Summer social: 10 August on Goring beach

8 August 2013

Goring beach is the perfect place for a Clarion picnic, as it caters for picnickers and non-picnickers alike – the non-picnickers being able to avail themselves of the excellent Sea Lane Café. On this particular day it was also hosting a fascinating display of windsurfers and sailboarders. Or windboarders and sailsurfers … hang on, what exactly do you call those things? Well, someone told me the people we were watching – people on surfboards holding onto a sort of kite thingy – were windsurfers and the alternative method (which was also in evidence) whereby a sail, similar to that on a yacht, is fixed onto the surfboard, is sailboarding. But this was contradicted by someone else later on. Help! Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say … well, Wikipedia says what we saw were kite-surfers, and that the other sort are known as windsurfers OR sailboarders. It includes an impressive history and (as you’d expect for an American invention) an awful lot about patenting and trademarks. But let’s not worry about that when we can look at the superb photographs, assuming that is that anyone took any …

Bench 1

In attendance, having arrived from various quarters, mostly by bicycle, were Clarion regulars, in alphabetical order: Amanda; Angela; Anne; Corinne; Fred; Ian; Jenny; Jim; Joyce; Linda; and two Sues (Bullock and Pringle). We were joined by John Wells-Deamer, who had participated in what must have been the shortest ever Clarion ride, on 4 March 2007 (report at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/i.bullock/clarion/archive_winter2006.html), from Glynde to … errr … nearly-the-top-of-the-hill-at-Glynde, at which point not only had the rain become seriously heavy but a bit fell off Jeff’s bike, and we decided to abandon the ride. John is hoping to try out a longer ride with us in the near future. On the way out of Goring we met another John (Clinton) who is leading the next ride, and I was able to hand him the book in which the ride is listed. Phew!

Bench 2

I was wearing my Clarion T-shirt on which is inscribed our motto “Fellowship is Life” as well as the anti-motto, “Lack of Fellowship is Death”. Sadly, we split up into two groups for most of the time, one lot outside the café and the other group about 30 metres away on a bench. There is no doubt in my mind which of these two groups was displaying Lack of Fellowship, and must therefore pay the ultimate penalty; it was of course the other lot. Later, when it brightened up, the T-shirt came off and I went in the sea, which was quite warm really though quite choppy. Only Sue Pringle accompanied me; others had various excuses.

Jim and Sikka emerge from the waves

Thanks to Angela for heroically taking on the organisation of this event. There was some discussion of next year’s “weekend ride”, which is likely to feature Cornwall and to be somewhat longer than a weekend. I’ll leave it to Angela to enlarge on that, though, at the appropriate time.

Jim.


Clarion on the rocks at Rottingdean: The summer social (26 August)

28 August 2012

Suzanne & Roger made a prescient choice 2 months ago when they opted for the Sunday of August Bank Holiday weekend, as the Saturday was foul & wet all day. Monday was set to be cloudy, but their/our day was sunny & warm, though the sea was bit too rough for any but hardy Mick to risk a swim. Five Clarionettes gathered at Palace Pier at the allotted 11.30 am ETD.

The start at the Palace Pier

Mick & I were too busy cooking & packing food to make it then, & attempted to catch up from our eastern eyrie up near the County Hospital. Racing along beneath the cliffs I arrived at Rottingdean to see Clarion arrayed amongst the rocks just as Ian & Sue were clambering onto the beach with their chairs & foods. Mick was already in the surfy sea. Amanda had come all the way from London on her Brompton (with some help from train) & Leon all the way from Hassocks. Good to see Helen, who had suffered a fire at her home & was living in the nearby hotel. Angela came from the east with two friends from Spain, & Fred, Jim, Sue, Roger & Suzanne came from the west, via the white cliffs of the Undercliff Walk where cycling is finally permitted, after years of prohibition.

Undercliff

How I long for the Hove seafront prom being opened up for cyclists too, instead of cycling being confined to the far too narrow track (NCN 2 too!) along by the smelly exhaust-fumed main road, (over)-used by speedy commuters, speedy roller skaters (one going backwards downhill, last week), skateboarders, scooters, mobility scooters, toddlers tottering into playgrounds & wandering pedestrians.

Picnic on the rocks

My spinach & feta filo borek had survived the bike ride coddled in its cool-bag & Mick’s blackberry crumble had survived its bumpy trip in his backpack, though its tea-towel wrap had turned a vivid purple. Sue had made a delicious quinoa salad & Suzanne some super date slices & scrumptious home-made biscuits. There were strawberries & grapes, beetroot & walnut Russian salad, falafels, blue corn chips & more to share.

Mick has a swim

There were very dark grey clouds to the north of Brighton, but it was still sunny over the seaside. A few hearty bathers were in the sea, jumping over the white waves rather than swimming, though we were near the lifeguards. Mick warned that rocks under the surf were treacherous. Amanda had forgotten her cossie, Jim had had a cold, I’d had two or three recent rain soakings followed by feverish flushes, & Sue/Sikka was procrastinating, so with all our swimmers having qualms, no more dips were taken, apart from paddles to wash out the crockery after the feast.

Dismount at Ovingdean

We missed the joy of Joyces: J. Edmond-Smith in Paris with family & J. Moore unwell at home in Hassocks. Maybe Joyce E-S would have led us in to brave the waves & Joyce M regaled us with her creative cooking. Other missing members were invoked when Sue/Sikka recalled last Saturday’s “Lewes Against the Cuts Bike Ride” where she had bumped into Sean, who was on the ride, whereas Sue seemed to have side-stepped it, hoping to catch up at the coffee stop & to be included in the numbers. It took me six hours to recall why I wasn’t on the protest ride to which Clarion had been invited, but we were way up north in the Midlands for a family wedding.

Ian, Suzanne and Roger

Rottingdean beach is plastered with signs saying “Keep off the Rocks” but they offered shelter from the Wild West wind, noticeable as soon as you stood up. The village does hold other attractions, like Rudyard Kipling’s house & garden & The Grange, Art Gallery & Museum with its tea-room & pretty village pond, but long journeys home prevented any further explorations for Amanda & Leon, while the rest of us locals decided to wend our way home stopping for tea at the Ovingdean Beach Café, having faced the full force of 20-mph headwinds drying out our throats.

Brompton picnic

Thanks to Suzanne & Roger for organising a fine venue & fine day on yet another inclement Bank Holiday weekend. Best wishes to those unable to come due to ill health & cheers to those who joined our cheery band of Clarionettes among the rocks of Rottingdean.

Anne


Summer Picnic, 29 August – Anne’s Report

13 September 2011

For the previous 3 years’ summer socials Susanne & Joyce had stuck to Brighton venues – the beach at Banjo Groyne in 2008, Devil’s Dyke via NCN 82 Brighton’s Gateway to the new South Downs National Park, & our own dear Preston Park with its cycle track & plenty of outdoor games, but this year was a westward trek to Brooklands Park at Lancing with a choice of travel plans. Mick & I took the train option due to my accident 10 weeks ago & weakened state, as did Fred, though on an earlier train. Leon & his Joyce came by car, as did Ian & Sue, though they made a later arrival. Suzanne led Roger, Joyce, Jim, John & Jo from the Palace Pier all the way by the seafront track, apart from the deviation in the middle where they unfortunately got lost. How did they manage that?

Picnic by the lake

Weather started out warm & I’d packed swimming costume & towels for the hoped for swim in nearby sea, but that was not to be. At least it wasn’t as windy as the 2008 picnic, though Jo had had to battle a 12mph headwind & needed to recover, since their Italian holiday had worsened her health after our Loire cycling trip had strengthened her. We were soon joined by Jim’s daughter Katy with his grand-daughter Cariad on her bike seat, accompanied by Katy’s husband Daniel, who had run along beside them in training for the Brighton Marathon. I marvelled at this 12 mile feat until I was disillusioned by Katy explaining that they lived in Worthing – 2 miles away, not Brighton, as does Jim’s other daughter with a grand-daughter about the same age. We 14 tucked into all the shared goodies, pears from Leon’s trees, flapjacks from Katy, spicy olives, my Russian beetroot & walnut salad, Jim’s delicious home-grown potatoes, Leon’s home-made herby bread, but where were Ian & Sue, with the promised games? No-one could contact them & we all hoped no disaster had struck at the departure time, as seemed to happen so often to our poor ill-fated secretary.

On the Lake

Fred & Mick explored the playgrounds & came back delighted with the amenities – pony rides, paddling pool, bouncy castles, pitch & putt, miniature railway, rifle range, tractor rides & boats for hire to explore the lake. Joyce, Jim & Leon took to the water & honed their rowing skills among the coots, swans & furry cygnets. While Katy & Cariad took the “unique” Diddly’s Train [only 1 in the UK says the website] [“a travesty of a train” said our Fred on his facebook page] around the lake, making some fine photo opportunities for all as they waved in delight at seeing grand-dad Jim & our assembled group on the grassy knoll overlooking the track & lake. Then the train stopped & the smiles became a bit wary & worried, but soon, all was fixed & train went merrily tooting on its way with its load of waving, happy children.

Chess

Finally Ian & Sue arrived with their deckchairs, hamper & the games box. Sue had been under the misapprehension that the start was 1pm, when it was noon, & Ian drove to the far end of Worthing before remembering that Lancing was the near end, hence they were an hour and a half late & we’d all finished our lunches. Mick and Roger began a long game of chess with the large pieces from the box. Mick was our chess champ this year. Maybe next year we’ll have a chance of a few more entries. We should have had a toast to absent friends, but delighted to catch up with Jo Clinton & Joyce Moore, whom we don’t often see, so that was excellent and so glad they could both make it.

Latecomers!

There was still a bit of summer holidaying to do for some of us, so we split up for the return trips & my group cycled; led by Roger, Suzanne, Jim, Mick & me. Although we had a tailwind, I still have a poor leg & took the train at Southwick back to Brighton with Jim. It was my longest ride for 2 months as have seroma from muscle bruising after car smashed into me on NCN 82 at high noon on fateful Black Monday. Mick managed to arrive home before me, but I managed to see Fred already installed in his favourite café on Sydney St in the heart of our North Laine, sitting in the sunshine, which had at last arrived for Bank Holiday Monday.

Katy and Cariad

Thanks to Suzanne for organising a summer social in a local but unfamiliar setting, with appeal to all & access for our non-cycling, or lesser cycling, or ex-cycling Clarionettes.

Anne.


Clarion Bank Holiday Picnic

26 August 2011

Date: Monday 29 August 2011 from 12 noon
Place: Brooklands Park, Worthing (meet by boating-lake kiosk)

[Map here]

Getting there: Option 1 Bike: meet Suzanne at the Palace Pier at 10.30 am for a leisurely ride
Option 2 Train: to East Worthing Station or Lancing Station and walk to park
Option 3 Car: plenty of car parking spaces at park
Meeting time: Noon
Bring: Food and drink to share
Something to sit on
Kids and friends

Attractions: Clarion fun and games (free)
Miniature railway
Rowing boats
Sea bathing 200 yards away (bit seaweedy but free)
Café and toilets
Children’s play area

Queries: Beforehand: Contact Suzanne 01273 321794
On the day: Roger’s mobile: 0789 985 1172

Suzanne


News and Bank Holiday Picnic

24 August 2011

Dear fellow members and friends 

I shall be away for the next few weeks and Jim will be putting out the next couple of newsletters. So if you have anything you’d like included please send it to him at  j.r.grozier@btinternet.com

There have been some changes in the ride schedule (see below) and we still have no volunteer(s) to lead a ride on 2 October. I’ve indicated for a long time that I’m not available then and Jim will be away, and Roger can’t do it either so unless someone else can take it on there will be no ride at all.

Less urgently, more volunteers are needed for November/December rides.

This ‘bumper’ edition includes Jim on Bike Fixing and Allen on the Tolpuddle Festival.

Clarion Bank Holiday Picnic – message from Suzanne

Suzanne’s original had an arrow which pointed to the location of Brooklands Park. For some reason I haven’t been able to copy it. So, just to be clear, the place to head for is marked with a little shield just below Western Road and just above the first A259 sign from the left.

[Map here]

Date: Monday 29 August 2011 from 12 noon
Place: Brooklands Park, Worthing (meet by boating-lake kiosk)
Getting there: Option 1 Bike: meet Suzanne at the Palace Pier at 10.30 am for a leisurely ride
Option 2 Train: to East Worthing Station or Lancing Station and walk to park
Option 3 Car: plenty of car parking spaces at park
Meeting time: Noon
Bring: Food and drink to share
Something to sit on
Kids and friends

Attractions: Clarion fun and games (free)
Miniature railway
Rowing boats
Sea bathing 200 yards away (bit seaweedy but free)
Café and toilets
Children’s play area

Queries: Beforehand: Contact Suzanne 01273 321794
On the day: Roger’s mobile: 0789 985 1172


The Next Ride: Sunday 21 August 2011 – Chichester harbour (picnic!) c. 22 miles

9 August 2011

Please be clear that while all are welcome to join us we each take part in rides at our own risk.

Not quite an annual event – we missed out in 2009 – but almost.

Can I emphasise that it’s going to be a picnic ride, so as to minimise the chances of anyone turning up without their sandwiches!

Of course it’s not possible to predict the weather – especially not so far in advance – and while riding in the rain can be tolerable, eating your lunch with water trickling down your neck is not so nice. But in such an unfortunate eventuality we can – as we have done before – make for a pub such as The Bell Inn at Birdham instead (and eat our sandwiches, or whatever, for lunch on Monday!) We can of course decide where to stop for the picnic on the day – but I have in mind the usual stopping place at Sidlesham quay by Pagham harbour (just on from the Crab and Lobster gastro-pub).

We’ll take the usual route – along by the canal, then a partial doubling back to take us across the lakes (Ivy, Copse, East Trout) through North Mundham and along mostly quiet roads and well-surfaced tracks, emerging briefly onto the busy Selsey road then soon off it on the much nicer road down to Pagham harbour. Then we make our way on more quiet roads to West Itchenor and take the little ferry across the Chichester Channel and on to Bosham, where there will be time towards the end of the ride for the usual cuppa (and cakes for the addicts). As far as I can discover the cost of the ferry including the bike is still £2.50.

Catch the 9.48 or 10.12 from Brighton station or meet at Chichester station at 11.00. (If you have to get a later train, ring me and we’ll wait for you.) There are a variety of trains for returning – e.g. 16.23, 16.28, 16.48, or (with a change at Hove) 17.14.

Ian’s mobile number is 07770 743287 (and he will switch it on when he gets to Chichester station!)

Ian


News and Bank Holiday Picnic

9 August 2011

Dear fellow members and friends

A much shorter one than usual. I’m really busy. Not supposed to be like this when you’ve been retired for 8 years – but I’ve only myself to blame. But the beginning of the tale of Swiftsure’s epic ride will have to wait till next time when “normal service will be resumed” as it used to say on the TV in the early 1950s.

Clarion Bank Holiday Picnic – message from Suzanne

Date: Monday 29 August 2011 from 12 noon
Place: Brooklands Park, Worthing (meet by boating-lake kiosk)
Getting there: Option 1 Bike: meet Suzanne at the Palace Pier at 10.30 am for a leisurely ride
Option 2 Train: to East Worthing Station or Lancing Station and walk to park
Option 3 Car: plenty of car parking spaces at park
Meeting time: Noon

Bring: Food and drink to share
Something to sit on
Kids and friends

Attractions: Clarion fun and games (free)
Miniature railway
Row boats
Sea bathing 200 yards away (bit sea-weedy but free)
Café and toilets
Children’s play area

Queries: Beforehand: Contact Suzanne 01273 321794
On the day: Roger’s mobile: 0789 985 1172