Sir Norman Hartnell, designer of the Queen’s wedding dress, is buried in Clayton churchyard.


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South Downs National Park Autumn Promo


Preparations are underway for the South Downs National Park Discover Another Way autumnal promotion of sustainable tourism, starting this weekend (19/20 October). This includes Hassocks Community Cycle Hire, of course.

SDNP are hoping to encourage people to travel by public transport and will be offering discounts and other incentives for people to do so. At Hassocks that means half price hire all weekend if you present a train or bus ticket and 20% off for the rest of the month.

Here’s what they have to say about it:


The South Downs will reach a stunning autumnal climax this weekend (19/20 Oct), and the South Downs National Park Authority has announced a range of discounts and treats for autumn lovers who travel by train and bus.

Travelling by bus and train is simple, many key walking and cycling routes are accessible via high quality, frequent services and there are new walking and cycling guides to help plan a trip from home to the start of the walk or cycle ride, available to download at www.southdowns.gov.uk/discover. At the start of several routes from Hassocks station, you can also pick up a bike to hire.

Not only does taking the bus or train make the journey simpler, it makes linear walks fun by enabling walkers to hop off the bus or train at the start of the route and simply pick up a return trip at the end.

This Friday 18 October there are even more reasons to visit the SDNP by public transport, with ‘Hikers and Bikers’ luxury rest stops at stations all over the park, where tired walkers and cyclists will be rewarded with massages, comfy chairs, free refreshments and a free boot cleaning service. There will also be discounts in pubs, cafes and attractions. Visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/discover for all details.  

 Nick Heasman, Western Downs Manager for the South Downs National Park said:

“Due to a warm summer and temperate September, this weekend looks likely to be the perfect time to see the South Downs in its full autumnal glory. For a really relaxing day I’d highly recommend ditching the car, leaving you to appreciate the stunning views from the train or bus, forget parking woes and even finish your afternoon with a real ale or chilled glass of wine. If you go this Friday you could even enjoy luxury treats as you wait for your ride home!”


Monday 13th August 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. What can I say? We’ve been busy! Despite the 3 months of rain, we still managed a healthy number of hires and were glad to put many bikes back on the road. We even did a complete rebuild of a bike that had been run over by a careless driver mounting the verge on which it had been left. Away from the bikes, obviously we enjoyed the Jubilee, Euros and Olympics along with most others. It has been a good summer, despite our perenial weather complaints. My number one hope now is that we and the rest of the cycling community can capitalise on the Olympics to make cycling even more popular, safer and convenient for leisure, transport and fitness.


Saturday 20th May 2012

Had a good morning at the hut. Managed to get some housekeeping done, had a number of enquires about maintenance and expanded our team. We were also delighted to be offered the frame of a Specialized hardtail mountain bike that someone was clearing out. Although it had no wheels or components other than handlebars and forks it was too good to throw away and one of our number took it to lovingly restore at some point in the future (when he’s finished building his other bikes). Cyclists are like that.

Later, Chris and I rode to Lewes on the B2116 along the line of the Downs. I love that road. Although it is a main road, the traffic is not bad. It sweeps along the base of the Downs through the villages of Ditchling and Westmeston as far as Offham, gently rising and falling over the rolling hillocks that protrude from the curvaceous escarpment. On reaching the "historic county town" (a one word Google images search for "Lewes" will reveal some very interesting pictures) we rode down to Cliffe High Street and The Gardeners Arms, a small and very pleasant pub with a good selection of beers. I still had to get home of course, so was unable to compare them all. The one beer I had was a very nice ale with a light, hoppy taste.

At around 7, a little later than planned, I turned for home and cycling hard, made it in about 30 minutes. Feeling it a bit today. They say as you get older you can still do it, but it just takes you longer to recover.


Friday 19th May 2012

We’re opening up the hut tomorrow morning at 9am for hires, on the spot minor repairs and any other enquiries. Every time I’ve opened up, whether it’s to hire a bike out, take one back in or undertake general maintenance, there have always been people who’ve approached me to enquire about getting their bike out of the garage and back onto the road, hiring bikes or just ask about how things are going. The sense of good will is palpable and convinces me that we are providing a worthwhile service and people want us to succeed. There’s something about bikes.

"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells


Sunday 13th May 2012

At 8am when we went to do an early hire, cyclists were already out in force on the lanes of Sussex. It was a beautiful May morning, the South Downs looked stunning and the bikers were taking full advantage of it. Not me! After a drive down some country lanes wishing I was out in the open, not cooped up in a steel cage, it was back to the hut... to wash down and prep some bikes. 15 of them! Jealous of those out on and off road in the Sussex countryside as I toiled away for love not money. Fortunately there was a slap up meal waiting for me when I got home.