Tramper man and his mobility scooters

lauriehugillLawry Hugill may just be the Wychwoods’ most recognizable character – virtually all our magazine readers will have seen him, but who is he? Read on.

In 1967, we emigrated from Yorkshire to Cornwall to work in Truro at Treliske hospital. The journey took two days in a Hillman Imp with two small boys in the rear constantly asking “How much further, dad?” or “are we nearly there?” I remember passing through Moreton-in-Marsh never thinking that one day we would live close by. By 1970 we had a Cornish daughter and moved to new posts in Oxford hospitals.

In 1995 we fulfilled our ambition to return to Cornwall. We were both fit, walking on Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, cycling on the hilly Cornish lanes. As my mobility deteriorated, and after spinal surgery, I began to research mobility scooters, finally choosing a four wheeled Beamer Tramper. I was able to reach the top of our favourite Kilmar Tor again and collect my daily paper from the nearest shop seven miles away.

2010 saw us back in Oxfordshire again – Shipton-under-Wychwood this time. A strange sight emerged on the local roads; a man on a large mobility scooter. Now I am well recognised with my flags, the Yorkshire Rose and the St. Piran Cornish Cross, plus my flashing beacon and high visibility clothing.

In 2013, with continuing innovation, Beamer produced a three wheeled version of the Tramper with good suspension and tougher tyres capable of travelling on rougher terrain, including bridleways. I will not go into details about what happened when I ignored the warning from a well known local, “Do not attempt that path near Ascott;” it is enough to report that I should have been sitting ON the scooter, not under it. I was eventually rescued by a couple of horse riders.

In 2016 -17 a lithium battery system was introduced for both my Trampers increasing their range from 25 miles to 45-50 on four wheels and 60-70 on three wheels. Blenheim Palace and Park, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Barringtons, the Slaughters and of course Witney and Chipping Norton are all within my capability. At eight miles an hour it can take quite a while to reach these places so I can enjoy the beautiful countryside on the way. Most drivers treat me with total respect. If you do encounter me on a minor road please be patient, I will pull in to the side when convenient.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to buy and maintain these machines, which give me a great deal of enjoyment and independence.

Lawry Hugill

December 2017 – January 2018