Clarion call was answered as cyclists descended on historic Pendle club

A "pilgrimage" to a historic recreational socialist club was attended by enthusiasts from around the country.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 3:20 pm
Some of the riders at Clarion House

Supporters of The Clarion Cycling Club, now spread around the country, were invited to Clarion House at Newchurch-in-Pendle, for the get-together last Sunday.

It was built in 1912 by Nelson Independent Labour Party, and has been owned since then by Nelson ILP Land Society. It was used as a recreational facility in the fresh air of the countryside for members.

One former member, Andrew Livesey, who now lives in London, said: "The local club has been based at Clarion House (The Clarion Independent Labour Party Tearooms) for 112 years. We wanted to revive the tradition of past and present members meeting there around this time of year.

"Cyclist and walkers came in their groups throughout the day - they had arranged their rides and walks to take in a visit to the Clarion House. They stayed for tea and sandwiches and to listen to the Strawberry Thieves Socialist Choir before continuing their outings.

"The Strawberry Thieves Socialist Choir sing at events around London every weekend, so it was a special treat to get them to Nelson."

Cyclist from the following clubs took part in the day: Barnoldswick Clarion, Blackpool Clarion, Bolton Clarion, London Clarion, NCCC 1895, North Lancashire Clarion C & AC, Saddleworth Clarion, Stockport Clarion and Yorkshire Coast Clarion.

The total number of riders was 109, giving a total distance ridden to the event of 3,215 miles. In addition there were 11 ramblers, adding up to about 165 miles walked.

Andrew added: "Thank you to all who attended, the organisers giving up their time and the contributions to the funds.

"The day was an attempt to resurrect the historic concept of 'Clarion Sunday' when hundreds of Clarion cyclists would converge on at a location for fellowship and tea. This has been going on for more than 120 years informally.

"Last year more than 100 cyclists met at the Tearooms in Jinney Lane. There are now an increasing number of Clarion Cycling Clubs within cycling distance of The Nelson Clarion House and their attendance would bring much needed funds to this historic institution, which has served cyclists and walkers every single Sunday since 1913."