Sunday, 20 June 2010

Another bike ride

No, no, no! Not me! But today sees the annual London to Brighton bike ride organised by the British Heart Foundation. This, it is claimed, is Europe's biggest cycling event with (wait for it) thirty thousand - yes, 30,000 - cyclists taking part. It does cause just a little disruption in the town, making almost impossible to get from the far eastern side to the west (and vice versa) and it means that I won't be taking Fern into Stanmer woods today as the road is closed for the cyclists.

While some of the events do cause disruption, nobody could truthfully say that nothing ever happens in Brighton. Two months back we had the first Brighton marathon with some 9,000 runners (and many roads closed for part or all of the day), and I noticed yesterday that there was some sort of fair or fete in Preston Park. I had seen no advance publicity, but maybe it's just something connected with the bike ride. Last Sunday saw the annual service of remembrance at the Chattri. I'm sure I have mentioned the Chattri before, but in case my memory is playing tricks again I will explain.

During the early part of the First World War, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton was used as a hospital for Indian soldiers. Many, of course, died of their wounds and those whose religion required that they be cremated on a funeral pyre were taken to a site on the South Downs set aside for this. Later, a memorial was built on the site, known as the Chattri, and on the second Sunday in June each year a short service of remembrance is held there.

That was last Sunday; the bike ride is this Sunday; and next Sunday there will be the Lions fun day in the Pavilion Gardens. As I said, there is always something going on.

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