Top Sheffield cyclist Suzy Rimmington spotted on 1950s picture

A top woman cyclist from a Sheffield club was spotted among photographs sent in by a Retro reader.

By julia.armstrong1
Wednesday, 08 May, 2019, 17:13
Retro readers reckon that top women's cyclist Suzy Rimmington features in this picture of John Ernest Howling and his cycling club in the early 1950s. He is pictured far right in the front row

The photographs were sent in by Phil Howling of Smithywood Crescent, S8 and featured his late father, John.

He wanted to find out if anyone recognised the cyclists on them.

John Collins of Sharrow Cycling Club wrote: “Regarding the group photo of the club cyclists in The Star (April 20).“This looks very much like members of the Meersbrook CC. The lady on the front row is Suzy Rimmington.

“Something of a local celebrity in cycling circles as she set the Women’s Competition Record for a 100-mile Time Trial in 1946 with a time of 5hrs. 03min 20sec.

“In 1948, she set the Women’s Competition record for 12 hours, riding a total of 220.53miles.

“She later married Roy Denham, also of the Meersbrook CC, and I knew her as Suzy Denham.

Sheffield cycle club member John Ernest Howling with his baby son, Stephen

“I often saw them riding together or with the Meersbrook CC when out on the roads or at races with my own cycling club.

“As a teenager, I was aware of Suzy’s racing prowess though club folklore.”

Reader John Grove also got in touch by email.

He said: “I think it is Meersbrook Cycling Club. However, that does not mean that the riders actually lived in the Meersbrook area.

Cycling legend Beryl Burton

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“I think the lady in the centre is Susie Rimmington, who set a ladies’ 25-mile time trial record of 1 hour 5 minutes 57 seconds in 1947.

“I remember her as Susie Denham, wife of Roy Denham, who was still riding in the 1960s (wearing extremely tight and skimpy shorts).”

John also shared an email from an unnamed friend. That said: “I thought that was Suzy (note spelling) Rimmington.

“She set Women’s 100-mile comp record in 1946 5hr 03min 20sec and the 12hour comp record with 220. 53 miles in 1948.

“A great Sheffield rider at national level.

“I remember seeing her around cycling with Roy Denham.

“She died before Roy and I often saw him at Over Haddon which seemed to be a favourite with him.

“Those shorts also feature in my memories too!

“I thought the chap of the left of the group looked a little like Joe Uttley but unlikely he’d be riding with them I would have thought.”

John responded: “ It cannot be Joe Uttley because he lost an arm in WW2 and the won time trials up to 12 hours with only 1 arm!”

John also thought that Roy Denham may have been a cycle dealer.

Suzy Rimmington won the Best British All Rounder competition in 1948.

The women’s competition was dominated by Leeds-born women’s cycling legend Beryl Burton, who won an incredible 25 times from 1959 to 1983 inclusive.