Monday, 7 December 2015

Remembering the Great War ................ the Clifton Cycle Club Roll of Honour

I think it is fair to say that the story of the Clifton Cycle Club’s Roll of Honour is just beginning.

The Roll of Honour, 2015
The club was formed in 1895 at the Old Grey Mare on Clifton Green in York and is still going today.

Like many organisations at the end of the Great War the club created a Roll of Honour in remembrance of those members who had participated in the conflict.

It is a simple and elegant brass plaque with the club crest, which records the names of members including Lord Helmsley who was killed on the Western Front in 1916 aged 37.

For many years it had a place of honour in the Old Grey Mare, was later removed by a club member and eventually turned up at auction in York and was bought by my old friend David Harrop who has included it in his permanent exhibition of memorabilia from two world wars in the Remembrance Lodge at Southern Cemetery.

Its chequered history highlights the plight of many such Rolls of Honour.

Most are still intact and remain in situ where they were first placed.

But others have been lost, stolen or mislaid and so I am pleased that this one is back on public display and the names of the Clifton Four can come back out of the shadows.

he brass plaque on display, 2015
Of these of course Lord Helmsley’s will be well known and his political, military and personal life are relatively easy to track down.

Less easy will be those of Harold Hiscoe, Robert Wilson Hope, and L Johnson.

Mr Johnson has so far drawn a blank but I know that Mr Hope of the Royal Field Artillery died on September 23 1917 and Harold Hiscoe on March 27 1918.

And of these last two it is Harold Hiscoe which has revealed the most.

He was born  in 1888 in Ripponden and in 1911 was working in York managing a butcher’s shop and living in a boarding house on St Savioursgate.

It was a tall terraced property consisting of eleven rooms and was home to Mrs Buckle, five of her children, Harold and three other boarders.St Savoursgate is one of those very narrow York streets running from Collergate to the corner of Spen Lane and St Saviours Place.

If I have got this right Mrs Buckle’s house which was number 15 was opposite the church but sadly it has gone and is now a car park.

The Old Grey Mare, 2014
So like much of the story there is much still to find out.

And it may well be that in the club’s records there are the details of the decision to commission the Roll of Honour, its cost and discussion on where it should be placed.

But that is for later.

In the meantime I know David has plans to visit the Old Grey Mare on Clifton Green which is still in business.*

Pictures; Clifton Cycle Club’s Roll of Honour, from the collection of David Harrop, and the Old Grey Mare, 2015,courtesy of the owner

* the Old Grey Mare  Clifton Green, York, North Yorkshire YO30 6LH, 01904 654485 Set in a 17th-century former coaching inn opposite a park, this traditional pub with rooms is 6 minutes' walk from the River Ouse and 15 minutes' walk from the York Minster Cathedral

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