Veterans ride into Worthing in style

Annual taxi run to Worthing for war veterans. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133026008

Annual taxi run to Worthing for war veterans. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133026008

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Worthing seafront was lined with black cabs this afternoon for an annual event for war veterans.

The London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled had 100 drivers step up to bring down more than 200 veterans from across London to Worthing Pavilion for a special day at the seaside.

Annual taxi run to Worthing for war veterans. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133231008

Annual taxi run to Worthing for war veterans. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133231008

The 62nd annual event saw a parade of taxis travelling along Marine Parade and South Street, with all drivers working for free.

Veteran Pat Higgins, 90, said: “I have always had an affinity for Worthing, and moved here after spending my time abroad in India. A fantastic town to come back to.”

Paul Davis, secretary of the association said: “We have been going since 1948 with drivers hoping to give something back to the veterans. There is a long tradition of former soldiers becoming cab drivers, so they are happy to keep this tradition going.”

Driver Jeff Middleton added: “I just enjoy doing it. Some of these guys go every year and I take the same ones, who are lovely and great to talk to.”

Cadman left and Bill Wood. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133246008

Cadman left and Bill Wood. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160621-133246008

The lunch was included for the veterans and the drivers with a total attendance of 372, and also included a keynote speech from former Special Air Service Sergeant Phil Campion.

Speaking beforehand he said: “It is something close to my heart and we have to get behind these people and support them. But I don’t want to go in there and tell them war stories, because they have seen it all.”

Newly elected mayor of Worthing Borough Council Sean McDonald said: “It is a time honoured tradition for the residents of Worthing to welcome these brave men and women every year to our town.”

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