I got a little ahead of things last time – with reports from the Clarion from early September 1894. I shall have to back-track a little. But first, here's another snippet that brings home something of that phenomenon of the 1890s – the 'lady cyclist' (or 'bikist'.) 'Swiftsure wrote:
Meanwhile, on 25 August the following report had appeared in 'Swiftsure's' cycling column.
Potteries Branch "Clarion" CC, Stoke-on-Trent
We have been touring in penny numbers in all parts of our domains – some getting even as far as Jersey, and others to all parts of England and Wales. Two of us who were making for Barmouth, had the good fortune to drop in on our Birmingham comrades. We were passing through Llangmyneck, at a speed something under 60 miles an hour, when we were hailed by their gallant captain, whose other name is Atkinson. Finding they were bound for Dolgelly, at the captain's invitation we joined their part, and, thereby hangs a tale, which no doubt the "O'Groomeo" will unfold.
We stayed at Dolgelly till Friday morn, when we commenced our return journey, travelling via Bala, Corwen, and the Vale of Llangollen, thence to Chester. None of these places espaped a fusillade of Clarion leaflets, not even the cathedral at Chester. During the whole time we were well supplied with moisture both inside and out. Most of the riding was hard 'plugging' amongst the slush, while the gentle rain from heaven dropped upon the earth beneath. It was twice blessed – only more so. Selah!
All cyclists should join one of the Clarion CCs if it is only to cultivate the acquaintance of our Birmingham comrades. We have found them full of good fellowship and humanity of which we hear so much but see so little. Without doubt they are worth a guinea in the box. With kind regards, I am
A company of five of the Hanley Potteries CC started for a tour of Jersey on Saturday, August 4th, starting at 7 a m, the route being via Stafford, Brum, Stratford-on-Avon, Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke, Winchester and Southampton, which place was reached at about nine o'clock on Sunday night, in time to find that no boats run on Sunday night. However, we took to sailing on Monday night at 12 p m and were good sailors as long as we were asleep. Jersey was reached at 9 a m, when tracks for the Queen's Hotel were made, which place we found quite a home; being very reasonable, could recommend to Clarionettes touring that way.
On Tuesday, we visited real places of interest in the interior of the island. Wednesday wet. Thursday a run was made all round the coast, near as possible, which I can assure you was exceedingly pretty, and well worth our long ride to see. What price the Bounder with a 12 foot cabbage for a walking-stick?
Return journey was started on Friday morning; Southampton was reached at 4 pm , Winchester, Marlborogh, Cheltenham, Worcester, Wolverhampton being our route for home, which was reached about 6 pm on Sunday.
Total distance about 700 miles. What price that, Brum?