The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 114. The Bounder gets an invitation and Swiftsure urges participation in Manchester Lifeboat Cycling Parade

We left the Bounder a few issues back having a well-earned rest on a boat – the Ondine – heading up the Seine from Rouen towards Paris after having cycled from Dieppe to Le Havre. On the way he received an invitation from the Birmingham CCC.

Here is a letter from the O Groomie O, which I read with modified satisfaction as we steamed up the silver Seine:-

Dear Sir, The Brummagen C.C desire the favour of your presence at the second annual P.S.F. – periphery swelling function – We want to hold it about the second week in November, konvenient to you.

The dinner will be held at the Old Royal, a bigger and better place than last time. I suspect the man Sutcliffe will be present, also Nero Smith from Leamington, whom we met a fortnight ago, after having held a meeting there. He is tres comique.

Let me know when you can come, so that we may fix the room. We have had “good herbs” this summer, and have got things to show you.

Yours fraternally,
Tom Groom

Let the feast be prepared when thou pleasest good Groomie O. ’Tis all one to me so long as the Kakes and Klaret wine be forthcoming. Good old Nero. I would dwell upon those features once again. And instruct the man Sutcliffe that, as he fancy himself as humperpusher, I am prepared not only to knock the stuffing out of him, but to wipe the floor with his remains.

The same edition of the Clarion – 5 October 1895 – had this announcement and exhortation from Swiftsure in his “Cycling Notes”

The grand cycle parade and carnival, in aid of the Lifeboat funds, in Manchester next Saturday, the 12 inst is liable to prove one of the finest yet held for that good purpose. … It is hoped the Manchester Clarion C.C. will give the public a show of their numbers on that day. They can do it if they try. I see that the Birmingham Clarion C.C are becoming quite notorious at this kind of fun. In the parade at Redditch last Thursday week they carried away the third prize for muster, while Miss Muir secured the prize for best collector’s costume; and Captain Atkinson won a prize for the best decorated machine.

Let the Manchester C.C.C, therefore, try to follow their example. It is in a good cause.

Next time: Preparations for the Manchester Parade


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