The Bristol South had a bugler in the early days. I had presumed it was an eccentricity, but judging from the Bohemians it seems as the bugler was a staple in the nascent club scene of the late 18th Century. I then did some further research:
“They (Northampton Cycling Club) opened their season on Good Friday with a thirty-mile run to Leamington Spa, warning other road users of their approach by blowing silver-plated bugles’.
The bugler’s role was clearly quite significant, and practical rather than ceremonial. I could have done with a bugle call heralding my arrival in the Suspension Bridge cycle lane yesterday. I may employ one in future when heading out to races.
By the end of the 1880s Bristol boasted eight cycling clubs, including The Bristol Cycling Club. This short quote extolling the virtues of a weekend on the bike seems to speak of a shared experience even now, 130 years later:
“Nothing is more delightful than, after a week’s hard grind in the office than to don your special garments, mount your glittering wheel, and then away to the green lanes, leafy woods, and rippling brooks, to the sweet country, there to mix your blood with sunshine and to take the wind into your pulses.”*
Of the early Bristol Clubs – Bristol Wheelers, Bristol Bicycle and Tricycle Club, Knowle, Bohemians, none remain. BSCC is the oldest of the pre WW1 clubs, formed in 1893. The Severn was founded in 1932.