Fred Risk recalls being involved in taxi races in London

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 16th March 2012 by Liam Physick

Fred Risk remembers how he would travel from Aldershot to London by train, and then, with the other men going back to camp, travel by taxi from Euston to London Waterloo station in the early hours of the morning, and the taxis would all race each other! Also, the men would all strive to be first on the train from Waterloo to Aldershot, with not all of them paying! On one occasion, Fred slipped up when he was at Waterloo, and got stuck behind the door of the train! Finally, he mentions an organ-grinder that caeme with a monkey, and when Ex-Lax, the laxative shop was established, someone got a free pass and gave some of the laxative to the monkey!

Interviewee: Fred Risk

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 16th February 2012

Interview Transcript

Fred: When I was at Aldershot I used to get the train down to, to London and then across to, used to have to get the taxi from Euston across to Waterloo, of course it was the early hours of the morning them days, we’d, we’d pile into a taxi, all, all the lads going back to camp, we’d pile into a taxi, and they used to race one another, the taxis used to race one another then on the, the streets there, you know (Jenny laughs), you’d come to an island and they, one would go one side and then the other would go the other, you know (Jenny laughs), cos the streets were deserted those days, and you’d have to wait for the first train out from Waterloo to Aldershot, used to have to judge it so as the door opened up away from you so as you could get first into the (Jenny laughs), into the carriage, cos it used to be (laughs) and that dash, you know, crowded, you, you talk about crowded trains now, but, and that, when we’d arrived at Aldershot, the poor guy on the gate, he used to just try and grab as many tickets as he could, cos they used to just push through, some of them obviously not, or I would think, not paid, but, that was it, but one day I slipped up in Waterloo and got to the wrong side of the door and the door opened, and I was stuck behind the door . . .

Jenny: (laughs) Oh, no!

Fred: . . . I was last! But, yeah (coughs), as I say, that’s about . . . unless you can bring up some other queries and . . .

Jenny: Yeah, yeah. Unless you’ve got any other memories of the station or any stories maybe that your dad told you of the station, or . . . ?

Fred: No, the only other one that I, as far as this one is concerned, was that apparently there used to be an organ grinder used to come with a monkey . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah!

Fred: . . . and when Ex-Lax, the laxative shop that came out, somebody got a free pass, and they gave some of it to the monkey, course there, there was a bit of a messy problem afterwards, like, but . . . (Jenny laughs) that was, another story that he told of down here!

Jenny: Monkey with . . . ! (laughs)

Fred: Yeah, yeah, monkey business! (Jenny laughs)

Tagged under: railway workers, shops, passengers, taxis, ex-lax

Categorised under: Social Life

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