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100 lessons and a test in a lorry - your memories of learning to drive

What are your memories of learning to drive?
What are your memories of learning to drive?

With the new driving test looming, I wondered what memories readers had of the time they attempted to secure their licence.

And the invitation certainly got you motoring, with lots of you taking to Facebook to recall what, for many, remains a truly nerve-wracking experience.

Tom Ross got in touch to say that he passed his driving test first time in South Shields in 1976 after just 10 lessons.

“The examiner banged on dashboard for me to do emergency stop,” explains Tom. “There was a big red bus close behind me so I carried on and said it was too dangerous. He said ‘well done!’”

Nikki Brockbank told how: “Five minutes into my test, I misheard the examiner saying ‘turn left’ and went straight on.

“Halfway over the road, I realised what I had done and thought ‘sod it, that’s me failing’ and got back to test centre convinced I’d failed, only to be told I had passed. I was over the moon.”

Jackie Walker passed her test first time at the tender age of 17, recalling how “I remember every manoeuvre I did and which streets I did them in.

“I still drive in the same style now as I did when was taught, go right through all the gears, none of this fourth to second they teach now.”

John Graham was another “first timer” though his recollection of the test was far from a pleasant one.

“An hour before my test I was sitting on the bog being sick in a dish as I had been to a bachelor party and a curry the night before,” he reveals.

Elaine Bennett-Mccord also passed first time “with Mr Fasher, he was lovely with me, and said I’d done well when I refused to pull out at Horsley Hill when a bus was coming round the roundabout.”

David Barber took to Facebook to say: “I remember in my first test (took me two) I drove away from the test station, stopped at a junction, went to put the handbrake on and found it was already on, magic? Fail” while Linda Marron passed her test at the third attempt.

“I was eight months pregnant,” she explains “driving perfect... highway code... told to go home and revise lol... but I passed... yippee... 26 years of driving.”

Another pregnant driver (this time seven months) was Gill Brown who passed first time.

“My instructor was Dale Cole, I had six lessons 35 years ago. A great achievement.”

Karen Robson, who passed first time, told how she “almost put the examiner through the windscreen with my emergency stop” while Adrienne Henderson was “passed first time by Mr Ramsey after 21 lessons with Ernie Brown, Wembley SOM, on February 2, 1976.”

Clair Seago had the same examiner for all three of her tests, but “passed eventually”.

There were other great memories from Stan Young, who took his test just once – in a seven and a half ton lorry in Sunderland.

“I was 17 and two weeks old and a very young teenager at the time,” he said.

Thanks also to Gillian Surgey, Elizabeth Guttridge, Lindsey McDonald, Jean Jamieson, Michael Brennan and Barbara Wood, who had “100 lessons, honestly!”