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Taxi tales: London cabbie confess all

Posted at 5:00 pm, April 30, 2013 in Fun London, Transport

Ever wondered what really goes on in the back of London’s thousands of black cabs? Alexi Duggins hears some hair-raising tales from the capital’s taxi drivers, while Time Out readers come clean about some of their bad-fare moments.

‘Someone left a snake in the back of my cab once. It was just loose on the floor and was as long as the width of the taxi. I drove up to Snow Hill police station and asked them to get rid of it. There was no way I was touching it.’ John (no surname given)

‘I had an interesting one recently: a very well-dressed woman who’d come out of Harvey Nichols. She ran up a bill of £148 over six hours, but couldn’t pay. When she didn’t come up with the money the following day, I reported her to the police. It turned out to be quite a sad story. She’d been sectioned under the Mental Health Act the week before, but they’d been unable to find her a bed in an institution.’ John Kennedy

A Tight Spot
‘I was in Ladbroke Grove and I was called over by a lady and gentleman having a kiss goodnight. The woman hops in the back of the cab. As we pull away, she asks me to stop at a convenience store. “The thing is,” she says, “I was wearing stockings when I left the house, and I don’t want my husband to notice I’m not wearing them when I get home.” Best part was, she put the stockings on in the back of the cab. Made my night!’ Terry Smith

Quick Change
‘A nice young lady hailed me in Piccadilly to take her to Dean Street. It’s not very far, but I soon realised why she didn’t want to walk: in the rearview mirror I could see her lying on the floor changing from a business suit into civvies. I’ve also had a couple of blokes get changed from suits into football kit. Not quite so exciting.’ Richard Cudlip

‘King’s Road can be a bit funny. None of the fares ever want to go that far: just across Chelsea Bridge or to the Fulham Road. But they’re very conscious of their place in society and some of them like a good drink. If their City bonus hasn’t been good enough to pay for a Ferrari, it’s the cabbie they’re going to give the grief to.’ John Kennedy

‘I once picked up a Swedish fella at the Four Seasons hotel at 9am, and he said, “Find me an escort”. At nine in the morning! I just dropped him off at some phoneboxes in Soho and said, “You’ll find a load of them in there”.’ Mark Reeves

‘I’ve had two women and one geezer going at it. I picked them up in Shoreditch. I just left them to it. You don’t want to spoil their evening. Long journey? It was longer for me than it was for them.’ Anonymous

‘I picked up a couple of fellas in Charing Cross, and when I dropped them in Bermondsey, they tried to rob me. They started trying to yank my door open from outside, but luckily it was locked. I ended up having to do a three-point turn to get away – all while they were hanging on to the door.’ Mark Reeves

‘Clapham High Street is the worst for vomiters. Every weekend it turns into Ibiza at the height of summer. It’s out of control. Soho is tame compared to it: at least in Soho there are places like Bar Italia where people can get some coffee to sober up. Clapham is just alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. You know you’re in trouble when a passenger gets in and wants to keep the window open for some fresh air.’ John Kennedy

Got a cabbie confession? Comment below…

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