28 Day Appearances #6, #7, #8 and #9

Apologies for not doing an update for sooo long, I was hoping to turn this around and here’s how I got on.

The start of September saw me return to the Exam Centre to have my 2nd stab at getting through my 28’s. I was asked:

Streatham Station to John Soames Museum

BBC Rehearsal Studios to Ronnie Scott’s

London Clinic to Gordon Hospital

German YMCA to Indian YMCA

I managed to drop the Rookery Theatre and Streatham Common station on the 1st run and took the line through Streatham and Brixton and over Waterloo Bridge when the cotton says it should be Kings Avenue/Clapham Road and along the south side of the river. Minus 2 points each for points dropped, going wide and incorrect street names – 4/10.

No points dropped on the next run and pulled a pretty good line down to Edgeware Road\George Street and the through the top of Mayfair onto Regent Street and up Dean Street to get the one way down on Frith Street. Lost 1 point for a wrong street name and 2 for hesitation – 7/10.

I was expecting Smith Square as the destination on this one and set off without really thinking and made a right Harry Halls of it. Went down Regent Street, past Conduit Street then to Piccadilly Circus and Charles 1st Island before coming back down the Mall and the running the line which should have started by taking a right down Conduit Street. (I know this isn’t the best line, but I could have redeemed myself a little here.) Minus 5 points for going wide and another 3 for hesitation – 2/10.

The last line, I must have called 30 times. I’ve gone down Bayswater Road then up to Portman Square and the straight line to Goodge Street, ALL the way up Tottenham Court Road and then Grafton Way/Fitzroy Street. And to add insult to injury, I was about as fluent as Keith Richards after a 10 day bender. 3/10 – 16/40, another D and I have managed to beat myself again.

I spoke at quite some length to the Examiner after this, and he advised me to think more before racing off. The gist of this conversation was ‘Don’t worry about hesitation before you start, it’s all about the line.’ Something I need to take forward with me.


The 1st week in October was my next visit and this time I was asked:

Leonard Hotel to Parsons Green Station

Shepherds Restaurant to King Edward VII Gallery

Gate Theatre to St James Theatre

Colony Club to Chiltern Firehouse

I didn’t take the 1st run through the park and went down Park Lane instead, for reasons I can’t explain. It was then a fairly straight line down Knightsbridge/Brompton Road/Fulham Road to Parsons Green Lane. I have to guess that this isn’t a terrible option as with a point dropped for not knowing a start point and another 2 for incorrect street names, I’ve still scored 5/10 – all to play for.

I’ve dropped another 2 points on the 2nd run and then took the line up from Parliament Street up to Tottenham Court Road and instead of doing the right to Store Street, I’ve chosen Chenies Street. 6/10 and I’m very happy with that.

Another 4 points dropped on 3rd run but the line from Pembridge Road/Villas/Square/Gardens then Bayswater Road, through the park and winding my way down to Buckingham Gate for the right into Palace Street was deemed to be spot on – 6/10.

The final run is almost the first part of the BB run from Half Moon Street to Fairhazel Gardens. I call my Blue Books every day and somehow I’ve managed to call an illegal. On your 56’s the Examiners would ask you to call a certain part of the run again. Sadly, on your 28’s, you don’t get a 2nd chance to make a first impression. 0/10 and another D.

I’ve been told by several people that before you get your badge, you’ll be ‘on your knees’ and this is about where I was when I left the Exam centre. I had to take a long, hard look at what I was doing. I remember when I was made redundant in 2013 and spent over 3 months working full time on the Knowledge. It was the happiest I had been for a long time, and I realised that I needed to fall back in love with the Knowledge, take the knockbacks on the chin and treat them as a learning curve.

With this philosophy, in early November I’m up for my next Appearance, and here’s what I got:

Hammersmith Grove to Gunter Grove

Holborn Police Station to HMS Belfast

London Canal Museum to Basin Approach

When I got to this Appearance I realised that my Poppy was back at the flat. Now I’m not suggesting that this would affect my scoring here, but it did hack me off a little.

The first run, the only exit I could see was Goldhawk Road when Beadon Road would have been the best choice, so I’ve taken the rather circuitous route via Holland Park roundabout… Earls Court Road… Redcliffe Gardens\Edith Grove and the come back on myself. The examiner has given me a thoroughly generous 7/10.

I’ve dropped 6 points on my next run, but pulled a good line on a pretty straight forward run over London Bridge and scored 4/10.

The 3rd run doesn’t exist because I managed to drop 9 points including the RMT, ASLEF and TSSA- 1/10.

The final run I got in a bit of a state remembering the spin at the end and also dropped a couple of points, but still managed to score a respectable, and highly insignificant 6/10.

So that’s 18/40 and another D and I’m 3 – 0 down on my 2nd time round on my 28s and looking at going back to where I was nearly 2 years ago and starting my 56’s again. I’ve seen this Examiner twice before and scored both times. Now I’m not just saying this in case they read this blog, but he is genuinely a nice guy and we spoke at length about the way forward, and he had some very kind things to say. Calling Over, P2P, Pointing et al – you cannot get through this by seeing it all as a chore


On 1st December I was back up again. I have spent the last 3 months using a spreadsheet to try to suss out which Examiners will be working at my next Appearance, and with this in mind I went through the Bankers of those who would be there. Frankly, I think MI5 would struggle to crack this rota, and inevitably I was called up by an Examiner who wasn’t supposed to be there! Here’s what I was asked:

Burney Street to Honor Oak Park Stn

Deptford Creek Bridge to Surrey Quays Watersports Centre

Islington Police Station to Moorfields Eye Hospital A & E

Wiltons Music Hall to Hanbury Street

I’ve dropped 5 rather obscure points on Royal Hill before getting Burney Street. I’ve then gone Greenwich High Road…New Cross Road\Florence Road\Malpas Road…Honor oak Park\Devonshire Road and used Boveney Road for the spin. Another point dropped for not using Friendly Street\Wickham Road and 1 for hesitation – 3/10.

Another 6 points dropped here and instead of using Grove Street, I’ve gone round the one way system and dropped another 2 points – 2/10.

No points dropped on the next run and with Tolpuddle Street\Penton Street\Pentonville Road\The Angel\City Road\Baldwin Street\Peerless Street\Bath Street\Cayton Street I’ve scored 10/10 and I’m back in with a chance.

I was asked Wiltons Music Hall to Code Street – this is a Banker and I could not see Code Street. The Examiner reminded me that I needed this and I just couldn’t see it. Another 2 points dropped before I ran a great line to Hanbury Street to score 7/10 – 22/40 and 2 points short of a magical C.

The Examiner was very sympathetic after this Appearance and had some very kind things to say. He told me not to give up and that if I stick with it I will get my badge.

So, 19 months after my 1st 56 Day Appearance, my next visit will be 1st 56 Day Appearance (Mark 2). Of course I’m disappointed to get this knockback, but I do believe that there are some distinct positives. For instance, I’ve got 19 months more Knowledge in my head and I can only see this as being infinitely better prepared than my 1st time round. My last contract finished just over a week before my last Appearance and I managed to learn more in that time than I had in the previous month – being able to do this full time, particularly in the latter stages is massive. With this in mind I shall do my utmost to go full time when I get my next drop to 28s. I’ve also been very naïve when using the Wizann pointing app – because I was scoring 70% most of the time I wasn’t really picking up many new points. Frankly the way I have haemorrhaged points since getting my drop has cost me dear and this will be addressed.

I’m back up again in mid January and there will be a spring in my step because I will be 6 weeks wiser than I am now. Be lucky people.

I read a shocking story online from the Skegness Evening Argos

There were some quite disgusting scenes today on Skegness beach. A man and a woman were arguing in front of families with children and then the woman hit the man around the back of the head. He went crazy and started to hit the woman. Quite quickly a Policeman turned up and used his truncheon to subdue the man. Unfortunately, the man managed to wrestle the truncheon from the Policeman and started hitting him and the woman with it.

Then a crocodile turned up and stole all the sausages……….


For anyone under the age of Forty something who are scratching their heads, here’s a link to a Punch and Judy Show     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6LmZ0A1s9U


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17 Responses to 28 Day Appearances #6, #7, #8 and #9

  1. Neil says:

    Unlucky mate but great attitude. I’m 3-2 up on 56s and finding it a real slog now. I think 28s is definitely about points and I need to do a lot more in case I get the drop. Funny how sitting in that chair means you lose the ability to see where you are supposed to be going!

    Good luck in January. I’m sure you’ll smash it.


  2. Thanks for the kind words Neil and all the very best on getting your drop. You’re right mate that chair is a killer, I went racing off at one Appearance, paused in the middle, then asked the Examiner if he would kindly remind me where I was going!
    Be lucky

  3. rob triggs says:


    read your blog from the start and am gutted as you made the drop to 28s so smoothly. a couple of things My C.O.P is 4 years in redl ined twice on 56s and had to retake map test! but when I call with him now there is a massive improvement in his lines and points and I know he will pass just has to keep going. With your positive attitude and concentrating on points you ll make it as well ! Keep up the blog if you can good luck and heres to moving forward smoothly cheers rob

    • Hi Rob
      Thanks for the kind words. It’s a knockback, but I don’t know very many people who haven’t had them.
      I shall press on regardless in my pursuit of a Doctorate of the 6 Mile Radius!
      Be lucky

  4. justin says:

    Glad you are back online, I was a bit worried you had jacked it in!
    Big shame about the drop, but maybe Santa will bring a few A’s to speed things up.

    I’m finishing off the runs so no chance of the ‘Chair’ anytime soon.


    • Hi Justin
      I now realise that I was far too keen to get on my Appearances. I had a miniscule amount of points, and had been doing p2p for about 3 weeks! It’s recommended that you do both with gusto for about 6 months.
      All the very best with your endeavours mate

  5. Dennis says:

    Sorry about being red lined twice. Dave,this is where students usually quit but I can tell from your positive attitude that you are in for the long haul.I admire your tenacity.NEVER EVER GIVE UP my friend.

  6. Dennis says:

    It’s been a year and 2 months since I got my green badge.Rented for a year spending in the region of about £14000 in that period(£260/week for 52 weeks on a 14 plate TX4).Went on holiday for 2 weeks in Africa and felt a little depressed coming back again but I just bought a brand new TX4 Elegance Euro 6 cab and progressed from a butterboy/journeyman to a Musher(Cab Owner).Just remember,you will be handsomely rewarded at the end of this journey.

    • Hi Dennis
      Congratulations on getting your own cab. I’m always interested to hear from cabbies about their way of doing things.
      In the whole scheme of things Dennis, getting redlined is a knockback but I really do count my blessings. I know one guy who got to 3-3 on the 2nd time round on his 56s and got knocked back, managed to get the drop to his 28s and got knocked back again at 3-3.
      Speaking to a lot of people on the KOL, they seem to be on a real downer with it all. It takes up too much of your life to see it all as a chore. Learn something interesting – did you know that the Sheriff of London has an apartment in the City of London? It’s in the Old Bailey – how cool is that?
      Anyway mate, I hope you keep popping back, and sometime in the future we’ll both be living the dream.

  7. Steve says:

    Ive just read through your journey and fair play for writting your journey, mine is 5 years in part time, 2 redlines on 56’s started again failed map test then passed now 1-1 on 56’s up on fri not ready at all and really deflated…i love London and the thought of being a cabbie but boy i hate studying its litterally driving me mad…

    • Hi Steve
      Thanks for popping by. I honestly believe that the biggest battle we have on the KOL is beating yourself. I’ve gone into Appearances and done myself no favours with the way I’ve approached things.
      Keep your chin up mate – you know what it’s like to score, so all the best for Friday.

  8. SuperCab says:

    I have been waiting months to find out how you’ve been getting on and mate I can honestly say I am absolutely gutted for you. Massive respect for your “never say die” attitude, you’re a true soldier. Having read through this blog and going off your last few appearances I have to ask, have you got a callover partner? The impression I’m getting here is you are either calling on your own or your cop is not of a good standard. Don’t take offence to this, I know the chair can be a difficult place to be but there are a few school boy errors that you can’t and shouldn’t be making when on 28’s, ie. Dropping Rookery theatre when that run is a banker for that examiner. In fact I would go as far as to say that that particular examiner is the one you want to be most familiar with from the beginning simply because his lines are long and you can often find yourself jumping onto one of them. Same applies to his London clinic to Gordon hospital, he moves the point which changes the line at the end but either way you had no business going down regent street. These little things will iron themselves out of you call with someone. I’ve found I’ve learnt so much by calling with different people and they also spot illegal turns whereas calling on your own you won’t.
    i wish you all the best and look forward to reading about the rest of your journey, may it be easier for you this time.

    • Hi Super,
      That’s genuinely fabulous advice and has been taken on board. I’ve added around 60 bankers to my Blue Book Call Overs.
      I do go to a school once a week, but you’re right about not having a COP – I’ve got a couple of guys to phone so I’ll get that one sorted too.
      I’m not sure how I come across on this blog, but I’m not a hugely confident person. Having said that I really do believe I can get through it.
      Once again, thanks for the advice and I hope I’ve got some good news in January.

      • SuperCab says:

        JW has already given you the infamous words (he said it to me after he gave me a D on my second 56) “you can’t fail the Knowledge.” You do come across as confident on here but that’s the beauty of writing isn’t it, even the most reclusive of people can open up through writing. But if your confidence is an issue, then it’s even more so massively important that you get a call over partner. It will turn things around for you I guarantee it. One thing I’ve realised on this journey is that your lines will only get you so far in the chair, but confidence in calling can take you all the way. I’ve called some bananas in the chair but given a flawless confident delivery in my call that the lines have been overlooked. I really do wish you all the best, if you need any help with anything, you have my email address, get in touch and I’ll send you my number I’d be happy to help you out. Be lucky mate.

  9. HAL says:

    Hi mate, I have Been following your blog a while. Sorry to hear you got put back to 56’s. Was an IT contractor myself and found it hard doing this part-time. Wanted to get the badge as something to fallback on between contract breaks and I have no pension,as contracting for years and never took one out. Took a permie role thinking that would give me more time as I now have holidays. Can’t say that is making much difference. On 56’s still, after going down 4-2 the first time round. I agree that when you get to 28’s again you will have to do it full-time. Chin up and keep at it. Just dig deep and keep going for it.

    • Hi Hal
      Sorry for the delay in responding but thanks for stopping by and your kind words. Honestly mate going down 4-2 on your first time round is not a bad result. I’m sure you can look back on some of those Appearances where you didn’t score and think ‘why did I do that?’.
      All the very best going forward and please let me know how you’re getting on.
      Be lucky

  10. Damian says:

    Dont give up mate. I start do knowledge of london at 1st of June 2015 and already done 320 runs and City of London Mising pieces and half of West End . I work in two jobs – morning and evening time and knowledge between them… Hoply I start do points from next year and about few months go to map test …. for all of you best wishes in New Year

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