Sheffield's oldest cycling club gears up to celebrate its 130th anniversary

Top: The club racing at Bramall Lane in the 1890s
Bottom: The club taking part in the High Peak Road Race in 2013
Top: The club racing at Bramall Lane in the 1890s Bottom: The club taking part in the High Peak Road Race in 2013
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As Sheffield's oldest cycling club gears up to celebrate its 130th anniversary, its dedicated members insist the group shows no signs of slowing down.

Sharrow Cycling Club was formed in 1887 when two riders from the area, interested in competing in the Bridlington Cyclists' Rally, met up to try and put the wheels in motion to compete in the prestigious race.

Picture of Sharrow Cycling Club members on a trip to Scarborough taken in the 1890s

Picture of Sharrow Cycling Club members on a trip to Scarborough taken in the 1890s

By the end of the next meeting, the Sharrow Cycling Club had been formed; and by the end of that year the club had indeed succeeded in winning the 1887 Cyclists' Rally.

Some 13 decades later, and not only is the group still going strong - but the addition of a 'steady stream' of new members means its title as Sheffield's oldest cycling club will be cemented for some time to come.

This month marks the club's 130th year, and to mark the auspicious occasion dozens of the groups members will get on their bikes at midday on Sunday for an anniversary ride from the Grouse Inn in Froggett out into the beautiful Peak District.

Social Secretary at the club, Robert Cullen, of Psalter Lane, Sharrow Vale, said: "130 years is a big achievement, and we wanted to mark it in some way."

Three members of Sharrow Cycling Club on a 'Triple', c1890

Three members of Sharrow Cycling Club on a 'Triple', c1890

The 47-year-old added: "It's a great club, and people are really friendly. Everyone really gets on. We have two rides at the weekend, and usually have one mid-week for people who aren't working so there's something for everyone.

"We've got around 30-40 members, and have a steady stream of new people joining. We have a great social scene too, and will cycle up to a restaurant together for a meal or something like that about once a month."

71-year-old John Collins joined Sharrow Cycling Club when he was just 14-years-old, and still saddles up to ride with the club at least twice a week.

John says the club's consistent presence in the city's cycling scene continues to be its biggest achievement.

Sharrow Cycling Club Bridlington 1897

Sharrow Cycling Club Bridlington 1897

"We haven't had a break at any point, we've just kept going. And all of that is down to the enthusiasm and dedication of members," said John, of St Albans Road, Fulwood, adding: "It's a great way to get out in the countryside and to keep fit, and all with excellent company, what could be better than that?"

John continued: "It's always been a great club, you were always looked after very well as you progressed. You were taken to club runs, and shown routes in Derbyshire, in Nottinghamshire and beyond."

Commenting on the club's history, John explained: "From the early days the Sharrow promoted track racing on the track around the Bramhall Lane cricket pitch. These events attracted large crowds of spectators and ran until the early 1900s when it was decided to hold a new type of event; a 50 mile time trial. The event was first held in 1908 and was the first of its kind in the area. The ‘Sharrow 50’ was promoted for 100 years before it was removed from the racing calendar in 2008. The Club also promoted various club time trials, hill climbs and club competitions throughout the year. The Club has also been responsible for organising the National Championship ’50’ on two occasions.

"During the 1960s Road Racing began to grow in popularity and consequently the club started to promote a number of road races in the 1960’s and 1970’s on various circuits, including the Burbage, Laughton-en le-Morthen, Tideswell Moor and Monyash as well as continuing with a full programme of time trialling. Today the Sharrow is still involved in race promotion and together with Sheffrec and the Whirlow Wheelers ran the first High Peak Road Race in 2010; going on to be involved in the promotion of this first class event in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017."

John Collins is one of the club's longest-serving members

John Collins is one of the club's longest-serving members

"The Club has always enthusiastically supported recreational cycling through regular Sunday and Wednesday Club runs, weekends away and excursions abroad including the popular spring ride in the Low Countries. These Club activities create a happy social and supportive atmosphere within our Club and provide a great introduction to cycling for young people.

He added: "Whilst we can be justifiably proud of our past we continue to look forward optimistically to the future. The Club continues to evolve as the interests of members change and we trust that whilst out recreational members continue to enjoy our Club Runs, our racing members will keep the Club to the forefront of the sport by competing successfully in road races and time trialling events and our Club will play its part in organising local cycling activities."

To find out more about Sharrow Cycling Club, please click here.

Cori Braham.

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