Saturday, November 07, 2020

Taxi Trade Loses It’s Last 24 Hour Rest And Refreshment Stop, The Kings Cross Taxi Centre On Camley Street

Extremely sad news, as we are informed that Camley Street Kings Cross Taxi Centre, is no more and has been completely removed, along with the male and female facilities. 

We all have our own favourite rest stops, and like everything else in the Taxi trade, they are subjected to football fan mentality. So you will get comments like “good, I only eat in there once and I was ill”. 

As far as Camley is concerned, I ate in there 5 nights a week from day one, and never had a bad meal. To myself and the friends I would regularly meet, it was a much loved centre of friendship and entertainment. 

It was also frequented by police officers of varying ranks from both the Met and British Transport. Plus an assortment of emergency night workers from network rail. 

The best attribute to facilities like Camley and Great Southwark Street is the ease of parking (most of the time) and the gender based toilets. 

The loss of Taxi rest stops such as the Royal Oak and Camley Streets Kings Cross Taxi Centre, is a sad blow to night men. The rest and refreshment facilities probably gone forever leaves drivers with an undesirable dilemma, when caught short. This could now force drivers to ‘do their business in a quiet street. Not something to be recommended. 

     Johnny Anderson at the Royal Oak Canteen.  

But any loss to the Taxi trade long term is not a good thing. At present we are looking down a long gloomy tunnel with just a twinkle of a dull light. But I believe as I always have that eventually, things will return to some sort of normality and we will again step out into a more brighter environment. Yes it’s going to be hard, but we are fighters, the best Taxi service in the world and we will rebuild our trade.....from the bottom up if that’s what it takes. After all that we’ve been through so far, we are still here. 

There are many anecdotes surrounding supposed ‘weird’ British driving laws... London cabs, for example, are allegedly required by law to carry a bale of hay at all times, and it is widely thought that Cabbies are able to urinate on the rear offside wheel of their cab, providing their right hands are on the vehicle. Although most cabbies still believe this, both are in fact complete myths 

The bail of hay myth stems from a law that said it was illegal to feed a horse in the street. But working horses could feed from a bag attached to their head. So most Hansom Cabbies carried a bad of oats in their cab for feed the horse at certain stopping points. 

Actually under British law, it is not illegal to urinate in the street, but it is illegal under virtually all London council by laws. 

To add insult to injury there used to be a sign in the Museum of London, that states professional drivers can legally urinate against their rear wheel (with right hand touching the vehicle). Not sure if it’s still there though. 

There is also another myth that people love to spread...if a pregnant lady needs desperately to pee, she can order a police constable to give her his helmet to use as a potty. 

But in an emergency, there is a perfect solution, and that’s a urine bottle, widely available on line. You can even get these with adapters for female use. It is recommended that the bottle, if used in a public street, should be used in conjunction with an apron, otherwise you could be committing an offence of Indecent exposure. 


I still to this day hold the record for the amount of Camley Street Taxi Centre cups you can hold in one hand. My record is 9 cups all held by their handles 

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