Thursday, 25 February 2021

RKB Solidarit├Ąt - The German Clarion Cycling Club

 Arbeiter-Radfahrer-Bund "Solidarity"

The RKB was founded in Offenbach am Main in 1896 as the “Solidarity Workers-Cyclists Association”.

The federal RKB office was initially located in Chemnitz, in 1907 the association moved its headquarters to Offenbach am Main. In the Weimar Republic, the ARB was the largest cycling association in the world with several hundred thousand members.

“Solidarity” boomed in the 1920's. The association had its own bicycle factory, its own shops and an extensive social security system with accident, liability, bike theft and legal protection insurance. Depending on the length of membership, the bereaved even received support in the event of death.

The Rad- und Kraftfahrerbund Solidarit├Ąt, which with over 300,000 members (organized in 5,000 local groups was the largest workers 'sports club in the Weimar Republic, played a major role in the organization of the Frankfurt Workers' Olympiad from July 24 to 28, 1925.

In May 1933 "Solidarity" along with the whole German trade union movement was banned. “Solidarity” refused to join the National Socialist “German Cyclists Association”, unlike the functionaries and members of the “Association of German Cyclists”, who to a large extent joined the Nazi association.

The Nazis confiscated the property of "Solidarity". They expropriated the Bundeshaus with the bicycle house "Frischauf", a bicycle factory with an annual production of up to 20,000 bicycles and sales branches in many cities, and fired the employees. A number of Solidarity” members fell victim to the Nazi regime as a result of their commitment to anti-fascism and the German Resistance movement

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Clarion Field Clubs & Harry Lowerison

Clarion Field Clubs

Harry Lowerison founder and organiser. 

The Clarion Field Clubs were part of the wider Clarion Movements attempt to encourage a knowledge of nature and wildlife

Lowerison ran the progressive Ruskin School at Heacham, King's Lynn, Norfolk

In 1898, Lowerison published In England Now which Robert Blatchford(writing in The Clarion in 1907) described as being 'as like him [Lowerison] as a book can be like its author'.

In 1899, he published Field and Folklore, 'a naturalist's handbook for children'. The book contained a chapter by publisher and folklorist  Alfred Nutt, who 'conceived the idea of inserting a chapter on folklore, and so introducing the young wildlife observer to the pleasures of detecting and recording traditions.'

North Walsham - Angel Hotel - Eastern Counties Agricultural Labourers & Small Holders Union 1906


The Angel Hotel, North Walsham, Norfolk - which on 20th July 1906 hosted the inaugural meeting of George Edwards
 Eastern Counties Agricultural Labourers & Small Holders Union

Headquarters 1910

Wensum House
4 Dereham Road, Hempton, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 7AB

In 1920 the union became the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers (NUAW

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Social Democratic Federation (SDF) Conference 1895 Birmingham


SDF Fifteenth Annual Conference


4th August 1895

Labour Church Hall, Bond Street

Social Democratic Federation

Blackburn, Burnley, Birmingham, Chorley, Coventry, Salford, Darwen, Grimsby, Hanley, Lincoln, Northampton, Reading, Rochdale, Southampton, Wigan


Battersea, Bow & Bromley, Bethnal green, Canning Town, Clerkenwell, Deptford, Edmonton, Finsbury Park, Hoxton, Kensal Town, Kennington, Kingsland, Kentish Town, Mile end, North Kensington, north Lambeth, North Camberwell, Walthamstow, West Marylebone, Whitechapel, Walworth

Picture > Julian Wilson - Tunbridge Wells

Firebrand German Revolutionary - Karl Liebknecht speaks at Southampton May 1896

Karl Liebknecht the great German socialist orator spoke at a Social Democratic Federation (SDF) meeting in Southampton in May 1896 at St Mary's Hall, Southampton May 1896
 "They were one people striving to overcome capitalism & despotism" 

Councillor John Exten SDF also spoke,  he had been elected in 1894 (St Mary's) as one of the first working class radical councillors in Southampton

1901 Exten involved as delegate to housing conference