The Journey Continues..

A bright sunny day at the start of September saw me looking at getting my drop to 28s again, and here’s what I was asked:

Goldsmith College to Lavender Sweep

Dollis Hill Station to East Acton Station

Boundary Road to Saint John’s Restaurant

Devons Road DLR to Waterworks Centre

The first run is pretty much a Blue Book (New Cross Gate to Clapham Common West Side) and for the most part I ran it pretty well except at the end I went up Cedars Road along Lavender Hill and left into Lavender Sweep which immediately gives you a forced left into Eccles Road. So I’ve dropped a clanger and only dropped 2 points, so that’s a very generous 8/10.

The next one I’ve followed to Blue Book down to Harlesden High Street and then opted for Scrubs Lane and got there via Du Cane Road. Old Oak Common Lane is the best route here so 2 points deducted for that and another 2 for hesitation and a 6/10.

The 3rd run, I’ve dropped the Barsmith Bar and another point on St John’s Street before pulling a duff line to EC1, but still managed to get a very generous 5/10.

So for the last line I need 5 points to score. I’ve managed to drop Lea Bridge Station as I always thought the entrance was on Lea Bridge Road when the Examiner was looking for Argall Way. I started looking at this line by going west and then up Bow Common Lane, but I thought about my options and saw Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach and saw that as a much better line. I have to guess it was, I got 9/10 – 28/40 and I’m back on my 28s.

As before when I got my drop I’m both elated and petrified, although when I woke up the next morning, I thought to myself, ‘Life is pretty good right now’.

 

Exactly 28 days later I’m up for my 1st 28 (Mark #2) and I was given the following:

Kimber Road to My Hotel WC2

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge to Wetlands Centre

Park Plaza County Hall to Highgate Golf Course

Florence Nightingale Museum to Fernlea Road

On the first run I was asked for the Nuffield Health Centre, and I didn’t ask for a postcode as I thought that would be a bit cheeky, so I had a couple of guesses and dropped it. I knew Kimber Road, so I headed up to Clapham Common… Battersea Bridge Road… Prince of Wales Drive, then over Chelsea Bridge, up through Mayfair, then onto Goodge Street, Tottenham Court Road and Chenies Street and came back on myself to get to My Hotel. It was a bit clumsy, and I’m dead chuffed with a 6/10.

These 2 Park Plaza’s over the road from each other always confuse me, so when I left the County Hall one, the examiner advised me, very kindly, that if I carried on I would get a zero. I brought it back and opted to go over Waterloo Bridge, up to Knightsbridge, then Brompton Road etc to Hammersmith and over the bridge there. This was Westminster Bridge all day and maybe even Putney Bridge. Coupled with the clanger I had done at the start, I have no complaints with 4/10.

I left the County Hall one on the left and went over Westminster Bridge, then from Parliament Street through Camden and Highgate, then Hampstead Lane, Stormont Road and Denewood Road. 8/10 and I’m still in with a shout.

Interesting that 3 starting points within spitting distance of each other can produce different lines if the starting point is changed. Anyway, on the last run, I managed to drop Balham Boxing Club and Triangle Place before opting for Ethelbert Street as the option for Fernlea Road. (This gives the left or right option, although Cavendish Road would have been the better choice.) Well, I’ve gone down Lambeth Palace Road… South Lambeth Road… Clapham Road… Bedford Hill, Rossiter Road and Ethelbert Street. With the dropped points I’ve scored 6/10 – 24/40 and a C.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the best news I had that day. Two hours later my mate was up for his Rec. Read on…

 

I first met Ant some 3 ½ years ago when we were both at the Double K Knowledge School. I’d just been made redundant and had lots of time to spend on the Knowledge and Ant had some spare time so we would go down to the school and call over during the day. He’s a great bloke and I would have happily carried on this arrangement but for the fact I got a contract in Swindon. We kept in touch and on another of my contracts, it turned out that he was working in the same building! I also managed to bang into him at the exam centre when we were both on our 28s.

A few months back he texted me to say that he had joined another school after the KK closed, so I decided to boogie on down with my COP, Mick. I felt this would also be better for Mick as my latest job involves working shifts and I couldn’t always call over. Anyway, on the last of my 56s he and another chap from our school, Chris, were up on the same day. Chris got his Rec that day and Ant went 3 – 2 up on his 21s. I hadn’t realised that they were so close behind me on their Apps and when he texted me to come for a beer, I was already on the train home. I was gutted to not be there.

Exactly 4 weeks later, I’m up for the 1st of my 28s and Ant is up for his Rec. So when I got out, I texted him and his App was early afternoon (mine was 11.20) and he was in Pret where we met up. We chatted about any sort of nonsense and when the time came, we walked down Blackfriars Rd, I shook his hand and told him to ‘Be Lucky’ and went into the Prince William Henry for half a Guinness. I sat outside and puffed away on my vape thingy and realised that I was more nervous for him than I was for myself. I was in constant touch with the guys back at the school via Whatsapp and I think we were all on tenterhooks! I did say that I would have taken a D that day if it meant he passed – I know that sounds like a throwaway line, but I genuinely meant it. This guy has wanted to be a cabbie since he was 19, but his parents talked him into getting a ‘proper’ job. He went into I.T., for God’s sake.

Well I finished my Guinness and made my way to the exam centre (LOL Blackfriars Rd   L Nicholson St   L Chancel St SDOL :o) ). He was in there for what seemed like an eternity. I was pacing up and down Chancel St, puffing away on my vape thingy like an expectant father in the maternity waiting room. I’m sure the Points Collectors must have thought I was a nutter.

Almost an hour after his App started we got a message on Whatsapp – he’d got a ‘C’ from Ma’am Ayers and me and everyone else at the school were elated. It still took him another 10 minutes to walk out and he couldn’t stop smiling. We’d decided before he went in that if he passed we would go to The Ring and if not The Prince William Harry – so we made our way to The Ring. Walking down Chancel St, he went to do a left down Treveris St and when we got to Blackfriars Rd, he started walking north towards the bridge! I think he may have been in shock. So we went to The Ring and were joined by Dave, another guy from the school who got his Rec a few weeks before. Well, we drank, laughed a lot and talked (mostly) bollocks. One thing I did ask Ant in all seriousness was, ‘Did you think that this day would ever come, when you passed your Rec?’, and his honest answer was ‘No’.

Well it did, and so will yours. Be Lucky people.

 

Just as a footnote, in the last couple of months, 5 people from our school have got their Recs, and we’d like others to come and join us. Here are the details:

Knowledge is Power

Upstairs Bar, Running Horses P.H, 23 High St, Erith DA8 1QY

Open from 6pm to 8:30pm Mon to Thurs £15 a month

Ring: Mick 07976 403669 or Dan 07809 669704

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10 Responses to The Journey Continues..

  1. Phil says:

    Well done Dave, 21’s here you come.

  2. The Shields says:

    Absolutely made up to read that you got your drop and that you have started your 28s well. Congratulations to your friend; this process is a nightmarish physical and mental battle and he is deserving of all of the praise that he receives.

    I am motoring through my books and will hopefully be up for my map test in March or so…….hopefully he says. I do most of my studying at night (between 9pm and 6am) and therefore, I don’t see too many K-bods out and about so the blog is a great way for me to see how others that are slogging it out on the mean streets of London are getting on. I copped a junkie loading his arm up on Corbridge Crescent in Hackney the other night and nearly came off the bike, I’m no fan of needles….. I was startled by it but really shouldn’t have been given the hour and the location…….

    How are your pals that have recently got the badge finding it out there? (If you want to reply to that question in a less public forum, my email address is attached). A guy that has been out for four years took the time to pull up beside me and have a word on Saturday night on Giltspur St and told me to keep my nut down, amongst other things. He’s the first driver that’s done that and it really meant a lot to me; he didn’t have to do it and the encouragement was great motivation. Before that, I’d only had a couple of “game’s dead” merchants sat at traffic lights with full cabs on rate three bother with me……haha!

    All the best when you’re next on Chancel St and don’t forget to keep us up to speed with your progress.

    • Hi Michael
      Thanks for stopping by again.
      The guys who got their Recs are all doing the suburbs ATM and still come down the school to call over. 3 of them are back at Chancel St on the same day which I’ve managed to forget.
      One thing that is a bit of a worry is that nobody can put in for their driving test ATM as TfL are changing the agency who does it and this isn’t expected to be resolved until next year!
      The only thing they can do is put in for a cancellation.
      Keep plugging away mate and all the best with your map test.
      Regards
      Dave

  3. Ryan says:

    Fantastic stuff! wishing you every success on the next one mate

    • Thanks Ryan
      Hope everything’s going well with you mate,

      • Ryan Powell says:

        Not going so great sadly to report. Had a bit of a scare on my bike recently and it has made me leave the bike, have been going out very early on the weekend in the car but it’s not enough, been using street view a lot but it is not the same so it’s a case of just getting on with it. Will keep pushing on and hope to be in the position you are in the near future.

        Congrats again on the drop and I look forward to the latest instalment of this brilliant blog

      • The Shields says:

        I started in the car and then went on the bike. I will openly admit that I was terrified of getting on one but I felt as if the bike would be the best way to get me through the process in terms of cost and flexibility so I felt that I had no option but to take the plunge. I have enjoyed the bike but I am out on it when the roads are near enough dead. The biggest threats to me are usually the delivery vans that tear-arse about after 4am-ish in order to get their work done before the congestion charge kicks in.

        Plenty of people have done it in the car and I must admit that when I’m out from 9/10pm until 5/6am that the roads outside of the immediate city centre are really very quiet. It’s dead in most places and you won’t have any problems with traffic. You can pull up hassle-free in most places and have a scout about on foot if you need to. Thinking about it, if/when I get to 28s, I might consider getting back in the car and chopping the bike. Most of my mileage will have been done by that point in any case so the cost of maintaining and running the bike and fuelling it won’t be that different to fuelling the car (obviously not taking into consideration the costs of running the car which happen irrespective of the Knowledge in any case….).

        I did have a fright on Friday on Ashley Road in Hornsey. A minicab was waiting to collect somebody from a house in the oncoming direction and some idiot that was speeding decided to overtake the stopped car, they were driving in the oncoming direction too, and obviously hadn’t spotted me. Luckily, I’d clocked him and managed to stop in time. That split-second decision probably saved my life and I was very jittery for an hour or so after, my nerves were shot. Fri and Sat evenings can be a real nightmare out there with plenty of drink/drug drivers the worse for wear.

        Stay safe everybody and the best of luck to you. I’m off up to Golders Green and will sit starving on my bike while I inhale the smell of beigels being freshly baked nearby….

  4. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the reply Sheilds – nice to read it’s not just me then. My plan is to carry on with the car, went out at 4am on sunday and came home at 11am so it has it’s advantages, however I was struggling with the sleep on the sunday night and looked klike droppy come Monday morning

    Best of luck to you mate

    atb

  5. Jane says:

    Great read. Only just stumbled on this (I try to stay away from the internet as much as possible) I dont know if anyone doing the knowledge also does what I do in appearances… I got my drop onto 21’s in November, im up next week. But anyway, ive never been to a college or signed up to any point sheets or ever looked into what points certain examiners are asking atm etc, ive steered clear of all that. However when im in my appearances and I get asked a point, even when I know instantly where it is I look like im thinking and wondering for as long as I can get away with before I answer just so I can 100% see all the roads, exits, drop points and birds eye view of where that point is in London. Then on the second point for the run asked I will do the same even when I know it for as long as possible trying to see the line before I tell the examiner where that point is. If in that time I cant see a clear line but I know the point, I will answer “sorry Sir / Maam , I cant see that one” – I dont know if others do this , as I dont meet many other people doing the knowledge. I do it in a car mostly at night and as I said have never been to a college or anything. But doing this has really worked well for me, especially on my 28’s as you know they start getting very strict on that line. Be Lucky.

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