In the year we celebrate the suffragettes, just who was the first female cabbie. Tony Silver gives his blog on Marie White
I started the knowledge with a friend and neighbour Phil in August 1975. After trying various schools we joined the LTDA school, run by Martin Kingsley . There were only about 20 students at various stages, but with a fairly good knowledge.
After a few months, we moved to a hall in Barnby street, and the school gradually attracted more students. After getting my 21 days in January 1976 I used to stay behind on a Tuesday night to help Martin with a couple of tables of beginners, one of the new boys was examiner Doug shearn. After getting my bill in May I was still helping out on a Tuesday night and was eventually offered a full-time job. Marie White joined the school soon after, she was also a member of the legion school but wasn’t making much headway at Penton Street. I don’t think doing her runs in a car did her any favours, she had a good street knowledge but her point knowledge was iffy and I also don’t think that the PCO wanted women green badges although there was already a few women yellow badges. Anyhow, I put her on a table with some good students, she worked hard and got her 21 days. She had a rough ride through Penton Street but got through it. Martin took her out on driving lessons but she was contracted to London General so passed her drive with them. As a person, she was very hard to read and very private. One thing is for sure, every woman out there driving London`s finest owe her their thanks. Most, unfortunately, she died far too young. R I P Marie