Friends of 1954 brake the cycle

All 7 ladies pictured in a photo from 1954, have reunited almost 63 years later to recreate this special moment.

The names of the girls in the image at the top of the page from left to right are Glenda McGuire (nee Pennell), Dot Bell (nee Pennell), Doreen McIntyre (nee Johnson), Pam McKinnon (nee Pennell), June Fox (nee Diamond), Merle Lambert (nee Herrmann), Marge Pampling (nee Johnson).

The image on the left is the original page the photo appeared in on Monday October 4, 1954.

It’s page 3 of The Queensland Times at the head of the sports section.

The image above was taken Monday, September 25, 2017, at Browns Park in North Ipswich. 63 years ago to the day next Wednesday. The bikes were provided by Switch Bike Co.

The ladies are standing in the same order as the original photo.


Seven girls from Raceview were riding down a road in Ipswich when they were stopped by a newspaper photographer.

The road was Whitehill Road in Newtown, and they were heading down to the sporting fields at the corner of Chermside and Jacaranda streets to sign up to play softball.

The girls from Raceview State School formed a softball team they called the Rockets.

The year was 1954.

“That was the time the rockets started to go up in space and so we thought that would be a good name,” Glenda McGuire said.

A Queensland Times photographer stopped the girls and asked them to spread out across the road.

It published in the sports section of the QT on Monday, October 4, 63 years ago to the day next Wednesday.

Some of the ladies’ mums purchased the photo at the time and others had not seen the photo again until they checked their letterbox last month.

Picture Ipswich chose the photo to publish in the centre of the Ipswich City Council’s 2017 Ipswich in Spring guide.

Picture Ipswich is an online collection of images, documents and memorabilia of cultural and historical significance generally sent in by the public.

Libraries and Tourism Committee Chairman Cr David Pahlke said it was great to see these ladies reunited to take a trip down memory lane.

“Picture Ipswich has over 14,500 images, documents and oral histories of Ipswich and its residents. This important resource has bought these ladies together after almost 63 years,” he said.

“It’s great that the public go online or come into the Library to check out Picture Ipswich and discover some of the city’s proud history, and maybe spark some exciting memories along the way.”


The image to the left is the 2017 Ipswich in Spring guide produced by the Ipswich City Council.

The above image is the centre page spread from the guide, where the photo recently came to light again on the Picture Ipswich page.



June Fox, 75, has lived in Churchill her whole life.

“I got a terrible shock when I saw it among the pamphlets in the letterbox. I nearly fell off the lounge. When I turned to that page, I got a shock to see that! I couldn’t believe my eyes. That is the first time I have ever seen that picture. I’m 76 next month so that was a long time ago,” June said.

Dot Bell, 74, remembers her old bike.

“It was a little purple bike my Dad did up from an old bike. He put little pansy flower transfers on it. We used to ride to school and we rode pretty well everywhere,” she said.

Glenda McGuire, 75, remembers that day.

“I think we were riding one behind the other and he told us to spread out across the road. We were hardly moving. Mum went to the office the next day and bought the photo from the QT,” she said.

“We played a couple of years’ softball in the summer. Then we played a couple of years’ netball in the winter but that was only seven players.

“Some of us had to sit on the sideline, so the next year we played hockey in the winter because they needed 11 players. We played until we were into our 20s when some of the girls started to get married and move away.”

Marge Pampling, 75, has been so excited about the reunion photo.

“It’s great to all get back together,” she said. Marge plays golf three times a week and has a handicap of 15.

Perhaps it is her sporting background that encouraged her son, Rod Pampling, to become a professional golf player.

“I went to the Masters this year. I thought I was never going to get there so I said, you’d better get your finger out and get me there. Well he did,” she said.

Pam McKinnon, 76, remembers posing for the QT photographer.

“I thought we were going to get run over,” she said.

There are two sets of sisters and one cousin in the picture.

The girls were quite talented too. The following two years running, their softball team won the B Grade Championships.

Keep up to date with news in your city by subscribing to Ipswich First


Back to top button