Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/70

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Omnibuses and Cabs

such information as would lead to the conviction of any driver. This action certainly checked the racing proclivities of the Islington omnibus drivers, but in other parts of London racing flourished for many years. Down the Haymarket from Coventry Street was a favourite racing-ground. Then, as now, there was a cab-rank in the centre of the road, and two omnibuses would race down, one each side of it. and frequently come into collision with each other at the end. Many passengers encouraged the coachmen to race, and when accidents occurred to the horses or omnibuses, frequently subscribed to pay for the damage.

Some of the omnibus proprietors possessed very inferior stock, and the horses to be seen pulling their vehicles were a disgrace to London. A story is told of a coachman out of work who applied to one of these proprietors for a job.

"Ever driven a 'bus before?" the proprietor asked.

"Yes, sir. I drove a Kingsland 'bus."

"H'm. Discharged, I suppose."

"No, sir. I left because I wanted a change."

"How many accidents have you had?'

"None at all, sir."