The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 104: Cycle Parades 1 – Birmingham

From “Cycling Notes” in the Clarion, 14 September 1895

Birmingham Clarion C.C.

The Birmingham Cycle Parade! Huge crowds of thronging thousands! Thundering peals of deafening applause! Thrilling shrieks of frantic joy:

As with
Measured swing and stately tread,
“Robed revolutionary red,”
With clear bright eye
And proud held head
A host which the noble
McAtkinson led,
Came marching on, The Clarions,

Which I reckon is very good for an amateur, and shows what deep wells of poetry may be tapped when occasion calls.

The parade was a great success, the costumes being on the whole very good, many of them very funny, others merely vulgar. The clubs in uniform costume were few, among them being “The Arabs,” attired as such, who looked well, whilst no one could object to the neat and effective perriot costume of our club, It was really very pretty, for although the costume was of brilliant red, it was by no means displeasing to the eye. It was, in fact, most artistic in conception and design.

Of course after that we took a prize, walked on our heels, and spread ourselves all over the route. At every few yards we were greeted with the warcry “Boots!” whilst the prize distributor introduced our prizetaker as the representative of Socialism.

We are going to give Walsall a turn next Saturday (21st) and Coventry will be troubled later on.

Cycle parades are a great institution.

The O’Groomie O

Next time: Cycle Parades 2 – Manchester


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