CTC -Cyclist’s Touring Club

CYCLIST’ TOURING CLUB HISTORY

The Bicycle Touring Club was its name from 1878-1883, when it became the Cyclists’ Touring Club CTC ). It still exists. It worked specifically with Bartholomew, choosing roads and tracks from 1911-1928. Bartholomew maps later than 1928 still use some CTC road choices.

Most towns had a “Consul” for the club. They approved hotels and guest houses and published their names in the annual route books. In 1911-1928 it cooperated with Bartholomew and chose roads for their topographically shaded maps – placing their logo at bottom centre on the map sheet. This map proves that much earlier- c 1880’s, it cooperated with George Philip. Stanley Cotterell from Edinburgh founded it, but its headquarters became established at 139-140 Fleet Street. It put up road signs. Its members wore uniforms for a time. It encouraged women to cycle and advocated “sensible clothing” which meant trousers: not long dresses and bonnets, which were generally deemed suitable. Their uniform was a dark green jacket, knickerbockers and a peaked helmet. The uniform changed to grey. They often rode in groups with a bugler at the front. The pioneer for Women’s modern clothing was Lady Harberton, who had a “Western Society for Sensible Dress” or some such named body. In the late 1920’s they campaigned for not to support cycle paths; fearing that they would loose their rights on the open road. They were often in court, trying to further or protect cyclists’ rights. In 1906 it almost became a motoring organisation too but a court blocked this saying it could not represent the interests of both cars and cycles. The CTC used to put up road signs and signs in hotel and shop windows – as do the AA- They published route books with suggested hotels and guest houses of which some 50% were (at times) Temperance. There was a strong link between Temperance and Cycling which is why Bacon’s Cycle maps often have. Bovril, Fry’s Cocoa, Cadbury’s Chocolate etc advertised. Those Quaker confectioners were strong in the Temperance Movement. In 2016, with stunning lack of history and crassness, the CTC voted to call themselves “Cycling UK”. The badge was a cycle wheel with three wings within it and the initials CTC- an iconic badge which no doubt they have also changed for some modern graphic. I have just looked it up: “We are cycling UK” in yellow and blue play-school lettering; so that is that then- all that was sacred is profaned.