Bessie, aged 107, gets parking fine for being late back to car

Bessie Farnworth
Bessie Farnworth

One of the UK’s oldest women has been slapped with a parking fine after being late back to the car, which was parked in a disabled bay and had a zimmer frame on the back seat.

Bessie Farnworth, 107, from Atherton, was out for a weekly-lunch date with her great nephew, Dave Holland, when the pair arrived back 13 minutes late.

The pair parked in a disabled spot in Tydesley Aldi, clearly displaying Bessie’s badge before going off to lunch. Two weeks after their outing, Dave received a £70 fine from Parking Eye, the car park operators, for returning minutes after the three hours allocated to disabled badge holders.

“My aunt Bessie was born before the Titanic was even built,” he said. “She’s an incredible woman. She was independent until the age of 106.

“She did all her own cooking, cleaning, shopping. She even did her own gardening.

“She’s still active but she’s a slow walker. I think at her age the fact that she can even get out in public and have her lunch is remarkable. She should be able to park there as long as she wants.

“I think it’s disgusting we’ve got this fine. They wanted to see a photo of her disabled badge. She’s not even disabled but she’s entitled to the badge because of her age.”

Bessie’s proud great nephew explained that she is still “active” and was living independently until last year, when she opted to move to Hillcrest

Retirement Home in Tyldesley. Since then Dave has taken Bessie out once a week for lunch, an occasion which brings them both happiness.

“When I take her out everyone knows her. People want to shake her hand and she gets flowers off strangers,” he added. I have tried to appeal it but no one has had the decency to get back to me. I have told them that she is one of the oldest people in Britain I would like them to just get in touch out of respect.

The Observer contacted Parking Eye and was later told the company would drop the fine as a gesture of “good will”.