Renowned designer and wheelchair user Stuart Melrose discovered mobility scooters can be fashionable at Glastonbury thanks to a rugged TGA Vita X.
Stuart produces stunning bespoke furniture pieces for pop stars and multi-national corporations and has successfully designed several complex illumination projects. With their pioneering stage designs and lighting installations, Stuart was invited to come down to Arcadia’s ‘explosive show’ at Glastonbury 2019.
Although independent mobility across a 900+ acre rural site, with 200,000 other people, seemed impossible – ownership of a rugged off-road Vita X mobility scooter from TGA changed all of that.
“The TGA Vita X is awesome,” Stuart says. “Without it, Glastonbury would not have been the same. As I have limited core strength and nerve damage, I would have used my wheelchair throughout the event but this just wouldn't have given me the freedom I experienced with the Vita. It wasn't just the independence across ruts, bumps and steep slopes that was amazing, it was its ability to carry stuff.
“We just kept loading it up with beer, parasols, lighting kits, cabling – it took the lot, it is so strong and powerful. Normally my wife is burdened with loads to carry whenever we are away but not this time, it made a huge difference to her too. She didn't have to push me in a wheelchair when self-propulsion got too much either, we just moved around independently."
Part of the TGA Vita range, the black Vita X is renowned for its cutting-edge styling and reliable performance – with many components and design features inspired by motorcycle manufacturing. Incorporating advanced suspension and technology, it isn’t just a bold piece of design, but ideal for on and off-road use.
And its striking looks delivered an impact at Glastonbury. "The crew and crowds at Glastonbury also fell in love with the TGA Vita X - they'd never seen anything like it before,” he says. “They, like me, never knew mobility scooters could look like this, a radical striking black design with red flashes... that's cool.
“Many thought it was a golf buggy type vehicle and that I had been loaned it as a VIP. Its looks are so important if you are style-conscious like me, its design reminded me of those cool Tamiya radio-controlled cars that have a cult following. Taking the Vita X to Glastonbury was such an eye-opener for me and everyone I worked with or met. As a designer I really appreciate the thought that has gone into its conceptualisation.
“[It] just kept going like a tank,” he continues. “I only charged it once throughout the whole of Glastonbury and probably didn't need to do that, it used very little juice all day long. Traction was always there, no wheel slippage at all thanks to the specialist off-road tyres. Even driving sideways on slopes I felt stable and in control.
“In addition to the scooter's powerful motor, the brakes were also impressive and responsive, which was important with so many people on site. I was careful weaving in the crowds, however when there was more space I could cruise at top speed – fast enough to be exciting yet still remaining safe. The bucket seat felt luxurious."
As the excitement of Glastonbury fades Stuart is back hard at work designing in his studio. The Vita X stands by to assist with greater mobility locally and for family days out. Either towed on a trailer or carried in a 4x4, the Vita X will give Stuart the freedom he needs for planned adventures in the New Forest and local 'Watership Down' countryside. Slightly more relaxing than Glastonbury but equally as rewarding.
Vita X insight:
Range: Up to 25 miles
Max speed: 8mph
Max weight: 25 stone