Overview of the Club's History

Overview 1886-1900  1900-1914   1914-1965  1966-1982  1983-1999 2000 to Date

In the years following the WWI, Wood Street continued as one of the main centre of radical activity in the town echoing the increasing unrest throughout the country.

massmeetingLiterature sales got under way again with papers like Solidarity, Plebs, and Sylvia Pankhurst's paper The Workers' Dreadnought and outdoor meetings once more became the order of the day.

During the early 1920s Bolton Trades Council was strongly affected by radical trends championed by members of the club and to those of the pre-war syndicalist movement: a far cry from the right wing sentiments of the leaders of the Bolton Spinners (and Trades Council) of the 1890s and 1900s.

Bolton also seems to have been very active during - and significantly, before - the coal mining dispute which led to the 1926 Lock-out and General Strike.


Strangely there is not much said in the club's minutes and unfortunately, there is a gap in the minutes of the Trades Council between 1923 and 1928.

On the other hand, the rare minutes that still exist for trades councils and local branchesdreadnought
of trade unions during the general strike are generally not very forthcoming about
their activities during the Strike.

Bolton trade unionist and activists, apparently, had already formed in 1925 a
‘Council of Action’ in anticipation of a potential dispute. This was unusual among
trades councils and labour movement organisations generally.

Less unusually, the Council of Action was centred on the Trades Council. During the Strike itself, the Trades Council played the leading role in organising pickets, issuing permits for
essential goods to enter or leave the town, and ensuring that disorder was kept to a

In short, Bolton Trades Council, with the whole-hearted assistance of the
local Labour Party, ran the town for a few days in May 1926.

The Clarion cyclists played an vital and active role during the General Strike.

Later, they also seemed to play a part in the peace movement of the early Thrities. Below are pictures from a Bolton Peace rally held in 1936, from Daily Worker 30 September 1936, one of the pictures clearly shows a placard of the Bolton Clarion Cycle Club - thanks to Stuart Walsh for this information and newspaper clip.