The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s
68. Blatchford in 'sticking labels on things'
One thing people tend to remember about the early Clarion cycling clubs is the propaganda activity of putting socialist stickers on cows. What is less appreciated, unless they read Denis Pye's history of the first century of the Clarion CC Fellowship is Life (p 30) is that this was controversial, discouraged by the paper itself and seems to have been a very short-lived practice. Here's Blatchford from his "Editorial Notes" 1 June 1895
I see that the Candid One in the Scout, approves of the fashion of sticking Socialist labels on things.
I must say that I don't like the idea and never did. If I saw any kind of labels - Socialist, religious or what not - stuck on the rocks on rocks and trees, I am sure I should not be pleased.
And do you think much good can come of it? If a man sees these labels plastered over the woods and hills, is he not more likely to be angry at the defacement of Nature than be edified by the matter the labels bear?
Besides, we are not all discreet, and it is easy to get into trouble through an injudicious zeal in this practice. These things the Candid One has come to see, and it is at his own request that I allude to the matter now
A nod in the hand is as good as two winks in the bush to a Clarion Scout - or any other man.
Next time. Some of the dangers of cycling - according to Swiftsure