Tony in Camden is 71-80 and is a Taxi Driver.
Tony loves Cuba so much that he painted an old cab of his in the colours of its flag. He will speak to anyone who listens about Cuba, and regularly visits the iconic island state. In this film he visits his auntie in his beloved Camden neighbourhood and shows exactly why he is a fascinating combination of communist revolutionary and London cabbie! Vive la revolucion!
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Film Maker: Tom Pietrasik
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? First memory of London, I suppose, when we were children after the war. It was poverty, it was bomb sites and they were out playground actually. So my memory is of that time when I was 10 years old. Sad but there we go.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? I suppose I miss the banter with my cab driver colleagues, including John Snow, the presenter of Channel 4. It's "Up the revolution! Won't be long now", that sort of thing. So I miss London, I love London. We've been here 3 generations. My grandparents come from Southern Italy and so that's what I miss. The red telephone boxes, that's something disappearing over time.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? My favourite neighbourhood would obviously be Clerkenwell, Leather Lane, Hatton Garden.
- What's your favourite building? The beautiful old Victorian Waterstones on Gower Street.
- What's your ideal day out in London? At a demonstration or a march.
- What's your ideal night out in London? In Summer I'd go to Broomfield Park and talk to strangers. I love talking to people.
- What's your most hated building? Theobalds Road library, a modern building. If I won the lottery I'd offer Camden money to replace the front of the building.
- What's the best view in London? Waterloo Bridge, it's beautiful. Parliament, Big Ben, St Pauls, London Eye and the City, which I call a crime scene!
- What's your favourite open space? Trafalgar Square. Even now it's pedestrianised.
- What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? I don't like anything too fancy. Food Bazaar on Gray's Inn Road. Moroccan and Algerian great food, it's all fresh.
- What's the most interesting shop? I don't know if it's there any more, there's an antiques shop on Portugal Street. You're looking at history in there. I think I live in the past.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? Craft Beer Company near Leather Lane. When I was growing up it was a bomb site all round there.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? It was a Cuban Solidarity Campaign night at a restaurant, I shook Lady Guevara's hand - Che's daughter - a twentieth century legend.
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? I'd go to Grays in Essex and talk to the locals. Sorry to say this but they all seem a bit odd round there, one guy said "we're all inbred". There was a fifty year old lady with a big curtain ring-sized loop through her nose like a bull.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? St James' Park and all the historical buildings round there. Camden market too.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? It was a fare from the City of London to Lewisham. We just didn't move. Traffic problems the whole way.
- What's your personal London landmark? The Nelson Mandela statue on Parliament Square, not all the other statues of the men who slaughtered thousands in wars. Mandela.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Jack the Ripper. They never really established who he was.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? Back to the 1950s and early 60s.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Ken Livingstone.