Manchester

Bolton taxi driver invents hands-free umbrella

A Bolton taxi driver has invented what he hopes will be a saving grace for any woman trying to multi-task in the rain.

Ibrar Ahmed was struck by inspiration after seeing women struggling to hold on to an umbrella at the same time as shopping and pushchairs.

So the 27-year-old has invented a strap that fits on to any handbag to keep the brolly upright - and hands free.

After selling a few hundred prototypes he now hopes to patent the design and branch out nationwide.

"I was driving about in the taxi and seeing women trying to hold an umbrella, trying to push a pram, hold their shopping and finding it difficult," he told the BBC.

"That's when it clicked to me that women had to have something that can make it easy for them.

"How many times have you seen a woman when it's raining, she's got a newspaper on her head, or a bag on top of her head, or something to cover herself up? It looks better than that."

Mr Ahmed, from Great Lever, is in discussions with one company about selling his device, which he markets for £14.99 - including umbrella.

Asked whether the price might put people off, he responded: "You can get one for a tenner at Marks [and Spencer] but it's not hands-free is it? You have to hold it."

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