Cornwall

Newquay woman leaves taxi driver £250,000 in her will

Don Pratt
Image caption Don Pratt has sold his taxi firm

A Cornish taxi driver is £250,000 better off thanks to the will of a grateful customer.

For 20 years Don Pratt and his wife Gill ferried Mary Watson to and from the shops, to the doctors and on other errands around Newquay where she lived.

Ten years ago she moved away and died aged 86 in December 2009, leaving the couple her estate which included a small house and savings worth £250,000.

Mr Pratt, 65, has sold his taxi firm and has retired.

Mrs Watson became a regular customer of Don's Cabs after Mr Pratt offered to help take her shopping into her home.

After that Don's Cabs was the firm Mrs Watson used every day to get around the Cornish seaside resort.

Mr Pratt said: "I always try to help old people because one day you will be needing that help yourself.

"It should be the same for everyone."

Mr Pratt said Mrs Watson was always a good tipper and about 12 years ago she asked him to be best man at her remarriage.

He said: "She told me that if she outlasted her husband, 'I shall make sure I'll look after you.'

"I took it with a pinch of salt at the time."

Mrs Watson moved to Northampton 10 years ago, but Mr and Mrs Pratt kept in touch with her until about two years before she died.

"Her solicitor called to tell us she had remembered us in her will.

"I couldn't believe it when we found out she had left us everything.

"I'm not sure how her family feel about it, but the solicitor was clear that she wanted me to have what she left."

Mr Pratt has fond memories of her, even without the bequest.

"She was a feisty lady, she did not take any nonsense from people.

"I liked her. She was a lovely lady."

Now he has sold his taxi firm to a friend and is looking forward to a relaxing retirement.

"We worked days and nights. Now we can go travelling and all the other things we have not been able to do."

No-one was available for comment at the Argyle House care home in Northampton where Mrs Watson spent the last two years of her life.