Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  



The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s

67. Swiftsure returns to the treatment of pedestrians - and other bits and pieces

[But first an apology. I make plenty of mistakes in these newsletters but I don't usually knock off in the middle of a sentence as I seem to have done last time with the details of the new Hyde Clarion CC reported in the 18th May 1895 edition of the paper. It should have ended like this:

The hon.sec. is R Chadwick, 28 Grafton Street, Hyde, and all Clarionettes in the district are invited to attend.

To attend the meeting in Marple, that is.]

[Corrected retrospectively - fred]

Regular readers of this feature (if such exist) will recall that episode 58 (see history page of website) included Swiftsure's wise words on the treatment of pedestrians by cyclists in his Cycling Notes on 25 May 1895.

My remarks a short time since on the first right of foot passengers to the roadway have called forth several letters from correspondents, who express their decided approval thereof. One of them considers that such knowledge and directions should be contained in every cycling club's rule book.

The moment most riders are astride their machine, they look upon foot-passengers as their natural enemies, who should always keep to their proper place - the footpath. On the other hand, the foot passenger has unfortunately come to regard the fast-increasing body of cyclists as a positive danger to the public - and ought to be harassed at every possible opportunity. This state of feeling ought not to be and if every cyclist would but use their "speedy steeds" at the will and convenience of the passenger, that antagonism would speedily be moderated.

Nothing directly to do with cycling, but in the same issue it was reported that Oxford students had debated a motion that "the Socialist tract 'Merrie England'" (Blatchford's hugely popular little book) was "but the baseless fabric of a vision". The motion was passed by 103 to 54 - a pretty good showing for the pro-socialist camp at that time -

The Clarion commented, "The comic element is in the arguments." Also from 25 May's "Cycling Notes":

P Lindley, 492, Bolton Road, Pendlebury near Manchester, informs me they have started a Clarion CC. He also says: "We shall be pleased to have a call from any club passing through Pendlebury on a Sunday or Swintin in the afternoon where meetings are held…And thereby arouse the curiosity and interest of the inhabitants."

Next time - Blatchford on "sticking labels on things".

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