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100-year-old marks 89 years on the road

A MAN who learnt to drive a lorry when he was just 11 years old is still motoring on at the grand old age of 100.

still AT THE WHEEL: Centenarian George Rennie, of Connel in Argyll and Bute, has held a driving licence since he was 16 years old. Picture: Moira Kerr
still AT THE WHEEL: Centenarian George Rennie, of Connel in Argyll and Bute, has held a driving licence since he was 16 years old. Picture: Moira Kerr

George Rennie is celebrating 89 years on the road since he first took the wheel of a milk lorry as a youngster delivering pints in his home town of Dumbarton.

The keen motorist, who now lives in Connel, Argyll and Bute, could not wait to obtain his licence as soon as he reached the legally allowed age of 16.

But he has never sat a driving test which were not required when he was a young man.

Despite that he has a clean licence and claims to have only been caught speeding once in his driving career.

Mr Rennie, who celebrated his 100th birthday last Saturday, said: "You didn't need one then. You just went to the council to get a licence.

He spent his working life as a roads and bridge engineer, eventually working his way up to the post of chief engineer on the Cruachan Dam project in Argyll and Bute.

He said: "It was a piece of cake when I started driving because the traffic was far, far less than it is now.

"I used to do 20,000 miles a year with my work, it took me all over Scotland, but now I only do about 3,000 miles a year.

"I drive to the local village and to Oban and on a Sunday I might go for a drive out to Taynuilt or Easdale."

Mr Rennie said his only speeding ticket came when he was five mph over the limit in a 30mph zone in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde. He also says he's only had two parking tickets.

The centenarian who has just passed an eye test as part of a three-yearly review by the DVLA has been told he can continue behind the wheel.

Since 2001, motorists must be able to read, either with glasses or contact lenses if needed, a car number plate from 20 metres.

There are also other rules on eyesight and general health, including the necessity to have an adequate field of vision.

Mr Rennie still has fond memories of his first car which he bought his when he was 22.

He said: "It was a light grey Riley 9, 1932 model, and it cost £50 second-hand, I saved up to get it."

Mr Rennie said his driving licence makes it easier for himself, and his wife Nancy, to get out and about.

The father of two, who has two grandchildren, puts his long life down to good genes and said: "I eat anything that is going, anything that I like."

l Harry Jamieson, of Worthing, Sussex, held the record of being Britain's oldest motorist until his death at the age of 106 two months ago. However, Mr Jamieson had only obtained his licence aged 17 in 1924.

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