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Taxi Charity in the press: Worthing Herald - 12 June 2008

War veterans' charity anniversary celebration

Hundreds of war veterans descended on Worthing to celebrate the 60th birthday of The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled

The London Taxi Benevolent Association (LTBA) for War Disabled began in a pub in Fulham in 1948.

A group of taxi drivers gave around 50 war veterans a trip to Worthing's seaside – an outing which became an annual event.

On Tuesday, June 10, around 400 ex-servicemen and women gathered in the Assembly Hall for the charity's diamond anniversary.

Dame Vera

Among those enjoying a reception and lunch was Dame Vera Lynn, patron of the charity.

She said: "It's a lovely get-together with all the chaps and it's good for people to remember.

"It's getting harder and harder every year but it's lovely there are still some able to come and have a nice lunch, a nice day and meet some old friends."

Worthing mayor Christine Brown welcomed the veterans. Speaking beforehand, she said Worthing was honoured by the annual visit.

She said: "It's a great, great honour.

"It's important to the chaps themselves but it's also important to the people of Worthing to know they are honouring the people who have fallen and those who are still surviving."

Britain's oldest man

Also present at the event was Henry Allingham, a First World War veteran and Britain's oldest man, who celebrated his 112th birthday tomorrow (Friday, June 13 2008)

He said: "I very much enjoy it. Thanks to everybody.

"They've all been helping me. You bet I will enjoy it. It's a joy for me to come and see you people."

Broadwater memories

Chelsea pensioner Bill Cross, 92, formerly from Worthing, spoke of his memories of being posted in Broadwater during the war.

He said: "I came home to Worthing for D-Day. I was in Broadwater. It was all evacuated.

"There was a pub in Broadwater, the Wigmore Arms, or the Swigmore as we knew it (later the Wig and Pen).

"It's where we all had a drink before D-Day."

Derek Leone, press officer for the association, said: "Some of them don't get out from one day to another. It's a day out for them.

"They can meet up with their old comrades, some of them they haven't seen since the war ended."

The veterans also enjoyed a visit to the seafront and pier before returning to the Assembly Hall for tea and entertainment in the evening.

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