Welcome to The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895
An Association of Clarion Cycling Clubs
Clarion Cycling Clubs History
The Clarion Cycling Club was founded in 1894 by six young men who were members of the Bond Street Labour Church on Constitution Hill in Birmingham. Their leader, Tom Groom, was also a member of the Marxist Social Democratic Federation. Initially they called their Club, the Socialists' Cycling Club but quickly re-named it the Clarion Cycling Club after 'The Clarion', their favourite weekly newspaper, edited by the Socialist campaigner Robert Blatchford.
Their aim was to:
“Combine the pleasures of cycling with the propaganda of Socialism”
These principles were based on the Socialist Ten Commandments that were taught in the Socialist Sunday Schools.
After an account of an Easter Tour by the Birmingham Clarion Cycling Club, other readers took the initiative to form their own Clubs whilst the paper called for these to be established far and wide. In time they were founded throughout the land and indeed the world.
On Easter Sunday 1895 Clarion cyclists came together at Ashbourne and resolved to form an Association of the newly formed Clarion Cycling Clubs:
‘for the purposes of Socialist propaganda and for promoting inter-Club runs between the Clubs of different towns.’
Each Clarion Cycling Club was to be responsible for its structure, rules, subscriptions and badges.
Unlike other cycling clubs, from their formation all Clarion Cycling Clubs welcomed women members.
'Of all the Clarion organisations...the Clarion Cycling Club alone remains fully alive. And so long as it keeps true to its objectives: Mutual Aid, Good Fellowship, and the Propaganda of the Principles of Socialism, it will have good cause and reason for keeping alive'.
Tom Groom, first National Secretary
What is the National Clarion Cycling Club 1895?
The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 is an Association of Clarion Cycling Clubs which serves as a means of communication and coordination of activities; to support and advise Clarion Cycling Clubs formed in any town, district or country and to encourage further Clubs to be established.
The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 does not offer individual membership nor does it retain any individual’s information. We do not provide insurance either.
The Association does not organise activities in its own right; rather it assists Clubs in organising events to which other Club’s members are invited; be they regional, national or international.
We try to foster at least one meet each year so that the various members of the Association Clubs can come together as well as various other inter-Club activities. An email with details of relevant events is circulated to our Club contacts periodically.
Whilst we do not levy a charge for association, we would ask that subscribing Clubs make a donation of c.£10 per year to go towards our administrative costs.
Our aims can be summarised as cycling, fun and fellowship so that the fight to achieve the fairer society sought by our founders is never forgotten.
National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 stands firmly by the Clarion motto of old: 'Socialism the Hope of the World', the Socialist Ten Commandments and the fight for a new society with Love as its Law and Justice its Foundation.
An artists project by Alan Ward to celebrate Clarion Sunday on Sunday 19th September 2021, a unique and historic event. In the colours of the Spanish Republic in honour of those who died in the International Brigades including 5 Clarion Cyclists.
Charles Jepson talks about The Clarion Movement at Unity Hall, Nelson, Lancashire, May 2022
Clarion 1895 Cycling Cap
The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 Cycling Cap is high quality, stylish, practical and in traditional Clarion 1895 Spanish Republic colours. The Clarion 1895 Cycling Cap comes complete with the traditional No Pasaran!. Wear your Clarion 1895 Cap with Pride.
The Clarion philosophy was that, to get to socialism, you must make socialists - ie people who are collectively socially responsible and will work together for the common good.