When we bought Percy, he still had his PCO (Public Carriage Office) license plate attached under his rear number plate (now replaced with a pre-war replica), his original Hackney Carriage Certificate of Approval and even insurance note in the driver side partition holder.
So we thought we’d share some of the original paperwork that was granted to Percy and his owner with you.
If only Percy could share some of his stories from his working life.
We’ve also tried to look into what a Fairway Driver Bronze Advantage model had that was different from other models. Although we haven’t found any literature or websites that could shed any light, one of our blog readers (Kabhi2011) who also has a very useful Fairway Driver dedicated website, told us he believes Percy had air conditioning once, due to the extra radiator he has. Cabbie and Cabalcade organiser, Gary, was confident that a Bronze Advantage had air conditioning and possibly air suspension. Now, I’m not sure Percy has any suspension at all judging by his reactions to any bumps, let alone air suspension, but the next time Percy visits Danny the mechanic we might get him to check.
We don’t have any pictures of Percy in his working days, but curiously Nina was watching an old episode of Nigella Express (she’s a British TV chef) on TV one morning when she thought she noticed Nigella in a Fairway Driver Taxi, but not just any Fairway… a Bronze Advantage, of which we have only ever seen one in our 5 years living and working in central London (and that’s Percy!). Just before the TV frame changed, she caught a glimpse of the number plate of this Bronze Advantage Fairway Driver- J9.. DUU.
Now, Percy’s number plate has those exact same characters, so she excitedly thought she had video evidence of Percy in his working day, hurrah!
Not fully convinced, online shopping at it’s best, Amazon to the rescue! Just 2 clicks and she’d bought the Nigella Express Series (at now great expense as it was an old series).
An anxious 2 days passed before the DVD arrived in the post. We immediately put it into the blu ray player and began to fast forward to the correct episode. I have to say, I was quietly hoping it was Percy… how many Fairway Driver taxis, let alone Bronze Advantages, would share over half the characters in their numberplate in the correct order?
Pause, and there it is. Wearing it’s white Olympics advertising, there was a Fairway Driver Bronze Advantage with the numberplate… J925 DUU… so close!
Well, the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense, as these probably rolled off the production line one after the other and were probably given a set of number plates with only a few digits difference. So, we in fact have video footage of Percy’s elder brother working the streets of London, and one of his ‘famous’ punters was one Nigella Lawson.
So the search for Percy’s former life goes on. If only there was a “Find My Past” service for old London taxis.