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.
Sunday last found the members of the North Lancashire District Association of the Cyclists’ Touring Clab gathered in Ellis' tea rooms at Gisburn for the purpese holding their annual general meeting and much more important, of course—their annual dinner and concert.
I will not bore the long-suffering readers of this column with a lengthy account of the meeting, but will briefly mention the officials elected for the coming year. President : The Bishop of Burnley; Vice-Presidents : Messrs. J. Atkinson, T. Hargreaves, W. TLord, and J. Smith ; hon. secretary : Mr. G. A. Hudson (7, Pine Street, Nelson) ; hon. treasurer : Mr. W. Lord ; hon. auditor Mr. H. Leaver; hon. Press secretary : Mr W. R. Mitchell. The committee comprises four delegates from each section, viz. : Mrs Hudson, Messrs. H. Blezard, H. Bowdin, and J. Nuttall (Nelson section), and Messrs: W. Waddington, R. Livesey, W. Briggs and H. Holding (Blackburn section). The meeting closed at 4-30.
The annual dinner began at 5-15, and over 70 members sat down to an excellent repast under the chairmanship of Mr. J. Atkinsons The District Association dinner, as supplied by Miss Ellis, is always eagerly anticipated by our appreciative members. To hear them talk about the dinner, any listener would be led to suppose that our members fasted for several weeks in preparation for the event. After looking at their plump faces the listener would doubtlessly refuse to believe these exaggerated declarations but had he been at Gisburn on Sunday and seen, how easily our members disposed of four-course dinner he could have been pardonably excused for believing that there was some truth in their statements, But it has aaways been one of the advantages of cycling that it creates a healthy appetite particularly in winter. To all who suffer from any inability to dispose of food. I have no hesitation whatever in recommending thebicycle as a cure for their complaint.
The dinner eventually came to a satisfactory conclusion and the tables wene cleared away. Then came the concert. Our chairman, who is a personal friend of Mr. "Willie" Taylor, had been fortunate enough to secure for our entertainment the services of four members of the Savoy Opera Singer, namely : Miss F. Greenwood (contralto); Mr. T. Hartley (tenor); Mr. W. A. Taylor (baritone), and Mr. H. Skirrow (pianist), who, together with Miss Illingworth (violinist) of Colne, rendered an excellent programme. Their programme was verv varied and comprised of vocal solos, duets and trios (operatic, sentimental and humorous), violin solos and humorous sketches. Several of the items brought the house down; one of them, "The Rivals." a humorous duet by Messrs. Taylor and Hartley, had an unrehearsed culmination added to it. The singers, with ecstatic gestures, were pleading with a maiden seated near the door ‘to be their’s,' when the door slowly opened and the head of one of our members emerged from behind the door-jamb and popped into the room. This unexpected denouement, together with the bewildered expression that appeared on the face of the member at apparently being almost frantically implored by two gentlemen "to be their's." caused a general collapse amongst the audience. Another item "The Leader of the Town Brass Band" by Miss Greenwood with the help of Messrs. Taylor and Hartley (who were the band in question) raised such vociferous applause that the band (sic) was compelled to give a special item, "Sonny Boy,” which brought mock tears to the eyes of the performers and real tears (of laughter) to the eyes of the audience. Our campers, who have a so-called band composed of an unconventional mixture of musical instruments, were loud in their praise of this item, and they have, I believe, decided to make Messrs. Taylor and Hartley honorary members of their band. The humorous sketches were very well acted and kept the audience rocking with merriment, and the songs and violin solos which were admirably accompanied by Mr. Skirrow, received loud applause. The concert came to an end all too soon, at 8-30, Mr. G. Hudson moving a vote of thanks to the artistes, to which Mr. Taylor suitablyresponded.
The journey home over Coldweather hill was a damp and misty one, but no grumbling was heard about the weather; we were too busy laughing about the concert to trouble about a trifle like the weather.
It was not a very inviting kind of a morning; a thick fog obliterated everything except near objects, and a slippery road added to the risk of a skid. A fireside and a book were the appropriate means for ending the morning at least; but not for me. A leader is always supposed to present himself on a run, however adverse conditions may be. Nevertheless, I felt sorely tempted to answer other calls more alluring than riding through a wet blanket of fog on a frost-bound road. However, like many other depressing mornings, it proved to be only prelude to a glorious afternoon.
Leaving Langroyd, with its sombre aspect, we left the fog behind and rode into a veritable fairyland. Here hedgerows and trees were thickly coated with hoar frost, glittering white in the sunshine. Craven surely never looked more beautiful than on that morning. A blue sky above and a white road beneath us made my fireside thoughts turn to pity for those who had not faced the ordeal of riding through the fog bound town.
After a short stay in Skipton, we were on our way once more, past Rylstone, Cracoe and Threshfield, into Wharfedale. Here, dazzling white, Great Whernside and Buckden Pike lent an Alpine touch to the scene. With hunger gnawing at our insides, and a strong breeze hindering us, we passed through the pleasant dale villages of Kettlewell and Starbottom to Buckden. Here in a cosy farmhouse we had lunch.
Lunch over, we rambled up to the neighbouring Cray Gill, the object of our run. in the vicinity of Buckden, almost every stream flowing dewn to the valley from the hill tops, cascades over a series of limestone out-crops, making ravines of no mean grandeur. Cray Gill is the most popular of these. For two or three miles 1t descends, now through narrow gorges, now over rocky ledges, with ferns, creepers and bushes forming natural hanging gardens.
Returning to the village for our bicycles, we mounted and rode down the dale. Just as dusk was falling, we arrived at Hetton, where, in a cosy cottage, we ate, laughed and chatted as the tea hour passed.
A cold white world greeted us as we left the warm atmosphere of the cottage. The moon’s cold light dimmed all but the most brilliant stars. So light was it, that details in the Rylstone and Cracoe fells were easily seen. Often walking to warm ourselves, we eventually arrived at Thornton, where, during a pause, we were joined by members of the short run who had been to Druid’s Altar. We rode back to town together, where, after the clear dry atmosphere of the country, it presented a damp, drab aspect very littie better than the morning.
Death of Nelson's veteran cyclist - Mr Amos Sugden
Most familiar figures in Nelson, and a man of whom the town was distinctly proud, Mr. "Amos Sugden, died at his residence, 25 Newport Street, on Friday, at the age of 80. He was the idol of a cycling fraternity representing a wide ared, and by compléting the 67th year of his career awheel, he achieved a notable record. A gentleman of squirely bearing, Mr. Sugden carried his weight of years with a grace that could but be classified as youthful, and up to the middle of last year, when he met with an accident at Ambleside, he enjoyed robust health. The accident, however, had very unfortunate consequences, for although he recently spent a.few weeks in Dorset, he never fully regained his strength, and his end came gradually but surely.
The high esteem in which he was held by his fellow cyelists was manifest on Tuesday afternoon when his remains were laid to rest at Nelson Cemetery.
The cortege was met by members of the C.T.C. and N.C.U., among the latter being Mr. Tom Hughes, a Wigan collier, who had cycled to Nelson direct from his work in the pit, and who had to hurry back for the night shift. The Bishop of Burnley (Dr. Henn) himself a keen cyclist and president of the local branch of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, also attended the ceremony, which was performed by the Rev. G: W. Bromiley.
The chief mourners were :— Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Sugden, Mr. J. Sugdeh, Mr. A. Sugden, Mr. and Mrs. Yates: first coach; Mr. John Sugden, Miss Annie and Ethel Sugden, Mr. Hartley and Mrs. Heywood, Mr. E. Whitehead: second coach; the Misses Broughton, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sugden, Mr. Darius Windle and Mr. Birtwell: third coach; Mr. Mike and Mr. Albert Shackleton, Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Laurie Palmer, Mr. John Jackson, Mr. Tom MecDougall, the Rev. Mr. Bromiley: fourth coach.
Floral tributes were received from: The Family, Sister and Brother-in-Law and Nephew and Nieces, Daughter Helena and Grandson and Granddaughter, C.T.C. (Nelson = Section), Nelson Wheelers C.C., Neighbours and Friends, Mr. T. Whitehead, Mr. and Mrs. J. Greenwood and Bob, Emmie, Mrs. Pope and Family; Neighbouring Children.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Y. Helliwell and Sons, Ltd.
A Pioneer of the Cycling Movement
Mr. Sugden was one of the foundation members of the Nelson Section of the C.T.C. which he served as chairman from the time of its inception in 1920 until 1928, when he was made honorary vice-president.
It goes without, saying that a career of sixty-seven years awheel would be rich in incident. Mr. Sugden’s Tretentive memory, supplemented by keen powers of observation, had stored up an abundant harvest of choice material.
He was no mere "mile-eater," and had no use for companions whose chief object was passing so many mile-stones in a given time. He saw and heard all the way along, and was not averse to dismounting for the purpose of watching the ways of the merest insect.
Mr. Sugden was also something of a psychologist, and considered that of all things people were the most interesting, and incidentally the queerest. He had met all manner of people in the space of his travels, and his position to judge was beyond question. An anecdotal fund is another factor which made his company desirable to people of all ages, and his bump of humour continued to develop with his years.
Cycled to Wembley
Mr. Sugden had cycled to London more times than can be counted on both hands. He celebrated his 75th birthday by cycling to Wembley, and even at that age did not elect to take the course direct. He decided to spend a week-end in the Lake District, and his starting point for Wembley was Ambleside.
In his younger days he cycled from Barnoldswick to London on one of those antedelavian steeds known as the "penny-farthing.” The whole of his worldly wealth was 1n his pocket — six-pence! He had, however, a good supply of sad cakes, and as Mr. Sugden himself put it; water was in plenty.
Land's End to John-O-Groats
This wonderful veteran had cycled from Land’s End to John o’ Groat’s, this journey being made during a period of industrial depression in the early part of the present century, and: the following year he cycled from Nelson to Bristol without putting up for sleep on the way. Three years ago he cycled to the French and Belgian battlefields, visiting the grave of the son he lost in the war. Not only was Mr. Sugden a cyclist himself, but three of his succeeding generations are also devotees of the pedal, thus creating the unusual fact of three generations awheel.
An Appreciation of Amos Sugden
We have just laid to rest Amos Sugden; for once the wheels have gone round and he has had no will for the journey or its end.
Amos was a great traveller. For him to travel was better than to arrive. Every minute spent in the out-of-doors was enjoyed, and he took the weather offered at the moment, and made the best of it.
Whenever he wandered - and the British Isles held few places he had mnot visited - frequent stops had to be made so that the fresh beauties discovered in old and familiar scenes might be absorbed and incense offered to them from one of Amos’s strange and wonderful pipes.
These delays galled some of his more youthful companions. To him they were among the chief delights of his travel, for his progress was of the unhasting type which gets there in the end. Frequently, during the winter, he visited Manchester to hear the Brand Lane concerts, and enjoyed the varied fare offered. Grand opera, oratorios, any combination of musical instruments or organ music alike offered to him equal opportunity to be glad and rejoice.
In literature he had sure friends — Walter Scott, George Borrow, Carlyle, Charles Dickens, and Shakespeare were all known and read. A recent holiday in Dorest had sent him afresh to the works of Hardy, and he had been at pains to unveil the thin disguise of the place names by much use of his map.
Exhibitions afforded him uceasing pleasure. Everything from the smallest mechanical invention to the interior of a modern air-liner would be inspected, for he took a boy’s delight in seeing how it worked.
No appreciation, however short, would be complete 1f it failed to mention Lakeland, for it held prior claim in his affections to any place in the British Isles, He had conquered most of its hills and passes, but the dearest place it held was a lowly eminence with an unsurpassable view — Orrest Head at Windermere. There, morning and night, he would climb, and take in the picture: limned by the Divine Artist. There at evening we have sat with him, seeing Windermere lying before us a wrinkled sea of gold; then, as the sun sank slowly beyond Bow Fell, its last rays lighting the hills up into sudden glory, so that they seemed on fire; the light failed, and evening came on.
So, at evening Amos silently went from us: He was a great friend, kindly, gracious, understanding. His conversation would enhance any company and disgrace none. Troubles he had had, but they left him sweet. He drank deep from the wells of life, and its waters were not bitter.
For him, as for us...
"...We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."
After having made two vain attempts to deter us on Sunday morning, the weather clerk retired in disgust and we started on our ride to Skipton. At the capital of Craven we were joined by a few, more of our clubmates, and we rode again in the direction of Upper Wharfedale. The sun shone brilliantly giving the last remaining autumn tints a renewed blaze of colour made more glorious by Saturday’s rain. The surrounding hills vose ridge upon ridge until they reached their climax in Cracoe Fell, then descended again till they dipped down to the River Wharfe. Going easily through Cracoe we went down the hill and past the“Sauce Bottle Row,” with a rush, and then after a slight climb we dropped into Wharfedale. After much discussion we crossed the river at Coniston, then leaving Kilnsey's famous crag away to our left, we went merrily down into Kettlewell, dreaming the dream of all hungry cyclists. We pictured in our imagination, riding into the village, standing our machines against the neavest wall, then walking into "our inn" to find the best chairs waiting for us before a blazing fire and a smiling landlord waiting with a tray full of cups of steaming tea. However, something had gone wrong; there were already about sixty bicycles in the square, and, as we guessed, their owners had occupied all the easy chairs round the fire. We were made as comfortable as possible upstairs, and felt quite satisfied.
After dinner we started to go over the amoor or fell to Hawkswick; it sounded simple and quite easy. Directly we left Kettlewell we cut off the road and took a track which would eventually lead us to the top of the moor. This limestone track, boulder-strewn and with several water splashes, rose very steeply for about three quartevs of a mile. Here the party straggled out, some were very eager to reach the top, while others took it easily. Once on the top the leading party promptly took the wrong way and were Just returning when the others came up. Which was the right way? There was only one track and that one obviously not ours, so we decided to go straight across the moors and hope to find one. Then things began to get really rough; it became, almost impossible to wheel our machines, so we had perforce to carry them. On we went; "Excelsior" became our motto; along the side of a wall, through a water-logged gateway, over another wall, sometimes wheeling our "bikes,” sometimes carrving them. until we looked over into Littondale, and saw the viver far below us. The moor began to slope very stecply, and we again shouldered our machines. Throueh a gateway; then we found ourselves in a wood and the fun began. The trees clutched at our machines like giant fingers and good footholds were few and far between. We got through at last, and came to a road. Here, while we waited for the last party and the girls to come down, someone asked "Why do we come over places like that when there is a perfectly good road round?” No one had a ready answer, but all agreed that it was worth while. Riding down to Kilnsey for tea, I pondered over the question, and the answer seemed to say with Ceesar, "I came, I saw. I conquered”; once again I had achieved what I set out to do, and the world seemed a very good place to live in.