Driving instructor who passed own test 'as a fluke' teaches 5,000 learners
HE has seen more than 5,000 people learn to drive and now driving instructor John Gough is celebrating his own milestone – 50 years in the industry.
It all started back when John was 17 and was deciding what career to choose.
One thing was for certain – it had to be something to do with motoring.
John, now 71, said: "My father made me plan a career in motoring. I had three interviews at the age of 21.
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"One of them was for a police officer. When I went for that interview I was made to read two pages of a big book.
"When the interviewer came back he slammed the book and he asked 'my boy do you still want to be a police officer?'."
Before becoming an instructor John took his chance at becoming a worker with the AA.
He said: "At the interview I didn't get the questions right.
"One of them was, what would I do if the engine overheated.
"That is when I decided to become an instructor.
"My goodness, I started the career in 1963, it was like yesterday.
"The BSM company was my first job, in Station Street Gloucester. I decided to set up John Gough Driving School in 1969."
But driving didn't come naturally to the Abbeydale resident.
He said: "I passed my driving test as a fluke.
"During my test I was at the crossing and there was a man there with a white stick and he was waiting to cross and I said to the examiner can I get out the car and help him to cross the road.
"When I returned the instructor said 'do you always leave the engine running?'."
One of the highlights of John's career was helping Dorothy Hillman, of Quedgeley, pass at the age at 69.
He said: "Being your own driving instructor you can take your holidays whenever you want or have a day off. But you have to have medical insurance and you don't get sick or holiday pay, things you take for granted."
Although many people start to relax at his age, John plans to continue running his own motoring school.
John said: "I couldn't think of anything worse than sitting at home watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.
"Me and my wife Mara do enjoy going on holiday on cruises.
"And I like to follow one line comedians, especially in Cheltenham town hall."
In the past John has picked up four driver of the year titles, made it to two European driver of the year finals and two Guinness world record entries, including the highest number of miles per gallon.