The National Clarion
The Clarion cycling club was formed in 1895 after a group of likeminded individuals got together in Birmingham in 1894. It took the Clarion name from Robert Blatchford's socialist newspaper.
The National Clarion cycling club grew during the early 1900s with 8000+ members at one time and with sections all over the UK. Working class people were getting their freedom on bikes in the countryside and the Clarion was spreading the word and the newspaper to industrial towns and villages. In those days before most people could own a car, the bike gave freedom and fellowship...the Clarion thrived.
We now have some 650 members in 25 sections, which makes us one of the bigger cycling clubs in the country. Bikes still give us our freedom, freedom from the motorcar, the stresses of the rat-race and gives us great friendship, great friends around the country.
Whether we race, socialise, tour or meet in cafes, the Clarion is a CLUB, a true club not an association.
Classic Clarion greeting "Boots! & Spurs!"
Clarion riders right across the UK greet each other by saying "Boots!" and respond with the exclamation "Spurs!"
The tradition originates from when Clarion newspaper editor Robert Blatchford, used to sit in his barracks late at night telling stories with friends. To make sure that their listeners were still awake, the storyteller would say 'Boots!' those still awake duly replying 'Spurs!'. Satisfied that everyone was still awake, the story would continue.
"Boots and Spurs" continues to be the Clarion call to this day and is also the name of the twice yearly newsletter sent to all Clarion members.