Older boy racers set pace in ‘quiet’ village

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Two of Ribchester’s oldest residents have received the ultimate accolade – a poem about them penned by master wordsmith, quiz setter and local poet Roger Dolphin – and the unlikely nickname of ‘Boy Racers’.

Roger put pen to paper after the two venerable gents – former Preston Trades Council Vice-Chairman and one-time JP Ron Williams, 91 and former village joiner John Crowther, 87, used their mobility scooters to get out and about and enjoy the summer’s sunnier days.

Boy racers John Crowther (right)  and Ron Williams with Roger Dolphin (centre)

Boy racers John Crowther (right) and Ron Williams with Roger Dolphin (centre)

Ron, of Blackburn Road, and John, of Water Street, are near neighbours and friends. Both had found their freedom limited, with difficulty walking. But, as so many others have found, a mobility scooter can transform your life and that of others, as noted by Roger in his humorous tongue-in-cheek verse entitled “Boy Racers.”

The mobility scooters and their riders have proved a memorable addition to the local street scene.

Roger’s poem noted:

“It isn’t Ribby’s teenagers who drive their cars too fast

“And make pedestrians jump in fear as they motor past.

“No, a pair of senior citizens, who average eighty-nine,

“John Crowther and Ron Williams, decided it was time,

“They got improved mobility so they could trawl the streets

“Each got himself a scooter: far quicker than the feet...”

Ron, who was Preston area organiser for shopworkers’ union USDAW for 30 years and vice chairman of the Board of Visitors at Kirkham prison had a chuckle at the poem, saying: “I thought it was very, very good.

“The scooter only goes eight miles an hour, but it seems very fast in the streets!”

John’s wife, Maureen, said: “I thought it was good fun.”

Meanwhile John too appreciated the poem. Maureen bought his scooter from Ron as a birthday gift for John in August and John noted: “ It’s definitely made a difference in that it’s given me a bigger range.”