Florence Ilott The First Woman To Sprint Across Westminster Bridge

Grace Higgins | November 5th, 2018

One remarkable woman that we are sure you have never heard of ever is Florence Ilott. Recently she was trending on Twitter after her grandson made a memorial post following her death. And this small post on Twitter has captured the hearts of thousands of people across the globe.

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The author & grandson Scott Pack used Twitter to post her story and ensured that the world knew about her amazing achievement. In fact, Florence Ilott enjoyed fleeting flame during the 1930s for being the first woman ever to sprint across Westminster Bridge within the 12 chimes of Big Ben at noon.

As a teenager in the 1930s, Ilott was working at the House of Commons and lived on the premises as she was part of the tea room staff. Apparently she on arrival at her job she cried through the whole night as the chimes of Big Ben ensured she never really slept well. But her roommates assured her she would soon get used to it, and soon enough she was sleeping happily and never had trouble with the chimes again.

And that is when she learned about the tradition that staff at the Commons or MPs had, which was to attempt to sprint across the Westminster Bridge at noon before the twelve chimes were struck. Ilot was actually an amateur sprinter, so she soon had people suggesting to her she should give it a go. Just before noon on April 14th, 1934, she was in her running gear waiting to hear the first chime.

There was even reporters and photographers from various media like Daily Sketch or Evening Standard, ready to witness the feat. And she made it across the bridge by the tenth chime, becoming the first person ever to achieve the feat!

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