Manor House holds a special place in the heart of every London cabbie.
Fascinating fact of the day: Out of over 25,000 streets and 400 routes an apprentice black cabbie must learn, the very first route in the blue book is Manor House Station to Gibson Square. This ensures that it is a route that will always remain engraved on the memory of every cabbie.
What's perhaps more interesting than the local connection is the findings of a recent study at the department of neurology at University College. This research showed showed that the posterior hippocampi of a group of London taxi drivers was significantly larger than that of the general population. Dr Eleanor Macguire, the senior research fellow who conducted the experiment, says that there could be a number of explanations but all of them add up to the fact that this part of a taxi driver's brain grows while doing the Knowledge.
So, with all the se super developed cabbie brains around and with our neighbourhood being so firmly engraved on their minds, there should never be any excuse for a cabbie not knowing the quickest route to your home!
OK- best cabbie story everyone? I sometimes spent time in cabs when I was travelling with work and arrived back in the UK at 4am. I used to get a cab from Paddington about 6 to get home. I would usually chat with the cabbie, asking them what time they started or their most famous passengers and what they thought of them (two mentioned Chris Tarrant- neither had anything good to say...).
I get into one cab and start chatting, it must have been about the time of the last general election. The guy starts turning into some militant 1980's style Trotsky-ite. We get to my house and he is still going, and mid-stream about having written a song for the election, we pull up outside my house (6.30, I've been away for 2 weeks, on the road for nearly 24 hours, I am dirty, smelly, tired and 7 time zones out). He turns his engine off, and turns around (why are you turning around?), continuing to chat... (Ahhhhhhhhr!). I wanted to say "Shut Up!", but being English I politely listened as he finished... we were there a while.
I was so traumatised afterwards I mentioned him to a few other cabbies. To a man they all laughed and said "Oh, him- he's notorious!"...
Am I right in recalling that the first winner of TV's Mastermind was a cabbie? Name of Housego?
Not sure whether or not he was the first, but yes, I remember Fred Housego winning MM.
Yes indeed - great guy. He had a broadcasting career afterwards and had a regular slot on LBC, but seems to have gone into retirement/hiding now sadly. I miss his shows!
Talking about local tubes, this is an interesting read http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/f/finsbury_park/index.shtml
Thanks Eugene. Always wondered what that odd piece of platform was for.
Back in the 50s a cabbie name of Reg Page was a friend of ours and lived at Manor House - because he said it was the first place he knew of when he came to London to become a cabbie!