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‘BEING MY OWN BOSS’: Asher Moses interviews NEW London cabbie Gilroy Forde

Asher Moses, Sherbet CEO, interviews Gilroy Forde, who passed The Knowledge in November.

Asher has joined TaxiPoint to deliver monthly insights into the working of the taxi industry ranging from grassroots to business policy.

What did you do before you became a black taxi driver?

I have spent most of my adult life working in the children and young people sector covering a host of roles along the way including learning facilitator, mentor and senior youth worker but my last job within this sector was working as a youth football coach.

What attracted you to the profession?

The idea of being my own boss and being able to have full control over my time was the main attraction.

How long did it take you to pass The Knowledge and when did you pass?

The Knowledge took me just under four years to finish but in all honesty, if I had applied myself a bit better during the studying of the blue book I would have finished it a lot quicker. I received my green badge on 4 November 2022.

What was the most difficult thing about learning it?

It’s no secret that learning The Knowledge is a hard task. It comes with many challenges that will test a person along the way. For me, some of the most challenging moments included going out on my bike in the winter when it would be freezing cold and wet. It took a lot of mental strength and discipline to go out on those days. Post Covid lockdown also brought about a significant change to the road layout of London, I had to relearn everything and it was incredibly frustrating.

What kind of area/borough/town/city are you mostly working in?

As I live in West London I mainly work the Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Chelsea and Notting Hill.

What is the best bit about the job so far?

Being able to start and stop work whenever you want!

Any pet peeves so far?

Constant roadworks and closures to key roads. Traffic is obviously a part of the job but when important roads are constantly being closed for less than important reasons, this can make the job frustrating at times.

What would be your dream passenger?

Being a huge football and music fan, Brazilian Ronaldo (R9) and Dame Dash the ex-CEO of Rocafella records would be amazing. I would love to chat with these two about their experiences within their respective industries.

Most interesting/best fare to date?

My best fare was a £150 trip to Gatwick but the most interesting fare was having my taxi (and myself) used as a prop in the filming of an upcoming Tollywood version of Sherlock Holmes. It was really interesting to see how the production worked and to drive around Baker Street soaking it all in.

What thoughts do you have on the future of black Taxis?

Statistics say that fewer people are doing The Knowledge so the numbers don’t reflect well for the trade.

I do believe there is a future if the way it is advertised was addressed. Most young people don’t know about The Knowledge and the benefits of being a London cabbie. If the industry found a way of advertising to a younger demographic then I definitely feel there would be more applicants.


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