< Go Back
Daniel is DaC's
first driver
with the new
Euro 6 Vito
Brian Rice
TfL shocker:
“I am disgusted by
their ineptitude
and rudeness. I
will never again
help them unless
I have to...!”
Call Sign February 2017
Page 2
From Alan Nash (A95)
I can only give burst times if the venues websites state the start and duration or finish times. But we are now including Hackney Empire events, although only shown in the on-line version this month, which is an essential download
Note: I believe that Evolution are evening events and taken from information obtained last November, so
may be subject to change. This table only contains 108 events of the 217 I found. I encourage you to download the full listing in larger print complete with the day of the week as well as date.
Download at: www.myfav.co.uk/wofeb17.pdf
Call Sign February 2017
Page 3
from the editor’s desk
Dirty deeds!
that represents gig-economy delivery people
Well, the dirty deed has been done; my Pin
pushing for better pay and conditions and is
Entry Device, otherwise known as the DaC
also backed by the New York Taxi Workers
credit card reader, is now in the passenger com-
Alliance. Uber don’t like Unions and or those
partment and other than the first trip, where I
working for the app to be members of any.
felt somewhat temporarily confused, I’ve had
A second hearing is scheduled for late
no real problems - even though I have to consis-
February but to avoid a case, Uber offered to
tently tell passengers to wait until I tell them it’s
settle with Mr Washington, floating the possibil-
ok to use. Of course I never thought that every
ity of a cash payment on the condition that he
passenger would be a threat. I just considered it
accepts a rejection of his claim and terminates
an unnecessary risk to move it from where it
his contract with Uber. That would avoid setting
was almost 100% safe to somewhere that could
a precedent and leaves his independent con-
pose a threat if the passengers were determined
tractor status untested. However, the courier
to rob the driver. But sadly, somewhere down
has apparently rejected any settlement.
the City of London Corporation intend closing
the line a driver will be injured thanks to an atti-
Robert Grey is the attorney representing
the Bank Junction to all traffic except buses and
tude of superiority aligned with total intransi-
Jorge Washington; he said Uber was motivated
bikes. There have been demos and letters flying
gence by TfL. Some would call it stupidity!
to avoid a second hearing because the compen-
around; but of all that, one letter stuck out as
We will just have to learn to adapt and be
sation board would then decide on Mr
being so sensible that it almost had a chance of
careful; sadly TfL will remain stupid and intran-
Washington’s employment status, but an Uber
changing the minds of those behind the scheme
sigent. The best example of that occurred when
spokesperson responded by saying that the
that will bring even more misery to a City still
a Dial-a-Cab driver took his cab to his local
company rejected any allegation that it was
struggling with bike lanes that are wide enough
passing station with his PED in its new position
retaliating against Washington, partly on the
for buses to get through!
close to the offside door. The passing inspector
grounds that because Washington was an inde-
That letter didn’t come from a trade organisa-
failed it because no one had told him that TfL
pendent contractor rather than an employee, he
tion or a magazine editor; amazingly it came
had passed a new position down the side as
is not covered by state labour laws that prohibit
from the Worshipful Company of Hackney
against the “old” one on the passenger side of
retaliation by employers against staff. That
Carriage Drivers. I’m not a member of the
the central partition!
Washington is not an employee is, of course, the
WCHCD. I’ve never had the time, but I admire
Are you still with me? It has now moved from
very point that remains up in the air, and which
their charity work - especially the Magical Taxi
its excellent position on the driver’s side to either
the state board will decide on later this month.
Tour to Disneyland Resort Paris that they
behind the driver or to the offside door. Now I
Should the board rule Uber’s messengers are
undertake every year for children with life
know this is a rather silly question, but if TfL in
independent contractors, they would not be
threatening illnesses. They do other stuff such
some sort of perceived wisdom have decided that
entitled to the organising protections and work-
as helping local schools etc, but what they do
the card readers can go close to the door, why did
ers’ compensation coverage enshrined in
not usually do is to get involved with trade pol-
they move them to the partition? And if they can
labour law. However, should it go against the
itics. But having read a letter signed by current
go close to the door, why didn’t they place them
app, the Uber world might begin to implode...
Master, Alan Roughan to the Corp’s Director of
by the nearside door so that drivers can see what
the Built Environment, Caroline Dwyer and
passengers are doing, as against the totally blind
copied to several others including the Lord
view they have behind them? Apparently it’s in
Just for a change (!!!) there is a substantial
Mayor, Dr Andrew Palmley and those in
case you try to watch passengers put their pin in
amount of text dedicated to our licensing
charge of relevant involved committees, per-
- something we couldn’t do when we used to
authority, Transport for London. It is a sad
haps they should take over the letter writing for
pass the PED through the opening. As I said:
reflection on TfL that they are so despised by
the trade, because their letter was excellent.
Stupid and intransigent!
drivers that they actually run Uber a close sec-
ond; but it is now also management that consid-
Uber: Beginning of the end???
Engine Management Light
ers them to be totally useless at the important
Last month’s Call Sign ran a piece from the mini-
Most taxis have an Engine Management Light
job they are supposed to be doing.
cab union, GMB, where they wrote of the victory
that will come on at some time or other. It could
Inside this issue there is an article in which DaC
in October after they brought two employment
happen after you’ve had to turn the engine over
Chairman Brian Rice expresses his disgust at the
tests cases for Uber drivers to the Central
for a longer time than usual on a particularly
sheer rudeness of TfL and tells Call Sign that he
London Employment Tribunal. The judge said
cold morning or it might just appear because
will never again assist TfL when they ask for his
the company had acted unlawfully and that Uber
your fuel cap isn’t on properly. It could also
help - which they do on occasion. He also writes
drivers were entitled to receive holiday pay, a guar-
mean something serious involving the engine.
of the rudeness TfL displayed by not answering
anteed minimum wage and an entitlement to
We all know it’s a warning light; the question is
Allan Evans letter regarding the movement of
breaks. The ruling has major implications for
for what?
PEDs to the passenger compartment.
more than 30,000 drivers across England and
Most garages can’t tell you because the warn-
Then there is a piece from Call Sign’s Marc
Wales - but the San Francisco based company has
ing light covers several different things that
Turner (R97) where he interviews Ajit
decided to appeal the decision in the High Court.
could go wrong and only the main agent usually
Chambers who formed The Old London
But now we hear the dispute has spread to
has the computer program needed to decipher
Underground Company. Ajit claims that at
New York and a case heard by the New York
the message.
meetings with TfL, how impressed then-Mayor
State Workers’ Compensation Board - the
But now there is an app that plugs into your
Boris Johnson was with Ajit’s initiative to turn
name infers it is similar to our Tribunal - and
cab and will tell you whether the warning is
the stations into places of leisure and entertain-
should the result go against Uber and classify
serious or not and whether it’s safe to continue
ment. But he soon noticed their attitude chang-
the worker as an Uber employee, the company
working. That’s the good news; not so good is
ing towards him when, according to Mr
could face compensation claims from their
that I never caught the name of it! I was flicking
Chambers, TfL proceeded to 'steal' his business
workers going back several years.
through the TV channels and caught the tail end
model and that after he’d invested a huge sum
Uber has always said that drivers working via
of a motoring piece on Fox News where they
of his own money into the project.
the Uber app are independent contractors, and
had been talking about an app to decipher EML
Then there is the disturbing story of TfL’s inspec-
that they just supply the software platform that
warnings. It sounded like FIX but I can’t be
tors picking on DaC driver Alan Drew (L33) and
connects drivers to customers. But the New York
sure. Sounds like a good idea to me and one
asking him why he wasn’t wearing his badge after he
test case isn’t the only one and there are several
that could save small fortunes...
explained that he was on his way home!
being filed to state and federal authorities.
Sadly, very sadly, it’s all inside this issue..
The New York case has been filed by Jorge
Bank Junction closure
Washington; he is a courier for the Uber Rush
Unless you have been holidaying on Mars, then
Alan Fisher
and Eats delivery service. He is also a member
you’ll know that within the next few months,
of the New York Messengers Alliance group
Call Sign February 2017
Page 4
Reflections of the Chairman
Building update
Fares Consultation
The process of issuing shares and the sale of
I have been invited along with others in the
the building is progressing, albeit slower
trade to a meeting at Palestra to discuss next
than I originally anticipated. However, this is
year’s fare increase. I know I have stated in this
due to HMRC dealing with our situation
issue and on past occasions that I would no
slower than I’d hoped for. We contact HMRC
longer do anything to aid TfL after the
every few days in an attempt to speed up
appalling manner in which they have treated
their process, but unfortunately they move at
our industry. However, after some serious
their own pace. I am now informed at the
thought I have decided to attend, otherwise I
time of writing that I will receive their deci-
would not be in a position to be privy to their
sion in the next two weeks and we are pretty
discussions. But I do not hold out much hope!
the best. That is probably why the trade had
I have known for some time that TfL do not
sure that HMRC will agree with our view, but
respect for the PCO, which is more than can
consult... they just dictate and go through the
we have to be absolutely certain before we
be said of the current shower - Licensed Taxi
motions of a Consultation so that they can state
can continue with the process. If by an out-
Private Hire (LTPH), which is a part of TfL.
at a later date how they consulted with the
side chance their view is different to ours,
They have in a short period of time turned
trade. I believe they already know what they
then we will have to proceed via a different
our trade into a demoralised gathering of
want to do next year and will just float their
avenue. But I am fairly sure that will not be
stressed and disillusioned individuals - but
ideas in an attempt to gauge reaction.
the case.
still it appears they just don’t care! I have
There have been a number of emails flying
never known our trade to hold the authori-
back and forth with certain people in our trade
TfL again
I’m sure you are all aware of the decision by
ties that govern us in such contempt as they
who are endeavouring to make themselves
Camden Council to ban taxis from
do with TfL and that contempt is self-inflicted
look like clever intellectuals; but if they ever get
enough experience they’ll find out that their
Tottenham Court Road and City
by TfL staff that just do not understand our
Corporation’s banning of taxis from Bank
trade, nor do they wish to - because they just
endeavours were to no avail and they have not
impressed anyone. Well certainly not me...
Junction. Both decisions are ludicrous so far
don’t care!
as I am concerned and what with the substan-
With the anticipated closure of Bank
PED upgrade
tial amount of our road space being stolen in
Junction to taxis, how will we do Moorgate
Finally, it would be remiss of me if I did not
order to appease cyclists, just where will we
to London Bridge Station and service our
thank everyone concerned; from our fitters at
be able to ply our trade in the future?
account clients in the vicinity of the Bank?
Roman Way to the IT department, to Allan
I am reliably led to believe that Camden
But you’ve guessed it - TfL just don’t care!
Evans and Joe Brazil, oh and not forgetting
Council were originally of the mind of
I was hopeful there would be some
the ladies in Driver Services together with
allowing taxis access to Tottenham Court
changes under this new Mayor, but sadly
Shelagh Adkins for all the sterling work they
Road, but in a document sent to the LTDA
that is not the case; he talks a good fight
all did. And for you, the Shareholders, for
by Camden’s solicitors, they clearly state
but comes across as weak and ineffectual.
your patience when we completed the PED
that we would not be allowed access
He has done no more good for us than his
upgrade... and not forgetting the moving of
because research had shown them that
predecessors, and like Boris he probably
the PED into the back of the taxi (thanks TfL).
“taxis were the main cause of serious acci-
sees it as a stepping stone to leading his
It was a very onerous and stressful period,
dents in the area.”
political party in the Commons. If it
especially with everything else that is happen-
Naturally this view was challenged, but
wasn’t so awful, it would be funny!
ing, but I won’t say any more on the subject as
Camden stated that after lengthy research
“London is open for business,” says Mayor Khan.
I believe Allan Evans has gone into more detail
had been done, they could not find any data
But hang on Sadiq, it’s not open if you can’t move
in his report.
that differentiated taxis from minicabs. My
in the congestion, is it? It won’t be long before busi-
guess is that the same scenario applied to the
nesses decide to move out of gridlocked London,
Brian Rice
Corporation of London when deciding what
but I don’t suppose they care about that either.
vehicles will have access to Bank Junction.
They can always put it down to Brexit!!
Dial-a-Cab Ltd
Why on earth should TfL have the temerity to
class us the same as minicabs, it really does
go some way in emphasising the fact that TfL
put both groups in the same category, which
once again is an insult to the licensed taxi
industry - but TfL just don’t care!
In the past I used to have regular meetings
with the Public Carriage Office and it was a
Unit 10, Ford View Industrial Estate, 83 New Rd Rainham, RM13 8ET
recognised and a well-publicised fact that the
London Taxi was the safest means of trans-
port available - and that included all sectors
Tel: 01708 553037
and not just road transport. So you may well
ask what has now made us the main perpetra-
tors of serious accidents? Well I’ll tell you
TX1 servicing from £48
TX1s, TX2s, TX4s and Vitos
why... it’s because TfL include our figures
with those of the minicab industry because it
TX2 servicing from £70
Rentals from £165 per week
obviously suits their agenda - whatever that
TX4 servicing from £90
may be.
All Work Undertaken
I am totally convinced that this scenario
would never have been allowed to materi-
Servicing - Running Repairs - Overhauls - Small Fleets Welcome - Discounts Available
alise under the PCO, but we were then deal-
All TX1, TX2, TX4
ing with staff that were proud of the licensed
Starters - Batteries - Alternators - All with 2 year Warranty
taxi industry; they correctly believed it to be
the best taxi service in the world and gen-
Fax: 01708 551443
Web: www.PaulsTaxiSpecialists.co.uk
uinely believed they were a part of that and in
no small way had their input into making us
Call Sign February 2017
Page 5
Laurie calls it a day!
Any Dial-a-Cab driver that has
be decided. But he
added that either way, he
ever worked EC5 or indeed its
was fairly certain that I
Finsbury Square rank predecessor
would be clear of cancer
on a fairly regular basis, will
know Laurie Shapiro (H62). Now
“Hearing that made
me realise that I was now
Laurie - or Lol to some - has
74 and been driving a
decided to retire and in calling it
cab for over 50 years -
a day, see what excitement the
much of it on Dial-a-Cab,
world as a whole - rather than
which I first joined in
the world of taxis - holds for him.
1967. Other than a few
“I have to admit that my health has played a
years in the middle
big part in the decision,” Laurie told Call
where I tried the jew-
Sign. “It was back in April. I’d gone out for a
ellery business, I’ve been
meal and during a quick visit to the loo, found
here that long! But in all
myself in substantial pain. The next day I went
honesty, I’ve just had
Laurie is retiring - especially from EC5!
to the doctor and it was eventually discovered
enough of driving a cab!
that I had a tumour on my bladder.
That’s not to say that I
“I was told it was quite a big one and
didn’t enjoy much of the time and won’t
mum just three months before Frankie
underwent two operations, which were fol-
miss many of the friends I’ve made while in
passed away, completed a 5k Race for Life
lowed by 32 days of both chemo and radio-
through the City of London in aid of
it, but it’s time to see what’s happening out-
therapy. It left me feeling absolutely awful
Cancer Research UK. Dial-a-Cab drivers
side of the Finz! I fancy New York as a start!”
and when I went back afterwards to see the
contributed generously to the collection tin
Laurie’s son Ian, who used to share the
consultant, he told me that the tumour had
in Driver Reception and helped Melinda
cab with his dad, will now be sharing with
shrunk by 90 percent - something that made
raise over £850.
Steve Goldberg (A77). Both Laurie and Ian
the suffering suddenly feel worthwhile. He
So to Laurie, we send our best wishes for a
know only too well the heartbreak that can-
said treatment didn’t always work but that it
long and enjoyable retirement. EC5 may
cer can bring when, following a brave two
seemed to have worked with me. As for the
never be the same again!!!
year battle against the illness, Laurie’s wife
final 10 percent, they are going to decide
Frankie was taken by it in September 2011.
what the treatment is to be; it could be the
Drivers may also remember Laurie’s daugh-
Michael Toomey
removal of the bladder or something yet to
ter Melinda, who while worrying about her
Call Sign Online
Drop in leisure visitors since Brexit
The number of leisure passengers coming to Britain dropped for
political and economic uncertainty
two consecutive months, going against predictions of a post-
increasing, it is more important
Brexit surge in visitors. October figures from the British
than ever to ensure UK tourism
Hospitality Association travel monitor showed there were
can compete. The UK continues to
450,000 fewer holiday passengers up to that 2016 date com-
have on average twice the tourism
pared with the same period in 2015. The previous month’s fig-
VAT rate across Europe. Alongside
ures had shown a 400,000 drop.
businesses investing in the appren-
Industry commentators had expected a jump in over-
ticeship levy, the national living
seas visitors following Britain’s decision to leave the EU
wage and rising business rates,
after the Pound significantly weakened against other cur-
this signals concern for businesses
rencies. But holiday inbound travel to the UK was down
in the industry, four out of five of
5.3% in October and 3.7% for the year to date. By con-
which are SMEs.”
Ufi Ibrahim
trast, outbound holiday travel was up 5.2% in October
and 5.4% year to date.
Total inbound travel, which also includes business travel and those
Keith Reading
visiting friends and family, declined 5.1% year on year, but the BHA
said figures were skewed by the Rugby World Cup being held in
Professional Toastmaster
2015. Looking at the wider picture and over the three months end-
Master of Ceremonies
ing in December, inbound travel dropped by 0.7% versus the same
period 12 months ago, but has grown 1.7% year to date.
Tele: 01279 465 938
In a further blow to the incoming tourism industry - including
Mobile: 07774 860 374
we taxi drivers - overseas residents spend in the UK was down
Email: kgr.2@virgin.net
8.3% in October and 1.2% year to date. Meanwhile, UK spend
overseas was up 17% in October and 10.7% year to date.
10% discount for DaC drivers and staff
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim described it as a “worrying
trend.” She added: “Our analysis has shown that there is
Fellow of the Guild of
increasing pressure on the industry through lower inbound holi-
Professional Toastmasters
day passengers and higher outbound holiday passengers. With
Call Sign February 2017
Page 6
“Yes chaps, we’ll be talking to TfL soon. In the meantime, have you seen my Uber car anywhere???”
London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled (Now known as the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans)
The Annual General Meeting of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans took
place on Monday 12th December 2016 at The Royal Hospital in Chelsea.
Those Present: Gary Belsey, Ian Parsons, Paul Davis, Gary Mankilow, Francis
Wyhowska, Richard Goodwin, Eddie Hillary, David Clegg, Gary Hutchinson,
Dennis James, Graham Pike, Arron Capell, Michael Husk and Derek Leone.
Guest was Susan Angel...
A one-minute silence was held for those no longer with us.
The meeting was then opened by Chairman Gary Belsey at 2pm, who then read
out the Chairman’s Report (see January Call Sign).
The financial report was then explained by Treasurer Gary Mankilow.
Election of Officers
The following were elected un-opposed:
President Harry Joel MBE, Chairman Gary Belsy, Vice-Chairman Ian Parsons, Treasurer Gary Mankilow, Secretary Paul
Davis, Vice-Treasurer Michael Husk, Vice-Secretary and Press Officer Derek Leone, Transport Terry Ward, Vice-Presidents
Richard Goodwin, Eddie Hillary, Francis Wyhowska, Dennis James, David Clegg. Committee members Arron Capell,
Graham Pike, Dennis Hayes and Gary Hutchins.
The Chairman then asked Susan Angel if she wished to be a member of the committee and she agreed to do so. The meeting then closed.
The President, Chairman, Officers and committee would like to thank all of the sponsors and drivers who have in 2016
given their support to the charity...
Derek Leone
Taxi Charity for Military Veterans PR
Call Sign February 2017
Page 7
DaC’s First Euro 6 Vito
It was an excited Daniel Francescotti
David was the first DaC driver with
(A51) who carefully drove his brand
the new Euro 6 Vito
new MB Vito Euro 6 taxi into Dial-a-
inset: The ignition key is now situated
Cab’s Roman Way depot for engineers
to the left of the steering wheel
to fit the MDT equipment into the
gleaming cab.
“Yes, I do believe that mine is the first Euro
slowly getting used to,” Daniel told Call
6 Vito to join the Dial-a-Cab fleet, although I
Sign, “it’s just a case of acclimatisation!”
think there are a couple more guys who have
The cab uses a 136 hp low emission
also upgraded to a new Euro 6 MB Vito and
114CD Euro 6 diesel engine together with
they will follow me here later today to be fitted
the fuel efficient 7G-tronic plus 7 speed gear-
up,” Daniel suggested, a fact confirmed by
box. It is advertised as no deposit with week-
Roman Way depot manager, Dana
ly payments of £168, which includes a 3 year
warranty and free 24 hour roadside assis-
“My previous Vito was 4 years old and out of
tance from MB’s MobiloVan. That break-
warranty, so for very similar monthly repay-
down service boasts attendance in around an
ments I decided to upgrade to a new vehicle,”
hour and uses only genuine MB parts.
Daniel told Call Sign.
Taking a quick look around Daniel’s Vito
“The obvious ben-
while the new terminal was being fitted, I
efits are that I now
was impressed with most of the obvious
drive the latest eco-
changes from earlier models, but the re-sit-
friendly model with
ing of the ignition switch from the original
its reduced emis-
right hand side of the steering wheel to the
sions, one that is
left is likely only to appeal to left-handed dri-
good for the envi-
vers. Other controls have similarly been
ronment, gives me
cab and others like it
moved around, but their positions will proba-
a full manufactur-
hopefully promote
bly become familiar with usage.
ers’ warranty for
image of Dial-a-Cab and
More info at www.mbvitotaxi.co.uk.
peace of mind and is
the wider taxi trade in gener-
The cab is available at S&B Commercials,
comfortable - not just for me to work in, but
Travellers Lane, Welham Green.
the passengers like to ride in comfort too, so
“There are some tweaks to the new ‘face-lift-
hopefully that will attract more riders and
ed’ cab, including changes to the bodywork,
Alan Green
win back some work. Then, of course, this
sidelights and dashboard controls, which I’m
Call Sign Online
Call Sign February 2017
Page 8
A brief chat with
Some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over!
any of my historian
chums and we’d all
agree that Sir
Harry Hotspur
was the nickname
of Sir
Bob Woodford looks at London’s long lost sporting venues
Percy, Earl of
- a
14th century
arse-kicking noble-
man, who would
do battle for both the Crown and its opponents
before being slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury
aged just 39 and at the height of his military
A brief chat with my drinking chums and
we would all agree that Harry Hotspur could
refer to the sharp shooting skills of centre for-
ward Harry Kane, or even perhaps the new
kid on the block, midfield maestro Harry
Despite all the superlatives in the second para-
graph, I am not a supporter of Tottenham
Hotspur, but I do recognise the link between
Harry Hotspur and Harry Kane and I do believe
(from the comfort of my armchair) that the ‘Spurs
are on the verge of those kinds of glories the
much-victorious Sir Harry once enjoyed.
Tottenham Hotspur in 1897
Perhaps the clue is in the fact that the orig-
inal Harry Hotspur was the Earl of
Class educator Edward Sprylions was the
home ground was sought and obtained at
instigator and inspiration behind the forma-
Northumberland Park. But even this spell was
Northumberland Park area of what is today
tion of a football team of grammar school
short-lived as during their one-season tenure
N17 and right next door to White Hart Lane
boys to challenge all-comers, because by the
there, it became apparent the club just couldn’t
Stadium was a very early home ground for
late Victorian-era the sport was catching on
cope with such large attendances.
football fixtures for the fledgling Hotspur FC,
among the inner city working class.
The chance came to develop a disused nursery
founded in 1882.
All Hallows is one of north London’s oldest
site that had been neglected by Charingtons
Ironically, the club are set once again to move
places of worship - a 12th century gem reputed
Brewery - the entrepreneurial Landlord of the
(in 2018) back to the playing ground of their fore-
to have been gifted to Tottenham by King David
White Hart pub at 750 Tottenham High Road
fathers - a final piece of the jigsaw that would put
I of Scotland, strengthening its connection with
was ‘Gorgeous’ George Beckwith - the ‘Mr
the seal on north London’s impressive new
the Bruce family (of Robert the Bruce fame)
Fiddler ‘who sought to exploit the club in rent
Northumberland Park Regeneration Scheme.
who owned the adjacent Bruce Castle.
Tottenham Hotspur FC have been ably assist-
I believe that old Ed Sprylions had a sense of
The ground switch was the making of the
ed by both Haringey Council and facilitated by
his local neighbourhood’s heritage at heart using
Spurs, the old stand at Northumberland Park
former Mayor Boris Johnson to achieve their
Hotspur as his new club’s name; I also believe
was fetched down, the club became Southern
new dream - such a pity that over in south
that the stoic thick upper lip Victorian preacher-
League Champions in 1900 and FA Cup
London Lewisham Council, supported by
type would have sensed that ‘Hotspur’ (made
Winners in 1901 - the only non-league team
Mayor Khan, are happy to push Millwall away
evermore famous by Shakespeare in Henry IV)
to ever win the trophy! By 1905, they had
from their heartlands.
was a name that had come to symbolise British
stashed away enough dough to buy the free-
So, how did it all begin for the Spurs? In a story
strength and determination... and this kind of
hold of White Hart Lane!
similar to the origins of Fulham FC (when a
summed up the man.
Historians suggest that Sir Harry Hotspur was
Church Warden formed a team for local boys at St
The medieval Sir Harry Hotspur was known
struck down when an arrow hit him as he opened
Andrews Church in Greyhound Road) and
to be flamboyant and risk-taking in life - and
his visor for a better view of the battlefield - so
Queens Park Rangers FC (when the Wardens at
I’m not suggesting that this has rubbed off on
perhaps if you are sitting in the stands during the
the after-school institution of St Jude’s in Ilbert
the Spurs defence at times through the years
last remaining home games, don’t take your eye
Street formed a local side) - Hotspur Football
- but for upstarts in 1882 to call themselves
off the ball for a quick glance at the new stadium
Club was founded in 1882 by a bunch of school
‘Hotspur’ would certainly have turned some
currently being constructed!
kids attending a bible class at All Hallows
heads, as there was already in existence
Had I been writing this series about London
Church in Savernake Road.
London Hotspur FC, playing over at Syon
football clubs at any time between Spurs founda-
tion year of 1882 and 1965, there may have been
The Percy family home was at Syon Park, while
a case to exclude them - although the club were
the other land they owned was Northumberland
part of the London Postal and Metropolitan Police
Call Sign
Park - hence two cases for naming your teams
Districts. But in terms of admin and local
February 2017
Government it fell within Middlesex before
Editor: Alan Fisher
Hotspur FC’s first home matches were
becoming part of the London Borough of
Address: 39 - 47 East Rd, London N1 6AH
played at Tottenham Marshes and they contin-
Tel: 0207 251 0581 Fax: 0207 553 7293
ued building up a following there for the next
If you take it to that extreme and consider that
Email: callsignmag@aol.com
6 years. Moving forward, the Lea Valley
Woolwich Arsenal FC did not switch from
Website: www.22-callsign.co.uk
Regional Park Authority purchased this land
Woolwich to Highbury until 1913, then you could
Printers: Premier Print Group
in 1972 and now oversees a 26-mile long cor-
say that there are no true north London clubs!
E6 6 LP
ridor of 10,000 acres of recreational land.
Next month I shall feature the club who
Design: Aldan Publications
Playing at ‘The Marshes’ back then was rudi-
Tottenham Hotspur objected to joining the
Tel: 07958 300 428
mentary at best and quite often would see punch-
Southern League in 1905 soon after their for-
Email: debbiefresco@googlemail.com
ups break out between teams and officials all hell
mation in a pub now called ‘The Butcher’s
Views and opinion expressed in Call Sign must
not be assumed to represent those of the Editor or
bent on playing on the best pitches!
Board.No part of Call Sign may be reproduced
The ‘Spurs were building up a reputation and
Bob Woodford
either manually or electronically without the express
the crowds were following, so much so that a new
permission of the Editor.
Call Sign Online
Call Sign February 2017
Page 9
At a recent meeting with Brian
Rice, Call Sign sensed a rather
unusual anger emanating from
Brian Rice: “I will
the Chairman. Fortunately it was
not aimed at the magazine but at
what he described as Transport
never help TfL again!”
for London’s “complete inepti-
tude and utter rudeness.” He
admitted to Call Sign that the
shocked us when adding that he
sheer frustration of TfL’s totally
would never again help TfL out-
unbending attitude had made him
side of anything that he has no
sign off the email in that rather sar-
castic tone - something he would
choice but to do.
never usually do regardless of how
The Chairman has written several times of
upset he was. But he added that
how in 2011, Dial-a-Cab spent around
this wasn’t the first time he felt that
£500,000 fitting credit card PEDs into the
both he and DaC had been
front of Member’s taxis after TfL had passed
snubbed and insulted by TfL.
the system and confirmed it in writing. We
He ended by saying that he
all know now how that same TfL changed
had helped TfL out many times
their minds in 2016 and gave everyone until
over the years and that they
December 31 to have PEDs refitted - this
were always quick to ask him
time into the rear of the cabs despite an out-
when there was a problem
cry from all sections of the trade.
knowing that he knew so many
Both the Chairman and Editor have
people involved in the trade.
gone into print expressing their fear of
“But no more,” the Chairman
the possibility of some undesirable pas-
told us, “I will never help TfL again
sengers using the new PED position as a
in anything that I do not have to. I
pretext to get drivers to leave the safety
am absolutely disgusted by their
of the front and enter the rear compart-
complete ineptitude and utter
ment where anything could happen.
rudeness - miniature gods who do
However, Brian explained that however
not have to respond if they don’t
much he disagreed with TfL’s latest edict,
I hope to hear back from you soon...
feel like it. So far as I am concerned, they are
there was no choice other than to begin the
a disgrace to the oldest and finest taxi ser-
But Allan received no response whatso-
process of moving all the PEDs to the back
ever and on 21st December, Brian Rice
vice the world has ever seen.”
otherwise drivers would face ‘stops’ as of 1
emailed Alex Moffat - sending copies to
January onwards. The process began and
Helen Chapman, Leon Daniels, Peter
continued day after day, from early morning
Blake, Sarah Finlay, John Masters, Sadiq
till late evening.
Khan’s deputy Mayor for Transport Val
But with so many drivers, it was always
Shawcross, London Assembly member
going to be an uphill battle and finally on
Caroline Pidgeon, TfL Commissioner
December 16th DaC’s Operations and
Mike Brown and DaC Board Members.
Compliance manager, Allan Evans, emailed
The DaC Chairman wrote:
Alex Moffat who had been overseeing the
Further to Allan’s e-mail (below and
project from TfL’s end. Allan wrote:
to which he has not received a reply) we
have now fitted the majority of the Fleet
By the end of today I would have
with the PED in the back of the taxi. As
already fitted over half of the Dial-a-Cab
you are aware, this has been a major
fleet and with one more week left before
exercise for us in terms of recalling the
the Christmas break, we will continue
Fleet; in addition it has been a major
with the programme in an effort to fit as
expense purchasing new brackets and
many drivers as possible in this period.
indeed the cost of keeping our fitting
Since taking delivery of the brackets we
bay open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a
have opened our fitting bay from 8am
until 8pm continuously to fit as many as
However, I still feel disappointed that
possible, but as hard as we are trying, if I
TfL reneged on their original decision
am totally honest I think we may require
Your old TX1 Taxi is wanted
in March 2011 to allow me permission
a little longer to fit all of our remaining
to fit the PEDs in the front of the taxi
drivers. I would therefor ask you to con-
Quick viewing and decision
(which is a far safer option for the dri-
sider a short early January extension
ver). I anticipate that come 1 January
Cash waiting!
that will allow us a little more time to
2017, there will be approximately 200 of
complete this project successfully.
our taxis not equipped with the PED in
Top price paid for really
As I have mentioned, the whole fleet are
the rear of the taxi. I believe everything
perfectly able to accept Credit Cards and
clean examples
could be completed by the end of
all of our drivers that have not had their
January at the latest.
PEDS re-sited by the 1st January 2017 -
Consequently, what would you like me
and there shouldn’t be too many -will be
to do? Carry on moving the PEDs during
Please ring Graham on
fitted very early in January.
January or de-authorise the PEDs that
07435 562759
I hope I have explained our situation
have not been moved in order that they
well enough and that you will be able to
will not function?
or e-mail on
show us some leniency on this one occa-
I await your decision!
Brian never received a reply either and he
Call Sign February 2017
Page 10
Well, it was a
shock, I don’t
Another true story from Geoff Levene...
mind telling
you. It was all
going so nice-
ly. I'd been
morning and
just before
keen! But I was planning something special
Garage in Brackenbury Road. Perhaps a
one o'clock,
for myself...
cab historian will tell me why it's known
when it start-
It was going to be a complete hunting
as wangling and could he also confirm
ed to get a bit
scene across my back. Dogs, horses, men
that Cooks was previously in Huntsworth
quiet, I set
in pink jackets and a fox disappearing
Mews and that the original minicab firm,
up... well it disappeared - take my word
Welbeck Motors, was also there. Someone
for it. But the shop was gone... all my
who worked there at the time told me he
and knew exactly what to do for the next
plans were in disarray! Perhaps a similar
had discovered how much diesel was
hour. I went round the market! Up St John
business will open there... but beware! As
required to torch a Renault Dauphine!
Street, found a parking spot and did the Pay-
they say, past results are no guarantee as
Anyway when they moved to W6, one ves-
by-Phone parking business. Then I walked
to future ones.
tige of the cab trade remained, this was the
over to the shop - just near the corner of
Not that far from where I live was a tradition-
panel-beater - the legendary Ginger! Now, he
Great Sutton Street and there it was...gone!
al English butcher. Been there for years. Last
wasn't the sort of guy you'd get to work on a
I'd first noticed it when I dropped two girls
summer a notice went up saying that he was
Roller, but he would, as they say, “get you out
there one morning. They were - shall we say
retiring on October 20th and to thank every-
of trouble.” And his prices were incredible.
- of the Sapphic persuasion and they seemed
one for their custom. Soon afterwards, another
You'd go into his workshop and peer through
to be running the place. They were also a
sign appeared: “Halal Butchers opening soon.”
the white dust from the filler. As if that wasn't
walking advert for the business because it
Seemed like a good idea. They did open in
toxic enough, you'd struggle to breathe
was called Intu you and they were covered in
November - for about half an hour and the
because of the intoxicating aroma of the lead-
tattoos and piercings. Every inch that I could
shutters have been down ever since. They had
rich paint. But Ginger seemed to thrive on it
see - and I presume lots that I couldn't - were
no idea how to run the place.
all. I suspect he needed it like diabetics need
adorned in metal and multi-coloured ink.
Similarly, a very busy baker shop in Camden
insulin. It was his lifeblood.
Well, after seeing how terrific those two
High Street was taken over by new people and
He would look at a dent; bring out his
looked, I was hooked. I went in there and got
now the only sign of life is the homeless guy
tools and a pot of paint. Then whack, bang,
their catalogue, which was full of interesting
sleeping in the doorway.
whack, bang, slurp, slurp and “That will be
ideas. Soon after I began a new chapter in my
Obviously our taxi trade is not immune from
£2 please!” And you were back at work. But
life - Body Art! If only I had started earlier.
closures or retirements or the like. A chap I
eventually he went from there. I last saw him
I got five rings in one ear and three in the
know, Peter, opened a garage in Willesden
in the eighties working away in the back of a
other. Then it was a spear through my nose
and another in the tongue. Tattoos? I suggest-
some years ago in partnership with Tony. I
garage in Midland Road. Of course that
don't know exactly what broke them up but I
place went with the reconstruction of St
ed a dagger dripping blood with the words
Death or Glory but they said that was old-
think it was money... the money that Tony was
Pancras. But I've got the feeling that he's still
fashioned. So we decided on a cobra down
putting in his pocket! But maybe he had a lucky
there somewhere, still banging out the dents,
the left arm and three lions above my right
escape. Tony was later featured in several edi-
still slurping on the paint...
ankle. I suggested to the good lady wife that
tions of The Roger Cook programme. There
I would treat her to a butterfly on her shoul-
were allegations of bodies buried in the
Geoff Levene
der. Her reply was that she would rather eat
Californian desert!
Call Sign Online
her own hair! I took it that she wasn’t overly
I actually learnt to drive a cab at Cooks
The London Taxidrivers Fund for Underprivileged Children
Christmas Party
The first event was a Christmas party held at the Brayford Club in London’s east end. This annu-
al event is organised by one of our Trustees, Bradley Winfield, with lots of help and encourage-
ment from his wife. The event attracted around 150 people with the majority being London taxi
drivers and their families, all eager to have a good time and help raise much-needed funds for
our charity.
The party ran from 8pm until late, with a plentiful supply of delicious food and drink, and
swung thanks to music from a live band that played great music from the 50s through to now.
It was also a chance to meet new people and renew old friendships in a good old fashioned
east end atmosphere.
The event was a huge success with people already asking Bradley for the date of next year’s party.
We would like to thank Maureen and all the staff at the Brayford Club, also Freddie
Hayes, Kalvin Saunders, Steve Lewis and Mark DeLacy for all the time and effort they
gave to make sure the evening went with a bang.
Burlington Arcade
The second event was also a highly successful fund-raising day. It was held at London’s Burlington Arcade
where we were joined by our now famous Reindeer Taxi, which attracted much passing interest from shoppers and tourists alike. Our
grateful thanks go to Doug Cheshire for bringing along his vintage taxi and the Sing Gospel Choir for joining us later in the day. We were also
delighted to be joined by Gaby Roslin and her film crew and thank them for coming.
It was a brilliantly successful day and thanks must also go to TfL as well as the management and staff at Burlington Arcade for their help
and support enabling us to raise much needed funds for our forthcoming January Christmas Party at the Grosvenor House (see page 29).
Raymond Levy
LTFUC Press Officer
Call Sign February 2017
Page 11
DaC driver Jon Robinson gives his view on TfL...
The battle against TfL
“The latest from Transport for London, better known to those in the
closures, no one will be
know as Totally Failing London, comes with the astonishing news
able to afford us soon!
that Victoria Embankment westbound slip roads will close in the
So unless we can force
new year for work of some kind. Ok, we’re used to the odd roadworks
the City of London
here and there and a few days will be yet just another inconvenience...
or it would be if TfL didn’t admit that this delay will carry on for
allowing us to use the
around 4 years! That’s FOUR years!
soon-to-be designated
TfL, in their usual cute and lovable way - after all, every journey
bus routes
matters - say that motorists should plan their journey ahead! It’s a
through Bank, I see
shame that the Blackfriars money-wasters club doesn’t offer route
every other local
advice on how to avoid stress and considerable expense to those still
authority lumping us
prepared to put up with this ridiculous organisation.
together with all the
Then we got last month’s news in Call Sign that the City of
other traffic everywhere
London Corporation are to press ahead and close all through
with new bus lanes and
routes at the Bank Junction as from next April. So your passen-
traffic planning and
ger gets on at London Bridge asking for Moorgate... what do you
leaving us completely
do? Looks like it’s going to be forward London Bridge, forward
at their mercy.
King William Street... and would you like to walk the rest of the
I really think that
way, madam?
it is now so impor-
What this all means is that our trade has a huge fight on its hands and
tant for our trade to
one that we have to win, because the way things are going with road stand firm, otherwise
we’ll soon be driving
Jon: "We'll soon be driving round in
around in ever-
ever-decreasing circles!"
A loving message from DaC’s Dennis Heavin (A01)
decreasing circles if
we want to move around in the square mile.
Next time you get a London Bridge to Moorgate trip, just ask your-
self how you will get there when you can’t use the Bank and have to
follow a diversion via the back streets! Or perhaps you’re driving west-
bound along the Embankment, need to get off for the Aldwych but
A1 Granddaughter
can’t and wonder what your reply will be when your passenger asks
you just where the hell you are going, as they watch the meter climb
For A1
with the traffic not moving. You could of course try Fleet Street, but
make sure you take your lunch with you.
The only question is how long we are going to take this for...”
Jon Robinson (E88)
Taxi insurance for
DaC drivers
On behalf of Dial-a-Cab, Hillier Buchan Ltd in Bexley have
negotiated exclusive rates for DaC members. We believe our rates
are competitive in today’s market for experienced licensed Black
Cab drivers.
At Hillier Buchan, we understand every driver’s circumstances are
Welcome to the world - the gorgeous Lilian Heavin
different; therefore our policies can be tailored for the individual driver.
We offer a 5% discount for DaC members, with additional discounts for
fter waiting so long for our first grandson, we were
existing protected Bonus policies.
so lucky to welcome our beautiful Princess Grand
Hillier Buchan was established in 2002 by David Hillier and myself with
Baby Lillian Heavin on Sunday 8th January, weigh-
in excess of 50 years experience as high level Brokers working in the City
of London for major broking houses. We have established a reputation
ing 7lbs 4oz at Whipps Cross Hospital.
for professionalism and service in our chosen fields.
We are all so very happy for Mum Natalie and Dad Daniel
We have extensive London Market contacts; consequently we are able
and wish all three a very healthy, happy and prosperous life.
to offer our clients a quality of security from companies that are all
How lucky is 7 month old cousin Billy having his own goal-
available in the world’s pre-eminent insurance market. As a result, our
keeper when they are able to play in our garden and then
clients achieve quality of security and service upon which we pride
ourselves and a competitiveness of premium that our clients find
being introduced to her beautiful friends when they become
particularly attractive in today's climate.
Our philosophy is to build long-term relationships using balanced
Lots of love, hugs and millions of kisses to our newest Lady
service teams providing continuity and expertise. Compare our prices and
Hammer Supporter.
give us a call. See our ad on page 16 inside this issue of Call Sign.
Regards from two very proud Grandparents...
Phil Buchan,
Carol and Dennis Heavin (Mr and Mrs A01)
Hillier Buchan, 01322 553313
Call Sign February 2017
Page 12
A shock video put online by GMB was taken inside an Uber car by
the passenger when it became apparent that the driver didn’t
know where he was. David Heath has just moved from the seaside
resort after many years there...
Uber in Brighton
they adhere to wheelchair accessibility regs!
three big cab firms all said that any driver
Many drivers may think that what happens
using Uber would not be welcomed back.
in Brighton is irrelevant to London, but not
GMB section secretary, Andy Peters, said
anymore. An Uber driver has been caught on
that the public should be fully aware that
camera claiming that the company were urg-
Uber were using London minicabs in
ing ‘out of town’ drivers to come to Brighton
Brighton and that in their view it was an
after a boycott by local cabbies that reported-
insult to the council. He added:
ly resulted in just one local driver signing up.
“It appears that London has become the
The astonishing video was published by
licensing centre for sending London mini-
the GMB Union’s Brighton and Hove sec-
cabs all over the UK, rendering local
tion. In it, the driver tells his passenger he
councils redundant in taxi licensing. Very
is really busy because the company doesn’t
importantly, the council has no powers to
have enough drivers and that Uber asked
act on any complaint on any Uber London
ber are desperate to find drivers
him to go to Brighton. The driver, who kept
minicab working in Brighton and Hove.
in Brighton but can't get them
getting lost and also went through a red
But if a complaint is made against a
because of council regulations
light, admitted it was his first time in
Brighton and Hove licensed driver, they
strict level playing field! So
Brighton and that he wasn’t licensed by
are called straight in for an interview.”
guess what? They are starting to import
Brighton and Hove City Council, which has
The chair of the council’s Licensing
them from London!
much stricter regulations than London,
Committee, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn,
Brighton Council has said that now Uber
where he was licensed!
said that under the law of the land, PH vehi-
has been given a licence, at least 20 percent
When Uber was first granted a Brighton
cles from other areas - including Uber drivers
of their vehicles will have to be wheelchair
licence in October, it told the council it
- are allowed to pick up passengers in
accessible. But it’s not going to happen
would only use Brighton licensed drivers so
Brighton and Hove...
because they are having problems just find-
that they would be abiding by the same rules
ing enough ordinary Toyota Prius cars. There
as the city’s existing minicab firms. However,
David Heath
is a very strong disabled lobby in Brighton
it appears that only one local driver signed
Call Sign Online
and they say they welcome Uber, providing
up with them, possibly because the city’s
Book Aiden Kent
for your event
...and make it go with a swing!
all Sign recently heard from Fraser Wibberley that his father, for-
mer Dial-a-Cab driver Raymond Wibberley (ex-Y45), has passed
away following a long battle against Parkinson's Disease.
Ray had been a London taxi driver for over 40 years and worked
with DaC throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s. He retired
from cab driving around 2006 due to Parkinson's Disease.
Ray was known to his friends as “Blonde Ray” and often worked at
Tel: 07956 456 360
Heathrow Airport.
To his family, Dial-a-Cab and Call Sign send their deepest sympathy
on their loss.
His funeral was held on 25th January in Cromer.
Web: www.aidenkent.com
Call Sign February 2017
Page 13
ince the compulsory re-siting of
Call Sign asked some of our drivers for their experiences with the
the credit card-reading PED into
PED siting since TfL forced the removal from the front of the taxi
the passenger compartment of
to the cab’s passenger compartment...
taxis courtesy of TfL, it would
appear that drivers are having far more
problems with passengers getting their
heads around using the PED to pay the
fare. Where before it was the driver who
was able to process the fare through the
PED Problems:
MDT and then physically hand the PED to
the passenger for them to pay by card,
when passengers are left to do it them-
selves, difficulties can arise. Call Sign
A Call Sign Survey...
asked a small sample of our drivers for
any experiences...
and stand a chance of seeing what was going
struggling to process her card! The police offi-
on and how the PED was responding...”
cer then replied that if I did not move my cab
Geoffrey Goddard (R10):
there and then I would be nicked. It seemed
“The majority of my credit
Gary Cowderoy (N17)
like there was some sort of emergency inside
card passengers are using
“With the PED fitted as it is,
the terminal. The lady overheard the conversa-
Contactless. I ask them at
passengers are having real
tion, scrapped the idea of paying by card and
the start of their journey if
difficulty seeing the PED
managed to find $30 in her handbag which she
they intend paying by card
screen because when they
hurriedly stuffed through the division, and I
and while generally it seems
are sitting immediately
was able to pull away smartish. The downside
passengers prefer the Contactless option, I tell
is that I had £55 on my meter and ended up
them I will still have to process the payment
behind the driver and adja-
with US currency of far less value than my fare.
cent to it, the angle of view of the PED screen
through my MDT before they touch the PED
A result I had to swallow, because I had no
with their card; yet sometimes they think they
means they have to lean their body forward
choice but to move on before the policeman
about 45 deg and then twist their head side-
can just quickly hover the card over the PED
made himself busy writing. A substantial loss,
before I have set the terminal up and that leads
ways to read the screen instructions.
yes, but at least I saved getting myself into
Ridiculous! Also, on three occasions I have had
to all sorts of confusion, including
more trouble. Thanks TfL...”
print-outs! There was an American lady with a
children fiddling either with the power wire
leading to the PED or pressing the various
Terry Felvus (M86):
“It is all too much.
USA card and she really had not a clue, despite
me telling her in great detail how to use the
coloured PED buttons as their inquisitive little
Everything was simpler and safer when the
fingers wander. It was so much safer and better
PED was in the front. You could see exactly
system. In the end, in desperation, I had to get
in the front!”
what was going on. I went from Harrods to the
into the back of my taxi with her still sitting on
Marriott Hotel, County Hall and the passen-
the rear seat, to assist her and show how it was
Tom McCaffrey (H18): “I
ger was really confused and I could not see
done. It turned out she was trying to put the
had a family of five in the
what was going on with the PED. The receipt
card into the top of the reader! I then had to
cab recently and the father
came out ‘VOID’ at first, which caused me a
get back into my front seat to finish the trans-
had great difficulty putting
moment of concern; but at the second attempt
action and that’s when I discovered she had to
it turned out ok, but I did feel a bit helpless. To
sign the receipt for the payment to go through,
his card into the reader,
cap it all, it was a foreign card requiring a sig-
even though I offered
it being a US card. I must admit I was not com-
nature, which prolonged the ‘turn around’
fortable at having to get into the back with a
advice from the front seat.
time before I could move on to the next fare.
After several fruitless attempts by him to find
totally strange woman under those circum-
For me to get out of the security of my own seat
stances. Mostly my trips have been under £30
the PED slot, I decided I had no choice but to
to assist the passenger to process their card
get into the back of the cab with them and
so Contactless is simple and preferable, but I
would depend heavily on several factors,
still would like the PED under my control...”
assist, carefully demonstrating how to use the
including if it was at night, the precise location,
PED. It appeared that he had been trying to put
and whether the passenger had been drinking,
Doug Vogel (R05):
his card into the top of the PED, instead of slid-
or indeed if the passenger was male or female.
ing it in from underneath! This scenario was in
stopped in Horseferry
All these factors could be worrying where you
Road for a passenger going
broad daylight with a family including several
have to rely heavily on your social skills to
children, so while I was not too concerned at
to Old Broad Street
make a judgement and ease the task of getting
Station. He was clearly in a
that moment, I must admit that had there had
paid. With the PED moved from the front, we
been several burly men, evening time or a dark
hurry to catch a train and at
must surely be the only traders who do not
the destination he had trou-
location or perhaps an unsavoury area, I would
meet the customer face to face when process-
have swallowed the £14 on the meter in favour
ble with his card and the PED reader, so got a
ing the card, because if you go into any super-
bit panicky. With every second of delay seeming
of staying safe in the front of the cab with the
market, shop or fuel station the operative is
doors firmly locked!”
like an hour, we eventually exchanged person-
looking at you, tells you when to put your card
al details. He gave me his business card with an
in and then out, whereas here, passengers tend
address in Primrose Street and I scribbled
to place their card on or in the reader too
(F18): “I took an American
down my bank details ie sort code and account
quickly if you are not careful.”
lady from central London to
number! Thankfully, the man was true to his
Heathrow Terminal 4 and
word and I received payment in due course via
Mark Cutler (N03): “Since having the PED fit-
when it came to paying, she
ted into the rear compartment of my taxi, there
a bank transfer, but it was a less than ideal situ-
had difficulty using her US
have been two occasions when I have had to
ation and not something I would do lightly
card. She fumbled for sever-
again. It is only when the receipt prints out do
get into the back of the cab with the passenger
al minutes without success and I was getting
you know you‘ve been paid. I also think the
in order to assist. Both instances have been in
more and more anxious. Suddenly, and with-
daylight hours, but nevertheless I was not real-
PED is fitted on the wrong side of the carriage
out any warning, a police officer came running
ly comfortable about it. It seems that the pas-
because you cannot see what people are doing
over to me shouting to move my cab immedi-
sengers push in and/or retrieve the card too
with their card, even if you give them precise
ately while I tried explaining I had not yet been
quickly which results in a ‘VOID’ message or
instructions as to using the PED. When it is
paid and this was my livelihood, so I was not
confusion. Not good.”
directly behind you, it is on your ‘blind side’
moving that quickly until the passenger sorted
whereas if it was possible to fit it by the near-
out her card payment. All the while this
side door you could look over your shoulder
Call Sign Magazine MMXVII
exchange was going on, she was indeed still
Call Sign February 2017
Page 14
Southern Halo and Dial-a-Cab!
ome years ago, if you
Jim's granddaughters Natalia,
happened to be in the
Christina and Hannah are
Dial-a-Cab IT depart-
setting the Country world
ment, you might have
heard the occasional American
accent. It would probably been
that of Jim Moore - not the dri-
ver but the CEO of a company
that supplied and maintained
show on Country Music Radio,
part of our infrastructure when
we operated on a private net-
CMR Nashville is Europe's #1
work. Jim also supplied and
station and the three girls,
maintained our modems.
Natalia, Christina and Hannah,
Now he has a different story
told us they were thrilled to be
for Call Sign; this one involves
on the station with their show,
his three gorgeous and very tal-
Hangin’ with Halo.
ented granddaughters who form
“This is a really cool early
a Country group called
Christmas present and a great
Southern Halo. They have been touring the USA - mainly
way to wrap up an incredible year. We just couldn’t be happi-
down south - but who recently won the best up and coming
er,” said Natalia.
new artist group in Nashville!
The station's CEO and owner, Lee Williams, called bringing
Jim also told us that Disney is working with Southern Halo
Southern Halo and their show to CMR was a natural evolu-
and that while the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debate
tion. “We play their music on the station and air their music
rallies were going on, they undertook a gig at their Las Vegas
videos on our CM&T Video channel. We've watched them
Debate and went down a storm! They also have their own
grow as artists and their show just feels like a great fit for our
listeners and the new breed of younger Country fans. This
should open the door to touring opportunities for the trio in
the UK and Europe.”
As for Jim, he told us: “I’m just bursting with pride and had
A thank you from his family...
to tell all my friends at Dial-a-Cab.”
Southern Halo is scheduled to tour the UK early this year…
From 10.15-12.15 - £10 per pupil
Minimum age of 16
Kids Class: 12.30-1.30pm from age 8yrs to 15yrs
£5.00 per pupil
Suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to
ordon’s family would like to thank everyone
accomplished boxers
for the many kind wishes that were sent to
Female ONLY classes subject to demand
us on the passing of my brother.
As many of you know, Gordon had been ill for
quite a number of years and for the last five, he
had to go into a nursing home. He was very well
known in the trade, not just as a licensed taxi dri-
ver on Dial-a-Cab and his excellent reputation as a
toast master, but also for his sense of humour.
On behalf of Gordon’s wife Shirley, myself and
all of Gordon’s family, I would like to thank you all
once again.
Russell Poluck MBE (T25)
Call Sign February 2017
Page 15
Brazil Calling
he first matter I should mention is of
she stayed until we reached the destination; I
course, the fitting of PEDs into the
hoped she’d wake up with a quick shout and
rear of the cab; both myself and
that proved to be the case. Let’s face it, get-
Allan Evans spent many days and
ting into the back to wake a lone female is a
evenings at Roman Way trying to make the
nonstarter, but as I said, she woke immedi-
process run as smooth as possible. I would
ately. This is where confusion - both mine
personally like to thank all the drivers for
and hers - kicked in. I asked her for £26.
their patience during this process that
“Err, yes”, she replied. She stood up in that
frankly, in my opinion, was an exercise unre-
strange stooping fashion that people tend to
quired by the public with the process imple-
adopt and passed through the partition win-
I’m Kirk Douglas’ son
mented at the worst possible time for we dri-
dow a small white pill. Now at this point
Recently Kirk Douglas made the century, a
vers. The staff at Roman Way showed their
you’d think you’ve entered either Alice in
fabulous milestone for one of Hollywood’s
true mettle and have been a credit to Dial-a-
Wonderland territory or possibly The Matrix
true legends.
Cab. I can honestly say that I did not have, or
if you are a younger subscriber!
But it reminded me of the Comedy Store
hear, a cross exchange at any time. We really
I, of course, replied: “No thank you, it’s
heckle of his less famous, now sadly passed
are the gentlemen’s circuit
- I of course
£26.00 please!” Another pill was passed
son, Joel. The story goes that Joel was per-
include all genders in that statement!
through the partition and this continued
forming at the Comedy Store and getting
There is always a temptation to bash the
until I had four pills after saying non each
increasingly frustrated by the lack of audi-
living daylights out of our competitors in
time. So I asked her if she had a card.
ence reaction. As the crowd began losing
every article and whilst there are important
“Oui,” she replied - okay, even I got that
interest in him, he started shouting: “You
matters at hand, I thought for once I would
one! My card machine, newly mounted in
can't do this to me; I'm Kirk Douglas's son!”
avoid the obvious and relay a few short tales
the rear, was going to save the day. I
At that point, some wag stood up and said:
looked over my shoulder and saw her try-
from the month. I’m sure others will impart
“No, I'm Kirk Douglas's son.” Then another
ing to push a silver card in it. It seemed to
relevant information in this issue and rest
stood and said “No, I’m Kirk Douglas’s son,”
be taking unduly long, so I asked if I
assured, no matters are taken lightly. As I
and so on and so on - possibly one of the
could see it. The “card” she passed to me
said, just a little humour to break the monot-
greatest heckles of all-time - but only if you
said on it: “L’art de rouler, depuis des
had seen Spartacus!
annees,” and was, naturally, a packet of
French Rizla!
And finally...
L’art de la cab driver:
And just to round off the week, I give you a
recently discovered letter from the Queen
Amex, MasterCard, Visa...
Mother written in February 1941 and in
Rizla! That’ll do nicely...
which she signed off with the delicious sen-
Okay it’s not exactly what was on the advert,
tence: “Tinkety tonk old fruit and down
with the Nazis.”
but at Christmas you do get your fair share of
people confused as a newt, to put it nicely.
And why not! Roll on the flower show...
But once we get into the New Year, you tend
Joe Brazil, Director
to get your fair share of ‘war stories’ of jobs
Head of Driver Operations
that happened during the Christmas, New
Year period.
Mine started with what appeared to be
a three-hander from just north of Old
So I said that if she couldn’t pay, we would
Immaculate White
Street station. Three French people - two
have to go to the police; she shrugged and
girls and a chap - asked how much it
said okay. You normally don’t have to go too
Cab Available for
would be to Vauxhall. They all seem to ask
far on the Wandsworth Road to find a
nowadays! I told them that Vauxhall sta-
Gendarme (look at me, picked the lingo up
tion would be around £22. Of course,
almost immediately)! And so it proved. The
when you press them for a more exact
police seemed more interested that I was
destination, it ends up being down the
paid in pills than the fare. After a brief check
Wandsworth Road, so I told them it would
of the mysterious pills, it was determined
be in the region of
£25. This was
that I was unlikely to get pregnant that week!
approved - or should I say approuvé - as
The passenger was then duly relieved of the
my French ran out almost immediately!
fare from I might add, the considerable sum
But when I said jump in, the two more
she was carrying. I was asked if the amount
sober of the three stepped backwards and
was sufficient and said yes.
in fell their drunk mate. A phone was
They said they would drop her back to the
pushed towards me by the friends on the
destination, but after a brief cry and lots men-
pavement showing me a destination of
tions of “c'est la merde,” she seemed to calm
Thorparch Road.
down and I told the police I would drop her
This young lady had obviously had too
back to the destination and not take up any
much to drink, but her friends cared enough
more of their time. They agreed and when I
to put her into a black cab and as all right
Female driver
stopped to drop her off, she apologised and I
minded cab drivers would do, you ask them
10% reduction for Dial-a-Cab drivers
was tempted to ask if she would like her
to put on the seatbelt and make it your duty
Contact Debbie (W18) on
change in roll-ups or a fresh prescription, but
to get her home safely. Not asking her to put
thought it inappropriate. I just told her not to
the seatbelt on in French caused immediate
07956 317040
worry, that she was safely home and she trot-
confusion and the ensuing game of charades
ted off into the flats.
ended with her lying down on the seat where
Call Sign February 2017
Page 16
DaC driver goes through two ‘no entry’ signs at Old Broad Street, gets a £130 ticket and Appeals.
Then astonishingly it’s...
f you are on a Dial-a-Cab trip and get a ticket, then there is a
The temporary prohibition on entry was made in a notice
chance that our PCN maestro, John Vigus, will do his best to get
dated 11 June 2013. The prohibition was stated to take effect
you off. But some penalty charges are more difficult to win than
from 17 June 2013. The period of the prohibition was stated to
others, with some almost being impossible. Barry Devor’s
be from 17
(W43) was one of those...
June 2013 until the completion of works or this temporary
After going into the eastern section of Old Broad Street from
traffic order is revoked formally.
London Wall and going through the ‘no cars / motorbikes’ sign,
In its case summary, City of London say that the order makes it clear
Barry then continued towards Liverpool Street Station and went
that the prohibition is for the duration of the works so that the time limit
through the next sign - a definitive ‘no entry’ - because his pas-
of 18 months provided for in Section 15(1)(b) does not apply. Nowhere
senger asked him to. But according to the City of London,
in the order is it stated that the authority is satisfied that the execution
breaching that second ‘no entry’ by Broad Street Avenue carries
of the works will take longer than 18 months. The inclusion of such a
a Penalty Charge Notice and would give John Vigus virtually no
statement is a legal requirement in order for the time limit of 18 months
chance of winning... but he did. So the question is how???
not to apply. That is clear from the wording of Section 15(2).
Well, it appears that John discovered that a Traffic Order for that
It follows that the prohibition on entry contained in the order
particular ‘no entry’ sign had a shelf life of 18 months under the
made on 11 June 2013 ceased to be effective from 17 December
Temporary Restrictions Act 1991 and when he received the City of
2014, being 18 months from the date on which the prohibition
London evidence a few weeks before the case, he realised that 18
came into force. As there is no evidence presented of any autho-
month limit had expired and based an appeal on that fact.
risation of a further prohibition, it must also follow that the
alleged contravention did not occur.
John Vigus told Call Sign: “By the time the next issue of the mag-
azine comes out, I suspect that the City of London will have
noticed this result and extended the Traffic Order. So please
inform drivers that irrespective of any Traffic Order, the 'no entry'
sign is still enforceable by the police as an endorseable offence.
You may set down or pick up between the two signs but you must
NOT pass the ‘no entry’ sign located at Broad Street Avenue
regardless of whether your passenger asks you to or not
Ron Yarborough
The Adjudicator's decision from
Call Sign Online
the London Tribunals
The adjudicator, having considered the evidence submitted by the
parties, has allowed the appeal.
The reasons for the adjudicator's decision are that Mr John Vigus
attended the appeal hearing on behalf of Mr Devor on 5 January
2017. I adjourned the hearing to further consider the legal submis-
sions made by Mr Vigus. This PCN was issued for the alleged contra-
vention of failing to comply with a ‘no entry’ sign and/or a no entry
traffic order in Old Broad Street at 4.20pm on 7 November 2016. I
have looked at the CCTV footage and still images submitted by City of
London. These show that Mr Devor's taxi drove through two ‘no entry
Exclusive Taxi Insurance Scheme
to motor vehicle’ signs in Old Broad Street to drop off a passenger.
dedicated to DAC members only
The taxi stopped just past the signs and was then turned around after
the passenger alighted.
On behalf of Mr Devor, Mr Vigus submits that there is no
longer authorisation for these ‘no entry’ signs so that the restric-
tion cannot be enforced. Mr Vigus refers me to Sections 14 and
5% Discount for members
15 of The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as substituted by The
Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991.
Additional discount for existing protected Bonus policies
Section 14(1)(a) provides that if the authority is satisfied that traffic
Public Liability
on a road should be restricted or prohibited because works are being
executed on or near the road, then it may by order restrict or prohibit
Breakdown Cover
temporarily the use of the road or any part of it, by vehicles of any
Much more available
class to such extent, and subject to such conditions or exceptions as
it considers necessary.
Call below for quotations
Section 15(1)(b) provides that any such order under Section
14 shall not continue in force for more than 18 months.
Section 15(2) provides that the time limit of 18 months shall not
apply to an order made for the reason mentioned in Section 14(1)(a)
Hillier Buchan Ltd, 18, Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent. DA5 1LU
if the authority making the order are satisfied, and it is stated in the
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - Firms Ref No: 304318
order that they are satisfied, that the execution of the works in ques-
Company Registration No: 4319231
tion will take longer but, in any such case, the authority shall revoke
the order as soon as the works are completed.
Tel: 01322 553313
The ‘no entry’ restrictions in Old Broad Street were autho-
rised for archaeological works, diversion of utility services and
Fax: 01322 523315
Crossrail works. They were, therefore, authorised for the reason
mentioned in Section 14(1)(a).
Call Sign February 2017
Page 17
The Bank of England Museum in
New exhibitions and free events at...
Threadneedle Street has con-
firmed a host of creative events,
exhibitions and displays for 2017.
The Museum tells the story of the Bank,
from its foundation in 1694 to its role today
as the United Kingdom's central bank. Within
a full-size reconstruction of Sir John Soane’s
18th-century Stock Office, a large boat con-
struction is full of interactive displays
explaining how the Bank works, banknote
design and security and how the Bank tries to
keep the financial system on an even keel.
The new Banknote Gallery tells the story
of the banknote from the early days when
paper money was largely mistrusted, to the
new £5 note packed with security features
and printed on polymer. Filled with original
drawings, artwork, designs, notes and sketch-
es from the Bank’s collection, the gallery
includes the earliest paper notes from
China’s Ming dynasty and the ‘running cash’
notes - as old as the Bank of England itself,
The new polymer £10 note will feature Jane Austen
the earliest 17th century Bank of England
notes and classic designs such as the ‘white
New temporary displays
Museums at Night (Friday 19 May from
fiver’ which lasted for
100 years. It also
The Big Bang 30th Anniversary:
includes a close examination of the most
(Currently open until April 28...)
This is a rare opportunity to visit the Museum
technologically sophisticated note yet issued
after dark. Enjoy a variety of gallery talks and
On 27th October 1986, the introduction of elec-
by the Bank, the new fiver.
chat to gold and banknote experts. Meet
tronic trading and other radical changes affect-
members of the Museum and Archive teams,
ed market systems and the structure of the
who will reveal some unique and unseen
New and Current Special
Stock Exchange. Thirty years on, a new, small
objects from the Bank’s collection which visi-
display includes original documents from the
tors can handle.
Bank’s archive, revealing fascinating insights
Stories from the City: The Bank of
There are several children’s exhibitions
into the innovation that transformed the City.
where the young visitors can win prizes
England in Literature (opens summer
20th Anniversary of the Bank’s
including at Toad to the Rescue (13-17
Independence: (opens 2 May)
February at 10.30, 11.30, 12.30, 2.00, 3.00
This summer, the Bank of England will
On 6 May 1997, the new Chancellor of the
and 4.00) where children can learn about
issue a new polymer £10 note, featuring Jane
Exchequer granted the Bank of England oper-
The Wind in the Willows stories and Chicks
Austen. To celebrate the launch, this new
ational independence. The Bank began to set
Great EGGscape where they can join the
exhibition explores the Bank’s literary con-
interest rates, and the Monetary Policy
hunt to find the hidden chicks and a golden
nections over the last three centuries. The
Committee was established. This new display
egg by following the trail around the
exhibition will illustrate the richness of the
uses a range of documents from the Bank of
Museum and then decorate an Easter ani-
Bank’s collections, presenting exhibits relat-
England’s Archive to explain what these
mal mask or finger puppet to take home.
ed to the lives and works of Charles
changes meant and how they shaped the way
There’s a chocolate egg for every child (3-
Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Dr Johnson, Robert
the Bank works today.
13 April from 10am-4:30pm).
Browning, Samuel Pepys and George Eliot.
It will also reflect on moments when the
VISITOR INFO: There is no charge for admission to the Museum or for any event. Entry
Bank and the finances of London have been
via Bartholomew Lane. Opening hours Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm
woven into classic works of fiction.
(last entry 4:30pm). Closed Public and Bank Holidays and weekends.
More at www.bankofengland.co.uk/ museum, 020 7601 5545,
Capturing the City: Photography at the
Bank of England (currently until the sum-
Twitter: @boemuseum Instagram: @boemuseum Facebook: /boemuseum
The Bank of England Archive presents a
largely unseen, beautifully atmospheric, pho-
tographic history of the Bank and its city
since the mid-19th century. Beginning with
early salt paper prints from the 1840s and
reaching forward to new images of the city
today, the exhibition explores an alternative
and sometimes surprising history of the
Bank, its buildings and staff, while also creat-
ing a history of London from the Bank’s per-
Among the highlights is a series of images of
Sir John Soane’s ‘lost’ Bank of England. The
windowless ‘curtain’ wall on Threadneedle
Street is the only part of Soane’s original build-
ing standing today and the exhibition presents
the best photographic record of the lost ‘Old
Call Sign February 2017
Page 18
In March 2006, work was so plentiful that Dial-a-
team and unless we give
them some negotiating
Cab had to run an incentive scheme over the
freedom, I can't see us
Xmas/New Year holiday period to encourage dri-
winning many new
vers to cover account work. The second prize was
accounts; all you need
do is to read last
six weeks holiday whenever you wanted it and
month’s Keith Cain
was won by Terry Goldsmith (R74). So what was
article in Call Sign to
the first prize? Well, it was won by Richard
see how just hard it is to
win accounts.
Barford (R39) and it was no less than a brand new
I'm not on Hailo or
‘Gold’ spec £35,000 taxi! Ten years have passed
Gett, even though we
and a four letter word beginning with U has now
all know that many DaC drivers are and from what I'm led to believe,
the Board can't do much about it. I was £6,500 down this year; how
appeared, undoubtedly having a detrimental
long do I give it in that if you can't beat them, join them? I'm sure that
effect. Richard now gives his view on the future...
with the technology we have today on DaC, we could route out any
members who are on Hailo or Gett.
So another year over and a new one just begun; what will this year
On that note I better get myself ready for another painful night shift,
bring to the cab trade? I hope it's not as painful as 2016; I've been dri-
living off scraps and hoping to be lucky. When I see passengers waiting
ving a cab for nearly 22 years now and it was certainly the hardest I
round every corner for their Uber driver, it just breaks my heart.
have known within those years. But will things change...
However, I would like to wish everyone at DaC a Happy New Year...
I can't see traffic getting any easier as TfL don't seem to care or
do anything about it. I'm sure if they were to look at how empty
Richard Barford (R39)
buses were these days whilst also looking at the phasing of traffic
lights, they could slightly improve it, but do they really care!
We showed DaC’s Sales manager, Keith Cain, Richard’s article.
With regards to the cab trade and Dial-a-Cab itself, yes 2016 was
He told Call Sign:
really tough. I'm a day man, but have worked the occasionally night.
“While no one can disagree with Richard’s comments and frus-
During the day, I believe Rate 1 is right, but at night Rate 3 is shock-
trations, we are already offering the meter starting at booked
ing and way too expensive. I've looked back at other emails I’ve sent
time or on arrival for ASAP trips. We also offer fixed price trips to
to Call Sign and in a 2013 one, I wrote that Rate 3 could come back
and from the airport, while longer distance trips are being
to bite us on the bum and I believe that with the introduction of
picked up by controllers and given a fixed rate below the meter.
Uber, it now has. I understand that night men have to earn a premi-
No gratuities are offered to accounts that look to be at least rea-
um, but I think Rate 2 is adequate. Drivers may not want to read this,
sonably sized. We are doing all we can to compete...”
but I can't blame anyone getting into another form of transport rather
than a black cab at night due to the expense. Yes, I know about attacks
/ rapes on women, but most people don't seem to care and due to our
high costs, we are giving them the opportunity to use private hire.
Until we wake up and realise how much this is hurting our trade,
we will continue to struggle to make a living. It also has a knock-on
effect as it also affects us day men. I'm sure we’ve lost many accounts
over the years due to high pricing at night. Rate 3 certainly doesn't
need a run-in on account work.
As for DaC, it’s now three years since that last email and nothing
much has changed apart from losing some more accounts. But we are
now covering more fixed price jobs to the airport then we ever have.
When I suggested doing that in a 2013 email, Brian responded by say-
ing that you could get a minicab from London Wall to Heathrow for
£36 or even get an E-class for an extra £3! But we do now give fixed
prices and have won some airport work back. I also mentioned offer-
ing fixed prices back into town from the airport, which I know as a
Society we are trying to do. I know some drivers at the airport are not
keen on doing radio work or fixed prices back into town, so maybe
to get these jobs covered DaC’s controllers could let us know when
these trips are coming out just like they do in the mornings with
work. As a trade, unless we start offering fixed price jobs from the air-
port, the wait for a job is just going to get longer and longer and even-
tually it will not be worth waiting; I personally don't bother anymore
now when I drop off as the wait can be up to 5 hours!
And yet, with all the above we still expect account customers to
pay a gratuity in addition to a £4.20 run-in. I still want a run-in and
I still want a gratuity, but there comes a time when you realise that
sometimes in life, you can't always get what you want.
In those 2013 emails, I suggested keeping the run-ins during the
morning rush hour, but at any other time - especially with a system of
‘nearest cab’ - asked if we needed a run-in. Surely this must hold back
our Sales team, especially compared to Hailo for example where
there is no automatic run-in or gratuity. I’d rather lose our account
work over bad coverage, as we then only have ourselves to blame as
opposed to losing accounts through cost. I feel sorry for DaC’s Sales
Call Sign February 2017
Page 19
nyone passing the Harris Academy
Carla Rice, daughter of DaC Chairman Brian, gave up two days of
in Southwark Park Road over the
her holiday to work full shifts for Crisis at Christmas, helping to
holidays might have wondered just
give homeless people a place to stay over Xmas and New Year…
what was going on there with an
assortment of people strolling in, many carry-
ing their meagre belongings with them. Yet
these were just ordinary people who had fall-
en on hard times and going to the 45th annu-
housing / career advice officers for any guest
al Crisis at Christmas, where for up to six
to speak to. Guests could get free eye tests
days they could forget their problems and
and glasses if needed. There was even a spe-
concentrate on living a far more normal exis-
cially built kennel for those with dogs!
There was plenty of entertainment avail-
Once there, guests could have hot meals
able including a cinema, theatre and writing
including Christmas dinner, free health
groups, football training groups run by
checks, hot showers, be provided with clean
Arsenal, West Ham and Millwall, outings to
clothes and even get free housing and job
the London Eye and Tower of London...
and not to mention a certain Chris Martin
Leading up to the holidays, TV and
from Coldplay who turned up with no pub-
radio ads asked for donations of £22.32
licity to join in with the karaoke one evening!
and explained how that amount could
IT providers to organisations that can’t
give one homeless person six days of nor-
afford any, Aimar, organised free phone
mality over the holiday period. They also
calls from the café with over 71 hours of
required volunteers to help provide that
international calls provided to the guests.
normality. One of those volunteers was
The most humbling part for me was seeing
Carla Rice, daughter of Dial-a-Cab
the guests lined up asleep on camp beds in
Chairman Brian Rice. Call Sign asked
the school hall, which was made into a sleep-
Carla how things went
ing bay. Not once did I hear any of them com-
Carla Rice: "It was inspiring..."
plain about their situation; they were just so
This was my first year of volunteering for
son at Christmas.
full of appreciation and gratitude to all of the
Crisis at Christmas. I was of the 10,000 vol-
I was immediately struck by the diverse
volunteers. It prompted, predictably, a range
unteers that signed up for 8 - 10 hour shifts
group of people that are struck by homeless-
of emotions from guilt to gratitude, from
from the 23rd to 30th December at one of the
ness and it did a lot to dispel the stereotypes
pride to satisfaction.
eleven locations across London and I was left
people generally hold of a homeless person.
Crisis for Christmas simply can’t happen
totally amazed at the size of the project and
It really can - and does - happen to all kinds
without the volunteers - and it is something I
everything that was involved - it really was
of people.
am very proud to have been a part of and look
organised like a military operation!
On hand to assist were hairdressers, med-
forward to volunteering for years to come.
Crisis for Christmas ask the public to
donate £22.32 to their cause and it was
ical staff, beauty grooming professionals and
Carla Rice
inspiring and humbling to see exactly
yoga teachers! In addition, there were also
what that money does for a homeless per-
professional counsellors, Samaritans and
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Call Sign February 2017
Page 20
DaC driver Sean Farrell (B39) looks at trade history from a different angle
Brethren of the Whip
“I’ve to say this here, your Honour. When I
consequences in trying to bilk a driver. In
got into that land-lubber’s cab, I was rather
1868, Edward Lawrence picked up two
groggy, but my wooden leg was all right as a
men in Hammersmith and drove them to
trivet, your Honour; and when he set me
Baker Street. One man got out and
down, I found that it was gone and I only had
Lawrence was told to go on to Cold Bath
this here leg to stand upon, the only one that
the Monsieur has left me. Finding this was
On arriving there, the passenger got out
the case, I refused to pay the fare and for this
and began walking away. Lawrence got down
I was conveyed to limbo.”
from his cab and asked for his fare but the
The cabman, William Pie, assured the
passenger suddenly attacked him, punching
Worship that “when Jack entered the cab, he
him several times and knocking him down to
had no wooden leg, but stood upon precisely
the floor. The passenger, 34 year old Thomas
the same footing as he did then.”
Jackson was found guilty of the assault and
The magistrate asked the sailor what he
of bilking the cabman and sentenced to one
supposed the cabman had done with the leg.
month with hard labour at the Clerkenwell
“Shiver my timbers if I know,” replied the
House of Correction. Not only would such
The term “bilking” is not, as many
sailor - the court reporter could possibly be
a sentence involve the shaving of the head
believe, a slang term invented by the
accused of using poetic licence! The cabman
and being doused in lime, but each man was
trade to describe the action of not paying
questioned the sailor as to what use his leg
also forced to wear a mask that prevented
the fare. The phrase itself dates back to
could be to anyone? “Why you lubber,” came
communication between him and other pris-
1637 and was first coined by Ben Johnson
the reply. “It will either do for a leg, or may
oners. But these were the least of his worries.
in his Tale of Tub: “Bilke? What’s that?”
be used to play at single stick with.”
Thomas Jackson was also sub-warder at the
“Why nothing, a word signifying
It was all to no avail, the old sailor was told
very prison he had been sentenced to. It
he had to pay William Pie 7s 6d, which includ-
would not be an easy month for him...!
In 1834, John Brown was charged with bilk-
ed the fare and loss of earnings. The old Jack
ing William Inskip. Brown was described as
Tar was “...led hopping from the office and
Sean Farrell
“an independent gentleman, about four feet
consigned to the lock-up.”
Call Sign Online
high with a lump on his shoulder.” Inskip stated
Some bilkers should think more of the
how he had picked Brown up at 4am and took
him to several destinations. Whilst the cab was
going through Regent’s Park, Brown pointed
Top 10 excuses for not paying tax!
out a kite in the sky to the cabman - at which he
any years ago, Call Sign was
took the opportunity whilst Inskip was not
shown some letters (with
looking, to jump out the cab and run off. Inskip
names hidden) by then Dial-
gave chase and soon caught the diminutive fel-
a-Cab Secretary, Trevor
low and handed him to a policeman.
Clarke. They came from a handful of
“Why didn’t you pay the fare?” asked the
subscribers and had been sent to Trevor
explaining why those particular drivers
were unable to attend that years’ AGM.
“I never hired the cab,” replied Brown. “I
The reason the letters were surprising was
was forcibly put into it and carried away
because methodical Trevor always filed
against my will.” On being asked what he
these “excuse” letters away and brought
meant, he continued; “Why, I was passing in
them out again each year before the
Oxford Street, when on arriving at a coach
meeting that many always tried to avoid
Warren Smith toasts Trevor Clarke on
going to. Quite miraculously, reasons were
stand, the complainant caught hold of me,
Trevor's last day before retirement in 2001
often given that the driver’s grandparents
saying: “Do you want a cab?”
had sadly died... again! In fact one unlucky driver had 7 grandparents dying in just 9 years! Aunts
“No,” said I, “I can walk home.”
and uncles by the score also all passed away in the same 2 week period! That’s why the following
“But you shan’t,” says the cabman and
press release from HMRC amused us as it brought those memories back...!
assisted by the Waterman, he lifted me into a
The deadline for sending 2015-16 Self-Assessment tax returns to HMRC and for paying any tax
cab. The Complainant exclaimed as he drove
owed was 31 January 2017. Each year HM Revenue and Customs receives a number of unusual
off: “You shall ride, sir, you shall ride.”
excuses why SA “customers” didn’t complete their tax return on time. These include:
After the laughter of the court had died
1. My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
down, the cabman, William Inskip, objected
2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside,
to the bilker’s version of events. “Lord love
was destroyed.
your Vorship, I never said no sich thing; the
3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
gentleman got him by himself.”
4. My dog ate my tax return...and all of the reminders.
The Defendant having made satisfaction
5. I couldn't complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our
to the knight of the whip, both parties left the
accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back.
7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
The following year at the same police
8. My husband told me the deadline was 31st March.
office of Marylebone, an old sailor who
9. My internet connection failed.
had lost a leg at the Battle of Trafalgar was
10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.
up before the same magistrate, who asked
the old tar what he had to say in answer
Now you know!
to the charge of bilking the driver.
Call Sign February 2017
Page 21
hy it was... I don’t know, but for many years the
Adams family (who I had never
London taxi trade seemed to have a relation-
heard of, but all the drivers I
- albeit quite tenuous
- with those
spoke to at Roman Way when I
referred to as gangsters with many recounting times they
got back there seemed to
met Ron and Reg - the notorious Kray twins. That’s not
know them). His coat looked
to say we were involved in crime, but for some reason we
to be really expensive and he
were trusted to just do our job and look the other way if
was very big across without
something faintly suspicious was occurring. A dodgy
being fat - in fact he looked
looking delivery or an even dodgier looking passenger -
how you would imagine a
so long as we got paid and were not asked to do any-
gangster looked!
thing illegal whilst doing the job, an assortment of gang-
“As a result, I couldn't help
sters or crooks would trust us!
but wonder whether he
But that was then. Nowadays people of that ilk are not
would have asked to pay by
Patrick (Patsy) Adams
so easy to spot and often referred to as businessmen! So
card had Roman Way fitted a
when recently talking to Editor Al and hearing of a story
PED on my way out earlier
he told me of a recent incident involving a rather nasty
and he saw it in the back
individual that he tied into the Dial-a-Cab battle against
and... well you know what I'm thinking!
moving PEDs to the passenger compartment, I asked him
“When I reached Roman Way, they said sorry but they couldn’t
if I could publish it. And here it is...
do it that day. I was a bit upset after what I'd been through to get
there, but in reality I could see how busy they were and part of
I was going to see Russell Poluck after his brother Gordon
me was relieved. I really don’t want to have one and I'm appalled
had sadly passed away and going via Kings Cross, I thought I’d
that TfL are forcing us into putting ourselves in danger.
try Roman Way first as it was getting close to the December
“I went home after a few jobs because I couldn't concentrate.
31 date by which time all PEDs had to be refitted into the rear
When I got there, I looked up the Adams family of
Clerkenwell and they are several steps beyond frightening,
For months, Alan has written on the subject and explaining
even though at least one of them is said to be in prison.
how dangerous he thought having the PED in the passenger
If you’re like Alan and don’t know who the Adams Family
compartment could be. He continued...
are, there is plenty of information online. No doubt TfL won’t
“It was around 3pm but there must have been 5 or 6 cabs
be one of those looking. After all, why should they care!
outside waiting for the cabs inside that were being worked on
to come out. So I didn't wait and decided to go on the way
Ron Yarborough
back instead. It never occurred to me how lucky that decision
Call Sign Online
may have been.
“I stopped at Russell’s for around an hour and then made
my way back from Stanmore towards Kings Cross and put my
‘for hire’ light on in case there was anything about. When I got
to Kilburn, a big man in a fawn old style but new-
looking Crombie overcoat hailed me to go to Kings Cross! You
can guess what I thought! I was being paid to get the PED fit-
ted! But at Maida Vale he suddenly changed his mind and
asked me to take him to Winter Wonderland instead. The traf-
fic going down Edgware Road was solid and I said I’d try a
back route, but he suddenly called out that ‘good’ cab drivers
would have shot along the offside of the road in the north-
bound lane!
“Suddenly I knew my Kings Cross luck was well and
truly sunk! I tried explaining why I couldn’t do that and
he suddenly changed the conversation to ask if I had been
busy. I told him he was my first job (which I tell every pas-
senger that asks that question... and in this case it was
true) and he then asked me if I knew the Adams Brothers
- Terry, Tommy and Patsy from Islington. I innocently
asked if they were cab drivers and he went silent for a few
seconds before blurting out that they were billionaires
who ran Europe's largest drug ring! He then said he was
related, worked for them and was also going to ‘hurt’
someone that evening because he ‘loved a good fight!’ As
he was almost as wide as he was tall, I didn't doubt him. I
tried to make a joke of it and said I hoped it wasn’t me but
he didn’t reply.
“Suddenly he said that ‘the brothers’ wouldn't be happy to
know that a London taxi driver hadn't heard of them.
Meanwhile we were close to Seymour Street, moving very
slowly and he said he’d get out there. As he did, he said he
assumed there would be no charge! I didn't argue and the sec-
ond the door was shut I turned left quickly into Seymour
Street, even though the lights had turned to red!
“I'll never know whether he was telling the truth about the
Call Sign February 2017
Page 22
“It happened after I had pulled
up outside the terminal at
Where’s Your Badge?
London City Airport to set down
my passenger,” Alan Drew (L33)
to her and asked if she had seen anything?
explained to Call Sign. “He had
She said no but then asked where my badge
asked me for a receipt, which I
was. She identified herself as a TfL Cab
was happy to do. I intended fin-
Enforcement Officer. I told her that I had
now finished work, just taken my Badge off,
ishing work after this trip, so I
put it into my money bag together with my
took his fare money, slid my
passengers’ cash and was heading home.
green taxi drivers’ Badge from
“She said she couldn’t be sure that I had
my neck and put both items in
been wearing it and I repeated that I was now
my money bag for safe keeping
finished and going home. In the same vein,
she then asked how she knew I was finishing.
as I habitually do when I have
I responded that she didn’t have to believe
ended my shift.
me but that I’d been working for over 10
“While I was sorting out the receipt, there
hours and could prove that via my Dial-a-
was a crashing noise ahead of my taxi. I
Cab terminal. But she said she was disputing
looked up to see a PHV directly in front of me
my word and began writing everything down
having unloaded luggage from the car and
on a digital hand-held device, expecting me
someone then slammed shut the tailgate. I
to counter-sign it as a statement of fact.”
jumped out of my seat and went round to the
Alan continued his story and pointed out to
front of my taxi to check there was no dam-
the CEO several anomalies and made amend-
age to my cab from where the tailgate had
Alan Drew: Cab Enforcement Officer
ments, but still refused to sign anything.
previously been opened. Looking around,
didn't believe he had just taken off his
“At that point, another TfL officer appeared
there was a lady standing nearby, so I turned
badge as he'd finished his shift
on the scene and agreed with me that I did not
have to sign anything so I drove away and head-
Simon Scott is one of the new generations of taxi drivers whose
ed home. My advice is to never sign anything
life is captured as a blog. The continuing story of his time as a
just because someone says you have to. I am
butterboy is…
now awaiting a response from TfL,” he conclud-
ed, still looking puzzled at what he said was a
waste of everyone’s time. As Alan pointed out, it
wasn’t as though he never had his Badge...
A Blogger’s Tale
Alan Green, Call Sign Online
My dad loved to gamble; he came from a long line of gam-
blers and both he and my uncle were bookmakers. In fact my
uncle managed a number of shops until he retired a few
years ago.
Some of my earliest memories were the sound of dad whistling
at the horse racing on the television, I was amazed at how much
noise he could generate. He once told me that he had won so
much money on an accumulator that he managed to pay off the
mortgage early, but then whispered to me not to tell mum… and I
I had a brief - but idyllic - spell after leaving school of
being unable to get a job, lazing around at home. No school and no work was total-
ly fantastic, but I had heard the rumblings of discontent from both my parents.
Apparently dad had told mum that I could work with him in the betting shop, the one
in Soho no less; now if I’d known that I would have invented a job and waited for him
at the top of the road, Soho had a magical allure for a teenage me.
Inevitably, despite her desire to get me working, mum refused to allow me to work in a bet-
ting shop. I suspect she thought it would corrupt me, but at 17 I wholeheartedly wanted to be
I went on to dislike gambling, preferring to keep a firm grip on my hard earned money. I
have, though, had a couple of lapses in my time; many years ago I picked up a lucky gambler in
the West End. He excitedly told me that he had won big that night and as I steered the cab
• Immaculate Fairway taxi available
through the dark streets towards Charing Cross Station he replayed every turn of the card and
every winning hand until I eventually pulled on to the cobbles at the front of the station. Still in
for Wedding Hire
the cab, he asked me if I had had a good night and of course I replied that I had only just start-
• Covers most north, east and
ed and only had my cash float on me… just in case!
central London locations
He climbed out, came to the nearside window and held out a leather bag very simi-
lar to the one I used to hold my notes in. He asked if I fancied a gamble. Well I always
• Used in Olympic closing ceremony
want to win, but the thought of losing made me feel sick. I asked what kind of gamble
with the Spice Girls!
he was referring to.
• Full leather interior
“Flick a coin and call heads or tails in the air,” the passenger replied. “If you win, you keep
my winnings and if you lose, I keep what's in your money bag.”
• Discounts for DaC drivers
Safe to say I drove home potless. My dad used to tell me to always quit while you were
ahead and I used to ask him how you knew when you were ahead. He would just smile and say
Ring Graham (B35) on
that I still had a lot to learn…!
To be continued…
Simon Scott (O40)
or email oldlondontaxis@yahoo.co.uk
Call Sign Online
Call Sign February 2017
Page 23
This is just a reminder that it’s no
longer Christmas and that New
Year celebrations are a distant
memory. But this magazine
...but have a short memory!!!
doesn’t forget easily...
Whether you believe the reported figures in the poster reprint-
ed on this page of 154 sex assaults in PH vehicles, including 32
rapes over a 12 month period, or the figures reported at the pre-
Christmas Mayor’s Question Time that were taken over a two
year period of 270 sex attacks, which allegedly included 56 rapes;
either way the figures are absolutely appalling!
It has to be also said that during that two year period, there
was one reported case of a sex attack by a licensed taxi dri-
ver; that was in 2015. Yes, even that one case was one too
many with the LTDA describing it as a deplorable one-off
incident and responded by offering a donation of £10,000 to
the St Mary’s Hospital Rape Haven in Paddington, which spe-
cialises in assisting victims of sexual harassment.
So put that against Budweiser’s apparent support of the mini-
cab sex attack and rape figures to such a degree that they not only
sponsored Uber over the holiday period by offering £15 per trip
to use them, but by doing so were encouraging lone females to
use the Uber app.
We on the licensed taxi side all knew that Uber’s surge pricing
over the holiday period made the £15 discount almost worthless,
but people looking to get home and not used to using the app reg-
ularly would not have realised. But we would have assumed that
a company like Budweiser, who in all fairness many would
describe as producing the best beer of its kind, would have
checked just who they were sponsoring.
So Call Sign can’t tell you what to drink but we’d ask you
to remember the above when you order your next beer and
perhaps remind your family and all your friends of who it
was that totally ignored the above disgraceful sex attacks in
Alan Fisher
minicabs and when they next fancy a beer, perhaps think
Call Sign Online
about ordering a different one to Budweiser...
Bank Demo
he succession of demos by taxi drivers at the
Bank Junction was deemed to be a success by
organisers, the independent ITA, despite the best
attempts of the City Police to scupper them by creating
difficulties for those many taxi drivers that turned up.
They even created a further difficulty by reducing the
original 90 minutes to just 30.
However, drivers were being sent messages via
Twitter and passing them on verbally to move the
demo to places other than the Bank Junction and
rather than breaking their spirit, drivers became even
more determined to get their point across - that taxi
drivers are the safest form of public transport and
that it had been many years since a licensed taxi dri-
ver had been involved in an accident at the junction,
whereas buses had and indeed in the same week, a
bus at the Elephant and Castle had knocked over a
Areas were bought to complete standstills as thousands of Taxis changed destinations. The police soon
realised they were losing as more and more venues saw taxis gather at places such as Parliament Square and London Bridge.
As drivers dispersed, organisers gave out details for following days with nothing put out on social media, leaving the
police in the dark. That hadn’t been the intention but police actions left demonstrators fighting for their trade, knowing
that closing the Bank Junction to them would be catastrophic and lose taxi drivers even more passengers.
The only real question is what the City of London has against us to force the trade into acting in this way? However,
the city of London has now agreed to a meeting with the RMT taxi section.
Call Sign February 2017
Page 24
Call Sign’s Gary Cox (O46) makes no secret of his love for the Vito
Benz Vans
as against the TX4 but looks at the cab’s advertising and second
h a s
hand future...
its new Euro 6 Vito
Taxi; their successor
to the vehicle that
has sold in excess of
3,000 units since its
launch in 2008. The
new taxi works on a
136 hp low emission
114CD Euro 6 diesel engine together with
the fuel efficient 7G-tronic plus 7 speed
gearbox. S&B Commercials at Welham
Green advertise the Euro 6 Vito as no
deposit with weekly payments of £168,
which includes a 3 year warranty and free
24 hour roadside assistance from MB’s
MobiloVan. It all sounds good, but as they
advertise two rates - for business and
non-business users - who knows.
S&B should realise that it will soon find
"Why was the best diesel cab ever released just before the electric taxi is due?"
itself in the middle of a panic buying spree
nothing, courtesy of the Mayor of
ably the best diesel cab ever arriving at
due to the fast moving position regarding the
London. I just hope that S&B see sense
the last minute just before we all go down
up and coming electric taxi. Nobody at S&B
and charge independent traders like you,
the experimental route of electric taxis!
was available for comment when
me and Del Boy the same price as they do
My tip is if that if you are feeling confident
approached. That's not surprising consider-
to large garages and promise to supply us
enough to buy a new dib dab and you can’t
ing that they are in all probability trying to
on a first-come first-served basis.
add extras on it because it comes complete,
convince the big boys and girls in Stuttgart
I bet KPM and Ascott can’t wait for the
the only thing you can negotiate is not paying
that they don’t want to have to shift thou-
gold rush on second hand cabs, because if my
for the oil on the first service. At least when
sands of ex-leasehold cabs at the same time -
well-known source is to be believed, what the
you leave S&B, you know you’ve got some-
could a two year lease plan be in the offing?
cab trade lacks is enough second hand cabs
thing out of them apart from a fantastic cab -
They must be having a laugh; after all, who
ready to buy on the showroom floors. Not
yes, a little over-priced but then again in two
sells a cab with a one year warranty on it. Of
that S&B are going to want to flog second-
or three years’ time when they start to
course, because nobody will be able to pur-
hand TX4 cabs because they are going to
emerge back on the second hand market with
chase new diesel taxis soon, second-hand
have to face the nightmare of getting a lot of
sixty thousand miles on them, I can see the
prices will rocket, which makes the depress-
cabs first time plated - good luck with TfL.
price rocketing if the electricity thing doesn’t
ingly high price for a new Vito not seem quite
We all knew Mercedes Benz were never
give us the pleasure we so so desire.
so high.
going to put their Euro 6 taxi on the road
To S&B, above is the best way to flog a
One thing is certain though; the
until they thought they had got it right,
cab; it asks all the questions and answers
builders in fifteen years’ time will be rub-
but l just wish they had delivered this cab
them all in one place. They can consider
bing their hands together at the thought
a year earlier so that we had a little more
this the ultimate ad
- free of charge
of a well maintained cheap van for next to
breathing space, rather than having prob-
because l like the way they do business...!
An occasional review from a struggling 14 handicapper at some of the marque
Gary Cox
golf courses I've had the privilege to play in my golf days away from the taxi…
Call Sign Online (and Vito lover)
Knole Park Golf Club
Down Sevenoaks way there's a rather pleasant golf
club called Knole Park, which is unsurprisingly situ-
ated in the Knole House estate.
Designed by J.F.Abercromby, it was opened on
November 1st 1924 when Lord Sackville of Knole
Park drove off the first tee. The noble Lord was landlord
of the estate and a member of Knole Park Golf Club.
The course found some notoriety during the war
when enemy gliders attempted landings there; that
was stopped when a series of obstacles were scat-
Don't be surprised when some deer turn up to
tered around. But fame hit the course in the 1960s
watch you!
when John, George, Paul and Ringo - aka The Beatles - took a walk over the course during the filming
for the band’s 1967 recording of Strawberry Fields Forever.
Knole Park is a classic parkland course with some very fine holes, some of which border on
excellent. But a word of warning: You may and almost certainly will encounter the numerous
deer that roam the course, but they're a harmless bunch that understand the layout of the
course and steer clear of the greens and tees... usually!
At 6500 yards and a par of 70, it's not overly long but it will certainly challenge you. A few noteworthy
holes include the 14th - a long par 4 (447 yards) that requires a good drive down the left, leaving a long to
mid-iron shot in.
The 16th is the last par3 at 194 yards and is on the highest part of the course. It also offers wonderful
views of the historic Knole House. The 18th is a short par 4 at 345 yards, but beware... it’s a redan green
(slopes away from you) and ‘out of bounds’ and the Club House lurk just behind the final approach.
As always, happy golfing...
Simon Wallis (M11)
Call Sign Online
Call Sign February 2017
Page 25
Hello Ladies & Gents
I would like to start this article by thanking the
staff at Roman Way and also the girls in Driver
Services for their hard work and commitment
throughout December and into this year,
whilst we were carrying out the fleet recall to
fit PEDS into the rear compartments of the
fleet in a ridiculously short period.
in the front after being signed without you hav-
It was certainly a race against time to fin-
ing to leave your vehicle. It isn’t the ideal solu-
ish this task before the TfL deadline of 30th
tion, but may be a little safer and if a problem
December, but with your assistance, it was
occurs then payment can be processed from
a reasonably smooth operation and we suc-
the office so long as a rubbing of the actual
ceeded against all the odds, so well done to
card is taken, which shows the card details and
everyone; especially as this came straight
on the back of the PED upgrades that pre-
In answer to some of your queries, the
vented the total roll-out of the Version 11
Board have frequently discussed at length
software update. That should have included
the payment schedules for credit card trans-
the gratuity box and card pre-auths had not
actions and although it is a cost to Dial-a-
TfL insisted on their date. However, these
Cab to process every payment through the
will be coming very soon in Version 12.
banks, we understand that now hail and ride
As I have mentioned previously, the IT
trips have increased five-fold on a daily
department were informed by Barclaycard that
basis, there is now a need to quicken up the
if certain software changes to the PED were not
payment schedule. It seems feasible that we
implemented, then they would literally die
can pay these trips on a daily basis in the
overnight. It was at such short notice, with both
very near future.
Barclaycard and Ingenico seemingly trying to
Lastly, one or two drivers have asked for an
pass the buck while blaming each other for not
upgraded after the cut-off date did not mal-
instructional notice that can be displayed on the
notifying us until literally the last minute. For
function and indeed worked normally, but
partition regarding the usage of the Chip and Pin
the PED upgrade to work successfully, the MDT
we just couldn’t take the chance.
cards for those passengers that speak alternative
units also needed updated software; so as you
I know many of you are fearful of the obvi-
languages. As you know, TfL categorically state
can imagine, IT Director John Bankes, his
ous dangers and difficulties of having PEDS
where any signage - inside or outside of the taxi
team and all the guys at Roman Way were under
sited in the back of your taxis and only time
- should be located and all signs must be
severe pressure to make the necessary changes
will tell if your safety will be compromised or
approved beforehand. It doesn’t seem to be a
in such a short time and without the prior
put to the test. But there will certainly be occa-
major concern at the moment and with all the
notice that other providers had some two
sions when you are forced to leave the safety of
added stickers that we now have, we are fast run-
months earlier! Not an ideal situation and defi-
the taxi to sort a problem out in the back. It is
ning out of space inside of the cabs.
nitely not one of our making.
with this in mind that I once again urge you to
carry a manual credit card receipt book with
Allan Evans
What adds to our frustration is that it
now appears the PEDS that were still to be
you at all times that can be handed back to you
Operations/Compliance Director
And by the way TfL...
o doubt many Call
Sign readers are up
with this magazine’s
campaign for the last
half of 2016 against moving
credit card PEDs to the taxi’s rear
Cabbie Specials
compartment. You also probably
became quite fed up with our
secondary campaign, which after
admitting defeat for the first
one, then asked for the PED
Now’s your chance to try our course. Any black cab driver who shows us their
instead to go onto a cable as it
badge gets a 10% discount for green fees and societies on Mondays,
had been in the front, so that
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and a discounted membership fee.
passengers with problems could
remove it from the cradle and
pass it through the gap to us
without our need to get into the
Our 9 hole course is the perfect place for you to relax and get some fresh air
Many companies allow their
in the beautiful countryside of North-West Kent.
back. Sadly, TfL never even had
PEDs to be removed from
the decency to respond to that
Renovated and restructured greens and improved fairways to play on, with
one, but we’re now used to
the cradle... but not TfL!
food and a bar on site to refresh yourself after a round.
their rudeness.
But we still thought we’d show TfL this picture of a credit
For more information call Jacquie or Sue on 01474 573116 / 573113
card machine used by Sainsbury’s and many others, who actual-
A friendly welcome awaits you.
ly allow their customers to remove the PED from the bracket
Corinthian Sports Club, Valley Road, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent. DA3 8LY
because they, unlike TfL, apparently have some brains! We
corinthians@billingsgroup.co.uk / jacquie@billingsgroup.co.uk
won’t get that because TfL could not give a hoot what we
think! At least that makes the situation more understandable!!!
Disrespectful to TfL? That’s what they have done to us. Perhaps
we should change our name to Uber!
Jamie Corum
Call Sign Online
Call Sign February 2017
Page 26
jit Chambers
Call Sign’s Marc Turner (R97) is also known as Drumslayer. This
was previously
month he spoke to Ajit Chambers, an entrepreneur whose Old
unknown to
the trade, but
London Underground Company has had to battle against the way
just like an express train
TfL operates, causing him to sympathise with the taxi trade...
has entered the fray in
our never ending strug-
gle with Transport for
London. He too has experienced hardship in
his dealings with our governing body.
Firstly some background on Ajit. Early on,
"TfL became less
he trained as a helicopter pilot before then
going on to become a civil servant in the
cooperative and more
Community for Local Government, when
no less then Sadiq Khan was the Minister.
He followed that by moving into finance
with Barclays and HSBC. Ajit made numer-
deeds. He demanded a
ous influential contacts in his position of
Public Inquiry from the
attending to 'ultra-high net' worth individu-
PM into TfL's malfea-
als before his entrepreneurial zest bore the
idea of turning some of London’s disused
Ajit feels his requested
tube stations into themed tourist attrac-
Public Inquiry is imminent
tions. Ajit formed The Old London
and believes that soon
Underground Company. At subsequent
“some individuals will be
meetings, TfL became very impressed with
shaking in their boots!”
even then-Mayor Boris Johnson waxing lyri-
As Ajit investigated the miscreants of his
Currently Ajit’s aim is to have all
cal over Ajit’s initiative.
turmoil, the same three names kept cropping
the trade organisations uniting as one, so
However, soon after, TfL became less coop-
up. Ajit said: “The three people involved in
putting this iconic trade back on track. I
erative and more obstructive. Ajit claims that
the fraudulent procurement process happen
joked with Ajit that I didn’t think even
under a cover-up, TfL proceeded to 'steal' his
to be embroiled in the Garden Bridge fiasco
'God Almighty' could pull that task off!
business model after he'd invested a huge sum
and - wait for it - the Uber plague we are suf-
But Ajit was serious: “I’m striving to get
of his own money into the project.
all the orgs together as a business partner
So the question begs, where does the
Ajit added: “I can't stand by and watch per-
of London.”
London licensed taxi trade feature in this tale
sons in position of power using that power to
In concluding, I’d like to thank Ajit on behalf
of woe? Well, Ajit has always had affection for
benefit themselves.”
of the trade for his perseverance in speaking up
our trade going back to when he first came to
On Friday January 6th, Ajit Chambers
for us. With those of the calibre of Ajit
London. He couldn't quite get to grips with the
met with Prime Minister, Theresa May.
Chambers in our corner, we’ll never be
London Underground system, so he stayed
That night he was a guest on George
above ground, frequently asking cabbies for
Galloway’s talkRadio show and described
directions and was impressed by their courtesy
Marc Turner (R97)
how Theresa May had raised her eyebrow
and help. Eventually Ajit became a frequent
on hearing of Uber’s brazen and dastardly
Call Sign Online
French demo
376 Strand, WC2
We Invite Dial-a-Cab drivers and their guests to our
restaurant where you can partake of the finest food and wine
n an unprecedented act of sol-
idarity with London taxi dri-
And as a thank-you for helping our clients come
vers demonstrating against
and go over the years, we are happy to be able to
being banned from the Bank
offer you a genuine 25% discount on your bill
Junction in April, fellow taxi dri-
vers in Paris on their own
We are certain that you will be delighted
demonstration, were tweeting
support with messages claiming
that banning taxis from London’s
Bank Junction was akin to ban-
ning French taxis from Place
Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
Parisian cabs carried signage for
the duration of the protest, sup-
Please bring along your badge or Bill as ID
porting the action taking place in
London with the tweet signage
Salieri Restaurant
of #JeSuisTaxis.
376 Strand, WC2
See page 23.
Reservations: 020 7836 1318
Call Sign February 2017
Page 27
“What about a Black Cab,” I asked?
A friend in
In other reviews, one guest claimed he
was charged forty pounds (£40) to Victoria,
another was quoted sixty
(£60) to
Heathrow, but on arrival was asked for
ninety five (£95).
I hasten to add these two other reviews
I recently had a short stay at the Holiday
have nothing to do with me.
“Yes, I could call you one, but it would work
Inn Kensington, formally the Kensington
Nothing new in all this, you are thinking, but
out more expensive.”
Close. When I say short, it was actually about
the interesting thing is that so far one hundred
My review on TRIP ADVISOR highlighted
ten minutes while I had a wonder around.
and fifty people have read my review, and pre-
the conversation, and of course referred to
On leaving, I approached the Concierge
sumably the others.
the fifty five pounds (£55) I eventually paid
claiming I needed transport to Heathrow and
So I may well be taking a short break at a
for the journey in a Black Cab.
could he advise.
few other hotels similar to the Holiday Inn. I
The Management responded: “None of our
“Our Airport car Service starting at sixty
professional concierges ever tries to upsell our
pounds (£60) is very popular with our guests,”
Car Service. They give advice on a trustworthy,
Philip Benjamin (K20)
he responded.
professional service.”
The Call Sign Internet Library
ALL SIGN often gets dri-
vers asking how they can
get onto our online library
because they have only just
gone on the internet. Astonishingly,
our online department headed by
Vince Chin has kept this magazine’s
website going since 1998 - by far the
longest of any taxi trade magazine
including the one that is apparently
read by more drivers than any other!
Even though the last time we looked,
CS had over 9000 online readers, never
mind hard copy readers!
So, you want to look up something
in the latest issue or in an old issue of
Call Sign?
Log on to www.dac-callsign.co.uk
or www.dac-callsign.com
Then either browse through
every issue of Call Sign since 1998
Can you afford not to get a copy!!!
by using the Search Call Sign facili-
ty at the top right of the page, type
Produced by Dial-a-Cabs PCN expert, John Vigus,
a clue and let our search engine do
the rest. Or go straight to the issue
this book is all you need to know about moving
you want by clicking on Archive or
traffic and parking regulations in one easy to
Call Sign at the top. They are both
read guide!
similar except that the Archive facil-
ity uses covers whereas the Call
Sign button uses dates.
The Motorists Guide to Moving
Since the May 2006 issue, you just
need to click on the PDF logo under
Traffic And Parking Regulations
the issue you want to see a large text
Hard copies £8. Electronic versions to
version. Prior to that date, you can read
20 page versions.
Dial-a-Cab drivers are £5 per copy. Orders
If you just want to see the latest
via Driver Services with payment deducted
issue, just click on the Home page.
from your DaC account.
There are also issues from 1967, 1977
and 1987 as a reminder of the old
Can you really afford not to get a copy!!!
London Taxidrivers Fund fo
Grosvenor House C
Celebrating their 89th annual Mad Hatters Tea
Animal Fu - an animal character-based dance troop that teaches chil-
dren to understand the values needed for leading both a healthy and
Party on Sunday 22nd January 2017 at the JW
a respectful life. Next up came the Let it Glow children who gave a
Marriott Grosvenor House in Park Lane, the
brilliant performance, featuring Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.
The carers - not to mention the Call Sign staff at the party -
Pearly Kings and Queens
Elite Musical Theatre Co
Star Wars comes to Earth!
Vicky Michelle with Dave Davis
Lydia Lucy
Having a great time at the Grosvenor House
or Underprivileged Children
hildren’s TEA Party
Animal Fu
Let it Glow’s Elsa from Frozen
Elvis Shmelvis
Former East Ender’s star Maisie Smith
Lucy’s amazing Trip Hazard entertains the kids
Micky, Minnie and co
Call Sign February 2017
Page 30
Either write to Call Sign at Dial-a-
Cab House
Or email us at
Shares and drivers
the opportunities of doing other things. We
issue warnings notices if needs be.
Hello Alan
should never lose sight of the simple fact that in
The Knowledge of London tests for taxi
Have you heard of any undercurrent regarding
order to make change, we must start from with-
drivers should change with the times allowing
the mounting of a legal challenge on share dis-
in and that when we raise our glasses at festive
for a better understanding of public needs.
tribution etc as although I've not been an owner
times, it may or may not have been just half
There should be a better understanding of
since August 2012 but prior to that date I was a
tourism and its needs; for example a small
Dial-a-Cab member for some 30 years as F03.
Andy Colli (C84)
uniform size flag on the front door of taxis
Yet now I don't qualify...
You’re right Andy. Anyone reading the
informing passengers that this particular dri-
Tony Arnold (J01)
January issue, which contained two obituar-
ver speaks other languages. Drivers need to
Brian Rice responds: Tony, I have not
ies and one piece remembering someone
be taught how to deal with drunken passen-
heard one word regarding an undercur-
who had died earlier in 2016, will under-
gers and also what to do in accident situa-
rent and absolutely nothing about a legal
stand what you mean. Sadly, individual cir-
challenge, which quite frankly in my view
cumstances make it far easier to come to a
There should be an advanced driving test
would be laughable; however, there are
decision for some as against others. Either
instigated and led by the Institute of
several stories such as yours. You were
way, no one should ever regret growing old
Advanced Motoring for all taxi drivers. PH
either a Member of the Society upon con-
because not everyone manages it... Ed
vehicles with dark tinted windows should be
version or you were not and unfortunately
removed from the roads until the offending
in your case you were not. However, a rule
The need to change...
windows have been replaced. And all private
was passed by the Members and then reg-
Dear Alan
hire and taxi companies and drivers that do
istered on
5th August
2016 that any
We need to change our Unions and Associations
not provide tax returns and pay tax on profit
Member with 10 years’ service on that
because they do not lead the way. It’s up to us
in London, should be deemed unfit and not a
proper person or company to hold any form
date could retain his Membership and
as individuals to understand the market place,
receive shares as long as he/she rented a
predict future developments and change with
of office or trade in the London Taxi / PH
region. In plain English, if you want to win it,
taxi with Dial-a-Cab equipment installed.
them. I’m sure most would agree that we’re too
Unfortunately Tony, there has to be a
fragmented, just as I believe that most would
you've got to be in it!
And you lot are not going to like this one;
cut-off date for current Journeymen who
agree that Credit Cards were a pointer in the
were previously owners for 10 years or
right direction. But if Steve McNamara,
but we must face the fact that Rate 3 has been
a point of debate for too long so let’s fix it and
more (as per the new rule) and that date
General Secretary of the LTDA was honest
enough to admit it, his approach to the way in
replace it with something more constructive
was when the rule was registered on 5th
August 2016. Because you ceased to be an
which the system was foisted on us will bear all
and just accept that it has been an embarrass-
the hallmarks of Ken Livingstone’s first
ment to our trade. We should also be able to
owner four years prior to that date, it
London Mayoral style of working - shooting
vote on who represents the taxi trade, even
excludes you from receiving shares. I
from the hip and picking up any collateral dam-
though they can only speak on other forms of
know it is unfortunate, but we must abide
age along the way. A good example was the
transport on the Greater London Authority
by the rules. We can’t just concoct circum-
removal of credit card PEDs from the front to
- it should not be just a case of who the
stances to appease individuals. Sorry
within the passenger compartment and leaving
Mayor wants.
drivers vulnerable to attack and other allega-
As for appearance; no more shorts unless
they are tailored and no flip flops when on
Another year gone...
This is what I think we should do. Look to
duty. So it’s cobblers to those screaming out
Hi Alan
amalgamate the Green Badge club and the
that they know their rights; it’s my rights too!
Well, another year has been and gone with
LTDA. Of course the reason as to why the LCDC
Their screaming doesn’t wash when it comes
what can only be described as scenes from
came into being will have to be addressed,
to building our future and feeding our fami-
‘the ghost of Christmas’ yet to come.
which could prove painful to the leaderships.
However, as we ponder the ‘Green Mile’ I feel
Then seat all various organisations around a
So it’s over to Call Sign readers to tear the
that at this time we should try to set aside the
table and get them to agree that just one trade
above apart. I just hope that the trade organ-
overwhelming consumption and self-obses-
union will represent our trade and then we can
isations make some attempt at replying,
sive flagellation of what we’ve endured for
begin putting forward our demands, except
because if they don’t it just goes to prove how
the benefit of those loved ones who have had
that those we negotiate with will no longer have
out of touch they are...
to listen to our woes, something they have all
the option of saying that one org disagrees with
Gary Cox (O46)
but heard long before the fates of recent
another and use that as an excuse and do noth-
Gary, I passed out as a taxi driver in 1971
ing we ask for.
so I am now officially no longer a butter
Therefore it may now be time for some
I personally believe that all taxis should be
boy! But even back then and with just the
positivity. I’ve observed the change in my
black - a colour that should only be used by the
LTDA and the T&G, whatever one said, the
father-in-law’s more contented demeanour
licensed London taxi trade and not private hire.
other would automatically disagree with
since handing back his Badge a little earlier
PH should also be defined as being a separate
it. But there are now multiple orgs - with
than he had planned, to look for other ways
entity from the taxi trade at all levels - complete-
some founded by small groups of drivers
in life in which to adapt or change so as not
ly separate management and staff to create
with the best of intentions, but if you then
to forget what wonders life can still give.
competition from within.
go online you’ll hear them all arguing
While some might say it’s not that easy -
We also need to see the return of a modern
with each other constantly. Sadly, whilst
and as a father of three under 15-year olds
form of Public Carriage Office capable of an
your suggestion represents a form of
and in my 50s with an early self-retired wife, I
MOT standard of inspection on the road for
Utopia, there is more chance of the Mayor
should be the first. However, I can't stop feel-
spot checks on PH and Taxis and have the abili-
banning minicabs than the trade orgs
ing how lucky I am to have a job and still have
ty to remove licence plates in extreme cases or
have of voting themselves out of exis-
Call Sign February 2017
Page 31
tence. But you are right in that something
cash work for our drivers. Who would stay on
has to be done - and quickly - because
the line after being told of a run-in and book-
private hire are being allowed to do what-
ing fee?
ever they like, whereas we are treated
Another concern of mine is that I now have
with disdain. And as you also point out,
no receipt for returning my single share cer-
TfL deliberately putting us in danger is a
tificate and I worry if things were to go
disgrace and shows just how easily this
wrong, what proof would I have that I’m part
period it has to survive through if its aspira-
licensing authority finds it to do whatever
of Dial-a-Cab?
tional testing of self-drive cars becomes a real-
they want. But Call Sign is always open to
On a more general TfL related issue, it's
ity. As George Orwell’s 1984 quoted: “You
any driver or trade organisation represen-
now less than a year until new taxis must be
will be hollow, we shall squeeze you empty
tative wishing to respond... Ed
zero emission capable, yet I don't know of any
and then we will fill you with ourselves.” And
taxi ranks with electric charging facilities, let
it’s all done in the best possible taste in the
alone of an electric taxi for sale! I asked to pay
race for profit over people...
for a cuppa and jam doughnut with a debit
Dave Heath (Ex-W27)
Dear Alan
card in a cafe and was told that's a minimum
I had my PED fitted in the week before
of £5 please! A friend went to buy me a beer
See page 3 editorial for some news on
Christmas and began to wonder what other
in the bar of my local civic centre and was told
Uber that may well bring them huge prob-
business was not allowed to hold and view
there is a £10 minimum for card payment!
their PED? I mentioned it to another driver
How TfL expect me to finance a new electric
who told me about a Dial-a-Cab driver at
taxi that is predicted to cost over £50k when
Heathrow who had refused to display the
PED position
I'm being forced to accept card trips that clear
related stickers or to have the PED in the
In addition to the other problems that I have
for £4 and less when the meter starts at £2.60,
back. He was threatened with and given a
encountered since the removal of our PED to
I really don't know.
Stop notice. The story continued that some-
the rear compartment, I have noticed that
Jon Robinson (E88)
one at Roman Way with a barrister brother
non-English speaking passengers appear to
See Allan Evans article...Ed
took the case up and soon the Stop was
be completely unaware of the workings of a
removed as TfL do not have the authority. Is
UK PED. I am aware that not all countries use
this just cab driver gossip as there has been
Uber in Saudi
the Chip & Pin system and that is obviously
nothing in your articles or mentioned by
In Saudi Arabia where women are banned
causing some of the confusion and failed
from driving, many more are starting to get
transactions I have experienced. Perhaps an
Alasdair Kay (C47)
jobs - although they still need permission.
instructional notice displayed on the partition
Brian Rice responds: “The rumour may be
The $3 billion investment by their sovereign
may reduce the problems, although if the
partly true (I believe) but is nothing to do
wealth fund into Uber will help them to get
punter does not read English, problems
with Dial-a-Cab. A driver at Heathrow is
work according to Uber! Oh really? Well
could still arise and lead to delayed transac-
said to have refused to have stickers
thanks a bunch guys! You just couldn’t make
affixed to his cab unless he was paid for
it up, could you! What it does do is to institu-
Would it be possible for DaC to produce
the privilege. He was promptly given a
tionalise women's inferiority and dependency
authorised instructional signage to explain
‘stop’ notice but it was then rescinded by
and actually turn them into a form of invest-
the process to our valued customers?
LTPH (TfL). At least that’s what I heard a
ment! No wonder many have deleted the app
Dave Cohen (E94)
few weeks before Christmas. Whether it’s
from their phone in protest. In the meantime,
There is a survey on the issue inside this
true or not, I have no idea. But a happy
the soul devouring juggernaut that is Uber is
issue and I’ll ask about a sign. However,
new year to you Alasdair...”
continuing to suck in and spit out across the
with DaC/TfL relations at an all-time low, I
globe. Uber’s flagrant disregard for its drivers’
can’t see this licensing authority saying
employment rights could only be a temporary
The thoughts of Jon
Hello Alan and a Happy New year
Some thoughts and observations on my life as
a DaC taxi driver. Firstly let me thank you for
extracting the urine out of me in last month’s
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union
Call Sign! But I really think that having to
wait almost a fortnight for processing a credit
Ever needed money quickly but were anxious about
card ride through my terminal on weekends
variable bank interest rates?
is a serious issue, when many of our competi-
Well wonder no more! If you are a subscriber, journeyman or
tors are offering next day payments. And why,
member of staff at Dial-a-Cab, then you qualify to join the
after having the DaC PED fitted in my taxi
Dial-a-Cab Credit Union. Any member of your family residing
over 3 years ago, are we still waiting for the
option to tip? How much did DaC lose out on
at your address also qualifies for membership!
when they took a 10% handling fee from the
Then if you are over 18, have been a member of the Credit Union for
fare? Once again it feels like we are playing
over 3 months and have established regular savings, you can borrow
catch up with our competitors.
up to 3 times your total savings…
After reading Keith Cain’s Sales report on
The cost?
spending time with complex tenders only to
always lose out to private hire due to cost, I
Just 1% per month on the outstanding balance (or APR of 12.7%).
Loans can be paid back early AND there can be an annual dividend on your shares.
must beg to ask the question as to whether it
is worth the effort and perhaps instead the
The question is: Can you afford NOT to be in it…?
Sales department could look elsewhere,
Call us on 020 7729 8171 or 020 7749 0585
maybe towards personal travel for individuals
- as an example, senior industry leaders
Members of the Financial Ombudsman Service
through their PA’s? Perhaps if the cash book-
Member’s funds protected up to limit set by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
ing fee was done away with and we sur-
DaC Credit Union Ltd, Peterley Business Centre, 472 Hackney Rd E2 9EQ
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
charged the driver, it could generate some
Registration number 213263