May Monarch’s Way ride in aid of Findon school PTA

March 5th, 2021

FGCC to ride the Monarch’s Way – in aid of Findon St John the Baptist school’s PTA

At the end of May (2021), pandemic allowing, a group of trusty cyclists from the Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club, several of whom have close connections to the Governing Body at Findon Primary School, plan to ride 110 miles of the Monarch’s Way to raise some funds for our village school’s PTA.

Locals will know that the Monarch’s Way is a long-distance trail that closely follows the route taken by Charles ll after defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Over a period of six weeks, with Parliamentary forces in hot pursuit, Charles tried in vain to make his escape through Wales before turning south across the Cotswolds to try his luck at various coastal ports in the south-west but each time encountering Oliver Cromwell’s troopers. Turning east from Dorset through Wiltshire and Hampshire, Charles then rode along the South Downs, passing through Findon, until he reached Shoreham from where he took a ship for France.

We only plan to ride about a sixth of the length of the 625 miles trail. The four-day ride will be part-educational as the pupils of our school will be encouraged to plot our progress daily and hence sharpen their knowledge of history and geography. The riders will be paying all their own expenses and hope to attract sponsorship from local residents, businesses and parents; all funds will go to the school’s PTA to benefit projects and initiatives for our children.

Given what a tough year everyone has had, particularly for those in school, it will be good to try and achieve something that will help our young pupils whilst they continue with their re-adjustment to normal school life.

Do look-out for the sponsorship appeals that will come from the school PTA and please donate generously to this worthy cause, which you can do via their St John the Baptist school PTS Just Giving page 

John Roche BNTR & CJ

Chairman of Governors St John The Baptist School

2020 Bling award

January 3rd, 2021

Sadly the continuing pandemic has meant that presentation of the 2020 Bling stats could only be carried out virtually rather than in the splendid company of gentlemen of the FGCC in one of our local hostelries.

Our Blingmeister with typical gentlemanly understatement simply transmitted the stats in an unusual format that no one could open other than one member of our youth wing (naturally), failing to mention that it is he that has climbed to the dizzy heights of the top of the table for 2020.

Therefore the Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club 2020 Bling winner is hereby announced as Mr Paul Topley FGCC TM BM with just under 1,000 miles clocked and 2.1 Everests climbed.

Studies of the stats reveal that Mr Topley only missed three of the possible 53 Saturday rides for 2020, one being during his only holiday managed in the year, the other two taking place the morning after occasions when celebratory libations may have been taken – morning after Not-gala night and Boxing day.

And so congratulations Paul for a splendid achievement.

2020 Bling stats

2020 Stats Table

FGCC shed removal for St John the Baptist school Findon

October 20th, 2020

FGCC removes shed for our local school following a call for assistance. Shed removal activity was what brought the foundation members of the FGCC together in the first place, leading to the formation of this great organisation, and so it was natural for the FGCC to respond to this call.

Chairman of Governors of the School and member of the FGCC, John Roche commented afterwards:

A brief  thank you to (in no particular order), Paul, Nigel, Tim, Zach & Kim – actually that was in the order of their arrival at what became a milestone event in the history of The FGCC: the reprise of a foundation event benefiting St. John the Baptist in Findon, this time it was his school rather than his church but the task was the same: the demolition of a shed in preparation for better things and times to come.
It was indeed a turning point in the club’s history; the passing on from older members to their younger counterparts of those ancient skills, equipping the next generation with these skills, so necessary to ensure club succession.
It was heartening to think that even as we toiled, other members – dotted around the globe and unable to attend – doubtless turned their thoughts to our actions in moral support. Absent friends picture if you will the spectacle: the keen young gent hacking away at the side of the hut with all the exuberance of youth; the mature senior member steps in using just the slightly raised left eyebrow to temper this excess of enthusiasm, then calms all with a steadying hand, uttering soothing words in the avuncular way used by foundation members here and now (and seemingly always before), perhaps a calming expression such as “now where you’re going wrong is!”. You had to be there ….. either yesterday or 25+ years ago.


FGCC pay their respects to Mr David Tomalin on Tuesday 6th October 2020

October 9th, 2020

A number of FGCC gentlemen gathered outside the crematorium to pay their respects to Mr David Tomalin.

BDN ride – and then there were 6.

June 26th, 2020
A peleton of four (CB, PT, RT and ZA) assembled at Pond green at 08:20, and set off up through Muntham to rendezvous with KBS and MA at Puckamuck corner. n warm sunshine we climbed up to the SDW and continued west to Rackham Hill.  The Flying Brit continued on the SDW, while the rest of the peleton took the scenic valley route at mile 10.Following the SDW we took the bridge at mile 12 rather than the road over Houghton bridge, all agreeing it was to be preferred.
At mile 13 we joined Kim’s “river route” to Arundel.  Interesting events in this section were 1) a suppurating puncture for MA, with real gunk coming out of the tyre and sealing the breach, and 2) a collective falling off by PT and MA, when PT’s steed refused to jump a root (4 faults) and MA was so close behind as to have nowhere to go but down.  Luckily embarrassment was limited, as no paparazzi were on hand.  We shall not speak of it again.
The river route:

Reaching Arundel we were fortified by divers victuals, at our customary quayside venue.
Taking the road to Warningcamp, we climbed up to the APE where we were treated to a spitfire fly-past at about mile 20.
MA peeled off at mile 22.8 at Patching to return home.  The remainder ventured through the woods on a footpath to reach the top of Church Hill, where KBS headed for home.  The final four came down church hill and split at the foot of Steep Lane.
A grand morning, with hardly any roads!  Plenty of Vox Testiculorum, and some serious discussion of reclassifying the footpath from Clapham to Findon as a bridleway.

January 31st 2020 – a special occasion. Not-gala night

February 2nd, 2020

Not-gala night – January 31st 2020.

Gentlemen of the Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling had received their FGCC NGN Summons and, after congregating at the Village House Inn for their aperitifs, moved on to The Tajdar restaurant in Findon for a sumptuous banquet and celebration of family and friendship with the awarding of medals for various achievements throughout the year. Aided by copious quantities of Cobra beer speeches proceeded with plenty of hesitation, deviation and repetition to the entertainment of all interspersed with toasts to absent friends (including the late Nicholas Parsons) and another great evening was had by all.


FGCC not-gala night dinner

A little top-up sir?

Not-Gala night at the Tajdar

January 31st, 2020

Read the rest of this entry »

Annual planning meeting and bling awards

January 18th, 2020

Annual planning meeting and bling awards – 11th January 2020.

Another successful and entertaining meeting with the customary order, counter-order, hesitation, deviation and repetition with plenty of vox testicularum (aka talking b******s).

Surprisingly there was an outcome in the form of an agreed calendar of events for 2020 which is now to be found on the FGCC website – FGCC 2020 calendar – with a trip to the WW1 trenches region being selected for the annual long ride.

Other events agreed are the Downslink/North-West passage, Monarch’s Way, Isle of Wight/New Forest and Go West rides as well as a number of trek ‘n breks to members’ houses.

Earlier in the evening there was an unusual attentive silence as our Team Mechanic and Primary Route Planner, Paul Topley, read out the stats for the year – number of rides, distances covered and heights climbed – starting with the lowest and step by step leading to the Bulldog Bling Award being presented to Mr Roche as the overall leader and winner of this much-prized and sought after trophy.


Our thanks to the Gun Inn and Tajdar Restaurant, both Findon establishments, for hosting the bling award ceremony and the APM respectively.

Mr Roche receives the Bling Award for 2019

Annual Planning Meeting 2020

December 31st, 2019

The Findon Gentlemen’s Cycling Club annual planning meeting will take place on 10th January at 08.00pm in the Tajdar, with pre-drinks no doubt taking place in either the VH or Gun Inns.

As well as determining the 2020 calendar it is trusted that the year’s long ride can be agreed upon, though libations and cuisine in conjunction with plenty of b******s being spoken may limit progress as usual.

Shock horror as the Tank is removed from Kithurst Hill site – EPM called

September 6th, 2019

In memoriam:
A report from the West Sussex County Times dates 2nd September 2019 reports
“A South Downs landmark, which has been on Kithurst Hill since the second world war, has been removed.

A mark two Churchill tank has mysteriously been removed from its resting place, prompting a large public outcry from residents.
The tank, which had reportedly suffered mechanical issues during the war, was rolled into a bomb crater during the post war clean up operation, a Horsham District Year of Culture blog said.

The landmark was featured as one of the Year of Culture’s ‘hidden gems’.

It was unearthed in 1993 by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers with the salvageable parts sent to the Bovington Tank Museum.

But the historic vehicle, which has proved a popular landmark for walkers and residents, was removed over the weekend.”

The tank has featured in FGCC rides since the creation of the FGCC providing the setting for many BBQ breakfasts and other occasions and will be sadly missed.

Rumour has it that the tank has found its way to Normandy where it will feature in a WW2 British museum.

An EPM has been called for Friday 6th September to discuss how to cope with the loss of an icon that has been part of the FGCC for so long.

Diamond jubilee brek at the tank

Mr Mead’s platform

Tank commander Topley

Splendid breaks at the tank.

FGCC colours