Monday, November 13, 2017

Sharrow Cycling Club records donated to City Archives

Sheffield City Archives receives offers of new material on an almost weekly basis, and the archivists at Shoreham Street are regularly in discussion with potential donors about archives that might usefully be passed into their care and preserved permanently for the benefit of researchers now and in the future.  Some initial contacts come to nothing, other leads likewise reach a dead end, whilst sometimes serendipity plays a part and archives enquired about some years ago are offered up quite unexpectedly.

And so it has proved with one of the City Archives’ latest accessions.  Several years ago the local magazine Active8 published an article on the Sharrow Cycling Club and the discovery of some of its archives in the attic of a house in the S8 area.  At the time, enquiries were made about the possibility of them being deposited with Sheffield City Archives.  Nothing came of this, and the trail went cold until October this year when the person to whom they had subsequently been given contacted the City Archives with an offer (gladly accepted) to donate them for permanent preservation.  The wheel, it seemed, had turned full circle!

Sharrow Cycling Club was formed in 1887 by four young men from the district.  Their aim in doing this was to ride to the Bridlington Whitsuntide Cycling Meet and compete for the prizes offered, in particular the mileage prize presented to the Club covering the greatest total mileage from its headquarters to the parade ground in Bridlington.  Six weeks later twelve members rode a total of 1800 miles to win the prize.

The Clubs’ headquarters and the meeting point for cycle runs was the old Pomona Hotel on Ecclesall Road.  Club rules from the 1890s deposited with Sheffield City Archives specify that club membership was strictly confined to amateurs, and that the annual subscription was 5 shillings (plus an additional entrance fee of the same amount).  Road racing was to be avoided, and members were asked to “considerably slacken speed when passing through towns and villages”, and “to wear Club Cap and Badge when out on Club runs”.  The archives now held at Shoreham Street also include the Club’s minute books and Year Books from the first half of the twentieth century, copies of the Club newsletter ('The Sharrovian'), fixture lists and Winter Programmes (of Runs), 1920-1922, time and race result sheets, hand-drawn route maps from the early 1930s, as well items belonging to Mr J. D. Cresswell, the Club’s Honorary Treasurer in 1934, and the first editor of 'The Sharrovian' from 1950.

These latest additions to our holdings supplement the collection of over 60 Sharrow Cycling Club photographs held by Sheffield’s Local Studies Library, available to view online via the ‘Picture Sheffield’ website (  The images show Club members (individuals/groups, with and without bicycles), the old Pomona Hotel, races at Bramall Lane and runs to Scarborough and Bridlington.
To view the records at Sheffield City Archives, simply quote the reference: 2017/81 (X799) and we will retrieve these items for you.  The Archives is based on Shoreham Street and we are open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.