The Clarion’s web site states:
The National Clarion cycling club grew during the early 1900s with 8000+ members at one time and with sections all over the UK. Working class people were getting their freedom on bikes in the countryside and the Clarion was spreading the word and the newspaper to industrial towns and villages. In those days before most people could own a car, the bike gave freedom and fellowship...the Clarion thrived.
We now have some 650 members in 25 sections, which makes us one of the bigger cycling clubs in the country. Bikes still give us our freedom, freedom from the motorcar, the stresses of the rat-race and gives us great friendship, great friends around the country.
Whether we race, socialise, tour or meet in cafes, the Clarion is a CLUB, a true club not an association.”
Up until reading this I had not realised that a club was in some way superior to an association - I had always rather preferred the informality and secular lack of commitment of the later. Perhaps that is where I have been going wrong.