Blazing Saddles: Celebrating Sussex women cyclists in history


Bexhill Museum is pleased to support Blazing Saddles – a new two-year project exploring the pioneering heritage of women and cycling in the town and across Sussex since the 19th century.

Their early adoption of the bicycle encouraged personal freedom and heralded their future role in the suffragette movement, not to mention the transformation of clothing and society across Sussex.

Ladies & Gentlemen on Bexhill's cycling track in 1897Among the innovations – Bexhill’s pioneering ‘bicycle boulevard’ along the seafront, pictured here, which opened in 1896, led by Muriel Brassey, wife of landowner Gilbert Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr, which provided women cyclists a place to exercise their new hobby, despite disapproval.

Devised by Brighton-based KP Projects CIC with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund Blazing Saddles will run until 2024, with activities across Sussez based around four main locations— Bexhill, Newhaven, Worthing and Brighton & Hove.

The project will explore cycling history from the 1890s, addressing environmental sustainability and supporting women’s cycling today. Half as many women as men cycle regularly, and the project aims to help get more women back on the saddle.

There will be a programme of participatory public events, open access workshops, bike rides and heritage cycling routes and maps, volunteer archival research sessions and training, online exhibitions and digital resources and more.

KP Projects CIC is a creative company developing national and international outdoor arts projects including cycling, sustainability, healthy living, and environmental issues.

Sussex partners, in addition to Bexhill Museum, include The Keep, 1066 Cycling Festival, Cycling without Age, the BMWs (Brighton Multicultural Women’s Cycle Club), Sussex Development & Community Association, Worthing Theatre & Museum, South East Dance, Rother Borough Council and the Newhaven Festival.

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