Monday, January 30

Amazon Hope

Don't often see a sight like this coming down the road towards you. The boat has been fitted out as a floating clinic by a charity after a final lick of paint she will be off to the Amazon to help the local people in the more remote areas.

Sunday, January 29


Got myself a sat-nav the other day, and have been playing around with my new toy whenever I get the time. Not that I will use it in town but I think it will be useful for rural jobs and the odd out of town job. I had it switched on today when I picked up one of our regular fares a lady who happens to be blind. She heard the voice from the sat-nav and asked me who else was there. I explained what it was and she was fascinated, so I programmed in her destination and let her listen as it guided us there.” How big is it” she asked so I handed it to her and she was amazed to feel how small it was.” Do you think I could use one” she asked”, it would be great for me to find my way round “I explained that she would not be able to enter stuff into it without sight. She was very disappointed, but as I said to her in the next few years you may able to get voice activated versions. She said this would be a boon to her and other people in a similar situation. Ain’t new technology great!

Saturday, January 28

Mobile Phones

When someone talks to me from the seat directly behind nowadays I have learnt not to answer straight away. This is after a couple of embarrassing incidents when I have answered them only to realise that they were actually talking on there mobile phones and not to me. This mainly happens when they have the phone set to silent mode and they get a call or they suddenly decide they need to call someone and it cant wait a few minutes till I drop them off. Mobile phones to me are anti-social things many times I have had three or four passengers in the car and instead of talking to each other they are all talking and texting to other people on mobiles. The other anti-social thing is when they get in and turn there MP3 players down to tell you where they are going and then turn it right up again for the journey. Some have it that loud that that I can hear there music louder than the radio, that must be damaging to there hearing.

Friday, January 27

Fancy Dress

Two young girls were in the middle of a conversation when they got into the back of the cab.” Well you can borrow one of mine if you want” said one I’ve got a nurse policewoman’s and a French maid’s outfit at home” Then she must have seen my gaping mouth or flapping ears. She laughed and said “hey it’s nothing kinky we’ve been invited to a fancy dress party tonight” .Oh yes I replied and you just happened to have those outfits at home did you. They both went bright red and giggled for the rest of the trip. Still who knows maybe they were her Dads.

Wednesday, January 25


I was in Colne down in Lancashire today and had a bit of time to spare. I had a wonder round the town centre on foot which is a bit unusual for me and I quite enjoyed life from the pavement viewpoint for a change. I spotted something I have never come across before they were called help points; they consist of a camera attached to a tall pole with a yellow box at head height. On the yellow box is a red button which if pressed turns the camera on and allows you to talk to the C.C.T.V. operator. What a great idea they are located every few hundred yards within the town centre and the notice tells you they are to be used in the event of street crime accident, or lost children. I can see that they would be useful in our town centre especially in these days of unmanned police stations.

Monday, January 23

Kids Parties

A lot of my fares today were children going to birthday parties. Not too long ago birthday parties consisted of a few friends invited for tea which would be sandwiches (cut into triangles with the crusts cut off if you were posh) and jelly and cream to follow. Now they are picked up by chauffeur driven limousines and whisked to Italian restaurants and then go to bowling, swimming, laser games and other activities. There seems to be a big money in this new industry and anyone that can come up with something new and different must be on to a sure thing. Only thing that makes me think is that a lot of the parents seem to be in competition with each other trying to impress each other rather than the children. It used to be the custom to take a small present for the child whose birthday it was but now they expect to be given a present or goody bag in return. Again there is fierce competition to outdo the other parents in the race for bigger and better offerings.

Sunday, January 22


Now and again I will pick someone up who tries to catch me out by asking to go to a street with no houses on which few people have heard of. A few local examples of these are Water St, Reservoir St, Thomson St, and Wesley Place. The only time I do get caught out funnily enough is when at the end of a long busy shift my mind will go blank when I am asked to go to somewhere I go everyday. The fun really starts when I get jobs in the outlying villages especially when I am given vague directions to a place with just a house name. I always find that even in the most remote hamlets when I stop to ask the way it is always a stranger to the area or the village idiot I pick. On one job a while back I picked a chap who looked sensible enough but when asked the way he replied “Ista gaan duwn yonder ginnel past meda wi sterks bur tat la left an gaas on abit lal git ta laurel hedge ista gaas onabit las lare. So that's what I did and I found it OK. But I kept laughing to myself after that a picture kept entering my head of this guy doing the voice directions for the new fangled satellite navigation devices you get nowadays.

Friday, January 20

The Dane

Picked up a Danish chap today he's working as an engineer on the Morecambe bay wind farm project. He has worked all over the world and was telling me about his travels and the projects he has worked on. Anyway the talk got around to the fact that he was about to retire. I asked him what he would do with his spare time, and did he have any hobbies to concentrate on. Well he said” I am a hunter but I will have to get a new dog first I had to shoot my old dog it was ill” I looked at him but he looked deadly serious This made me think how many English folk would even consider shooting there pets no matter how ill they were. I have made many trips with people taking there animals to the vets and picked some of them up afterwards upset at the loss of there beloved pet. But maybe he was doing the kinder thing rather than let the dog suffer any longer, but that’s not to say I could do the same thing myself.

Tuesday, January 17


You could be forgiven for thinking that maybe Ebay has taken over this local Baptist church. Good way of bidding for followers though!
Following on with the religious theme some time ago now I went along to a local supermarket to pick one of our regular customers up. After waiting for ten minutes or so without any sign of her I logged it as a no pickup and carried on working. Two hours later the same job was sent to me, so along I went, this time she was there waiting for me with her shopping. We loaded up and on the way to her house I asked where she was when I went for her the last time. Well she replied” I had a vision and the Lord put someone before me and bade me to spread the Lords word “Best excuse I’ve heard yet from a woman for gossiping!

Monday, January 16

Down the pan

Here’s the rubble of what once was one of the two remaining public toilets on Walney Island. This for an island with a population of at least twelve thousand people, swelled by many more in the summer months with holidaymakers. The only other public toilet is in a remote part of the island and in a filthy derelict condition. What sort of council have we got demolishing toilets when they ought to be building new ones?
No doubt they will blame vandalism but I should think a c.c.t.v camera would be less than the cost of the demolition.
It makes it very difficult not just for us taxi drivers but for delivery drivers and others who are on the road all day. What must visitors to the island think when they go in search of a public toilet only to be told ,sorry we knocked it down.

Sunday, January 15

Lost property

Other taxi drivers tell tales of finding huge bundles of cash, laptops and other expensive items in there cabs. Maybe it’s just me but the only things I have ever found in the back of my car are two broken mobile phones, a blind mans white stick ( had a couple of laughs with that before I returned it) and a pair of novelty Christmas socks which I have my suspicions may have been left deliberately . If the socks are yours and you never left them on purpose desribe them to claim them back.

Saturday, January 14


Picked up an Aussie rugby player today he was telling me he had just signed for Barrow Raiders. I asked him how he was finding life in Barrow and was it a bit of a culture shock for him over here." Naw he said Barrow is very much like my home town of Wagga it reminds me of it a lot" Surprises me does that here's a photo I found doesn't look much like it either!.Guess he must mean the size of it and the people.

Friday, January 13

Barrow Arms

I see a local pub I used to visit many years ago is having a major refit. I'm not saying that the women who used to frequent it those many years ago were ugly, " but it was known as the star wars bar"!
Visit this link for pictures of local inn signs

In the post

Bill another local cabbie sent me this photo he had taken. Look at the lack of tax disc in the windscreen. In the post is it boys?

Skip lunch

Picked a lady up the other day going to her doctor’s surgery this was a trip of about three miles. As soon as she got in the car she started to tell me her complete gynaecology history. This included her three pregnancies, two miscarriages and details of her various women’s problems. Luckily we had reached the surgery by the time she offered to show me her hysterectomy scars and I was able to decline her kind offer. It was about 12am but I decided to skip lunch that day.

Wednesday, January 11

Our Molly

This is Molly our favourite fare a happy lady she uses our cabs five or six times a day. But let’s look behind the smiling eyes/ Born Salford in 1920 that makes her 85 Years of age. She lost both her parents at an early age, mother when she was four and father at six. Taken in by an aunt for a while, she started to suffer from epileptic fit’s the aunt told her she was to go into a hospital for a while, this ended up being for the next FORTY YEARS. Why? Because she suffered from epilepsy and back then you would be hidden away in an institute out of sight out of mind. Molly struggled when she was released because she had become institutionalised most things we take for granted like paying bills getting insurance, she had never done .At the age of sixty Molly was talked into marriage , she never even knew her husband could neither read or write until he was unable to sign the marriage register on their wedding day . This marriage lasted for nine years and then because of her husbands death and the fact that she was living with his parents she became homeless, but instead of going into care Molly found herself a flat and a community who adopted her and she has lived happily ever since on Barrow Island.

Tuesday, January 10

Rip off?

Monday’s local paper ran a feature on Cabbies overcharging when they pick up late at night from our local floating nightclub the Blue Lagoon (never actually heard anyone call it that its known simply as the boat by the locals). The story goes that a small number of drivers are ripping people off. I don’t know if there’s any truth in it I don’t do nights myself, but reading the piece, and I quote the relevant part” The woman I mentioned was picked up outside the club and after dropping off friends the cab carried on up Abbey Road. When the car reached the Strawberry lights she noticed the meter kept jumping up rapidly and was already exceeding her normal fare. She asked him why it was so much and he became annoyed. He turned the car round and drove back to the Selandia. He ordered her out of the taxi and drove off. It was 4am she was left freezing cold alone and without means to call a cab from where she was. “Firstly I don’t condone this leaving off the woman but I must point out some holes in the story first as I have underlined the dropping off friends, I have experienced this after people have had a lot to drink and this usually involves lots of long goodbyes and chatting before each person finally gets out, all the while the meter is clocking the minutes. Secondly she mentions the meter; a meter is sealed by law and inspected every year for accuracy, so it doesn’t tell lies. And finally she says she was left stranded but if he took her back to where he picked her up from then (and he had no need to do that) then she was obviously back on the taxi rank, she had spent no money so she was simply back to where she started, it was the driver who was out of pocket surely?.

Monday, January 9


Apart from being a taxi driver I also do a part time job which fits in very nicely at the same time. This consists of inspecting advertising posters for a firm from the south west and sending the results by E mail. This is to check for damage or incorrect advertisers. Sometimes I am asked to photograph the posters for the advertiser and email the photos to them. This sometimes leads to funny looks off people when they see me photographing a poster or advert on a bus shelter. When I was uploading today’s photos I noticed this one on the left, I didn’t notice the two guys in the background when I took it, don’t look too happy to be in the picture do they.(click to enlarge).

Friday, January 6

Taxi wars

It looks like some form of taxi war has broken out in Barrow. Five of our cars have been vandalised all in one night.They had paint stripper poured over them causing thousands of pound worth of damage. I don’t know if this is some misguided attempt to damage the company or just plain idiocy. Unfortunately it is the driver who suffers through loss of his income. What adds more distaste to the act is that that two of the cars are wheelchair accessible, and are already in short supply so this leads to problems for our disabled customers.

Tuesday, January 3

The Task

Well I arrived a the adress in Yorkshire precisely on time 12am Monday and keyed in the number on the keypad and as he said the gates rolled open. First surprise when was that the passenger was younger than I was expecting; she was a lady of about forty. We got on well on the drive back and she filled me in on some of the secrets of this task. The chap who had interviewed me for the task had recently lost his wife and having no family of their own this lady, being the daughter of a friend had become their surrogate daughter. Unfortunately she suffers from M.E and is unable to travel alone hence the taxi ride. Now then the mystery envelope she was to read on the way back this, she told me partly consisted of a eulogy for the funeral and details of a bequest left to her. Unfortunately the bequest consisted of the table I had delivered to her and very little else the bulk of the cash (and I believe their was lots of it) was to go to a DONKEY SANCTUARY! Still she took it very well.

Sunday, January 1

New year

Happy new year to everyone nice day here today and lots of people out walking and running, though I see this every new year people decide they are going to get fit this lasts for a week or two and then they are back to normal.