Cyclists Touring Club business – Chester 1901.

Luxurious Chester venue.

On Thursday 30th October 1901, at the Queen Hotel, Chester, a meeting took place of Cyclists Touring Club Consuls. They were responsible for dealing with Cyclists Rights issues at a local level.

Should motorists be admitted to membership?

Mr. Jelf-Pettit, J.P. (Llanrwst) presided over a large attendance

A letter was read from Mr. Dilwyn G. Williams (consul for Alderley) on the subject of the admittance of automobilists to membership of the club. He said there must be a large number of motor owners who used their cars for touring, and who would become members of the C.T.C. if they could be assured of due recognition.-Dr. O’Brien (Rock Ferry) said he could not see any- thing to prevent motorists becoming members.- Mr. H. B. Dutton (Chester): Provided they are bona fide cyclists as well.Dr. O’Brien: Some cyclists have motor cycles instead of ordinary bicycles.

The Chairman said the difficulty was that many owners of motor cars who were not bicyclists would be brought into the club and enjoy the benefits of the club without being qualified to go in.Mr. H. B. Dutton said it was decided at a general meeting in London that automobilists should not be admitted.Mr. T. H. Smith (Audlem) felt that if automobilists were admitted they ought to pay an increased subscription-say 10s. 6d.-Dr. O’Brien moved that it be recommended to the council that owners of motor cars who were not also cyclists should only be admitted to the club on payment of an increased subscription.Mr. T. H. Smith seconded.Alr. Hopps (Wallasey) did not see how they could exclude a motorist any more than they could exclude a man who owned a carriage.  The Chairman ruled that the terms of the resolution were clearly ultra vires, and Dr. O’Brien withdrew it.

Carriage of cycles by rail.

Mr. L. Shoals (Brooklands, near Manchester) wrote a letter suggesting that steps should be taken to induce the railway companies to provide safer accommodation and cheaper rates for the carriage of bicycles.  Mr. Woodall (St. Asaph) suggested that the railway companies should be requested to carry cycles for short distances at the rate of a farthing a mile. Mr. Hopps suggested that the minimum charge be reduced to two pence or three pence.The Chair- man The minimum charge is now 6d. A Member said I have to pay Ii shilling. for myself and 6d. for my bicycle.

The importance of farthings.

The glorious farthing

Mr. Naylor (Beeston Towers) said he thought they would be worse off at a farthing a mile than they were at present, and odd farthings would make complications. Mr. C. B. Davies (Middlewich)said it was important that the club should not overlook the safety of their bicycles during carriage. He knew they were sometimes roughly handled. He moved that representation be made to the railway companies with a view to impressing upon them the necessity of taking care of the bicycles in their custody during transit, Mr. G. Board seconded. Mr. H. B. Dutton said the best system yet devised for the safe carriage of bicycles was the mattress system which had been adopted by the Great Western Railway Company.  Mr. Kent (Birkenhead) suggested that it should be incorporated in the resolution that other railway companies be urged to adopt the Great Western Company’s mattress system. This was agreed to. and the resolution was carried unanimously.

With regard to the question of charge, it was resolved, on the pro- position of Mr. G. Smith, seconded by Mr. A. C. Hopps, that the central club be recommended to approach the railway companies with a view to inducing them to fix a minimum charge of three- pence per bicycle and sixpence per tricycle up to six miles.

County neglect of roads.

The Chairman suggested approaching the county councils in regard to the lax supervision of the roads.  This was particularly noticeable on the Welsh side. The complaint was not that the surface of the roads was bad, but that heaps of stones, dust and rubbish were often left about the roads.  On the proposition of Mr. Kent (Birkenhead) a resolution was passed with a view to inducing the county authorities to exercise better supervision of the roads and to remind them of their legal liability.

…..and neglect of  CTC ‘Caution’ signs too!

Mr. Cooke (Sandbach) called attention to the fact that the C. T.C. caution boards in many parts of the county were illegible and practically useless for want of painting or reenamelling. He suggested they should endeavour to persuade district councils to accept responsibility for keeping the boards in order.  It was decided to ask the Cheshire County Council if they would undertake to keep the caution boards in order on condition that the C.T.C. handed them over to them in good condition.

Business completed – high jinks followed!

At the conclusion of the conference the consuls were entertained at tea by Mr. J. Naylor (chief consul for the counties of Cheshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire).

In the evening an enjoyable entertainment was given in the Assembly Room, Newgate-street, at which there was an almost crowded attendance of members and friends of the C.T.C. In the unavoidable absence of Mr. S. Moss, M.P., the chair was taken by the Rev. W. 0. Williams, vicar of Holywell. The following was the programme :Pianoforte solo, Mr. R. Butterworth; song, “The Golden Vanity,” Mr. W. E. Frith (Chirk); song. An old-fashioned girl,” Miss Edith Thompson, Chester; recitation, “Learning to ride a bicycle,” Mr. F. C. E. Perkins. R.C. (West Kirby); song. “Star of the desert,” Mr. W. Sinclair Jones (Chester); song, “My memories,”

Mrs. Albert Isaac (London); solo violin, “Legende, Miss Muriel L. Marsden, Chester (accompanist, Miss Johnson-Jones, Pystill, Holywell); short lantern exhibition, illustrative of bicycle tours through Welsh scenery, etc.. by Mr. H. L. Hadfield, consul for Dukinfield; song. “Jess Macpharlane,” Mr. W. E. Frith; duet, “My boat is waiting for thee,” Miss Edith and Miss Ruth Thompson: two short humorous recitations, “The Music Grinders” and “The Song of the Razor,” Mr. Ronald Macdonald, Bromborough; song, “Gvpsy John,” Mr. W. Sinclair Jones; song, “A flower of all the world,” Mrs. Albert Isaac; short lantern exhibition miscellaneous views taken by Mr. Bertie Smith, of Rock Ferry, and a friend, while touring. The lantern was kindly lent by Mr. J. D. Siddan, Chester. Mr. R. Butterworth ably fulfilled the duties of accompanist. I

CTC AGM 2009. Queens Hotel, Chester.

 One Hundred and Eight years later the Cyclists Touring Club is still meeting at the Queens Hotel, convenient as it is for the railway station immediately across the road.  There’s no talk these days about farthings off the cost of travel, but the spirit of cyclists gathering has not dimmed in all these years.
Have a peep at this video by CycleSmiles’ Barbara Dawson and Alan Parker………and wish you were there sharing the fellowship.
Sadly both Barbara and Alan are now deceased. You may see a selection of Alan’s cycling and other subject youtubes on the internet.