Ex-cabbie Derek turns city knowledge into board game

HE spent a dozen years driving taxis all over the Capital.
Derek Carroll with his Taxi board game. Picture: Ian GeorgesonDerek Carroll with his Taxi board game. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Derek Carroll with his Taxi board game. Picture: Ian Georgeson

After studying the details of almost every landmark and reading about each of the city’s streets, Derek Carroll had an idea . . .

And now, 16 years later, the 57-year-old has created a board game – which players certainly need “the knowledge” to complete.

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Edinburgh Taxi takes players on a journey around the city from the comfort of their own homes, and contains 600 local history and general knowledge questions specific to the Capital.

The game is similar to Trivial Pursuit and if players land on any of the “Tourist Question” squares, they must correctly answer the next question in the pile or risk missing out on a tip on top of their fare.

Derek said the game was based on the typical daily life of a cab driver. He said: “I always had a huge interest in the history of Edinburgh.

“I enjoyed being a taxi driver but the novelty of it soon wore off and I was more interested in my surroundings.

“I would sit in the taxi rank late at night and dream.

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“I remember one Tuesday night, sitting on the 12th rank reading a book about Edinburgh’s history. I started thinking about how it might be possible to create a trivia board game, where all the questions could be based on one city.

“The answer was obvious – create the game around the working life of a taxi driver. The better your local knowledge, the better the tips, the more you earn. I picked up an A4 sheet of paper and that’s where the journey began.”

Derek, who lives in Turnhouse, researched and wrote hundreds of questions, threw thousands of dice and began making contact with buyers and manufacturers to help him make the game.

He came up with the idea of small multi-coloured cars for playing pieces and a round board.

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But the simple idea that he came up with in one night took him almost 16 years to make a reality.

Derek added: “The game has many unusual features and I’m hopeful in time it will become one of the best-selling board games. After making the Edinburgh one, I decided to make one for Glasgow, New York and London.”

Edinburgh Taxi can be purchased in Waterstone’s, Toys Galore in Morningside, Blackwell’s Book Shop and independent gift stores in the city.

Derek and his team are currently in talks with larger department stores who they hope will decide to stock the game.

They are also planning on creating a new edition for 2017.

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