Veterans arrive in 108-taxi procession

Chelsea Pensioners at Worthing's Pavilion Theatre  Picture: Peter Pollack
Chelsea Pensioners at Worthing's Pavilion Theatre Picture: Peter Pollack

A PROCESSION of 108 vintage cars and Hackney carriages brought hundreds of military veterans to Worthing earlier this afternoon.

As the cars lined up along the promenade, veterans, including 24 Chelsea pensioners, congregated on the sea front, before heading into the Pavilion for fish and chips.

The town has made us very welcome.

Major James Corrigan

Organised by the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled, the annual event allows veterans to have a day out and meet with friends.

Major James Corrigan, 91, served with the Durham Light Infantry.

He said: “I’m amazed at the amount of people around and the reception has been first class. The town has made us very welcome.”

London cabbie Mark Cooper drove two Chelsea Pensioners down in an Austin 12/4.

He said: “They always look forward to this day. Some only see each other on occasions like this and it’s such a pleasure to do. They all have so many stories to tell I could sit and listen to them all day long. “

As the cars made their way down Chapel Road, shoppers waved and cheered. This year’s event was a departure from previous gatherings, which saw the veterans gather at the Assembly Hall.

Chelsea Pensioner Charmaine Coleman, 82, spent 23 years in the Royal Military Police.

Speaking outside the Pavilion, she said on Saturday she will do a wing walk to raise money for the Royal Hospital Chelsea and for the Royal British Legion.

Charmaine is also a big skydiving fan having completed 23 jumps.

She said: “It’s a wonderful feeling. You feel just like a bird even though you’re falling at about 600ft a minute.”

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