A taxi driver who has spent 50 years behind the wheel of a cab has just clocked up 500,000 miles.
Mike Joy collected his first fare in 1963. But despite reaching retirement age 11 years ago, he’s determined to carry on driving.
“It’s nice to get up in the morning and not know where you will go in the day,” he says. “One minute you could be in Bournemouth [his hometown] and the next you are half way up the country.”
During his life on the road, Mike has seen the price of fairs rise from as little as one shilling six pence per mile to £4.12.
Famous passengers have included Tom Jones, Jim Davidson and Lionel Blair. “They all liked to chat to me as we drove along,” Mike reveals. “When Tom Jones was touring in Bournemouth I used to take him to a nightclub with show girls.”
Throughout his career he’s driven a Morris Oxford, Austen Cambridge, Vauxhall Eelox, Austen Montego, a London taxi TX1 and now uses a yellow London taxi TX4.
“It was busier in the old days when you did six hours without switching your engine off,” he reflects. “But nowadays you spend a lot of time waiting about. You aren’t exactly rushed off your feet.”
Mike hopes the day he collects his last fare is still some way off. “As long as I pass my medical every year I will continue to drive until I can’t anymore,” he says.