Formation of a Bicycle Club in Sheffield (1869)

Formation of a Bicycle Club in Sheffield

A meeting was held at the Pomona Hotel on Tuesday, for the purpose of forming a bicycle club. Prior to the meeting, two bicycles, one manufactured by Pickering, of New York and the other by our townsmen, Messrs. Beck and Candlish, of Brown street, were worked on the road opposite the inn, the object being to show persons desirous of joining the club the advantages of the bicycle and how to use it. The principal riders were Messrs. Barber, Elliott, Donovan and several others. Various opinions were expressed as to the capabilities of the two machines. Nearly all who tried the two gave their unqualified approval of the bicycle manufactured by Messrs. Beck and Candlish. The most prominent features in this machine are the ease with which it worked, the application of the brake, and the lock action of the swivel-joint, which prevents the front wheel turning completely round, thereby rendering the machine much safer to ride and less likely to cause an accident. The finish of both machines was considered very good. Hundreds of persons collected to see the performances of the several riders and apparently much surprised at the proficiency acquired with so short a practice, one of the riders having learnt in half an hour. The meeting was very crowded, and Mr F W Hall was called to the chair. Mr W Elliot proposed “That this meeting form itself into a velocipede club, to be called the Sheffield Velocipede Club.”  This was carried and the following gentlemen were appointed a committee to prepare rules and make all the necessary arrangements: – Messrs. F Barber, Ernest Hill, Ibbetson, Evans, F W Hall Longbottom and Shuker. Mr Elliott was appointed treasurer pro tem and Mr T Ibbetson secretary pro tem. It was then suggested that those favourable to the movement should make a deposit of 2s. 6d. before the business proceeded further, which money should go towards the preparation of a ground and the payment of incidental expences. Nearly thirty persons gave in their names as members and about twenty others sent to say that they intended to join. A practice ground has been engaged. It is situated between Sharrow vale and Ecclesall road, and will be opened this day (Saturday). It is intended to have three classes of members, those who are already in possession of bicycles, those who desire to purchase by instalments or immediate payment, and those who wish to practice but not to purchase. It was stated during the meeting that the bicycle manufactured by Messrs. Beck and Candlish is one third less in price than the American.

The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, May 15, 1869; pg 10

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