Recently returned from the trip of a lifetime to the beaches of Normandy, 90 London cab drivers are on the road again, this time taking 200 WWII veterans for a day at the seaside.
Following a tradition that began in 1948, the kind-hearted cabbies will turn off the meter to pick up veterans and carers from their homes across the capital, including the Royal Hospital, Chelsea from 6:30am [on Tuesday 4 July] on behalf of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.
The taxis will arrive at South Holmwood Village near Dorking around 9:00am, where they will receive a heroes' welcome and enjoy home-made sandwiches, cakes and refreshments before setting off in convoy along the A24 to Worthing.
The veterans will enjoy a fish and chip lunch, entertainment and speeches at The Pavillion on Worthing Pier as well as the opportunity to catch up with old friends and take in the sea views.
Graham Pike, one of the taxi drivers taking part, and a committee member of the Taxi Charity, said: “Our annual Worthing trip is something we look forward to all year. It's a pleasure to treat these ladies and gents to a trip to the seaside as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for all they’ve done for us.”
Only licenced London taxi drivers can drive for the Taxi Charity and veterans take an active part in fundraising throughout the year by collecting donations at tube stations and locations across London.
Charity patron, Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns will be joining this year’s event. Dame Vera Lynn and Joanna Lumley are also patrons of the charity, and were guests of honour at the Worthing outing in 1985 and 2009 respectively.
The charity was voted the nation’s favourite voluntary/ charity project in the 2016 National Lottery Awards. You can see a video about the charity and the award at www.national-lottery.co.uk/life-changing/project-nlas-london-taxis.