It's a job that has its up's and down's, its pluses and minuses. It would be very hard for me to explain to you just what the job is for the people who do it with out you having been there your self.
Its more than a job.
It would be tacky to say "its a life style" but it dose come with one of those as well.
It gets in your blood and you cant leave. People who have gone off to do other things always pop up on circuit sooner or later.
Once a courier, always a courier
We all work as self employed external contractors for courier firms. This is a legal loophole that basically means that we get zero benefits, zero sick pay, zero anything. At the same time we are expected to turn up everyday and do the hours, wear the uniforms and do as we are told.
We ride some serious mileage on a daily basis and deal with the dangers of the road from sun up till sun down.
All day long you see your friends doing exactly the same thing, all heading a different direction every time you see them.
It is a family.
No matter what company you work for, your all part of this family that is hard at work out on London's streets. Its a very nice feeling to belong to such a community.
Sadly this makes it even harder when someone is taken from us.
In my 11 years on the road two cycle couriers have been killed at work, my friend Sebastian Lukomski back in 2004 and now Henry Warwick.
Henry was killed by a coach on Bishopsgate on Friday 3rd of February.
He had been on the road for at least 19 years, a true veteran amongst us. He was not a daredevil, a jumper of red lights or a speed demon. He could often be seen walking his deliveries or riding very slow and safe.
Many of us had never spoken to Henry as is often the case in such a huge community but we all knew his face and saw him on a daily basis.
The London cycle courier community held a memorial ride for him on the 10th, riding as one to the crash site. Flowers were laid, drinks were handed round, stories exchanged. So many people turned up including many faces who have been off the road for quite a while. That is how much of a "fixture" Henry was in the community. It was a very touching send off.
I could rabbit on, trying to paint the right picture for you but that not what this post is about. This post is here for Henry. They say as long as your name is still spoken then you live on.
Here are some photos from the night.
Please spare a moment for anyone who has been killed before it was their time.
RIP HENRY WARWICK - The community will miss you.