Driver toasts ‘ton-up’ – and no prangs

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CENTENARIAN Arthur Whitaker has clocked up 85 years behind the wheel – covering an astonishing 2.5 million miles without a single prang.

Since he first started driving in 1927 he hasn’t had one accident and his only motoring offence was having one number missing from his licence plate in the 1950s.

The 100-year-old said: “They charged me 7s 6d for that. I couldn’t believe it and have never forgotten it – there was only one number missing.

“Other than that I’ve had no speeding fines or penalty points. I can’t remember how much I pay for my insurance but with 85 years no claims it should be pretty cheap.”

His lifetime mileage of over 2,500,000 miles could have taken him around the world 101 times.

Nowadays Mr Whitaker uses his Seat Arosa hatchback to attend lunches at Keighley Golf Club where he has been a member since 1957.

“It’s a good car and I’ve seen a lot of improvements in motoring over the years. My all-time favourite has got to be the Ford Cortina. I had about half a dozen of them.

“Almost every job I’ve had involved driving. I used to do 45,000 to 50,000 miles every year as part of my job.

“I don’t do anything like that these days and can do without my car now, but I don’t want to. I’m still driving and I’m still capable. There are some clowns on the road though.

“People who say that pensioners shouldn’t drive are talking bull. I am still very comfortable behind the wheel and I’m 100.”

Mr Whitaker spent all his working life as an engineer, serving clients in the textile industry. He worked full-time until he was 69, then part-time at an electrical firm until he was 76.

He has lived in Keighley since 1958 and he met his wife, Gwen, at a cafe in the town centre.

He played golf until he was in his early 90s and still goes to the Keighley club for social functions.

andrew.robinson1@ypn.co.uk