Well, no one offered a ride for last Sunday – perhaps not surprising in the light of the weather forecast.
But thanks to Anne and Mick we do have one for s 22 February.
Now we are looking for volunteers to lead the March (and April rides) most urgently for 8 March. Any offers?
I have said that I can’t back stop at the moment. There are – as always – dates I couldn’t make anyway but there is a more general reason. Sometime during the next weeks – or months – I will be called in for cataract surgery and I don’t want to put myself down to lead a ride and then have to back out – possibly at the last minute.
Anne, Mick and Fred have let me know they will be representing us in Llangollen. Is anyone else going? Do let me know if you are.
In her report in the last newsletter, Sally mentioned “the bronze life-sized statues of Edwardian medical philanthropist Dr. Salter, his wife, their daughter Joyce who died in infancy, and, on the parapet, her cat.” This was Dr Alfred Salter (1873- 1945) . His career, political as well as medical and philanthropic, was a very significant one as was that of his wife Ada,
The statues Sally and the others saw have only been there since last November and were the outcome of a local campaign that raised about £60,000 It replaced a statue of Salter sitting on a park bench which was stolen in November 2011 from Cherry Garden Pier. Simon Hughes, the Liberal-Democrat M P for Bermondsey, expressed outrage on his blog of 21 November 2011 and described Salter as “ the greatest of our MPs in the last century”. I’m sure he was right.
A lifelong pacifist, Slater joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) in 1908 was elected as MP for Bermondsey in the 1920s, was one of the few Labour MPs to survive the election debacle of 1931. He continued until he stood down at the 1945 election. He died a few weeks later. In 1949 Fenner Brockway’s biography of Slater – Bermondsey Story – was published.
I first came across Salter in more than a general way when I was researching my book Romancing the Revolution. The ILP, along with most of the British Left were, initially, carried away by the hopes raised in the midst of an awful war by the revolution in Russia. I discovered that Salter was the first person in the ILPs paper, Labour Leader to express fundamental criticisms of the Bolsheviks, while praising them for “their unflinching courage.” Their movement had other virtues but, he wrote, “we must definitely dissociate ourselves from its violence, its suppression of opposing criticism and its disregard for democracy.” This was in March 1918 “Socialism apart from true democracy,” Salter concluded, “is not only meaningless but valueless.”
More recently, in my – as yet unpublished – book on the interwar ILP – I mention that in 1923 Salter was an advocate of the “Living Wage.” Three years later the ILP adopted the famous report with this title. The ILP was at the centre of Salter’s life, but he parted company with it when it disaffiliated from the Labour Party in 1932. The previous year he predicted – sadly, accurately enough – that a disaffiliated ILP, now under the leadership of the iconic Jimmy Maxton, would degenerate into “a mere nuisance and irritant, like the Communist Party.”
Among other internet sources for more info on Salter there is Graham Taylor’s “Alfred Salter and the Bermondsey Revolution” on the ILP (now Independent Labour Publications) website.
In case there is anyone who still hasn’t renewed their membership for 2015 – and since I wrote this Julian has told me that there are still lots who haven’t – can I remind you that the subscription fee is £8? Send your cheque to Julian Arkell, Treasurer, 17 Normandy House, 18 The Drive, Hove, BN3 3JB.
Alternatively you can pay by BACS but if you do it is vital lhat you let Julian know that you have done so. The details are
Bank The Co-operative Bank
Sort Code: 08-92-99 Account Number: 65377325
Acc Name: Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club
Reference: [your own surname]
Email Julian at email@example.com to confirm
Any problems, phone Julian on: 01273 911342