The London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled is a small charity that was established in a pub in Fulham in 1948 by a group of London Black Taxi Drivers.Its mission is to make veterans’ lives more comfortable and enjoyable. The charity is run entirely by volunteers (mostly current or former Black Cab drivers) and a large network of volunteer drivers, all of whom give their time and services for free. They raise funds via a team of elderly veterans who tirelessly stand in railway stations, shopping centres and at football matches across London collecting money for their trips. So I’ve been told, the station where they regularly collect the most money in a day is Canary Wharf! And Millwall FC fans are apparently also very generous.
Spectacular convoys of Black Cabs taking veterans on trips are the hallmark of the charity. Its annual road trip to Worthing has been a highlight in the lives of many veterans since 1948. But when funds have allowed, more ambitious trips have taken place, to enable the veterans to return to important military sites and landmarks, for example to Normandy in 2008. The charity has also taken the veterans to The Netherlands three times, where the Dutch people have turned out in their thousands to greet the veterans, lining the streets and bringing their children to meet them.
Read more about the work of the charity here: www.taxicharity.org
Photographs by kind permission of The London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled.