The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 166. Back to June 1896 Club reports from Darlington and Wigan

Darlington

We have had a very satisfactory two months’ runs, and we distributed and sold large quantities of Clarions and other literature bearing on Socialism, and I hope when a little of the enthusiasm for wanting to ride long distances and break records, or their necks (I don’t know which it is they are trying for) wears off, we will get into a more systematic method of propaganda, and stir up the villages round about us. We had the Yellow Van of the Land Nationalisation Society here on June 13th and 14th when they gave some good addresses in the Market Place, our members attending in good force. When the “Woman’s Van” comes to our neighbourhood, if it ever reaches here, we intend mustering in full force and assisting our comrades in their noble work anywhere within cycling distance, weather being anywhere favourable.”

J Newton Carter, Hon.Sec.

Wigan

The Wigan CCC have since the last report visited Charnock Richard, Morecombe and Leyland, leaving at each place leaflets &c. We have also made a point of enjoying the beautiful country that is to be found in these places; this may have been a particularly favourable one all sunshine. As a consequence the country has been exceptionally beautiful – hawthorn, lilac and chestnut, all being dressed in their best, and giving forth a perfume that made the hearts of us townsfolk glad.

The country bowling-greens also came in for a share of our attention, our members giving their minds to this old-fashioned game in a right hearty manner. It is a noble summer sport, and would suit the Bounder down to the ground. It is impossible to pocket the balls and there is no fear of losing them. I don’t know whether there is an increase in Clarion rides this season ; but I am pleased to say we meet them more frequently on the road than we did last season, and there is always a pleasant exchange of greetings.”

Jas. Cavey, 37 Kendall Street, Wigan.

Next time: More advice from “Swiftsure” and a brief London Clarion announcement

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