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Getting British pounds in the US

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I'm blown away and really confused with the new Fodor's format (needless to say, I've been away for quite a while). So after searching a bit, I thought I'd throw my question out:

I need British pounds because we're landing from a cruise in Dover and immediately taking a taxi (reserved) to Ashford for the Eurostar. The taxi wants money on the spot; they've offered some kind of transfer bank-to-bank ahead of time, but I don't understand that. I thought I could get pounds in Gibralter, only to discover that Gibralter pounds aren't good in England.

So where should I get pounds ahead of time? Help! (I love this forum so much and it has been so helpful over the years, I told my SIL that this is where I would start!) (And why is everything centered—I find that quite disconcerting?)

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