A sprightly 90-year-old dubbed Britain’s oldest lorry driver, who works 12-hour days, says that as long as he feels ‘fit’ he will carry on.
Brian Wilson, from Sheffield, works 12-hour days and he has now been given the green light to carry on for another year after passing a health MOT.
Mr Wilson started his career as a lorry driver in 1953, when he began delivering petrol for Esso and 70 years later, the father-of-four still wakes up at 4am for his 12 hour shifts delivering to various places in the UK such as Rochdale, Birmingham and Newcastle.
Just like his lorry, Brian requires a full health check up from his doctor each year which allows him to drive on the roads.
After he passed his annual inspection, Brian says he’s glad he doesn’t have to put the brakes on his career just yet.
‘Well if I feel fit enough, then I’m going to carry on even though I’m at a big age,’ he said.
‘I have to go every year and I’m glad I passed it.’
Brian started with armoured trucks during his national service in 1950, when he was stationed in Germany, before his first driving job with Esso.
Then he worked for his father’s haulage company, E. Wilson & Sons and eventually took the firm over when his father passed away in the 1970s, and has run it ever since.
Brian, from Sheffield, has racked up millions of miles over the years, but now keeps to ‘short trips’ – of around 150 miles.
He said: ‘It all depends on how busy I am but I’ve been busy this week. I’ve been working every day and I’ll probably be working more than 40 hours this week.
‘Tomorrow I’ll be working about 12 hours as I’ll be leaving for Birmingham at about 5am and then it will be 5pm when I get back but now I’m just used to it.
“I work for myself and I wouldn’t be doing it if I was working for someone else. I’m that used to doing the job, that I’ve just carried on.’
Despite driving for over 70 years, Brian is considering retiring next year and has plans to go to Thailand with his wife Mavis, 89, who he met when he was 15 at a fairground.
‘I might retire next year but I don’t know as it all depends how my wife is, as she is 90 next,’ he said.
‘But when I do retire, I want to go to Thailand for a couple of months because one of my lads lives in Thailand. He has his own business over there and has been there for about 15 years.
‘We’ve been about six times but we’ve not been for the past five years because of Covid, we’ve actually not been anywhere because of it.’
The couple married six years after they first met and Mavis, who Brian says retired ‘years ago’, has encouraged him to keep on working.
He said: ‘She tells me to carry on while I still feel fit enough. Plus because of all the gas and electric bills going up, I need to keep working.
‘Amazingly, Brian has never had an accident in all his decades of driving and the longest he has taken time off work was seven weeks when he broke his foot aged 40.