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Maisie Crawford rips up her L Plates after passing her driving test at the age of 69.

Published Date: 11 June 2010 Derry Journal
A Derry granny who failed her first driving test two weeks ago for speeding, has finally got rid of her L plates.
When 69 years-old Maisie Crawford passed her driving test on Tuesday morning – she fulfilled her life’s ambition.

And she’s encouraging other women in their sixties who never considered driving to get out there and learn.

“It’s my dream come true,” said Maisie. “In the 1950s I fell in love with a new Mini car which I could have bought new for £450 but I never learned to drive.

“Last May I woke up one morning and decided I was going to learn to drive. I don’t know where the idea came from.”

Maisie first took lessons in a manual car, but because of problems with her leg after a stroke she had to give it up.

“I thought I’d have to forget about driving,” she said. “But then my friend Rachel told me about  Foyle School of Driving who could teach me in an automatic car.

“I just love Joe to bits. The first time we went out driving I felt so stupid, but the instructor  put me at ease, even when I refused to go above 15 mph.
“He always used to tell me off for not checking my left hand mirror. Finally one day he told me there was a man running past with a bare bum in the mirror, that kept reminding me to check it.

Maisie’s first test was two weeks ago when she was failed for speeding.
She told her instructor  to keep the date of the second test a secret and he surprised her on Tuesday morning when he told her he was taking her to the test center.

“God was with me on Tuesday,” said Maisie. “When the examiner told me I’d passed I gave him a big kiss.”

Maisie’s now enjoying life in her new Citroen and announced that her first trip out will be to Tesco to do her shopping
“It’s amazing ,” she said. “The world is my oyster.”

Jim Doyle who owns Foyle School of Driving says many women in Derry are in Maisie’s situation, who perhaps didn’t learn to drive.

“Maisie is an inspiration to other women,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what your age is.”

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