Kevin Cummins, driver of Fitzroy Place’s branded taxi, shares some amusing anecdotes about life as a London taxi driver and his views on why London is such a great city.
I started the knowledge back in 1995 and after 4 years of intense study and examinations, I finally became a fully licensed London taxi driver in March 1999, enrolling me into a select club and a tradition that goes way back. This was a very proud day for me and my family.
For me, London is my home and my work place. There is nothing better than seeing the river Thames, especially at night, the lights illuminating the buildings and the bridges. Over the past 15 years I have seen London’s landscape change, from the revamping of Kings Cross to the London Eye becoming a famous landmark. There is no greater city in the world.
Working in close contact with the general public does have its moments though. For example: my attempts to explain to ten Chinese people unable to speak English that I could not take them all in my cab at the same time, to explaining to some tourists that the Tower of London Beefeaters are not a restaurant! Or to the time I was waved down by an elderly man on the edge of a busy dual carriageway. When I asked him where he was going he pointed to the other side of the road! It took me 20 minutes to drive up to the roundabout and down the other side of the road where he got out (no charge –what can you do!).
My association with Fitzroy Place over the last couple of years has led me to take a considerable number of journeys to and from the neighbourhood of Fitzrovia, which lies at the very heart of central London. It is a peaceful and charming area, characterised through its rich mix of architecture and combination of wide streets and small alleyways. It also has a wide range of independent stores, restaurants and cultural venues such as galleries. And since working with Fitzroy Place I have seen their brand new development built, which will only add to the vibrant look and feel of the area.
The London taxi is iconic and is highly praised throughout the world – I feel very privileged to be a part of this elite profession.