Saturday 11 February 2012

Handforth Clarion Club House 1903 -1936

Handforth Clarion Club house September 1903-1936

Denis Pye

Handforth Clarion Club house, 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”.

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


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, w

hy 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 laz

y 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 Crick

et. 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 s

erenade 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

Handforth Clarion Club House 1917
"The Home of Clarion Fellowship"

Book in if you wish to stay for your holidays at the cheapest, best, and jolliest holiday-place on earth, as we are full up every week that passes.

next week we shall have Jack Ramsden and Party who will sing songs galore on Saturday and Sunday 1 and 2nd September 1917
Book in by writing to the steward, Clarion Club house, Handforth, Cheshire.


Tom Goom visited Manchester to see the new abode of the Clarion Club House committee. Today is the last day for planking down that £1,300. for years the Handforth settlers have struggled and saved to get a place that shall be all their own; so that all the voluntary work that that is put into the place shall belong to the present and future generations of members.

The Clarion Club House movement stands easily in the first rank of clarion achievements and though there is a war on the opportunities offered by the present venture are so many and so splendid that it will be a thousand pities to lose the estate at Northern Etchells

loans are urgently required. telegraph them today to the Secretary , Clarion Club house, outwood road, handforth, Cheshire. Northern Etchells must be secured. a scheme for early repayment of all loans is drafted and I will outline it next week. for the present the need is for loans and plenty of em


Handforth - history week just concluded. We have completed purchase of the thirty five acre estate for £1,950 and raised the entire money necessary in loans from members and friends. the Manchester Clarion Choir delighted us in the orchard and we had the pleasure of again entertaining a party of wounded solders; tennis fanatics finished their tournament. there is still room for numberless shareholders (Clarion 24 August 1917)

Tom Groom - Clarion Cyclorama Clarion 24th August 1917