The Last Ride: Sunday 3 September 2017. Polegate circular

11 September 2017

As I drove from Saltdean with my bike to meet the other riders coming to Polegate on the train from Brighton, the temperature gauge in my car was registering 18.5 degrees celsius and I wondered if this would be the last ride before autumnal weather sets in that we could ride in summer gear. As it turned out, we did encounter a little bit of rain towards the end of the ride, but it certainly was not a cold day.

Sunday 3 September 2017: Polegate circular via Herstmonceux

At the Polegate Station car park I met David and Chris who were, like me, unloading their bikes, and we approached the coffee shop by the station to wait for the train to arrive from from Brighton. Seven other riders joined us – Prudence, Julian, Sikka, Tessa, Joyce, Leon and Sean.

It is not very far from Polegate that we were able to get onto the Cuckoo Trail where we cycled through a wood and where the leaves from the trees are just beginning to fall and the colours of the foliage are beginning to take on their autumn hue. After passing Rickney Farm we were on the Pevensey Levels, easy riding on the flat and lovely views across the Levels. Through Flowers Green and Chapel Row we arrived at the Lime Cross Nursery for lunch where we were able to sit outside due to the warm weather. There we met Brighton and Hove CTC, many of whom looked very professional in their CTC shirts, and it was really nice to chat to them.

Sunday 3 September 2017: Polegate circular via Herstmonceux

Towards the end of our lunch break, the sky had clouded over and spots of rain were coming down and so we had to abandon the ‘summery look’ and put on our rain jackets, but it wasn’t very long before the rain stopped and we were able to take them off. We cycled through Herstmonceaux, which is such a pretty little place, and then onto another section of the Cuckoo Trail towards Hailsham and back to Polegate. Some of us stopped for tea at the Old Loom tea rooms whilst Tessa, Sikka, Sean decided to go straight back to Polegate.

Sunday 3 September 2017: Polegate circular via Herstmonceux

Thank you very much to Julian for leading the ride and none of us got lost this time!




11 September 2017

Dear All

Only a day late this time, which is not too bad considering. Not, I hasten to add because I was waiting for the last ride report – which does sometimes happen. Not on this occasion.

Sue developed a mysterious illness involving dehydration and low blood pressure a week last Saturday which resulted in her being in hospital for the next ten days while the medics tried to work out what had caused it. Made her escape yesterday evening. Still a bit of a mystery but at least she’s now back home and feeling OK.

During that time when I haven’t been at the hospital I’ve been busy with some final queries from my editor about the ILP book that has been so long in the gestation. So one way and another I’ve been a bit pre-occupied. Hope I haven’t missed anything out that anyone has asked to be included in this newsletter – apologies if I have.

I never did get a report for Julian’s Dell Quay ride but as you’ll see further on Angela has done one for the 3rd September one.
Sikka and Tessa have put their names down for 15 October but we are still short of one for 1 October. Any offers?

I’ve had an important message from Becky at Bricycles about the drastic changes planned for getting for the familiar route from the Toll Bridge to the Coombes Road.

I assume we all agree that we should add the B&H Clarion to the objectors. (If anyone disagrees please let me know before the weekend; if necessary we can have a special meeting to discuss the issue.)

We have used the current crossing many many times since 2004 and I personally can recall using it quite frequently back in the ‘70s. I think we should all register our objections as individuals too. Anyway, here’s Becky’s message. Plenty of useful info on the Bricycles website (see below)

URGENT Our Shoreham cycling and walking crossing is at risk! Object to the loss of a direct crossing over the A27 by September 29.

The planning application for the New Monks Farm development in Lancing is under consultation. Approval would mean the removal of our accustomed crossing of the A27 from the old Shoreham Toll Bridge to Coombes Road. The proposed replacement will involve a long detour and 4 sets of traffic lights. We are calling for a bridge or an underpass instead.

More information on making an objection:
The application, ref. no. AWDM/0961/17 is on the Adur and Worthing Councilwebsite:
You have to register and log in to make a comment. Please do this by 29 September.
If you have time, please also give your views to Tim Loughton, MP for
Shoreham via:

2018 membership and problems from not having a Membership Secretary currently
I’ve also had a message from our national secretary, Ian Clarke, who writes:-

Please note that whilst the membership year runs from January 1st for current/renewing members, any NEW members who join from 1st of September, will be members for the remainder of this year and full year for 2018.

I hope to send out membership forms to you during the course of September, so please do not send any new memberships until you’ve received them.

Please be aware that the club is still seeking a new membership secretary, and we would be grateful if you could raise this at your own meetings. Currently, we do not have even an incumbent membership secretary which makes it very difficult for us to deal with these matters.

The committee is currently reviewing the whole process, as well as the issue of taking all Clarion sections over to online membership, following the trial we had with several sections this year.

Should you have any recommendations, suggestions or proposals, please feel free to contact us. Indeed, if any of your members work for a business that may be able to help us out with the administration of memberships we would be pleased to hear from them.

Avenue Vert Ride
Angela, Ivor, Jim and Wendy all took part – for varying lengths of time – in the Avenue Vert ride. Jim tells me there will be a report in time for the next newsletter.


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and Cycling in the 1890s

11 September 2017

I mentioned last week that – inspired by Swiftsure’s comments about the dangers of tandem riding in The Clarion, 4 July 1896. Blatchford himself – as Nunquam – contributed quite a long piece – ‘The Dangers of the Wheel’ in the same issue. This is how it ends. But don’t take it too seriously!

The Next Ride

27 August 2017

Sunday 3 September 2017: Polegate circular via Herstmonceux


Morning: The ride starts at 10.50 am on the north side of Polegate station; there is a public lavatory a few yards north on the road we then take.  We cross over the B2247 onto the start of the Cuckoo Trail and soon turn right to ride through a narrow wood for half a mile, until we turn left to go over the A27 into Shepham Lane which goes north-east, across the B2104, and soon a turn right into Glynleigh Road.  After a left turn the road goes downhill and after a sharp left corner we turn immediately left to pass Rickney Farm.  Shortly afterwards a right turn takes us north over the Pevensey Levels, via New Bridge and on up to the Magham/Pevensey T junction.  Here we turn right going along Lower Road until a sharp left into Church Road that takes us through Flowers Green and Chapel Row to the Lime Cross Nursery, on the other side of the A271, for lunch in the café.

Afternoon: After lunch we go west for half a mile along the A271 into Herstmonceux and right onto the minor road uphill through Stunts Green to the Cowbeech Hill junction.  Then we go left and south-west down a long minor road and turn right (by the A271) onto New Road going west, which is soon disused and gated off, but can be cycled along, until we cross over a busy road and come into Station Road and turn left onto the Cuckoo Trail just before Hellingly.  Once on the Cuckoo Trail, apart for some time on the level through Hailsham, it is gently downhill all the way back to Polegate station.  Tea can be taken at the Old Loom Mill Craft Centre and Tearooms, passed a mile before the station.

Terrain:  mainly flat or minor uphill gradients before lunch.  The road from Herstmonceux to Cowbeech Hill is uphill, but not severe.

It is about 9 miles both before and after lunch at Lime Cross.

(O/S Explorer Map 123 Eastbourne & Beachy Head 1:25,000 scale)

Take the train from Brighton leaving at 10.12 and arriving Polegate at 10.40. Return trains from Polegate to Brighton are hourly at 34 minutes past the hour, taking 31 minutes, or with a change at Lewes, hourly at 6 minutes past the hour, taking 32 minutes.




27 August 2017

25 August 2017

Dear All

Late again!

And, as you’ll see further on, with no ‘Last Ride’ report.

As ever, I intended to put the newsletter out on Tuesday.  It was almost ready, missing only the ride report.

Julian contacted me to say that someone on the ride had offered to do the report, but that he discovered later, after the ride, that the person concerned was new the the club and probably had little idea of what was required.

Worse, neither Julian or I seemed to have an email (or phone number) to try to establish contact.  I don’t think I can wait any longer without making problems for those who might be planning to go on the next ride Sunday week, so with great reluctance and apologies all  round I’m sending this out incomplete.

However, if anyone on last Sunday’s Dell Quay ride likes to send me a report I’ll send it on to you. If I get more than one that’s fine too!

As reported since the last newsletter the September rides are now covered – thanks to Julian (again!) and Mick. And thanks also to Sikka and Tessa who also volunteered for 17th a little later than Mick.  I hope they will be able to offer their ride before too long – perhaps one of the 3 rides scheduled for October?   But all offers for the 3 dates will be very very welcome.

I’ve had the following message from Angela (D). It’s self explanatory and I hope someone will be able to help.

If you can please contact Angela.

The Labour party conference is taking place in Brighton between 24-27 September.

Bricycles, the local campaigning group for cyclists is taking MPs and others on a short cycle ride along Hove sea front on Monday 25th September.

We may need to borrow a few extra bikes. Is anyone available locally who would be prepared to lend a bicycle or two?

Thank you


Just a reminder. If – like Angela above – you have anything you’d like to see in the newsletter please send it me.  Always on the look-out for good ‘copy’!


The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and Cycling in the 1890s

27 August 2017

This is from The Clarion, 4 July 1896.  Dangle was of course A M Thompson – a co-founder and virtual joint editor of the paper and also a librettist of a number of successful musicals of the Edwardian period, the most famous of which – and biggest hit – was The Arcadians. Blatchford himself –as Nunquam – had a longer piece – ‘The Dangers of the Wheel’ in the same issue responding to Swiftsure’s comments.  The mudguards which moved with the front wheel sounds a whole lot more dangerous to me!


The Next Ride: Sunday 20 August 2017: Chichester circular

7 August 2017

Sunday 20 August 2017: Chichester – Centurion Way – West Stoke – Fishbourne – Dell Quay (for lunch) – Salterns Marina – Chichester Ship Canal Basin (for tea).

This is a ‘circular’ route as cycled on five previous occasions.

We meet at the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15 am and then go round over the railway level crossing to the north side to start riding on the cycle track from the car park. After a mile we begin a northward ride on the Centurion Way track and in about three miles we take the West Stoke Road which has a gentle rise until the middle of the village.  We turn south into Lye Lane and on down until we go round the north and east of Fishbourne and pass under the A27.  We take the Salterns Way bridlepath past Apuldram and, as a short diversion, soon reach the Crown and Anchor Public House at Dell Quay – probably before 1.30.

After lunch we continue on the Salterns Way track south and cross over the Chichester Salterns Marina lock gates to reach the Chichester Old Ship Canal. At the northern end of the Marina Entrance road at Cutfield Bridge we cross over the A286 to take the minor road east to the B2145 T-junction then north through Hunston to the Poyntz Bridge, a footbridge over to the west side of the canal and onto a wider well-surfaced track.  From this bridge there is a distant view of Chichester Cathedral apparently surrounded by green fields and trees and no sign of any urbanisation.  The ride ends at the Canal Basin where there is a fine Canal Trust tearoom.

Trains to Chichester:

Brighton 10.00 and Hove 10.04 arriving at 10.56.

London Victoria 9.17 arriving at 11.00

Meet on the south side of Chichester railway station at 11.15.

Terrain: a gentle gradient up to West Stoke, then downhill to the north of Fishbourne, and thereafter mainly flat.  17 miles – see O/S Explorer Map 120 “Chichester” (1:25000)

Roads: a mixture of cycle tracks and mostly quiet country roads.

There are three busy roads to cross: B2178 SE of East Ashling, A259 in Fishbourne, and A286 at Cutfield Bridge.  However, we do not have to cycle along them.

Lunch:  at the Crown and Anchor, Dell Quay, which we will have to book online before the day.  So please email Julian by Friday 18 August at latest, if you will have lunch there.

Tea: by the Chichester Ship Canal Basin, just south of the railway station.

Return trains times to:

Hove           16.15H              16.27SN    16.53SN    17.15H

Brighton     16.15C              16.27SN    16.53SN    17.15C

Victoria      16.15V (arr.17.56)                   17.15V (arr. 18.56)

H:  three stops before Hove. SN: stops at all stations before Brighton. C: change at Hove, with three stops before Hove. V: no changes: with five stops before London Victoria, incl. Clapham Junction

My mobile number is: 07896 353 563