19th Century Female Riders

Information about the male six day racers is hard to find - but it’s even harder for the ladies. Even though some photos have now surfaced - here of the English racers at Olympia and below of the Coureuses Francaises


Now I know where the Christmas pantomimes get their costume designs from ......

British Riders


Miss Lilian ADAIR

a competitor but nothing else known


a competitor but nothing else known


also listed as ASTINS


a competitor but nothing else known


also listed as Rosina. See also F J MEDDINGS
1st London Six Day 11-Jan-1897
1st London Six Day 18-Jan-1897
1st London Six Day 24-May-1897
1st London Six Day 3-Jun-1901


a competitor but nothing else known

Miss Clara GAMBLE

probably the same person as Clare GAMBLEY and also GAMBLE was probably her correct surname; since we have races with riders GAMBLE and GAMBLEY competing.

Miss Clare GAMBLEY

should be GAMBLE ?

Miss Jessie GAMBLEY

possibly Jessie Isabella Gambley born 1879 in Edmonton and married late in 1896.


same as Mdlle GAVETTE ?

Mrs Clara GRACE

Clara-Grace3001st London Six Day 11-Jan-1896

Miss Monica HARWOOD

PennyIllust189511130SatB1st London Six Day 18-Nov-1895

“The English Girl who beat the French Cyclists at the Aquarium last week, covering 371 miles 2 laps” (right)
Penny Illustrated Paper (London) Sat 30-Nov-1895

1st London Six Day 10-Jun-1901
1st London Six Day 24-Jun-1901

Checking on the register of births the only Monica found was Monica Mary Harwood recorded in the Buckingham district at the end of 1877.
In the census of 1881 this Monica is also the only one listed. She was aged 3 and born at Bourton, Buckinghamshire; living at Farm House, Northolt, Middlesex.
She is also the only Monica in 1901; aged 23 and living at Heston, Middlesex.
She married William John Collingham in 1907 and is in the 1911 census - living in Lambeth with her husband and a son; William Cyril Collingham. Another son, Norman, was born in 1912.

Update - this newly discovered press item (below) confirms Monica’s name and age - along with some new information. It also suggests that Monica had a natural sporting talent.



Miss Ellen HUTTON

NellieHutton._300She was the daughter of a cycle shop owner, whose premises were at Petherton Road, North London; her father also made cycles and sold them as Petherton. Nellie Hutton was fourteen when she started racing and at that age raced at the Olympia track, for an English team, in an International event.

The family have an extract from The Cycle from the 25th January 1896 which has some detail of the event and included a small interview with Nellie and her mother.

She also competed at the Brighton Aquarium, Dunoon in Scotland and in France all possibly during 1896.

The family and I would very much appreciate any other information which anyone might have, of Nellie’s racing exploits, the clubs she rode with, or of Petherton cycles.” Peter Taylor, Warwick


DailyNews18960215SatSource: Daily News (London) Sat 15-Feb-1896


Update 11-Jun-2013: A trawl through the 1891 English Census on CD and the web found a likely family living at 132 Petherton Road, Highbury, Islington.

William R Hutton, head, age 33, cycle agent, born St Lukes, London
Ellen L Hutton, wife, age 32, born Westminster, London
Ellen E Hutton, daughter, age 9, born St Lukes, London
Sidney R Hutton, son, age 7, born St Lukes, London
Maud A Hutton, daughter, age 4, born St Lukes, London

This should be same Ellen as the one that appears in a baptism entry at St Luke, Finsbury on 26-Jun-1881 : Ellen Emma Hutton born 6-Jun-1881 to William Robert and Ellen Louisa Hutton of 29 Remington Street, Finsbury. And in a marriage entry at Christ Church, Highbury Grove on 25-Sep-1901 : Ellen Emma Hutton to Edmund Henry Parnall (age 28 son of Edmund Parnall). By the time of 1911 Census Edmund and Ellen had four children (Ellen Frances, Doris Maud, Ethel Hilda and Edmund William).


a competitor but nothing else known

Miss Rosina LANE



1st London Six Day 12-Dec-1896


a competitor but nothing else known


a competitor but nothing else known


a competitor but nothing else known

Other Riders



Real name BALISSE, b: Lot-et-Garonne, France
Performed "looping the loop" on a bicycle in 1904 and then in an automobile in 1906. In 1910 reported as one of the early French aviators.
1896fxxAboukaia1ws“Madamoiselle Aboukaia” - by
Jules Beau, sports photographer, Paris, 1896-7 Collection, Bibliothèque nationale de France


Louise-Armaindo205also listed as Armanido / Amiaindo / Aimaindo
b: 1861 Canada
5th Sheffield “Five Day” 1889
“The fair's [at Brismark, Kansas in 1883] novelty attraction was the performance of Louise Armaindo, the "champion bicyclist of the world." Miss Armaindo was a 22-year-old, black-eyed French-Canadian brunette. She had recently won a six-day distance contest in
Chicago, in which she raced W. J. Morgan, "champion of Canada," and W. M. Woodside, "champion of Ireland," for 12 hours a day, at the end of which she had ridden 843 miles -- beating Morgan by 23 miles and Woodside by 123.” Kansas Historical Society

Mdlle Marie CANNAC

Marie-Cannac3001st London Six Day 7-Dec-1895


possibly just a typo for Cannac (or Cannoe is correct and Cannac is the typo!)


1st London Six Day 15-Jan-1898


1897DeVerneuilw“Madamoiselle De Verneuil (Madame Robertson)” - by Jules Beau, sports photographer, Paris, 1897-8 Collection, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
The assumption is that she married the English racer, ? Robertson, also photographed by Jules Beau that same year.

Mdlle Helene DUTRIEU[X]

Helene-Dutrieux3001st London Twelve Day 28-Nov-1896
b: 10-Jul-1877, Tournai, Belgium
d: 26-Jun-1961, Paris
World Sprint Champion, Ostend 1898; later moved on to motorcycles, cars and then aeroplanes - gaining the Coupe Femina in December 1910.

“Hélène Dutrieu was born on 10 July 1877 in Tournai, Belgium, the daughter of a Belgian Army officer. She left school at the age of 14 to earn a living. Dutrieu became a professional track cyclist racing for the Simpson Lever Chain team. In 1895 she gained the women's world record for distance cycled in one hour. In 1897 and 1898 she won the women's world sprint championship in Ostend, Belgium, and earned the nickname "La Flèche Humaine". In August 1898 she won the Grand Prix d’Europe and in November of that year she won the 12-day race in London, England [that 12-day was actually in 1896 - Ed]. Leopold II of Belgium awarded Dutrieu the Cross of St André with diamonds in honour of her cycling success. She later began performing in variety shows as a cycling speciality act and in July 1903 she cycled a loop inside a vertical track at the Eldorado in Marseille, France. In September 1903 she appeared at Olympia, London. She became a successful stunt cyclist, a motorcycle stunt rider, an automobile racer and stunt driver and a world famous pilot”


Eglee3001st London Six Day 9-Jan-1897

Mdlle Gabrielle ETEOGELLA

Gabrielle-Eteogella300“Madamoiselle Eteogella” - by Jules Beau, sports photographer, Paris, 1896-7 Collection, Bibliothèque nationale de France1896f76Eteogella2Ws


same as Miss GAVETT?

Mdlle Nellie La ZOUCHE

also given as La TOUCHE



Mdlle Lisette MARTON

1st London Six Day 2-May-1896

1896Lisette1s“Mlle LISETTE” - cover of Veloce-Sport et Bicyclette, 6-Feb-1896, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Possibly a different Lisette - since more dressed for touring than racing. But could be a publicity shot for the bike maker.
Another source gives Mlle Lisette as being Amelie Le Gall

Mdlle Henriette PALLIARDE

Henriette-Palliarde3001st London Six Day 28-Dec-1895

also listed as PAILLARDE


1896f71Reilo2Ws“Madamoiselle Reillo” - by Jules Beau, sports photographer, Paris, 1896-7 Collection, Bibliothèque nationale de France

Mdlle Louise ROGER

1st London Six Day 8-Jan-1898


1st Sheffield Six Day 1895

Mdlle Beany VAUTRO

Beany-Vautro_300One of three riders sometimes listed as Voutre, Vetro or Ventro - and often listed by first names only. Now known to be Melanie Anne VAUTRO born 26-Sep-1878 in Montlucon

She married Charles RANSON (17-Oct-1887 Lapugnoy, Pas de Calais - 15-Jun-1978 Nice) in London in 1909 but was later divorced and re-married.

Her father was Francois Etienne a bicycle maker born Lyon who died in London 12-Apr-1928 aged 79 (as Etienne F VAUTRO). He was possibly married three or four times with second(?) wife Stephanie dying in London in 1898 aged 35.

Mdlle Fanoche VAUTRO

Fanoche-Vautro300No information found as yet - can you help?

Mdlle Marcelle VAUTRO

Marcelle-Vautro3001st London Six Day 22-Jan-1898

Now confirmed that she was Marcelle VAUTRO born 29-Mar-1880 in Montlucon

It was reported that Beany, Fanoche and Marcelle were all sisters but this may not be the case. However it is almost certain that Beany and Marcelle were both daughters of Etienne Francois VAUTRO. Some family histories have Marcelle’s mother as Stephanie VAUTRO but Etienne may have married three or four times. Etienne also had a son, Robert born in 1908, who appears in the British records marrying Doris BALDUCCI in Finsbury in 1938.

Some present day descendants are living in Canada. If you can share any family info please get in touch.


GallicaLogoCopies of the above photographs and digital versions of Veloce-Sport magazine (1885-1897) are available online at the Bibliothèque nationale de France’s Gallica web site.