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Monday, 3 August 2009

Cabbies Tearooms

Back in 1875 the Earl of Shaftesbury and a few other kindly people set up a charity to build 61 shelters around London for the cabbies to have a cuppa somewhere warm and dry.
Prior to this cabbies might stop of at the pub for a pint or two. Problem with this, aside from the obvious is that their cab might also be stolen. (we're talking horse and carriage back then).

There were a few rules associated with these shelters: no gambling, no alcohol.
As they were on public highways, the police decreed that they be no bigger than a horse and carriage. This meant no more than about 10 -12 cabbies could take shelter at any one time. Thus as each new driver arrived the ones before shuffled around to fit him in, the first one leaving to make room. Just enough time to finish your warm cuppa.

Thirteen of these shelters still remain and are classified as Grade II heritage buildings. A cuppa can be bought for the princely sum of 40p

22 comments:

Elise said...

Brilliant ! Well done for capturing this Mo. Great idea.

diane said...

Great blog. Love your photography. I have a new camera and can't wait to learn all the tricks but now I'm old It takes a long time for me to remember what settings to use etc.

Gunn White said...

I once followed a guided tour around" Little Venice" in London..... so I heard the story for the first time about these small green shelters.
It is so nice to see your photograph! ;-) as well as many other photos in your blog!
Our guide said something about that it was forbidden with "spitting and swearing", and the drivers had to wear a tie..... I don´t know if that was true or not.

Leif Hagen said...

Looks like a cozy place to stop for a tea break! Nice colorful snap - go green!

Mara said...

Is that what they are? I know of one near the National History Museum and I usually drive past it during my tour. Something else to tell...

Brianna said...

40p!!??? Lucky bastards. I pay 1.93 for a medium french vanilla from Dunkin Donuts. *Sigh*

The Cowgirl said...

you learn something new everyday...thanks for sharing :)

Trojan Gayle said...

I have been racking my mind where have i seen these tearooms? Please put me out of my misery and tell me!

Oh by the way a great picture as always!

Ivy said...

I love learning all the little things you teach. Thanks for the information and the beautiful picture.

Asta said...

Hi Mo,

Great picture and very good story. This looks so cosy. And of course the cab drivers must have a nice resting place.

Best regards
Asta

Babzy said...

Very interesting post !

foam said...

who knew? well, plenty of folks apparently .. :)
but it was new to me...
thanks.
and great photo.

/t. said...

fascinating history
&
another great shot, mo

¤ ¤ ¤

/t.

marley said...

Ah, at least someone was looking out for them. Glad that they are listed now or I'm sure they'd have been demolished.

Rolf said...

I wanna be there, having a warm cuppa

William Wallace said...

Those Cabbies Tearooms were so uncivilised, no gambling and no alcohol!

3c said...

Years ago, I heard a programme on the radio about them. Then I forgot - until now. I'm surprised there are any left! Bet if there were new ones for non-drivers, they'd be poplular.

Singaporean in London said...

Hey, that's the stand over at Russell Square isn't it? I was standing outside it the other day and wonder whether they would serve me. lol

I went on a London Walk sometime back and the guide told us a bit about the 'tearooms'. Me being me, I forgot about what he said even before the end of the walk. haha, thanks for the refreshment lesson.

Cheers!
C K

Tammy said...

I've never heard of these. Great background. I'm loving the photo and that there were people out having a cup.
Great job.

Reading Tom said...

Singaporean in London - non Taxi drivers aren't allowed in the shelters but many have a hatch where non-drivers can get a take-away, I quite often start my day with an excellent bacon butty from the one near Embankment Tube Station

Singaporean in London said...

@Reading Tom,
Thanks for the info. I know I can do with a butty anytime!

Belinda said...

I love the history of this old town!

I was driving through East London yesterday and tried to fathom what it would have looked like after the Blitz. If only London's buildings could talk, what story tellers they would be.

I'll be sure to look out for these cabbie shelters. Thanks for sharing with us :o)

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