Welcome to Bolton Clarion
Lymm Transport Day 100years Centenary
The Bolton Clarion Cycling Club are building Lymm into a 150K ride on Transport Day , aiming to come through the village as part of the parade. The club has been coming to the village for nearly 100 years. These clubs were massively popular at the beginning of the 20th century. Here's a photo of the Bolton Branch
click to enlarge photo
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Saturday Rides continue on 2nd Sat of month
see Facebook page for updates and details
New Summer 2014 Newsletter - here
Spring 2014 Newsletter - here
Winter 2013 Newsletter - here
Autumn 2013 Newsletter - here
Summer 2013 Newsletter - here
Spring 2013 Newsletter - here
Bolton Clarion at the Tour de France 2014
Charlie Westlake and Bolton Clarion – Anthony Bowles.
It was in the early nineties and the Medium paced ride met on the town hall square for a ride to Knott End. While exchanging chit chat before setting off a group of unfamiliar guys turned up, but the clarion leader recognised Charlie Westlake among them, it was the Bury CTC section. ‘ The Long Distance ride have just left Charlie’ said the leader, a smile was the response, a man of few words was Charlie. They dismounted and made it clear they were intent on joining us to Knott End. ‘we’re only a slow group Charlie, not up to your pace’, again a slow smile, ‘not to worry, we’ll just tag along at the back’.
And so they did, all the way to KnottEnd, and after the Ferry ride over to Fleetwood.
There was a strange event as we neared Elswick, one of the young lads from Bury, Chris Peatfield, (Chris in later years married Bolton member Katy Prescott) seemed to have got the bonk, he slipped off down to Bonds cafe for and ice cream as we waited patiently at the end of the road.
It was summer and a nice day so it was no big deal really, so it seemed but then the minutes dragged on and no sign of Chris, other Bury lads went to look for him, they too seemed to be long gone. Perhaps a mechanical or puncture? I set off to investigate but just as I did the missing riders appeared, appeared to be well refreshed also, it turned out the ice cream had followed a meal.
Off again and the young man began to get a bit sprightly, he certainly had recovered well, so much so he was hard to contain.
Once through Preston and on the well trodden A6, the pace began to lift and slowly the group began to break apart as Charlie and his henchmen ended the truce, obviously now out of the country lanes and back on main roads we were no longer of use.
A few of us though refused to surrender and took up the challenge as Charlie marshalled his men at the front. Charlie eventually had to take to the front himself as we doggedly refused to surrender, Bamber Bridge, Whittle le Woods, Chorley, Adlington and Horwich, where a frantic sprint for the boundary took place.
The sprint at Horwich seemed to bring about a truce and the pace returned to a sociable one back down to Bolton. As ever Charlie didn’t speak while riding, just pushed the pedals like a metronome, mile after mile after mile, hence his reputation for tough hard rides, rides like that yearly one he did to the centre of Humber Bridge and back in the day, they did have an early start though. Charlie never did turn up at another Bolton clarion ride, he may have forgotten us but certainly did not forget the return from Knott End.
A bit of a post script, we have another hero, beside me. Richard Brown reached the off licence at the lights before Atherton station and dived in desperately needing a cool bottle of coke, I spotted his bike parked outside as I passed. Good, I thought, someone else beside me is knackered. Relaxing on the town hall square I fully expected Richard to make an appearance at any moment, but no show. After a long chat with Brian Timms and Carl Bolton, Carl confessed to a short walk up part of Firs Brow, I ambled off in the direction of the Middlebrook trail, a god send after a tough reliability ride. I later rang Richard and it turned out that as he came out of the shop, just in time to see my back end going up the road, a pup, running scared caused an incident with a motor car. Richard took charge, the security training kicking in and both he and the woman driver went to great lengths to find the owner and get the distraught animal back to safety. Richard's good deed took around half an hour before tackling the remaining few miles back to Bolton. I rang Richard shortly after I had showered and drunk two gallons of tea and cold drinks , I was convinced he had died, no one could have been that far behind me, I was mighty relieved that Richard answered the phone straight away. Well done Richard, he gets this info second hand from a relative who follows our club news.
A BIT OF BOLTON CLARION HISTORY
A Few Photo's from the Bolton Clarion in the late 1890's
click photo to enlarge
Bolton News Article from 10th March 2004
BOLTON Clarion Cycling Club was a successful organisation long before the current obsession with health and fitness. It celebrated its centenary in 1995 and is still going strong. Mr Harry Speak of Bury New Road, Bolton popped into the office recently with this picture from either 1948, 1949 or 1950 - he is not quite sure which. He does know that he is on the right in the fetching shorts and that they were pictured outside Bolton town hall on the day they had an enjoyable ride to Cheshire. The National Clarion Cycling Club goes back to the days when the unstable Penny Farthing was replaced by the triangular "safety cycle." Mr Robert Blatchford, a leading Socialist activist, journalist and publisher, called in his weekly newspaper, "The Clarion", for working people to make the most of the new opportunity to explore countryside - previously the province of the rich - and spread the Socialist message of fellowship. As well as cycling there were social clubs, rambling clubs, handicraft groups and even choirs. The Bolton club was kept ticking over by older members until the 1980s and was then revived by younger enthusiasts. I came across the following Evening News report from March, 1904 which gives a wonderful flavour of the times: "Saturday found some 70 Clarion cyclists and friends at Rivington, the occasion being the opening run, tea party and social at the unitarian School in the village. After tea a social was held. The Rev S. Thompson presided and delivered a pithy address on old England sports. Between the dancing Miss Sandham sang most sweetly, giving entire satisfaction and pleasure to the company. Comrades Hancroft and Marsh also sang and a couple of recitations were contributed by Comrade Fred Wild, also one by Comrade Nicholson of Preston. The affair on the whole was up to the mark and everybody seemed to have a good time. The ride home at night put all in good heart and the Secretary reports that they feel as if a very good start has been made for the season. Run cards are now ready and he is wishful to supply all intending members."
Bolton News Article from 1st May 2001 - Appeal from Down Under
Clarion National Secretary Frank Bibby has received a letter from Australia from an ex-Bolton Clarion member who is anxious to correspond with any of his former cycling friends. Albert F. Johnson lived at 10 Cleggs Lane, Little Hulton and worked at Hick Hargreaves in Bolton. Albert cycled throughout the war years with the club from 1938 to 1946, and will no doubt have many worthwhile memories of this period that are dear to him. Little is known of the wartime exploits of Bolton cyclists and Albert, being one of them, should have much to relate. Contact can be made through Frank Bibby, 130 Crompton Way Bolton. BL2 2SB
JOHN MANN'S CLASSIC REBUILD
(Bolton Clarion members only)