Ex warship electrician 96 from Kingshorn spreads his wee wings thanks to TV mobility scooter
Originally from Belfast, Rowland Carson, 96, has been able to continue visiting his beloved Kingshorn Loch and coastline thanks to a Breeze mobility scooter that appeared on classic BBC Top Gear.
Rowland moved to Scotland in 1973 with his wife Ann and family. He spent many years as an industrial electrician in the Belfast shipyards, fitting out famous warships such as HMS Glory, Centaur and Bulwark. His late wife always loved Scotland so they relocated to avoid ‘the troubles that were rife at the time’ as Rowland puts it. Rowland transferred his skills to leather tanning factories where he worked until retirement. Now nearing 100, Rowland is still a lively character however walking is difficult due to a bad knee. With a busy social life and living alone, he needed a way to stay mobile. His daughter, a senior nurse, suggested he got a scooter – this led Rowland to TGA.
Rowland stopped driving a car aged 94. He felt a scooter would be better for him and perfect for local trips: “I felt the time was right to give up my car, a scooter seemed the ideal replacement. My Breeze has done just that. I was very dubious about needing a scooter however I have been more than surprised with how much my Breeze has helped me. My neighbour already had a TGA scooter which he showed me, I was impressed as his Supersport looked like a motorbike. I called Toni at TGA and they arranged for Harry to come to my house so I could have a test drive. I fell in love with the Breeze S3.”
The TGA Breeze scooter rose to fame when it appeared on BBC Top Gear many years ago. Driven by an injured army veteran, it beat Jeremy Clarkson and his fellow presenters who all raced to the top of a Brecon Beacons mountain. Its ability to power up steep rocky and muddy paths meant the Breeze won the race and introduced the world to its impressive off-road capabilities. This appealed to Rowland as he wanted to go out and enjoy the local scenery on his own, especially around his seaside village and Kingshorn loch. When he watches the watersports on the loch it reminds him of his sailing days when he had a seafaring 4-berth Westerley boat.
Rowland has called his scooter ‘Elmo’, short for ‘electric mobility’. It has allowed him to ‘spread his wings a wee bit further’ so he can explore on his own and when in town, meet up with friends. Rowland can get to ‘The Friday Club’ for retired businessmen again thanks to his scooter. He drives into the village and parks up no problem: “Us older folk don’t tend to talk about old times, we just talk about today as you can’t change the past. Freedom to enjoy Fife is all mine and when I meet up with my mates I always tell them where I’ve been and how Elmo makes my life rewarding again.”