October 2016
< Go Back
This tiny marble
could have cost the
Drumslayer, DaC's
Marc Turner,
his life!!!
Call Sign October 2016
Page 2
From Alan Nash (A95)
‘What’s On’ with burst times is proving very popular, so it’s here again listing all events where I’ve found the ‘burst’ times.
There’s only room for some of the ‘finish’ times plus all major ‘O2’ events. At least another 160 events plus those below in
larger print and with the day of the week can be printed off at: www.myfav.co.uk/wooct16.pdf
Call Sign October 2016
Page 3
from the editor’s desk
Living in the real world?
two security guards asking every passing cab how
If you were to read this issue of Call Sign and
they could contact the TfL lost property depart-
knew nothing about the taxi business, you might
ment! As I pulled up, he recognised me and I was
wonder why we are having such a serious bash at
ready for a dressing down. But no; he immediate-
Transport for London. The answer has to be
ly apologised for being so long and when I
because we cannot understand most of their deci-
explained that I had assumed he’d done a bunk,
sions and often wonder if they live in the real
he understood and gushed out thanks through-
world. The one with regard to PEDs being moved
out the rest of the trip to his hotel. I explained
to the back of the cab - albeit moved to 1st
that there had been almost £25 on the meter and
January - with all the safety issues it involves must
he told me not to worry. When we arrived, there
be a total puzzle. But it isn’t just that.
was £9 on the hickory and I asked him for £34
On August 30, a memo was sent out saying
while at the same time trying to explain again why
that the Consultation on the state of London’s
I had driven off. I didn’t need to. He gave me £35
traffic was on the verge of closing. The memo
and as I was about to get his £1 change - relieved
gave a closing date of September 1 although it
that I hadn’t been bilked - he put another £30 into
said they would take into consideration any
it will go ahead based on those figures.
my hand!
replies up to September 16. Call me silly, but
An estimated 9,500 Londoners are killed
So including the passenger who found the bags
that sounded like it closed on the 16th.
each year by long-term exposure to fine par-
and the extra £30, the trip I felt certain was my
Ok, let’s overlook that rather silly point and look
ticulates and nitrogen dioxide, so can we now
first bilk in yonks actually earned me £74 and in
at TfL’s reasoning as to why traffic has deteriorated
expect that to increase and for it to be our
under an hour! I won’t bother looking for sympa-
so badly. They claim: “Following a long period of
fault - after all, most things are...
thy by telling you how awful the rest of the day
relative stability, London’s roads have been get-
was, but the almost-Shakespearean phrase of ‘to
To bilk or not to bilk - that is
ting steadily busier and more congested for at
bilk or not to bilk’ certainly sprang to mind!
least the last two years. Traffic speeds are falling
the question...
and journey times getting longer, bringing an eco-
I’m not sure if I’m just lucky or that you have to
New cab concern?
nomic cost to London and increasing pollution.
be really unlucky to catch a deliberate bilker.
This trade can only survive if drivers buy new
All parts of London’s road network, central,
You read about it happening and for the driver
taxis. Even if every driver bought a new taxi today
inner and outer, are considered to be congested.”
concerned, it can be soul destroying if you’ve
and kept it, then the trade would be dead in 15
Sounds about right, so let’s look at the reasons
had a really tough day and then when you finally
years unless they sold them and bought another.
TfL claim are causing the problems. According to
trap a good job, they run off. In 46 years, I’ve
It needs to be an ongoing process, so the latest
our licensing authority, they come down to more
had a few but too few to even attempt to work
figures do concern me.
vehicles using London’s roads without a corre-
out a percentage of them - and that includes a
My view on the Vito is well known. I think it is
sponding increase in road space! So did they pay
trip to Manchester many years ago; but that’s
a lovely vehicle to drive but it just doesn’t look
a consultancy firm to come up with that ridicu-
for another day.
like a taxi. However, drivers must like it because
lous piece of working out? They continue by
Like we all probably have, I’ve voluntarily
there are a large number of them out there and
adding that that some road space has been closed
decreased a fare because of circumstance. In
regular users now know they are there and hail
to motor vehicles to make space - either tem-
the old days very few drivers took money
them - which is why the 2016 figures disturb me.
porarily for roadworks or permanently for
from nurses, soldiers or Chelsea Pensioners.
From January up until July of this year, a total
upgrades such as widened pedestrian areas or the
Nowadays it’s probably just the latter group
of 456 new cabs were sold. Of those, the total
Cycle Superhighways.
in their distinctive red tunics who still get that
number of Vitos came to zero, with all 456 cabs
Well swipe me down with a rolled up copy
benefit. The other two earn more than we do!
being London Taxi Company TX4s.
of the Radio Times! The Cycle Superhighways
But last week I picked up someone at South
I love my TX4, but I still hope the Vito figures
Kensington who asked for an hotel in
pick up because I want this trade to continue long
TWO YEARS AGO! What a coincidence!
Bayswater. A few minutes after getting in, he
after I hang up my Badge and take it easy...
The London Assembly will be investigating
asked if we could stop at the large Sainsbury’s in
the situation and ask the Mayor and TfL what they
Cromwell Road and that he would definitely be
All-out war!
can do to reduce the level of traffic congestion in
no longer than 5 minutes. As I said earlier, I
The purchase of Brunel by French company
London? A five word answer: Get rid of bike
haven’t had a bilk for so long that I can’t actually
Europcar on September 7 does worry me - yes, I
lanes! To assist the LA committee that many of us
remember that last occasion, so with just £7 on
worry about everything nowadays! Addison Lee
feel is the only chance this trade has, take a trip to
the meter I took a chance and didn’t ask him to
already buys up anything on four wheels that has
Lower Thames Street outside of peak hour trav-
leave something as a sign of good faith (we all
a reasonable name as a private hire company,
el and look at bike lanes in action and the traffic
know what that means in taxi lingo).
while MyTaxi, who recently swallowed up Hailo,
they cause.
After 10 minutes, I got out and had a look
are on the prowl for taxi firms and drivers pre-
around the large store but couldn’t see him and
pared to work cheaply. Taxi.eu hasn’t touched
And the result is?
it was only then that I noticed the side door. I
the UK yet but has a presence in 13 countries and
Having correctly stated that the reason for con-
think I was more upset that it had happened
is obviously looking this way. They are all chasing
gestion is due to road space being closed thanks
rather than the loss of money, because it broke
the Uber effect.
to roadworks and Cycle Superhighways, Call
my duck. I decided to give it another 10 min-
It looks as though most now believe - perhaps
Sign readers won’t be surprised to read that TfL
utes and took out a copy of the Evening
correctly - that the U-men will only be stopped by
are to press ahead with a new cycle route follow-
Standard. When I looked at the time again, a
a company or companies of equal size to Travis
ing yet another consultation. This one is the
further 15 minutes had passed and there was
Kalanick’s ‘out of wedlock’ baby boy.
North-South Cycle Superhighway running
around £24 on the meter! I wiped my mouth
Dial-a-Cab in its current form is on the way out,
from the Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross
and reset the meter, went into Gloucester
but the saddest part is that there is very little in the
and it will cause carnage! According to TfL, the
Road and trapped by the station. He was going
way of prospects for future small licensed taxi cir-
route will provide major benefits for pedestrians
literally down the road to Elm Park Gardens.
cuits because size obviously matters in this sphere.
as well as cyclists. Are those benefits going to be
Suddenly he called out to ask if I knew that
So, what concerns me now is what would hap-
in the form of increased fine particulates
there were two bags from Harrods on the floor!
pen if Addison Lee makes an offer for DaC? Or
(PM2.5) to breathe in? Farringdon Street is
I told him that they must have come from the
much worse; what if Uber came in and offered
already one of the most congested roads in
previous passenger and he brought them round
every DaC driver a fortune to sign up but that
London with appalling air pollution.
to the front of the cab together with his £8 for a
you had to stay for at least three years?
1391 people responded - no doubt many of
£5.60 journey. Could the previous punter have
Demutualisation could be interesting...
them cyclists because no car users would say yes
been genuinely delayed or did he just forget in his
to the suggestion. Out of that number, just over
haste to get out? So I drove back to Sainsbury’s
Alan Fisher
half (53%) agreed fully with the consultation and
and sure enough there was my passenger with
Call Sign October 2016
Page 4
Reflections of the Chairman
more in a short space of time than the
Special General
LCDC ever have. Perhaps that is because
Meeting 18.09.2016
these new orgs are more interested in
gaining results rather than denigrating
and the LCDC
other organisations within the trade.
I am writing this piece just after the above
After all, the reason these new orgs were
meeting, but I must admit that the result
started is because of the inactivity and total lack
caused no surprise to me due to the fact that
of achievement by established organisations.
when we held a survey earlier this year, 99%
of Members said they wished to demutualise!
Now, with the official vote in, it still remains
Credit Card Mandate
very high at 95.9%. Next stop is 9 October...
As you are now all aware, the mandate
This now brings me to the next topic and
regarding Credit Cards has been post-
that is the extremely inaccurate write-up
poned for a while; the acceptance of cards
our proposed demutualisation put out in
has been put back to 31 October and the
And the record level of congestion in
fixing of PEDs into the taxi’s passenger
the September issue of The Badge, pub-
lished by the LCDC.
London - what have they done about that?
compartment to 1 January 2017. That is
Yep, you’ve guessed it - nowt!
perhaps a very small start but certainly
The article is absolute, utter garbage and
obviously totally inaccurate. Sadly, that is what
Last but not least, what has that organi-
still nowhere good enough.
sation done regarding the Credit Card
When will TfL realise this is a driver safety
I have come to expect from the LCDC. If you
wish to back a loser, then follow their advice!
mandate and the threat to driver safety of
issue where drivers could be enticed out of
having the PEDs in the back of the cab?
their taxis on the pretext that the PED is not
I seem to recall them creeping around the
prospective Mayor in 2008, even going so far
Again the answer is absolutely nothing.
working correctly. The driver will then have
Well, not exactly nothing, because they
two choices and they are to either forego the
as having taxi receipts printed urging mem-
bers of the public to vote for Boris Johnson.
did endeavour to divert any blame away
fare altogether, or alight from the cab in an
from themselves by claiming it was LTDA
attempt to resolve the situation; that’s when
Well he certainly didn’t do our trade
any favours, in fact he decimated it and
General Secretary, Steve McNamara’s,
anything could happen.
fault as he was the one that had accepted
I have been lobbying TfL since March of
we have still not - and possibly may never
will - recover from the mauling he gave
it when claiming that it was a ‘done deal’.
this year in an attempt to get them to change
It appears that all the LCDC can do is to
their minds and in recent times, others have
us; so that’s a first own goal for the LCDC.
Secondly, I seem to remember them
criticise any and all organisations in the trade
joined the fight and the more of us that ques-
in an attempt to hide their own shortcoming
tion the judgement of TfL, then the more
extolling the virtues of Hailo, the App that
was recently taken over by MyTaxi, or at least
and failings. I was beginning to believe that
chance we have of them altering their deci-
Grant Davis was growing into his role, but it
several hundred £million was invested into
Hailo by that European app. Well, Hailo were
must really be so difficult being surrounded
Our PED’s have been working perfectly
by people that give him such terrible advice.
well in the front of our Fleet since March
certainly the flavour of the month for LCDC
with their ‘Back in Black’ while extolling the
Unfortunately, it really appears that he just
2011, which is when I sought and
accepts that advice, but perhaps he should
obtained written permission from TfL to
virtues of only using licensed taxis. Then sud-
denly Hailo started using cars; to say that it
think about issues a little more before he
site them there. It’s a pity the LCDC never
allows his advisers to air their vitriol and lies
had our foresight instead of just taking
left ‘egg on the face’ of the LCDC would be
rather an understatement.
in the LCDC’s monthly publication.
the easy route and going with the flow...
No wonder new organisations are being
Next to come with the total support of
set up and seem infinitely more adept at
Brian Rice
the LCDC was CabApp. They were going
getting results than the LCDC, these new
to alter the whole trade for the better-
organisations seem to have achieved
ment of everyone. Well, we’re all “every-
one” but sadly we’re also all still waiting
for that to happen!
The next prodigy to receive the backing of
the LCDC was MaaxiTaxi, the cab-sharing
scheme that never even got off the ground! So
I’m sure that you can see their track record for
‘winners’ is nothing short of
Unit 10, Ford View Industrial Estate, 83 New Rd Rainham, RM13 8ET
Anyway, getting back to the pack of lies
that appeared in the Badge; what they
obviously do not understand is that both
Tel: 01708 553037
myself and the DaC Board are supporting
the prospect of the Society demutualising
because we have been instructed to do so
TX1 servicing from £48
TX1s, TX2s, TX4s and Vitos
by the Membership of Dial-a-Cab, a demo-
TX2 servicing from £70
Rentals from £165 per week
cratic decision.
TX4 servicing from £90
So we have to ask ourselves just what the
LCDC have actually done for our trade? The
All Work Undertaken
answer is nothing! There are 110,000 mini-
Servicing - Running Repairs - Overhauls - Small Fleets Welcome - Discounts Available
cab licences out there and the LCDC have
All TX1, TX2, TX4
done nothing to halt the spread.
Starters - Batteries - Alternators - All with 2 year Warranty
Half of our road space has been taken up
with Cycle Super Highways and what have
the LCDC done about that? Yes, you’re ahead
Fax: 01708 551443
Web: www.PaulsTaxiSpecialists.co.uk
of me now - nothing!
Call Sign October 2016
Page 5
The first DaC
demutualisation meeting
In May, Dial-a-Cab Members voted
overwhelmingly that they wanted to
demutualise this Society, realise the
value in its assets and distribute that
value to Members. On Sunday 18
September, Members gathered at the
HAC Barracks in City Road to vote.
For the first time, proxy voting was includ-
ed as postal balloting is not allowed for a
demutualisation vote. In order to demutu-
alise, there has to be two meetings. This first
one needed more than 75% of those voting
to be in favour with at least 50% voting. That
was achieved at this meeting.
The hall was full with standing room only
With Mike Tovey of Accountants Moore
Stephens and David Wilkinson from the
needing to have voted and the only
Society’s legal team at Field, Fisher,
acceptable way of voting being in person
or via a Proxy.
Waterhouse present, drivers could ask any
questions of them or Brian Rice that they
If voting is in favour and with the necessary
needed help with to understand what is a
number of votes needed, this will convert the
Society into a Company incorporated under
complicated procedure.
It now goes to a second meeting on 9
the Companies Act 2006.
October where over 50% of those that
The meeting also carried out the
vote need to be in favour of the demutu-
Member’s May decision to cut the Board
alisation, with at least 20% of Members
from 5 plus the Chairman down to 3 plus
Those that hadn’t
voted by post voted
Brian Rice and David Wilkinson
in the hall. If the
answered drivers questions
second vote is car-
ried, those previ-
Board of Management elections:
London Power Networks
ously known as
Board Members will
Allan Evans
856 Elected
fined £24,000 for
become Directors.
Keith Cain
611 Elected
Joe Brazil
588 Elected
Mike Son
431 Not elected
streetworks offence!
Garry White
391 Not elected
September 18 first
ransport for London has successfully prosecuted energy
Mike and Garry will continue as Board
company London Power Networks, a subsidiary of UK
Members until the second vote on 9 October
Power Networks, as part of its commitment to ensure
In favour 95.9 per-
but will stand down at that time regardless of
roadworks cause the minimum disruption as possible to
cent (needing at
the result as the Board / Directors will still be
road users.
least 75% + 1)
reduced from its current five down to three…
London Power Networks’ offences, including two counts of carrying out
work without a permit and a further two counts of failing to serve the
required statutory streetworks notices before beginning work, follow
schemes undertaken in Bressenden Place and Lower Grosvenor Place
on 9 February.
Appearing before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 7 September,
aint-Quentin en Yvelines is the Paris equivalent to London’s
London Power Networks pleaded guilty to the offences and the company
Docklands - one of four similar “villages.” It is also the head-
was fined £10,000 for each offence of working without a permit, the high-
quarters of the Europcar Group - a major player in car mobili-
est level ever imposed in London to date for a single streetworks offence.
ty and rental markets. They have now announced the acquisi-
For failing to serve statutory streetworks notices, the company was fined a
tion of London PH company, Brunel.
total of £4,000, which resulted in an overall fine of £24,000. They were
Via Nathalie Poujol at Europcar’s press office, they say that the acqui-
also ordered to pay £3,722 in prosecution costs.
In passing sentence, the Judge said: “I have seen a number of these
sition marks another step in their strategy to build a broad-ranging mobil-
cases and I remain unclear why large organisations such as London
ity offering to its customers, providing a choice of travel solutions to meet
Power Networks continue to undermine regulations put in place to
the time and convenience requirements of each journey. They add that it
reduce inconvenience to road users when conducting streetworks.
enables them to meet corporate customers’ highest expectations thanks
There is no acceptable excuse in my view and I hope the sentence
to a dedicated tailor made service. They give an example of Brunel offer-
passed today reflects that.”
ing specific added value services for roadshows and event management
Garrett Emmerson, TfL COO for Surface Transport, said: “Not provid-
while also adding that the services are available worldwide through a
ing these notices impacts on our ability to successfully coordinate
global network of partners in 75 countries and covering 480 cities.
streetworks and we will continue to push for the toughest penal-
Anthony Edwards, Chief Executive of Brunel said: “Over the last
ties possible for utility companies caught acting unlawfully. We are
30 years, Brunel has built a strong reputation based on our high qual-
committed to keeping London’s roads as clear as possible prevent-
ity of service but also on our ability to capitalise on new technology
ing unnecessary traffic build up, which disrupts people’s daily com-
to innovate for customers. We are very excited about the opportuni-
mute and worsens air quality.”
ties being part of the Europcar Group can provide us in order to
TfL has prosecuted London Power Networks for five previous offences
accelerate our development.”
since 2014 and issued over 1,650 Fixed Penalty Notices, 167 of which
The acquisition comes hot on the heels of MyTaxi swallowing Hailo
were within the last year. Including this latest offence, the company has
and Gett taking over RTG.
been ordered to pay a total of £37,000 in fines for mismanaging street-
See Editor’s comments on page 3...
works since 2014.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 6
“Thanks Camden, looks like we’re going to lose a major thoroughfare but gain a football pitch! Ah well, better hurry back to
Gower Street cos I think it’s due to inch forward again any minute!”
North-South Cycle Superhighway goes ahead
he Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London have
confirmed their intent to proceed with the North-South Cycle
Superhighway to King’s Cross as TfL published its response to the
recent consultation. The plans, which will also benefit pedestrians with
wider pavements and more crossing points, were supported by 70 per cent of the
public when consulted on earlier this year.
Once complete the full North-South route, also known as Cycle Superhighway
6 (CS6), will provide a safe and direct route for cyclists across central London
between Elephant and Castle and King’s Cross. 5km in total, the route will be
either fully separated from traffic, or on quiet back streets. At its northern end,
the route will connect both with the planned Quietway 2 and Central London
Grid routes, allowing cyclists to travel safely to Hackney, Walthamstow,
Camden and Swiss Cottage and opening up the city to cycling.
TfL has closely considered all of the responses received in the consulta-
tion for this scheme and incorporated several changes to the original plan
to address the concerns of local residents and stakeholders. A detailed
design will now be developed and, subject to approval from Camden
Council and Islington Council, construction will begin in spring 2017.
Mayor Khan said: “We must make it safer and easier for all Londoners to
cycle. It can have major benefits for our health and making cycling part of peo-
ple’s everyday lives will also help clean up London’s toxic air.”
TfL say they will ensure that plans for construction take on board lessons learned from the previous routes. This includes a construction
timetable that is fully coordinated with other roadworks and the potential for more night time working to complete the work faster.
The consultation received 1,391 responses, with 53 per cent fully supporting the proposals, rising to 70 per cent including those
who partially supported the proposals.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 7
strength to strength
with support of the
Livery Companies
and the corporate
sector. Some of the
taxi drivers have actu-
ally taken part in
every single trip since
the first one in 1994,
an amazing commit-
The ferry trips,
donated by P&O,
look an amazing
sight with the car
deck full of London
Taxis as was the
made its way down to Dover in heavy rain
Disneyland hotel car park when the cabs
which slightly improved as the day went on
and with an escort of police from both sides of
At the resort, the children enjoyed a day in
t was early morning on 16th September
the Channel. On board the donated P&O ferry
the theme park, followed by a Gala Dinner at
2016 when once again The Worshipful
service to Calais, the convoy of taxis, with their
the New York hotel, which was also attended
Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers
VIP children and their carers’, supported by
by the Disney characters who signed auto-
hosted the 2016 Children's Magical Taxi
medics, the London Ambulance Service, the
graphs and posed for photos with the children
AA and breakdown services (just in case), the
- truly magical.
Starting with The Big Breakfast send off from
children’s excitement continued to grow.
Fund raising is a challenge and without
Canary Wharf, the trip to the Magic Kingdom of
Arriving in Calais, there was a regrouping
the continuing support of the drivers, City
the Disneyland Paris resort was beginning.
on the harbour side before the convoy set off
Liveries and the Magical Taxi Tour spon-
Around 400 children, carers and drivers set
to the Disneyland Paris resort.
sors, this event could not carry on. But the
off on the trip, taking children with life limiting
As usual, there were many generous sponsors
Disney Organising Committee is confident
illnesses on this magical journey. Leaving the
to help fund the trip and the drivers themselves
it will carry on bringing smiles to the faces
City of London with great excitement as many
give their time freely. This was the 24th time the
of these children and the supporting team
onlookers waved them off, the convoy of taxis
trip has taken place and it continues to go from
who travel.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 8
ike Donoghue (K12) looked
pensive as he began his tale to
Call Sign. As a driver of over
40 years driving a taxi in
London, he has probably learned much
about life and just as importantly, how to
stay safe and legal on the road.
Never Get Out!
“I recall an incident a while ago in
cyclist was claiming I had included his face in
Chicheley Street SE1,” he began, “when a fel-
my images and had even said ‘smile, you’re on
low cab driver was obviously having a ‘discus-
candid camera’ when in fact I had not opened
sion’ with a pedal cyclist who was right up
my mouth! It was easily sorted because I just
alongside the cab door and clearly agitated by
showed the police my camera images, which
something that I assumed may have occurred
proved I hadn’t taken his mug-shot. But they
between them. Anyway, the cab driver was
were still taken away as evidence, together with
motioning to me that he couldn’t get out of his
my torn clothing. The cyclist was duly arrested.
cab to inspect the bodywork as the cyclist was
“Surprisingly and worth remembering,
directing his cycle wheels to just inches away
the policeman actually advised me that
from the cab door.
had I got off the cab for any reason, he
“I moved my own cab towards them and
would have had to arrest me as well! So it
that’s when I heard the other driver ask me if
was lucky that I stayed firmly in my seat,
there was any damage to his taxi as the cyclist
doing everything by the book,” Mike told
was accusing him of cutting him up on York
us, his smile returning.
Road. From my driving seat, I looked at the
“When we got to court, I discovered that
cab doors but couldn’t see any apparent
three other people who were walking-by had
damage. Just to be on the safe side and to
witnessed the incident and gave evidence
prove the point, I decided to reach for my
against the cyclist, confirming my story and
camera, lifted it to my open window, pointed
Mike Donoghue got some useful advice
that of the other cab driver that the cyclist
it at the other cabs’ door panels and the prox-
from the police
had tried to make a false claim against the
imity of the cycle wheels and took quick shots
shoulder! By now, the other cab driver was on
other cab, despite the efforts of the cyclists’
of the pristine bodywork - being careful not
his mobile phone calling the police and within
barrister to discredit our version of events.
to include the irate cyclists’ face!
seconds, having heard the commotion, a num-
The cyclist was convicted of assault and heav-
By now Mike’s pensiveness had van-
ber of police officers miraculously appeared
ily fined. I was awarded compensation for my
ished to be replaced by the speed of a 100
on the scene, for which I was very grateful!
torn clothing and travelling expenses.
metre runner as the events of the day
“Those guys were so quick on the scene, I
“But the bottom line is borne of the com-
came back to him.
wondered if there was a police station in the
ment made to me by that police officer -
“As I took the photos, the crazed cyclist
immediate vicinity, because they were like cav-
never get out of the cab...”
launched himself at me, thrusting his hands
alry coming to the rescue,” Mike continued at
through my still open window and as I slid
a rate of knots as the day’s excitement
sideways away from him, he managed to grab
Alan Green
my shirt and jacket, ripping them from my
“The police stunned me when they said the
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Call Sign October 2016
Page 9
Call Sign’s Marc Turner is known as Drumslayer and is usually in the front line banging his
drum when it comes to demonstrating against any illegalities carried out by private hire. But
this time it was different...
ast month I wrote of ending
Marc with the marble
up in A&E due to seriously
that could have cost
gashing my leg whilst alight-
him his life!
ing the cab. I had assumed
After he left the cab, I
that bit of excitement would do for a
went to the police,
while. Little did I know what fate had
reported the shooting
next in store for me...
and then drove home
We'll begin in the twilight hours of
thinking that my indebt-
Sunday morning, 4th September. I was
ed customer's generosity
hailed on Marylebone Road by an
was due to my valour,
extremely inebriated young man. I wasn't
bravery, calmness, even
even sure whether I should take him, but
coolness under fire. No
two words - East Ham - sealed the deal! Besides, what could go wrong?
such thing! When I
He'd even given me £60 upfront for safe keeping! He soon fell asleep
inspected the taxi the
whist I listened to the radio, thankful that the 'almighty' had dropped
following day, I realised
this going home job into my lap.
he'd soiled his pants and
We were around 5 minutes from setting down when BANG! My
my seat! His generosity
driver’s window shattered and showered me in glass. At this point
may possibly have been
we were in East India Dock Road, close to All Saints Station.
a feeling of guilt!
My first reaction was to keep moving. If someone was shooting, I sure
Then I looked at the lug-
as hell didn't want to be a sitting target. At the same time, I felt my face
gage compartment and on
for any signs of injury. It felt damp and I hoped it was just sweat from
the floor I found a marble.
shock, but as I looked at my hand I could see blood that had come from
Initially, I thought I'd been
my neck and that is where the main arteries to the brain pass through!
victim of a pellet gun. Police believed a sniper in some opposite flats
Thankfully, it wasn't too serious, just a cut. But the commotion had
had taken a pot shot at me with a lethal 'fishing catapult' (apparently
roused Sleeping 'Ugly' who after his doze sounded far less inebriated
used for baiting). The officer said having the window up, may well have
than he had been in NW1. He was concerned and urged that we call the
saved my life. So, as has been evidenced in the last two issues of Call
police. I told him that nothing was going to stop me from fulfilling the
Sign, Drumslayer could be running out of lives!!!!
hiring and getting him home safely - something for which he was most
grateful. At journeys end, he came to my window, saw my neck wound,
Marc Turner (R97)
commiserated with me and then asked how much he had given me.
Drumslayer online
I said he had given me £60 and that the fare was £49. I waited for
him to hold his hand out but he told me to keep it the change.
Taxi! Board Game winners
The three win-
ners of the
New York ver-
sion of Taxi!
Board Game
competition in
the last issue
were Morris
(R85), Barbara
Poluck (Russell
10am - 11.15am & 11.30am - 12.45pm
T55’s wife) and
Curls Villiers,
£7.00 per class
DaC Senior
Minimum age of 16
Night Shift
Suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to
The correct answers were: Which year saw London host the Olympic
accomplished boxers
Games for the second time? That was 1948 and not 2012 as many put.
Which fashion chain was created by New York born Donna Karan in
Female ONLY classes subject to demand
1984? It was DKNY - which almost everyone got!
The new version games, in addition to the already successful
London version, will be released shortly and the three winners will
receive one each. If you were one of the other 171 entrants not
lucky enough to win or you missed the last issue, visit www.taxi-
boardgame.co.uk or contact gordon@taxiboardgame.co.uk.
The London game is currently available from selected London
retailers, Amazon UK, Buuy.co.uk, eBay and Gumtree etc.
All 4 versions, including the 3 new versions of the Taxi! Board Game (New
York, Edinburgh and Glasgow) will be available to buy from the previously
mentioned online stores AND the new Taxi! Game online shop at:
Call Sign October 2016
Page 10
According to Edie.net, London's
taxi drivers are seemingly ready
and willing to help tackle
London's air quality crisis as a
new London Taxi Company sur-
vey reveals that 80% of us are
interested in switching to new
ultra-low emission vehicles for
helping the industry thrive and will be work-
The survey of 1,189 cab drivers reveals a
ing with TfL to ensure we do everything we
huge appetite for greener fleets, with the vast
can to make sure this vital transition as quick
majority of those questioned being either
and easy as possible.”
‘interested’ or
‘very interested’ in buying
With such a high level of interest and clean
a zero-emission-capable taxi when they are
air commitment, LTC is looking forward to
rolled out next year.
cooperating with local government to
With more than 25,000 licenced taxi dri-
improve EV infrastructure across the city by
vers operating in London, an industry shift to
introducing a minimum of 150 rapid charg-
low-carbon vehicles could prove crucial in
ing stations by 2018 - extending that to at
curbing deadly levels of air pollution in the
least 300 by 2020.
capital and bringing the UK back on track
The survey comes months after a mani-
with its low-carbon transport targets.
festo from the taxi trade to the then-unan-
“LTC supports Mayor Sadiq Khan’s
nounced mayor in April, which outlined com-
pledge to make tackling air quality in London
mitments to a greener London by promising
a top priority - and now we can see taxi dri-
to fully integrate zero emission capable vehi-
vers want this too,” said LTC chief executive
cles from January 2018. From that date on, all
Chris Gubbey. “It is down to us to work
taxis presented for licensing will be zero-
together with the relevant authorities to
The LTC electric TX5
emission capable.
ensure the right infrastructure is in place.
100% wheelchair-accessible to ensuring that
The development of the LTC’s zero-emis-
LTC has manufactured the black cab in the
all black cabs are equipped to take card pay-
sion taxi has received support from LTC own-
UK for 69 years and is investing £300m in
ments from October this year. Given the scale
ers, the Chinese automobile company
bringing a UK-built Zero Emissions Capable
of the air quality problem facing London, this
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group,
taxi to UK and international markets by 2018.
ultra-low emissions taxi is the next logical
which donated $400m to help roll out the
We believe we can lead the charge in ensur-
step in our evolution.”
upcoming new generation cabs across the
ing London’s air quality returns to safe and
The Government is also supportive of the
capital. The battery-powered hybrid TX5 is
legal levels and believe that London can lead
survey's findings, pledging to aid the transi-
scheduled for 2017, shortly before new regu-
the world in zero-emissions urban transport.”
tion from combustion cabs to the new wave
lations which require all new taxis and pri-
The willingness of cab drivers to make the
of low emission alternatives. Deputy Mayor
vate hire vehicles in London to have a zero-
green switch is reflected in the attitude of
for Transport Val Shawcross added: “We
emissions capability for at least
30 miles
many large taxi firms across London. LTDA
need to take every step we can to clean up
come into place in
2018. A variety of
General Secretary Steve McNamara
London’s polluted air. It’s great to hear taxi
other electric taxi
solutions, such as
said: “There’s a huge amount of interest in
drivers are ready to play their part and the
the MetroCab and the Nissan e-NV200 have
the new taxi amongst our members - the
use of new zero-emission taxis will make a
been made available to purchase in the capi-
worst place to breathe in London’s polluted
significant difference. We’re committed to
tal over the past few years.
air is behind the wheel, so our drivers know
all too well the impact this is having. Cabbies
would therefore welcome the opportunity to
drive the new zero-emissions-capable taxi
Living in a Camden
tomorrow, given the opportunity to do so
and are committed to doing their bit to help
improve air quality in the capital.
“As a key part of London’s transport infra-
structure for more than 200 years, we have
his is the way
constantly adapted our vehicles and the ser-
vice we provide to meet the changing needs
Camden Council
of Londoners from ensuring that all taxis are
designers see
Tavistock Place
Call Sign
should the alterations
October 2016
become permanent. Of
Editor: Alan Fisher
course, what it doesn’t
Address: 39 - 47 East Rd, London N1 6AH
show are the constant traf-
Tel: 0207 251 0581 Fax: 0207 553 7293
fic hold-ups all around the
Email: callsignmag@aol.com
Website: www.22-callsign.co.uk
area or explain why so
Printers: Premier Print Group
many taxi passengers no longer use our ser-
E6 6 LP
vices thanks to the nightmare of trying to get through Bedford Way or
Design: Aldan Publications
Russell Square just to reach Tavistock Place.
Tel: 07958 300 428
Email: debbiefresco@googlemail.com
If you feel strongly then you can complete their consultation. This is the last
Views and opinion expressed in Call Sign must
opportunity before the scheme becomes permanent. Go to:
not be assumed to represent those of the Editor or
Board.No part of Call Sign may be reproduced
either manually or electronically without the express
permission of the Editor.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 11
Call Sign has
been online
since the late
1990s and amaz-
ingly, its website
has continued
year after year
with very little
However, it has finally been brought back to earth by no less
than Microsoft, who told us that our website was so old that
within five weeks it would no longer work after being put
temporarily onto their last Windows Server 2008.
In that time we needed to either redesign Call Sign or lose the ‘search’ capability.
So thanks to our website master and maintenance guru, Vince Chin, Call Sign now
has that new website.
The addresses are the same (www.dac-callsign.co.uk or .com) but everything
else has been brought up-to-date. After logging on, the choice is simple with the
menu easily seen at the top. It will open on the ‘Home’ screen where you can read
very year at the Dial-a-Cab AGM,
the latest issue by hovering over it and clicking the PDF sign.
Call Sign meets up with many dri-
You can also click on the ‘Archive’ screen; there you will see a copy of Call Sign
vers that we only see once a year and
from every year. Hovering over the icon you will see the year and a message on each
have something of a “catch-up” with. More
one to click on here to view the monthly magazines. Click on whichever year you
often than not, it’s stuff that isn’t for publica-
want and then hover over each copy to find the month you want. Hover over the
tion but occasionally something comes to
message to ‘click here to see full magazine’ to see the issue but in a smaller ver-
light that is worth mentioning.
sion for those with X-ray vision! Click the PDF sign to see the complete issue, but in
Gordon Bennett (Y91) is one such case.
a large easy-to-read format.
He has been on this circuit for 22 years and
You can also just go to the ‘Call Sign’ screen if you want to go straight to the year
we have probably met him 22 times! This
you want and finally to the ‘Search Call Sign’ button if looking for something spe-
year was slightly different though because it
cific by just putting a relevant word into the search box.
wasn’t an AGM, but the first of two meetings
There are also issues from the 1960s/1970s and 1980s in addition to every
to decide whether DaC becomes a Company
issue since January 1998. I hope you like the new look...
via a vote on demutualisation.
As you can read on page 5, this first one
was carried and now October 9 will see the
result. But Gordon gave us an update of a
“problem” that he and his wife had suffered
at their home. It’s one that many have had
over recent years. Gordon told Call Sign:
“My wife recently had a phone call where
376 Strand, WC2
the caller told her that he was from BT and
that our computer had shown signs of being
We Invite Dial-a-Cab drivers and their guests to our
hacked. But BT had been watching and that
restaurant where you can partake of the finest food and wine
he could check it out with my wife’s assis-
tance. I was at home and took over the call
And as a thank-you for helping our clients come
and he repeated what he had told my wife
and go over the years, we are happy to be able to
that he could stop it. All I had to do was to
log in and follow his instructions.
offer you a genuine 25% discount on your bill
He really sounded extremely plausible and
although dubious, I was unsure and decided
We are certain that you will be delighted
to ask him some probing questions - at which
point he hung up!
I really didn’t expect to find out who
the caller was, but dialled 1471 just in
case and surprisingly he had forgotten to
keep his number off that service - obvi-
ously not as good at IT as he thought! So
I hope that this number will be of use to
Call Sign readers as they can put it in
Please bring along your badge or Bill as ID
their phone and then block it! It is 005
432 117624 and readers should be aware
Salieri Restaurant
of it.
376 Strand, WC2
Michael Toomey
Reservations: 020 7836 1318
Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 12
hen Call Sign turned up at City
Call Sign goes to City Hall hoping for good news on driver safety
Hall on 14 September, there
to show they care...
were just two things on our mind
- firstly the safety of taxi drivers
being forced to place credit card readers in the
passenger compartment with all the problems
that could lead to and secondly, with the out-
side temperature at a stifling 31degrees, was
assume because charging
the air con working! Well we got one out of
points are more important
two, the temperature was perfect!
even though there is not
Sadly, we must assume that the Mayor
one taxi out there yet that
and his London Assembly are more con-
yet needs them.
cerned with their own comfort than
There are many of us that
whether the occasional taxi driver is going
need some protection from
to get suckered when entering the rear
the sheer stupidity of a ruling
that puts us in danger when
In all honesty, the headline doesn’t tell the
there is an obvious alterna-
whole truth. The Mayor went over his plan for
tive - leave things as they are
taxis and private hire that had been leaked the
and put an official notice on
previous day. There will be more taxi ranks,
the partition: This taxi
although he didn’t specify where so it could be
accepts credit cards. We
that these are something of a sop to replace
PED isn’t working. There is also the danger of
should add that Caroline Pidgeon has often
the work that the 24 hour weekend tube will
women drivers being asked to go into the rear
spoken up for this trade but we needed her at
take from the trade and will be placed at out-
of the cab and being physically attacked or
that moment to mention safety and she said
lying train stations rather than in town.
male drivers being accused by a possibly ine-
There was the now-old news of an extra 250
briated female passenger of assaulting her.
Assembly Member Caroline Russell asked
Compliance Officers around to stop any unto-
Either way, the place where Dial-a-Cab
why there weren’t more Cycle Super
ward behaviour, some money towards helping
currently have their PEDs that have been
Highways in the outer boroughs such as
drivers with old cabs buy new ones and 20
working so well for five years, after origi-
Barnet and Hounslow. That gave Sadiq Khan
more bus lanes will be available for taxis to
nally being passed by the same people that
the opportunity to talk about the extension to
use. But one thing was missing.
now want to move them, seems to be the
north-south Super Highway that goes through
Call Sign had written to the Mayor and
logical answer as to where PEDs should be
Farringdon Road up to Kings Cross and how
Caroline Pidgeon, who were both there, in
placed. If it ain’t broke etc...
it is helping to clean London’s toxic air. He
addition to a number of others involved in
Caroline Pidgeon did speak. She asked the
obviously forgot to mention how the constant
our trade including the Mayor’s Deputy for
Mayor how many charging points there would
traffic hold-ups caused by the lanes have made
Transport, Val Shawcross, Minister for
be specifically for taxi drivers. Mayor Khan
Farringdon Road the most toxic part of
Transport Chris Grayling, London’s trans-
replied with 150 by 2018 rising to 300 by
London! The Mayor added that he was going
port Commissioner Mike Brown, MP for
2020. Ms Pidgeon also asked if the Mayor
to allocate even more money to cyclists.
Kensington and Chelsea Lady Victoria
would help those who have their cabs convert-
However, not everyone was disappointed as
Borwick, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting,
ed to LPG and Sadiq mentioned the current
a substantial amount of time was given over to
TfL General Manager Helen Chapman as
testing going on in Birmingham. He couldn’t
discussing the Assembly Member’s pensions -
well as TfL’s Leon Daniels, Garrett
confirm or deny the question of assistance re
although in all fairness, the Mayor didn’t
Emerson and Peter Blake. Of those, only
LPG until such time as Birmingham had com-
sound too keen on the subject. And no one
Lady Victoria Borwick and a spokesperson
pleted their test period.
can deny that he is pro-London taxi. But as for
for the Mayor responded (see page 13).
The Mayor did add that London taxis
taxi driver’s safety... absolutely nothing!
We have long been concerned about the
were part of the transport network and
possible danger to drivers of having to enter
that they needed to help us. Sadly, Ms
Alan Fisher
the rear compartment if a passenger says the
Pidgeon didn’t mention our safety - we
Call Sign Online
Nope, we don’t print more copies than all the other papers, but what we do have is...
Many Dial-a-Cab readers seem to like leaving their copy of Call Sign in the cab to read at quiet times,
while glancing at the online version when in front of their PC at home. But it also seems that many
non-DaC drivers enjoy reading the mag and taking a look through DaC history in the magazine’s
online library as well. That facility contains back issues going back to 1967 when the mag was
known as ODRTS Monthly and edited by Joe Toff.
The latest stats have now shown that record numbers are reading Call Sign Online.
Mind you, we were the first taxi magazine by many years to go online when our
Internet guru, Vince Chin, first put it into cyberspace in February 1998, so we had a good
head start when Vince assured us that the World Wide Web was going to be the next big
thing! He was right and we are now the biggest!
We often get letters from outside of the UK, although these usually only get printed when there is
ample space. However, we never realised quite how popular it was until we recently glanced at our online
statistics and which countries the readers are based in.
Call Sign online has dragged the rest of the trade press online, although none have bothered with a library such as we have and where you
can take a look at much older issues. The oldest (1967) came out when internet referred more to a way of catching fish!
These are some of the countries that now read Call Sign. Obviously a majority are from the UK (71% but not including DaC drivers who get the mag
posted). Next highest is the USA with 17% followed by France, Ireland, Australia and Spain. Down the bottom of the list are Ecuador, Chile and Belarus!
And no, we don’t know why anyone in Belarus would want to read the mag. But hey, so long as they do!
And while we’re here, can we thank all those Call Sign readers that take the time to write to us. We can’t print them all, but we appreciate hearing
from you...
Baghwat Singh, Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 13
But who on earth comes up with their ridiculous replies???
The September issue of Call Sign published an email that it sent
should be taken and an alternative means of payment agreed
to several important people we assume take an interest in the
upon. If a passenger refuses to pay and an amicable agreement
London taxi trade, from the Mayor to MPs to members of TfL.
cannot be found, this should be treated like any other instance
Unsurprisingly, none of those at TfL that we sent it to had the decency
whereby a passenger refuses to pay a fare.”
to even confirm receiving it. One MP did and expressed concern. Now
Chelsee Mckinlay
the Mayor’s office has responded. Again, unsurprisingly, we had a
TfL Correspondence and Investigations Officer
response from someone at Sadiq Khan’s Correspondence and
Investigations department, rather than the Mayor himself.
That response isn’t a cop-out; it is the reply from someone that doesn’t
Our email expressed deep concern at having to remove the PEDs we
have a clue what they are talking about. Does the Mayor’s office still
have successfully had in the front of the cab for the past 5 years and put
believe we work from 9 to 5???
them into the passenger compartment. We consider it to be inviting a
danger that is not there with the PED’s current positioning.
Call Sign’s editor replied to Chelsee McKinlay, although he has not
While we weren’t sure what the Mayor’s answer would be, we were
received any reply...
at the very least expecting some semblance of common sense because
“Dear Ms McKinlay
Sadiq Khan does seem to express far more of that ability than either
Thank you for your response.
of his two predecessors. But the reply was as ridiculous as it’s possible
Perhaps someone could tell me (and the thousands of other taxi
to get.
drivers who are affected) how you can contact the supplier at 2
At the recent Mayor’s Question Time, Sadiq confirmed again that
in the morning and what if the passenger claimed the card was
London’s licensed taxis were a part of London’s transport system and
stuck. Should we tell them that we'll post it back to them? They
deserved to be looked after. He obviously knows because of the new
would expect us to get out and sort out the problem.
station taxi ranks at suburban stations to help the weekend 24 hour
So why cannot the PEDs just be left where they are and a
tube service, that we work 24 hours. So onto the reply that was forward-
notice placed on the partition saying: This taxi accepts credit
ed to a member of staff to reply “on Mr Khan's behalf.” She wrote:
cards. The current PEDs in the front of the cab are on cables and
“Dear Mr Fisher
easily passed through the gap in the partition. Moving them into
Under no circumstances would we expect a driver to leave their
a problematic place makes absolutely no sense at all.”
cab should a problem with the payment machine arise. First of
Alan Fisher, Call Sign
all, the driver should ask the passenger to try again. If the fault
persists, they should contact the payment device supplier for sup-
Sadly, this magazine has to come to the conclusion that there is no one
port and see whether they can fix the fault or take an over-the-
at Transport for London that particularly cares about our safety and we
phone transaction. Once a fault has been acknowledged, the
will have to take the matter beyond TfL.
vehicle should be taken out of service until it's fixed.
Alan Fisher
If the card is declined or faulty then a common sense approach
Call Sign Online
PEDs: Another reason not
to put them in the back
You don’t have to look far in recent issues of Call Sign to understand why we are
so dead set against having our credit cards readers - PEDs - taken from the safety
of the front cradle where they sit currently to the rear of the taxi where
Transport for London want us to place them. The obvious fear is that any pas-
senger claiming they have a problem with the card could insist the driver has to
get out, enter the rear compartment with the obvious associated danger that pre-
sents and sort out the problem.
Dave Cohen (E94) has been on Dial-a-Cab since 1972 in addition to his
time assisting Alan Fleming over many years of the LCDC, so he knows a
problem when he sees one - and he certainly saw one recently when his
fears of having PEDs fitted in the rear of London taxis were brought to
the fore following a disturbing find in his cab. He told Call Sign...
“On the early morning of Tuesday September 6, I discovered a 4 inch Sabatier
paring knife in the rear of my cab. It is possible that it was a genuine item of lost
property; however, if it did fall into the wrong hands it could have been used to
inflict injury in certain circumstances, ie if I had been enticed into the rear of my
cab because my rear-placed PED had “developed a fault.”
Dave Cohen and the
He has handed it in to Lost Property, but the question is whether you’d be
knife he found in the
happy to take the chance...?
Jamie Corum
Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 14
• Book Review
• Book Review
• Book Review
• Book Review •
here are two things worth pointing
out here. Firstly, the ‘Ben’ in the title
Buttoned Down: My life
is Ben Sherman, surely the most
famous name in shirts going back to
1960s when everyone in and around the pop
with Ben and beyond
world wore them - especially if you were a
mod. And secondly, Ben’s wife Daphne is my
Daphne with Ben Sherman
sister-in-law and will that make me prejudiced
in reviewing her book: Buttoned Down - My
what a controlling and
Life with Ben and Beyond.
manipulative person he was.
Written with Terry Rawlings, Daphne
There was Ben’s infidelity,
Sherman takes us back to the sixties and sev-
his violence against Daphne
enties to tell her side of the story of a life with
and her son Marcus and
the creator of a button down collared
how he took everything and
shirt that went beyond a piece of cloth-
left Daphne with nothing.
ing to many young people, almost to
Against that was an incredi-
become a way of life. That way of life
ble life of sheer unadulterat-
gave Ben and Daphne amazing riches
ed luxury as they travelled
together with a lifestyle that seriously
the world, living in a luxury
challenged that of any clothing design-
It’s a very pacey book and an
apartment next to the Sydney Opera House,
er. But the lifestyle couldn’t last and the
undoubted page turner because for
with holidays in St Tropez and many places
book details the gradual break-up of
a true story (and it is) parts are
where the rich and famous parade.
their marriage, whilst along the way
almost unbelievable and you just
Truly an astonishing read; one that could
they hook up in various degrees with
have a need to know what happens
even make you feel queasy at ever buying a Ben
everyone from the most famous pop
Sherman button down shirt. Perhaps even
stars to Ben even being rumoured to putting
The book’s structure adds to the reading
more amazing is the way Daphne showed such
out a contract on his wife’s head!
pleasure because the story of Daphne and Ben
tremendous resilience in overcoming the odds
There is no doubt that Ben was a creative
runs alongside the news stories, politics and
that Ben continually stacked against her, which
genius and the blurb puts it so well when writ-
music of the time and genuinely takes you back
lead her to a highly successful career of her
ing of his inevitable rise to fame; his equally
to the period. However, the book doesn’t cast
own. A recommended read...
dramatic fall from grace and descent into mad-
Ben in a very good light while painting Daphne
ness and one woman's determination to escape
Buttoned Down - My Life with Ben and
as suffering terribly to the point of being bul-
his clutches.
lied; it shows very early on in their relationship Beyond (Substitute Publishing £12.99)
To the Other Side of the World
“I was returning into town along Primrose Hill Road when a hand
shot out from the kerbside,” Stuart Cameron (R31) recalled to Call
Sign. “So naturally I stopped, as you do, for a mature couple who
asked for the Grosvenor Hotel in Victoria.
“As the gentleman had a pronounced antipodean accent, I confirmed that they were not confusing it
with the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane and off we went. The couple were quite chatty and
were admiring the condition of my taxi, which although elderly was in pristine condition for its age. I do
take a pride in my cabs and afford them a fair amount of TLC,” Stuart continued.
“My TX1 was bought as a two-year-old and I owned the cab for thirteen years, realising 550,000
miles in it until its fifteenth birthday. Anyway, towards the end of the journey they asked if I could pick
them up later that evening and could I recommend a nice restaurant in the Victoria area. I tentatively
recommended the restaurant at the Goring Hotel, which had the advantage of being close to their
own hotel and which had been a favourite haunt of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but I
do tend to hesitate when suggesting eateries because such venues are always subjective to personal
taste. They agreed to try it and when I met up with them later that evening, they agreed it was a
pleasant place to eat and would be staying at the Goring on future visits to London. So I breathed a
sigh of relief!” Stuart smiled at the memory.
“It turned out that they were from New Zealand, returning to the UK on a regular basis and the
gent had a passion for collecting classic vehicles. I told them about the 15-year rule for retiring taxis
and that mine would indeed be coming off the road in a few months and then thought no more
about it. Then sometime later, I unexpectedly received an email from NZ. The man wrote to me saying
he wanted to buy my cab and so I wrote back asking if he was serious! It turned out he was serious,
so the sale went ahead and I found myself driving to Tilbury Docks with a heavy heart at saying goodbye to
my faithful workhorse, while it was comprehensively photographed from every angle before being packed safely away in a container to be
shipped to the other side of the world…”
Stuart later received an email after the cab - his cab - had been on the high seas for seven weeks saying that his ‘baby had been deliv-
ered safely!
“I was naturally relieved but it was tinged with sadness as we had been together all those years; but I know ‘my’ bus went to a good home and is
still enjoying retirement from the hustle of life on the streets of London.
“To this day, each Christmas, I get a wall calendar from down under with an invitation to visit New Zealand from the lovely couple I met by chance
on Primrose Hill,” Stuart said with a wide grin...
Michael Toomey
Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 15
Brazil Calling
y the time this article is published, Dial-a-Cab may or may
London into accepting lower
not have changed its entire ethos of existence. Hopefully I
standards by using high court
will still be part of the decision making process but just in
tactics to attack legislation,
case that does not become reality, I’d like to thank each and
must mean that regulators
every one of you for your consideration and hope in some way that I
ensure they have not bowed
have created enough talking points and raised expectation for all of
to external pressure; they
must be seen to be beyond
Moving our business forward will mean that hard choices must be made;
reproach and beyond illicit
to assume that leaving our business model unchanged will suddenly reap
rewards is folly, inevitably it will lead to a downturn in our fortunes. But with
London Mayor, Sadiq
focus and a desire to enhance the livelihoods of ourselves and the licensed
Khan, as many of you
taxi industry in general, we may yet prove that we have the right stuff to
realise, was a human rights lawyer and he chaired Liberty. He must
achieve success.
now ready his troops for battle - but he won’t expect it to be an easy
Once again, thank you for your consideration. I wish Dial-a-Cab and each
ride, US events show that. Let’s take employment law:
of you a bright and profitable future. And so on to business...
In the United States and the driver classification lawsuit O’Connor v.
Uber, not only did Uber lose its appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Edward
Chen recently rejected the validity of Uber’s arbitration clause, it was
TfL language test for PHV drivers...
argued for employment rights for their drivers. Uber settled.
Now, whilst with the language test, no-one ever expected it to involve Joyce,
Enough to give you hope? Well maybe not when you look at what hap-
Tolstoy or even Roald Dahl; a basic understanding of the language is not
pened after a language test was introduced in the Big Apple. New York
only required, it is also the basic remit for face to face interaction with the
mayor Bill De Blasio’s battle with Uber last year left him politically wound-
public. How many times has a member of the public jumped into your cab
ed after he tried to limit the growth of electronic-hail cars, while the city
and handed you a piece of paper with an address on it, and they, possibly with
would study their impact on congestion in midtown Manhattan. The
no English themselves, point at the paper and rely on you to do the rest, get-
mayor backed down after the company ran a $multi-million television and
ting them inevitably safely to their destination. Conversely, a PHV driver who
social-media ad campaign accusing him of taking jobs from immigrants
cannot even read the trip pick-up details presented to them inevitably cannot
whom the mayor had considered part of his political base.
find the customer, or if given a destination some distance away, ”the partner”
Could it happen here? Time will tell. What I do know is that to inaccu-
could risk falling asleep at the wheel whilst a customer is in the vehicle.
rately quote Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of
The English language requirement not only provides safety in one aspect,
Uber is for good men to do nothing.”
but on many different levels; what do you do if your driver doesn’t under-
I may have changed a word there, Sorry Mr Burke. However, the message
stand a pedestrian zone sign, a diversion sign or adverse camber notifica-
is still the same.
tion, thus endangering life - or my personal favourite; cats eyes removed!
Gird your loins chaps and chapesses, there’s a fight coming your way...
Very sorry to hear it, but again, not understanding that warning rais-
es the possibility of passenger safety being compromised.
Joe Brazil
Uber had initially supported the test, but now argues “...the requirement
DaC Board Member
that drivers provide a certificate showing they have an intermediate level of
reading and writing is unnecessary and costly.” Costly to whom? Because it
doesn’t seem that the passengers’ interests are being served.
Not understanding the language may have other hidden consequences, the
possibility of umbrage being taken whilst not understanding a passenger may
lead to confrontation. The diversity of people within London can at times
lead you to become the Henry Kissinger of international relations to avoid
confrontation - and to steal one of his quotes: “The task of the leader is to get
his people from where they are to where they have not been.” He could have
added “Without an argument!”
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dedicated to DAC members only
Bullying London...
The constant dilution sought by interlopers into the London market leaves
TfL with a task they must raise their game for. To assume you can bully
5% Discount for members
Top Ten London Streets...
Additional discount for existing protected Bonus policies
very DaC driver takes passengers to these 10
Public Liability
streets on a regular basis, so it isn’t surprising
that they should - according to a recent Zoopla
Breakdown Cover
Property Rich List survey - contain the highest
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priced houses in England. These are their average prices...
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5. Ilchester Place W14:
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6. Compton Avenue N6:
7. Frognal Way NW3:
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Tel: 01322 553313
9. Cottesmore Gardens W8:
10. Albemarle Street W1:
Fax: 01322 523315
Call Sign October 2016
Page 16
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, her-
alded a “new era” for the capital’s
Sadiq Khan: New era
taxi and private hire markets as he
set out an unprecedented pro-
gramme of “far-reaching improve-
for London’s taxis
ments that will drive up standards,
boost the quality of service for
£3,000 will be provided towards the first
9,000 Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis and
Londoners and protect the future
TfL is asking the Government to guarantee
of London’s iconic black cabs.”
the ‘plug-in car grant’ for these vehicles,
The Mayor said he is determined to create
which would take the total grant to £7,500.
a vibrant taxi and private hire market with
From 1 January 2018, no more new diesel
space for all providers to flourish. The Taxi
taxis will be licensed, helping to address
and Private Hire Action Plan, launched by
London’s poor air quality and tackle the
the Mayor includes specific new measures to
unacceptably high number of people dying
support licensed taxi drivers, sets out ambi-
each year because of air pollution.
tious plans to enhance public safety and also
The new plans include new ‘zero emission’
improve London’s air quality.
ranks for drivers who pioneer green technol-
Special new measures being introduced to
ogy alongside a network of rapid electric
help London’s black cab industry to continue
charge points.
to flourish include opening up an extra 20
The Mayor is calling on Government to
bus lanes for use by taxis this year in addition
adding taxi information to TfL’s journey plan-
support this initiative with a national
to asking London Boroughs to consider
ner by summer 2017.
diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers
access for taxis to a further 40 on roads they
The iconic black cab trade - already recog-
dispose of the vehicles and ensure they
control. The number of taxi ranks to be
nised as the finest service of its type in any
aren't used elsewhere in the UK.
increased by at least 20 per cent by 2020 and
- will also be helped to become the
Powers are also being sought to deal
the use of new technology will help provide
greenest in the world. From next year, up to
with pedicabs, seize uninsured vehicles
customers with information to help connect
£5,000 will be available to drivers who scrap
and automatically disqualify from driving
them with taxis more quickly and easily -
the oldest and most polluting taxis. A grant of
anyone convicted of touting.
Some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over!
Bob Woodford looks at London’s long lost sporting venues
Queens Park Rangers (continued)
Last month I began the story of London’s most nomadic football club, the boys who
started it all off in Droop Street in 1882 - Queens Park Rangers. From humble beginnings
on waste ground near the Kensal Rise Athletic Ground, where no doubt ‘knee scraping’
was a regular hazard, the Royalists (as they were known back then) would move home
another 8 times before the turn of the next century!
They would win lose and draw fixtures at Welford’s Fields, the London and Scottish rugby
ground, Home Park, the Gun Club in Wormwood Scrubs, Kilburn Cricket Ground, Kensal Rise
Athletic Ground and St Mark’s Park before the residents of St Quinten’s Avenue would rise up
and serve notice upon them to move on (yet again) as they were lowering the tone of the area!
In 1902, the club moved back to the KRAG (Kensal Rise Athletic Ground), but they were
attracting quite some following by then and had to seek out a much larger space so that they
could cash in on the higher attendances a bigger site could provide. Just in time for the start
of the 1904/05 season Rangers moved out to the Royal Agricultural Society Ground at Park
Loftus Rd in the 1930s with a tin topped
Royal, which could hold up to 40,000 spectators. This relatively short-lived show ground for
stand in place. The rest was open terracing...
the RAS was already established in 1903 and was intended to be a permanent exhibition site
for the Society’s annual show. QPR played at the Horse Ring which much later became the site for the Guinness Brewery - while decades later,
Guinness would sponsor the team’s football strip!
Just 3 seasons after that, the ever-ambitions QPR would be playing at another venue, this one at Park Royal had a capacity for nearly 60,000 fans. Bizarrely,
the Park Royal Ground was almost an exact replica of Ayresome Park, former home of Middlesbrough FC up in the North-East of England.
But the club were forced to move home yet again, this time during World War One, when in 1915 the ground was taken over by the armed forces. Those
old grounds in Park Royal eventually became the Guinness Sports Club, even hosting the Field Hockey event in the 1948 Olympic Games - but today, all of
this land is simply Park Royal, the largest Business Park in London, occupying 1,200 acres - the equivalent of 1,200 football pitches!
The closest you can get these days to those ghosts at the Park Royal grounds is in and around Coronation Road, but the club that were so used to moving
home, then had to reluctantly return to the old cricket ground in Harvest Road after initially hosting a few games at White City Stadium.
The search was on for a permanent ground and not before time. So when amateur side Shepherd’s Bush FC disbanded after WW1, the Rangers finally
moved to their Loftus Road ground in 1917.
At this time, the football pitch was just an open field with a pavilion, but the club were determined to make this 18th different home ground
permanent - so they schlepped back to Park Royal to dismantle a stand and then re-erected it on the Ellerslie Road side of the ground.
Home sweet home at last, although further ground improvements in 1931 saw the club switch back to White City for a spell - and older readers may recall
the club were back at White City again for the 1962/63 season.
QPR fans - how are you Mr Rice - will recognise the 1960s as a pivotal turning point in the club’s fortunes on the field. In 1967 they became the first Third
Division team to lift the League Cup just up the road at Wembley, defeating WBA 3-2 after trailing 0-2 at half-time. Then in 1968, the ‘Hoops’ were promot-
ed to the top flight of English football (the old Division One) for the first time in their history, while the rest as they say, is history.
As I write these notes, I hear that Rangers have just been thumped 0-6 by Newcastle United in a Championship fixture at Loftus Road - and I guess those
good old boys back in Droop Street over 130 years ago will be looking down thinking ‘no worries, they’ll bounce back like they always do’.
Next month it’s the story of a North London giant’s humble origins as munitions workers in South East London.
Bob Woodford, Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 17
It was around mid-April when
Philip Benjamin tells Call Sign of the one thing he never really expected...
according to the TfL Compliance
Delivery Department, Dial-a-Cab
driver Philip Benjamin (K20) was
approached by two of their offi-
With those words freshly typed, Philip
Benjamin added the following, which
cers who claimed he was not in
explained his anger in a single sentence:
attendance with his vehicle, by
“Kindly expunge any defamatory notes
inference claiming that he was
from my record and please add this email
at another location after naming
to my file...”
Phil sent his reply to Call Sign as well as
Stratton Road W1 as where the
TfL, telling us quite candidly that he would be
cab was parked and where
astonished to get a response. And indeed he
Philip wasn’t!
had virtually forgotten all about it when sever-
The problem was that the letter to Phil was
al months later, the response suddenly
sent around two months later. It claimed that
appeared signed by Kelly Nolan of TfL’s
he had been “parked on an authorised stand-
where Uber and other rogue minicabs were
Compliance Delivery Department. The email
ing at Stratton Road, Mayfair” - not Street!
parked or touting, perhaps to check their
firstly apologised for the length of time it had
Phil’s reply to the accusation was that he was
insurance and the condition of their vehicles.
taken without actually saying why. But it con-
standing behind his cab. He continued in his
He suggested to the duo that the result could
letter to TfL:
be the removal of dozens of these vehicles
“I have reviewed the official’s report of this
“As I appeared from the rear of the vehicle,
from the streets in a very short space of time
incident and the information you have provid-
the two young men (one who spoke with an
and perhaps to his amazement, the pair of offi-
ed and have withdrawn the warning issued
American accent) were hovering at the front.
cers agreed with Phil that it would be a far
against you due to reporting errors made by
But I was with the vehicle at all times contrary
more productive way of their time than the nit-
the officials. I have highlighted this incident
to their allegation.”
picking they were carrying out on Philip’s taxi!
with their line manager.
Philip went on to add - perhaps not too
Philip, who has been on Dial-a-Cab since
I apologise for the tone of the letter sent,
wisely but certainly understandably - that per-
1975, added in his letter that he had held a taxi
due to the number of reports received it is not
haps the officers’ time would have been better
licence for over forty years and had an impec-
always possible to personalise warning letters.
served attending mainline railway stations etc
cable record. He said he found the tone of the
However, we are always looking to improve
computer-generated letter they had sent him
our communications and welcome the feed-
to be “offensive and bordering on an effron-
tery” which in his view only further degraded
Philip told Call Sign: “From April to mid-
TfL’s failing relationship with the most revered
August is really pushing the boundaries for an
and properly licenced taxi service in the
official apology, but it’s nice to know that they
don’t automatically say: Appeal failed!”
for DaC
TFL and Credit Cards
n 23 March, the TfL
Board agreed that all
taxi drivers must
On behalf of Dial-a-Cab, Hillier Buchan Ltd
accept credit and debit
in Bexley have negotiated exclusive rates
card payments, including contact-
for DaC members. We believe our rates are
less, with effect from 3 October
competitive in today’s market for experi-
2016. Accepting credit, debit and
enced licensed Black Cab drivers.
contactless payment is an impor-
At Hillier Buchan, we understand every driver’s
circumstances are different; therefore our policies
tant step in protecting the status
can be tailored for the individual driver. We offer
of taxis, making travelling by taxi
a 5% discount for DaC members, with additional
and paying the metered fare
discounts for existing protected Bonus policies.
much easier and a more attrac-
Hillier Buchan was established in 2002 by
tive, convenient option for passengers.
David Hillier and myself with in excess of 50
In the consultation they conducted in 2015 regarding this change, 86
years experience as high level Brokers working in
the City of London for major broking houses. We
per cent of over 1,000 respondents were in favour of making it mandatory that all taxis
have established a reputation for professionalism
accept card payments.
and service in our chosen fields.
However, in response to concerns raised by the trade that card payment sys-
We have extensive London Market contacts;
tem providers need more time to install systems, we have made some changes
consequently we are able to offer our clients a
to the dates by which vehicles owners and drivers will be required to comply:
quality of security from companies that are all
available in the world’s pre-eminent insurance
By 31 October, drivers must demonstrate that they have the ability to accept card
market. As a result, our clients achieve quality of
and contactless payments and provide printed receipts for those payments upon
security and service upon which we pride our-
request. This could be a handheld device, mobile solution or device fitted in the pas-
selves and a competitiveness of premium that
senger compartment of the taxi. As long as the driver can demonstrate they have the
our clients find particularly attractive in today's
ability to accept card and contactless payments, they will be permitted to continue
Our philosophy is to build long-term relation-
working. The taxi must also display TfL’s card and contactless payment signage stickers
ships using balanced service teams providing
in the correct position.
continuity and expertise. Compare our prices
By 1 January 2017, all taxis must have an approved card payment device fitted with-
and give us a call. See our ad inside this issue of
in the passenger compartment. Any taxi found not to meet the requirement by this
Call Sign on page 15.
date will be issued with an unfit notice, which will remain in place until the require-
Phil Buchan,
Hillier Buchan, 01322 553313
ment is fulfilled and the vehicle is presented for inspection.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 18
hat has happened to
Transport for London?
Following the transfer of
power from the former
Public Carriage Office, there were a num-
ber of licensed taxi drivers who briefly
thought it would give us - the finest taxi ser-
vice in the world - some sort of parity with
buses and tubes. After all, the two previous
Mayors were very pro-bus and for some
time at least, appeared to be pro-taxi as
well. But it never lasted other than a previ-
ous incarnation at the London Olympics
because we were far better known than
Transport for London and were used to
Are they now a form of transport MI5?
show London - and we ARE London -
whereas TfL now appear to be a bunch of
faceless, overpaid people whose only care
your own minds up about any secrecy issue.
regarding private and public transport is
This is John’s letter
spelled with just four letters, the first being
U and the last being R.
Dear Sir/Madam
Many drivers were fed up with the strict dis-
I received a letter from you dated 30th
cipline shown to taxis by the PCO and celebrat-
August giving me notice confirming my
ed the transfer. But even those who were con-
vehicle was unfit for public use. Your letter
cerned about the change to TfL have been sur-
stated my cab was inspected at the Kings
prised at the apparent anti-stance taken against
Cross drop off area at 09.17 on the
taxis by TfL directors because as their money
30/08/2016. The reason you gave for my
has gone up, their care for London taxis has
taxi being unfit was that I didn't have a
seemingly gone down and their love affair with
current MOT / 2nd MOT for licensing.
private hire has taken over.
Firstly you stated in your letter that my
We accept most car firms, but how can we
cab was inspected at the above
accept Uber? They care not a jot about author-
location. Well if it was, the Compliance offi-
ity, yet they are mollycoddled by TfL. They take
cers certainly didn't make themselves
TfL to court and usually win. You have to won-
known to me. If they had approached
John Gerber: Secret Compliance Officers at work?
der why that is? Yet when we ask for just a tad
me and asked about a valid MOT, I would
of commonsense regarding the positioning of
have duly produced one there and then
wrong way, a huge increase in the number
Credit Card Readers (PEDs), we have to beg
dated the 24th August.
of accidents by the PH trade because they
TfL to show any sanity. Brian Rice had been in
I am astonished to be confronted with
are so distracted looking at their satnavs. I
touch with them since March, yet by mid-
such a letter from your office, which is
could go on, but I'm sure you can see where
September - just weeks from their ruling of all
totally misleading and calls into question
I'm coming from.
taxis accepting cards - no answer of any note
what your compliance team is trying to
I await an immediate response and
was received until Helen Chapman called the
achieve. Are you trying to undermine this
expect a full apology from your office. I will
DaC Chairman on 9th September - less than a
cab trade with fabricated allegations? Are
be forwarding this letter onto various cab
month before TfL’s ridiculous ruling was
you trying to put us in a bad light with the
media and also to the Mayor of London.
scheduled to come to fruition. They had previ-
public with mostly frivolous complaints
Yours faithfully
ously claimed they were “discussing” it, but
against the taxi trade, whilst allowing hun-
Mr J Gerber
with whom? Aren’t they the decision makers?
dreds if not thousands of more
So as the sub-heading implies: Do TfL now
Seven months to decide whether putting dri-
serious non-compliance issues by the
operate a form of secret police system. MI5
vers’ lives at risk was worth worrying about?
100,000 plus private hire vehicles roaming
have to operate that way but TfL are supposed
Their answer? A 12 week delay until January 1st
around London daily without
to be transparent - something they most certain-
to “give us more time.” Not a word about our
proper insurance, illegally being hired,
ly are not. So that begs the question; do we real-
safety concerns.
cars that are shared between 2 or 3 drivers
ly need TfL? Do they even know what they are
On page 17 there is a story where two of
of which, if you are lucky, only one of the
doing? Can we go back to the Met? Ask Philip
TfL’s Compliance Delivery Department
drivers is licensed. Then of course there
and John what they think???
approached Dial-a-Cab driver Philip
are the numerous examples of dangerous
Alan Fisher
Benjamin (K20) and accused him of not
driving eg going down one-way streets the
Call Sign Online
being with his cab, even though he was
standing behind it on a rank. It took
months for them to apologise saying they
would “speak” to the officers concerned.
Perhaps the word “sack” should have been
used because they tried to get Philip to lose
his license. But they won’t be; Philip, on the
other hand, if found guilty could have had
his license taken away on a TfL whim. After
all, he isn’t an Uber driver so why should
TfL care?
But are we being unkind? Was that a one-off?
Sadly not! Below is a letter sent to TfL by DaC
driver John Gerber (N62). Like Philip, John
also wrote a letter of complaint to TfL’s
Compliance department. This time Call Sign
isn’t waiting several months for their response
because they will probably just apologise for
the delay and offer some ‘cock and bull’ story
about why John was reported. You can make
Call Sign October 2016
Page 19
From Garry White
book taxis and I feel we have missed out.
PEDs in all licensed taxis. I did get a reply; she
However this would need to be open to the
was understanding of our plight in being over
trade, not just DaC drivers and would be a big
regulated in this matter and agreed that the
challenge to market to our target clientele.
regulatory authority were being too prescrip-
tive in where the PEDs are placed and that it
could lead to unintended consequences.
Night time economy
The Arabs that come to London over the sum-
Tourism Action Plan
mer months have been a saviour to the night
I was recently shown the Tourism Action Plan
time taxi driver, they come out after the sun
and on page 9 they state they would like to see
goes down to eat, drink coffee and walk
the deregulation of PHV so hotels and night
around Mayfair and Knightsbridge, creating
Moving with the times
clubs can run their own car services! There is a
a steady flow of work for the night time cabby.
A 21st century taxi service is going to include
petition on the Change.org website and I urge
Seeing the ladies immaculately dressed and
working with apps; I say apps, because unless
you to sign it to stop this back door deregula-
smelling like a perfume department when they
a radio taxi circuit can provide enough work
tion. You can either copy from below or it is
enter the taxi is always welcome sight (and
for its members in the future, is it fair to
hyperlinked on Call Sign’s website. Look at:
smell), and I hope they choose London as their
restrict drivers from earning a living from
summer vacation for many years to come.
other taxi work providers? It is something the
next management structure will have to con-
sider seriously as to how this can work to help
Credit cards
you, the driver.
I recently forwarded an email to my MP
Obviously, the ideal situation would be for
(Jackie Doyle-Price) which Alan Fisher
Dial-a-Cab to have its own trade app, the
wrote, copying in myself and many others
Garry White
younger savvy generation like to use apps to
about the farce of having to have rear situated
DaC Board Member
(Left) 2006 and the DaC-sponsored Wembley and (right) Lee with David Seaman at a time when Terry Venables was coach
or many years Call Sign had followed the goalkeeping career of Dial-a-Cab driver Lee Pearce (J71) and at
times even sponsored him with the odd pair of goalkeeping gloves - which are much more expensive than nor-
mal ones. In fact, for two seasons, Dial-a-Cab sponsored the tops that his team of the time, Wembley, wore to
play their matches in.
Lee retired two seasons ago and although he had moved around having success with several other non-league clubs
while playing, he always had an affinity with Wembley; so it was fitting that he should be invited for one last match
when two Wembley “legend” teams faced each other.
Call Sign asked Lee to pick out just two magical moments from his long career. The first one Lee picked
was when Wembley literally made headlines worldwide in appointing Terry Venables as the team’s techni-
cal manager to oversee the team in an FA Cup run. But even more astonishing were the signings the team
made for that cup run: Arsenal’s Ray Parlour and Martin Keown, Chelsea and Southampton’s Graeme Le
Saux, Fulham and USA star Brian McBride and Argentina World Cup superstar Claudio Caniggia! In addi-
tion, Lee had his own personal trainer in ex-Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman!
“Playing in goal behind those players wasn’t just a thrill, it was an honour,” Lee told us, “and David Seaman was
a really great help. Even though they were all retired, the skill just dripped off them and while they may have lost
their speed, their ability of knowing where every player on the pitch was without looking was amazing.”
Lee’s second memory didn’t involve Wembley, but another team he played for - Bedfont Green.
“It was a match against local rivals Bedfont that would normally be a tense affair, but the 2008/9 season game
had a carnival atmosphere because regardless of the result, Bedfont Green had already won the Combined
Counties Premier championship and promotion. We were on a 22 match unbeaten run and made it 23 with a 3 -
1 victory. Following the match, league Chairman John Bennett presented the championship trophy to us and our
kids suddenly appeared on the field to celebrate with us. It was truly a magical moment.”
But Lee still calls Wembley his first true footballing love and he was thrilled to be called to play this last game even though he hadn’t played for 17 months
and even happier when his team slammed the opposition 8-2!
“Both knees are shot and my right thigh is sore as hell, but I’m delighted to have got through the match letting in just two goals and making a few good
saves. It was a good way to say goodbye.”
Dennis Latchett, Call Sign Online
Call Sign October 2016
Page 20
The London Taxi Benevolent
Association for War Disabled has
been crowned the UK’s best vol-
untary organisation. The charity
began in 1948 with 25 taxis and
50 ex-servicemen and is made
...and they heard the news at yet another Veterans outing -
up of volunteer taxi drivers.
a Chelsea Tea Dance!
It is probably best known for its yearly out-
Dick Goodwin and two
ings to Worthing, however, as Call Sign often
Veterans accept the
reports, the charity does far more than that,
often supported by its patrons: Dame Vera
Lynn, Joanna Lumley, Vice Admiral Sir
Adrian Johns and Lady Suzie Johns.
name will always be associ-
Last year, the LTBAWD organised a five-day
ated with the charity and
trip to Holland when 90 London taxi drivers
that so much of his early
and volunteers took 120 WW2 Veterans and
hard work on behalf of it,
their carers back to Arnhem where they
while also still driving a cab,
received heroes’ welcomes on the
has helped to lead to its suc-
anniversary of the Liberation.
cess and this award.
Mixed in with many projects such as lunches
Harry once told Call
and other social events in various clubs over
Sign: “The London Taxi
many parts of the southeast that the charity
Benevolent Association
undertakes in aid of Vets from all conflicts,
for War Disabled is my
the dancing then continued - Katie Derham
there was 9 June 1994 when the LTBAWD
life, because as long as there is conflict and
also giving it a twirl along with some the
organised a whole fleet of London taxis to go
war around the world, there will be a need
across to Normandy for the fiftieth anniversary
for organisations such as this and for the
Katie Derham said: “I have been bowled over
of Operation Overlord - better known as the
work we do.”
by the special bond between the London taxi
Normandy landings.
We couldn’t have put it better and once
drivers and the Veterans. It’s great that projects
Then there was 2008 when they celebrat-
again we send our congratulations on the
like this receive funding, thanks to National
ed their own 60th anniversary and to mark
National Lottery Award - but more impor-
Lottery players who raise £36 million every
that momentous occasion, took
tantly, the thanks of so many Veterans who
week for good causes across the UK.”
Veterans back to Normandy, also coincid-
will forever be grateful to the LTBAWD...
Dick Goodwin, LTBAWD event organiser
ing with D-Day landing celebrations in
Alan Fisher
added: “We are absolutely delighted to have
France where the City of Caen asked the
won a National Lottery Award and would like to
Call Sign Online
charity to be involved in their parade.
say a sincere thank you to everyone that got
Much of the funding they need to continue
behind us - Veterans, Taxi drivers, family,
comes from Lottery awards and the charity have
friends and the British public - this award
often spoke of their appreciation and indeed
sends a great message to our Vets that people
the vote to find the best UK voluntary charity
genuinely care about them and what they went
came in the National Lottery Awards annual
search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded
The Committee deserve every praise, but
projects. The charity won a £3,000 cash prize in
four people must get special mentions;
addition to an iconic NLA trophy presented on
Frances Luczyc Wyhowska who has taken our
12 September and shown on BBC One.
trade to her heart and was often out campaign-
Fred Glover, a 90-year-old WW2 Veteran
ing for the LTBAWD to win the award; the man
who recently undertook two parachute jumps
known to many cab drivers as Barking Bill but
to raise money for the LTBAWD said: “I’m
otherwise known as DaC’s Terry Ward (W13).
thrilled that this magnificent charity has
He has been associated with the charity for so
won a Lottery award. The cab drivers and
many years as have the Secretary, Paul Davis
committee members are all volunteers.
and the charity’s PRO Derek Leone, the man
They look after us so well on our trips and
who keeps us informed of everything that goes
outings. I’m proud to be associated with
But there is one man whose name will forev-
It was Friday 26th August; the LTBAWD had
er be associated with The London Taxi
organised a Tea Dance at the Royal Hospital
Benevolent Association for War Disabled and
Chelsea for around 80 guests, including Vets
whose hard work over many, many years has
Your old TX1 Taxi is wanted
and some of the drivers who freely give their
allowed the charity to reach this pinnacle of
time. They were in the State Apartments that
- former Dial-a-Cab Board
Quick viewing and decision
the Royal Hospital had kindly given permis-
Member, Harry Joel MBE (Ex-B33).
sion for the charity to use on this occasion.
For many years, Harry was the Hon
Cash waiting!
While there, they were entertained by the D-
Chairman until in 2006 when the title was
Day dancers (dressed in forties style) and
superseded by that of Life Long President.
Top price paid for really clean
Singers (in RAF uniforms). Between them,
He often said that much of his tireless work
they managed to coax some of the veterans and
was thanks to his late wife Frances. In 2003,
drivers onto the floor to dance with them!
when Frances illness became too much for
It was soon after a buffet lunch that
her and both she and Harry knew the end
Please ring Graham on
a BBC television team arrived, along with
was near, in her final moments she insisted
07435 562759
that Harry should still go on that year's War
announced that the charity had won the
Disabled trip to Worthing - indeed the
or e-mail on
National Lottery Awards with a total of 3995
mark of a very, very special woman.
votes! It was greeted with cheering and
Now at almost 92, Harry takes a place more
clapping from everybody concerned before
in the background but surely knowing that his
Call Sign October 2016
Page 21
As Call Sign solves one problem, that solution leads to another question!
Last month’s Call Sign contained an article from
our man in Canada, Norman Beattie, headed by
the strange life of a 1957 Austin FX3 and told the story of Marg
Kentner, who runs The Grande Bazaar gift store in Stonewall.
Forty years ago, Marg started a business in Winnipeg opening a gift
store and gift delivery service. Looking for something different to dis-
tinguish her business against anything similar, she came up with the
idea of using a London taxi to make deliveries and knowing a friend
was going on a trip to England, she asked him to enquire and after
speaking to several cab drivers, he went to LTI and purchased a sec-
ond hand FX3.
Marg later ran the Tin Lizzie auto-museum in Headingley, just
west of Winnipeg and where antique cars were stored for local collec-
tors. Marg’s 1957 FX3 used to give people rides around its grounds.
The cab is now in the hands of Marg’s nephew Brian, who lives in
TXV 111 shows on top as being bought by the London
Boissevain, Manitoba. It is still in excellent running order and occa-
General in 1957. But what about F.G.Duncan at the bottom?
sionally takes part in parades and various festivities.
Was that Frank?
The red and black FX3
had the distinctive licence
But back to the FX3 because the solution to Marg’s request has led
plate number of TXV 111
to another question; Marg’s FX3 tops that page, however, the fourth
but little of its history was
name on the list of Mann & Overton’s sales leger for May 1957 is
known. So via Norman and
F.Duncan. I doubt that even the LVTA can help here because we know
Call Sign, Marg asked if
that Founder ODRTS Board Member and former Treasurer of this
anyone over here could
Society, Frank Duncan, bought a cab at around that time because
help and within 24 hours of
when Editor Alan Fisher wrote The Early Years of ODRTS, he inter-
the magazine coming out,
viewed Frank Duncan and he spoke of his first FX3 that he’d bought
the London Vintage Taxi
in 1957. Was TXN 980 that first taxi of a Founder ODRTS member.
Association PR Mark
Will we ever know...
- described by
Our thanks once again to Mark Cooper and the LVTA for the
many within that organisa-
help with TXV 111...
tion as a walking library on
matters involving old cabs -
sent us the information
Marg had been seeking for
Marg's cab in Canada
many years on the cab.
Mark began by sending details from a page of the original 1957
Mann & Overton sales ledger, which showed the entry of TXV 111.
That also showed the cab’s first owner as being the London General
Cab Company, which meant, as Mark pointed out, that like every taxi
of the time, the cab would originally have been all black as against its
Cabbie Specials
red and black colouring today.
The final piece of the jig-saw came with the date that Marg’s FX3
entered service - 18th April 1957. And as a sort of bonus, Mark
attached the website to a short 1960 documentary that featured the
Now’s your chance to try our course. Any black cab driver who shows us their badge gets a
London General garage and showed what life was like for new cabs of
10% discount for green fees and societies on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and
the time. For those that would like to watch the film, take a look at:
Saturdays, and a discounted membership fee.
For anyone interested in old taxis, you do not have to be the
Our 9 hole course is the perfect place for you to relax and get some fresh air
owner of an old cab to join the London Vintage Taxi Association
in the beautiful countryside of North-West Kent.
- you don’t even need to have been a cab driver! For a member-
Renovated and restructured greens and improved fairways to play on, with
ship of just £29 a year, you get 6 magazines a year containing
food and a bar on site to refresh yourself after a round.
information on
vintage taxis
and details of
£10.00 (9 HOLE) OR £15 (18 HOLE).
when and where
vintage shows
For more information call Jacquie or Sue on 01474 573116 / 573113
are taking place.
A friendly welcome awaits you.
There is techni-
cal advice for
Corinthian Sports Club, Valley Road, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent. DA3 8LY
corinthians@billingsgroup.co.uk / jacquie@billingsgroup.co.uk
those carrying
out repairs etc
and of course,
the chance to
liaise with other
members around
the world.
Mark Cooper got the 1957 details for Call Sign
Call Sign October 2016
Page 22
An occasional review from a struggling 14 handicapper at some of the marque golf courses I've had
the privilege to play in my golf days away from the taxi…
Crowborough Beacon Golf Club
Some courses are hidden gems; Crowborough Beacon is certainly one that liter-
ally falls within that category! That could be because it’s not the easiest course
to get to. But don't let that put you off!
Situated high above the East Sussex Weald - 800ft above sea level to be more pre-
cise - the course provides fabulous views across the South Downs. While it has been
quite some time since I last played Crowborough Beacon, I'm hoping to make a trip
back soon.
This is a course of springy turf, heather and pine. It’s not overly long at 6200 yards
and was originally opened as a 9 hole course, but extended to the full 18 holes
around ten years later in 1905.
A local resident and former club captain was Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle. However, there’s no mystery on how to play the course!
Position is absolutely essential from the tee. The fairways are often sloped to
send a mishit shot further away on the many doglegs.
The standout hole is the par 3 6th, The Speaker. At 191 yards, you’re faced with
a shot across a gully to the green; anything to the left of the green is lost into
another deep drop-off! The hole was named after House of Commons Speaker,
William Gully and is one of Crowborough Beacon’s signature holes, even
though these days it is a different hole than the one originally designed. It is longer in yards, but not as
long a ‘carry’ due to a change in angle from the original tees. It is a fantastic, yet picturesque hole.
Crowborough Beacon an incredibly friendly club and if the weather is clear, the balcony has some of best views of any club I've played. It also has
reasonable green fees for such a well rated club...
Happy golfing
Simon Wallis (M11)
Call Sign Online
Taxi Driver Of The Year Dinner and Dance
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the Taxi Driver of the Year Charity Fund presents its annual Dinner and Dance on
Saturday 16th November 2016. It will be held at the:
Holiday Inn Regents Park, Carburton Street, London W1W 5EE
The cost of tickets has been held at last year’s price of £65 per head. As usual, tickets will include an excellent 4 course
meal with half a bottle of wine per person and of course the evening is complemented with dancing to a live band.
With your support, the Taxi Driver of the Year Charity Fund is able to make substantial donations to the taxi trade chari-
ties that support them. Don’t be the one to miss this great night out; come along to the Holiday Inn Regents Park and
enjoy the good food and great company.
This event will prove to be an enjoyable and memorable occasion for all.
Please complete and return the form together with your cheque made out to TDYCF to: Russell Poluck MBE (Hon Chairman)
5 St Brides Avenue, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 6BT
RSVP by 12th October 2016. Please print and make cheque out to TDYCF
Company (if applicable):
Number of tickets:
Dietary requirements:
Dress smart
For further information, contact Russell Poluck: 07850 056 765 • Tel/fax 020 8952 1357
Email: brussella@talk21.com • Website: taxidriveroftheyearcharityfund.com
‘ Remembering those less fortunate than ourselves’
Call Sign October 2016
Page 23
Another true story from Geoff Levene...
I Live in a
(sort of) Village!
The sign above the door bore the legend:
The thing was the whole place was a time
Get well togged at Togwells. What sort of
warp. It was as though I had stepped back
place was this? I think unusual best
forty odd years. Jackets with huge lapels, bell-
ondon is a collection of villages.
described it. To start, the inside of the win-
bottomed trousers, kipper ties. He suddenly
There is a relatively small central
dow was lined with the yellow plastic stuff
asked if I’d seen anything I liked. I commented
area surrounded by a host of once
that stops the sun fading the window dis-
that it was all a bit unusual but he didn't seem
outlying districts that now form a
play. And what a display it was - pride of
to hear me. He opened a drawer, looked
virtually unbroken belt - north, south,
place going to a rather battered male man-
around to see if anyone was watching and
east and west. Camden, Islington,
nequin dressed in a safari suit, desert
whispered: “These are going to be big this
Hackney, Stepney, Wapping, Greenwich,
boots and a bush hat. Was it 2016 or 1976?
summer. Get one before they go.” I asked what
Deptford and on they go. Occasionally
What else? Placed around were piles of
they were? He took another look around him:
strangers think they’ve reached
multi-coloured shirts with very wide collars,
“String vests,” he hissed, “and in a variety of
the sort of thing Tom Jones used to wear.
colours!” I asked if he’d had the shop long and
Taking someone to Stanmore one day, I
There were also plenty of tank-tops. It was all
he replied he’d it some years earlier but then
drove along Fryent Way, which cuts through
very odd so I decided to venture inside. A bell
did something else for a while. He was now
what was once a farm and is now a nature
tinkled as I pushed the door. The shop was
starting again. In other words, he was trying to
park. He looked worried, asking if he’d find a
crammed with stuff - suits, trousers, shirts and
flog the same stuff from years ago. I decided
cab there later on. Of course, all of this has
shoes. And that was just what I could see.
I'd seen enough.
been good news for that shy and retiring lot -
Suddenly a man appeared. Slim with grey hair
“ I've got to fly,” I said, “I'll try to look in
Estate Agents. No longer do they have to strug-
and twinkly eyes. He wore a white T-shirt
gle to flog places in Hampstead, Highgate or
which said ‘I'm Al, fly me’. This was tucked
“Of course,” came the polite reply. “You’re
Wimbledon. They stick ‘village’ on the end of
into floral flared loon pants whilst on his feet
welcome anytime. We're always open.”
the details and it conjures up images of sunny
were sandals.
And I stepped back out into the village,
meadows, friendly pubs, a fat smiling copper
"How can I help you,” he asked quietly,
back into the twenty-first century...
and a postman on a bike - even if the reality is
“are you after anything in particular?” I
slow moving traffic, bored and threatening
said I was just looking. “We've got every-
teens and civil enforcement officers. But the
Geoff Levene (W32)
thing you need here, sir. Have a good look
prospective property owners lap it all up!
Call Sign Online
I realise, of course, that I myself live in a ‘vil-
lage’. I step out of my door, walk round the
corner and there it all is - the pub (Tuesday is
Round and round the Ring
curry night), the bakers (beigels and Kenyan
specialities), the butchers (strictly kosher), the
“Well, yes, I suppose I am a bit of a petrol head,” John Wiles
greengrocer (last seen 25 years ago; go to
(C60) admitted to Call Sign, “but I do love things mechanical,”
Tesco Express) and the quaint furniture shop
he added with a broad grin. “For the past twenty years, a few of
(fifteen foot laminated minimalist sideboard
us have been travelling to the German race track of
type thing... £10000)! A traditional English vil-
Nurburgring - said by many to be the most challenging race
track in the world - to thrash around the famous circuit in our
oh, I forgot the sixteen restaurants, the
own cars. This year I was accompanied by my nephew who thor-
six hairdressers and the three nail bars!
oughly enjoyed the experience.
There is also a small unisex hairdresser. It’s
“Our group of six cars in convoy took the Shuttle service to
run by two ladies - one is Thai and one
France and then drove through France into Luxembourg, tak-
Colombian. I used to go there until some-
ing in a visit to the Battle of the Bulge site and US War
thing shocking happened. As I was paying, the
Museum at Bastogne, before heading into Germany and on
to the Nurburgring itself. We stay in B + B’s for the few days
South American woman said that the next time
we’re there, booking everything in advance, including our track
I went there...
“Why don't you come on
tickets,” John explained.
Pensioners' day!” So after they pulled me off
“The ‘Ring is actually a one-way public toll road and not
the nearby railway line, I decided to find some-
open every day for public access, as vehicle manufacturers
one new in the tonsorial field!
also use the track for road testing new models etc, so the
And while none of those eating establish-
usual rules of the road apply while participants engage in
whizzing around the track! You buy a ticket for each lap of
ments could be called cutting edge and a few
the circuit that you wish to complete; this time I bought 4
really are not very good at all, it’s great to just
tickets that entitled me to four laps, although you cannot com-
find a selection of restaurants two minutes
plete those laps continuously,” John said.
away. And I don't have to worry about drinking
“There is a barrier on the approach to the track and only when that’s raised can you go. The rush
and driving. But I was amazed to find myself
of adrenalin you get as the engine revs rise in response to the throttle pedal, and as the roadway
seated at a table next to wine expert Jerry
flashes past underneath the car, is indeed a heady mix,” John added with a grin as he remembered his
Boam and his guest, food writer and restau-
most recent trip, almost akin to a child with a new toy! ”Then you come off the circuit at the end of
the lap and return to the barrier for the start of your next lap and so on for however many laps you’ve
ranteur, Herb Crust. The wine man swilled
chosen to complete. It’s not unusual to find yourself mixing it with other road traffic such as coaches,
the golden liquid round his glass, took a sniff
so you really need to concentrate,” he suggested.
and then a sip. With a faraway look in his eye
“Over the two decades I’ve been going, I must have clocked up hundreds of laps, but the thrill of
he declared it “cheeky without being presump-
the experience and the speed rush never diminishes.
tuous.” Oh please!
“In the evenings after the days’ racing, we usually get together for a few beers before heading
Anyway, as I wandered around the area
back to the UK the following morning, looking forward to the next time when the ‘Ring authorities
the other day, I discovered a place I hadn't
organise a Tourist Rides Fun Day.”
Then it was back to his somewhat slower and possibly more boring vehicle... his taxi!
noticed before. It was a menswear shop.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 24
DaC driver Sean Farrell (B39) looks at trade history from a different angle
Brethren of the Whip
at the Albion. Harriott went round to the back
drew a blank. When Harriott returned to
The great
of the pub and returned with a pail of water,
answer his bail the following month, the mag-
silver coin
giving some to the horse to drink and threw
istrate informed him that there was absolute-
the remainder over the horses feet. Harriott
ly no evidence against him and that he was a
then asked Griffin to take the pail back and said
free man without a stain on his character.
he did so and was back at the cab “within a
For cabman Henry
Sean Farrell,
minute.” Harriott was standing outside the pub
Harriott, badge num-
Call Sign Online
lighting up his pipe. Griffin then went into the
ber 11725, it was a reg-
bar and ordered a pint of “half and half”, a
ular and profitable job.
porter and ale mix, which they probably
Every Monday he would
go to the New Cattle Market (now the site of
When he climbed back into the cab,
the Corporation of London housing estate
Griffin called out “My God, Harry, the sil-
between North Road and Market Road), a
ver is gone!” Panic then set in and
large amount of silver coin would be placed
Harriott suggested that the best thing
into his cab and he would then take it to the
was to drive round to the local police sta-
Bank of England in the City.
tion and report it. This was later seen as
The money was collected at the market
a ruse to allow the robbers to get away.
by William Gardner, a skin salesman, who
On route to the police, Griffin stated that
met up with his customers and exchanged
Harriott asked him what sort of tale they
paper money for the coins held by those
should make up. It was looking bad for
customers. On Monday May 31st 1858,
Mr Harriott.
£787 in silver coins was placed in six bags
Corrie, the magistrate at Clerkenwell,
that were then placed within a sack and
was less convinced of the cabman’s guilt.
put on the seat of Harriott’s cab. Along
The only evidence against him was circum-
with Harriott was an employee of the
stantial. But the fact of the matter was the
company, James Griffin, who would
two men maintained the same schedule for
supervise the delivery. The two had
two years like clockwork. Every Monday they
worked together for two years and no one
stopped at the Albion and every Monday,
could doubt their honesty and integrity.
Griffin would return the pail and then buy a
An hour after leaving the market on that
beer. The magistrates gave police a month to
Female driver
fateful Monday in May, Griffin and Harriott
find some real evidence with which to con-
10% reduction for Dial-a-Cab drivers
returned to their manager accompanied by a
vict Harriott.
Contact Debbie (W18) on
detective and told Gardner that his money
A reward of £500 was offered for informa-
had disappeared. Gardner’s first thought was
tion regarding the robbery, but all enquiries
07956 317040
that his man was joking, after all, how could
a sack of coins weighing 2 cwt (about 16
stone) simply disappear? Griffiths explained
that the cab was left unattended whilst they
stopped for a minute at the Albion pub in
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union
Thornhill Road in order to water the horses
and it was there that the money was taken.
Ever needed money quickly but were anxious about
Gardner may have trusted the two men,
variable bank interest rates?
but the police were not so forgiving. Harriott
Well wonder no more! If you are a subscriber, journeyman or
and Griffin were arrested and charged with
member of staff at Dial-a-Cab, then you qualify to join the
the robbery. The situation got far worse for
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union. Any member of your family residing
Harriott when the next day, Griffin agreed to
at your address also qualifies for membership!
be a witness against him. Having dwelled on
Then if you are over 18, have been a member of the Credit Union for
it overnight, he had come to the conclusion
over 3 months and have established regular savings, you can borrow
that he had been duped by the cabman and
up to 3 times your total savings…
the only way he could rectify the matter was
to tell the police what happened.
The cost?
Griffin told the detectives that on leaving the
Just 1% per month on the outstanding balance (or APR of 12.7%).
market with their precious cargo, Harriott had
Loans can be paid back early AND there can be an annual dividend on your shares.
been called out to by a man on a chaise cart
The question is: Can you afford NOT to be in it…?
pulled by a grey mare. Harriott and the man
Call us on 020 7729 8171 or 020 7749 0585
conversed a little while before going into the
nearby Balmoral pub. Griffin remained in the
Members of the Financial Ombudsman Service
cab with the money and after about five min-
Member’s funds protected up to limit set by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
utes, Harriott returned and they set off towards
DaC Credit Union Ltd, Peterley Business Centre, 472 Hackney Rd E2 9EQ
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
the City.
Registration number 213263
Just as they did every Monday, they stopped
Call Sign October 2016
Page 25
ny Dial-a-Cab driver who has
Under the Freedom of Information act, Call Sign asked TfL how
been held up in renewing his
refugees from other countries with no paperwork or available history
licence due to delays with DBS
checks will know how frustrating
manage to get enhanced criminal records checks from the DBS that
that can be. Drivers blame TfL for the
are apparently enough for Uber to accept them as drivers...
delays, when it is often the DBS check that
takes an unnecessary length of time. Yet
Uber seem to have no difficulty in getting
drivers, many of whom have trouble speak-
ing English hence the new TfL regulation
re written tests.
On DaC, we have had or still have drivers
from China, Thailand and all parts of Asia
and Europe. They may or may not have dif-
ferent religions or philosophies, but they do
have at least one thing in common - they all
cates does not prevent someone from
speak perfect English. And, adding some
submitting an application to TfL but the
guesswork, another point they probably have
failure to do so will be taken into
in common is that at some time or another,
account when considering their suitabil-
they have all been delayed by the Disclosure
ity to be licensed. Particular considera-
and Barring Service.
tion is given to whether the applicant has
Quite rightly, we should have enormous
suitably demonstrated their fitness
sympathy for anyone who has had to flee
through all of the above.”
their mother country because of war and
Call Sign Comment: Surely if you have
enters the UK as a refugee, often ending up
escaped from a war-torn country, the last
in London because of work opportunities.
thing you will be able to prove is what a
But if they intend taking passengers around -
good person you have been before leaving?
including women and children - should their
The Sun (online) paper recently contained
sad state mean they can bypass the strictness
a piece detailing many of the appalling road
of the DBS check? And how is it that Uber
traffic incidents involving Uber drivers.
manage to get so many drivers who obvious-
Photos and descriptions of overturned cars,
ly fail when it comes to speaking English? So
crushed bikes etc followed just a few weeks
we asked via an FOI request and this is what
after their exposé regarding the number of
we were told...
Uber drivers allegedly involved in sex
Every applicant who applies for a PHV
assaults, including rape.
(London) Driver’s Licence must provide to
Is it not time that regardless of the enor-
One of many alleged Uber crashes
TfL an enhanced Disclosure and Barring
mous sympathy we feel, anyone dealing
vide a Certificate of Good Conduct from
with transporting the public has to undergo
Service check. In addition, any taxi or PHV
any other country of residence within
the identical checks as every licensed taxi or
applicant who has lived in a country other
the last three years. They will also be
private hire driver has to with no escape
than the UK for one or more continuous
required to provide evidence of their
clauses. If you can’t fulfil the criteria need-
periods of between three and 12 months
Certificate of Registration or a letter
ed, then you can’t get a licence. And it
(other than periods of extended vacation)
from the Border and Immigration
should be backdated. If you feel that we’re
within three years of the date of application,
wrong or being unfair, feel free to contact
is also required to complete a Living and
All licensing decisions are made on a
Call Sign and your letter will be published...
Working Abroad form (TPH/205) accom-
case by case basis, assessing all of the
panied by a Certificate of Good Conduct
information provided by the applicant -
from the relevant country. The Certificate of
Dennis Latchett
the DBS check and the certificates
Good Conduct is an extract from the judi-
described above. Absence of these certifi-
Call Sign Online
cial record or equivalent document issued
by a competent judicial or administrative
authority for the relevant country. This
Certificate documents any convictions
Can you afford not to get a copy!!!
recorded against the individual or to con-
firm good conduct. This requirement is in
Produced by Dial-a-Cabs PCN expert, John Vigus,
addition to the enhanced DBS check, which
this book is all you need to know about moving
is required for all applicants.
traffic and parking regulations in one easy to
Where an applicant is unable to pro-
vide a Certificate of Good Conduct, they
read guide!
must explain why and provide refer-
ences from individuals/bodies who can
confirm their conduct for their time in
The Motorists Guide to Moving
the country (the referee must not be a
family member). The absence of a
Traffic And Parking Regulations
Certificate of Good Conduct or refer-
Hard copies £8. Electronic versions to
ences does not prevent someone from
submitting an application to TfL, but the
Dial-a-Cab drivers are £5 per copy. Orders
failure to do so will be taken into
via Driver Services with payment deducted
account when considering their suitabil-
from your DaC account.
ity to be licensed.
We recognise this may not be possible
if an applicant is granted asylum or
refugee status and, where applicable,
Can you really afford not to get a copy!!!
these applicants will be required to pro-
Call Sign October 2016
Page 26
Every issue of Call Sign takes a look back at ODRTS history through the pages of the
magazines of the time with a Flashback…
This month’s Flashback goes back 47 years to October 1969 and one of the hardest hitting articles ever pub-
lished against our drivers. It came from ODRTS Secretary / Book Keeper, Mr Ives.
From ODRTS News Magazine (October 1969)
I find it very difficult to express the feeling of disgust that I have for some of you as I write this. I have just finished trying to defend you to a customer
and it may be of interest to you to know about the service given in this instance.
On the morning of 15th September 1969, a customer phoned at 07.17 to book a cab for 08.00 to go to Victoria. At 08.10 she rang
again, only to be told: “We have nothing in the area.” The lady then rang a minicab firm with no better result. Finally, she picked up a
passing cab and went to collect her daughter and two friends, all of whom were in tears as they were going on holiday via the BUA
Terminal at Victoria and being little more than children, they were worried about missing their flight.
Well, gentlemen, they did miss their flight and it cost them cab fares home, lunch and two nights for a hotel abroad as the next available flight was
not until the late evening of 16th September. For three children to miss two days out of a seven-day holiday and for the mother to ask me how I
intended to compensate them, presents a very difficult job.
Wanting to express my disgust to someone, I spoke to ODRTS control room manager Bill Browne; he, poor soul, did not let me say a word before
expressing with adjectives his feelings about your coverage of credit work. He had just dispatched a cab to Regency Lodge, Swiss Cottage, for Mr
Rosen, a customer some of you may know. It was covered by Mr Levy (D80) who ran from Holborn. May I say thank you, Mr Levy; if only we had
more drivers like you.
We recently lost a driver to Mountview, who was not prepared to do Bank work as some of the prices were set just a little under the meter. These
tend to be long jobs and he wanted to be paid his full fare. It would seem that some of you want blood, as I said in my column a few months ago.
If you feel some shame at reading this, it could pay you to reflect on the jobs you could have covered but didn’t because we soon will
have no long rides left! But then again you may have been too busy making snide remarks about other drivers who try to cover account
work that you won’t do and which end up in us losing a good account customer. Those drivers at least get out of the radio what they
put into it. The rest of you might just as well leave the trade unless you realise that taxis are for the benefit of the public as well.
By the way, those drivers who refused to cover long rides for slightly under the meter have now caused us to lose the valuable Midland Bank
account, some of the journeys which came to more than a days’ work just for the one trip.
Fred Ives (D65)
Thanks to all of you who offered condolences on the loss of my father Fred Ives (D65). As a radio cabman, he had a tremendous knowledge of
London and passed that along in a quiet and unassuming manner.
E.Ives (B65)
ODRTS Secretary
me, but I think the biggest
Simon Scott is one of the new generation of taxi drivers whose life is
change in me was my own
captured as a blog. The continuing story of his time as a butterboy is…
awareness of danger; trust
no longer existed and that
mind-set remains with me
to this very day. I don’t
A Blogger’s Tale
think that’s a bad thing.
It all ended up at a
famous crown court with
My worst punters...!!!
the officer in charge (IOC) of the case bing bonging my name over the
I can’t be too sure about the year, but for the purposes of this blog
loudspeaker for all to hear, various tattooed Neanderthals craned their
we’ll stay in 1993. I had been driving a distinctive cab around for
necks to watch me walk away from the seats outside the courtroom to
some time and lived in Bethnal Green as did some of my relatives.
the front of the building to meet the IOC who had led me this far.
Unfortunately for me, so did a couple of unsavoury chancers...
He told me I was a credit to the trade and should be proud of myself, I
That Saturday dawned like any other; I got up, showered and headed
wasn’t feeling proud at all, I could feel dozens of eyes boring into my back
out in the direction of my usual starting point, Liverpool Street station.
and daren’t look behind me as I walked out and into the sunshine. I think I
Business was brisk and I had done a few short jobs when a hand went up
ran back to the cab, I was just so glad it was all over. I sold my cab and
in the City. It was broad daylight, so I didn’t feel the need to do my usual
bought one that blended in with everyone else, happy in my anonymity.
drive past and stop; I just pulled up and awaited my instructions. Without
That incident and those two individuals were the worst experience I had dri-
consulting me first, he opened the back door and beckoned a second very
ving a cab, I had no phone and no protection but worse things have happened
desperate looking individual out of the narrow side turning he had been
to London Taxi drivers over the years and I believe we are safer now than we
lurking in.
have ever been.
Even after all these years, I feel I can’t go into too much detail
To be continued…
Simon Scott (O40)
about what happened next; but in a nutshell one of the punters
Call Sign Online
was very agitated, probably on drugs and at one point produced a
pair of scissors that looked like the type tailors use to cut fabric.
My sliding partition window was wide open and so when he
pressed the scissors up against my neck, I really did feel that my
Keith Reading
life was about to end.
Professional Toastmaster
The calmer of the two shouted to put the scissors away, but he didn’t -
Master of Ceremonies
he kept making that snip snip cutting noise you can hear when you’re
using them. We went on a long journey and you may wonder why I didn’t
just slam on the brakes and jump out? I’ve got to say that the thought
Tele: 01279 465 938
crossed my mind a few times, as did the thought that propelling this mad-
Mobile: 07774 860 374
man forward might also propel the scissors into my neck. I just tried to
keep calm, I kept telling myself this is the middle of a Saturday in London
Email: kgr.2@virgin.net
and I held on to the hope that the calmer one would keep him under con-
trol. The journey lasted an eternity and to cap it all, when they eventually
10% discount for DaC drivers and staff
got out they gave me a tip!
I watched them walk off without a care in the world leaving me feeling
Fellow of the Guild of
really vulnerable. That afternoon I screwed the baton back into the sliding
window behind my head, leaving the smallest of gaps I could get away
Professional Toastmasters
with. For ages afterwards I hated people sitting on the flip up seat behind
Call Sign October 2016
Page 27
he 17th-century ‘house of delight’
that began an architectural move-
400th Anniversary Of
ment in Britain will re-open to the
public on 11 October following a
14-month closure for conservation with a
The Queen’s House
startlingly ambitious contemporary artwork
at the heart of its most celebrated room, The
17th-century Greenwich masterpiece
Great Hall.
The Queen’s House, the Palladian villa
re-opens with new work by Richard Wright
designed by celebrated British architect Inigo
Jones, is one of the UK’s most historically
important buildings and an acknowledged
masterpiece of British architecture. Part of
Royal Museums Greenwich, the Queen’s
House is a Scheduled Ancient Monument of
unique architectural importance and forms the
central feature of the UNESCO Maritime
Greenwich World Heritage Site. The heart of
the House is a masterpiece within a master-
piece - Inigo Jones’s Great Hall - a 40ft cube
with black and white marble floor and ornately
carved ceiling and gallery woodwork.
When the House was built, Florentine artist
Orazio Gentileschi was commissioned to cre-
ate nine paintings for the Great Hall’s ceiling
panels, collectively entitled Allegory of Peace
and the Arts under the English Crown. The
paintings remained in situ for a relatively short
time, from 1639 to 1708, when they were
Saved for the country: The Armada portrait of Elizabeth 1 is at the Queen's House
removed and re-sized to fit a smaller ceiling in
Marlborough House, St James’s, where they
painting was sold by his descendants and is in
House’s will present some 450 works from
remain today. Now, one of the most important
the public collection for the first time in its 425
Royal Museums Greenwich, the absolute trea-
British artists to emerge in the last 20 years,
year history. It commemorates the most
sures of a maritime art collection which has no
Turner-Prize winner Richard Wright has
famous conflict of Elizabeth’s reign, the failed
rival anywhere in the world. And fifty magnifi-
become the first artist since Gentileschi to cre-
ate a permanent new work on the ceiling.
invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in
cent works of art will be loaned by some of the
Richard Wright’s no title is his largest
summer of 1588.
great museums, galleries and collections of
work to date. His gold leaf, ornamental
As the House re-opens, one important paint-
design reflects the influence of Inigo
ing will return for the first time since the 1650s.
There is no charge for admission to the
Jones’s painted, carved and gilded ceilings
Part of a sequence of pictures commissioned
Queen’s House. It is in Romney Road,
and the elegant wrought-iron leaves, scrolls
for the House by Queen Henrietta Maria and
and flower heads of the spiral balustrade
King Charles I, Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph
from Jones’s Tulip Stairs, the first in Britain
and Potiphar’s Wife (c.1630-3) will be on loan
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-
to be built without a central support and
from the Royal Collections Trust and hang in
5pm seven days a week.
another undeniable British design treasure.
the King’s Presence Chamber.
More information: www.rmg.co.uk
A new contemporary art collections pro-
The newly conserved rooms of the Queen’s Twitter: @TQHGreenwich
gramme, installations, displays, events, exhibi-
tions and acquisitions will aim to establish the
Queen’s House as the art centre for south east
London. An undoubted highlight of the re-
opening of the House is the unveiling of the
famous Armada portrait of Elizabeth I. The
painting became part of the national collection
following a successful public fundraising cam-
paign which attracted thousands of individual
donations as well as major grants and contribu-
tions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art
Fund and others.
Treatment for pain & discomfort doesn’t have to be expensive
Once owned by Sir Francis Drake, the
The Centre offers fully qualified therapists in Physiotherapy,
Uber challenge TfL decision
Osteopathy, Sports Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Remedial
ollowing the TfL changes to private
Massage, Indian Head Massage, Hydrotherm, Massage
hire regulations, changes most PH
companies seemed to agree with,
Therapy, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Uber put in an application to the High
Court for a Judicial Review.
Call us on 020 8507 8169
The challenge was against four of the new rul-
or mobile 07973 639 473 for an early appointment
ings - to be insured for hire and reward, to notify
TfL of any changes to its operating system, for
Email: andy@bptconline.co.uk or fax: 020 8507 9650
drivers to undertake an English language test
Out of hours enquiries welcome
and for call centres to be within a licensed opera-
tions centre ie a phone number! However, the
Barking Physical Therapy Centre
Judge allowed challenges to be made on three
90 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex, IG11 8SF
of the four. The one he decided could not be
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9am till 8pm and Saturday 9am till 2pm
challenged was on the insurance. It is scheduled
to be heard before the end of 2016.
Call Sign October 2016
Page 28
DaC driver Graham Waite gives his view on what the only
way forward is...
have a small side-line business buying and
viable to build a purpose built London taxi any
selling old taxis. I started by getting old
more. The number of new taxis currently being
Fairways for London Vintage Taxi
sold to private buyers is very small, only the
Association club members, but now I sell
fleets are buying in order to meet the increased
TX1s to a wide range of customers, including
rental demand from drivers not willing to com-
Northern Ireland and the north of England
mit their finances into buying a new cab. We
where they have no cab age restriction.
are, I think, witnessing the end of the London
Nowadays, I only work my cab at weekends
Taxi trade as we know it.
after holding a Green Badge for 38 years. I hear
I work nights and my takings are down 50% -
more and more drivers - both young and old -
if not more - on previous years. My old TX1 has
telling me when I buy their old cab that they are
16 months left to go and after that I think it will
getting out of the game or retiring. The younger
be Goodnight Vienna!
ones are often going back into trades they did
I remember joining ODRTS at Shirland
before going on The Knowledge, but the older
Road with Jack Taylor, Martin Gellman,
ones are simply retiring.
Peter Fennimore and all the other old faces;
With the drop in numbers doing the KoL, the
what characters they all were and what
enjoyment they all got from being part of
possibility of driver-less cars/cabs and of course
Graham believes the trade
the London Cab trade which was, and still
Uber, the trade will obviously diminish and
organisations should unite
is, the best in the world. God rest them
with those falling numbers it just will not be
all! But things have changed in our trade
and we need to do something.
Perhaps one answer is for all the various taxi
trade associations to put aside their differences
and form a united front to fight Uber and any
other PH enterprise attempting to dominate the
Dial-a-Cab golfers may be interested in a day’s golf on Wednesday 19th October 2016 at the
trade. Why LTC and Mercedes have not assisted
Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club. It will be a Stableford scoring team event for two players per
more is beyond me. However and unfortunate-
team. A 75% handicap allowance is given per player with the maximum starting handicap of 24
ly, there is no real answer because we cannot
for men and 30 for ladies. Play will be from the yellow tees for Men and red for Ladies.
compete against cheap labour with immigrants
The whole day will be organised for you, just turn up with your team. You will be
willing to work for under £7 an hour or Uber
treated to tea, coffee and bacon rolls and following the competition, sit down to one of
drivers on their apparent £5.12p per hour aver-
our delicious two course carvery dinners, followed by the prize presentation. It’s all
age. On top of that, vehicles are being pur-
included in the cost of £64 per team.
chased on lease contracts costing far less than
You will need to arrive at least 1 hour before T-Time for refreshments and registration. Play will
be a shotgun start with the tee time at 10.30am and we anticipate the meal will be served at
half the price of buying a new taxi - beit LTC or
around 3pm. A change of clothes is required after your 18 holes, ie jacket and tie etc.
If you are interested, please complete the entry form with full details of your team and return it to
TfL should be pushed in regard to making an
us with full payment of £64 as soon as possible; confirmation of your tee time will be given at regis-
early statement on the subject as the invest-
tration. Please make cheques payable to Crown Golf and return to:
ment from both cab manufacturers and taxi
drivers could all too very soon be pointless.
Elaine Cochrane
The Hertfordshire Golf & Country Club, Broxbournebury Mansion
In the meantime, what price trade unity...???
White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 7PY
Graham Waite (B35)
Credit card payments can be taken over the phone if you prefer. If you need any further informa-
tion, please contact Elaine on 01992 466666 ext 249.
Wednesday 19th October 2016
Please complete the form below giving full players details.
Lead Contact Name:
Please provide FULL details of both players
Name (1)
Contact number
E-Mail Address
Name (2)
Contact number
E-Mail Address
Your tee will be confirmed on receipt of your entry fee for the team of £64. Please return entry by 12th October 2016.
Cheques made payable to Crown Golf (UK) Ltd. Please phone if you would like to pay by Credit Card or for further
information: Elaine Cochrane on 01992 466666 ext 249
This information will only be used by Crown Golf Ltd and not issued to any other third party...
Call Sign October 2016
Page 29
From 1 December 2016 until 8 January
2017, the London townhouse where
Charles Dickens completed The Pickwick
Papers and wrote Oliver Twist and
Nicholas Nickleby, will host a celebration
of Christmas, a time of year which Dickens
loved. The Charles Dickens Museum at his
first family home at 48 Doughty
Street in Bloomsbury will be
dressed for a beautiful celebra-
tion of a Victorian Christmas;
the historic rooms into which
Dickens moved with his grow-
ing family in 1837 will be filled
with the atmosphere of a
19th-century London
Ebenezer Scrooge sees the ghost of Jacob Marley in a Christmas
Christmas. Dickens House
Carol. Read at CD House (inset) by Michael Slater or performed by
contains the world’s most
Dominic Gerard
comprehensive collection of
Dickens-related material...
which Dickens used, to enjoy an exclusive tour of Dickens’s ‘house in town’,
dressed for Christmas and filled with festive greenery, authentic Victorian
fayre and the scent of citrus and spice.
A rare opportunity to explore Charles Dickens’s rooms by candlelight at
Dates: Sunday 11th & Sunday 18th December. Times: 10, 10.45 and
Christmas. Flickering light will reveal the elegant interiors that Dickens and
his family loved, as well as original fixtures and fittings and extremely signif-
icant items and pieces of furniture. These include the desk at which he wrote
Admission: Adults £18; Concessions £14; Children (6-16)
many of his most significant works, his red leather chair in the Drawing
Opening hours: Seven days a week, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm).
Room, his personal library of books and John Leech’s sketches for his illus-
Closed on Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Admission outside of special
trations reproduced in the first edition of A Christmas Carol. The visit also
events: Adults £9; Concessions £6; Children (6-16)
£4 and under 6 free.
takes in the shadowy chambers of the Victorian basement, the kitchen and
perhaps the most historically important room in the house, Dickens’s study.
More info + tickets: www.dickensmuseum.com / 020 7405 2127 /
Dickens often wrote into the night by candlelight and was fascinated by the
effects created by flames. Guests will be able to luxuriate in what he called
‘a ruddy, homely...glow’ and experience rooms filled with festive greenery,
authentic Victorian fayre and the scent of citrus and spice.
Dates: Wednesday 14th & 21st December; timed entry from 6.40pm.
Admission: £20
A special candlelit performance of A Christmas Carol by acclaimed actor and
Dickens performer, Dominic Gerrard in the rooms in which Dickens wrote.
A magical re-telling of the classic Christmas story, directed by Tim Carroll
and with ingenious puppetry animating the words of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Dates: 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 28th, 29th, 30th December.
Times: Weekdays:
3.30 and 6.30pm; Weekends: 3 and 6pm.
Admission: £22
The great Dickens authority, Professor Michael Slater MBE, brings A
Christmas Carol to life. A much-loved annual festive treat, highly recom-
mended by all at the Museum and the many visitors who return to experi-
ence it each year.
Dates: 12th,
13th & 23rd December. Times: 3.30 and 6.30pm.
Admission: £15
A special day of Christmas celebrations throughout Dickens’s home. An
opportunity to immerse yourself in Christmas spirit and Victorian London,
with carol singing around the piano in the Drawing Room; theatrical perfor-
mances throughout the house by theatre company Equapoise, each inspired
by Dickens’s Christmas stories.
Date: 24th December. Times: 10am-6pm (last admission at 5pm)
Admission: Adults: £24; Children £12. Ticket price includes a festive
drink and a mince pie.
A step back in time to Christmas 1839; while Dickens and his family are out
at a Christmas event, their housemaid takes a break from her duties to invite
visitors through the now-rarely-open original door of 48 Doughty Street,
Call Sign October 2016
Page 30
Either write to Call Sign at
heard that the D-Day for moving our PEDs
Dial-a-Cab House
from the front of the cab and into the pas-
or email us at
senger compartment has been put back
until 1 January 2017. But it isn’t any sort
of victory because in my view - and appar-
ently not just mine - by insisting on a rear
fitting for PEDs, Transport for London are
Hi Alan
Hello Alan
actually putting driver’s lives on the line
That was a good open letter regarding the
Once again, very good work, excellent writ-
and that is an absolute disgrace.
PEDs from Alex Constantinou (N05) in
ing and overall, a jolly good show! I see that
I have written to everyone I can think of
the September Call Sign and hopefully
my old friend Charles Rathbone, now a
- including the Mayor - so that they are
common sense will eventually prevail.
Vice Prez at one of SF's major taxi compa-
aware of what is happening. If it goes full-
Where their PED was placed in the passen-
nies, has made it into the pages of Call
term, then we’ll see what happens on
ger compartment was actually one of the
Sign. Good chap is Charles; we go way back
January 1st. I can’t deal directly with them
reasons I came off Radio Taxis. I kept feel-
- decades in fact. So far back that the places
because TfL no longer respond to me with
ing that somebody was always peering over
that we would once go to on our coffee
my views on the topic possibly being an
my shoulder and I also believe it blocks the
breaks, no longer exist! Next year I will be
irritation to them; however, my sincere
peripheral vision from any cyclist coming
70 and will retire. It is really the only sensi-
thanks also go to DaC Chairman Brian
up fast on the inside.
ble thing for me to do.
Rice, Artemis Mercer and all her support-
Sean Farrell (B39)
The same exact problems that you experi-
ers at the Save our Black Taxis website, Jim
ence in London are also here in San
Thomas at Taxi Leaks, the many online
Francisco, with Uber of course being the
wives/partners and of course all the drivers
number one problem. They won't go away,
Hi Alan
who have emailed and phoned to say they
ever. But no matter, life goes on...
I am writing in response to your letter pub-
support my anti-TfL stance.
Bob Hunt
lished in the September issue of Call Sign
If something is obviously wrong, how
San Francisco
headed: “How important is the safety of
can it be right??? ...Ed
London Taxi Drivers.” This was a really
good letter which obviously came from the
Apology from Terry
As usual this Call Sign is great. I love Marc
Dear Alan
Turner's wit (September issue): “How do
After reading it and noting that the origi-
Having read your reply to my published letter
you make God laugh? The answer... Make
nal had been sent to the Mayor of London
about MP Clive Efford (September Mailshot), I
and numerous others who your readers
feel I owe him an apology as I was unaware of
John Parker
may or may not be familiar with, I felt the
him doing quite a bit of work on behalf of the
need to add my voice. I am the mother of a
trade. My assumption was that as an MP and
female taxi driver and the thought of my
former taxi driver, he appeared to have done lit-
Hi there Alan
daughter - or any driver come to that - hav-
tle for the trade. I now know that my assump-
Long time no speak. Can I thank you once
ing to put themselves in the vulnerable
tion was incorrect, so I now hope he puts his
again for allowing me to publish articles
position of leaving the safety of the front of
name to the All Party Transport Group (August
from Call Sign into my little magazine.
their taxi to assist a passenger, who may or
Call Sign) in the near future, that's unless he
Although our circulation is only around 250
may not be having a problem with a cred-
already has and I have got it wrong again...
taxi drivers, they enjoy reading about your
it/debit card, is frightening. After all, isn’t
Terry Farr (Ex-T55)
problems - you know what I mean!
that why there is a screen between the dri-
I always remember a particular letter writ-
Always in fraternity...
ver and the passenger? So why are drivers
ten to Mailshot some years ago, although
Mathéo Mertens
now expected to leave the safety of their
not the name of the writer. In the previous
Bruges, Belgium
taxis and, if I am correct, not be able to lock
issue, I had made a comment that the
Call Sign doesn’t often print emails we
the driver’s door as that would lock the
writer pointed out was incorrect. I
receive from internet readers, but hear-
whole cab thus making the cab easy access
checked and he was right... I was wrong!
ing that we now have the largest internet
for robbery or worse - to steal the taxi!
So I held my hands up, said sorry and for-
readership of all London taxi mags (see
Am I being over dramatic? I don’t think
got all about it.
page 12), I thought I’d put a few in ...Ed
so; any partner, spouse or parent of a taxi
Then a week after the next issue I
driver would feel as anxious as I do regard-
received another letter from that same
ing this. Would my daughter feel comfort-
Uber/Who’s getting
writer. He said he had never heard of an
able getting into the back of her taxi with
editor apologising for being incorrect and
one or more male passengers who may or
all the loot!!!
that they would usually just forget about it!
may not be sober? No. Would anyone who
So Terry, don’t worry about getting it
makes these decisions want a member of
Take me home, Mr Car. Daily Mail
wrong, we’ve all been there and you’ve
their family to be put in this position? I rest
Motoring editor, Ray Massey, tells us he's
held your hands up. End of ...Ed
my case!
been driven around for a week in two
I hope your letter does receive a
Volvos before explaining that safety pioneer
response from the Mayor and TfL because I
Call Sign Online
Volvo is carrying out government-backed
feel that safety of such an envied service,
fully autonomous road trials in London
which as you say is respected around the
I emigrated from the UK to New Zealand
from next year and is working with Uber to
world, is paramount. Although the majority
around 15 years ago and still miss the sound
create a self-driving taxi! Not only have we
of the public are good passengers, there is
in the morning of my Fairway starting up! As
been shafted by TfL and Uber, but we are
a minority who feel that hurting/attacking
a regular Call Sign Online reader, I am upset
about to be put out of work by Geely who
others is acceptable and I feel this should
at seeing the problems you guys get nowadays
currently depend on those very people as
and must be taken into consideration.
but I at least still feel part of the trade when I
customers! I fear the game may not be over,
Natalie Ezekiel
read Call Sign. Good luck guys...
but it’s nearly completed. Perhaps that's why
DaC Control Centre
Pete ‘Macca’ McKenzie
the new TX5 will be a six seater... no driver!
Sean and Natalie, by now you will have
Auckland, New Zealand
Secondly, it’s begun, just as you knew it
Call Sign October 2016
Page 31
would. I recently had this sent to me. Of
That said it all and is why I take no notice
course I try not taking any notice...
of his silly attempts to insult me!
‘Brian Rice opens six companies with
They’re out there Jon, so your policy of
member’s money as part of his manoeuvre
taking no notice - just as I do - of anony-
and plan to con the members of Dial-a-
mous rubbish is probably the wisest
event. But DaC don’t escape completely
Jon Robinson (E88)
because the proposed second meeting
Thanks Jon, I had one which “suggest-
has been set for October 9th and that is
ed” the Chairman was getting £3million
my birthday! Linda wasn’t too impressed
credit card holders and by default, for
“assisting” plans to demutualise!
with me having to go, but on the plus side
London’s taxi drivers. Why? How? Simple!
What worried me more was when an
at least I’ll be there in person to collect
It takes around 3 minutes to apply a card
anonymous email - funny how they are
any presents! ...Ed
reader that will also take a note of your pin
always anonymous - asked me what I
number. And as it’s in the back of a taxi
was going to get out of any demutuali-
sation for not revealing who was “on the
Petrol TX4
where most drivers don’t go into, they will
not know. All a passenger (conman
make” at DaC! The answer - which your
Hi Alan
letter suggests you already know - is
I wondered if TfL are aware that a TX4 is
woman) has to do is to fit one onto the
card reader then arrange for the driver to
that every member that has been with
manufactured (since
2010 according to
DaC for over two years will get exactly
Wikipedia) with a Mitsubishi 4G69 2.4 litre
pick them again two weeks later arranging
the same pay-out to the penny should
petrol engine. Would it not have been easier
to go to Gatwick, Luton or any nice job and
demutualisation go through; and the
for TfL to insist on this cab to be supplied in
to show how “sincere” they are by leaving a
Chairman and Board all have one share
the UK rather than have 15 year age limits
deposit. Then when you see them again
just as we all do. I very much doubt
and worrying about emissions all the time?
two weeks later, the conman or woman
whether these anonymous / venomous
Oh yes, I forgot, TfL don’t do simple!
simply takes the card reader off, but now
scribes are on DaC, but I suspect they
Bob Francis (Y98)
he has 10, 20, perhaps even 50 + credit
are just extremely jealous that our
I believe the Chinese version is “born”
card numbers complete with pin numbers
members may get a pay-out if it goes
with it and a number of other countries
and will go on to clone those cards - and
through while still able to carry on
have ordered them. But none are sent
all without the driver knowing a thing. That
working. There are a lot of sad people
from Coventry, they are all Chinese man-
will cost passengers
- and companies -
out there who cannot bear to see others
ufactured. Sadly the words ‘TfL’ and ‘eas-
£1000s if not 10s of £1000s. I do think TfL
get anything that they don’t. One for-
ier’ just don’t go together ...Ed
should know of this risk, as should the gen-
mer driver, who still reads every issue
eral public - a risk that would be greatly
online, takes every opportunity to criti-
diminished if the CC reader stayed where it
cise Dial-a-Cab, Call Sign and myself
PED risk
was - in the front...
online, even though he had to leave
Mike Appleby (L73)
almost ten years ago! He once took
In your quest to try to get TfL to realise how
Sounds very feasible Mike, but it’s still
Dial-a-Cab to an Industrial Relations
foolish it is to make drivers have CC readers
the possibility of drivers being attacked
court and after losing, was described by
in the back for driver safety reasons, TfL
because of TfL’s intransigence that
the Assistant Recorder as “vexatious.”
should also be told of the security risk for all
bothers and upsets me ...Ed
Thomas Larke was a 16th century surveyor of note and in 1566,
some 25 years after Sir William Petre had built Ingatestone
Hall, his new house in the middle of his Essex estate, he wrote:
“Sir William hath at his own great costs and charges erected and builded
a new house, very fair, large and stately, made of brick and embattl’d.”
What Thomas could have added was that this was a house that would survive
everything thrown at it, including two world wars, because now having passed
through the hands of fifteen generations of the Petre family - who continue to
own and occupy it in 2016 - on 19th September, it fell upon the fourteenth
generation of the fifteen, Sir John Petre, to present Dial-a-Cab’s Mike Son
with his British Empire Medal for services to children’s charities.
Ingatestone Hall stands in open countryside just outside the village of Ingatestone
and has kept much of its original Tudor appearance, mullioned windows, high
chimneys, crow-step gables and oak-panelled rooms. It was in just such a room
that guests enjoyed a traditional English afternoon tea prior to the presentation
that took place in front of his family, friends and many of the committee from
the charity that Mike has spent so many years helping as Special Projects
Manager - The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children.
Sir John read out Mike’s achievement on behalf of the Fund with special men-
tion of the organisational work involved. Mike responded as we knew he would
- he was privileged to be presented with the BEM, but in reality it was an award
for everyone involved with the LTFUC, including the committee’s partners because
they also all work so very hard.
Call Sign sends its congratulations to Michael and also to the LTFUC…