Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  



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

72: A report in the daily press inspires (?) some verse (??)

As far as I can make out, Swiftsure seems to have been away the week of 8 June 1895 - with pretty awful results; but my mission is to bring the early Clarion involvement in cycling to you, warts and all! However, I do like the name for (presumably) the Telegraph - can we revive it?

Last week at Ashstead a wedding party rode to church on bicycles, the bride and the bridegroom on a tandem, the bridesmaids on safeties*. All were attired in knickerbockers.
Daily Troglodyte

The only law that rules the world
Is that of fluctuation, O!
It rules the Court, the camp, the grove
And makes for Reformation, O!

Arts, habits, manners, customs, they
Must all be alterated, O!
For the world would be very dull today
If it never fluctuated, O!

At Ashtead, which is not in Kent
A thing occurred to shock us, O!
For a wedding couple went and went
To church in knickerbockers. O!

And I hope to make it plain to you
(For these rhymes are writ at random. O!)
That they rode on a bicycle made for two,
Which was very ad Cup-Tandem**, O!

And the bridesmaids followed in the way
Upon the safety* saddle. O!
And I'm reluctant for to say
That each one rode astraddle, O!

And they who run might also read
(I know this sounds most shocking. O!)
The gartering above the knee
And the clocking of the stocking. O!

And now I'll end this lyric bland
For my throat is getting arid, O!
With a nuptial paean for the Cycling Queen
Who wore 'em 'fore she married, O!

* "safety" = "safety bicycle" = the bike as we know it. The "ordinary" bicycle was what we sometimes call the penny farthing.
** No, I've no idea either.

6 December 2010: I must also mention that the redoubtable Fred seems to have solved the mystery of the bit in the 1895 verse

That they rode on a bicycle made for two,
Which was very ad Cup-Tandem, O!

Seems to have been a play on ad captandum = For the sake of pleasing. Thanks, Fred.

Next time: "Random Scrip on a Tandem Trip"

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