94-year-old Chelsea Pensioner rides pillion with Rufus Hound

Mary Johnston isn’t your normal nonagenarian

ASK any pensioner what they covet, and ‘peace and quiet’ would be top of their list.

A weekly ride on a motorbike would definitely not, however.

But Mary Johnston isn’t your normal nonagenarian. The Chelsea Pensioner recently took a ride on the back of comedian Rufus Hound’s Triumph Speedmaster after he heard of her longing to get back on two wheels.

The 94-year-old fell in love with motorcycles when she met her late husband Dave, 35 years ago. Together they toured Europe two-up, and while Mary admits feeling ‘slightly nervous’ when she first got on to the back of Dave’s motorbike, she soon grew to love riding pillion.

Unfortunately, since moving into the Royal Hospital Chelsea she hasn’t had the chance to ride.

‘If I knew somebody, and they had a motorbike, I would make sure I became great friends with them,’ Mary says longingly in a video of her ride, adding quickly: ‘Not in that way!’

‘To just go out for a ride once a week on their motorbike. That would be my glory. I think that’s all I would want. That’s all I’d enjoy for the rest of my life. Right until I’m say 95, maybe 100.’

Mary’s ride with Rufus was filmed by Huffington Post UK, with support from the Royal Hospital as part of AgeUK’s #lovelaterlife campaign. In the clip she dons her Scarlets, before eagerly climbing astride the 865cc Speedmaster.

‘As a pillion you sit back and enjoy, enjoy the ride, and it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world,’ Mary exclaims.

‘It’s just a feeling of, I don’t know, it’s the feeling of freedom.’

‘I enjoyed every single minute. I loved it,’ she concludes.

Well said Mary, we salute you.