This year’s annual Magical Taxi Tour to Disneyland Paris is due to leave the East Winter Gardens, Canary Wharf on Friday 16 September.
The trip marks the 27th time that members of The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers have organised the event, taking sick and terminally ill children on the trip of a lifetime.
The iconic London taxi with its big-hearted drivers travel in convoy down to Dover with their precious passengers, where they all board a P&O Ferry bound for Calais.
Throughout the year, there have been many fundraising events to help finance the trip and every taxi has been sponsored. Sponsors include many Livery Companies, businesses and organisations which make the trip possible; but without these drivers who take the children and then accompany them around the theme park, this could not take place.
Today will see all the taxis undergo an inspection to ensure they are mechanically ready for the long drive. They will also be affixed with sponsors’ details. This year it will be taking place at the NSL where the licensing authority for taxis is based in Canning Town.
On the morning of the trip everyone involved is up very early, with the drivers collecting children and their carers from several London hospitals as well as their homes. The ‘Big Breakfast’ send-off at Canary Wharf will be met with excitement as the convoy begins its journey to France.
This year the Sheriff of the City of London, Alderman Alison Gowman, will be attending with other dignitaries, joining the Master of The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers, Stephen Plumb, to cut the red ribbon and wave the convoy off.
Police outriders from both the UK and France escort the convoy, which can reach up to five miles in length, to ensure a safe passage throughout the weekend both here and in France.
Once in France the escorted convoy will continue to make its way down to Disneyland Resort, Paris where the children will enjoy a magical weekend.
This trip will mean a total of 5,000 children have travelled in the convoy of taxis. Some of these children it will have been their first trip in a taxi it may also be their first trip abroad or to Disneyland Paris.
Amazingly, some of the licensed taxi drivers on this year’s Magical Taxi Tour have given their vehicle and time freely for every one of the previous 26 trips. This equates to driving around 20,000 miles and missing a total of 125 day’s work to help those less privileged.
A spokesperson said: “Every driver who has ever done this trip will tell you – it is a magical event and brings a great deal of pleasure to the children involved.”
You can learn more about the Magical Taxi Tour at www.magicaltaxitour.com where you will find details of previous trips and also how you can help by making a donation to help fund next year’s outing.