Just before Christmas, I held a rather unusual Tea Party at the London HQ of global ad agency Ogilvy and Mather in East London. The London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled brought along 25 WWII veterans, who regularly volunteer for the charity’s fund-raising collections, for tea, cake and a chat. Many of the Ogilvy staff had been furiously baking cakes for a Very British Charity Cake Sale. A huge Union Jack cake, a Lemon Drizzle Cake and a […]
Last Tuesday the London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled took over 200 war veterans on their annual outing to Worthing, my second road trip with the charity. This trip is a real highlight in the lives of many veterans, some of whom can’t get about very easily nowadays, on account of hovering around 90! More than 100 Black Cabs collected the veterans from various locations in and around London. They gathered first in South Holmwood, a former British Legion […]
Watching the Jubilee celebrations in London reminds me of the last time I saw crowds out to welcome a procession of visiting British dignitaries! Then, however, the crowds were Dutch and they were out in force to welcome 160 World War II veterans in a convoy of London Black Cabs in Holland. Frans Ammerlaan from the Market Garden Foundation of The Netherlands recently sent me this collection of photographs which wonderfully capture some of the events: crowds of Dutch people welcoming […]
…so said Jim, 89 (pictured here during wartime and below, last week) after tripping over when we arrived back at the Union Jack Club last night. ‘No need to worry’, he said, when I asked if he was ok. He jumped up, brushed himself down and said he was made of rubber. Jim is just one of the wonderful veterans I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with. He’s full of the most incredible stories – too many to recall. […]
Just returned home from the Union Jack Club in Waterloo, where this epic trip began last Wednesday. Wonderful to see Geoff Roberts, 87, being reunited with his grand-daughter Grace. She’d been excited about seeing him all day. Many proud families out there – veterans’ children, grand-children, great and even great-great-grandchildren, and cabbies’ families too of course. The charity must be delighted by how it’s all gone. Sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful veterans I’ve met. They’ve been so […]
I’m in Danny Bedford’s cab with veterans Harold Padfield and Geoff Roberts. Geoff on the right never smiles in front of cameras. People waving us off. Everyone is feeling ‘a bit choked’ to be leaving Arnhem, although looking forwards to a ‘proper cup of tea’ in England. Harold has been given some gorgeous stroopwafels by his friends who host his regular visits to Holland, where he parachuted in at 7 minutes past 2 on 17th September 1944.
Wonderful scenes at the Airborne Museum in Arnhem yesterday. Great cab ride with Julian the driver. In the back were veterans Danny McCrudden, who sang The Good Life on the way, and Ernie Davies, my friend and photographer Matt, and me. As we approached Arnhem, it was as if the whole town had come out to meet the convoy. Danny had tears in his eyes. The museum had laid on quite an event, complete with bagpipe players, the local medical […]