To our brave Cyclists


Today I went to a business meeting that was rendered almost enjoyable by the fact that we got to conduct it outside, sitting at a long table surrounded by beds of flame red tulips and buzzing throngs of industrious bees. The meeting was held at a hotel in a pleasant village called Meriden, a little place just off the M42 in the ever shrinking greenbelt that seperates Birmingham and Coventry. After the meeting was over I sauntered in a sun-becalmed way to the village green, to sit a while on a bench and eat a Cornetto.

As a person with a declared interest in boring municipal statuary, I was drawn to the large sandstone obelisk on the green. Nearby lay a plaque proclaiming the spot where I stood to be the very centre of England, the furthest point from our coastlines. Wikipedia has since disabused me of this romantic notion by informing me that the real centre of England is in Fenny Drayton.

It was the obelisk that was most interesting though. It turned out to be a memorial 'in remembrance of those cyclists who gave their lives in World Wars I & II', which I found to be both moving, whimsical and amusing all at the same time, whilst being somehow terribly British too.


9 comments:

Gaw said...

I wonder why there? Raleigh was based in Nottingham so it can't be that.

Gadjo Dilo said...

It is rather pleasing, isn't it. One would half expect to see monuments scattered around the country dedicated to "All The Chess Players/Stamp Collectors/etc Who Gave Their Lives In World War II".

worm said...

Yes, I am entirely unsure as to why cyclists get a special mention, and whether they are referring to people who died who also happened to have enjoyed cycling at some point previously, or people who had died leading a fearless charge across no mans land on their penny farthing


gaw - meriden was the site of the Triumph motorbike factory, but I feel the monument is dedicated to the human powered bicycles rather than the engine powered ones.

Gaw said...

Ah. I wonder though? It may be that language has changed and 'cyclist' used to be more inclusive. Or perhaps Triumph used to make pushbikes.

worm said...

I've finally, after much digging, been able to find this:

"The memorial was erected with subscriptions from cyclists and cycling clubs following a public meeting held in October 1919. It was placed in Meriden to make it easier for cyclists to reach it from anywhere in the country and is the site of an annual rally and service every May."

Brit said...

Shall we club together to erect a Blogger's Obelisk somewhere?

worm said...

A 'Blogelisk?' - spiffing idea. Lets make it black and shiny

Gaw said...

...and virtual.

Susan said...

That's curious. Perhaps there should be a monument to all the crazy London cyclists (aka donors).