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Black cabs trip ends after 35 years

34th annual Albany Taxi charity outing to Margate
34th annual Albany Taxi charity outing to Margate

Lack of help from Thanet council is being blamed by the Albany Taxi charity for deciding not to bring its annual outing for disadvantaged youngsters to Margate this year.

Dozens of London black cabs were booked to come to Thanet on July 14 for what would have been the 36th trip. Now the cabs are thinking of going to Thorpe Park or the Hop Farm at Beltring instead.

Up to 90 taxis were expected to take part in the run from South London, bringing with them 250 youngsters, many of whom have a disability, and their carers.

The charity’s committee gave Margate the thumbs down at a meeting. Secretary Derek Pearson, who has been on 31 of the outings, said: “I’m really disappointed after all these years.

“For the past three years, we have had little or no help from Thanet council. Feedback from parents after last year’s visit wasn’t great because we had believed a fairground in Margate would offer us free rides. We learned afterwards the first ride had been free but others were £2.50 a time.”

Mr Pearson said when the council couldn’t confirm there would be a fairground in the town this time and were unwilling to reduce the cost of providing tea for everyone at the Winter Gardens, the vote was taken to end a tradition which began in 1972.

Leader of the council, Cllr Sandy Ezekiel, said: “We’re exceptionally disappointed to learn that the Albany taxi run will not be coming to Margate this year. We had already arranged a fairground for them with free rides and tea at the Winter Gardens.”

For full story, see the Thanet Extra, out on Wednesday, May 28.

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