Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club  



Contributed by Michael Walker of Unison.

Britain's Cumnock Rally
by Bob Marshall

In the years before 1935, West of Scotland cyclists were staunch supporters of their own clubs, and although mixing with other clubs on the road they all, more or less, kept to themselves. Things began to move, however, and in 1935, as a result of the C.T.C. organising protest meetings, drawing attention to road conditions and anti-cycling legislation, Glasgow and the West of Scotland came into the limelight. Successful combined team-work of the C.T.C., Glasgow District Association; National Clarion Cycling Club, Scottish Unions; 'National Cyclists' Union, Scottish Centres; and the West of Scotland Time Trials Association, made a huge success of the Glasgow Protest Meeting, and also brought into being the first Cyclists' Defence Committee in Britain-open for affiliations from Associations and Clubs.

Planning arrangements of the new Committee included huge open air meetings, attended by cyclists and general public, with prominent speakers emphasising the road dangers and how cyclists must defend their legal rights to use the highways. Successful Sunday afternoon rallies – speeches only – were held, but were disappointing as far as type of crowd was concerned.

The solution of the problem had to be a Super Rally, with week-end camping and sports built round propaganda speeches. The venue of the Super Rally was not easily found; six months passed- before it was discovered that kindly Cumnock, in Ayrshire (Keir Hardie's home) would welcome the cyclists, and grant the full use of their Woodroad Park for the week-end.

The offer was accepted, and the first Super Rally was held in 1938, with Provost Nan Hardie Hughes and Mr Emrys Hughes – now M.P. – (daughter and son-in-law of the late Keir Hardie) backing the Committee to the full.

Through the years and all the weary war years, the Super Rally carried on, and now, at the beginning of a new year, the whole cycling world is looking forward to the Fourteenth Cumnock Rally – the 1951 Rally to be held on 23rd and 24th June.

Famous Cumnock Rally – now more than a Swimming Gala, speeches, huge camp, bicycle polo and sports – it is also the meeting place of all cyclists and the cycling world – and it is the most outstanding Rally in Britain.

Clarion lads and lasses rub shoulders with all the other Club lads and lasses, and in the rubbing, show the rest of the cycling world that the only true solution to keeping the cyclists' rightful place on the highways is for all cyclists and organisations to bring the Cumnock Rally family spirit into Club life – and fight as one big united family against anti-cycling legislation.

circa 1950

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