The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 167.Rides, a distinguished visitor, and trouble with the Watch Committee in Liverpool

Liverpool CCC report for 27 June 1896

The event since the last report has been the dispatch of the “Clarion Woman’s Van” on June 18th… A good number of members journeyed to Chester, on the occasion, under a burning sun , just in time, in consequence of a late start, to witness the closing ceremony before the Van started on its pilgrimage. The day following (Sunday) Neston was visited, 22 members turning out for the ever popular Cheshire run… Tea was provided at the Chester Hotel, Parkgate.  Parkgate is, I believe, on the sea-coast, though all the evidence you have for that belief is the fact of there being a few miles of mud dotted here and there by fishing boats. Cockles and convalescent homes seem to be the chief industry.

Systematic propaganda seems rather “off” with us just now; perhaps this is because most of us have our noses on the grindstone of the cause six days a week, and like to enjoy the country and fresh air without being disturbed by the consideration of having a duty to perform. Perhaps those of our members who are not so active  the other six days will signify the same. Comrade Liebknecht during his visit to Liverpool informed me that in Germany cycling Socialists are highly organised for the purpose of spreading Socialism in the country districts, and that at election time great use is made of the wheel, a complete system of communication being  established between the various  polling stations by means of which the party obtains information valuable to them more quickly than other parties can command…

One of our members, J Morrissey, of Toxteth, has been fined for asserting the right of free speech in the open air. A rigorous campaign  is being carried on, and if continued will no doubt result in the defeat of the persons in authority, as was the case last year.

At the time of writing the cycle parade in aid of the hospitals has had to be postponed in consequence of the action of the dunder-headed Watch Committee proscribing the route used in previous years, which naturally comprises some of the principal streets… No reason is given for their conduct, which  seems pure cussedness on their part. Feeling is very strong on the side of the Parade Committee, who talk of holding mass meetings in front of St George’s Hall, from where the Socialists have so often held forth. Perhaps something will result that may give pause to the “never ending audacity of these elected persons.”

Our membership continues to increase in a most gratifying fashion. We can also boast of lady members.

W Bevan, Hon.Sec/

Next time: haven’t decided yet (been on holiday!)

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One Response to The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 167.Rides, a distinguished visitor, and trouble with the Watch Committee in Liverpool

  1. […] intended to add a note to the extract from the Liverpool CCC report in the last edition – but forgot. The “Comrade Liebknecht” who was mentioned as having visited and told of the […]

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