Posted: Saturday 06th June 2020
Eileen Sheridan, (born 1923) is an English cyclist who specialised in time trialing and road record breaking. She broke all the records of the Women’s Road Records Association during the late 1940s and 1950s. In Eileen Sheridan – A Cycling Life published by Wychwood Studio (Available from the V-CC sales) there is a picture of Eileen riding a Mercian in the 1950 Yorkshire 12-hour Time Trial. Her machine has the ‘cascading’ Mercian down tube transfer and she is already riding with her trade-mark deep drop handlebars. The machine is equipped with a Sturmey Archer gear and a Chater-Lea chainset. Left is a picture of her riding the National 100-mile Time Trial Championship in the same year. The Mercian is now stripped down with single speed fixed-wheel and one brake. In the book there is also a picture of three riders chatting together after a race, Eileen Sheridan, Ethel Crowther (one of the partners in Mercian) and Mima Soens – the last two both well-known names in the frame building world.
Beryl Burton, OBE (12 May 1937 – 5 May 1996) was an English racing cyclist who dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles, and setting numerous national records. She set a women’s record for the 12-hour time-trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years. Right, Beryl riding her Mercian in the Manx Viking Wheelers 25, 1959 in a record event time of 1h 7m 5s.
Left, Derek Woodings of Derby Wheelers here seen winning the 1963 National 100-mile Time Trial by nearly two minutes with a time of 4h 2m 38s. Like Dave Keeler and Ray Booty, Woodings was a tall rider with a large frame. He was 6’3″ and it looks as if the frame is at least 25″. He is riding on ‘tubs’ with a spare wrapped in a cycling magazine strapped under the saddle, he also has a Pennine compressed air pump held by a single Terry spring pump clip behind the seat tube. His Campagnolo gears are changed by bar-end levers
Mercian Builder and Rider
John Basell tells us that he was and is a member of RAF (Egypt) CA Club, the Exiles CC. Left, is a picture of Cyril Wagstaff attired in his Exiles jersey and leaning on his magnificent Mercian. On demob from the RAF in the 1950s, Cyril went to work for Mercian and stayed with them until retirement. His made-to-measure Mercian, built of Reynolds 853, with carbon forks, Cinelli ‘Angel’ combined carbon stem and bars and fully Campagnolo Record equipped, was his retirement present from the firm.
When John told him about Lightweight News no. 5 with a resume on Dave Keeler he was most interested as he remembers Dave’s visits well and can recall giving special attention to the machine that Dave rode in the End-to-End.