Saturday 7 March 2009

Handforth Clarion House

Annual Sheffield Clarion

Assembly Meet 1914

13th & 14th June 1914

Handforth Club House


A good number travelled from Sheffield. Comrades Dormand and F.J.Bookes and Mrs B; E. Clayton, Mrs Clayton and youngsterMrs Melling; Mr & Mrs Reynolds & youngsters; Barton R. E.Cheetham Staleybridge were represented: Comrade Hepworth; Jagger; Stubbin; Garside; and Jack Ramsden.

The weather was glorious and an enjoyable time was spent.

After a good tea, we rambled to neighbouring villages, presumably to post letters and buy stamps, but the post offices were not attractive, so after putting the question we decided on a visit to a certain house, well-advertised, and a rest for “Clubbers”.

On our return supper was served, and then the impromptu concert was merrily going until the early hours. Then – rest, do you say, sleep, eh!

When a chap finds his bed dropped and no bedclothes, why he sits and watches for the next move and he gets it. Down! Someone howls. What a tussle – and Handforth is a “haven of rest”! Anyhow, quietness reigns at last, and 6 am comes , and, hang it, some of them want to get out. Fine morning, get out for fresh air, and all this kind of bunkum. Well, those that want may, and leave the lazy ones until breakfast is ready. We lazy ones barricaded the door, but when we wanted to get out the door was locked.

But the youngster Clayton saved us – his Dad was inside.
Sunday morning we routed Stalybridge at Cricket. The scores are not available, but our mighty swipers Brookes and Melling just revelled in it. Jack Ramsden played well for the gentlemen, and it was hot. Fancy, when the ball was lost, John Hall – hoping it could not be found! There’s cricket for you. Bravo Sheffield.

We must not forget the ladies. They were up betimes playing tennis. Some people cannot sleep. Perhaps our serenade on the Saturday night made them sleep lightly.
Those who remained the Sunday afternoon were enable to hear Ramsden sing, and a jolly good concert they had.

Shall we go next year?

Picture right Clarion Clubhouse Handforth 1913

From the excellent Sheffield Clarion Movement web site

Handforth Clarion Club house September 1903-1936

Denis Pye

Handforth Clarion Club house, It was located on the outward road between Cheadle and Handforth, about half a mile off the main Manchester-Wilmslow road. This rambling old building had oak beams and panelling inside. there was a sitting room, a kitchen, and a room which was made into a library, well stocked books - especially Clarion Press Publications. The four dormitories held a total of fifty beds, and there were tents to sleep at least a dozen more outside in the summer.. "fresh air fiends" said a publicity brochure can always be accommodated with a blanket in the haystack". Eventually wooden outbuildings were constructed by Clarion volunteers provided a dinning room to seat 200, and a billiard room.

A comfortable sitting room. Here the presiding genius was Edward Fay, the much loved Clarion writer “Bounder” who had died in 1896 at the age of 43 and whose picture adorned the wall. There was a card room as well as a library and reading room.

The Clarion Club house was flanked by two orchards and was secluded enough to minimise the possibility of causing annoyance to local people.

Tom Tyas, secretary of the Handforth Clarion Clubhouse recalled it as “a happy combination of natural forces”. The bicycle itself “brought within easy reach all the things which the new philosophy taught (people) to enjoy”. It offered an “escape from city life after the daily round of toil” and gave them “the power to roam on the King’s Highway”.