2019 is the 66th run - here we go, here we go, here we go....!
In 1952 Charles Albert Flemwell started the first East London Cabbies Outing with 8 taxis, taking children with special needs from the East End of London 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 East 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.
The children are collected from various pick-up points around East London and 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 and goodie bags.
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 roof!
It really is a fantastic sight to see all these taxis dressed up and driving along in convoy.