Norwich’s 103-year-old motorist to star in television programme

Former women's England cricketer Eileen Ash attends a yoga class at the Dussindale centre on Tuesday

Former women's England cricketer Eileen Ash attends a yoga class at the Dussindale centre on Tuesdays and drives there in her yellow Mini. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant

It is not everyday that you see a 103-year-old drive around in a bright yellow Mini – but Eileen Ash is somewhat of an exception.

After spending 11 years working for MI6, playing for the England Ladies cricket team from 1938 to 1949 and still regularly attending yoga classes in Dussindale every Tuesday morning, the Norwich grandmother is set to star on television.

'100 Year Old Drivers Ride Again' is an ITV documentary, to be aired at 8pm this evening, which attempts to find out why some of Britain's oldest drivers still get behind the wheel.

The hour-long one-off show also features an 82-year old taxi driver, an 86-year old vintage car racer and a 95-year old driving instructor along with Eileen, who is one of the 19 drivers aged 103 or over in the UK. The eldest is 107, according to the Department for Transport.

It also looks into the delicate issue of stopping senior motorists from driving, potentially depriving them of their freedom and independence, with one in four of us believing that drivers between the age of 70 and 75 should be disqualified.

'I love driving. Oh just being free I think, being on four wheels and going where I want to go. For my age I'm pretty lucky,' Eileen said.

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'I haven't many aches and pains although my knees are beginning to creak a bit, but you put up with those sorts of things.'

Eileen has never officially passed a driving test despite having a full licence – she was born 23 years before tests were introduced, but, she says she wouldn't do without her Mini.

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'Cricket is the love of my life and the Mini's the second. I've owned four Minis. I like a small car, and it's quite speedy, the acceleration is good. It does stand out in the crowds, yes… If I couldn't drive I think I'd have a motorbike and that wouldn't be very safe.

'People often say to me 'You're the lady that drives the yellow Mini'. If I couldn't drive a car I think I'd like a motorbike.'

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