David has been a London Taxi Driver for 10 years and is surely now the best dressed cabbie in town. With no Scots family connection David spotted Suggs from Madness wearing a black watch tartan jacket on an album cover (featured on our blog
last September) and he rang us to find out if we could make one just the same. We did and he was so pleased with the results he has now gone on to order another tartan suit, followed by a tweed one.
When David phoned this week to order his fourth suit (in a Sloane Square tweed
) we decided it was time to feature our favourite customer on our blog.
Boasting a range of celebs in the back of his taxi including David Walliams, Pixie Geldof, Biggins and Johny Lee Miller, Gaby Roslin is David's all time favourite. Having overcharged Gaby by mistake he rang Radio 2 to explain and sort it out.
"Gaby tried to get me on air but I declined. The following Tuesday she rang me to pick her up and drop her to the BAFTA's. So my honesty paid off!"
As a result we have developed a taxi obsession. We have been learning all about the Knowledge of London, how taxi's have changed over the years and continue to change and the famous ones around the world. Only about a third of wanna be cabbies who start learning the Knowledge of London actually end up licensed so this is a good indicator of how difficult it is to learn the most direct routes along with thousands of points of interest taking in around 25,000 streets.
David told us "Every London cabbie has to do the Knowledge and it took me 3 1/2 years to pass which is about the average time. Very hard remembering it."
New York might have the brightest taxi's but my favourite are the very cute yellow and black cabs found in Delhi and Maharashtra in India.
[caption id="attachment_3968" align="alignleft" width="640"]
Kolkata Taxi by Piyal Kundu[/caption]
Taxi's have been in the news this week with French taxi drivers blockading major routes in protest against UberPOP arguing that the US online ridesharing service represented unfair competition. Here in the UK there is real concern about the survival of the London taxi trade due to the number of private hire vehicles now operating. The iconic black cab is a real piece of history, established by Oliver Cromwell in 1654 and now the oldest and most regulated public transport system in the world, consistently voted the world's best taxi service. Many feel that TFL is not implementing the strict regulations they established and many unlicensed drivers are now operating in Central London. David explained that
"#SaveTaxi has been established by the families and supporters of London Black Taxi Drivers to encourage TFL to apply the regulations and maintain the standards of our award winning taxis."
Suggs is one of many celebrities supporting the campaign proving he has strong morals as well as fine taste in suits!