…Glasgow’s LUV affair with its taxi drivers…


…swing the clock back 55 years to a time that was truly different… Glasgow taxis had not yet had the threat of minicabs digging into their trade… my father drove the old 3-door version hackney cab, with the indented space at the side opposite the driver, reserved for luggage… this was his livelihood for longer than I can recall, but certainly at least for 30 years… every day, out on the streets and roads of the city earning enough to bring food money into the house on a regular basis… but it took up to 14 hours a day hard graft to make his living, as with most of his fellow drivers… back then, Glasgow had a real soft spot for its taxi-men… like the London cabbies, they all had to ‘do the knowledge’, a testing examination of the wannabe hack driver’s ability to know all the best routes from A to B and all over, all the theatres, cinemas, museums, parks… as a youngster, in the evenings at home I helped him by throwing test route questions at him… I can still tell you the most efficient way to go from one part of the city to another… at least the old Glasgow, as she was before they started choking and prettifying her… in 1961, a taxi driver named John Walkinshaw was murdered by a passenger in a shooting in one of the housing estates… the outcry from the populace was enormous… the typical huge heart of Glasgow came out in droves… each day, passengers  came into my father’s cab and gave him ‘stuff’ to defend himself with… Glasgow ‘stuff’… we call them ‘chibs’… one fellow handed him a fireman’s axe…


…but the best of all came in the form of a medieval sword… ‘jist tuck that doon the side o’ yer cab, son, and if emb’dy lifts a finger tae yeez, gie them that across the throat’…


…Glaswegians don’t deal in sophisticated niceties when if comes to self-defence… the sword was the subject of a newspaper article with a journalist from the famous  ‘Sunday Post’, with whom my father shared the story… as it happened the journalist was a collector of such things and took the weapon home with him, but in the story quoted the ‘fact’ that my father had thrown it into the River Clyde minutes after it was given to him… so yer lesson today is, don’t mess with Glaswegians… or their cabbies… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

10 responses to “…Glasgow’s LUV affair with its taxi drivers…

  1. There’s a great story there. Thanks, Seumas!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s fantastic drivers in Scotland and England have to memorize all that material. It’s great for a tourist visiting there. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love old cars – and stories about them.
    Sounds like good people, like your dad, always find they have friends at their back.
    Great story.
    Hope your Holler-Ring is spooktacular

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting piece of true life Seumas that could be a great idea to develop into a story. Fascinating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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