Car News: Cycling Granny

A weekly look at all that sucks in the automotive world, plus some good bits

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Mavis Paterson and daughter outside Chatelherault stables near Hamilton

A pleasant news story tops the bill this week – a revoltingly healthy and enterprising  grandmother is cycling the length of Britain in memory of her three children. She is  “feeling really strong” as she enters the final days of her all-weather journey.

Mavis Paterson, who I read lives near Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway, set out at the end of May from Land’s End and aims to reach John O’Groats by this weekend. Mrs Paterson stopped at Chatelherault Country Park on Thursday (see photo above) the Duke of Hamilton’s old stomping ground, where she met the team from the local Macmillan Information and Support Centre in nearby Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. She hopes to raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity she started to support after her mother and sister died from the illness.

Beating the odds and defying gravity has caught the notice of The Guinness Book of Records, an institution that encourages daft people to do daft things, such as see how many cigarettes they can stuff up their nose, this cycling event the noble exception. The adjudicators confirm the 81-year-old will become the oldest woman to cycle the length of Britain once she completes the 960-mile route.

“The beginning of the challenge down in Cornwall and Devon was a real test, I’ve never had to tackle hills like it, but I had Heather with me and she has been a tremendous support and we made it through. I wasn’t well before we set off so that affected how I was feeling in the first week, but I’ve got my legs back and I’m feeling really strong.  I am doing this for my children, the unbearable grief I feel when I’m sat at home with nothing to focus on is too much. I needed this and it’s been amazing. The support we have received has been overwhelming, I never expected it. The donations from people I don’t even know and the lovely messages, I can’t wait to read them all when we are finished the challenge and I have time to look over them all. I really can’t thank people enough, what is happening is amazing.”

Like adventurers who abandon themselves to tropical islands or remote deserts on television survival courses, but followed by a camera crew, Mrs Paterson has undertaken the challenge with her cycling companion Heather Curley, 55, a good health and safety choice. (Apologies for mentioning ages but the story is as nothing if folk in their teens.)

The tragedy that spurred Mrs Paterson’s into action is the death of her three children within four years of each other while all in their 40s. Her son Sandy died of a heart attack in 2012, Katie after suffering viral pneumonia in 2013 and Bob in an accident in 2016. Such a coincidence of fate would normally turn a parent into permanent.

The Cycling Granny has raised almost £17,000 and it would be nice to learn she passed the £20,000 mark by the time she sees the sea at John O’Groats.

One can only marvel and applaud. Donations can be made here.


Thunderball Aston in auction

The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 ordered by Broccoli’s Eon Productions, the company behind Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball is up for sale again, the last canny buyer making the most of accruing value. It was not used in the films but was used at promotional events for Thunderball in the US. It was sold in 1969 after the film company had finished with it.  The car was most recently sold in 2006 for just over £1.6 million and the owner  expects to double that figure. Extras include sat-nav, a Browning .30 calibre machine gun in each fender, tire slashers on its wheel hubs and a bulletproof rear screen. Miss Moneypenny’s phone number is not included.

Jaguar boss complains

Jaguar’s UK boss is complaining about the sorry state of electric charging infrastructure that he, rightly, says are holding back drivers from switching to electric vehicles. Rawdon Glover highlights the number of different charging suppliers, the variability of the service these provide and the variety of methods of payment as needing simpler solutions to boost public confidence. Well, when we have a government full of sly climate deniers to help make England great again, happy to drag out decisions, and remove financial incentives to buy electric vehicles, we are not going to see much in the way of a Norwegian overnight switch to regiments of charging points.

BBC ignores good news

Car theft are an indication of poverty and hard times in the UK but growing wealth in eastern European countries where stolen luxury cars tend to reappear. Thefts are down in Scotland, up everywhere else. I’ve seen neither jot nor tittle mentioned in oor BBC Scotland news. Probably an uncharacteristic oversight. So here they are compared to Boris’s England.

REGION                   CHANGE                  CLAIMS PER 10,000 VEHICLES

  • West Midlands up 214%                    16
  • North West up 110%                           17
  • North East & Yorkshire  up 104%     5
  • Greater London up 61%                     33
  • East Midlands up 60%                         8
  • East of England up 48%                      7
  • South West up 43%                              4
  • South East up 29%                                4
  • Wales up 29%                                        4
  • Northern Ireland steady                     1
  • Scotland down 23%                            10   

Cue English nationalist to claim wur too poor tae afford cars an’ too quick to claim on insurance for hiding them frae the polis.


Happy motoring



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