The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s: 169. Blatchford’s (not entirely serious) advice for “cautious riders.”

This comes from a longer piece by Blatchford in the Clarion  June 1896

You’ll notice that it is signed “Nunquam” and since it’s a while since I’ve explained this and many people have joined us since then I’d better do it again.

Before starting the Clarion with a group of like-minded friends Robert Blatchford had already found unexpected fame as a journalist on the Sunday Chronicle.  He was particularly admired for a series of articles exposing the awful living conditions of people living in the slum areas of Manchester.  These were signed  “Nunquam Dormio” ( = I never sleep.  Though Blatchford whose formal education was almost entirely confined to what he learned in the British army as a young man had to ask his friend Alex Thompson what it meant).   The name stuck and Blatchford became “Nunquam.”  Other members of staff – and frequent correspondents such as Tom Groom (“the O Groomio”) –  also quickly acquired nickmamses.  Thompson became “Dangle,”  E F Fay “The Bounder”,  Blatchford’s elder brother Montague “Mont Blong” and the artist and designer William Palmer “Whiffley Puncto” – apparently because he “whiffled” ( No, please don’t ask me!).

nunquam

Next time:  The Nottingham Camp

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