International Women’s Day test for Steyning grandmother

Grandmother Gay Cossins
Grandmother Gay Cossins

A STEYNING grandmother marked International Women’s Day by passing her advanced driving test at the age of 71.

Gay Cossins wanted to take the test on Sunday as her grandchildren, Emmeline and Estelle, have been named to honour Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement.

She said: “It is a good idea for everybody over the age of 60 to do it, because it really does improve your driving skills.

“The test is brilliant. Things that we were taught back then, you don’t get taught now or get taught differently.”

In the Institute of Advance Motorists’ test, candidates have to give a commentary while driving.

Miss Cossins said: “I realise I drive a lot better on my own now, because I concentrate more. I did make one slip up, when I was in the wrong gear, but I told the examiner straight away. It was quite hard work. I did find it quite stressful.”

She has been driving for 47 years, having passed her test at the age of 25 in Whitby. She said she took it in the pouring rain when there was nothing on the road but a bus and a tractor, nothing like conditions on the road today.

Miss Cossins said a car was essential to her, adding: “You are stuck in Steyning if you don’t drive.”