A lot has changed in London over the past 125 years but it's good to see Cycling continues to be as popular now as it was back in 1895. The Clarion socialist newspaper which was largely responsible for the creation of the Clarion Cycling Clubs today gives us a great insight into the formation of the London Clarion Cycling club.
On Saturday 25th May 1895 the Clarion newspaper declares that 'the South London "Clarion" Cycling Club is now an accomplished fact, and has commenced operations'. A Clarion Call was made to "All Cycling Socialists from Erith to Clapham and from Blackheath to Croydon should send in names to F.E.Green'.
In the same Clarion newspaper on 25th May, it revealed that the new South London Clarion Cycling Club met on Saturdays at 4.15pm outside the Greyhound in Sydenham Station for a short run to Farnboro'. It's interesting to note the late start time in comparison to when most club rides start these days. The links between the Independent Labour Party ILP and the Clarion Cycling Club are evident in the comments later in the article "And on Sunday Clarion Cyclists are urgently needed at Basted Green... to help in formation of I.L.P branch there'
Mont Blong described the events of Easter `Sunday, 14th April 1895, in the following week's Clarion [newspaper] .... we marched two-hundred strong to Dove Dale. Preceded by the (Potteries) Clarion bugler, the Clarion Scouts took the open road in fine style and as they passed the market-place raised a Clarion whoop, which so alarmed the Yeomanry who were preparing for a church-parade, that one or two dropped off their perches.'
The first Annual Conference of Clarion Cycling Clubs started about 1pm on the lawn just outside the Izaak Walton Hotel in Dovedale. Dangle was in the chair, "which office he carried out, to the satisfaction of everyone, lying down on the flat of his front elevation". To start off, Tom Groom gave a short account of Birmingham Clarion CC's first year and then went on to talk about a national organisation. It was, he thought, Leonard Hall of Manchester Independent Labour Party who first suggested a National Clarion Cycling Club during a visit to Birmingham.
And so 125 years ago the National Clarion Cycling Club was first established, a year after Birmingham Clarion CC had formed. One month later in May 1895 the Clarion Socialist newspaper announced the formation of a London Clarion Cycling Club.
As described in the National Clarion Cycling Club Annual Meet York, 1913, Programme and Year book.... 'The Clarion' was founded on December 12th, 1891, by Robert Blatchford, E.F. Fay, and A.M. Thompson. It is the unofficial journal of the Clarion Cycling Club, and is the best paper yet issued. Is published every Friday from 44, Worship Street, London, E.C and sold by all respectable newsagents.
The first ever mention of a London Clarion Cycle Club was on the 25th May 1895 in the socialist Clarion newspaper. You can read more about the early days of the Clarion Cycling movement on the About Us page. here to edit. This makes London Clarion one of the first Clarion Cycling Clubs to be formed.
One year ago today was the annual awards dinner of the National Clarion Cycling Club in Southend on Sea. The Easter weekend was organised by London Clarion members. The guest speaker was Maurice Burton of De Ver Cycles in Streatham. Maurice Burton rode 56 professional Six day events and was the first black British Champion in cycling. Maurice Burton was a superb guest of honour.
The latest edition of Boots & Spurs the magazine of the National Clarion Cycling Club has just been published. All London Clarion Cycle Club members who affiliate to the National Clarion Cycling Club should have received their copy in the post. This edition can also be viewed on our Issuu archive along with 100 other Clarion Magazines.
The cohesion of several clubs in and about London was brought about in 1907 by the establishment of the Union. The desire to do more effective spade work upon better organised lines, which inspired the few strong clubs then in existence, has been amply justified by the results. The aims of the Union are to organise upon co-operative lines, to inculate the spirit of fellowship and sociability, and to disseminate Socialist Ideas. - National Clarion Cycling Club, Annual Meet York 1913, programme and year book.
The London Clarion Cyclist is a Cycling Blog with posts from London Clarion Cycle Club members and guest bloggers