Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Motoring makes you live longer

Here is a truly heart-warming story, following on nicely from my last post – a century of British motoring culture encapsulated neatly in one woman's life. Forget the claimed health benefits of cycling, this lady proves that motoring makes you live longer:

Peggy was taught to drive by her grandfather H.J.Dowsing, who himself was a keen early motorist and invented the electric self-starter engine in 1896.
The widow learned how to drive in 1925, 10 years before compulsory tests were introduced, and she even drove herself to school at the tender age of 15.
Peggy, from Ferndown, Dorset, now drives a Daihatsu Sirion and said: 'I love driving and much prefer it to walking'.
Peggy, who has a grown-up son, has had 11 cars over the years including three Hondas, six Fords and a Vauxhall.
She was a member of the League of Experienced Motorists for 59 years and even tried 'blind' driving on one occasion.
She added: 'I won a competition driving blind once. It wasn't on the M1 but in a field.
'We had to drive towards a target. Everyone else was going so slowly but I like speed so I got there first.'

I do like the bit about the "grown-up son". He would be a slow developer if he were not. Acknowledgements to Freewheeler for his diligent trawling of the net for this.

By the way, I grew up in Christchurch, Dorset, in the 1970s, and learned to cycle in the back lanes there, on the borders of the New Forest and up the Avon valley. But I rarely cycled to Ferndown, about 8 miles away, because:

1) There was nothing of the slightest interest there; it was full of old people, and,

2) The roads there were terrifying.


  1. I cycled between Poole and Ferndown in the 1990s as a grown-up. The roads were indeed terrifying and full of old people...

  2. Bloody hell! The only time she has taken a test was at the age of 98 when her insurance company wanted to charge her £700 to insure her car! That is insane, especially with (presuambly) 85 years no claims if her record is to be believed! I even think £500 is pushing it a bit for what she has...still good luck to her.

    Now where are all the centenarian cyclists eh?

  3. There's one on my CTC member group database!

  4. I can confirm that the roads in Ferndown are still terrifying and full of old people!
    BTW -which school were you at, David?

  5. Twynham School, then Brockenhurst College.

    Good to see that the Crap Cycling movement has spread even to Bournemouth.