Earls Court, the home to so many exhibitions, had a very unusual one taking place on the morning of Tuesday 13th May, 2008, when 90 London decorated taxis assembled on their forecourt and what a spectacular sight it was. They were there to collect some special passengers, namely 240 ‘special needs’ and disadvantaged children being taken by the London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children on their outing to Chessington World of Adventures in the fund’s ’80th Anniversary’ year.
The committee turned up very early to find a very quiet and deserted Earls Court awaiting us, but on arrival of the taxis, it quickly came to life. The drivers hastily set about decorating their cabs and as it was a very hot and sunny morning, many bottles of water were handed out, especially to the drivers, who were rapidly turning blue from blowing up dozens of balloons and needed some reviving! Once the taxis were decorated, the drivers then had time to demolish a quick breakfast before the children arrived. Creative Events had laid on the much-needed breakfast and we are deeply grateful to them for their kind donation. With breakfast over, we all waited eagerly for our special passengers to arrive and in no time the first squeals of delight could be heard, with the place soon buzzing with excitement.
Before departing, Simon Rich of Westminster Insurance, who have recently joined forces with Tradex making an exciting future for us all, presented a cheque in the amount of £4,000 to the fund’s Hon. Chairman, David Lessman and we are deeply grateful to them for this generous donation. All drivers were given diesel vouchers and we are grateful to the anonymous donor of these and we also thank Jet Service Station of Clipstone Street for their input. We express thanks to Parma Bhati for his kind help in getting Fords of Dagenham to donate a mini bus to us for the day, which he then drove on the outing and we wish him lots of luck with his ‘knowledge’ and look forward to him joining our outings in the future.
Once the children had been allocated to their taxis, the convoy set off and I was shocked when a market trader in North End Road quickly ran over and deposited a large crate of strawberries in my cab. How nice of him, but he could have thrown in a few pots of cream!! Unfortunately we had been unable to get a Police escort for this outing, but thankfully managed to have a safe journey there and back. However, we would like to thank Sgt. Blanco and his colleagues from Kensington Police Station for their help in the morning at Earls Court.
On arrival at Chessington, tickets and food vouchers were quickly distributed, wristbands put on the children and then the fun began. Many dashed straight on to the rides and many headed straight for lunch. It was a very deserted Chessington due to school exams taking place, which meant it was great for our children, with no long queues. It was brilliant watching the children dragging reluctant drivers on to the tilting runaway train – only hope they managed to keep their lunches down!! As well as the rides, the penguin and sea lion shows were very good and a visit to Sea World was definitely worthwhile. Before the return journey, each child was given a Rucksack to take home as a memento and they returned to their taxis very tired and weary, having had a great but exhausting time. The sun was shining all day, which along with the laughter on the children’s faces was the perfect recipe and ideal ingredient for yet another highly successful outing in our 80th anniversary year – well done to all the Committee.
The Hon. President, Hon. Chairman and Committee would like to extend special thanks to Earls Court – EC & O Venues, Creative Events, Chessington World of Adventures, Westminster Insurance, Lovells, Mann & Overton, LTDA, Fords of Dagenham and Pizza Hut. Our thanks for their help and co-operation also go to KFC, Burger King, Jet Service Station of Clipstone Street, the RAC, St John’s Ambulance and Kensington Police Station. I must also at this point thank LBC and Talk Sport for their great coverage.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
The President, Chairman and Committee of the London Taxidrivers’ Charity for Children are grateful to the following taxi drivers (and their helpers) for their kind assistance on our Chessington outing in the 80th anniversary year of the Fund:
We are deeply grateful to you all, as these outings couldn’t take place without you
“None Walks so Tall as he who Stoops to help a Child”
Raymond Levy (Press Officer)
All the above drivers gave up a day’s work to put some sunshine into the lives of needy children. Drivers, please think about doing the same and come and join us on our next outing to Southend-on-Sea on Wednesday 9th July, 2008.
The children and ourselves would really appreciate your help