Friday, 24 June 2011


One of the livery movement's more distinctive companies are the Hackney Carriage Drivers.  Esssentially the only way you can join the Company is to have passed the 'knowledge', the unique test that requires every black cab driver to have an encyclopaedic recollecrtion of all the streets within six miles of Charing Cross. 

The Company is very active chartiably and, in particular, organises the Magical Taxi Tour annual trip to Eurodisney for children, and their families, who are bravely fighting serious medical conditions.  Longstanding readers of this blog will recall I saw the departure of the last outing to Paris from Canary Wharf some ten months ago.  For more details of the Company go to their interesting website and the Magical Taxi Tour at

On Thursday Rosemary and I were invited to attend the Company's Founders Day Dinner that was held at Drapers' Hall.  As I have mentioned in earlier posts where I have been a guest in my own Hall it was a most relaxing and enjoyable experience.

The guest speaker was Sir Christopher Meyer who is probably best known when he was our ambassador in Washington from 1997 to 2003 and his subsequent book on his experiences DC Confidential. As was to be expected he was a tremendous raconteur covering a huge range of topics and ideas with wit and pace. 

I particularly liked an anecdote from Blair's first visit to see George Bush.  It had started very well.  So much so that Bush stayed up after 10.30pm, which was most unusual, to watch a film with Tony Blair.  It was Meet the Fockers.  In the opening sequence of the film when it became clear that the hero was called Gaylord Focker Bush went into hysterical fits of laughter almost choking on the popcorn served in special buckets bearing the presidential seal.

Master Jim Rainbird is having a most successful year leading his Company and both Rosemary and I much enjoyed being the guests of such a friendly and effective company.

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