Awheel in Edwardian Bedfordshire: A 1905 Geologists’ Association cycling excursion revisited and contextualised

Thomas A. Hose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the excursions organised by the Geologists’ Association in the late 19th C. and early 20th C. were essentially pedestrian in nature. However, around the turn of the 20th C. and up to the Great War (1914–1918), the Association experimented with either specific cycling-based excursions or those that accommodated the needs of cyclist excursionists. At the time, the Association, with its London base, was ideally placed to employ the railway network as the basis for its excursions. Railways were then the principal mode of transport for middle- and long- distance journeys and were increasingly promoting suburban expansion, creating potential new field excursion areas. The railways catered for those pedestrian excursionists and cyclists who wished to venture further afield from London than was previously possible on a day- or half- day trip. The notices and reports of excursions published by the Association are examined and critiqued. The cycling excursions are examined and contextualised within a combined technological and socio-historical framework; parallels are drawn with today. A re-examination of the excursions also provides a benchmark, useful for geoconservation purposes, of the availability and accessibility of historical geosites. It can underpin new self-guided geotrails suitable for use by a wider audience than traditional geological excursionists. These various themes are explored through the consideration of a specific 1905 excursion to Bedfordshire from which general conclusions are drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-769
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Issue number6
Early online date11 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Bedfordshire
  • Cycling
  • Edwardian
  • Excursion
  • Geohistory
  • Greensand


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