Sunday, August 06, 2006

Buttoning to a stop!

I should be getting a TXII cab complete with air conditioning within the next few weeks. Or so I’ve been told at my garage. It’s got a 53 plate, which means it’s only three years old. It will come not a moment too soon for me as bit by bit this present cab is falling to pieces. My brother in law (supermechanic) popped round yesterday and asked for a drive of my cab out of nostalgia for the old cab he drove until buying a new one. As he pulled away I noticed the brake lights weren’t working. When he came back and checked out the problem he told me that the brake light switch was broken. Being a Saturday night with no chance of buying the spare part I had three options. (1) Not to drive the cab at all until Monday, not a viable option given my current financial state (boracic). (2) To drive the cab without brake lights and run the risk of being stopped by the Police and also run the risk of being rammed by the car behind, I think not. And option (3) to fashion some sort of device to enable me to make the brake lights go on manually. Improvising is Supermechanic’s thing and in no time at all he’d wired up the lights to go on at the press of an old transmitter switch that a previous driver had left in the cab.

Pressing the button

Obviously I only needed to press it when someone was driving immediately behind me and all in all it worked extremely well. Cheers again Dean.
First thing I did this morning was to find a car spares shop and try and obtain a new switch. They had one similar at a cost of £7.50 and I went home with the intention of fitting it. It proved awkward as the area I had to work in was very cramped and it was also a job for a left-handed person. I called my son Michael out as he’s a leftie and he managed to fit the switch for me.

As the 9th of September approaches so does the urgency to have my finances in order for the 9 days that I will not be working. Luckily two of the kids will be away in San Diego with their mother at the same time so I will only have to make sure that Michael and our dog Dude are provided for.

The Dude

If the first few days of August are anything to go by then it should work out OK, as there seems to be plenty of work out there.

I started the week writing down the nationalities of all my passengers but stopped after a few days after coming to the conclusion that no two days are the same and that being as this is London I was likely to pick up every nationality under the sun at some point, some days picking up more of one than all the others.

Two popular London Stage shows

Work-wise it was just a busy week. Some days I did two stints other days just the longer shift in the evening. I seem to spend a lot of time being chased off by traffic wardens as I try and park close to a bank to pay money in or just simply in the course of doing my job. London seems to be saturated with wardens at the moment and you may think you’re safe but you can be sure one will be lurking somewhere close by waiting to ticket you just as soon as you walk away from the cab. I recently picked a guy up who needed to collect some bags from his house and then travel on to Paddington Station to catch the Heathrow Express. Whilst waiting outside for him to return a warden decided to make himself busy and started signalling for me to move on. I opened the window and said I was waiting for my passenger who would only be two minutes but he didn’t want to know and started acting like he was writing out the ticket. I asked him why he was being silly and he said, “I’m not being silly I’m just doing my job” to which I added something like was there any provision in his job to use some common sense. He’d obviously heard it all before and answered “none at all” and I just sat there and thought what bullshit it all was and how there must be better ways of earning a living. My passenger emerged with his luggage, got in and we drove off without the ticket being attached to the cab windscreen. I’m sure the warden will process the ticket anyway and I will have an impossible job proving he never did.
Well it’s now 7.30pm on Sunday night, my favourite night for work and I’m off to earn a living.


jo said...

Hi LC if it is in the City of Westminster, you could be in luck, the wardens now have to take a photo of the ticket on the windscreen when they issue it or you can dispute it.

Be lucky anyway.

Big sis xx

Dogbait said...

Reading the traffic wardens blog, I think they have to fix the ticket before it becomes a valid fine so you might be alright.

Anonymous said...


What is the name of the largest taxi garage in London? About how many taxis do they own? Do most of the cabs at taxi garages have wrap advertising on the exterior?

Scottsdale, Arizona

london_cabby said...

Not too sure , there are several. Poole Motors, Camberfield Taxis, Coley Allen, Frankum & Kaye to name a few. Most of these have from 50 to 100+ cabs. Most of these will have advertising on their cabs.

Anonymous said...

When I was 18, I had a car older than I was (A 1968 Pontiac Firebird)...

Your "stop button" reminded me of the time I had the throttle cable break when I was a LONG way from home.

My rigged up solution was to tie a string to the throttle lever on the carburetor and run it through the vent at the back of the hood and in through the open window.

Want to go? Just pull the string. ;)

It serverd to get me home but I wouldn't reccomend it. It's not easy to keep precise control of your speed with that rig.

My friends forever more called that car "The Stringmobile".