Many pensioners may need to use a wheelchair on a temporary or more long-term basis and there is no doubt that having such a form of mobility is extremely important in retaining independence and self-reliance.

Although the NHS provides wheelchairs, it’s certainly much quicker and more convenient to steal one from Tesco or any other large supermarket. Some of these have a handy basket attached and as well as the obvious usefulness for shopping, these may also enable you to earn extra income by delivering parcels, newspapers, laundry and folded hockey nets.

Powered wheelchairs are much easier to use, and a competent mechanic will be ableto tune the power unit so that speeds in excess of 60 mph are achievable. A small streamlined sidecar can also be fitted and you will then be eligible for the Isle of Man TT races.

Using a wheelchair without real need is a criminal offence in some parts of the UK, punishable by a heavy fine or supervision order, while parking a wheelchair without due care and attention is a cautionable offence within London’s congestion charge zone. Fitting a wheelchair with additional cushions, fog lamps or air-horns is also prohibited under the Road Traffic Act (1992 Sec 11 Sub-section (a)ii).

Since the invention of Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, wheelchairs have become mandatory in some Olympic events, including water polo, 3,000 metres steeplechase (Kenyan athletes only) and combined shot putt and small bore shooting.