In 1952 Mr Charles Albert Flemwell started the first
East London Cabbies Outing with 8 taxis, taking children
with special needs from the East End of London
travelling to the riverside town of Maldon in Essex. The
trip proved to be such a success that over the years it
grew to a much larger scale, taking children from
various schools and specialist centres within the East
End of London in a convoy of vehicles that in some years
exceeded 160 taxis and specialised buses. The children’s
needs ran from severely disabled and Down’s Syndrome to
Autistic and severe learning difficulties.
In 1984 Mr Charles Albert
Flemwell became Mayor of the London Borough of Newham.
He still carried on organising the famous taxi trip to
Maldon until, sadly, he passed away in 1996.
Mr Ken Flemwell,
Charlie Flemwell’s son, who is also an East London taxi
driver, wanted to maintain the famous taxi trip that his
father had started in 1952. He formed a committee of
London taxi drivers and carried on organising the annual
taxi trip in his father’s honour.
This year, 2012, will
be the 60th year of the outing and it is
still as successful as ever.
The children are
collected from various pick-up points around London and
we (? Drivers and helpers)
attend to their every need during the event before
taking them back home at the end of the day.
The children are given
meals, entertainment, spending money, toys and goodie
All the taxi drivers
who take part give up their day’s work on the road to
voluntarily take the children on this trip. Every taxi
driver dresses his or her taxi with balloons and some
even have giant kid’s cartoon characters tied to the
It really is a
fantastic sight to see all these taxis dressed up and
driving along in convoy.
The London Ambulance
Service stays with us throughout our journey to Maldon
and all through the day’s events, because of some of the
children’s serious medical conditions. We are also
provided with 10 Metropolitan and Essex motorcycle
police, who escort us from beginning to end. They stop
the traffic on the way, allowing us to go through red
traffic lights and over roundabouts so that we can stay
together in convoy. T & J’s breakdown service also stays
with us to provide breakdown cover all day.
Plan of the day.
The journey begins
with about 60 taxis leaving from East Ham in London at
9.30 am. We have meeting points on the journey for the
rest of the taxis to join us in the convoy. By the time
we reach Romford, all the taxis are together in convoy,
with the children and their parents/carers on board.
We reach the George
and Dragon pub in Mountnessing, Essex at around 11 am.
This pub provides an
hour’s rest period. This is for the children to go to
the toilet or have special medical attention, as many of
them need it at regular intervals. During this period
the children and carers are provided with free drinks
and snacks, which they collect from tables lined up
outside the pub.
We leave the pub at 12
pm, in convoy, with the police escorting us on our
journey to Maldon.
We reach Plume
Secondary School in Maldon at 1 pm. The Mayor of Maldon
and all the school’s pupils line the street outside, to
greet us as we enter the playgrounds to park up.
This school provides
all the children, carers and taxi drivers with a
two-course meal and the pupils also lay on their own
music bands to provide the children with entertainment.
We leave Plume School
at 2.30 pm making our way to Maldon’s Promenade Park.
The journey takes us through Maldon town centre and all
the shop fronts are dressed with balloons and banners to
The streets are lined
with hundreds of people waving us on our way to the
park. The town has always celebrated our special visit
and this makes the children feel extremely special.
We arrive at Maldon’s
Promenade Park at 3 pm, where volunteer stewards guide
us through the gate to park up on the field.
We stay on the field
until 6.30 pm. During this time we have lots of
entertainment going on. This
painting, model balloons, clowns, juggling show, magic
show, falcon bird show, horse riding, horse and cart
rides, fire engine, raffles and the Best Dressed Taxi
award. We also have a DJ on the field so that the
children can have a little boogie.
The event finishes at
6.30 pm and the police escort us back to London. The
taxis all take the children back to their homes.
I am sure you will
agree with us that this event is a fantastic day, makes
the children feel very special and gives them a day to
It would be much
appreciated if you could make a donation of any kind
which would help to make this event a success. On behalf
of all the children and the East London Cabbies Outing
Charity, we look forward to hearing from you.