A cabbie’s guide to London

I’ve just got back from an evening at Lahore Kebab* where we watched Maradona jump for joy (he’s still the only reason to watch Argentina no?).

Maradona
Look at him!

 

On the way there we took a black cab from Kings Cross and the cabbie played a fun Questions and Answers game with us.  I would like to share a few of them.

Q. What direction does Nelson’s Column face?

A. South West, overlooking his fleet in Portsmouth. This is also the direction Buckingham Palace is in and if you look at the tops of the lamposts down The Mall you will see a small ship on top of each one. It’s said that the column is the height of the mast of the Victory and Nelson is up in the crow’s nest overlooking his fleet.

Q. How did Piccadilly Circus get its name?

A. Ladies of the night in those days were called Lillies (I don’t know why) and worked, and still do, in Shepherd’s Market. Gentlemen used to say they were going to Pick a Lilly….and so..you get it? I bet it was a right circus down there too (hohoho pat on the back for that one (that’s my joke and not the cabbies)).

Q. How did Green Park get it’s name? Was it

a) Prince Albert, husband of Victoria, used to go strolling around the area and on seeing a pretty lady would pick some flowers and present them to her. On hearing this Victoria became jealous, or green with envy, and ordered that only grass and trees were allowed to grow there.

Or is it

b) The piling corpses of the bubonic plague had to be buried somewhere and so the site where Green Park is was chosen. They thought the only safe thing to grow there was grass and trees so that is all they allowed.

A. b) Green Park got its name from the days of the bubonic plague.

There were a few others but I can’t remember the details.

Have you heard some interesting things about London whilst in a Black Cab? If so we’d love to hear them. I think it would make a great little travel guide if we could collect them all together. They don’t have to be necessarily true but just inspire a little wonder.

*whilst at the off-licence over the road from Lahore Kebab I saw a Crimestoppers poster in the window. It was appealing for information about a car that was used in the kidnap and murder of Mahmood Ahmad on March 7. It said he was kidnapped after leaving work at Lahore Kebab house. I only mention it because he was all the way from my neck of the woods, Watford.  Here’s an article from Sky. I wonder why they did it.

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