As the London cab trade continues to implode with no sign from Transport for London stopping the freefall into oblivion, today we have a photo montage going down memory lane when the Black Cab was recognised by the powers that be as the premier taxi service. The picture on the left is a rogue taxi rank in Mansfield. With a lack of provision for cabbies waiting for a fare, someone has created their own rank. The council threatened to strip the Hackney licenses of those responsible.
The Ghost Phone of the Langham Place Taxi Rank
For years this phone has been at the front of the taxi rank in Langham Place. Totally forgotten about, it sits there waiting to ring . . . Is how the photographer describes this picture. No single image evokes the times past for cabbies. Situated between the Langham Hotel and the BBC in my nearly 20 years I‘ve never heard it ring. No anxious punters on the hot-line urgently requiring a cab. A relic of better times.
Green Cab Shelter at Chelsea Embankment
Once there were 61 of these shelters scattered around the capital. Only 13 remain to provide refreshments for cabbies. Here in Chelsea in their wisdom, the local authority has put double yellow lines on the major roads and forbidden parking on resident bays before 10.00 pm. Only two bays are allocated for cabs with a shelter catering for up to 12 diners plus take-away it’s hardly surprising it remains unused and empty. The most picturesque shelter in London.
Cabmen skylarking notice
Spotted this sign at a garage, once London’s best auto electrician for cabs, now no longer in business: Notice to Cabdrivers. Any Cabman skylarking or otherwise misconducting himself while on the Managing Committee’s premises or Smoking whilst his Cab is standing alongside the Platform will be required to leave the Station immediately. By order.
The ghost of Dunbridge Street
Once this street was a hive of activity: garages, spares, repair shops, companies installing adverts on the sides of cabs, insurance companies you name it anything for the cab driver was to be had in this street adjacent to the railway lines. A Ben Adams picture of an abandoned cab seems to sum it all up. Abandoned London black cab by Ben K Adams (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
A version of this post was published by CabbieBlog on 31st July 2015