The Tricycle Marathon
London to Brighton on Raleigh Children's Tricycles
London Clarion Cycle Club members have a proud history of social campaigning. In 1960, the Hounslow Clarion cycled from London to Brighton on Tricycles to draw attention to the world refugee crisis.
In what subsequently became known as the ‘Tricycle Marathon’, they undertook the journey on children’s Raleigh tricycles and distributed leaflets on the front at Brighton. In a bid to get some publicity, they wrote to Pathé a few days before the planned cycle to ask whether the news organisation wanted to cover it. Needless to say, there was insufficient time to receive a reply and the original trip took place. Pathé subsequently replied and a re-run was organised for the following Saturday.
Colin McDonald recalls that “the tricycles were lent to us by the Raleigh Cycle Company which had a main depot on the Great West Road, Brentford. As the news item says the wheels had specially fitted spokes. There were no breakdowns, as I recall, only my Morris 10 (the support vehicle) which blew a spark plug. It was the intention initially to make charitable collections en-route but there was some legal reason why they could not. I do know that on the downhill runs they did get up to some pretty impressive speeds.”
Colin remembers that from the line up at the beginning of the film are, from left to right 3. (all in black) Jim Knight (Jim died some years ago), 5. (brown shorts, green shirt & pullover) Peter Shepherdly (Peter died in 2009) 6. (Clarion jumper- red with yellow stripe) Terry Davidson (fate unknown).