London Social Cycling Club cap badge c.1880’s – Friendship, Freedom and Unity

Amongst my large collection of early cycling club cap badges is this gem. In the 1880’s and ’90’s most club cap badges consisted of a winged wheel somewhere in the design, and quite often they were adorned with coloured enamels. This is a very unpretentious badge with no enamel, wings or wheels. Instead we have a signpost, and on the three rungs of the fence in front of the signpost are the words Friendship, Freedom and Unity. Unusually, when I googled the club name there was just one result. This related to an article in Cycling magazine from 1887 about the launch of a lifeboat, christened ‘The Cyclist’, paid for by 6000 subscriptions from cyclists, the London Social Cycling Club being mentioned as the largest subscriber. This suggests that they were a substantial club at that time. I love the message that this badge conveys, consequently it is perhaps my favourite of such badges, eclipsing many more showy designs.

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