I Drove It My Way Tales of a London Cabbie
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The biography of a cabbie condensed into an often hilarious, celebrity-rich and geographically informative journey across London...
John Healy drove a black cab around London for twenty-seven years, meeting a fascinating cross-section of people, from the rich and famous to the infamous and downright difficult. In his autobiography he takes the reader on an imaginary cab journey around the capital, creating a unique travelogue crammed with anecdotes about the characters he has met.
His story is interspersed with intriguing facts about London's exciting, diverse and occasionally gruesome history, and recalls some of the most devastating terrorist atrocities to hit London in recent times.
Before becoming a cabbie, John worked for twenty years as a television engineer, mending sets for celebrities like Hayley Hills, Margaret Thatcher and Lord Lucan. He draws on these experiences, too, and the result is an exclusive, insider's view of London life that spans almost five decades.
John Healy was born in Limerick and raised in County Dublin, but moved to the UK in the late 1950’s. He worked as a TV engineer, then spent twenty-seven years as a London cabbie. John has previously published a children's book, The Flea and the Cauliflower (Authorhouse, 2008). He lives in Tooting, South West London.
sentence the villain to death and then say, ‘Take him down’. I now know what he meant. I was able to look down the dingy, dimly lit stairs that he was referring to, a white tiled stairway leading to the temporary holding cells where the accused was held. Later they took us all down for a little tour of this grim and foreboding place. When the tour was over, most of us went to the pub across the road. It’s the one that I mentioned earlier, The Viaduct Tavern, which has access to what is left of
would-be robbers lying unconscious on the pavement. They had picked on the wrong man. Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, to give him his full name, looked like an unmade bed on the passenger seat of my cab. He was wearing the most ill-fitting blue suit that I have ever seen. He was chairman of the now disbanded anti-immigration United Country party. * * * I remember I had just completed a repair on a television set in Bickenhall Mansions off Baker Street and was in the lift with a
Mayor’s ‘Transport for London’ who set the taxi tariffs, not the cabbie. Also the meter is offically sealed and cannot be tampered with. * * * I was passing Wandsworth Prison one morning around 9am, when I was hailed by a newly released prisoner. He looked OK so I stopped and picked him up. This guy was glad to be out, and I was sure that he would not do anything that would put him straight back in the clink, so I felt safe. We started chatting, and he told me that he had been sentenced to
that they had just dug up a skull. Harry Secombe said: ‘It must be a woman.’ ‘How do you know?’ asked one of the other Goons. ‘Well the mouth is still open,’ said Harry. I think it’s quite funny, but these days it would be viewed as ‘not politically correct’ by the dogooders. Chapter 12 I had just dropped a fare off at the Tower of London and was driving The Hack back along Lower Thames Street. It was then that I noticed a crowd gathering on the corner of Pudding Lane and Monument Street.
squandering the family fortune. He really was a well-respected character that everybody knows and looked up to and the temptation is killing me but I still cannot reveal his name. He might sue me for my measly few pounds and add it to his millions. * * * As I continue on my imaginary tour, I have just dropped off some people at the Temple. This place has some history. Inside, there is the Temple church where you can find nine, full-size stone effigies of the Knights Templar laid out on the