How story of Barrie’s retirement went around the globe

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Barrie George drove for Longleys for 26 years

Last month when the Canterbury Journal reported that a driver working for city cab firm Longleys had retired after 26 years’ service, it was perhaps no surprise that the story was picked up elsewhere.

After all granddad Barrie George had worked until the ripe old age of 85 for the firm whose red cabs are a fixture of Canterbury’s streets.

First it was The Mirror which picked up on the story.

But soon enough an automotive reporter working for US news and entertainment giant Fox News was on the case.

Following UK news outlets’ leads, Gary Gastelu reported that Barrie had been Britain’s oldest cabbie, writing: “Barrie George began driving a cab in Canterbury in 1993 out of boredom after retiring as a telecom engineer.

“The 5ft, 4in tall driver became known around town for sitting on a cushion to help see out of his cars.”

Gastelu added that a New York City driver Johnny “Spider” Footman had continued driving until he was 94.

The story was also picked up by Indonesian news service Liputan6. It reported: “The 85-year-old grandfather named Barrie George is often referred to as the oldest taxi driver in England.”

Barrie, who lives in Sturry with wife Pam, is not known to have any links with Indonesia.

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