London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

This month in the Lantern

We All Love London Taxi Drivers

My name is Josie and I live in Southern California, USA but I love London, I think it's a wonderful city. I enjoy reading all the articles in the London Lantern every month as they keep me up to date with what is happening there. I particularly like the new links you have included about the Hotels and the Stately Homes; it was a very good idea.

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About London Taxi Drivers

Dear Sean and all other "Real" London Taxi Drivers: I travelled to London in early April this year. It was my first time in Europe, although I'm 42. I should have come long ago, because I had a wonderful time and London is now my favourite city. One of my most favourable impressions came from the quaint and marvellous taxi drivers!

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More From Our Politically Incorrect Taxi Driver - Part 4, The Knowledge

“Come one, come all,” I say, as long as you’re a 'fit and proper person' and you have done the Knowledge. The Knowledge, is the cornerstone of the trade, it takes three years without pay; such conditions are too much for many people, and 70% of all those who sign up fail to make it through.

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Our Politically Incorrect Taxi Driver - Part 3

The recent cold weather in London has reminded me of two episodes whilst I was doing the knowledge, in the first instance I was on my motorbike (a Honda 90) in sub zero temperatures. I formulated the idea that if washing up gloves could keep the heat out, they should also be able to keep the body heat in.

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Our Politically Incorrect Taxi Driver - Part 2

My part in the downfall of South Korean TV was to pick the film crew up outside the carriage office and take them to a destination, being filmed whilst doing so. We had to do one take with the cameraman behind the “punter” who hails me; and then another with the cameraman inside the cab giving the driver’s perspective.

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Our Politically Incorrect Taxi Driver - Part 1

A few years ago I was doing some work in an office for a cab trade organisation when I received a phone call from the Public Carriage Office. Now a phone call from these people can turn your average six-foot brick karsy (Editor: common name for a toilet, often also referred to as a shit house!) built cab driver into a quivering wreck.

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London Underground Map

We thought that it would a good idea to show visitors a map of the London Underground (Tube) on Virtual London, to assist them in navigating the often-confusing complex of various lines and stations.

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Last Word About Crime On The Tube

British Transport Police is drafting in 40 extra officers to central London to tackle pickpocketing on the Underground, they are taking part in a new phase of Operation Jackdaw and will be helped by improved co-operation with London Underground staff.

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London Underground's Comments About Crime

London Underground is working with the British Transport Police to crackdown on pickpocketing incidents on the system. The force has mounted more patrols across the network under "Operation Jackdaw".

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Advice About Crime

The amount of pickpocketing on the underground has risen by a fair amount and there are a number of hints that staff give to travellers. Firstly try to not carry anything of huge value. If you must then make sure it is well hidden about your person. Most thefts are opportunistic so don't give them the chance.

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A Cautionary Tale And Sensible Advice

As a former London resident who now escorts groups to London allow me a few comments. First regarding pickpockets and the London Tube. On my last visit my wallet was taken (most embarrassingly after my "street proofing" talk to the group. This happened at Russell Square tube - be very cautious of being the last into tube elevators.

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Facilities For The Disabled On The Tube

Hi Richard! Just started getting your Virtual-London newsletter. Really enjoying it. I have a question regarding the Underground. In '98 I was home, visiting family in Essex, and we went by train to Bath, which entailed taking the Underground from Liverpool St Station to Paddington Station.

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A Tongue In Cheek Riposte To It's A Funny Old Game

I have a modest proposal, which might help these London cab drivers with their tried and true feelings about American tourists, and possibly might change their attitude about who really should have been victors at the Alamo.

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'It's A Funny Old Game'

It’s a funny old business driving a cab in London, no two days are the same, but it is the same job that was being done over three hundred years ago; a person gets in a cab, the driver takes them to their destination, passenger disembarks and pays off driver. There is not much more to it than that.

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In Defence Of The London Taxi Driver

“Foul-mouthed, rude, obnoxious, bigoted, argumentative, extreme right-wing, money grabbing thieves…” and that’s just the good guys - upset a London taxi driver at your peril you and will become a fully paid up member of the endangered species list. But are we really like this? No, of course we are not, “we’re all angels, ‘onest guv’nor”.

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