Eileen Gray (cyclist)
Eileen Gray CBE, (born, Bermondsey, London, UK, 1920) was an international bicycle racer who founded the Women's Cycle Racing Association, and was president of the British Cycling Federation. She was also mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and Olympic torchbearer for the 2012 London Olympics.
Gray was born in Bermondsey, London, in 1920. As a youngster she lived in Dulwich, near Herne Hill velodrome. During World War II she was an engineer, a protected occupation which allowed her to ook after her hospitalised mother. While a quality controller in an engine factory on the Harrow Road, a rail strike disrupted her travel from Herne Hill and she took up cycling, commuting through bomb-damaged streets. She joined the Apollo cycling club; other nearby clubs would not women.
In 1946 Gray competed in a women's race at Ordrup, Copenhagen, Denmark, in Britain's first women's international team. In the Women's Cycle Racing Association, she promoted the cause of women's cycle racing.
In 1976 Gray became president of the British Cycling Federation, now known as British Cycling).
Awards and celebrations
In 2010 Gray became one of the initial inductees into the British Cycling Hall of Fame, cited as "founding the Women's Cycle Racing Association of which she became BCF President" and as key to women's racing becoming part of the Olympics from 1984.
In 2005 the BBC reported that Gray was the head of The Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Masons, one of two orders of women's Freemasons in the UK. In 2001, in a public message to the Women's Masonic Fraternity, she wrote that she had been a freemason for more than 50 years.
- Britich Cycling Federation, June 02, 2010; Interview: Eileen Gray CBE by Belinda Sinclair
- The Golden Book of Cycling - Eileen Gray, 1991. Archive maintained by 'The Pedal Club'.
- British Cycling - Hall of Fame - 2010 inductees
- Baik Bike, Malaysia Cycling Magazine, Ninety-two-year-old who helped bring women’s cycling to Olympics to carry London 2012 torch
- Interview: Eileen Gray CBE by Belinda Sinclair