A Tale of Two Cities: Geoff Holt on the Dickensian State of Pre-Olympic London

Geoff Holt tells the story of an thoroughly amazing week of accolades, public service, and, as so often is the case of our world-renowned colleagues with disabilities, ends it with this bone-jarring account of blatant discrimination:


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A perfect day was marred on departure.  It was 4.00pm, raining and dark. A companion flagged a black London cab which was pulling in to the kerb 
until he saw the wheelchair and then he turned and accelerated away. He even tried turning his lights off so I wouldn't get his number but I did and 
have duly reported him to Transport For London. It's astonishing that people like that scumbag are allowed to drive London cabs isn't it? It's bad enough with disabled UK citizens being discriminated by our own cabbies, I wonder how our disabled guests will feel in 2012 when they visit for the Paralympics?

And who is this man? Suffice it to speak of only one week in his life:

To round off one of the most surreal weeks in a long time (more below), I received a letter on Friday informing me that I was one of three yachtsmen shortlisted for the prestigious Yachtsman of the Year trophy for 2010.  OMG, do you have any idea what an honour that is?  I think more people have walked on the moon than won this trophy - names like Sir
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 Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Ben Ainslie.  I got an MBE from the Queen on Tuesday (crazy, but true), but to be nominated for the YOTY trophy equals an MBE any day in my book.  It is the ultimate accolade in yachting...

As mentioned above, yes, I was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty on Tuesday at Windsor Castle for "Services to sailing for the disabled". CLICK HERE for local press report and see previous Blog entry.  It was a wonderful honour, especially after nearly two decades of enjoying myself...
On Wednesday night I was invited to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on the occassion of the Council of the Overseas Territories with attendees including delegations from the British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Cayman Islands etc.  What a gathering - lots of business cards exchanged.  Interesting to talk to so many Premieres, ministers and UK appointed FCO Governors - including Boyd McClearly, the new Governor of the British Virgin Islands - what a nice guy.  CLICK HERE for more info on the UK Overseas Territories Association.

Geoff Holt.pngThursday was a special day too - it was the RYA Community Awards at the Inst. of 

Engineers in London.  If you have not seen the video I made last year of their amazing wheelchair lift, CLICK HERE (sorry it is sideways).  I was there as an RYA Council member and as one of this year's judgning panel - difficult job with so many worthy applicants this year.


For the full story that includes much, much more:

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