In total 26 oral history interviews were conducted for this project. All but a couple of these were conducted by the children with some conducted later by digital:works due to cancellations.
These are the stories of London and Londoners, new and old. Some take us back to 1950s London when many of the drivers were Jewish. These were the days of the closed shop, pea-souper fogs, driving heavy, cold cabs on empty streets. Meeting the boat trains, or heading to Covent Garden in time for “the burst” when theatres would empty out and the streets would fill with people looking for cabs home. And what about getting a cab to take you south of the river? Interviews also contain stories of the advent of the mini cab in the 1960s, of the London Docks and Fleet Street where night workers would give big tips at the end of a shift. There are stories of the challenges faced by the first black drivers and women drivers. The comradery but also the conflict. Interviews bring us up to date as road become increasingly crowded with traffic, as traffic lanes then cycle lanes appear, and as new people move into the trade.
There are detailed description of “doing the knowledge”, the dreaded “appearances” and then the challenges and joys of life working as a London Cabbie.
There are many stories, funny, sad and poignant, and through these stories we get an insight into the history of the men and women who have driven the famous black London cab.
You can listen to each of the full interviews as audio by clicking on the play buttons opposite. They make take a few moments to load onto the page so please be patient.
The full interviews are also going to the TUC archives at London Met.
Al Fresco, gained badge in 1966.
Alf Townsend, gained badge in 1962
Allice Cudlip, gained badge in 2015
Allan Evans, gained badge in 1978
Colin Evans, gained badge in 1974
Danny Freeeman, gained badge in 1992
Gary Zylberszac, gained badge in 1982
Geoffrey Rose, gained badge in 1963
Graham Waite, gained badge in 1978
Javid Raja, gained badge in 2000
Kamal Abdellaoui, gained badge in 2004
Karen Menpez, gained badge in 2004
Kate Freak, runs the cabmans shelter in Russell Square