Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Independent Labour Party and the Clarion Movement

This poster is an useful guide to the history of the Labour Movement family. It explains the connections between The Independent Labour Party (ILP) and the Clarion Movement. 

"We are often asked about the relationship between the Nelson ILP Clarion House and the National Clarion Cycling Club.

The short answer is that there is not one. Although we share similar socialist ideals to the people who started the Clarion Movement that gave birth to the Clarion Cycling Clubs.

The Clarion Newspaper and the Clarion Cycling Clubs The Clarion Movement developed out of the Clarion newspaper.   The Clarion newspaper was one of the most influential Socialist newspapers ever published in Britain, creating thousands of Socialists and inspiring a whole social movement. The movement was divided by the First World War and never recovered.  The first issue of The Clarion was published on 12 December 1891.  The offices were in City Buildings, Corporation Street, Manchester, although the paper moved to Fleet Street in 1895. (The building still stands opposite the Co-operative Bank.)

 The Clarion was founded by Robert Blatchford.  The Clarion readers set up a social network of societies, including the Clarion Cycling Club, Vocal Unions, Clarion Fellowship, Clarion Handicraft Clubs, Clarion Scouts, Rambling Clubs and Cinderella Clubs (which arranged events for children).

The Clarion Cycling Club began one evening in February 1894 when Tom Groom and five others men held a meeting in the Labour Church in Birmingham and decided to set up a Socialist Cycling Club. Visit the following website of Brighton and Hove Clarion Cycling Club
for further information

The Independent Labour Party The ILP comes from a long tradition of organisations on the left of the political spectrum that have sought collective solutions to the inequalities and destructiveness caused by capitalism. We seek to continue that tradition today, to extend cooperative solutions to human problems by democratic means. The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a workers political party formed in Bradford in 1893. In 1975 The ILP became Independent Labour Publications and is now an educational trust, publishing house and pressure group committed to democratic socialism and the success of a democratic socialist Labour Party. The ILP (an ethical Socialist party) was formed with the intention of fighting local and national elections with the objective of achieving political power.

The first two Labour Prime Ministers: James Ramsay MacDonald and Clement Richard Atlee had their political roots in the ILP.  Locally Nelson ILP has a proud record of social welfare achievements.


The Clarion House The Nelson Clarion House is the last of many Clarion Houses throughout the country that were run by the ILP branches. The Clarion House is a monument to the ILP Movement.

The Nelson ILP Clarion House, built in 1912, is one of several ‘Clarion Houses’ that were used by the Nelson Independent Labour Party.

The Clarion House was built as a place in the countryside (a centre for recreation) that o ered working people the opportunity to escape the conditions that prevailed in the textile and other industries of the day. Its purpose was also to spread the word of socialism, fellowship and equality. Further information about the establishment of the Nelson Clarion Houses is included in a CD-ROM which can be purchased from the Clarion House.


The Nelson Independent Labour Party Land Society Ltd
The Clarion House is owned and managed by The Nelson Independent Labour Party Land Society Ltd, which was formed under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1893, on the 13th of July
1910. It was founded by the members of Nelson branch of the Independent Labour Party.

The Land Society continues as an independent trust, retaining the name, “Nelson Independent Labour Party Land Society”, and being broadly committed to the principles of the ILP founder members and
to the promotion and contemporary expression of ILP traditions. Shareholders of the trust do not receive any benefit, either in money or kind for being shareholders and they have to demonstrate their  commitment to the principles mentioned above, before becoming shareholders. Shares have a nominal value of £1.00 each. The Nelson ILP Clarion House is staff ed by volunteers who do not
receive a reward, other that the satisfaction of providing a service to our customers.

The volunteers are made up of members and non-members of the Land Society.  We are greatly indebted for the work undertaken by the volunteers and we hope that you appreciate the contribution that they make, as much as we do".

Hat tip Captain Swing.
Post a Comment