Came across this amazing set of videos recently. Neil Mossey sits and chats with his dad Ian, who explains to him in detail, what it was like to do the knowledge and become a cabby, back in the early 60s.
The story is told in 6 parts but if you have the time, there is a final video of the whole interview. It really is an eye opener to see who the Knowledge of London has changed over the years, well worth watching.
These interviews are now available on Amazon.
HOW TO BE A 1960S LONDON TAXI DRIVER: Chats with my Dad about doing The Knowledge and driving a black cab eBook: Neil Mossey, Ian Mossey: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
My Dad’s a London taxi driver. A cabbie. Licensed Owner/Driver of a black taxi. Except he’s stopped driving now.
But Taxi drivers don’t retire, they just stop driving, and hand in their precious Green Badge.
You don’t get a leaving gift and goodbye card, even after serving Londoners for over 50 years. But he pounded the streets of London for money, I knew it was hard getting that licence, that Green Badge.
When he stopped driving, I suddenly realised that I had no idea exactly how hard, or how he got there, or why!
I’ve got kids and I know they will ask me about him or look him up in the future.
So in the Summer of 2018, I set up a camera and we had a chat.
I know there are questions in here I’ll kick myself for not asking, or answers where I didn’t follow up... But this book is what he did tell me. Maybe now it’s in print, I’ll think of other questions and things to add to later editions.
Ian covers what it was like to pass "The Knowledge" - the toughest road test in the world: to memorise every street, building and place of interest in London; Getting the Green Badge; Hiring and buying a London black taxi cab; How London's licensed taxi radio circuits worked and how to join them; plus the tricky odd and weird customers he's faced over the years.
I hope this helps anyone in the future researching the London Licensed Taxi Cab Trade, Black Taxis and private hire cabs in general or even public transport in London.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.