Test Your Knowledge: June

Today’s quiz is about cabs and cabbies. If you have been diligent when reading CabbieBlog’s regular missives most shouldn’t present a problem. As before the correct answer will turn green when it’s clicked upon and expanded to give more information. The incorrect answers will turn red giving the correct explanation.

1. All licensed taxi drivers in London need to pass a comprehensive test before they can ply for hire. What is the test called?
The Knowledge
CORRECT It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
The Knack
WRONG It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
The Opinionated
WRONG It can take between 3 and 5 years to complete The Knowledge, to gain the coveted Green Badge that allows cabbies to work anywhere in Greater London, all cabbies must learn 320 routes and everything in between.
2. Where was London’s first cab rank??
In Piccadilly
WRONG In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
In the Strand
CORRECT In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
In Oxford Street
WRONG In 1635 Charles Bailey, a retired mariner, placed four hackney coaches for hire at the Maypole in the Strand where St. Mary’s Church now stands. Later, blue posts denoted cab ranks, hence several pubs by that name.
3. When a cabbie is awarded a licence, he is given a Bill and Badge. His badge is then displayed whenever he is working, but what is his Bill?
His licence
CORRECT Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
An invoice detailing his expenses up to that date
WRONG Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
A police mentor, as in the nickname ‘old bill’
WRONG Who would guess that a cab driver’s licence, referred to as his ‘bill’, it is short for ‘bill of health’? This is ironic considering that most Victorian cabbies worked until they died, or ended in the workhouse if they couldn’t continue working, despite the efforts of the Cabmen’s Benevolent Association.
4. Frederick Hitch was once London’s most famous cabbie, but for what?
He was also King George V’s chauffeur
WRONG Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
He was a music hall entertainer
WRONG Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross
CORRECT Most would not know of the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 if it wasn’t for the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, and its popularisation by Michael Caine’s first major film, where 155 British soldiers repulsed 4,000 Zulus warriors, resulting in 32 British killed or wounded against nearly 900 Zulus. After the conflict medals which everybody would have heard of – the Victoria Cross – were awarded to 11 men one of which was Frederick Hitch. It was the largest number of gallantry medals ever given to a single regiment, for actions on a single day.
5. Who or what was The Resistance?
Harley Street
CORRECT The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
Cabbies who once fought alongside the Partisans in German-occupied France
WRONG The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
Spoken ironically about poor brakes on early cabs
WRONG The Resistance was a derogatory nickname given to Harley Street as it was populated by doctors opposed the formation of the NHS after the War.
6. When were licences first issued to London cabbies?
1754
WRONG In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
1654
CORRECT In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
1854
WRONG In 1654 Oliver Cromwell ordered the Court of Aldermen of the City of London to grant licences to 200 hackney coachmen. A 6-mile limit was imposed as London’s chain of defences, that had been erected during the Civil War in 1642, only extended to that perimeter and beyond it was considered unsafe.
7. The passenger compartment is jolly spacious, but what are the origins of the roof height?
With any lower head height, passengers would hit their heads on the roof when the vehicle hit potholes
WRONG By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
So that up to three hay bales could be stacked inside to feed horses
WRONG By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
A gentleman didn’t have the inconvenience of removing his top hat when boarding
CORRECT By law, taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a top hat, especially important during Ascot. Additionally, at one time, hackney carriages were required to carry a bale of hay for the horse. This law was held over for a time even after motorised cabs began to operate.
8. How, or where should you not hire a cab?
Poking your head into the nearside window of a stationary cab at traffic lights
WRONG Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
Outside one of those cabbies’ green shelters
WRONG Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
Emulating a scene from your favourite black and white film by shouting “TAXI” while simultaneously waving in a frantic fashion
CORRECT Technically, it’s against the law for you to yell “Taxi!” to get their attention. If you see a cab with a lit sign, just hold out your arm to signal them, and if you’re not drunk he will stop.
9. What is the entomology of the word taxi?
It comes from the taximeter now found on all legal cabs
CORRECT The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
The word comes from the penal rates once charged to the proprietors of vehicles
WRONG The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
Queen Victoria didn’t like Joseph Hansom the inventor of the famous Hansom cab and always referred the classic horse-drawn vehicles as ‘taxites’, her term for unaccountable
WRONG The term ‘taxi’ comes from taximeter, the counter used to measure miles travelled and fare. ‘Cab’ was short for ‘cabriolet’, a French verb for ‘to leap’, which was a type of taxi and what one did to exit them.
10. When boarding a licensed London cab, apart from your destination, what must you tell the driver?
If you are registered disabled
WRONG It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.
If you have the bubonic plague
CORRECT It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.
That you might change your mind as to the destination
WRONG It was also once supposedly illegal for people to hail a cab while suffering from the bubonic plague. This is still partly true, as the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 requires a person suffering from a notifiable disease to inform the cab driver, who may then decide whether to ferry the passenger. If he does so, he is then required to notify the authorities and disinfect the cab before taking another fare.

4 thoughts on “Test Your Knowledge: June”

  1. 1) The Knowledge.
    2) The Strand.
    3) His Licence.
    4) ?
    5) ?
    6) ?
    7) The hats.
    8) By shouting “Taxi”.
    9) Taximeter and cabriolet. (Taxicab)
    10) The plague. (Or other disease.)
    Three I didn’t know. I wasn’t going to cheat by looking them up.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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