Ernest Hickson

Introduction Sport Marriage Hickson & Partners Dyers & Colourists SDC Harrogate Camp Lamps and Indicators Conference of N.C.U. National Cyclists' Union The 1930 Explosion The Inquest Jubilee Celebration Letters Ernest's Diaries Genealogy Obituary from the Yorkshire Post Obituary from the Journal of the SDC Transition

Introduction

A THIN, wiry frame, ever on the alert, ever wakeful, ever watchful, and with all the smartness of the Londoner added to the practical hardheadedness of the Yorkshireman, and within the whole a warm and sympathetic heart - that was Ernest Hickson.

Born at Highgate, London, on the 3rd October, 1857, the third son of James Hickson and Wilhelmina Thusnelda Adelheid Hickson, née von Einem, where now stands the main entrance to Waterlow Park, nothing gave Ernest greater amusement than the manner in which unwary London journals sometimes alluded to him as "a Yorkshireman", obviously unaware of the fact that he was born and bred so near the heart of Cockaigne.

He was educated first at a private school in Northampton (where his father was a partner in the boots and shoe making firm of William Hickson and Sons, one of the oldest and largest boot and shoe factories in the town). At the age of 15 he went to Hanover (where his grandmother was born), and where he spent over three years, attending first the Realschule - the public high school corresponding to our "modern side" - and then the Polytechnicum, where he studied chemistry (under Professors Heeren and Kraut), and physics.

Leaving Hanover in 1875 he spent the next few months in Highgate, working at the family firm in Smithfield. Then he went to Paris to acquire French and started his business career in the office of a firm of merchants who exported articles from Paris to England and elsewhere.

After 18 months, in 1877, he returned to London and after a short time spent partly at his father's boot and shoe manufacturing warehouse in Smithfield, London, and partly in a tea-broker's office, he began his long connection with the chemical industry as foreign correspondent of Brooke, Simpson and Spiller, then the foremost colour manufacturers in the world (and the successor company to William H Perkin's dye manufacturing firm) , the first firm to make aniline dyes on a large scale in England, and at that time occupying a unique position in that industry throughout the world. Thus became connected with the colour industry when even the oldest of the great German firms was still in its infancy.

In this capacity he made two long trips through Europe to nearly all the countries in which the textile industry at that time flourished. Ernest's interest in chemistry induced him to attempt to obtain technical experience of dyeing and dyestuffs. No facilities were available at the firm's offices at 50, Old Broad Street, and the factory at Hackney Wick was then not very accessible, being five or six miles away. However, he managed to secure a portion of a small office where gas was available, but all the water necessary had to be carried in and out of the room. Under these trying conditions he succeeded in dyeing a full range of the firm's colours on wool, silk, and cotton in the intervals of his duties as foreign correspondent. Those patterns preceded the elaborate pattern cards later issued by colour manufacturers, His linguistic accomplishments led to his accompanying a member of the firm through Europe, on a tour of their agencies. During 1881 and 1882 he travelled in the industrial districts of Western and Central Europe, as a travelling salesman for the firm, visiting also Barcelona, in addition to Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the West of England. Whilst on a trip to Yorkshire in 1883 he was asked by the firm to stop there as their representative. That year (1883) the firm opened a branch office in Bradford and Ernest was put in charge. During his agency it fell to his lot to introduce Primuline to the dyeing world. He lived in Yorkshire for the rest of his life.

The firm of Brooke, Simpson and Spiller was converted into a limited company in 1885 and Ernest was given the first vacancy on the board of directors. A little later, about the year 1890, the company was on the down grade. They passed the dividend for several years running and in 1893 Ernest persuaded the Board to agree to certain modifications, notably to take in some outside shareholders for consultation. During Ernest's absence for a few days this resolution was cancelled and in consequence he severed his connection with the company.

Ernest was associated with Monsieur R. Vidal, the pioneer in the evolution of sulphur black, when M. Vidal came to London in 1890 to form the Vidal Fixed Aniline Syndicate. Ernest was keenly interested in all developments in that very important series of cotton blacks.

In 1893 he commenced business on his own account as a drysalter and dye merchant and from 1898 acted as agent to the Vidal Fixed Aniline Syndicate afterwards Vidal Dyes Ltd, being the first to introduce to the market both commercial lactic acid and English made Vidal Black. Later he assisted in the formation of the firm of Rexoll, Ltd., at Shipley, Yorkshire, for the manufacture of sulphur black and became managing director of the company, but after these works had been burnt out twice he removed the sulphur black manufactory to Wakefield where he had taken over the copperas works, a 100 years' old Cheld Lane Calico Works and was making a special 100s Tw. nitrate of iron.

In 1914, at the instigation of the Director of Contracts of H.M.War Office, the manufacture of TNT was undertaken, and as the Wakefield works were not large enough, Ernest formed the firm of Hickson and Partners, Ltd., and a large works was erected at Castleford. Of this company he became managing director and subsequently chairman.

Ernest was also closely connected with the Society of Dyers and Colourists being present at the inaugural meeting in 1884. He was President of the Society in 1925-26.

Immediately after the first World War, along with 13 other gentlemen, Ernest was invited to become a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Dyers. It is interesting to note that amongst these other 13 was his cousin, George (later Sir George) Garnett, J.P. and less than 2 months later, Samuel Courtauld, who became Chairman of the Courtauld family business from 1921 to 1946. My father worked for Courtaulds as Works Manager in Wales before joining Hickson & Welch.

During the war, Ernest assisted in the formation of the Yorkshire Chemical Manufacturers' Association, of which he acted as honorary secretary, and then honorary Chairman. Later this became the Chemical Employers' Federation and he became Vice-chairman of the National Executive. On his resignation of that office he was presented with a solid silver tray by the Executive and a grandfather clock by the Yorkshire branch which is now in my possession (APH)

On the termination of the war the works were converted into a model factory for the rectification of benzol and for the manufacture of sulphuric acid and a large number of amido, nitro and chloro-amido dyestuff intermediates. In addition to these, sulphur blacks and magentas were products for which the firm was noted. The company, and its successor, Hickson & Welch Ltd, carried on the manufacture of dyes and intermediates.

Sport

All through his life Ernest was a keen sportsman and took a particularly active part in the organisation of the National Cyclist's Union of which he was a vice-president - in that connection he was more particularly noted for the active part he took in the Harrogate Camp, an event that brought cyclists from all parts of the Queen of Watering places every August Bank Holiday for some 20 years up to 1902. He was president in 1901. As a pioneer of the sport he was elected the first provincial President of the Fellowship of Old Time Cyclists in 1921.

Coventry Machinists' Club

His introduction to the wheel, however, occurred in neither London nor Yorkshire, but in the home of "the wee, wee German lairdie", Hanover, where the family had removed for a time during the rebuilding of the parental roof in 1869. There, on a fearful and awful monstrosity (as we should judge it in these days), a convertible bi-tri boneshaker, he was initiated in the mysteries of the wheel, and later, when at school at Northampton, he had at least one "thrilling experience" of the boneshaker, which had disastrous consequences to himself and a schoolfellow cyclist. Again in Hanover, in 1872-5, for the completion of his education, he continued his wheeling; but it was in 1877, after he had returned to London, that he fairly succumbed to the fever of the cycle. There, in the neighbourhood of Wrotham, on a Singer, with trailing brake - and a good brake, too, as brakes went then - he fairly mastered the peculiarities of the G.O.O. (Good Old Ordinary), and following on that with a Coventry Machinists' "Club", he stuck to the high machine long after most others had forsaken the old love for the new.

In 1883 he removed from London to Bradford, and soon after began his work for his cycling brethren. Joining the old Bradford C.C. in 1884, was elected the honorary secretary, and in 1885 the Harrogate Camp Committee placed him in a similar position to the great meet of the year. There he worked through a code of rules of which he, deservedly, spoke with pride, and in 1886 and again in 1888 he was re-elected hon secretary. His occupancy of the post was marked by an infusion of new life into the meet, and it might almost be said that "Harrogate" owed more to Ernest Hickson than any other single man. That he was proud of the connection all campers knew, for he was seen, every year, with one more "camp button" displayed at the tail-end of an unbroken series.

His connection with the N.C.U. was very close for many years, ever since 1888, when, as a representative of the Bradford C.C. on the West Riding centre, he noticed Mr. F.W. Brock's skeleton scheme for the liberation of the provinces from the thraldom of London. Ernest at once entered into communication with Mr. Brock, and began the agitation for provincial freedom. Through the whole of that fierce struggle he showed the highest qualities of leadership, from the time of the Birmingham conference, through the period when he stood forth as the selected champion of the united provinces, until, at last, the victory was won, and the rule of the London "Executive" was ended. From that day the Union has never "looked behind", as the saying goes, and from being a mere London body, with branch offices in the country, it has become as truly "national" as a body wherein such varying opinions occur is likely to become.

A few years later he was again in prominence. As with Mr. T.W. Grace, the chief opponent of the licensing scheme, Ernest's position was clear. He had a very strong dislike of the subsidised amateur. During the time he was in London to attend the Council meeting, with the express purpose of defeating the licensing scheme if it could be done, he was a guest at Dr. Turner's at 9, Sussex Gardens; but he held that the then existing rules of the Union were amply sufficient for the purpose of the extinguishing the veiled professional if his extinguishment was desired, and that the introduction of a mass of complicated machinery would not only do none of the good that was intended, but would make the conduct of sports more difficult, and cause endless and needless worry and annoyance to all concerned. How far his views have been correct, history has shown.

In later years he devoted his attention more to the pastime than the sport, and many hard things were said of him because of his opposition to the road-racer. Against road-racing itself he had nothing to say, but, with the foresight which had always been a distinguishing feature of his character, he saw what was coming - police intervention - and he wished the N.C.U. to take the thing in hand ere it was too late. In his opinion the hand of the Union would have been greatly strengthened in its dealings with "the powers that be" had it been able to point to the aid it had given in the suppression of this class of law-breakers. Later he worked energetically for the cause of "universal lights" in the West Riding, and once led a deputation to the Highways Committee of the County Council, presented a petition carrying 2,500 signatures, and met with such success that the committee decided to propose the adoption of a "Universal Lights" bye-law by the Council!

In a lengthy career he had a full share of accidents, only two of which, however, were serious. Once, on Hadley Common, outside Barnet, he was badly stunned, one side of his face was deprived of its skin, and he suffered from a severe concussion. His second adventure occurred near Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire, when a sprained elbow and wrist was the result.

A busy man, full of life and energy, he was one of a class who did much to raise cycling to its high estate, and it was the very presence of such disinterested enthusiasts, who sacrificed valuable time and money to the sport and the pastime, that lent the highest tone to the noblest pastime England has ever seen.

Later he turned to croquet, and was a frequent entrant at tournaments in the North of England.

He was prominent in many cycling clubs: Bradford CC of which he was hon sec in 1885 and captain in 1886; Wharfedale CC; C.T.C.; Rob Roy BC of which he was hon sec 1880-1883 and the hon sec of the North of England Cyclists' Meet and Camp (Harrogate Camp) 1885, 1886 and 1888 - the only man to have occupied that post more than once.

His other interests included Chess and Lawn Tennis. He was hon sec of the Wheatley Lawn Tennis Club, member of Park Lane Tennis Club, Bradford Chess Club, Union Club and Bradford Liberal Club.

Many thanks to the V-CC for these other interests

Marriage and death

In 1889, Ernest married Mary Grandage, eldest daughter of Mr. Abram Grandage, of William Grandage and Sons, the well-known dyers, and first Vice-chairman of the Bradford Dyers' Association, Ltd., by whom he has a son and two daughters, Bernard, Frieda and Ruth. Only five years later, during the terrific storm in December 1894, on the Saturday before Christmas, a heavy stone chimney at his residence at Manningham, Bradford was blown inwards, carrying all the upper floors down into the basement, and his young wife was killed. A nurse and his three little children were almost miraculously saved, and sometimes he could be seen round about his home, where traffic was not, with one or other snugly ensconced in a Dan Albone's carrier, (bicycle carrier) so that their acquaintance with the wheel was, indeed, "from the earliest period".

In 1900 he married Miss Mary Evaline Bergh, daughter of Henry Bergh of London, and formerly of Caramujo (Portugal) by whom he has a son and two daughters, Hal, Nancy and Jessie Anne. His elder son, Bernard, one of Professor Green's most successful students, suceeded him as managing director of Hickson & Partners, Ltd.

Ernest and Meg, going away
in a dark grey coat and skirt lined with
turquoise silk (made by Simmons and Son of
the Haymarket) and a turquoise chiffon toque.

Obituary

Mr Ernest Hickson who, until his retirement recently, was a director of Hickson and Partners, Ltd., of Castleford, collapsed and died while playing croquet at Bedford, on Tuesday night. He had lived in Bedford only five weeks, and was aged 72. The explosion at the works of the firm, after he left, is thought to have affected his health. No inquest will be necessary.

Taken from The Yorkshire Post 31/7/1930

His death on 29th July 1930 is better explained by letters written at the time


Hickson & Partners Limited

THE Hickson and Partners Ltd. Chemical Works in Ings Lane, Castleford, were erected in 1915-16 at the instigation of the Director of Contracts of H.M. War Office for the purpose of manufacturing Tri-Nitro-Toluene.

The founder of the Company, Mr. Ernest Hickson, of 38 Well Street, Bradford, had previously owned chemical works at Wakefield, but these were not adequate for the output required, and a new site was found on the banks of the River Aire just below its junction with the Calder, giving a frontage for quays of some 650 feet and offering facilities for splendid railways sidings direct on to the London and North Eastern Railway from its Castleford Station.

The site had been used for some years mainly as a cricket field and partly as allotments, so that building operations were able to be commenced without delay.

The first sod was cut on 22nd January 1915 and building was pushed on with such speed that a first delivery of finished T.N.T was made on the 13th July of that year.

The founder of the Company, Ernest, had been intimately connected with the Aniline Colour Trade since the earliest days, being with the first large makers of Aniline Dyes in the world, Messrs. Brooke, Simpson and Spiller Ltd., of Hackney Wick, London, since 1877, and the new works was so designed at its inception that it could be eventually converted into a self-contained unit for Dyes, and only dependent on other sources for crude basic raw materials, such as Sulphur, Crude Benzol etc.

For this purpose, after it had been found impossible during the circumstances prevailing in 1915 to rush up an Oleum plant quickly, a large Sulphuric Acid chamber plant - believed to be the largest unit of its kind in the United Kingdom - was erected to a modified Belgian design. Sulphuric Acid was, of course, one of the most important raw materials used in the works, and being able to make this on site, and pipe it to the various departments using large quantities, placed the Company on an exceptionally strong economic basis.

A large plant for Nitric Acid was added and another for the rectification by fractional distillation of Coke Oven Benzol. By this means all the essential raw materials required at that time were produced in the works.

When the Great War ended, the plant was gradually turned over for the manufacture of Intermediates, chiefly Nitro and Amido derivatives of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene and the further working up of some of these products into more complicated compounds, and some finally into Dyes.

A great speciality had been made of Nitrobenzene (Oil of Mirbane), Aniline, Ortho- and Para-Toluidine and among dyestuffs Sulphur Blacks, with the sale and manufacture of which Ernest had had a long experience, and MAGENTA and ROSANILINE BASE for the production of SOLUBLE and ALKALI BLUES.

From the commencement of actual manufacture the founder's son, Mr. Bernard Hickson, M.Sc. of Tinctorial Chemistry, a former pupil of Professor Green at Leeds University, joined the Company, and the developments of the present works took place largely under his supervision. He had the advantage of inspecting practically all the large nitrating factories carried on during the war, even of working in some, and as a member of the Mission appointed by the Department of Overseas Trade which was sent to Germany in July 1919, had a unique opportunity of studying the organisation, lay-out and working of the plant of foreign colour works.

In 1920 the Board of the Company was joined by Mr. Alph. Sharp, C.B.E., late Superintendent of H.M. Factory, Greetland, Halifax, whose long and expert experience in chemical manufacture was of the utmost value to the Company.

The policy of the firm was to specialise on comparatively few products, all of which were made in the works from crude raw materials, and not to be dependent on other makers for Intermediates; also to make these of the utmost purity obtainable in commerce under the supervision of a highly trained scientific staff.


Society of Dyers and Colourists

adapted from the Journal of the Society, 1926

Ernest, who was well known and much respected by a large number of members of the Society, had been an active worker in and for the Society ever since its inception. He attended its inaugural meeting held at the Bradford Technical College in May 1884, was elected a member of the first Council, and served continuously on that body for 45 years. He was also appointed the first Chairman of the Publication Committee, a position which he held with one short interval for nearly forty years; in fact, until he was elected President of the Society in 1925.

It was due to his initiative that the Society undertook the monumental Colour Index. When it was published, he was presented with a special copy (now in my possession - APH) and an illuminated acknowledgment of the fact that the publication of the work was due to his original conception and an enthusiasm which overcame all difficulties. For distinguished services to the Society he was in 1927 awarded the Gold Medal and was made a life member. He was chairman of the Dyes and Explosives Section of the Association of British Chemical Manufacturers and the Board of Trade appointed him a member of the Dyestuffs Advisory Committee, under the Dyestuffs Import Regulation Act.

In recognition of his services to the Society he was the first of a number of prominent men connected with the dyeing industry to be invited to join the Livery of the Worshipful Company of Dyers of the City of London.

The Society was closely associated with the Bradford Technical College ever since the inaugural meeting was held there in 1884. Prior to that Ernest had been present at the opening of the College in 1882, on which occasion his uncle, Sir Sydney Waterlow, represented the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers of the City of London.

One of the happiest features of British public life is the great volume of honorary work done quietly by busy business men. This is of inestimable value to the nation, and the Society of Dyers and Colourists has been peculiarly fortunate in this respect, and has always been able to rely on the advice and active services of leaders in the industry. And to none of these is it in greater debt than to Mr. Ernest Hickson.


Harrogate Camp

By a "CAMP BABY"

WHAT an old-world sound "Harrogate Camp" has, to be sure! One's thoughts instantly fly back a decade or so, when the campers rode to the "meet" on their good old ordinaries, and felt themselves the pioneers of a movement which even the most sanguine of them scarcely expected would become universal. Then, the campers "roughed it" somewhat, but the present-day occupants of the tents lead the life of sybarites, with all the luxuries and few restrictions.

Some few of the old campers foregathered on the Friday night, but the majority came on the Saturday, and by the evening some hundred of them were safely ensconced in the fifty or so tents reserved for them, and it was a busy scene of hand-shaking and grateful greetings any time up to "the wee sma''oors," what time the cheerful "Teddy" Hollands kept the ball rolling by his clever witticisms. And what a good crowd of boys they were, too! First, Ernest Hickson, one of the most energetic, kindly, and capable of men, whose classic brow was somewhat wrinkled by dull care, for, let me tell you, the president of such a camp has a large amount of work to get through, and he must be tactful to the last degree. Hickson was "on the ball" from early morn to dewy eve, and every camper will remember his kindness as long as he has memories of the camp of 1901. Of course, George Lacy Hillier brought his London party, and what a camp would be like without the old champion, goodness only knows! Personally, we cannot imagine such an one. A real good man is Hillier, with a kindly word for the "camp baby" (i.e, the man who is a first-year camper), and a fund of reminiscences not to be equalled, whilst as a singer or an elocutionist he is pleasant to hear, and, above all, to see. With him were "Boots" Green, E.H. Godbold, F. Clark (who won the camp championship), Teddy Hollands, M.P Slattery, and a few other pleasant fellows not so well known. Birmingham sent a good muster under the evergreen "Johnny" Price, which included R.D.F. Paul (whose "Voice Production" was the pièce-de-résistance of the concerts held), Frank Lanchester, C.A. Hyde, J. A. Oldbury, C. Vernon Pugh, W. Biddle, W.H. Bardsley, H. Williams, the brothers Ehrhardt, J.P. Haywood, Leonard Swain, T.H Woollen, etc., etc.

The greatest party, in every sense of the word, was the Irish crowd who nestled 'neath the shade of "Donnybrook Castle", and under the leadership of the inimitable "Jimmy" Percy, were the source and inspiration of genuine fun from the time of their arrival until their departure. Percy, the acme of good-nature, whose very smile beams benevolence, brought his brother Andy; Alexander, the Scottish-Belfast wonder, who, clad in his Post-office red coat and cap, made fun every minute of the time until Tuesday night, when, limp and voiceless, he slid off quietly; Mick Manning, the eloquent giant, Past and Present Grand Master of the Ancient Order of Golden Boatmen, whose shibboleth is, "Take a small boat for an hour"; and Coffee the Great, who has a fine voice and a cultured style of singing, and whose humour was inexhaustible. Originally intended for a doctor, he found the work too awfully sanguinary, or "too sanguinary awful," and drifted into the law, where, as a budding solicitor, he finds the inspiration for his jokes. His "San Toy" song was in great request, and he has a grand voice, which even the camp tea and soda-water could not utterly spoil. Then there was the original and only Tracey, and shure he was a wondher, too! Dancing - and Tracey is an artist on the dance - singing with unction and gesture too funny for words, and generally acting the giddy goat in a style which was irresistible, he bore his honours modestly and gave value for applause. Good old Joe Keogh and his "Phil the Fluter's Ball" were very popular, and the complement of quite thirty sons of the Ould Sod were made up of good men and true; men who loyally upheld each other and led the cheering in fine style, whilst they were not behind in leading the way in other directions, and their "tea-parties" were an immense success.

Other camps were "The Tees-side", with the genial McAdam boys, J. H. Cocker, and others of the Old Brigade; the "Us fra Bradford", and private tents. Treasurer Myers, the cheerful, ruddy Northerner, ever bright and alert, did the thing well, and was joyful in the possession of such a good man as R.H Jessop, the banjoist, songster, snapshotter, and genial humorist, one of the acquisitions to the ranks of N.C.U. councillors, and a kindly disposed, big-hearted chap. And there were others too numerous to mention, but all decent men, and it was wonderful how the lump was leavened up to a good standard; and those who went apprehensively, fearing rowdyism or booziness, were relieved to find things entirely different, for a better ordered camp or lot of men were surely never before gathered together.

The sleeping arrangements were good, the tent floors being boarded, and camp bedsteads with mattresses and blankets in lieu of Mother Earth prevented any ill after-effects. The campers rose early and went to rest early (the next morning!); a good breakfast was laid at 9 a.m, a decent lunch at 1 p.m, and a good dinner at 6.30, and considering the difficulties, the meals were served remarkably well and were very good.

A wash or bath at 8 a.m., with easy shaving ("my word!") in the barber's tent, and a breakfast, commenced the fun, which went on all day, till night had shed its mantle and dawn was fast gathering, and yet we did not feel sleepy (till we got home, Wednesday!), the Harrogate air blowing away the cobwebs which had gathered the night before. On the Saturday every camper made a point of tasting the waters (ugh!), which may be healthy, but --! And of course the Spa was visited. Here the Scots Guards discoursed sweet music (quotation), what time Mick Manning was introduced to all the pretty girls and blarneyed them all round.

But the Harrogate girls are coy, and, as a motoring camper remarked, "one meets with many rebuffs." After all, the Birmingham lassies take a lot of beating, so we left the Harrogatian fairies severely alone! The smoking concert in the concert tent at 10.30 p.m was very "great", and as the Irish boys were in great form, the entertainment would have done credit to an entrepreneur. Tracey sang and danced, Coffee danced and sang; Smith, and Irishman with an exquisitely Irish face and voice, also favoured us, and R.D.F. Paul fairly brought down the house with "To Hull with the Man who Works" and "Voice Production". Perhaps the treat was Dunbar Steen's little stories, which were absolute cameos in their ways, and Steen is one of those pleasant, confident looking men of whom one expects great things at first sight and is never disappointed. A terrific favourite is Dubar Steen, and the prince of good fellows. Lacy Hillier gave us "The fables of George Washington Aesop" in his quietly unctuous style, and if the remainder of the entertainment fades from our recollection, it is not because it was indifferent, but that the lemonade was too good.

Sunday morning dawned wetly, but the chorus of "We'll have no more rain to-day" drove damp away, and the rest of the day was fine. Service in the morning attracted a large number of Harrogate people, and the popular camp chaplain, the Rev. Rawdon Briggs, was well supported by the camp choir, and his address was a straightforward appeal for the manly virtues. A sacred concert in the president's marquee took place in the afternoon, when the clever Colclough was the hero of the occasion a good all-round man is Colclough, with a repertoire for every taste. Just after midnight a rattling good entertainment was provided for a couple of hours in the concert tent, the genial Irishman, Sullivan, giving us a tone-picture, entitled "There's air", with great eclat, and his dancing on the lawn à la Tennyson's "Maud" : Come with thy naked feet but plus pyjamas, was another "turn" of the O'Sullivan which we shoved our tired heads out of our tents to observe and laugh over. The distant hum of Kind, kind, and gentle was she - kind was my Mary, which is the accepted anthem of the camp, lulled us blissfully into sweet repose, whilst the soft zephyrs crept underneath the tent and cooled our more or less heated brows.

Monday was heralded by the usual mock altercation between Teddy Hollands and another, and a yell from outside for "swimmers for the camp championship," which met with but a feeble response, the popular reply being missiles. At breakfast we learned that good old Hillier had once again won the championship, our Oome Paul being second, and Hillier bore his blushing honours gracefully, and did justice to the viands as usual. The sports in the afternoon were well attended, and as the English team consisted only of Goodwin and Slattery, the Irish people kindly lent us Toomey and Keating; the first-named was a fine player, but as for Keating - well, we'll say he was too patriotic to prevent his country scoring goals! The brothers Oswald, Lane-Joynt and Clark comprised the Irish side, and won by seven goals to four. The Irishmen are a great side; tricky, fast, and as clever as cats with the ball. A dozen campers lured the bandsmen to change coats and hats, and we were treated to "a walk-round", Paul, as the Bandmaster, and Manning bringing up the rear with the big drum, and the result was chaos till a couple of legitimate players started "Mary", and then, as Gilbert says : -

It was wild - it was fitful - as wild as the breeze -
It wandered about into several keys :
It was jerky, spasmodic, and harsh, I'm aware -
But still it distinctly resembled an air.

The ensuing smoker was very fine, and all the best talent was available.

One of the "turns" was the "stump-speech" contest, in which the names of competitors were drawn from one hat and the subject from another the effect being ludicrous. T.H. Woollen timed each man, and the limit was three minutes, which went all too slowly for some of the competitors. Tracey, with a cleverly-funny speech on "The Terrors of Camp Life," won the medal handsomely, but was closely followed by Coffey. Tracey explained that he was a graveyard inspector in Ireland, and that although his voice was very bad that night, yet many of the denizens of his "round" would be glad of such a throat as his ? Coffey, Godbold, Goodwin, Paul, Steen, and others had their three minutes agony also. One of the favourite songs of the camp is "Dip me in the Golden Sea", and this is always entrusted to Dunbar Steen; at the repetition of the word "Dip" each man has to dip his head, and the effect is singularly ludicrous. Colclough again shone well, and his "My Fiddle is my Sweetheart" was another gem; his skilful use of the falsetto being admirable. Tea in the Birmingham tent followed, and much fun was caused by one camper who had got into an "affectionate" way of talking, and insisted on "button-holing" his man - the efforts of the latter to get away from him being extremely funny. A rechauffe of the concert was served up, and bed was reached later than usual.

Tuesday morning brought the cricket match, in which Percy and Coffey displayed exceptional "form", and the former's "side" scored 49, to which their opponents replied with 47 for two wickets, when Captain Jimmy declared "luncheon interval", to the disgust of "the English" eleven. The gymkhana in the afternoon was a real bit of fun and sport, and Birmingham scored four firsts out of five. Tracey, Coffey, and Keogh entertained the public from the press table with several "side-shows," and Hollands and Paul were ubiquitous in fun making.

After dinner we had to say "good-bye" to the Irish boys, and it was a dismal time for us with the "light" gone out of the camp, but still we heroically mustered in the president's tent and had a good time. Some very serious business was chatted over anent the non-profit-making nature of the camp, and the discussion waxed eminently solid and funereal until Teddy Hollands made a diversion by jumping up and starting "For he's a jolly good fellow!" without any apparent valid reason; for this relief we offered up much thanks. Then what with Johnny Price's puns and interjections, Hollands' malapropos remarks and other "asides", the big "Boots" Green's eloquence was nipped in the bud, and we had the usual sing-song. Wednesday, and the close of the camp, came all too early on the scene, and President Hickson must have breathed a sigh of peace when the last man wished him good-bye, whilst that wonderful little worker, Secretary Smith, and his kind-hearted wife must have done likewise - only more so! Two of the finest officials it would be possible to get are Messrs. Hickson and Smith, and their cheerful urbanity smoothed over things that might otherwise have "developed". No one better deserved the handsome illuminated address than Smith, for he is a worker every inch of him, and a good little man in every way.

Before we left on Wednesday a telegram was framed and despatched to the Irish boys as follows:

Remnants of campers wish you luck; our new motto is, 'Good Lord re-liver us!

And all the people said Amen!

The memories of the 1901 camp should be very bright and happy, and speaking as a "camp baby", I must say I did not anticipate such a healthy time as I was lucky enough to have, for I feared several things which would not agree with my health, but one can go to Harrogate with the most optimistic ideas and not be disillusioned, for there was not a single item that the most captious could object to. The old campers made it a point to put the new ones at their case, and inculcated the spirit of bonhomie at the first stage, which made the rest easy. And what a fine lot of fellows the old ones are. Giants of the sport in very truth. However, if there is any praise going, the men who deserve it mostly are the laughter-makers, for they toiled well into every night to please the throng, and, let me say, it is more tiring to entertain, than to be entertained. Alexander the Great was a wonder; from 8 a.m till 3 a.m the next morning he never stopped his funniosities, and his jokes were never coarse or hurtful. He was the "pet" of the visitors in every way.

Hollands had a big reputation ere he came to camp, and he further added to it, for a more good-natured humorist never lived. His persiflage was perfect, and his wit as quick as quicksilver; never quiet, and yet never in the least wearisome, how he maintained his form was a marvel to all. Hollands, as an old member of the oldest cycling club, except the Pickwick B.C, has the name of "Mr. Blotton", the man who made all his remarks in a "Pickwickian" sense, but he should be "Mark Tapley", for a more cheerful man under depressing circumstances we could not imagine. His mock auctioneering was even more clever than funny - and one often wonders whether Holland is more funny than clever, or clever than funny. Tracey, the Irishman, was another grand laughter-maker, and must have danced some hundreds of miles during the camp season; ever willing to oblige, he was in pretty frequent request, and did his part like a man. Paul was a great favourite, and as it is asserted that he will bring a Scottish party next year, we have something to look forward to, as his throat should be all right by then. Mick Manning was great in the role of Grand Master at the installation of Ernest Hickson into "The Order of Golden Boatmen", and the quaint ceremony will linger round many a camper's memory when all other recollections have faded. The mock-solemn faces, the glint of the candles, the clever patter of the G.M., and the "hymns" rendered by the Irish choir, were all perfect in their way, and one halted twixt mirth and awe till the ceremony ended in the presentation of "the golden boat" to Hickson.

All things have an end, but it was a wrench to many a "camp baby" to tear himself away from the scene of so many joyous hours, and how a man can stay away after once tasting the joys of camp life passes one's understanding. "Once a camper, always a camper," seems to be the general motto. May it ever be so.

With the Irish Brigade to Harrogate

The exigencies of space will not permit of me spinning out our Harrogate experiences beyond a short concluding contribution this week, into which I must condense all the incidents connected with the closing days. As already indicated, the race meeting on Monday was a big success both from a sportive and financial standpoint; the finishes were close, and the gate a good one. Oswald should have won the White Rose trophy; I believe he was the best man competing, but, unfortunately, he was deliberately run into by another competitor.

Dinner on Monday night was a swell affair. The toast list was long and varied. Manning replied for "The Ladies", and your humble servant was entrusted with "Past Presidents". The former's speech was a masterpiece, combining humour with common-sense. The stump speech competition was the best I have yet taken part in. "Art." Tracey was an easy first, with Coffey second, and, I should say, Dunbar Steen third. Tracey drew as his subject "The Terrors of Camp Life", out of which he evolved one of the most humorous impromptu speeches I ever listened to, and the beauty of it all was that he never once departed from his subject. There was a consensus of opinion amongst old campers that it was the best stump speech ever delivered in Camp. When it was announced that Tracey had won the much-sought-after leather medal, he was called upon for another speech, which almost equalled his first effort. Tracey is one of those spontaneously funny men who can't help themselves - the humour overflows in volcanic order.

The Irish reception the same night was a quaint affair, and I regret the space at my disposal will not allow me to elaborate upon it. I should like to have given a two-page description of the reception of the president into the Ancient Order of the Golden Boat. I should also have liked to have given a copy of the intensely humorous address conveying the emblems of the Order to his keeping; but, for reasons stated above, this is impossible, so I must only give a brief outline, leaving my readers to imagine the rest.

The Order of the Golden Boat

Twenty lighted candles, four deacons bearing the emblems of progress in ships of wood, iron, steel, and gold. The mighty Grand-master of the Order, robed in a red sash, read out amid death-like silence the obligations and privileges of the Order. During the ceremony a solemn gong beats time, and verses of camp choruses were faultlessly rendered. Then the newly-made Companion of the Golden Boat was escorted to the outer tent, encircled by members of the noble Order. Yes, the Irish night was up to the best standard of previous years, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the campers. A very amusing thing happened after our concert, in which Slattery was the central figure. A round of old Roman games was decided on, and a special competition of putting one leg round a chair arranged. Paul is a champion of champions at this feat, and can repeat the performance up to 200 times. Slattery also fancies himself at the game, and was credited with having done 130 last year. Tracey came along, and, without any apparent trouble, registered 150. Then the betting started, and the Irish boys backed their man against the Hibernian Cockney. Slattery started to beat Tracey's 150, and, after a great effort, got up to 140. Then the members of the Irish Brigade who had been foolish enough to wager, began to feel shaky, and, as Slattery proceeded to wipe off the odd ten points separating him from his opponent, some of them looked as if they had put their money on a rank outsider. One hundred and forty-five was reached, and right up to one hundred and forty-eight. Then, hey Presto! the lights were turned out. After the melee Slattery was found standing on both feet, so that the match ended in another dishonourable draw. It is strange how kind the fates were to the Irishmen in all the various contests. Who put out the gas still remains a matter of mystery, but as Paul was the heaviest layer on Tracey, suspicion pointed to him as the culprit. It was one of those results that, outside such a genial abode as the Camp, might have led to serious trouble and all kinds of recriminations, but at Harrogate the tale was told with great gusto the next day by the very men who stood to make most out of Slattery's victory, and who, if the event had gone the other way, would honourably have discharged their gambling obligations. This amusing incident brought Monday night to a very abrupt termination.

I now come to the closing day, which was spent in quite a variety of ways. Some went cycling to Ripon and Knaresborough, others took advantage of Harrogate's famous baths, in order to reduce their avoidupois, but the large bulk remained to witness the Gymkhana and Camp Sports, which turned out to be quite the best day of the meet. Amongst the events were the following:- One mile N.E.C.M club bicycle race, Victoria Cross race, Cigarette and Sunshade race. Free-Wheel and Camper's Composite race. Out of this lot, W.B. Goodwin won two and Paul won two. I won't tell how the latter won the Sunshade race, suffice it to say that it was one of the shadiest races I have seen for a long time. After the gymkhana, Mrs. Ernest Hickson, wife of the popular president, gracefully distributed the prizes. Here I would like to remark how fortunate the President was in having such a charming wife to assist him at the various functions. I can only say that Mrs. Hickson's presence added charm and grace to the whole proceedings, and many were the encomiums I heard expressed as to her tact and kindness during the progress of the Camp. Lucky is the man who is mated to a good wife, but thrice blessed is he who is called upon to perform the duties pertaining to the Harrogate presidency who can rely upon such able assistance and such hearty co-operation as that rendered by Mrs Hickson. After the distribution of prizes, we had our closing lunch, and already the ranks of the campers had been sadly depleted, as fully 50 per cent had taken their departure. It is this sadness of farewell that none of us like at Camp, for just as you are getting to know a fellow, and possibly to like him, off he goes, and his very absence leaves a blank - a temporary blank it may be - but still it remains long enough to affect your animal spirits. As our party left at 6.20 on Tuesday, we spent the afternoon saying good-bye : then we met in the centre of the field and sang "Auld Lang Syne", and cheered for the President. We were not allowed to depart so quietly, however, as some of our old friends had commandeered a band, which escorted us to dinner, after which a rush was made for the train, amidst a perfect hurricane of hand-shaking. I am told that, according to precedent, Tuesday was the best night in Camp. All the old stagers who know a thing or two always wait to see the Meet through, and no one ever regrets doing so, as the closing night, being more or less a family party, produces lots of modest talent, which, if discovered earlier, would have created both a sensation and a demand. This year Henry Hollands (no relation of the great Hollands) created quite a surprise by his splendid rendering of "The Admiral's Broom". As friend Hollands is getting on for three score, and this was his first appearance on any stage, it might be put down as a "first night" record. Then Charles Holmes (Martell) and Owen Oxley (Hennessy) came out strong in dramatic selections from "The Rivals" and "Julius Ceesar". This undiscovered talent came quite as an agreeable surprise, and fully repaid those who wanted to see the last of the show. I am sorry space will not permit of me telling you how Holmes and Oxley came in for two such soubriquets as Martell and Hennessy; this is a long-story, and must remain in a matter of conjecture. Taking the 1901 Camp all round, it was one of the best I have attended, and I think Mr. Ernest Hickson has every reason to feel satisfied with the success that attended the Meet during his year of office. Speaking on behalf of the Irish Brigade, I must say we had a splendid holiday which was thoroughly enjoyed by every one who had the pleasure of participating in its Bohemian joys, its impromptu sports, its varied pleasures, and its go-as-you-please style of existence.


A few reminiscences of the Harrogate Camp

By Ernest Hickson

Good Old Harrogate Camp - after so many eloquent pens and two eminent Queen's Counsel, in full wig and gown, have described you - after you have been spoken about with the fury that a most distinguished member of the Bar could muster, even roused to indignation by the wrongs of his injured client, with the racy, engrossing, and catching enthusiasm of a Newcastle orator; the polished reverberating, and rich musical tones from Wolverhampton - which, alas, none will hear again - and the silver, witty, laughter-producing, or often touching and poetical humour for which Ireland is so renowned - how can one who, though he worked so willingly and for so long a period to keep your life green, was merely instrumental in adding his mite in that direction by the prosaic duties of administrative organisation, hope to comply with success to "The Tramp's" request for reminiscences?

Mr. "Tramp", you ask me too much, for, as you know very well, my contributions to the long life of the Harrogate Camp were executive, and that when it came to the yarn spinning, so fascinating a feature of that institution, I always took a back seat, and was a silent member.

Born in London and educated in Germany, I spent 18 months in France, and had seen but little of my English contemporaries, when very suddenly the scene of my life was removed from London to Yorkshire, in May, 1883. Already then a lover of cycling, I was soon elected a member of the Bradford C.C, and brought into touch with the ardent enthusiasts of the sport that have made that city so particularly prominent in cycling circles. Though I have no recollection of ever hearing about the Harrogate Camp of 1884, I found myself run in for hon secretaryship for 1885, in the earliest months of that year, without having by the very remotest idea of what kind of an affair it was. Fortunately, I was splendidly backed up by enthusiasts, who were, at the same time, good business men. I mention particularly W.B Gurney, F.W. Hill (now a prominent Belfast citizen), J.A. Hill, and Arthur Gilliett (then C.T.C. Chief Consul of Yorkshire), and being a bachelor amongst new surroundings, I had plenty of time to devote to the details which in those years took a lot of licking into shape.

1884 was, I believe, the first year in which the N.E.C.M. Committee took over the full responsibility of catering. During the three or four previous years the camp had existed, the tents and catering were all included in one contract, by which all risk and all profit went to the caterer. This was not considered good enough by the succeeding committee, and we hired the tents and let out the catering quite separately, which involved a great increase both in responsibility and work.

My first appearance and recollection of the Harrogate Camp was, therefore, in the office of hon. sec. at the very opening of the camp in 1885.

Decoration of the bell-tents was just beginning to develop, but I think this attained the greatest perfection about three years later, when prizes "for the best decorated bell-tent" were awarded. By that time the hollow-oval shape had already been adopted. I have some photos of the decorated tents of that year, with our old friend, the late J. Dunbar Steen, in the foreground, and considering how much more difficult it was to decorate a bell-tent and still leave it comfortable both for day and night accommodation, I certainly consider that none of the elaborate decorations of subsequent years seen in reception tents could hold their own for originality, ingenuity, and taste with those.

In the mid-eighties we had many boon Harrogate campers who are unknown to you, Mr. Tramp. There was "Sweet Pea Villa" with that physical marvel, "Able-bodied P", otherwise A. B. Perkins, Ronald Strang, and "Long Bob", redubbed by your party "the accursed Scot". That was a tent full - only three - who came to enjoy themselves! "Sweet P.'s" short stories from Shakespeare one Tuesday morning at breakfast, after a little "fizz" to wash away the cobwebs, were one of the biggest treats in recitations I recollect.

There, too, were the "Wharfedale Korf-drops", W. B. Gurney, the two old football internationals, Rawson Robertshaw and my namesake, J. L. Hickson, W. B. Tanner, Martin Rucker, Philpot, Arthur Illingworth with his stentorian voice , and Dicky Roberts, with the veteran Mr. Crowe, to whom came as visitors his fair daughters - one of whom so quickly captivated Dunbar Steen, and later did the honours as our President's wife when the camp was at Scarborough, and I must not forget to mention poor "Coppertop", whose solemn face under the most mirth-provoking circumstances has only been equalled in later years by Tracey. There, too was E. R. Shipton, and Ken Worthy from Ashton-under-Lyne, in a small square tent apart from the ret, corded off with a rich red curtain rope - never tired of demonstrating the wonderful boiling capacity of his patent canteen outfit - and amateur photographers too numerous and too bothering to remember with pleasure.

The first invasion since my initiation as a camper was from the North, by the "Cole Hole" party.

Who was responsible for this I cannot say. Two or three, I fancy, came a year or two and "laid low". But when they came they came like Caesar! Ned Clarke, in his prime, Jos. Radcliffe, and a host of others - one year with the coach and four painted all over with their club colours, black and white; another year with the lump of Newcastle coal, about one cubic yard in size, in one solid black, weighing about 1 ton. Mr Tramp, you remember how only a few years back Ned Clarke kept about 30 sober-minded grown-ups playing at "thumbs up" for the benefit of charity, and splitting with laughter, and you can well imagine how, with him at the helm, they made the Harrogate public pour through that tent for charity at a penny a head to see that lump of coal.

To my mind, the funniest show ever organised by campers (organised is not the right word, it was impromptu) was when Ned gave his demonstration in the Spa Gardens one Bank Holiday evening of his trained animals, "all brought up by kindness". With Herbert Robertshaw and M.D Rucker as a giraffe, and lots of other helpers whipped in willy-nilly, he took possession of one of the lawns behind the Concert Hall, and kept the public, who had paid admission to hear the concert and see the fireworks, in roars of laughter with boisterous merriment and all kinds of absurdities, and his "all done by kindness, ladies and gentlemen", followed by a sound whack at one or other of his willing confederates, was too funny for words.

In those days, we also had one camper from Bradford, F.W. Frost, whose imitation of street vendors had to be seen to be enjoyed. His style and his repertoire were quite unique.

Beyond the Newcastle invasion, one cannot say that any party made an era-marking advent until Old Oireland came in force. The Sunderland boys, with Turvey and Blacklock, the Teessiders, Halifax and other tents were very prominent for many years, and all brought talent to add to the joviality.

Now Ireland has many wrongs, and I can not be persuaded, even by your (Mr. Tramp) persuasive pen, to add another to the long list by attempting to describe the camp during those years that you know all about so well. You have at your disposal very many far more able to interest your readers than I can. I, however, rejoice to think that I originated the idea of what turned out to be the most memorable presentation to you, the last President of the chain of office, which, at the suggestion and with the help of your predecessor in office, Mr. A.E. Dodd, took the interesting form of the badges of the various clubs represented in camp. I tell you candidly, Mr Tramp, notwithstanding the above fact, I almost envy you that unique relic.

Like Ireland, I have grievances. I will only trouble you with one - namely, that Ireland did not hand over the address it caused to be read to me when you conferred on me the honour of becoming, and presented me with the badge of office of, a Master of the Most Noble Order of the Golden Boat
- "The Irish Cyclist".


Lamps and Indicators

To the Editor of the "Bicycling Time"

SIR, - One reason why a great many bicyclists object to the existing bye-laws about carrying lamps immediately after sunset, I believe, is that they say they cannot carry a hub-lamp and a cyclometer at once, and that for several reasons they object to head-lamps.

By the following simple and inexpensive arrangement I have been able to carry a hub-lamp and a cyclometer together, and the same can be done on most modern bicycles :

I ride a 54-inch machine, of last year's make, and fix my (Thompson's) cyclometer at the extreme right hand end of the hub, with the face as usual to the left, in the direction you ride, and fix to it a circular piece of tin plate. This plate, which is from 22 to 23 inches in diameter, I cut out of a Huntley and Palmer biscuit-tin, make a hole of the size of the hub in the centre, and in order to get the plate on to the hub, I cut a slit down to the hole, slipped the plate on, and joined the slit by means of a piece of wire passing through a hole on each side of it. I fix this plate on to the cyclometer by means of another piece of wire passing through two plates and round the part where the cyclometer proper joins the part by which it is screwed on to the hub. (Instead of cutting the centre piece entirely out of the plate, by leaving it attached at one side, bending it at a right angle, and jamming it in with the hub when fixing the cyclometer the plate can be more firmly attached). When this is done I put on my Salsbury lamp, making one of the arms rub against the middle of the plate. Care should be taken in bending the arm that it cannot rub against the wire that fixes the plate to the cyclometer or the wire that joins the two sides of the split together; the other arm, as usual, rubs against the side of the wheel. If the adjustment is closely and carefully made, I find that there is just enough room to keep the bottom of the lamp well clear of the spokes, and the hands of the cyclometer can be seen over the top of the plate, which turns round with it and the front wheel.

I rode 151 miles on Saturday last, 13th inst., and found this arrangement answer very well. - Yours obediently, E. Hickson, Hon. Sec. Rob Roy B.C.

[In common with other riders we feel indebted to Mr. Hickson for his hints. We wish riders would more often communicate such items.]


Conference of N.C.U. Provincial Delegates

Great unanimity. - Important resolutions

One of the most representative gatherings ever held in connection with the N.C.U. was that called by the Bristol, Birmingham and Bradford Local Centres, and which took place on Saturday evening last at the Grand Hotel, Birmingham. The chair was taken by Mr. Thomas Cox (Birmingham), and the following delegates were present - Messrs. E. Hickson, W.B Gurney, and H. Lobley (Yorkshire West Ridings L.C.), A.H. Bennett, G.F. Kirk and A. Aldam (Notts L.C.), W.H. Pearson, G.A. Shaw and W.A. Ridley (Hull L.C), W.J. Price and F.W. Brock (Bristol L.C), Henry Sturmey, T.L. Griffiths and E.G. Warden (Birmingham L.C), Oscar E. Taylor, T.A Edge, T.W Grace, C.S. Brooke and A. Edwards (Manchester L.C.), Robert Hall (Newcastle L.C), and R.E. Phillips (Executive). The Glasgow and Southampton L.C's wrote regretting their inability to send delegates, and heartily supporting the scheme proposed by Mr. Brock.

The Chairman, in opening the meeting, expressed an earnest desire that no unnecessary discussion should be introduced. He knew there were points which would call for comments, and on which they might not all be of accord; but he trusted that all would do their best to be as brief as possible, that the business might be completed within a reasonable time. He would call upon Mr. Griffiths to move the first resolution.

Mr. Griffiths said he had a very pleasant but light duty to perform that was to propose that Mr. Hickson be appointed secretary to the conference. This being seconded by Mr. W.J. Price, and duly carried.

Mr. Hickson read the notice convening the meeting. The necessity calling for the N.C.U. Benefit Meeting was to them evidence of there being something radically wrong in the construction of that body. It seemed to them that the whole construction of the National Cyclists' Union was based upon a wrong principle, and it was therefore necessary that provincial men should set in concert, and do their best to alter this condition of affairs. Briefly criticising the scheme to be placed before the meeting, he expressed an opinion that whatever they might adopt, the formation of a London Local Centre would have to be a radical point. He did not propose to start the discussion on the scheme, but he would just give a short sketch of the method of procedure. First of all they proposed to submit to the attention of the meeting a resolution adopting the main principles involved in the scheme. He trusted the discussion on this resolution would be kept closely to the five principles involved. When that had been passed they proposed to submit to the meeting an extended scheme in which each principle involved was reduced to a simple resolution, so that the discussion could be confined to certain points, instead of wandering aimlessly from one point to another. They proposed to place the four resolutions, when passed, upon the agenda for the December Council meeting, and also to pass a resolution asking the Executive to give the scheme a foremost position upon that agenda, in order that it might have a fair and full discussion, and not be put off to another meeting.

Mr. Grace would like to ask one question. He understood that they were met together to discuss the proposals made upon the notice convening the meeting. He hoped they would not at all travel out of the way of the notice, but would restrict the discussion to the one scheme, as he had been instructed by the Manchester L.C. to oppose any other course.

Mr. Sturmey remarked that the Birmingham L.C. had had before them at their last meeting the draft scheme of Mr. Hickson, and had discussed that. It was merely an elaboration of the first scheme, and he took it they would not be travelling far away from the convening notice if they enlarged upon a scheme involving precisely the same principles. His experience of the London Council was that if they went there with a scheme so brief as the one before them they would not get it carried, or if they did, they would get into a muddle with it. They must enlarge the scheme, or it would have very little chance of getting safely through.

Mr. Lobley thought the object of the meeting was to elaborate the skeleton scheme. They must have it as detailed as possible. To carry the scheme in its present form would mean defeat. All the local centres would have an opportunity of registering their votes as to whether they would go into details or not, so they would not be injuring any by elaborating the scheme.

Mr. Gurney then rose to propose the adoption of Mr. Brock's scheme. He did not, he said, propose to make a long speech. He believed so far they were perfectly agreed. There was one point he would like to impress upon the meeting, and that was that the formation of London and provincial local centres, as proposed, would take a vast quantity of work off the hands of the Council, and consequently they would be more free to legislate upon points or matters which concerned the whole country. Too much time had been taken up of late with matters which did not affect the country at large. He had, therefore, much pleasure in proposing -

That this meeting of specially appointed delegates of local centres and provincial clubs adopt Mr. Brock's skeleton scheme as containing the principles on which the N.C.U. should be forth-with re-organised.

Mr. D.H. Pearson having briefly seconded the proposal.

Mr. Hickson hoped that in passing the proposal before them they would bear in mind the five principles involved. The first was that the kingdom should be divided into local centres. On that they should be perfectly unanimous. These centres must conduct the whole of the Union affairs within their boundaries. This clause would involve, or really originate, the formation a London Local Centre, and in that lay the backbone of everything brought forward. The formation of a London Local Centre would relieve the Council and Executive of three-quarters of the work done. The National Council would then be able to confine their attention to national work. He was very strongly in favour, too, of a perambulatory Council. The next point was that the Council should be formed of delegates from each centre. Everyone must have felt very strongly, he thought, that they were not at present represented on the Council in anything like a satisfactory manner. They were represented by delegates who did not know them, or if they knew them forgot them oftentimes, and sometimes they were found voting against their centres. The last principle involved in the scheme was that the work of the Council would have to be defined. Everything else would be done by the centres. At present the reverse was the case.

Mr. Hall thought the question would arise with reference to clause (f) whether it would not be better to give up this work to the Touring Club, and make the N.C.U. a purely racing association. He did not advocate this himself, but thought such a question might have to be dealt with. The first proposal, he thought, was exactly what they wanted, and had been wanting for a considerable time. At present the centres existed solely by the goodwill of the Executive. They had in London an aristocratic association at the present time which, he thought, should now give place to a more democratic association. The Union had become so large and important an institution, and so many of the members were racing men, that an aristocratic association scarcely answered the purposes of cyclists. It had been said that that meeting would not have been convened, and the scheme would not have been brought forward, but for the fact that the Executive had been landed in pecuniary difficulties. He was there that evening to oppose that view of the matter. They, in Newcastle, had been for some time past entirely against the present organisation of the Executive and representation of the centres. When they asked clubs to join, they (the clubs) did not seem to grasp the idea of the Union. It was a London organisation managed by London men, and London got the benefit of all subscriptions and work. He believed to a large extent the Union was kept together by the personal power and influence of the local centre secretaries themselves, and not so much by the good work done, nor the idea of it forming a National Union, for cyclists could not grasp the lines upon which the Union was constructed. He would say that it existed solely through the personal ability and pushing of local centre secretaries. That should not be. The Union should be supported because it was worthy of support. Clubs should see that it would benefit themselves to join. Some scheme must be adopted by which they could have a definite voice in the management of the Union. He would have liked, however, to have had the paragraphs moved seriatim.

The Chairman : That will be done later on. The scheme is moved as a whole first, as one on which we can all agree.

Mr. Price would like to say that if anyone objected to any part of the scheme they should mention it.

The Chairman : The resolution only lays down broad principles, on which it is hoped we shall all agree. It is obvious that the great point of our case will be unanimity. If we go before the Union with the unanimous support of all the centres, it will make opposition impossible.

Mr. Brock said that as he had had the pleasure of first proposing the scheme, he would like to say a few words upon it. It had been felt for a long time in the West of England that they were not in touch with the Executive, and matters had gone so far that the suggestion had been thrown out that the centre should secede. That he thought would have been done but for the conference. They felt in Bristol that they were neglected. They were putting their hands into their pockets for the Union, and got no adequate return. Their Local Centre had managed to go along with the moderate subscription allowed. Their income for the present year had been £70, including a profit on L.C. championship of £21, but of that they had spent £20 in taking up a case of running-down, and had paid off a debt owing from the previous year, so that at present they had very little in hand, but were free from debt. They felt that they could manage affairs in the West of England as a self-constituted body, entirely independent of London. There were, however, points on which they felt it absolutely necessary to be in unison with the N.C.U. and other connections throughout the country. It was highly desirable that the amateur definition should be fixed upon a common basis. It was desirable, also, that the amateur championships should be such. It was very important that if a man was to be styled "amateur champion" he should be champion of the whole kingdom. He was of opinion that if the centre championships could be made to pay the Union should be able to make sufficient out of their championships to pay the necessary working expenses, and nothing would then be required practically from the local centres. There would be greater expenses in the districts, but there would be nothing to pay for London offices, etc., which have now to be defrayed by local centres, so that local centres having an income of their own and no one to refer to would be free to act as they thought best. Any local centre under present rules could be dissolved by the Executive. This, of course, was far from the wishes of the provinces. It was absurd that a body of men in London should have power to say that the Birmingham centre should be dissolved. That must not be. Birmingham or any other local centre should be so constructed that nothing but the want of cohesive force in itself could cause its dissolution. If all members of the association were to be united, they should have power to rule that association, and not be upset by any London Council. The speaker then dealt at some length with the formation of the Bristol L.C., and the Union championship held there, asserting that the Executive asked their opinion on various matters especially relating to the championships, and then entirely ignored that opinion, with the consequence that they felt they could not support the Union in those championships, and feeling that they were strong enough to form an association of their own, they had decided but for that conference to do so. Dealing with the scheme before the delegates, he explained that in forming this he had thought it best to work on broad and simple lines, at it was only in details that they would disagree. When they had adopted the scheme then would be the time for the committee to go into details and elaborate the scheme. Whatever was passed at that meeting would appear on the agenda to be discussed by the local centres. The only point on which he thought there was likely to be a difference of opinion was the perambulatory Council. He must confess that they themselves in Bristol had felt a difference upon that point. The general opinion, however, was that it would be desirable that the Council, whilst meeting in London, should have the power to and make a practice of meeting in various parts of the country, not in the style of the C.T.C., but rather that of the A.A.A. In fact, if the scheme were carried out, the N.C.U. would to a great extent be based upon lines similar to those of the A.A.A., namely, district associations and a general central body. He saw no reason why that central body should always meet in London. He thought if the championships were held in Birmingham, it would be a splendid opportunity for the Council to meet there, or should an important appeal case be coming off in Newcastle, members of the Council should meet there rather than in London, where they would be away from the scene of the case, and unable to give it proper attention.

The Chairman though they were rather anticipating points which would come on for discussion at a later stage.

Mr. Price agreed with Mr. Hall that it was the local men who kept the Union together. He thought if the Executive were taken to the middle of the Atlantic and dropped in, the Union work would go on just the same as usual. The work of local centre secretaries was enormous. He would not say it was they who maintained the Union, but it certainly was the local centres that kept the N.C.U. a power in the land. He had been reading the Review recently, and he could assure them that the Executive were everything, from beginning to end. One might think that the Executive ruled instead of the whole body of members. He hoped they would be unanimous on the skeleton scheme, as there would be less to defend upon that than upon a more elaborate one. The local centres could fill in the details afterwards. A warning voice should go forth to the Council with regard to the "tricks of the trade" they got up to there in the matter of adjournments. The way in which they shelved things there when the proposers were so much in earnest was shameful. It should go forth that the provinces were determined to have reform, and the scheme before them, although not perfect, was a step in the right direction.

Mr. Gurney, re Mr. Hall's remarks, pointed out that to carry clause, was merely to leave the rule as at present standing. He thought any alterations desired in this could be made after the Union had been re-organised.

The resolution adopting Mr. Brock's scheme was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.

Mr. Hickson thought the next resolution was one that would call for some discussion. It was, "That this meeting go into committee on the extended scheme," which be begged to move. He would like at the outset to express his regret that the correspondence which had passed between the three centres signing the notice could not have been also extended to every centre, which it was, however, found impossible to do. He did not wish them to think that the scheme was the outcome of the correspondence between the three secretaries. It embodied the ideas of the Birmingham, Bristol, and Yorkshire, and also the Manchester L.C's. Though the scheme was not perfect, he hoped it would answer their purpose. They wished to bring as many points as possible before the meeting. He agreed with Mr. Sturmey that it was not fair to go to London and attempt to demolish the whole organisation of five, six, or ten years' standing, and put forward simply a skeleton scheme. He hoped they would agree on the vital points of the extended scheme with the same unanimity that had characterised the one just passed.

Mr. Sturney seconded the motion. As he had said before to simply take the present scheme to London would be almost to ensure defeat. Of course they could carry it with the united proxy votes of the Kingdom but they wanted, if possible, to get the support of London as well as the provinces. He knew London was hard to convince, but still they wanted to do it. In his opinion the extended scheme was but an explanatory scheme. If they took the matter to London as it was, they would be taking it into a larger assemblage of men who were primarily prejudiced against the scheme, and who had no idea at all of the details of working. By giving them the extended scheme they would be enabling the London Council better to understand the first one.

Mr. Grace pointed out that they had a resolution amongst those submitted to them that a sub-committee be appointed to complete the scheme and frame rules for the guidance of the new Council, and also had passed a resolution that Mr. Brock's scheme should be adopted, and he would suggest that the scheme, as extended by Mr. Hickson, should be printed in the Review as a guide to the sub-committee to be formed.

The Chairman thought that would not be opposed.

Mr. Hickson said the discussion would turn upon the question whether on the agenda should be printed the skeleton scheme or the extended one. He was of opinion that the skeleton scheme was too short to place thereon. Mr. Grace's contention was, he understood, to put the skeleton scheme on the agenda and send up the other to be read at the Council.

Mr. Grace did not object to their discussing the extended scheme, but hoped they would not put it on the agenda as a resolution to bind the committee.

Mr. Lobley was inclined to agree with Mr. Grace, though he would have preferred the extended scheme.

Mr. Price thought nothing outside the notice convening the meeting should be introduced.

Mr. Hickson maintained that the second clause in the convening notice would justify him in bringing his scheme before the meeting.

Mr. Brock would like to point out that a motion almost, if not word for word, similar to Mr. Hickson's would be placed on the agenda by the Bristol Local Centre in case any objection should be made to the scheme proposed by the conference. The Bristol scheme would, of course, be withdrawn when the other was brought on.

The Chairman could not see how they would go wrong in elaborating the scheme. They must keep to the spirit of it, otherwise they would stultify themselves. He thought Mr. Hickson's idea was only to draw out more fully the idea contained in Mr. Brock's scheme.

Mr. Adam held that if Mr. Hickson's scheme were to be passed as a recommendation, it should be sent to the committee for their guidance.

Mr. Sturmey thought Mr. Hickson's scheme should be placed on the agenda that it might come before the centres not represented at the conference, and the independent members and London delegates, so that they might know on what lines they were acting. If they carried the draft scheme and a sub-committee were appointed to consider the question and draw up rules, that sub-committee would have a tremendous amount of work, and if they could do a little for the committee and give them a few more general lines to start upon, it would materially assist them.

Mr. Grace would take it as a breach of faith to the centres should anything outside the agenda be dealt with by the conference. He thought they should pass the resolutions before them, and then throw the meeting open to the discussion of the extended scheme.

Mr. Hall thought they were getting into a chamber of horrors. As he understood it, the first motion passed that evening inferred to his mind that some scheme would have to be adopted for the re-organisation of the Union, and he thought that the items should be dealt with seriatim, so that they might go back to the centres and tell them what the conference had suggested on each paragraph. He could not see the advisability of amplifying the scheme. The Executive would have plenty if they would just swallow the two items on the programme. If they got that over, and swallowed it nicely, it would be quite sufficient; all the rest would follow.

After some further discussion, the resolution that the conference go into committee was withdrawn.

The Chairman then read the next resolution on the agenda -

That the scheme of re-organisation as passed by the Birmingham conference of local centre and provincial club delegates be adopted as containing the principles on which the Union shall be forthwith re-organised.

Mr. Aldam moved, and Mr. Grace seconded, That the resolution be passed.

Carried unanimously.

Mr. T.A Edge proposed -

That a committee be appointed to complete the scheme of re-organisation in conformity with the foregoing resolution, and frame rules for the guidance of the new Council; the said scheme to come into operation on 1st March, 1889.

Mr. W.J. Price seconded the resolution pro forma, which was duly carried.

Mr. Bennett moved, and Mr. Brock seconded -

That the committee consist of the chairman of the Executive, one delegate from each local centre and one from the London district; and that the London representative be appointed by the Executive.

Carried unanimously.

Mr. Brock suggested that M. Phillips should be invited to address the delegates.

The Chairman said he should respond with great pleasure; they would be happy to allow Mr. Phillips to express his opinion, and he was sure that gentleman would have a very courteous hearing at their hands.

Mr. Grace said he would like, before Mr. Phillips spoke, to raise the question as to whether it would be compulsory for a delegate appointed on the committee to attend every meeting, or could a substitute be sent.

Mr. Sturmey was of opinion that they could not allow a substitute, because, if they were going to change the members of the committee from time to time, those attending one meeting would not know what had been done at the previous ones, so he did not think it would be workable. They must use their best endeavours in choosing gentlemen to represent them to select those who would undertake to attend a large proportion of the meetings.

Mr. Grace asked if the rules would authorise each local centre to pay the expenses of delegates to attend the committee?

Mr. Lobley thought they could deal with their own money as they thought best.

Mr. Sturmey : I think so long as we do not interfere with that portion of the centre receipts which belong to London we shall be in order.

Mr. Hickson would like to introduce a resolution which he had great pleasure in moving. It had been drawn up at his request by a member of the Executive. It was

That in view of the fact that a large number of provincial delegates intend to be present in person at the Council, the Executive of the N.C.U. be, and is hereby, requested to place the motion emanating from the conference of specially-appointed delegates in such a position upon the agenda paper that it may be dealt with at the said Council meeting, and not postponed for want of time; and particularly requests that it be placed before the report of the Finance Committee, as these motions must interfere with any action taken on that report.

As a member of the Executive was present, they could not do better than give the resolution to him to hand to that body.

Mr. Hall seconded the resolution, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. Phillips then rose to speak. He was not, he said, going to defend the Executive in any way. He was quite convinced, however, that if any gentleman present that evening were to reside in London and work on the Executive he would see the innumerable difficulties they had to contend with. Personally, he was greatly in favour of a preambulatory Council. It would do more to further the Union work than anything else; but he thought they would find there were difficulties in the way when they came to elaborate the scheme. If it did nothing else, this wandering Council meeting would have one good effect, that was to abolish proxy voting. He thought it would have to come to that, because the proxy voting led them into any number of quarrels. With reference to the request to the Executive to place the results of the conference in a foremost position, he thought the Executive would give them a hearing as far as possible; but he would like to suggest that any local centre which had sent up motions for the agenda should withdraw them as far as possible, or place them at the bottom of the agenda, as then nothing would stand in the way except those motions resulting from the late special meeting, which, however, would take up considerable time. One he thought they would be interested in - that was to appoint a chairman for the year in place of a permanent one. With the formation of a local centre in London he quite agreed. Of course, if they had a London centre they would, he presumed, abolish the Executive. (Mr. Sturmey : Not entirely.) The difficulty he saw was that they must have some body always sitting to do one thing - that was, to define the policy of the Union. The N.C.U. differed from the A.A.A in this respect. The A.A.A. only governs sport because there is no pastime connected with it. The N.C.U. had to govern the sport and pastime. Although a Council meeting moved quarterly could keep the definition of their policy within bounds, it could not be done with the pastime. There were two things he should call pastime, and on which the Executive must decide the policy. The first was road-racing. He left it to them to consider what the position of road-racing would be if they allowed each centre to define the ruling. Another point was law and road repairs. If they allowed each local centre to define their policy on law cases, they would find in one instance a case taken into court to uphold certain principles, and in another probably to oppose the same. There must be an Executive to decide the policy of the Union, to which all matters should be referred for their opinion before they were acted upon by the provinces. There was one difficulty, however. If they were going to have an Executive in London, naturally that body would have a voice at the Council meetings. They would therefore have double London voting on the Council, and such a body would certainly not be content to work unless they were represented on the Council. Another point he would draw their attention to was that when they came to divide Great Britain out, they would find at least twenty or twenty-five local centres. In his opinion the areas would be too small and centres too numerous to work together in harmony. He thought the local centres should embrace a much larger area and be fewer in number. In case of suspension, this would be found to be necessary, as in small areas a certain amount of personal feeling would be certain to exist.

Mr. Lobley thought the centres would not be in any way too small as they proposed to arrange them. They must not forget that the number of members was all the time increasing, and they hoped would increase faster still when the new scheme came into operation.

Mr. Gurney wished to get on with the extended scheme, as he was assured that that would meet all the points raised by Mr. Phillips.

The Chairman tendered the thanks of the meeting to Mr. Phillips for the frank expression of his views, and requested that he would hand the resolution to the Executive respecting the position of the motions upon the agenda.

Mr. Grace moved -

That this conference request the Yorkshire West Riding to duly place the motions, so far as carried at this conference, upon the next agenda, and that Messrs. Gurney and Hickson have the conduct of this at the Council meeting.

He thought they might leave the matter in the hands of those two gentlemen with the utmost confidence.

Mr. Price briefly seconded the proposal.

Mr. Lobley thought it would have more weight with those who read the agenda if the names of all the centres were put collectively as proposing the skeleton scheme.

After some further remarks from Messrs. Hickson, Hall, Brock, and Sturmey, it was proposed by Mr. Grace, and seconded by Mr. G.A. Shaw,

That the motions so far as carried by placed upon the agenda in the names of the whole of the local centres represented, and that the delegates of the provincial centres should, as far as possible, support them at the December Council meeting.

This being the whole of the business on the agenda, Mr. Hickson moved, and Mr. Sturmey seconded, That this meeting resolve itself into committee, which was carried unanimously.

Mr. Hickson then proceeded to explain the scheme he proposed to lay before the committee, and a free discussion took place upon the various items, which were dealt with seriatim. The following resolutions were finally adopted as recommendations to the committee to be hereafter appointed for the re-organisation fo the National Cyclists' Union :-

The whole of Great Britain to be divided into local centres. Each centre to conduct all affairs of the Union that arise within its boundaries.

The local centres to be formed as nearly as possible upon geographical lines, and as at present.

That all centres, except perhaps London, be preferably named after the district, as, for instance, Midland Local Centre, Western Local Centre, etc, and not after towns or cities.

All delegates of local centres to be elected as at present.

All subscriptions and registration fees to be paid to the hon. secretary of the local centre in which the club or members reside, or in which the race-meetings are to be held.

Each local centre to pay over a percentage of its total subscriptions of all kinds to the Council (the exact amount to be subsequently fixed).

The Council to be elected annually in the month of March, and have entire control over its own funds.

Each local centre to send delegates to form the Council as follows, and, for the purpose of this proportion members to include members of affiliated clubs :-

(This calculation, based upon figures given in 1887 reports, giving a total of 30 members).

The Council to elect a president, vice-presidents of the Union, chairman of Council, hon. sec., and hon. treasurer, and, if necessarily be elected from delegates forming the Council.

The third-class railway fares of the chairman and hon. sec. to be paid to and from the town in which the meetings are held, to be borne by the Council.

The Council to hold its meeting in various local centres of the kingdom. That no meeting shall be held, except under special circumstances, in districts, having less than three delegates. Five to form a quorum.

The Council to (a) fix the amateur definition; (b) frame rules for amateur cycle races; (c) to frame such other rules as may be from time to time deemed necessary; (d) to decide what national championships shall be held; when each and every championship shall be held; the rules for the management of said championships; what award shall be given; to elect annually one or more official timekeepers and judges to act at said championships.

The entire management of the national championships, exclusive of the items aforesaid, shall be conducted, and the entire expense borne, by the local centre in which such championships are run, unless such centre should prefer to delegate the management and risk to the Council. The centre or Council to receive all entry fees, bear all losses, take all profits for programmes, etc., pay the third-class railway fares of the official timekeeper and judge to and from the town in which the championships are held.

The net profit from the national championships, if any, after deducting all the above and any other expenses, to go to the local centre or Council as the case may be, and if the championship be undertaken by a local centre, a percentage of the net profits equal to that paid on subscriptions shall be paid to the Council.

The Council to act as an Appeals Committee between individual members or affiliated clubs and local centres, and appoint one or more sub-committees for that purpose.

The Council to have power to call on any centre to show cause within ten days why any suspension has not been made, or why any particular sentence of suspension has been pronounced, and after hearing such centre, to make any suspension whatever, or alter any sentence of suspension already made. Suspensions by the Council can only be dealt with by the Council.

The Council to watch and assist any centre in promoting the objects of the Union whenever cases of national importance arise, such as leading road-mending and assault cases.

The Council to watch the movements of railway companies, all legislative and Custom House proposals, and every opportunity of promoting the objects of the Union, especially in such cases where the case is not definitely located in any centre.

The Council to appoint an emergency committee of five to assist the hon. sec. in cases that call for prompt action. The emergency committee to have power of calling a special meeting of the Council.

A resolution was also adopted that the extended scheme be forwarded to the hon. sec. of the Union, with the request to publish it in the Review in the interests of the Union, and a vote of thanks to the Chairman brought the meeting to a close at 11 o'clock.


National Cyclists' Union

An ordinary meeting of the Council was held on Thursday evening last, the 6th inst., at the London Tavern, Fenchurch-street. The chair was taken by the vice-president, Mr. W. B. Tanner. Members and delegates were present to the number of 112, including representatives from several provincial Local Centres, while the galleries were more or less crowded, and great interest was apparently shown in the somewhat momentous questions set down for decision. Messrs. Hickson, Brock, Appleton, Gurney, and Griffiths proved themselves able exponents of provincial views, all of whom were accorded a quiet and attentive hearing. The amendment which had been left in the hands of Mr. Todd, on behalf of the recent meeting of London men, was thrown out by the weight of adverse proxy votes, but on the other hand the now famous organisation scheme failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority, it having been decided that it was in the nature of a new rule. This ruling was apparently quite unexpected by the provincial party, but the chairman adhered to his decision, and the scheme was thrown out amid loud applause from the metropolitan contingent. It was stated that some £50 to £75 had been spent by the provincial party in bringing the question to a head, and it is, of course, unfortunate for them that the matter came to such an abrupt termination. The question, however, is sure to be again brought forward, and we have reported the present meeting very fully in order that those interested may have an opportunity of considering the subject in all its bearings. After the provincial scheme had been moved and lost, the delegates began to lose interest in the proceedings, until Mr. Percy Low startled them into attention by successfully carrying a motion to permanently disqualify the three riders who, according to the report, had been temporarily suspended by the Executive until the end of 1890. The remainder of the evening was occupied in the discussion of the first clause of the scheme, moved on behalf of the Finance Committee by Mr. Low. The attendance had, however, by this time dwindled down to about a third of its original proportions, and Mr. Low's first proposition was lost. The meeting adjourned close upon 11 o'clock to a date to be fixed by the Executive, and there remained a very large amount of business yet to be transacted. Mr. Beningfield most admirably, but unwillingly, played the role of a cycling Rip Van Winkle, and succeeded in causing a good deal of amusement, and considerably enlivened the proceedings which would otherwise have been remarkably tedious. Considerable discussion ensued upon the minutes, the result being that those of the Council Meeting, held on 14th June last, were confirmed unanimously, and those of the special meeting on 20th September last by 26 to 20, the point upon the latter being raised by Mr. Britten, who stated that the chairman of such meeting had given a ruling which was contrary to fact. It was then announced what Centres had resorted to proxy voting.

The Reorganisation Scheme

Mr. E. Hickson, on behalf of the Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Yorkshire (East and West Ridings) Local Centres, moved: - That the scheme of reorganisation as passed at the Birmingham Conference of Delegates of Local Centres and provincial clubs be adopted as containing the principles on which the Union shall be forthwith reorganised. He said that before proceeding to the immediate business of the resolution he wished to tender to the Executive, on behalf of those for whom he acted, his best thanks for the generosity with which they had replied to their appeal to give precedence to the motion for reorganisation. He and his party came there with a very closely defined object, but his task had been made far more difficult than it would otherwise have been on account of the very gross misconstruction that had been placed on their action, and the misrepresentations generally which had been indulged in. He asked them to remove from their minds any views which they might have already formed, and requested that they would closely follow the five principles which, as he explained embodied the scheme which he proposed. He did not intend to waste any words as to the necessity for reform of the N.C.U., because he considered the very great prominence which the question had taken of late was ample proof in itself that reform was necessary, and also because the only amendments to the scheme which had been placed on the agenda were motions admitting such necessity. He did not propose to read the skeleton scheme, but wished to point out that the resolution simply asked that the principles embodied in that scheme might be adopted as such as should form the basis of the constitution of the Union. He hoped that his motion would receive a fair and open discussion on its merits before proceeding to the appointment of any committee. (Hear, hear.) He asked this because he considered that if any amendment such as appeared on the agenda paper were brought forward straight away it would shelve the question which the provinces wished to bring forward. It was these five principles which he wanted the Council to discuss that night. They had no intention whatever, as had been represented, to prevent any portion of the Union from having a fair and equable representation on the Council, or a share of the labour in doing the duties of the Executive, or anything of that description. They simply brought it forward because they were deeply convinced that the principles in question contained the framework on which alone a healthy constitution of the N.C.U. could arise, and which alone could make it a national body in the real sense of the word and a true union of cyclists from all parts of the kingdom. The five principles he had alluded to were:-(1) The division of the kingdom into districts or Local Centres. (2) That each Centre should do its local business entirely and conduct the local affairs of the Union within its district. (3) What was called a perambulating Council. (4) That the Council should be constituted of delegates from the Local Centres. (5) What they considered a logical conclusion from the second that certain duties shall be restricted entirely to the Council, and shall not be dealt with in any way whatever by the Local Centres. The first principle was that which they considered as the backbone of the whole scheme. There was a curious arrangement at present in existence of one Local Centre being, as it were, here and another there, with a lot of what he ought to call Tom Tiddler's ground in between, the abolition of which he was sure would be welcomed by every Local Centre honorary secretary in the Kingdom as well as by those who had worked in Basinghall-street. But apart altogether from this the formation of a London Local Centre was what this principle aimed at, and was above all other things what the provincial members of the Union had set their hearts on. He might say that in addition to the Centres which he had enumerated and on whose behalf he was the spokesman, he had the support of every Local Centre in the kingdom that had taken the trouble to record its vote. He considered it was to the absence of a London Local Centre above all things that the present deadlock in the work of the Union was due, and to this cause they also largely attributed the disrepute which the Union had fallen into throughout the Kingdom. He had no hesitation in saying that had the London work been done by a London Local Centre as provincial work was done by provincial Local Centres, three-fourths at least of the work of the Executive, and (setting aside the question of alteration of rules) three-fourths of the work of the Council would have fallen to such body. The object of his party was to free the Council or Executive from a large amount of the work which now fell to its lot. They thought that if London work was done by Londoners, the Council would be free to attend to national work. He thought it was a disgrace to the Union that two of the most prominent objects, viz., the first two that were enumerated in the list published in the Rules of the Union, should have had to be delegated to so large an extent to other bodies to prevent their going to the wall altogether. The chief reasons that provincial clubs gave for not affiliating themselves to the Union was becoming painfully monotonous. It generally took the following form : What is the use of belonging to the Union? - it is essentially a metropolitan body and will not trouble itself about us. The remedy for this would be found in forming a London Centre to do London work. As regards the second principle, as to the division of the kingdom into districts, it had been criticised apparently without the slightest knowledge of the effect of the present rules. It had been said that some Centre might make some absurd suspension. He quite admitted that, but under the present rules it could do so, and therefore there was no change. His Centre had made a suspension straight away without the Executive knowing anything about it, and which they were fully entitled to do under the present rules. The party whom he represented insisted on this principle being retained in the scheme and that a great point should be made of the insertion of some clause which would prevent the Council or Executive from altering any suspension until the local Centre who had made it had been heard. He was quite sure that as London was made a Local Centre they would not quibble about the second principle. It was said that the A.A.A might object to the alteration, but that was a pure fallacy. As regards the remuneration of duties which should be retained by the Council, and not fall to the Local Centres, he simply wished to point out with regard to Clause B "to fix the amateur definition" that it must be distinctly understood that no one member of the provincial party, as far as he was aware, desired to alter that definition at all. They simply said that in the event of some future modification being required no one should have power to deal with it except the Council. But the Council must be truly representative. The provincial party at present considered that it was not. It was a body constituted almost entirely of Londoners, and London clubs by being directly represented had a most unfair preponderance, and until this was changed he thought the Union would never receive the full confidence of the United Kingdom. In their different Centres they had done their best to get representatives who should be in touch with themselves, but owing to the present constitution of the Council it was absolutely impossible to do this as regards meetings in London. That was the clause, after the London clause, on which they laid the most stress. He had spoken to two prominent London members that night and he had no hesitation in saying that within a quarter of an hour they could come to some mutually satisfactory arrangement. He wanted the Council to be a body that did the work of the Union, and not merely to be a debating society, but it must be a much smaller body than at present. Lastly with regard to the clause which had been called the "perambulating" that also had been greatly misunderstood. The provincial party did not for one moment pretend to desire or think that it would be advisable, or indeed feasible, that the Council should wander round every Centre in the kingdom on some hard and fast routine. They simply wished that some few (they would be content with two-thirds) of the meetings should be held outside London. He felt that as long as Council meetings were persistently and regularly held in London the metropolitan character of the Council could never be altered. These were the five clauses to which he wished to draw their attention that evening. They had not dealt at all with the question of finance. They felt that without figures before them they were not in a position to do so. They were quite open to receive and to listen to any recommendations which might be put before them, and he could assure them that as soon as the Council was a truly representative body the West Riding of Yorkshire Local Centre would be one of the foremost in giving sufficient funds to that Council for it to do its work. He might mention that the provincial party had spent some £50 to bring the matter to its present head, and it would be most unfair that the question should be shelved without any chance of a division on the main proposition. He appealed to Mr. Todd to listen to that request that he would allow the resolution to be debated on its merits, and leave his (Mr. Todd's) motion to come forward as an amendment to their second resolution. If that were done they would be most willing, with very slight verbal alterations to accept Mr. Todd's motion almost as it stood. At any rate he trusted the meeting would feel that the provincial party had not brought forward this scheme of reorganisation in any party or faction spirit. They had brought it forward entirely because they felt and were earnestly and honestly convinced that on its adoption alone could be based a true and thoroughly National Cyclist's Union. Mr Hickson resumed his seat amid loud applause. Mr Brock seconded. It had been said at the London meeting that neither Mr. Hickson nor himself had previously been present at any London Council meetings. They felt that the loss was theirs, but at the same time they always felt that all matters had been brought forward by the Council and treated ably and impartially, and therefore no reason existed for their presence. But they felt in attending that present meeting they were asking for a principle - a broad one - and they felt sure that as the provinces had approached the question in a broad and fair-minded spirit, so the delegates now present in representing metropolitan clubs would be willing to meet them on the same grounds. They only asked for fairness and equality. They were all anxious to do the best for the Union. The trouble they had taken in the matter was evidence of this. He appealed to the meeting to do his party justice, and at the same time to help as far as possible in furthering the interests of the Union generally. His party asked that a certain amount of home rule or self-government might be entrusted to them, and by this means they would be able to bring the name and objects of the Union into greater prominence. Mr. Todd then moved an amendment : (1) The Council considers that some further and better arrangement should be made for enabling Local Centres to be represented and heard on the Council, and that a committee should be appointed to frame a scheme for the reorganisation of the Union and report to the Council. (2) The committee shall consist of an equal number appointed by the Executive and by the Local Centres; and said he would have preferred moving this amendment later in the evening, but as he was obliged to leave the meeting very shortly he has no alternative. He had listened with great interest to both Mr. Hickson and Mr. Brock, in the hope that they would have shown some reason for introducing such a drastic change in the constitution of the Union. Mr. Hickson had taken it for granted that there ought to be a reform, and that therefore his particular scheme of reform should be adopted. Mr. Hickson had also been politic enough not to make any remarks upon the interpretation of the short scheme. There would arise in the carrying out of that scheme a number of very delicate and knotty points, which the mover of the scheme had not dwelt upon. With regard to Mr. Hickson's first principle of dividing the kingdom into districts, he (Mr. Todd) personally had no great objection to London being formed into a Local Centre, except, perhaps, that the result would be that a good deal of the work of the Union would be done twice over. Mr. Todd then proceeded to attack the suggested perambulating Council, and repeated in substance the arguments adduced at the recent meeting at Anderton's Hotel, and which was duly reported in our columns, and particularly emphasized the point of the probable difficulty of obtaining a quorum at such Council meetings. Every objection that could be urged against the present Council on the ground of inconvenience and difficulty of access would apply quite as strongly to the proposed perambulating Council. Mr. Hickson had expressed a wish that the Council should do some work, and not be a mere debating society, but that was to a certain extent neutralised by Mr. Brock, who admitted that matters which had been brought before the Council had been dealt with fully, and ably, and honourably, and that therefore the provincial men themselves saw no reason to come up to London. He thought they might set one opinion against another - (laughter) - and if the latter were the opinion of the Local Centres he could not see why they should desire to abolish the present Council. With regard to the second principle, that each Local Centre was to conduct the whole affairs of the Union within its boundaries, Mr. Hickson tried to show that it would be very slightly different from the present arrangements, and had instanced the question of suspension. He (Mr. Todd), however, would point out that the power of Local Centres was limited to the suspension of a man pending investigation. If each Centre was to have home rule, there was the likelihood of each Local Centre having a different set of rules, and he did not know that that would assist them very much. Mr. Todd was proceeding to show the inequality of representation in giving London six delegates, as against twenty-four for the rest of the country --

Mr Hickson said that Mr. Todd was dealing with the second scheme which he submitted was not before the meeting.

Mr Todd : Mr. Hickson was wise enough not to bring it before the meeting, and I dare say it is extremely disagreeable to have it in any way referred to.

Mr. Hickson : Not at all.

Mr. Todd said he was only judging by what Mr Hickson had done, but as the subject was painful to the latter, he, Mr Todd, would not refer to it further. Another point was, were they going to find their delegates to form a Council in any different shape from the present? At the present time, Local Centres, had power of sending up a few delegates if they liked to vote by proxy, and carry the whole voting power of the Centre if they chose. Mr. Todd said he wished Mr. Hickson to understand that he had never wilfully misrepresented facts with regard to the scheme. Mr. Hickson had made a point of a further clause being added to prevent the Council from altering any suspension until the Local Centres had been heard. As a matter of fact, the Local Centres were always heard when suspensions were dealt with by the Executive. (No, no, from the provincial delegates, whereupon Mr. Todd repeated his assertion.) The Executive always listened to what the Local Centres had to say. They certainly had not asked a member to come up to London to represent their views viva voce, but they had paid great attention to them. In certain cases, the Executive had been disposed to adopt a certain course, but had deferred to the Local Centres as far as they reasonably could. As he had before stated, the Local Centres had taken the present financial position of the Union as the opportunity of bringing up the scheme, and in support of his statement he read to the meeting the circular dated 18th October 1888, issued by the conveners of the Birmingham meeting Mr. Todd was frequently interrupted by cries of No, no from the provincial delegates in the course of his remarks upon this point. Mr. Todd complained somewhat bitterly that the Centres had left out of their scheme the most vital question of finance. Speaking generally, he thought altogether that the provinces had failed to make out a case. It was proposed by the scheme to abolish the Executive, and in place they would have the Perambulating Council and the Emergency Committee with the requirements of the Union's work. He felt that the proxy voting scheme had not worked, and that it was very desirable to meet the Local Centres as far as they could, in some way or another to enable their voices to be heard upon the Council, and their votes and opinions fully recorded. (Loud applause). At that moment he was not prepared to suggest any means by which that could be done, but he was heartily with the Local Centres in a desire to find such means but he did not think that the proposed scheme would provide a way out of the difficulty, but would rather accentuate and perpetuate it. He advised the acceptance of his amendment as it would establish a principle that there should be a reform, and then leave it to another Committee to arrange all necessary details, and bring up a scheme and report to the Council. (Loud applause)

Mr. Pye English seconded.

Mr. Gurney, of Bradford, in an effective speech strongly supported Mr. Hickson's motion. He could not see why in London business was transacted by a London Committee. A Council formed from the United Kingdom should not touch such business at all. Inasmuch as the provincial men had spent some £50 to £75 in regard to the bringing up of the scheme, and had also given a great deal of time and attention to the matter, and had done a good deal of travelling about, he thought that was a good reason for their claiming, as provincials, a direct representation on the Council. At present they had not the proper facilities for putting their views before the Council, unless they came up with a relay of speakers to meet the points which were suggested on the opposite side. It was impossible that a delegate could be in thorough union with the provinces. At present they felt they had no voice on the Council. Under the present system, it meant they would have to send up a very large number of provincial members, which would be obviated by a revised and smaller Council. Although the proxy voting scheme, had been a provincial idea, they were not satisfied with the result, and if the provinces were to take a lively interest in the Union, they must be directly represented. They had not touched upon the finance question. Generally speaking, that was a thing which could only be amicably discussed by a committee. The provincials to a man would give the proposed Council whatever was thought right. They did not wish to have a poverty-stricken Council. They would back it up even at the expense of the Local Centres. There had been much misunderstanding about the Perambulating Council. It was quite wrong to suppose that the proposed Council should move about all over the country. That would not work at all. They merely meant that the Council should have the power to perambulate and meet elsewhere than in London if necessary. For instance, at any championship or other representative cycling gathering, they might have power to hold a meeting, and secure the attendance of all the leading lights of the cycling world. As to the work being done twice, that was a grand mistake. It was quite the reverse, for a Local Centre could bring up a matter and settle it there and them. An Executive would still be in existence, although under another name. It was admitted on all hands that they must have an Executive of some sort, but if the London work was taken off its shoulders it would have much less to do than at present. The scheme merely provided for the representation of the provinces on the Council, and a London Local Centre. If those two points were conceded to the provinces, he thought they would find they were anxious to meet the London views in every possible way.

Mr. Brookes stated that it was his opinion that the Local Centre delegate was always listened to with the greatest courtesy and attention, from the mere fact that he was such a representative. He wished to somewhat tone down Mr Todd's remarks, which he thought were perhaps likely to engender friction, and he trusted the matter might be discussed amicably in order that, if possible, they might come to some understanding which would be mutually satisfactory.

Mr Sturney supported Mr. Hickson's proposal, and said that if the meeting would adopt the two points mentioned by Mr. Gurney, he thought the provinces would be quite willing to accept any fair composition of the Committee.

Mr. Boult, in a very lengthy speech, supported Mr. Todd's amendment, and expressed his hearty agreement with the desire of the provinces that they should be more adequately represented upon whatever kind of Council they might form. With regard to the Perambulating Council, he thought they would experience great difficulty in always securing a quorum. As regards the better representation of the provinces, he thought the matter was in the hands of the provincial party, who, by putting their shoulder to the wheel, could make the Local Centres more powerful than the membership of London, and thus secure greater voting power. The present system of proxy voting was a farce. Mr. Beningfield thought the question was really one now of London v. the Provinces and vice versa. (Cries of No, no). He judged this from the bitter remarks of Mr. Todd (No, no) He thought the amendment had better be lost. He has consulted his own club (Pickwick), and the whole matter had been adequately discussed, and they had passed a resolution to the following effect: That this club is in entire sympathy with the requisition of the Local Centres - (hear,hear) - and also considers that the N.C.U. in future should adjudicate on racing matters only. (Laughter) The club is also of opinion that the general interests of cycling are well looked after by the C.T.C (Loud laughter). The great fault of the Union had been "patching", and instanced the parable of the boy and the knife. They were so patched up that the sooner they started a new coat the better. He thought the Executive should be abolished, and in its place a smaller working Council and a good system of home rule adopted. He thought they did not want a Union. They had the National Cyclist's Training Club - (laughter) - which he thought did everything that was needed. He also thought that racing should be attended to by the union of clubs. (Renewed laughter).

Mr. Needham followed.

Mr. Appleton said the provinces did not desire in any way to "squash" London. It was a pity that the detailed scheme had ever been studied at all, and a number of delegates at Birmingham had objected to its being discussed. He did not agree with the Perambulating Council, but at the same time he agreed it should have the power of moving about if it wanted to, which he did not think the present Council had. (A Voice: Yes, it has) They did not grumble at their present delegates, but they did want direct representation. He thought there had been a large amount of bad blood raised over the discussion (No, no) The provinces had in no way bound themselves up with the extended scheme. He did not agree with the proposed representation of London on the scheme, and supplemented generally the previous remarks of the speakers on his own side.

Mr. McCandlish drew attention to the length of the agenda before the meeting, and suggested that a division should now be taken. He would, however, ask members to vote for Mr. Todd's amendment, as being most desirable from every point of view. If Mr. Hickson carried his proposition, it would simply be by the weight of the proxy votes which he and his party had brought up. He thought that was a most unsatisfactory way of voting, and could not be accepted as final. It would be much better to leave it to a properly constituted committee to be discussed quietly and reasonably. (Applause)

Mr. Griffiths (the Hon. Sec of the Birmingham Local Centre), referring to Mr. Boult's remarks as to increasing the membership of the Local Centres, wished to say that he himself had worked honestly and hard to that end, and had succeeded pretty satisfactorily. But there was always a difficulty in the way of adding to his Centre, from the fact that the clubs would not support the Union because they considered that it really belonged to London, and dealt mostly with Metropolitan work. That was of course unsatisfactory, and the present scheme was now brought forward, not with the object of demanding certain rights and privileges, but with the idea that by this means they could strengthen the Union in all its branches. As to the Perambulating Council, he did not approve of the term. It simply meant that whenever Council work required to be done, a Council meeting should be held in whatever district the necessity arose, so that the matter should be attended to on the spot. They could not do much wrong by accepting this Perambulating Council, for it would simply have the power to meet elsewhere than in London, if necessary, and emphasized the remarks of the previous speakers that the requirements of the provinces were summed up in the two points, that London should be made a Centre, and that the provinces should have direct representation on the Council.

Mr. Price hoped they would not be deluded by the remarks of Mr. Beningfield who, he thought, was somewhat out of date - inasmuch as he did not even know what proxy voting meant. They had been told that the skeleton scheme was not favoured by a large majority of the provincial delegates, but only by a few members. He thought the majority of London men would be in favour of a London Local Centre. At the same time a question arose as to how the Local Centres would be able to find the funds for the purpose of carrying on the whole of the affairs of the Union within their own districts. As regarded the representation of the provinces on the Council, he thought that the proxy voting that evening would show that they had a very strong voice on all matters if they secured a proportionately large attendance at their Local Centre meetings. There was in London a very large amount of business transacted which he might call "Imperial". He advised the acceptance of Mr. Todd's amendment, so that they might have the matter discussed, and not have the scheme thrust down their throats. The Local Centres would have been better advised, if they had suggested that London should have sent delegates to draw up a scheme in the first instance, and thus give London a chance of being heard the same as the provinces.

Mr. Halliwell, who spoke amid cries of "Divide", representing the Brighton Local Centre said he could not support the provincial scheme for reorganisation as it stood. His Centre could do so if the Perambulating Council was omitted, but they would prefer to vote in favour of Mr. Todd's amendment to send the matter to a Committee to report upon.

Mr. Hickson then replied upon the whole question, and said it was evidence that the provinces had the interest of the Union at heart by the mere fact of the expense and trouble they had gone to in the matter. They all admitted the necessity for reform. He continued his remarks, which were particularly directed against the views of Mr. Todd at some length. As to the matter of suspension in the extended scheme, they stated that suspensions should be subject to the approval of the Council, or at any rate the Council should have the power to alter any decision regarding suspensions. They did not propose for a moment to take away from the Council the power to alter any suspension, and, therefore, the question was entirely the same as under the present rules. It had been said that if they had local self-government, they would have different rules in every Centre. That merely existed in Mr. Todd's own imagination. They certainly did go in for the abolition of the present Executive, which they considered did not do the work in the way that the provinces required them to do. If London did its own work, the provinces would have very much less to do, and for work that required to be done at a short notice, and which would be very small, the proposed emergency committee would be quite sufficient. It had been said that Londoners had no desire to oppose the provinces, and he might say that the latter had no desire to oppose London. His proposition did not bind the Council to any alteration of a single rule. It simply asked for the adoption of certain principles, which should be embodied in the reformed constitution at some future date. Mr. Green rose to a point of order, and asked whether by accepting the proposition it would bind the Council to accept the whole of the principles which were brought up and set out on the agenda. The Chairman said it would carry with it the whole of the scheme of reorganisation. Mr. Hickson then continued with his reply, and said that he understood from Mr. Beningfield that the Executive had been asking for proxies on the question.

Mr. Prout : I think that is not the case; as far as my knowledge goes there was nothing of the kind.

Mr. Hickson : I withdraw the remark. I was under that impression. In conclusion, Mr. Hickson said that if the meeting would allow him to withdraw the word "perambulating" altogether, and leave it an open question, he would do so, but his party could not accept the amendment as it stood now as against No. 1, but they would be perfectly willing to accept it in the place of No. 2 (Applause).

The amendment was then voted upon, and after a division had been taken (Messrs. Green and Gurney being appointed tellers), the result was announced as being - for 106, against 118. The amendment was therefore lost. The Chairman : The proposal before the meeting now is that moved by Mr. Hickson, and which requires a two thirds majority.

Mr. Hickson : I rise to order; it does not alter any rule.

The Chairman : I have thought over the matter a good many times, and I am of opinion that it is a new rule in the sense provided for by the rules.

Mr. Wallis Roberts pointed out that unless the Local Centres secured the necessary majority the whole matter would drop and could not be brought up again for six months. On the agenda paper there was also an amendment in the name of Mr. Macrae, somewhat similar to that of Mr. Todd, and as to this the chairman ruled that it could not be accepted. Mr. Hickson's motion was then put to the vote with the result that 145 votes were recorded for and 100 against, the result being that two-thirds majority was not obtained, and the motion therefore lost. Mr. Hickson then enquired whether he might be allowed to withdraw the last sentence of his motion, in order to meet the views of the London delegates. Some discussion ensued upon this, it being pointed out that no amendment could be brought before the Council meeting.

Mr. Hickson was about to move for the appointment of a committee in accordance with his second proposition whereupon.

The Chairman ruled Nos. 2, 3 and 4 out of order, and the matter consequently came to an abrupt conclusion.

The Report of the Executive: Permanent Disqualification of Three Riders

Mr. Sheppee moved, and Mr. Low seconded, the adoption of this report, which was received without comment, with the exception of the following paragraphs:-

"21. The Executive had brought under their notice the charges against two riders of having taken the train during the 24 hours' road ride. After investigation, these charges were considered fully proved, and, being admitted, the riders were suspended until 31st December, 1890."

"22. The Executive also investigated the cases of two riders for malpractices in connection with a 12 hours' road ride, in June last. One rider was suspended until 31st December 1890, and the other was reprimanded and cautioned as to his future conduct."

Mr. Low asked for the names of the men who had been suspended.

These having been given by Mr. Sheppee.

Mr. Low moved as an amendment to the report That the said three riders be permanently disqualified. Some months ago they had suspended on suspicion various riders for having accepted money from makers for riding their machines. That decision was not only confirmed at a Council meeting, but the men were professionalised. He had nothing to say against that, although it was only an offence against the laws of the Union. It was no moral offence against the laws of the country, and he asked for equal justice to be meted out to the three riders in question. He thought a temporary suspension would not meet their case, and considered that an example should made to encourage the others. Mr. Letchford, seconded : He did not think there was a racing or ex-racing man in the Executive who would not be thoroughly in accord with the amendment.

Mr. A.J. Wilson objected to the proceedings altogether. It was contrary to precedent to increase any sentence on hearsay evidence. An Appeals Committee had been provided to meet the requirements of such cases. He opposed it on principle, without going into the question as to whether the sentence was correct or not. Mr. Beningfield thought the Union was going beyond its province in interfering in the matter at all, the question having arisen in connection with road racing which the N.C.U. did not acknowledge. Mr. Bower strongly supported the amendment.

Mr. Hartung pointed out that the matter could not be referred to the Appeals Committee, until an appeal had been actually lodged.

Mr. Sheppee thought the Council would be acting practically on no evidence whatever. The men in question had apologised, and asked for leniency. The effect of rewarding them with permanent disqualification, would not be to encourage others to admit their faults.

The amendment was then put to the vote and resulted as follows: - For 30, against 19. Carried.

The report as amended was then adopted.

The Report of the Championships Sub-Committee

Mr. Hillier has a grievance

Mr. Hillier moved that this report be referred back, and made assertions which he said he was prepared to support by evidence to show that several of the statements in the said report were erroneous. He never saw such a remarkable document in his life. He chiefly objected to that portion of the report which stated that "no other gentleman" (than Mr. Hillier) "was asked, either directly or indirectly, to act as judge at the Halifax meeting," and said that a letter had been sent to Mr. Arthur Illingworth, offering him the position of judge. In his hand he stated he held a programme to the effect that the judges at the meeting in question were "G. Lacy Hillier, Stanley C.C., and Mr. Richard Roberts, chairman of the Bradford Local Centre." Mr. Hillier spoke at length, and offered to lay his evidence before the Executive.

Mr. Godbold seconded.

Mr. Beningfield supported.

Mr. Harvey explained that the report had been made to the Executive and not to the Council, and the former had thought proper to insert it in the Review. As far as he was aware the sub-committee would stand by their report. If Mr. Hillier had any evidence to bring forward to the Executive it would doubtless be considered and gone into. They had had evidence of Mr. Hillier's before in other cases, and which had not been so satisfactory.

Mr. Hillier : When, Mr. Harvey ?

Mr. Harvey : It is not necessary for me to inform Mr. Hillier when. He knows as well as I do. Mr. Letchford disagreed with the report, and thought the paragraph objectionable to Mr. Hillier was an absurd shuffle.

Mr. R. E. Phillips explained that the reason for the appearance of Mr. Roberts's name on the programme was the fact that he had been appointed judge of the Local Centre championship by the Local Centre itself, and that the sub-committee in no way appointed him. As regarded the alleged asking of gentlemen other than Mr. Hillier to act as judge, he would say that they had under consideration the names of two gentlemen to act as judge at Halifax - Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gurney. Those names were submitted to the Local Centre, but Mr. Lobley refused to ask them. They were never asked, and it was never put before them. Thus the sub-committee were quite correct in their statement.

Mr. Bower supplemented the remarks of the last speaker.

Mr. Price thought the explanations of Messrs. Phillips and Harvey quite satisfactory.

Mr. Hillier's motion was then voted upon and lost - 25 for and 28 against.

The Proposed New Financial Scheme

Mr. Low moved, on behalf of the Finance Committee appointed by the Council: That the subscription to the Union shall consist of a capitation charge on each member, the amount of such charge to be fixed annually by the Council of the Union, and explained that what they had done was to go back to the old capitation fee for members and clubs. (Hear, hear). They had gone thouroughly into the matter, and had come to the conclusion that Mr. Sheppee's scheme, however admirable in itself, had not worked well. There was not the least doubt that the income of the Union had very materially dropped under the new scheme, not entirely, perhaps, through the fault of the scheme itself, but because it had not been sufficiently worked. He knew Mr. Sheppee held that view. That it had not been properly worked was shown by the fact that Mr. Sheppee himself was not a member of the Union; and although Mr. Sheppee had hoped to capture members all over the world, he had not been able to capture his own 5s. (Loud laughter.) The new scheme, if adopted, would, he believed, double the income from clubs. A large amount of support had been accorded to it by the provincial and London clubs. He would mention, too, the Surrey and the London. There ought, of course, be some clubs who would rather resign than pay the capitation fee, but the change would not affect to a very great extent the majority of clubs which averaged between 12 and 20 members. As regarded independent members, it could not have happened more fortuitously for his scheme than that the C.T.C. had just completed a postal ballot, the results of which were that a majority of about 93 (only a proportion voting) were in favour of keeping to the 2s. 6d. subscription. The Union might drop a little money at first, but that would soon be altered. Mr. Britten seconded, and quoted a long array of figures, which he contended justified the new scheme. Mr. Smith, of the Holborn C.C, said his club would not pay the capitation fee. It would mean an increase from £3 to £10 in their subscription to the Union.

Mr. Baguley, of the Chelsea B.C, supported the change, and in reply to some remarks of the previous speaker, said it was understood that clubs only paid on their active members.

Mr. Hickson proposed, as an amendment, to move to omit the word "annually". There should be no uncertainty in the matter.

Mr. Boult seconded.

Amendment carried.

The motion was then discussed as amended.

Mr. Sheppee opposed it most strongly. He was a member of the Union. He likened the bringing up of the scheme to the old fable of the mountain in labour producing a mouse. Mr. Sheppee was proceeding to discuss the scheme generally, but was ruled out of order. He continued by saying that if the subscription were reduced they would be unable to send the Review to every member, and the advertisements would drop off, which would enormously increase the cost of its production. He contended that the new scheme would not, as he had been claimed for it, put the Union on a sound financial basis. They would still have their wish to work curtailed by their limited funds. He felt he must say that the scheme was rotten and unworkable. It was generally admitted that the independent members would in the future be the backbone of the Union. (No, no.) Club members generally would take no interest in the working of the Union. At present several had no idea whether their club was affiliated or not.

Mr. R. E. Philips supported the new scheme.

Mr. Low replied, and said that part of the proposed scheme was the old one under which the Union was formed and worked for many years, and was found to work well. Mr. Sheppee's scheme had practically worked for two years with unsatisfactory result. Mr. Sheppee was horribly sarcastic at his (the speaker's) expense, and had said that the statement that he was not a member of the Union was as correct as his other statements. But he (Mr. Low) was only bound by the official list in which Mr. Sheppee's name was not included as a member. What Mr. Sheppee had probably done was what he himself had done, viz., to pay his 5s. before the present meeting. Mr. Sheppee was the man who was going to pioneer his scheme and drag it through the country in a blaze of triumph with rockets, and gums, and banners, and things. (Laughter) They were to have thousands of members, but Mr. Sheppee quite forgot to pay his own 5s. until after the list had been published. (Laughter). Under Mr. Sheppee's scheme the Union had lost money. The new scheme, at any rate, provided more money than the old, even if it did not provide sufficient. The motion was then put to the vote, with the result that 81 were recorded for, and 51 against. It was, however lost as a rule, having failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority. Mr. A.J. Wilson moved the adjournment of the debate.

Mr. Low said he took it that the discussion on the scheme would be continued at the point where it had left off. He felt sure the result of the voting would have been totally different had there been a full room. If the attendance had been larger, and the voting against him, he would have called his committee together to consider whether or not they should withdraw their scheme.

The Chairman said it would be in order to proceed with the discussion of the rest of the scheme at the adjourned meeting. It was understood that the date for the adjourned meeting was left to be fixed by the Executive, due notice to be given. Mr. Hickson said he hoped in his probable absence some gentleman would move the amendments which stood in his name on the agenda.

The Result of the Benefit Meeting

Mr. Sheppee said that he had received £100 on account of the proceeds of this meeting.(Applause) He understood the total amount to be handed over would not be less than £310. (Renewed applause).

A vote of thanks was accorded to the chairman, and the meeting adjourned at 10.45.


The 1930 Explosion at Hickson and Partners

4th July 1930

The Explosion at Hickson & Partners.
.

Castleford Explosion Origin

Acid Mixing Plant Fumes

Then huge flame

Response to Appeals for Homeless.

Mr Bernard Hickson, managing director of Messrs. Hickson and Partners, Ltd., Castleford, at whose chemical works the disastrous explosion occured on Friday, said, in a statement last night, that the explosion occurred in the acid mixing plant, and not in the nitration department, as had been reported. This made it all the more difficult to understand what had happened.

The accident was preceeded by a rush of brown fumes from which there suddenly occurred a large yellow flame similar to an enormous gas flame.

Mr Phillips, the chief engineer, with the leading members of the works fire brigade, immediately rushed for the works chemical fire engine, but this was not started. Skitt and Arthurs and two or three other men pushed it towards the fire, got the engine into place, and were proceeding to get it into operation when the explosion occurred. So far there was no information as to the cause of the explosion.

Bravery of the dead.

Mr Hickson said Mr T. P. Carr, managing director of the Yorkshire Coking and Chemical Company, came immediately after the explosion, and at considerable danger rendered invaluable assistance in getting out the injured and killed. The fact that the chief engineer and four foremen were among the dead spoke for their bravery. The bulk of the men who had been killed had been there for many years, and their very presence near the source of danger proved their bravery, because normally they would not be working near it.

The benzol plant and storage, which was near the seat of the explosion, fortunately had been designed by the latest modern safety practice, and it did not even catch fire except for a very small section, which was kept under by the Castleford Fire Brigade for half an hour and then put out. Through the assistance rendered by the Fire Brigade, coupled with the bravery of some of the chemists, danger points such as the benzol house were isolated, thus preventing the spreading of the fire, and possibly further serious explosion.

They had received offers of assistance from many firms in the chemical trade in the country, which in the reorganisation period would be of great value. In consequence of the explosion the number of unemployed in the Castleford district has increased by about 100.

Survey of Damage.

Over 7,000 Meals Served to Stricken.

Castleford people are gradually recovering from the shock caused by the explosion, and in many respects yesterday the town was in a more normal condition.

Having made arrangements for looking after the people who have been rendered homeless, the members of the Urban Council and their officials have been able to give a little more cnsideration to the steps that will have to be taken to repair the damage to property. A preliminary survey by the town surveyor was made yesterday, and it is anticipated that in the next few days definite information will have been gathered as to the exact nature and extent of the damage and what will have to be done.

The number of people who are being housed and fed at the Gaiety Ballroom has increased to nearly 600, and the arrangements for both feeding and sleeping are working satisfactorily. Some 7,000 meals have already been served.

Two funerals.

Prior to the interment yesterday afternoon at the Barlow Moor Cemetery, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, of the chief engineer of the works, of Mr T. G. Phillips, who is one of the victims, the first portion of the funeral service was taken at St. Michael's Church, Castleford, by the Vicar, the Rev. F. B. Brass, who was assisted by the Rev G. L. Barber, curate. The coffin was preceeded by many employees of Messrs. Hickson and Partners and Inspector Gee representing the West Riding Police and there also attended members of the various organisations with which Mr Phillips was associated.

Members of the Castleford Urban Council present were councillors Robshaw (Chairman), Anson, Brooks, Adamson, Long, Dodsworth, Long, Millar, Jepson, Dodd, and Dr Chrispin, with the principal officials. Castleford Chamber of Trade was represented by Mr E Mercer and Mr B. G. Taylor, President and Secretary respectively; Castleford Cricket Club by Mr E Taylor, and Castleford Conservative Club by Mr J. G. Stephen, Chairman of the Committee, and other members, including Messrs. J. Wynne, S. Fawbert, A. Fowler, H. Atkins, E. A. Hewitt, and A. Brown. Messrs. Hickson and Partners were represented by Mr Bernard Hickson managing director; Mr G. H. Frank, works technical director; and Mr H. W. Hull, traffic manager, and other members of the staff attended.

The funeral of Mr James Edward Skitt took place at Castleford Cemetery, the service being conducted by the Rev B. Drewery, Primitive Methodist minister. Representatives of the firm were present, and at each funeral expressions of sympathy with the bereaved were tendered and tribute was paid to the character of the dead men.

One of the injured men, John Chapman, of Low Green, Knottingley, was discharged from the local hospital yesterday, and the remaining four men who are detained are reported to be making steady progress.


Fund now £1,000.

Leeds Lord Mayor's Appeal Brings in £635.

The Distress Fund opened by the Castleford Urban Council now totals about £1,000. Among the latest promises of a donation is one for 100 quineas from the Pearl Assurance Company. The street collection on Sunday in the town realized about £200, largely in small cash, and the staff of one of the local banks volunteered to assist in counting the money.

In other directions help is given freely, and in the words of Mr W. E. S. Barnes, Acting Clerk to the Urban Council, it is impossible to enumerate all who are helping. A special performance in aid of the Fund is to be given at the Theatre Royal tomorrow afternoon, and a similar effort is to be arranged by the management of the Queen's Theatre.

The following appeal was made yesterday by Sir James Hinchliffe on behalf of the West Riding County Council:-

"A Public Relief Fund has been opened to assist the people of Castleford in their dire distress resulting from the appalling disaster which occurred on Friday last, and the Chairman of the County Council, Sir James Hinchliffe, desires to make a County Appeal for donations to the Fund."

"It is impossible at the moment, to estimate the extent of the personal and material injuries sustained by the townspeople of Castleford. Thirteen people lost their lives in the explosion, several others were seriously injured, about 300 houses were wholly or partly wrecked, and some 500 people rendered homeless."

"Donations will be gratefully acknowledged by Sir James Hinchliffe, or by the West Riding Treasurer (Mr John Durham) at the County Hall, Wakefield. - J. Charles McGrath, Clerk of the County Council."

Leeds Lord Mayor's Fund.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds desires to acknowledge receipt of the following donations and promises:-

First List.
Lord Brotherton 200 0 0
The Yorkshire Conservative Newspaper Co (Limited) 100 0 0
Messrs. Joshua Tetley and Son, Ltd. 100 0 0
Collected on Children's Day
Judges and Tom Thumb Band per Mr F. S. Pickles 40 10 6
Judges and Officials, per Mr J. Fielding 11 5 6
Mr Craven Gilpin 1 1 0 52 17 0

The "Yorkshire Evening News" 50 0 0
Congregation of St Augustine's (Wrangthorn) Church 24 4 9
The Lord Mayor of Leeds 20 0 0
Messrs James Hargreaves and Sons (Leeds) Limited 10 10 0
Mr and Mrs R. K. Calvert 10 10 0
Messrs John Blackburn, Limited 10 0 0
Mr and Mrs H. S. Wainwright 10 0 0
Albion, Limited, Leeds 10 0 0
Mr Joseph Clark 5 5 0
Messrs S. Tetley and Son (Doncaster), Ltd 5 5 0
Lieut-Colonel and Mrs E. Kitson Clark 5 0 0
Mr G. B. Suggitt 5 0 0
Mr C. Skitt 3 3 0
Yorkshire Rubber Co. (S. B. Smith) 3 3 0
Mr Henry Budgen 2 0 0
Mr Robert Webb 2 0 0
Mr F. H. Davisworth 1 1 0
Mr and Mrs F. Swales 1 0 0
"Meadcot" 1 0 0
"Suntur" per "The Yorkshire Evening Post" 1 0 0
Captain J. C. Wright (Church Army) 10 6
Mr Alderman W. J. Armstrong 10 0
Mr J. H. and Miss E. Webb 7 6
"Working Woman" 5 0
Mr C. A. S. Brittenden 5 0
Miss H. Gowing 2 6
Miss L. Miller 1 0

£635 0 3

The Explosion at Hickson & Partners from The Times, 29th July 1930

The Castleford Explosion

Expert evidence at inquest

Jury's recommendation

The Coroner's inquiry into the explosion at the chemical works of Messrs. Hickson and Partners, Limited, Castleford, on July 4th, when 13 lives were lost, 32 people were injured, and great damage caused to property, was resumed at Castleford yesterday.

Dr D. E. Watts, Inspector of Explosives, was present, and Mr R. S. Bishop, of Bradford, represented Messrs Hickson and Partners, Limited.

The Coroner said that the explosion occurred in or near a mixer in which sulphuric and nitric acids were mixed, and the jury would have to say whether the occurrence was accidental or the result of negligence, and, if so, what was the degree of negligence.

Mr George Herbert Frank, technical director and works manager, said that he was in the laboratory and saw a small brown cloud over the nitration department. He went out and saw a bright light. It was followed by a big roar, and all went very dark. He tried to dive under same wood for cover and then came out and sent for the fire brigade. He asked the brigade to try and extinguish an outbreak at the benzole house and also to train hoses on to the chlorine tank. Later the Leeds fire brigade arrived, and with two of the men he searched for and found some of the dead and injured. The place was full of fumes at the time. He described the technical details of the acid mixer.

After the explosion he warned the workers remaining in the unaffected portions of the works and cleared them out. He could not say whether or not the acid mixer was working on the day of the explosion. There should be nothing in the mixers but the two acids. Neither of the acids nor the mixture would burn. The mixture was not explosive. Referring to the nitric acid "egg", he explained that this was a heavy metal container. An old one near the mixing plant was blown into fragments. He gathered up the portions of another one from as far away as 600 yards. Portions of the mixers were found scattered over a wide area some of them in an office 700 yards away.

Devastating effects

The coroner:- What was the effect of the explosion? - There was an enormous pressure of wind. Two walls, one a 14in. one, were blown over, and plant at the south of the mixer was moved bodily. The heavily built nitric acid stills were shattered, and the roofs of all our buildings were broken.

Do you think all this is from an explosion in the region of the mixer spreading outwards? - Yes.

Have you any opinion as to what there was in the process to cause a fire and an explosion? - There should be nothing in it to cause that. The process had been carried on at the works since 1915.

Can you suggest any cause? - On the Saturday morning afterwards I felt certain that a hydro-carbon had got into a wrong department. That would explain the brown fumes, the possibility of fire, and a vapour explosion.

Mr Frank said that there were benzine and other hydro-carbons in the works, but he did not see how they could have found their way to the mixer. The nitric acid drums were easily distinguishable. It was not likely that if benzole had been put in the nitric acid "egg" by mistake it would have passed unnoticed.

Mr J. Law (Superintending Inspector of Factories): - If there had been an undue amount of nitro bodies in the acid supplied to the mixer, would there have been an explosion? - I don't think so.

Would it have had any effect? - I don't see how it could have formed brown fumes. There is one possibility - that the agitators in the mixer failed and then there might have been a boil-over. I do not think that the boil-over would have caused an explosion.

Mr Frank produced portions of nitric acid and hydrocarbon drums, showing that entirely different screw keys were necessary for opening the bungs. There was little possibility of the drums receiving the wrong contents. After the explosion they found a benzol drum near one of the "acid eggs".

The coroner: - If the wrong drum had been used someone made a grevious mistake? - Yes.

A shout of "Fire"

Arthur Edwin Swales said that on July 4 he was working at the mixer. He prepared the mixer and filled the "egg" with nitric acid. There was no doubt about it being acid. At times there were doubts, owing to a difference in colour, and then a sample was tested. He had never found anything else but the acid. On July 4 he left the mixer to take a sample of the sulphuric acid to the laboratory, when he heard the foreman, Mathews (one of those killed), shout "Fire". The mixer was left running when he went with the sample. They both dashed towards the mixer. He picked up a hose and was just going to shout a warning not to put water in the mixer when the explosion occurred. The flames were coming from inside the mixer. The witness agreed that he turned on nitric acid into the mixer before starting the agitator, though he had been told that the agitator should be started first.

Hubert A. Hoyle, manager of the sulphuric acid department at the works, said that they had tried, with samples of acids such as were in use when the disaster occurred, to create either flames or an explosion, and had failed. He could advance no theory to account for the accident. He had spent a fortnight studying the problem and could think of nothing.

Arthur Redman, another employee at the works, who took the acid drums to Swales, said it was impossible to mistake them for hydro-carbon drums. His mate and he saw fumes over the mixer and started running. He glanced back and saw it all in flames. Then came an explosion and timber and bricks fell all round them. His mate was hit.

Mr Frank recalled, said that he did not think there could have been any leak in a benzole pipe line near the mixer which could have accounted for what occurred. At the same time that theory could not be entirely dismissed, and he was of opinion that some benzine or toluine had got in somewhere.

Mr Sidney H. Newman, Inspector of Factories, Home Office, said that there could be little doubt that the fumes observed were caused by the introduction of some organic matter into the mixer. The contents might then boil over, and if they met wood or other organic matter could quite easily cause a fire.

The coroner: - Would an explosion be likely to follow? - It is impossible to say.

Mr Newman added that he was convinced that certain oils floating on the sulphuric acid in the storage tank had found their way into the mixer.

Dr Watts said that he thought the more probable cause of the disaster was that some nitro body had got into the mixer, with the result that there was an uncontrolled nitration, and subsequent explosion.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death from the explosion, which occurred in the acid mixer". They added that the explosion was accidently caused by the presence of nitro body in the mixer and that there was no negligence. They recommended that in future acids should be tested before being placed in the "eggs".

The Court sat for nearly 12 hours.


Letters

Letter to Daddy from his father, Ernest

Letter from Ernest Hickson to Daddy

Bedford 11th July 1930

My dear Hal

We were delighted to receive yours and Mollie's extremely sympathetic and kind letters today and though there seems so much to be said I do not know how to write it.

As regards the accident the papers have told you most but the enclosed cutting is perhaps most to the point. I was at Castleford on Tuesday and Wednesday last. Under the 15 year old acid mixing plant there is a crater that would take the whole of Mrs Pullan's House. Colbeck says that in the war from the biggest German Shell he never saw a larger one. By the H&P plant ... machinery pans? ... are piled up 10-12 feet high. Phillips Skitt & Oliver were getting the Chemical Fire Extinguisher out: the first 2 were killed instantaneously. Oliver, the chemist, was blown down after being peppered in the face & chest from the fumes; is not much the worse.

Frank was heroic & so was Dorothy; as soon as she heard of it she tried in vain to telephone then young ... brought a car & took her over. She went straight in to the centre of the Works, saw the stretcher cases brought out & distributed relief in many ways.

I went to Matthews funeral & to the Hospital where I saw

Letter from Ernest Hickson to Daddy

Oliver, Newton & young ... all getting on well. Poor Newton was badly cut up. He had just been picked for the Yorkshire County Cricket Second Eleven. He will lose one eye which he fears will cut that career off.

The Govt. Enquiries are pretty well through & no suspicion or blame has been suggested, all is sympathy.

Now Bernard is on about Insurance, it is a complicated job. The Employees liability Insurance is all in order. Mrs Phillips got £50 from Daily Mail & £50 from Sunday Despatch. I think the Daily Mail paid Tom? £50. The fire people want to argue they are only responsible for Fire Damage but I hope & believe it is what has been decided before that where, as in an case Fire ... ... & there is ample evidence of this Explosion is the result consequently included - however they may be a fight about this.

What the Third Party Claim will be goodness only knows & so cover could be obtained for that.

I am awfully sorry to hear of the complications following the squabble at your factory & rather at a loss to advise. It seems to me to be a case of diplomatically sitting on the fence & trying to keep in with both parties. Surely if M. Carré & K are both big shareholders they must soon realize that dissention is fatal to their interests, and if the Dutch Chef has no technical experience, it is clearly getting ... results he should soon want help from anyone who can give it - so I hope an opening for you may

Letter from Ernest Hickson to Daddy

soon turn up. It will be sickening being in the midst of activity & yourself having little to do. However I guess you are probably wise not to show too strong a leaning on M. Carré till the situation is clearer.

What are the "two hopeful jobs you have in tow". You write such a good letter now that I feel confident any correspondence with such will help you if it becomes necessary.

It is awfully good of both of you to be so insistent we should come out, but at present it hardly seems possible.

We had better rest quietly here as can jig on with a little money we have put aside as a Reserve for the few months that will be necessary to see straight. I, of course, do not want to touch on the £2,000 Insurance about which you suggest & document a little time back & am not sure that it is even posssible. But I am still a bit of an Optimist & our requirements are small.

The Talbot is not sold yet nor Fairseat. Frank's car was ... about badly but mine was in the shed and untouched, Colbeck's also. I had entered for the Croquet Tournament but it was scratched. I looked in yesterday & hope to today. Shall join if possible believe Subs is only £1/1/- and the cheapest entertainment we can have.

Uncle Godfrey, Aunt Nellie and Robbie are coming on Sunday to lunch. M. Sargent arrives today for a week!

Letter from Ernest Hickson to Daddy

It is really very nice here -

Jessie & her cousin Ernest Newton came last Sunday & were in the river for 3 hours.

With lots of warm love to Mollie & yourself

Your affect. father

Ernest Hickson


Letter to Daddy from his father, Ernest, 20th July 1930

60 Bushmead Av.
Bedford. 20/7/30

My dear Hal

Mother I fancy wrote to you yesterday so will I expect have told you most of the news here.

The weather has changed of late & it has been quite cold & now it is raining.

I was up at the Croquet club for nearly my first game on Saturday & played a ... level - I got on fairly well but it was one of those days that even when right in front of a hoop I could not get through or missed some good chances of a 4-ball break. Finally we did a good break with black & then getting in with blue tried to push black, missed & then stuck in the ... with blue so if I had been in fighting form as my ball was near I might have had a chance. As it was I was already ¼ hour late for Tea at the Darlows, our first visit so I resigned. Shall look forward to a return game. The lawns will not compare with Bowdon, are nearly as heavy as our private lawn & not as good as that when it was at its best.

Ruth was here for the weekend & Frieda is coming up for a week in August. Aunt Annie is still here - so mother is of course still very busy.

We hope Bobby will bring Uncle Arthur this afternoon but with its being very cold I am doubtful.

The Croquet Club Subs is £3/3/- &£1/1/- Entrance (the little bopok said it was only £1/1/- which I thought hardly credible) For playing members: £1/1/- & ½ Ent. for non-playing members - so until we know or have better news from Castleford Mother is only joining as a non-player - which I am sorry for as once started I think she would soon like it. The members are very friendly & some say they are coming to call.

We were delighted to receive Molly's letter but as she avoided the business side shall be glad to have further news from you.

The ... Art Silk Co Cap £600,000 here has decided to wind up. Until "Safe guading" is assured & it now seems much more probable after next Gen. Election, that trade cannot flourish here & you will be well advised to stick to France if possible.

With best love to you both & hoping Mrs Pullan &Nancy who should be writing soon will have had a comfortable & enjoyable trip out & best ... ... ro both.

Your affect. father

Ernest Hickson

P.S. I enclose a letter ... ... I believe you have done all you can see you way to at present.


Letter to Daddy from his father, Ernest, 28th July 1930, just before his death

60 Bushmead Av.
Bedford. 28/7/30

My dear Hal

Replying to yours of 17th inst. The Castleford Relief funds now amount to nearly £9,000.

When I was in London on Friday I was told that Bobbie & Fiona are hoping to get married early next year - before he goes to India if he has to go there now the London War Office want him no longer.

I am very sorry to hear the turn of events you describe as taking place at your works. If M. Carré (is this the correct name?) still takes interest in Art Silk I suppose now you will try & keep in touch with him.

Sometime back you said something about having one if not 2 other posts in possible prospect. If you get a chance you will I have little doubt keep in touch with them though of course you will have to be cautious, as to what you say about the reason for desiring a change. A tremendous change has taken place in England now all at once Free trade is tabooed & all plump for protection so that later ... ... Art Silk might ... ... today it has no chance. Courtaulds & Celanese are so powerful Hal no one else seems to get a chance & Hi shares of all seems to have slumped to 2/- or 1/6 per £ & Helig Nuera Co is to be wound up I believe. Moral:- to make use of your experience stop in France or thereabouts especially as France seems so much more prosperous & less taxed than England.

Our affairs at Castleford ... ... not made much progress. Bernard is pessimistic about the Insurance Cos paying for damage caused ... ... by "Explosion" matters may come to a head this week or next.

We are hoping Mrs & Nancy Pullan are now with you & have a pleasant journey out.

Jessie has decided she is engaged to Ernest Newton. He got a poisoned ... & had to go into Hospital for a small operation but it has gone through well & he came & met us all at Waterloo & we went & saw her off at SOuthampton - but I ... Mother has take ... It is already.

Nancy is here now - before going on tour with Ruth. Frieda comes next week for 8-10 days then Aunt Dora for a day or two.

I have played about 3 games of croquet. I got a 4-... by 2 playing but lost to a one-bis... by 9 on a 2/8 game after taking all my many ... The lawns are in my opinion not a patch on the Bowdon ones.

The Doctor has just been to see me & says the blood pressure is well down since last week - which is all to the good.

With best love to Molly & yourself

Your affect, father

Ernest Hickson


To: Hickson, Pontcharra, Isere, France, 30th July 1930

Bedford 30 July 1930
Father died suddenly yesterday
Nancy

Letter from Bernard to his brother, Hal

Cedar Lawn
Ackworth
Pontefract
Aug 2nd 1930

Dear Hal

Thanks for yours of the 3rd Poor Daddy couldn't have died a better way. He was actually on the lawn in play when he collapsed backwards - & was dead when they got to him. Fortunately Nancy was at Bedford & Aunt Annie Sagent. I got there at 1 next day & Frieda & Ruth later in the afternoon. Nancy's been a brick. & got things going till I arrived - in fact really arranged nearly everything.

Mummy has kept up very well & bravely - your telegram was a stroke of genius - she loved you for it.

The funeral was at Undercliffe Cemetery Bedford today & he was buried in my mothers' grave. Mummy especially wished that. I sent for the Talbot & it came down with Naylor on

Friday & we all trecked North in that & Nancys' Austin on Friday. Mummy went to Nancy & Frieda & Ruth here.

Jim & Uncle Godfrey & 2 Grandage uncles came to the funeral & a lot of friends, business & personal, of fathers.

Mother didn't come & Nancy stopped to look after her.

Mother & Aunt Nan & Frieda are going to Bedford nest Wednesday & will stay there till Aug 31st. She will then definitely leave there. She'll fill in 2 or 3 months with visits & ultimately live with Nancy at Shipley.

Nancy may take a house & on her income & what we think we can fix up for mother they will be fairly comfortable.

Daddy made a new will last November leaving everything to Mummy & making her sole executor - only items left away

were

  1. The Dyers & Colourists Gold Medal to Frieda.
  2. The grandfather clock to you.
  3. The Silver Tray - he got from the C.E.F. to me.

Mummy has handed me his watch, Diamond Tie pin - cuff links etc.

As Ruthie has nothing personal we've decided on the Tie pin for her & I'm going to have it mounted as a Ladies broach for her. Nancy will of course have the use of all furniture left over.

Father's private business will collapse with H&P if the latter goes. Virtually H&P is hopeless unless a miracle turns up which I think impossible.

Therefore apart from personal effects like some furniture - clothes etc. Father leaves the following:

about 6000 shares in H&P worth nothing.


2 insurances worth about £1200.


His E.H. business which is worth nothing if H&P goes out.


The Talbot & Colbeck's Jowett


I got put into Mummy's name last autumn about £100. Daddy has drawn some of that - but after funeral expences there will be enough left to keep Mummy going till Sept.

We sold the Talbot yesterday for £130.

His debts are:


I intend to offer Colbeck the Jowett + £20 or £25 & Pay the private debts out of the Talbot.


Transition

Shortly after Ernest's death, Hickson and Partners went into liquidation. From the site that had been destroyed in 1930, Hickson and Welch Ltd was founded with fresh finance in 1931, by Bernard and George Colbeck-Welch and the plant was rebuit.

Mr Colbeck-Welch died in 1943.

In 1940, at the beginning of the Second World War, Bernard asked his brother, my father, Hal, to join him. Daddy was very reluctant as he considered it was very risky to leave his secure job as Works Manager at Courtaulds. However he eventually agreed to join as Works Manager and soon became the Managing Director. He died in 1954.


The fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the original business. 1893-1943

Pontefract & Castleford Express. 23rd December 1943.
Pontefract & Castleford Express. 23rd December 1943.
Pontefract & Castleford Express. 23rd December 1943.

Ernest Hickson

Genealogy

born : 03/10/1857 at 7am at High Street, Highgate
died : 29/07/1930

location: Highgate, London & Yorkshire

Married (1): 9th August 1889 Mary Grandage who was born 16th May 1862, died 22nd December 1894

Married (2): 16th March1900 Mary Evaline (Meg) Bergh who was born 16th March 1869, died 11th June 1954

Children:


A brief history

Founded Hickson & Partners Ltd, Castleford, Yorkshire which subsequently became Hickson International plc (but not in his lifetime)

President of the Society of Dyers & Colourists 1925

I have a letter presumably written to Jane Hickson née Brown, wife of William Edward Hickson, his uncle, by Ernest when he was 6 years old. - She would have been 58 - APH

Arthur presumably was Ernest's eldest (full) brother Samuel Arthur who would have been 10 at the time (see letter)

Christened 9/9/1864 at St Pancras, Old Church. - (CFI)

Was a very good croquet player - (FMH)

Correspondence

First letter, received Oct 17/63, Saturday

Dear Aunt Jane
We have come home from Scarborough and now we have school again every day. Our garden looks very nice but the trees begin to lose their leaves. We have only one cow now and two new pupies. I hope your leg is better. Arthur fell off our pony yesterday and hurt his foot a little. I remain your loving Ernest Hickson

Second Letter : presumably he was staying with his Aunt Jane

Fairseat, November.
Dear Mamma
All the sums, that I did this morning, were right excepting one. In the corner of the drawer nearest the door are the books behind them the puzzles, next to these my writing case and the box of letters, then the copy books and slate.
I do not know many of the long words in my reading lesson. We read about a good queen, who asked her husband to spare the six men of Calais. We saw Paul and Virginia. Ernest

- or was he at home, and his mother elsewhere ? (His home in Shipley was called Fairseat, but at this age he was probably living in Highgate - was the house also called Fairseat ?

His writing is very easy to read, and very neat.

I have several packets of Uncle Ernest's letters, many written when he was in Germany and Paris as a boy, and including some school reports on him by a Dr. Reineke. You might like to have a look at them sometime, they date form 1857 to 1931. There are, I should think, about a hundred of them, but I cannot let them go out of this country, so you'd have to come and study them here. - Joe. (my cousin, Joseph Geoffrey Einem Hickson - APH)

Pictured "with a wheel-barrow" in a photo - as a very young child

His diary for January 1875, aged 18

January 1, Friday
Highgate, skated nearly all day. George Waterlow lent me a dress coat to go to Nettlefolds party in. Fanny Jones came up here. Clara has bruised herself badly on the ice.
January 2, Saturday
Clara is making a scrap book for Hans v. Einem.
January 4, Monday
Highgate. Went over to Aunt Ida's with Horace.
In the afternoon I went to Granny's with Ralph and from there to Fanny's. Whilst we were there Harry came. Then went to the Theatre.
January 5, Tuesday
packed my things and started at about 5 o'clock, we arrived half an hour to late at Harwich got a good birth on bord had some tea before I went to bed on bord.
January 6, Wednesday
paid 8 shillings for tea & ticket on bord We landed about 2 hours to late. Had dinner at the Bath Hotel, 2 mutton chops (2/-). started from R at about 3.5. A lot of girls were in the same carriage with me, I changed at Arnhem & was examined at Benthem and on bord before reaching Rotterdam.
January 7, Thursday
Hannover
January 8, Friday
Hanover. Went to Polytechnic in an awful hurry and when I got there I found I was very early being the first there.
January 11, Monday
Hannover. I took the parcel for Tante Marie to the post.
January 12, Tuesday
Hannover. Posted a letter to Uncle Arnold saying I would come on Saturday.
January 13, Wednesday
Hannover. I had a post card from Uncle Arnold to say I was to come on Saturday and that Tante Nandine would be there.
14 Thursday Hannover
Hamilton asked me if I would go to a party they are getting up for today week in Fischers Garten, it would be awfully jolly I would like it awfully he said 3 pf entrance. I said I would meet him at Café Tobée tomorrow at 3 and tell him. I will ask Vaudeleur and Miss Panton first if they are going. It is so dear I don't see the fun of paying 3 pf I have no dress clothes and boots ties & studes.
16 Saturday Nordheim
Uncle Arnold met me at the station. I slept in the same room with Oncle Arnold. Tante Pauline had Margenricken in the night.
18 Monday Hannover
Went to the Theatre to see Shakespeare's "King John" (Kunig Johann)
19 Tuesday Hannover
Vandeleur showed me a wonderful trick with 3 pieces of paper to blow so that one piece stays on your hand
21 Thursday Hannover
I have had a little headache today, and a very bad cough indeed.
22 Friday Hannover
I got up with a much worse sore throat than yesterday. My throat hurt me so that I could not speak. It cannot be dyptheria as I can see no spots and my glands are not much swollen. I shall go to bed directly after tea.
23 Saturday Hannover
(Written on Tuesday) I stayed in bed all day because of a very bad cold. Mrs Renicke thought it was the scarlet fever and got in an awful funk. The doctor came and ordered me some lrissiness. I did not do anything ate nothing and drank but little in bed chiefly tea. The medecine was very nasty.
24 Sunday
Got up at 3 o'clock, better felt rather weak at first. went to bed early.
25 Monday Hannover
Got up at about 10, went down and had some coffee, Mrs Reineche wanted me to take some more medecine but I did not see the good and the doctor said it was unnecessary, but ordered me some rubard tincture. I read a great deal of old Mortallity and like it very much, and going back to College tomorrow.
27 Wednesday Hannover
Miss Panton said there were only a gentlemen and ladies at the ball so it seems to have been a failure.
28 Thursday Hanover
I skated in the afternoon after fetching my skates from Brandes who had sharpened them.
29 Friday Han.
could not get the glue for Uncle Arnold. I heard from Anna Hahn that tante Pauline was coming through today.
30 Saturday Hanover
I had a post card from Tante Pauline. I fetched her from the station and walked about in the town with her till nearly One when I went home by tramway.
31 Sunday Han.
Went to church. Skated in the afternoon.

More entries from his diaries for the years 1875 to 1877


The Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists

Ernest, page 2
Ernest, page 3
Ernest, page 4

Passing your cursor over some words, usually in italics, may give a definition of the abbreviation. Also clicking on some of the pictures or cuttings may bring these up, probably enlarged, in the same window. You may then find a "magnifying glass" which, with a simple click, will enable you to see the document enlarged