The Clarion Sunday That Wasn’t

Last Sunday, 13 June, should have been a big day in the calendar for Clarion House.  For 125 years, on Clarion Sunday, riders from Clarion cycling clubs across the north have converged on this historic location, but this year the virus intervened.  Artist Alan Ward will be celebrating Clarion Sunday 2021 with a multimedia project for Pendle Radicals.  In the meanwhile, he marked the Clarion Sunday that wasn’t with this introductory missive to the cycling clubs, and the gift of a virtual ride to the one and only Clarion House.

06-clarion-club-run-1950_orig
Image courtesy of London Clarion Cycling Club

Clarion Sunday 2021
Sunday 13 June
The Fellowship of the Wheel (working title)
An artist’s project by Alan Ward to celebrate this unique and historic event.

We are looking forward to seeing you next year, it is disappointing that Clarion Sunday hasn’t been able to happen this year, as I’d been looking forward to working alongside MPA, to create an artist engagement with your cycling community. By way of a small homage to the rides you would have made, I have created a little lock down virtual ride to Clarion House from my home in South Manchester.

Clarion Sunday Virtual Ride 14.06.20 from Alan J Ward on Vimeo.

Just prior to the shutdown, I’d purchased a gravel bike to begin to explore a little more off tarmac. My ride encompasses some of those surfaces, as I make my way through Greater Manchester. The film was made using a mapmyride plotted route, which was imported into the wonders of the Google Earth app. It’s a little bit of fun and references the fly-throughs of TDF stage previews and dreaded spin classes.

For Clarion Sunday 2021, we want to make your day a bit more special, and offer you something to remember it by.

I am an artist, photographer and designer, but also a devotee of cycling culture. I would like to document your club rides to Clarion House next year, using the data provided by tools like Strava and Garmin, and include photographs and notes from the journey to Jinny Lane. Between now and then I will be seeking your help with planning this. On Clarion Sunday 2021, I will be present to take a formal portrait of each rider with their mount, using a pop-up studio, and MPA will thank participants with a small one-off memento of Clarion Sunday to take away. Afterwards, I will assemble and interpret all the material gathered into a limited edition publication, and each participant will be sent a copy, with MPA’s compliments.

If you are interested in taking part you can contact me by email

Clarion Sunday is already a very special event. Through this project, we want to capture some of that, and give your members something unique to remember it by. We hope you will be willing to help, because we can’t do it without your participation. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

National CCC 1895 motif

Alan Ward is our designer for Pendle Radicals and the Radicals Trail, but also a practising artist and a devotee of cycling culture. Read more about his projects on his website , including the extraordinary Photographs from Another Place.

One thought on “The Clarion Sunday That Wasn’t

  1. Pingback: The Clarion Sunday That Wasn’t (via the Rebel Pen Club) | Mid Pennine Arts

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