After a pause of two years, the Taxi Charity was finally able to revisit the Netherlands this March and May to plan for, and then take part in, the Dutch liberation celebrations
Magnificent men in their flying machines
Ray Whitwell, 103, from North Yorkshire, was on the planning trip in March. He was delighted when glider pilot Arjan Vrieze offered to take him up in a glider in honour of Operation Market Garden, where more than 600 gliders were towed into battle during World War II to secure the bridge at Arnhem.
Ray was more than happy to take up Arjan’s kind offer on his return to the Netherlands in May for the liberation celebrations and remarked: ‘It was wonderful, I could see for miles. I loved every minute and was very glad that when we came down it was still 2022 and not 1944!’
Dutch in Maytime
A group of 25 veterans headed to the Dutch liberation celebrations in May in a fleet of 30 black cabs to lead the televised Dutch liberation parade.
Dick Goodwin, Vice President, Taxi Charity, said: ‘Our veterans sit in three golf buggies and three black taxis at the head of the parade and the streets are lined by thousands of men, women and children who cheer, applaud and shower them with flowers as we progress through the town. It is a truly moving and unforgettable experience.’
Dave the cat’s close up
When veteran Bill Gladden, 98, from Suffolk, heard about Dave, a very special cat who was enriching the lives of everyone at the Diagrama Foundation, Edensor Care Home in Clacton, he offered to paint Dave’s portrait, explaining: ‘I am often asked to paint people’s pets and if they like what I have done, all I ask is they donate to the Taxi Charity.’
Everyone at the home loves the painting.