As the Tour de France kicks off this weekend, we are proud to present a pair of cycling shoes worn by the legendary English racing cyclist, Beryl Burton. Burton dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles as well as setting numerous national records. In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.
She also set around 50 new national records at 10, 15, 25, 30, 50 and 100-mile distances; her final 10, 25 and 50-mile records each lasted 20 years before being broken, her 100-mile record lasted 28 years, and her 12-hour record still stands today. And with such an impressive track record, Beryl’s accomplishments led her to compete in the Grand Prix des Nations in 1967, which was a rare opportunity for women cyclists.
These shoes were worn by Burton in 1961 and they were made by Peter Salisbury of Rushden, Northamptonshire. They have a rounded up curved toe with two studs and a metal plate on the sole to fit over the pedals.
Beryl’s shoes will be on display in the Life and Sole Gallery from 1st to 31st July 2014. For more information about Northampton Museum & Art Gallery’s collections and exhibitions, visit: www.northampton.gov.uk/museums