It’s been a while since I posted on this site as I’m now treating it as an archive (my new website being www.robslondon.com)
However, I thought I’d pop by to share my YouTube channel with you- RobsLondon– which I’ve been building recently. Hopefully some of the content will be of interest to you… such as this look at the secret area beneath Waterloo Station!
Thanks as ever to all of you for your kind support.
Take care, and stay well.
I’m very proud to announce that my first book; ‘The Knowledge: Train Your Brain Like a Cabbie’ is now available both in shops and online.
The book takes readers inside the secretive world of ‘The Knowledge’; the incredibly tough training process which prospective cabbies must undergo before they are licensed to drive a London taxi.
To see a preview please click below:
The book’s introduction details the evolution of The Knowledge; how it began and what it’s subsequently morphed into, as well as an account of my own experience of the process- including the terrifying verbal exams (of which I personally had to sit 27!)
This is followed by 50 routes (‘runs’ as cabbies call them) which are taken from The Blue Book; the official guide which provides the basis for studying The Knowledge of London.
The runs feature an array of London history and trivia and are divided into groups of 10 which come under 5 chapters, each of which showcases a particular brain training technique. These are:
1) Acronyms and mnemonics.
2) Short stories in which the names of streets and roads are transformed into characters and events with surreal results
3) Common historical threads – such as the run Parliament Street to Golden Lane which traces the flow of the Thames and the river’s key role in helping the city grow.
4) ‘Memory Champion’ techniques- specifically the ‘Method of Loci’ (the use of which can be traced back to the days of Ancient Greece) and the ‘Memory Palace’ which is also many centuries old but has been made famous in recent years thanks to the BBC’s modern adaptation, ‘Sherlock’.
5) The final 10 runs are ones with which I feel a personal connection – for example, Golborne Road to Pennine Drive which involves roads closely connected with my own family history. In other words, as well as the common shared Knowledge of London’s roads and places of interest, these runs demonstrate how each cabbie also harbours their own personal map of the capital.
The book is beautifully illustrated by artist and cartographer, Jamie Whyte who, amongst many other projects, also created the maps for ‘Young Winstone’; a memoir by legendary Londoner and actor, Ray Winstone.
Readers will also find a glossary of cabbie’s slang terms.
Thanks for reading!
Early this morning I like many others awoke to the dreadful news that, overnight, there had been a horrendous six-vehicle pile-up in Edgbaston, Birmingham which has claimed the lives of six people.
Amongst the victims was Mr Imtiaz Mohammed, a taxi driver whose two passengers also died in the tragedy.
Mr Mohammed, who has been described as a “happy, loving and friendly guy”, had six young children.
Following this disaster, London cabbie Andy Davies has set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds for Mr Mohammed’s family at this difficult time.