Thinking allowed — 04 June 2019

On Thursday, 6th June, the Russell Square cab shelter donates all their takings to the London Taxidrivers Charity for Children. The food is good, they also do takeaway teas and coffees, so if you are nearby support one of the trade’s charities.

This shelter was originally outside the Haymarket Theatre, the theatre that the shelter’s donor, Sir Squire Bancroft was then managing. It was later moved to Leicester Square where it spent some considerable time. During this time, when the green hut was located in Leicester Square during the war, the siren was sounded and the diners made their way down to the underground air raid shelter. After the all clear, the cabbies made their way back to the shelter to finish what was left of their dinner. To their surprise, all their cabs had been destroyed by a German bomb. Amazingly, the shelter survived with just some superficial damage.

Nomadic shelter

It vanished in the late 1980s when pedestrianisation arrived at Leicester Square and the shelter became obsolete. The decision was later taken to move the shelter to Russell Square. The shelter was restored in 1987 and again prior to the London 2012 Olympics when it was re-sited in the north-west corner of Russell Square. A plaque outside attests that this shelter was presented by Sir Squire Bancroft a famous actor/manager in 1901.

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