Britain’s oldest instructor – still going strong at 94
Mrs Thomas, from Wales, barks instructions throughout – and even raps students on the knuckles when they lazily leave their hand on the gear stick.
Great granny Laura Thomas has had one “L” of a life – she is Britain’s oldest driving instructor at the age of 94. The friendly gran-of-three, who started driving in 1938, believes you are never too old to drive – as long as you “still have your head screwed on” – and has no plans to hang up her L plates. Mrs Thomas, from Pembroke Dock, West Wales, revealed she has never advertised her services but has enjoyed a steady stream of customers for 76 years. She said her reputation spread by word of mouth and she was bombarded by requests for driving lessons after she became the first person to pass in her area just before the outbreak of World War Two. Amazingly she has also never used dual controls in her car and boasts an impressive pass rate of over 85 per cent.
Mrs Thomas says she has never been in an accident – and none of her pupils take more than two attempts to pass their test.
I’ve seen all sorts throughout the years but with a pass rate of 85 per cent I’m confident I get can get anyone through the test.” The eagle-eyed instructor never misses a mistake and is very fond of a rap on the knuckles with her trusty diary when a studnet lazily leaves his or her hand on the gear stick.
She said: “I had to reapply for my licence before Christmas and a man at the DVLA said that surely I didn’t want to keep driving? “I couldn’t believe it, I told him then and there to get that licence in the post because I’m driving and teaching for as long as I can.”
Laura started driving in 1938 when her brother bought her a car for Christmas. She passed her test two months later and started giving her friends tips on how they could do the same. She said: “Everybody came to me – I was busy all day, every day. It just grew and grew. I have had scares but I have had a lot of laughs too and I’ve never failed to stop a car with the hand brake. It’s one big laugh. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. It’s nice getting to know so many different people.”
She says cars have changed a lot in her time – she once had a pupil pull the car’s steering wheel off when she asked him to perform an emergency stop.
She said: “I’ve taught grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren from the same family. I’ve seen big changes in cars and the roads are a lot busier now but the basics of driving haven’t changed. “Some people say motorists shouldn’t be on the road at my age – but I don’t think it matters how old you are as long as you still have your head screwed on.”
Mrs Thomas has, however, cut back on the number of lessons she takes. Her daughter Joan Stace, 74, said: “She’s taught me to drive when I was just 17 – and she is still telling me how to drive. “When we’re out and about, she says “Do you realise you have failed your test there?“ She even ticks me off for my parking. “I sometimes throw my hands up in horror and say ‘maybe you should take some time to relax, mum’. “But she always has and always will do her own thing.”
A néniről készült videót itt tudod megnézni: OLDEST DRIVING INSTRUCTOR
instructor – oktató
to bark – ugatni, rákiáltani, rászólni, szólni keményebben
to rap sy ont he knuckles – körmére koppint valakinek
gear stick – sebváltó
had one “L” of a life – szóvicc: to have hell of a life (pokoli jó élete van) és ’L’ (’T’, tanuló) jel az autón egybevonásával
to have one’s head screwed on – helyén van az esze
to hang up – szögre akaszt
steady stream – egyenletes áramlás
word of mouth – szájról szájra
dual controls – kettős ellenőrzés, oktató autóban az oktató oldalán is vannak pedálok stb.
pass rate – sikeres vizsgák aránya
attempt – kísérlet, próbálkozás
to get sy through sg – átvinni, átjutatni valakit valamin
eagle-eyed – sasszemű
dismal – szörnyű, lehangoló
parallel park – leparkolás két autó közé
to reapply for sg – újraigényelni valamit, újra érvényesíteni, itt: jogsit
DVLA – (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Egyesült Királyságban a jogosítványokat is kiadó intézmény neve
to give sy tips – adni valakinek tippeket
to have scares – megijedni, megrémülni
to fail to stop –nem sikerül megállni
to perform an emergency stop – végrehajtani vészfékezést
busy – forgalmas
motorist – autós, járművezető
to cut back on – csökkenteni
to be out and about – jönni-menni
to tick sy off for sg – keményen megszidni valakit valamiért
CAR PARTS – képes-hangos-nyomkodós szótár
interaktív feladat indítása: ITT