The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s
14 Reports from Bradford.
Last time we had the 'end of season' report from Birmingham from the Clarion of 22 September 1894. The same issue had also a report from Bradford
Just returned from a glorious run to Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough, twelve machines going, including a tandem which is to carry a lady with us next week. Returned to Starbeck, and organised a meeting for the handful of Socialists there, who are having an uphill fight. Next Sunday 's run is to Wyke and at their request, to rouse them up there. J H
The previous week, see last circular, Tom Groom had revived the idea of a spring meet (or 'meat' as he spelled it at the end of his report) for all Clarion cyclists – the origin of today's Easter Meet and asked 'Bradford' for its support. As we shall see, he didn't ask in vain – and 'Pedlar' seems to have been far too nice to correct the O'Groomie O's spelling. From the Clarion, 29 September 1894 -
Bradford Clarion C.c. reports, September 23 1894:-
Nineteen machines went to Wyle to-day. We turned the village out with the bugle. Delivered lots of Clarion leaflets. Stayed to meeting addressed by Comrade Hay of Halifax and others. Next week's run is to Barnsley. Hope to do some good work there and on the road. If the Clarion circulation is not trebled it isn't the fault of the Bradford C.C.. for it is their main aim to advertise it, seeing they get inspiration from it. We all heartily endorse 'Brum's' remarks about good fellowship for 'Cycling Socialist' is the new name for true comradeship. We shall be pleased to fall in at the meat. Bell tents are very cheap to hire, and why should not some hundred Clarion cyclists spend a few days together if some suitable centre could be spotted out. We shluld hope to bring a little crowd with us from this end. With our president (Ben Tillett) riding at her head we should be bound to arrive. Oh, let it be soon
We'll have to get a bugle! I see Fred as our first choice for bugler – but no doubt everyone else will want a blow too.
Ben Tillett (1860-43) had become well-known a few years earlier as one of the leaders of the London Dock Strike of 1889. His union later merged with others to form the T&G and Tillett later became a Labour MP
Next time – 'Lady Cyclists' and reports from Liverpool and Bradford (again)