Friday, March 31

Blue Badge

I see that down in Manchester some cars have been impounded and the owners prosecuted for using fake blue disabled parking badges.(for overseas readers these badges allow parking on yellow lines for up to three hours). From what I see and hear every day on the streets of Barrow you don't need to fake a badge, it seems you get one even if it's your aunt's friend's sister in law that has an ingrown toenail. The town centre is littered with cars badly parked using these badges as an excuse for their laziness and tightfistedness. I have watched them park on yellow lines right next to a pay and display car park, and then stride several hundred yards across the car park to get to the shops, and even on occasion seen them run back for their forgotten walking stick. I had to double park and block traffic for a while today, as I helped my passenger a genuinely disabled lady into a shop. On the way back to the car I noticed that one of the cars blocking access was displaying a blue badge, but it was an estate car filled with the tools and cable used by an electrician. There are obviously genuine users of blue badges but a large proportion are taking the mickey.

Artistic Dumps

I admit defeat to meatareada they do have more dumps than us over in Victoria Australia,but what we lack in quantity we make up for in artistic quality's and the bold use of color.I had to go back a bit later to take another shot when the door was shut so you could appreciate the full affect.
The guy who lives in this house used to be a common site pushing his mother round in a wheelchair whilst he was dressed in ladies clothes.
Local legend has it that he pushed her round the streets of Barrow for a full week before someone noticed that she was dead.!

Thursday, March 30

My Dump

Talking of dumps this is mine I call it my computer/radio room but the wife calls it hell.

Wednesday, March 29

Barrow freecycle

I have just discovered Barrow freecycle group what a neat idea. With a hundred local members so far, it’s all done by email if you have something that you no longer want or need, or if you are looking for something that someone may be giving away. You simply send your email to the group and everyone else gets to see what you want or have.
No money changes hands it is designed as a way of saving stuff from simply going to the tip. Recent ads include people wanting a fish tank, fireguard, bedroom furniture and someone giving away baby clothes. Founded in Tuscan Arizona in 2003 there are now 3475 groups worldwide and over two million members. Join the local group on the web at

Tuesday, March 28


Meatareada posted a photo( here) a while back and so I decided to find somewhere that was even more of Dump.What do you think have I succeeded!

Monday, March 27


Well its Monday our clocks went forward one hour over the weekend and as usual I picked up two or three people going to work who had forgotten. Every time it is the same they are an hour late for work even though they have had all weekend to catch up. Funny thing is that I have never picked any one up going to work an hour early when the clocks go the other way.

Sunday, March 26

Mothers Day

Mother’s day for me is one of the busiest days of the year, lot of runs to restaurants and pubs. This year was no exception and a good tip is if you want the low down on somewhere you are planning on eating at ask your cabbie. We are always given the verdict about the service and how good the meal was from lots of different folk. One job of the many today was picking up a lady with her mother and grandmother after their meal. Mother and daughter praised the meal while granny kept quiet. As luck would have it granny was the last to be dropped off, and so I got my chance to ask her what she thought of the meal. “Fancy rubbish” she announced why what was the problem I asked. “Well she said they gave me a side salad and the barmy beggars tried to put olive oil and vinegar on it”. What’s wrong with that I asked? She replied “Vinegar is for on me fish and chips and the only use for olive oil is to heat it up and put in your ears to melt the wax”. Don’t try this at home folks!.

Saturday, March 25

Pole Dancer

Talking away this morning with a lady I had picked up in Dalton when a Stones track comes on the radio. Oh she said “I won a pole dancing contest in Blackpool dancing to this”. Honest I asked “yes” she replied “and I have the certificate at home to prove it”. Just think I said in a few years time when your grandchildren are going through their old granny’s paperwork what will they think when they come across that.” Never thought of that” she said,” but at least they won’t read what it says on the tattoo I got that same weekend.”” And no I’m not going to tell you what it says, and where it is you certainly aren’t going to read it.

Busy Saturday

Saturday was a lot busier than usual, maybe because it was a pay week or the fact it was mothers day the following day.
I was unlucky enough to get a job going to Tesco (one of our local supermarkets) when it gets busy like this we usually drop off and pick up at a nearby bus stop.
Unfortunately for me the lady explained that she could not walk from the bus stop and to the doors and so I had to take her the few hundred yards through the car park.
It took me a total of forty five minutes to get her to the door and then to get out again. All this for a grand total of two pounds, but what else can you do in the circumstances.
This bottleneck puts people under a lot of stress which shows by the bad tempered manner of some drivers. What I ask will happen when (as surely it will) someone suffers a heart attack or is seriously ill or even worse a major fire starts.
How are the ambulances or fire engines to get through? The answer is they won't and it may take lives to be lost before this is sorted out once and for all.

Friday, March 24

Chinese Cocklers

Two years on and finally we have a conviction in the case of the at least 21 Chinese cocklers who lost there lives out in Morecambe Bay. We had a lot of these folk staying in Barrow some of them living in squalid circumstances. I remember picking them up from time to time usually going to the bookies or a supermarket. They spoke very little English and seemed to very young, but the thing which struck me was that they all seemed to be gentle souls. Let’s hope we don’t have a repeat tragedy with the Polish migrants that have replaced them out on the treacherous sands of the bay.

Thursday, March 23

Windermere Ferry

This link takes you to a webcam on the west side of the Windernere to Bowness car ferry landing.
It will be quiet this time of year but will get very busy with tourists in Easter

Black Coombe

Two photos here above is Walney channel at low tide with Black Combe in the distance with a dusting of snow.
The top one is the same place but includes the wreckage of two boats.

Wednesday, March 22


I have noticed some of the local taxi drivers wearing Bluetooth headsets lately what’s that all about I wonder. I mean guys its not as if you are going to be getting loads of important calls, maybe the wife telling you your teas ready but that’s about it. So why wear them all the time some actually walk into the office wearing them much to everyone’s amusement. Maybe they watch too many science fiction movies and like to pretend to be astronauts. Well this is earth calling guys and telling you that you look right lemons. What topped it for me was I saw a guy coming from Walney with a large Bluetooth in one ear and actually holding a mobile phone to the other ear.

No Trainers

Billy boy another cabbie on our firm who works the evening shifts told me of a job he did from Barrows floating night club Princess Selandia. He picked a guy up who had been refused admission because he was wearing trainers. He was asked to take the lad home and wait while he changed his footwear then bring him back to the boat. The guy actually asked if he could hire or buy Bills shoes instead as this would have saved him a six mile trip. I can’t believe how they can justify this silly ban on trainers in this day and age, some one tell them we have moved on since the eighties. They say that they are trying to attract coach parties from out of town, so then what happens when some poor guy travels hundred of miles only to be turned away at the quayside ,come on guys drop this stupid ban.

Tuesday, March 21

Furness College

I got a late end of shift run to Grange today, a nice run out and a good end to the day. My passenger was Anne Attwood the principal of the local college. She was telling me that there are plans to expand the college, which can only be a good thing for the local area. She is originally from the Liverpool area and so I was asking her what she thought of the area, its prospects and the college itself. She tells me she loves the area and the surrounding Lake District and that Barrow has a heck of a lot of potential for development. But it is the Furness College itself which fills her with the most enthusiasm “anywhere else they would be shouting from the rooftops about a facility like this we are a marine engineering centre of excellence complete with our own full size submarine mock up.” She is of course right we do tend to hide our light under a bushel. Anne’s enthusiasm is infectious so much so that I will be looking for an adult education course at Furness College myself.

Monday, March 20

The Great Wall

Quite a few of my fares have remarked on this wall,beautiful workmanship best of materials. But come on let's be honest what the heck are our local council thinking . It's a back street car park surrounded by other back streets on all four sides. This wall must have cost tens of thousands of pounds,which I am sure could have been better spent elsewhere. Surely planting a hedge would have done the same thing for a lot less money and would have been nicer way to screen some of the back streets.

Sunday, March 19

Catholic Alien

This one appeared on the screen today and so I was looking for a religious alien.

Saturday, March 18


The air force rescue helicopter must have been stuck overnight at Furness General Hospital so I got a close up shot.

Friday, March 17

Aussies and Girls

I picked up three Australian rugby players today and I fully expected a bit of cussing from them. Not a bit of it, not a word was said that couldn’t be repeated at the vicar’s tea party. This was in sharp contrast to the next bunch who happened to be pupils from a local school (no not the one which has just failed its Ofsted inspection) they seemed and looked OK until they opened their mouths. Now I’ve been around a bit but I have never heard swearing and profanity the like of which was casually uttered by these girls of thirteen or fourteen.

Thursday, March 16

Body Bits

It was my day off today so as usual it was clean up time with the car. Vacuuming the inside I always find the same stuff, hair clips, the odd coin, and lots of glitter from the girl’s makeup. But it's the bits of peoples body’s left behind that amaze me always lots of hair of every colour and not just head hair (yes really). Fingernails I can understand theres a lot of nervous people out there, But I never see them bite their toenails yet I find them on the floor.

Wednesday, March 15

Yan Tan

I took an old guy to Ulverston one morning and when he counted the coins out to pay the fare he said “here’s dick tan lad keep the change,” This had me baffled so I asked him to explain what he had said. He told me that it’s an ancient form of counting still in use by some of the upland sheep farmers to count their flock. So here goes with one to ten, don’t know if any of the spellings are correct this is just as he said them. 1 yan 2 tan 3 teddera 4 meddera 5 pimp 6 settera 7 lettera 8 hovera 9 dowra 10 dick .It sounds like it may come from the Old Norse but best of all I like the one for 15 bumfit and the one for 20 jiggot. Right I’m off for a dick minutes rest might catch you in bumfit or so.

Tuesday, March 14

Party Food

Some of the old folk I pick up say the strangest things, one old lass today was on her way to the dentist.
” I'll have to get my teeth fixed today” she said” us pensioners are having the Mayor for tea” (Which thinking about it afterwards doesn't seem such a bad idea at all, there must be lots of local politicians who would make a good meal for our pensioners) Then she went on to tell me that you can now get goose grease locally and that heated and mixed with a bit of camphor it would make an ideal chest rub. 
With a serious expression she said” it works you know you don't see geese with colds”.

Monday, March 13

Fun in the snow

This is how my fun Sunday in the snow went. When I looked out of the window and saw the scene at six thirty and my first thought was let’s forget it and go back to bed. But my conscience got the better of me and I decided that as I live on a steep hill if the car got me to the top of it I would go out to work. It did so and so off I slid very slowly towards my first job in Newbarns. On the way there the only person I saw was a young lady obviously a refugee from Saturday night; she was walking very gingerly down the middle of the road still wearing her high heels and short skirt, she looked freezing. The next few jobs were even more girls who had fallen asleep on friends couches that’s what they always insist on telling me. Then the highly delighted guys in the 4x4s started to leap out off bed to try out their toys in the snow. Next it was the turn of the people with sledges. I don’t know who was the most frightened on the several times that I was confronted by them coming down the hill while I was struggling up. A while later the streets started to look like Crufts as every bemused pooch in Barrow was dragged out by their owners looking for an excuse to play out in the snow. I got a bit fed up with the standard “are you busy then” question I mean how can you be busy when you are crawling along at five or ten miles per hour. The conditions got that bad that it was decided that we would charge a slightly higher rate which is only sense when you do the maths if you’re travelling at a fourth of your normal speed you end up doing only a fourth of the work. Even though we were risking our necks never mind our cars which are our livelihood. We still had a few moans usually from the people that have a car on the drive and live at the top of a steep hill. They wouldn’t risk driving down it themselves but still expect us to do so.

Sunday, March 12

More snow


Unfortunately towards the end of the day the snow began to turn to slush lets hope it don't freeze tonight

Snow Arch

Sometimes I think the snow makes this 13th century archway even this prettier still.


It was nice to see our Air Sea Rescue service still flying into the hospital despite the conditions


We off course cannot handle a bit of snow so some people come to grief, this was one.

Wheres the road

In some places it was hard to to tell where the road ended and the pavement began.

Snow Boats

Woke up to lots of snow this morning it must be the worst we have had for a year or three.

Saturday, March 11

Road Rage

As usual a bit of road rage was going on today at our famous magic roundabout. When I reached the roundabout I heard the screech of brakes and saw the usual macho shaking of fists and posturing, and I could hear the two drivers shouting and abusing each other. In the end one of the drivers screeched off in a cloud of tyre smoke. Unfortunately for him this was witnessed by a policeman in a plain car and he followed him. When I passed he and the P.C. were having words but I was disturbed to see a boy of about seven or eight sat in the front seat of the car. Its bad enough acting in this way anyway but to let a child witness it is truly moronic. The approach to our magic roundabout is the one place in Barrow I would consider speed humps. There is this unfounded faith in the idea that the faster and more aggressively you drive at it the better and that everyone will automatically give way to traffic from the right. This and the assumption that every driver will indicate are often proved wrong. Or do they just hope that everyone else has brakes and insurance.


If you struggle with small text on a web page try holding the ctrl button on your keyboard,then scroll your mousewheel. Go on try it now save your eyes.

Friday, March 10

Billy Boy

There’s always one on every taxi firm the one who’s singing to a different tune, dancing to another beat. Ours is Billy Boy,most drivers when they find something spilt or crumbs on there seats they clean it Billy Boy tastes it. Twice now we have had to pick him up from Dalton railway station when he has helped passengers onto the train at Barrow station and the train has set off before he could get off. This is a man who decided to relieve himself on a beach at nine thirty on a busy Friday night and whilst doing so had to leap for his life when a car drove straight at him onto the beach. This turned out to be his own car which he had left with the handbrake off. He had to call for another car to tow him back onto the road. This is a man who a passenger tells me asked them” where do you want it then up the back passage”? We hope he meant the taxi.

Wednesday, March 8

The suit

One of my passengers who's a hairdresser was telling me a couple of stories the other day which she assures me are both true. The first was told to her by someone who works at the local crematorium. They had a visit from a lady who had recently been widowed and whose late husbands funeral and cremation had been taken place two days previously.” I’ve come for the suit “she said the staff were mystified by this request and so sat her down and asked what she meant. It turned out that she thought that the customers at the crematorium were undressed prior to being cremated. Upon being told that this wasn’t so she said “I would have dressed him in one of his old suits if I had known that”.
The second was that a young lady kept coming back to the shop to complain about her perm. It keeps falling out she said, and so the shop redid her hair, this happened three or four times and the shop staff were baffled. On her last visit they sat her down and asked her a few questions about what she was doing with her hair. They found that she thought that a perm meant just what it said, and so when she washed her hair she just towelled it and expected it to dry exactly how it was when she left the hairdressers.

Tuesday, March 7

Breast Education

Took a lady to the train station today she told me she was off to Preston on a university course. I asked what she was studying and her reply was “breast feeding” I was amazed to hear this and thought she was pulling my leg. But no she assured me that she was a midwife and that she was on a twelve week course all about breast feeding. She did assure me that it would be just theory with no practical work involved.

Monday, March 6

Paint Stripper

A story in tonight’s Evening Mail tells of damage caused to a total of 54 cars at a Dalton garage by paint stripper attacks. The cost is estimated to be £270.00 we ourselves have had thousands of pounds worth of damage done to taxis with paint stripper. I find it utterly outrageous that these chemicals which can be used to inflict this sort of damage to property should be on open sale to all and sundry. And don’t forget that there have been cases where it has been used to deliberately blind people .If retailers are not willing to regulate themselves lets have some legislation to force them into asking for I.D. and to record who it is sold to.

Sea Views

Well to balance out yesterdays problems here's two photos I took on today's travels

Sunday, March 5

School Trip

I picked a local school teacher up today he had been to do his weekly wash,and he said" ahh well back to the reality after the school trip"" Why where was the trip "I asked,New York he replied Blow me I said we had to make do with a double decker bus ride down to Roa Island

The Usual

Found the usual trail of damage this Sunday morning, it’s always the same; you can actually follow the route some of them go home it’s marked by the broken bus shelters and phone boxes. I notice that it is always in areas where they would not be overlooked by houses. But this morning for some reason it bothered me more than usual to see at least eight saplings which had just recently been planted snapped in half. Maybe it’s because they are a living thing and not just an inanimate object I don’t know. But these people really do need help, what kind of rage and hate is going on in their minds. Makes you wonder what they would do to anyone unlucky enough to cross their path on their way home.

Saturday, March 4

Phone Home

Had a guy in the cab this morning and we were talking away when his phone rings, he answers and says to me” it’s the wife” and put his finger to his mouth and says “shhh” He then says to his wife “yes I am just going through Salford now love I wont be able to make it back home until tomorrow “Salford is about a hundred miles down the road from us and I thought at first he must be a bit mixed up. But he then started to describe things we were supposed to be passing such as Strangeways and Boddingtons and even told her that he would call at one of the Asian sweet shops on Cheetham Hill and get something for her. When he hung up I looked at him but he said nothing about it just shrugged and carried on with the previous conversation. Just shows you though with mobile phones you could be anywhere who’s to know.

New York

This is from New York Taxi Shots, I didn’t know they had any London style cabs over there but this proves it. Our friend from N, Y, T, Shots says that they like the cab and would like more but that they can’t get parts for them.

Friday, March 3

Sunny Snow

I never cease to be amazed by how much the weather round here can be so different in areas just couple of miles apart. I set of from Barrow this morning in bright sunshine, three miles up the road in Dalton the school kids are having a snowball fight on the main St. Then upon arriving in Askam only two miles further there is a virtual blizzard with traffic sliding all over the road. Back in Barrow fifteen minutes later and its back to the sunshine.

Thursday, March 2

All Right

My fellow taxi driver Wil in Hawaii tells us that he sometimes has problems with visitors driving towards him on the wrong side of the road. I know that is easily done I have done it once myself whilst driving in Europe. A while back there was a plan to bring the United Kingdom in line with the rest of Europe. They spent millions of pounds on research over five years and concluded that because of the cost and time needed to convert every vehicle and every road sign that it would be impossible to introduce overnight. And so they devised a plan, trucks and buses would go over first and then cars a month or so later. Luckily a junior minister spotted the fatal flaw in the plan, he pointed out that it would be to difficult to reach your order when you went to the drive through MacDonald’s!

Wednesday, March 1

Bad Speiilin

Some of the spellings that come up on our data screens are unbelievable for example, Maragat, Cambull, and Smifh. This gets worse when it is a foreign name and can be embarrassing if the passenger spots it on the screen. A week or two back I had a good one from a local supermarket. Luckily I knew the passenger and knew her name was Botcherel and so did not have to shout out to the group of elderly ladies that were stood at the taxi stand. That would have been embarrassing because the name on the screen was Brothel!

German Cab

This is one from Sebastions photo blog the guy on the ad on the side is Detlef Musch.
He is a basketball player who is seven feet tall,and the translation reads "Big or small our taxi fits all."


A Chinese scientist after extensive research has made a remarkable discovery.

He has found that people with very low intellect read blogs with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it of now it's too late !