Children's Magical Taxi Tour

AA patrols help keep the black cabs moving

21 October 2008

130 black cabs and support vehicles

Father and son AA patrols helped keep the black cabs of London moving on the annual 'Children's Magical Taxi Tour' taking 400 sick and terminally-ill children to Disneyland Resort Paris on 17 October.

Keith Rolfe and his son Leigh flanked by fellow AA patrols Neville Gilbert (l) and Gary Kelly (r) Watford-based Keith Rolfe and his son Leigh joined fellow AA patrols Gary Kelly from Streatham and Neville Gilbert from Swanley, Kent, providing breakdown assistance to the 130 black cabs and support vehicles in the three-mile-long convoy.

Keith says: "This is the tenth year that the AA has taken part and it's always a memorable experience. It's heart-wrenching at times, but so rewarding seeing the pleasure the children get – a chance for them to forget about their illnesses.

"With so many vehicles, we're normally busy with breakdowns, so we take two patrol vans, a truck and a van full of spare parts. It's mostly punctures but last year, we had to change the radiator on a cab outside the resort."

This year was relatively quiet – the only major problem on the way down was a burst radiator on one of the police motorbikes. Overall, the patrols dealt with five minor breakdowns.

The Children's Magical Taxi Tour is organised by The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers whose members volunteer their time and raise funds to cover the £1,250 cost of each cab.


The Tour is in its 15th year and started at Canary Wharf on Friday, 17 October 2008.

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21 October 2008