Over a lifetime of cycling, David and Dorothy Wilkinson amassed a huge number of photos. Their daughter, Margaret, has been (and still is) going through their archives, and has selected a few of particular interest, which she has kindly provided below.
With expressions attuned to the outlook which surrounded us, we sallied forth into the blustery morning, with a leaden sky overhead, and the wind whistling merrily in our ears. But soon our do-or-die determination dwindled to an inclination to potter. and thus we continued on our way. to Skipton. Here a cattle market was in progress, so we quickly slipped through the town; and taking the road up on to the moors soon found ourselves in solitude once more. From up above the pale rays of the sun filtered through to us, and as we sped downward through Rylstone with its roadside lake, an on through Cracoe the wind sang past our faces and acted as a welcome cooling draught. At Threshfield a halt was called and a conference ensued, but the wants of the inner man could not long be neglected, and so we hurried onward, and beneath the frowning Kilnsey Crag we made hearty inroads to our store of "man-fuel." We spent a leisurely half-hour and then once. more we took to our mounts.
After a steady climb we had a glimpse of the pretty village of Hawkswick, nestling at the foot of the towering hillside, before we swept down into the old world village of Arnclifie. Here we left our cycles for a while and strolled through the precincts of the village church, which, in spite of recent renovations still retains its old world solemnity and peacefulness.
The road from Arncliffe led us by the side of the stream on to Halton Gill. On one side towered the hillside with its summit wreathed in swirling mist, whilst on the other side in the distance, rose the other side of the valley. up which meandered the route we had to take. Halton Gill, a bunch of farmsteads and a post office, appeared to be the last outpost of civilisation, for as far as the eye could see the barren sides of the valley stretched, seeming to melt at one end imto black clouds and a clammy swirling mist, whilst the floor of the valley lay bathed in sunshine. As we chmbed up the hillside, sending sheep scurrying from our path, Nature indeed seemed to favour us, for on either side of us black storm clouds lowered, whilst in our rear the mist rolled on in pursuit, Before us, as we reached the top, stretched a wonderful panorama. In the heavens, before us, dark clouds hroke away and the sun’s rays broke through and poured down in long golden shafts on to the earth below, making it look like a chess board of green and brown, through which the stream cut like a silver band. Soon, however, we were forced to hurry on for the mist had rolled up on our heels, obliterating everything behind us, and so reluctantly we mounted and commenced the wild scurry which forms the descent into Stainforth, and so on to Settle, once more rudely plunged into the midst of civilisation.
Under the welcome sign of the “Wheel and Wings" we partook of tea, after which we turned our faces homeward, our way being lightened by the club lasses who, like us, had been revelling in the joys of the open air and a day awheel.
- YOUNG UN
Last week-end all roads led to Bolton-by-Bowland: that pretty Yorkshire village was the centre of the universe for cyclists, cycle campers and hikers of the northern counties. The North Lancashire District Association of the C.T.C. was staging its popular annual “meet" and camping rally, for several years one of the chief attractions for northern cyclists.
Three of us, cycle campers usually, decided to cast convention and cycles aside, and become hiker-campers for once, by way of a change. It wasn’t far to Bolton-by Bowland we argued, also it would enable us to renew acquaintance with scenes long forgotten or neglected whilst seeking pastures farther afield.
Leaving Fence Gate, we turned un by the old church and followed the field paths to Sabden Fold. We had not traversed many fields before it was necessary to remove our jackets for comfort; it was a May day without a doubt. Warm, gentle breezes, and glaring sunlight, with an occasional wisp of cloud in a background of deep blue. A cuckoo called, a peewit performed aerial acrobatics, and a lark from its lofty viewpoint poured music earthward in a long continued trill. Turning into Cock Clough, we attained Spence Moor, and followed the lip of the moor above Ogden Clough. "Nearly equal to the Lake District," said one. "Not quite as rugged or majestic," remarked another critically. Striking across the moor, we reached Brast Clough, and descended the slopes of old Pendle to its foot-hills, and so on to Downham. Leaving this delightful village, we continued along the primrose-strewn banks of Swanside Beck to Sawley, and by wandering lanes reached Bolton-by-Bowland.
Already the village had an animated appearance. Cycle campers from far and near were passing through to the camping ground. Shops (both of them) were experiencing an unprecedented boom. Lads and lasses in shorts monopolised everything. Proceeding to the camp, we erected our tents, and then settled down to a well-earned tea and rest.
In the evening a concert was to be held in the village school. To this we went with about 200 others. The hall was packed to its utmost limit, and many had to be turned away; they missed a treat. A splendid concert was given by Miss S. Taylor, soprano; Miss ¥. Greenwood, contralto; Mr, W. Taylor, baritone (of the Savoy Opera Singers), along with Mr. A. E. Benson, tenor; Miss-E. Illingworth, violinist, and Miss A. Dixon, accompanist. Who will forget 'The Rivals', 'Before and After Marriage', or ‘My Sarah—Oo-ooh!? My Henery—Qo-o0h' put across so inimitably by the various artistes. Not that all were comedy numbers; such favourites as “Selections from Maid of the Mountains,” “Night in Venice,” and the violin solos were received with great applause. A concluding item, "Love’s Old Sweet Song,” beautifully rendered by the party, brought to a close a very pleasant evening.
Returning to the camp after the concert, we found most of the inhabitants at supper or preparing for a night’s rest. Many of the tents were illuminated,. and when seen from a distance were a very pleasing picture one dear to the heart of every camper.
Sunday morning dawned: the day of events! The weather was dull and cloudy, with occasional drizzle. Trom a tent away down stream, a feminine voice squeaked "My Hener —Oo-ooh! My Sarah Oo-ooh!" replied an up-river rovsterer. Shades of last night’s concert! A merry life is a camper’s, full of humour. Between breakfast and lunch the time passed pleasantly in viewing the mushroom village.
Over 130 tents accommodating some 200 persons were there. A party had gathered across the river, and under the leadership of an amateur conductor, were rendering vocal numbers in woodland surroundings, more charming than the artificial atmosphere of the stage. Meanwhile, visitors began pouring in, viewing with wonder and admiration what constituted perhaps the largest gathering of campers ever held in the North of England. Things hecame lively when the Press photographers and the Universal Talking News’ representatives began operations.
It was in the afternoon that things reached a climax. People began to find interest not in the camp, but in the village, and Bolton-by-Bewland began to assume the apearance of a human bee-hive.
Cyclists continually rolled into the village from every approach and gathered on the green to await events. At 2 o’clock Mr. Atkinson. the Chairman, rose and welcomed a crowd roughly estimated at 600. In introducing the speakers, he appealed to cyclists to preserve the beauties of the countryside.
Mr. C. A. Cheetham, C.C. for West Yorkshire, that old veteran full of boyish laughter and youthful vitality, chided the North Lancs. D.A. on holding its "meet" im Yorkshire, but gave them all a heartywelcome to his home county.
Mr. C. H. Crompton, C.T.C., Councillor for Lancashire, stressed the importance of organization, and urged all unattached cyclists to join some organised body such as the C.T.C., to protect their interests.
Mr. Elias, President of the Liverpool District Association, thanked the organisers for giving him his first opportunity of addressing local cyclists did not seem to fully appreciate the beauties of the surrounding district, and that if they lived in a district such as Liverpool, where they had no rural countrvside, would appreciate such beauties a great deal more.
"Kuklus", that witty and versatile lecturer, kept the crowd amused with his sallies at the motorist. "Far from the cyclist being crowded off the road,” he said, *their numbers were increasing every week." He read a letter from a Southampton man who said that he had been compelled by his wife, her mother and their nicce to drive motor cars, so he hated them. (He meant motor cars).
Mr. P. Brazendale, Secretary of the Liverpool D.A. gave a wonderfully uplifting speech. He also stressed the importance of preserving the beauties of the countryside, but added that there was one kind of flower that all cyclists should pluck, by the roots if necessary; he referred to the healthy lasses of the C.T.C. Marry a cyclist, was his advice, and the interests which both have in common will add materially to the joys of life.
Mr. G. A. Hudson, of Nelson, Secretary of the North Lancs. D.A., moved, and Miss M. Aughton, ¢f Nelson, seconded a vote of thanks to the speakers. And so it ended.
We returned to the camp feeling proud of our organisation. These speakers made us feel to be superior; mwore enlightened than those poor creatures ignorant of our pastime. We were rich in experience, happiness and were indded fotunate.
Shouldering our rucksacks, now bulging with the dismantled camping eguipment, we left the camping ground. By way of Foodin, we made our way homewards and dropped into the Haven at Rimington, for tea. Old Pendle had donned his night-cap when we emerged, and a steady drizzle cooled our heated brows. A dozen or so cyclists flashed by. Greetings and humorous sallies clashed in the humid atmosphere, for we recognised them as fellow clubmates returning from the “meet.” I wish I had my bike,” remarked one of my companions as the ecyclists drifted effortlessly down the long hill to Barley.
Thus another Bolton-by-Bowland "meet" had passed into history. This the latest was a success beyond our wildest dreams. It was eloquent of the vivacity of cycling and camping in the mnorth. Will next year’s great event surpass it? Without a doubt, it will. Do not our own leaders of the pastime say so - nay, assert it, that cycling must grow! We who have attended thislatest "meet" look forward with added zest to the next. See that you, attached or unattached cyclists, campers or hikers, are there too.
Bolton:by-Bowland was to-day invaded by 600 cyclists from all parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Bicycles and tandems were stacked in hundreds against the ancient buildings while their owners swarmed round the stone cross and the village green, rambled the country lanes, and inspected a camp of gaily-coloured tents in which 200 cyclists spent the night after pedaling from towns as far removed as Darlington.
These campers, 50 of them girls, had brought their own food and cooked it in the open.
This afiernoon the cyclists assembled on the village green. and listened to an hour's speech-making, chiefly devoted to the aims of the Cyclists’ Touring Cluly, the North Lancashire association of which has promoted the rally. They were joined by 50 ramblers, who were amused when one speaker defined hikers as ‘people who can’'t ride bicycles.'
So far from cyclists being driven off the road by motor-cars, the reverse might occur, another speaker asserted,
He read a letter from a Southampton man who said that he had been compelled by his wife, her mother and their niece to drive motor-cars, so he hated them. (He meant motor-cars.)
Pity the Motorists
“Always be sorry for motorists,” the speaker added “They may be enduring misery at the command of their womenfolk.™
Pleas were made for the preservation of the countryside and I saw one cyclist peel an apple and carefully put the peel into his pocket,
The village constable told me the eyclists were Bolton-by-Bowland’s most orderly visitors.
“Marry a cyclist” was the advice of a Liverpool veteran. A Yorkshire member had evidently done so as he turned off with his wife riding tandem with a baby in a sidecar attached to the machine.
It’s here! It's here!
Come and enjoy it ! Come and enjoy it !
Spring! Spring! Spring!
So heralded the throstle from the topmost bough of a hawthorn. Spring had come and no doubt about it: I could feel it in my bones. Everything was in accord, I felt like giving a pound note away to the first person I met, and would have done had I had one — a sure sign that the glory of the nmorning had intoxicated me.
Slowly I pedalled up Greenhead Lane to Fence, and with quickened progress I passed through Wheatley Lane, Barrowford and Colne, to Langroyds, arriving here at 10 o’clock prompt, the time appointed — a thing almost without precedent. Fully a dozen cyclists were gathered there; they had actually arrived before time; ladies, too, mind you. Others began to arrive — some in shorts, some in the latest cut of plus fours, and a few in the proud possession of sweet young things ornamenting the rear seats of tandems. There were cyclists returning from their winter's retirement, others whose faces I could dimly recollect through the mistiness of time, were returning to the fold, after an absence of years, Quite a number were venturing out with us for the first time, and I hope for their sakes not for the last.
In fear of congestion, a start was made in the direction of Skipton, the riders forming little groups. Everybody and everything seemed to be gay, and as each remarked to the other, it was a fine day to be out and about; birds sang, lambs bleated, and sunlight sparkled. It was good to be alive, Skipton was soon reached, and what a sight! Cyelists here, there and everywhere. Clubs from Yorkshire manufacturing districts and clubs from our own districts. bound for who knows where? Happy cyclists — they know how to enjoy themselves!
Warm was the climb out of Skipton to Draughton; a gentle breeze from the rear and a strengthening sun opened many a clogged pore, and soon ties were removed and shirt necks opened. The long descent past the reservoir to Addingham was soon accomplished, and we found ourselves in Ilkley, where it was necessary to find accommodation at three different establishments, owing to our number.
A walk around Ilkley after lunch is an interesting diversion. Its tree-lined avenues the open moors above the town, and the peaty Wharfe below are attractions worthy of repeated visits. A feature that was noticeable was the number of ramblers, many of them ladies — all wearing a happy smile. Happy ramblers, happy cyclists, enjoying much in common, and all are children of the great outdoors.
Leaving Ilkley, we climbed up the winding road to Ling Park, where on the open moorland a lot of our members stopped to play football, etc., whilst we hardier ones went on towards Beamsley Beacon. Leaving our mounts against a wall, we proceeded on foot towards our goal, but we had not gone far before our runs secretary found a frog pond. Here he paused and became so interested in the creatures that he would persist in heaving half-bricks at them to see them move. It was with great reluctance that he left that pond, and in fact, we had to threaten to throw him in before he would leave. We soon reached the top of the beacon, and here we were rewarded by magnificent views: Away to our right stretched the fertile plain of West Riding to lose itself in the mist, Before us was Blubberhouse Moor with the main road to Harrogate cutting across it, and in the background Simon’s Seat reared itself in the sky.
However, the breeze was cold up there, so we did not linger long; we regained our cycles and soon we had descended to Bolton Bridge. As it was early for tea, we paid a quick visit to the Abbey, and here by the river we passed a pleasant half-hour.
Leaving here, we proceeded past. the car park and along an unfrequented lane to Halton East, a pretty village, which like Pisa in Italy, has a leaning tower. Here we found a lot of our members aiready finishing their tea.
Dusk was failing as we left there, and soon we were in Skipton. again. Here like as in the morning, the market place was crowdesd with cyclists - some just going, and others just coming. However, after leaving Skipton we found a strange contrast to the morning. We ran into a mist which became thicker as we neared the home town, and everything was cold and sodden. 1t was just a trick of fickle March; a May day and November night.
Cyclig Wedding at Foulridge
"Daisy Bell" Send-off
A bride in plus fours — such was the unusual sight at a wedding of two cyclists in the little chapel at Foulridge, near Colne, early this morning.
The bride was Miss Ethel Rushton, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs F. Rushton, of Bright street, Colne, and the bride-groom was Mr Edwin Storey, only son of Mr and the late Mrs P. Storey, of 1 Reedymoor-terrace, Foulridge.
Long before the streets were busy this morning the best man, Mr A, Barnes, had called at the house of Miss Rushton, and together they cycled to the house of one of the bridesmaids at Foulridge. All the parties then cycled to the church. The minister, the Rev. R. G. Pittam, also came to the church an a bicycle.
Although it was only eight o’clock, and the time of the wedding had been kept secret, a good number of people were in the church when the ceremony began.
Open Necked Shirts
Dressed in a fawn tweed plus-four suit and a suede leather waterproof jacket, the bride was attended by two bridesmaids, Miss Mary Rushton and Miss Muriel Pickles. The groomsman was Mr H. Brookes. All the attendants wore riding kit — plus fours or cycling trousers — and the bridegroom, the best man, and the groomsman wore open-necked cricket shirts,
A great many of the weavers in Foulridge village had deserted their looms to greet the bride and bridegroom as they left the church, and they gathered outside the building towards the close of the service.
The party left the church under a shower of confetti of a novel kind, consisting of tiny blue cop-ends, which the weavers had gathered hastily before they left their looms.
No reception was held, and the whole party set out to cycle to Southport, where the honeymoon is to be spent. All of them are keen members of the Nelson section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, and have done a great amount of ecycling during past years,
There were resounding cheers as the party began their long journey, and they pedalled out of sight to the strains of “Daisy Bell.”
After a washed-out week-end, Monday dawned bright and clear, giving forth the promise of a glorious day, and seeing that our run was to a place that is seen to its best advantage in sunshine, we were duly thankful.
Our usual meeting place at Langrovd was not so crowded as it might have been. only about a dozen being present, but strange to say our leader was amongst them. At 8-15 the usual quarter of an hour’s grace having elapsed, we moved off in the direction of Skipton. A back wind to help us, we maintained a steady pace and soon arrived at this town, which we found to be all hustle and bustle in preparation for the day’s market. We did not tarry long here as we had far to go before lunch, and hunger plays havoc with a cyclists mileage.
Our route lay by way of Bolton Bridge and up over Blubberhouse Moor, the descent of the other side was marred by an unfortunate incident. One of our members taking a corner sharply cut in front of another member, who, in trying to avoid the one in front, was forced into the edge of the road where he ran into a heap of chippings. Fortunately, except for a badly bruised arm, no serious damage was done. After bathing the arm at an adjacent well we were soon speeding on our way again towards Harrogate. Three miles from this famous spa we turned to our left, and proceeding by way of Killingshall and Ripley soon arrived at Ripon and lunch.
Immediately after dinner we paid a brief visit to Ripon cathedral. Some of our members went to the top of the tower, counting the number of steps as they went. When they came down they amused the rest by trying to calculate how much each step had cost them.
Leaving Ripon by the main road to Pateley Bridge we climbed up in easy stages to Studley Royal, where leaving the main road we turned left down a by road to Fountains Abbey, our objective. After parking our cycles under a nearby hedge, we went to the gates of the grounds, but on finding that we had to pay a shilling to enter about half of our members showed their Scottish descent and turned back. The rest of us paid our shillings and passed into the grounds.
Who can truly describe this beautiful old ruin? Nestling there in that beautiful parkland, it almost seemed like a jewel in an emerald setting. To explore this ancient ruin one needs a week or so at least, but we did our best in the time at our disposal. We marvelled at the time it must have taken those pious builders to build such a place that has stood the ravages of centuries. A walk through the Grounds was worth the visit alone. The walks were bordered with clusters of primroses, violets and forget-me-nots, whilst the lawns were well kept. The River Skell winding leisurely through the grounds completed a perfect picture, but it was somewhat spoiled by the raucous sound of a portable gmmophonp blarting out the latestJazz music.
The afternoon was well advanced when we at last left the spot and returning to our cycles once more sallied forth 1n the direction of Pateley Bridge. A passing shower drove us to the shelter of a neighbouring wall from which we watched a skylark soaring heavenward and heard it pouring out its beautiful melody. We passed on again, and on arriving at Pateley a threatening thunderstorm drove us to the shelter of the Talbot Arms, where we filled our 'innards'
Tea over we began our homeward trek, climbing out of the town by way of Greenhow Hill, we pushed on past the Stump Cross Caverns, across Craven Moor and by way of Appletreewick to Barden Bridge. From here the road climbed steeply up over Halton Moor, bringing us to a swift drop down Eastby Brow to Embsay and Skipton onceagain.
The market town was crowded, the fair being in full rwing behind the cattle market. We did not stop as the hour was getting late, but pushed on, and soon arrived home, so ending another glorious day awheel.