter Emily enjoyed your page, . She just recently learned to ride a bicycle at the end of the summer, and has been really hooked on it since! Her birthday was over the weekend, and we finally got her her own, as she’d been learning on a bike we borrowed from my sister’s kids who are a few years older. Needless to say she was ecstatic!

Emily has been spending her computer/free time reading about biking safety, tips, and upkeep- And that is how she came across your page- She called me over quite a few times to point out things she was learning, and I mentioned that it might be nice to send you a quick thank you note- Emily thought that it’d be great to share another article about basic bike maintenance,– as well! I thought it was a neat article, and was hoping you’d be able to include it on your page? I’d love to show her that she could contribute another helpful biking article- she’d be thrilled!

I’m proud of her for being so proactive about learning more about safety and upkeep for her new bike! Thanks again for providing such cool and helpful resources for bike enthusiasts new and old! Hope you enjoy the article Emily wanted to share, and if you end up being able to include it, please let me know so I can tell her! Have a great day and hope to speak again soon!

Denis Pye Memorial

Denis, the author of Fellowship is Life: The Story of the Clarion Cycling Club which I strongly recommend to anyone without a copy, sadly died earlier this year. I’ve recently had a letter from Charles Jepson of the ‘1895 Clarion’ about a plan to remember him with a memorial bench at the Clarion House – run by the Nelson ILP Clarion Society – at Roughlee and asking for donations. I met Denis a couple of times early in the century – and I’ve visited the Clarion House. I’ve sent a small donation; should you want to do the same, send a cheque made out to NCCC1895 to Wendy Pye at 34 Temple Road, Halliwell, Bolton BL1 3LT

Google Group

As I mentioned last time it’s good to see so much useful discussion in the google-group. If you’re not in it do join   It’s on the web page:

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Good to hear that Graham’s great idea of short rides on Thursdays is starting to work. If it keeps up long enough I hope to be able to join in at some point. I’ve recently had X rays of my left knee and hip which has shown degree of arthritis and I’m waiting to hear from the orthopaedic folk to see what I should do next. I may have to follow Sean’s example.

Until yesterday I hadn’t been on the bike since before the fall I had in August which resulted in six stitches in my nose. I’d been having a bit of trouble getting on and off the bike before then and the fall -although it had nothing to do with that – just shook my confidence. But I managed a tiny ride on the seafront yesterday and I’m hoping – leg etc permitting – to gradually work up; from there and perhaps join the rehab group.

Good to hear also that the Mitre meeting was so productive of good ideas

Re: Good News for Bury Clarion

After my reference to the success of Simon Yates in the Vuelta I had a message from our old friend and keen reader of our ride reports Peter Roscoe. He writes:

Pleasing to see you mention me in relation to the Yates brothers. I liked the bit about keeping chips warm – I’m always dismayed on holiday when the meal plates have not been warmed properly. There must be a market for plates that can be kept warm during a meal.i.e. battery heated.

Bury Clarion are enjoying some glorious years. I managed to be relieved of Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary at this year’s AGM. At 84 I have some personal affairs to sort out.

I was baffled for half a second by the reference to chips – then I remembered Nick’s report. Peter really does read our ride reports!




2 October 2018

2 October 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Roger for looking after the last two newsletters when I was away.

Graham has taken on 28 October and 11 November so we now need offers just for 25 November and the final ride of the year on 9 December if anyone is thinking that far ahead.   I think the London line will be operational again by then – but it’s always best to check any trains needed at an early stage before putting too much time and effort into planning a ride.

Beginning while I was away there has been considerable discussion in the googlegroup about the possibility of including some shorter and easier rides in our programme.   I think this is right. We have always had a variety of different sorts of rides in our programme. For example, some of us aren’t keen on off-road cycling while others prefer it and if you look back at the rides we’ve done since 2004 you’ll see that we’ve always had plenty of both kinds. Similarly, we’ve had more and less demanding rides. Before I was put out of contention (I hope temporally) by my leg problem the rides I was hoping to offer this year were all in this category and I hoped they might attract people who had not been on a ride recently.

Following up on the discussion, Graham has come up with what seems to me – and judging by the responses via the google-group others as well – an excellent idea for helping to get those of us who need it back into shape. I just wish I was up to taking part in it at the moment – but I live in hope!   Of course one would have to add to Graham’s mileage whatever it would take to get to and from the Peace Statue but this is a really good suggestion. At the end of his suggested programme Graham says ‘Could start next week.’

As always when you’ve been away, I’ve had a lot to catch up on – apart from Clarion things and am almost certainly out of touch. So, I’m not sure whether or not any of the suggested rides have taken place. It would be good to have some brief report or reports – not necessarily more than a sentence of two – about how it is going.   Anyway, with thanks again to Graham, here it is again

Graham’s ‘Rehab’ programme

Every Thursday weather permitting at 11am

Starting point Angel of Peace Statue

Initially 5 ride lengths with cafe half way.

  1. 4 miles Return   (Big Beach Cafe Hove Lagoon)
  2. 8 miles Return   (Carrots  Cafe Shoreham Harbour)
  3. 12 miles return     (East Beach Cafe’s Shoreham)
  4. 16 miles return     (Lancing Beach Cafe)
  5. 20 miles return     (A Steyning tea room) (Drop out at 1 or 2)

You can drop out, take a break and return at any of the Cafe points.

Longest ride maybe 3 hours  + Cafe  (Strictly no photo stops or reading of nature signs or eating roadside fauna or flora)

Group decides distance on the day

Should self function

Good News for Bury Clarion

It was good to see that Bury Clarion got a mention in reports in both Guardian and Observer when Simon Yates won the Vuelta (Tour of Spain – one of the 3 three-week grands tours.) I’m sure our friend – and regular reader of this newsletter, Peter Roscoe, Bury’s long-time secretary, was pleased.

Usual episode of Clarion history at the end of the newsletter,




19 September 2018

Clarion Latest

16 September 2018

Dear All

I visited Julian recently and we spent a pleasant hour or so chatting.

Recovery from his stroke has been slowed by a couple of recent set-backs, but his spirits are still good and he is working hard at the various exercise regimes he has been given to help bring back his mobility.

He showed me the post card he received from the Clarion group in Bath which had pleased him greatly. He asked me to pass on his thanks to everyone involved.

One of the topics we talked about was driverless cars. We agreed that it is hard to believe that they will ever be able to deal with all the multi-various situations that human drivers can. They will probably be pretty good on motorways but what about on a narrow un-surfaced track when confronted by a herd of sheep, or another driverless car coming from the opposite direction?
If you follow this line of thought, you start to think that maybe we should see them as primarily motorway vehicles in which to travel long distances, while reading, snoozing or getting drunk – a bit like trains really. And if they could do that sort of work, do we still need HS2?

Turning to more immediate concerns, you will see that the “Future Rides” list is verging on empty at present. Ian will be back in the editor’s chair for the next issue, so, if you have any ideas for rides in October and beyond please let him have them (

No read on for a “bumper size” issue with reports on the most recent ride and the Bath weekend …


<The Bath weekend report can be found here>


5 September 2018

4 September 2018

Dear All

Sue and Ian are away on their hols, so I’m in the editor’s chair for this issue.

Which gives me a chance to tell you about a recent road safety study into “shared spaces”. These are places where the kerb separating the sidewalk from the road has been removed in the belief that walkers, cyclists and drivers can mingle without conflict. They have been the subject of robust discussion during rides in the past.

Brighton’s New Road is a local example which seems to work reasonably well, possibly because it is short and the ratio of pedestrians to motor vehicles is high.

Exhibition Road in London is very different, as I discovered recently when walking along it with my young grand-daughter. She had been well trained to stop at the kerb, but in Exhibition Road there is no kerb, as I realised when I saw her wandering into the path of a black cab!

The study I mentioned is called “Accidents by Design”. Its findings are based on an opinion survey which showed (amongst other things) that 63% of those questioned find their experience of shared spaces “poor”, while only 18% find it “good”. The study concludes by recommending an “immediate moratorium” on new shared spaces.




Suzanne makes history!

The Regency Square Area Society has just published a book to celebrate the bicentenary of Regency Square.  The book has been written by Clarionette, Suzanne and Gill Wales, both of whom live in the square.

The book will be launched by the deputy mayor at an open-air “do” (with gazebo) on 22 September at 11 am in the north garden of Regency Square- books on sale at the launch price of £10.00 (cover price £12.95)

Do come along and bring your friends to enjoy the music.  Any speeches will be very short.


News from Ian: The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I’m writing this the day after the last (21 August) newsletter, feeling for some reason the need to share with you some of my current woes. I realise that in that newsletter I inadvertently repeated the same episode of Clarion History that had appeared previously. Sorry, but I’ve been more than a bit distracted – as you will see. I’ll get back on track next time.

At the beginning of this year I was determined to get back into coming out on Clarion rides – in fact I selected 4 ones I’d done before over the years that weren’t too demanding and worked out a schedule based on me gradually getting myself up to doing at least one 20 mile ride in the weeks previous to the dates I’d chosen for my full return to Clarion activity then – unless someone else got in first – offering one of the planned rides. It wouldn’t matter if I fell a bit short of this and only managed one or two. With 30 odd members of the Brighton and Hove Clarion and only about 26 rides a year I didn’t have to emulate Jim -or Julian last year – to feel I’d done my bit.

But then the on-going left knee problem kicked in. So in March I had real trouble walking. I got physio help and did my exercises fastidiously and by the time we went to Venice for a short trip at the beginning of June I was walking normally and thought I was back on track for rides. But then I had a bit of a relapse knee-wise. I was just starting to get back to something like OK when another unkind stroke of fate intervened.

Our next door neighbours were away and we were feeding Billy, their cat. The day before the last newsletter went out I was stepping over the low wall between our path and theirs when I somehow caught my foot and went crashing down landing largely on my nose. There was so much blood it looked like a murder scene from a gruesome TV thriller. After 3 ½ hours at A &E – which I’m told is quite quick for these days – I had 6 stitches put in my nose together with some glue on the graze on my forehead. I’ll spare you the photo. Suffice it to say that at present I look like something out of an old Hammer horror film, perhaps with a title like The Curse of the Living Dead or The Creature from the Black Lagoon. So for the next couple of weeks – which will be some way in the past by the time you read this – I’m concentrating on just getting fit to go on holiday at the start of September. As for my ride ambitions – well, hope springs eternal!