The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 119. A response to Manchester from Birmingham’s “O’Groomie O”

On 2 November 1895 came the inevitable response to the challenge of “Secretary Reekie” of Manchester CCC in Swiftsure’s “Cycling Notes” of that week.

By the way Secretary Reekie’s communication in last week’s Clarion called forth the following from the “O’Groomie O”


Dear Swiftsure, – Ah! and so the Sandy MacSprint thinks the waltz is “a slow, soft, dreamy dance” does he? He ought to have seen it as performed by the Poet and Inseck, at Coventry. It was not too slow.

We had taken two prizes at Coventry, making six in all, and we let ourselves out at the fancy dress dance held afterwards. And the waltz is “a slow, dreamy, dance” is it?

At 4 a.m. we discovered the Poet trying to inflate his tyre with the valve out. At 7 a.m. The Club climbed into Birmingham – a weary, wan-eyed, miserable lot of dejected perishers. The dreamy waltz!

We have taken six prizez. Six! Sandy. No we didn’t turn out over a hundred strong. Numbers are against us. But the quality!

However, let that pass. Is your man Sutcliffe prepared to accept our President’s challenge? (Clarion, October 12th)

Our dinner is to be held on Saturday, November 16th. We will turn out and pace our man in easy relays. Do you the same, and when you get to Brum see if our dances are of such stuff that dreams are made of.

And, Sandy, don’t you do any more of that doggerel of yours, or we’ll set our Poet on you.
The “O’Groomie O”

Next time: A (final?) word on cycling parades and Manchester’s 100 mile run in ten hours


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