Looking back at the Taxi Trade Children’s Outing

Children from Edinburgh hospitals on the taxi drivers outing in May 1965. Picture: TSPL

Children from Edinburgh hospitals on the taxi drivers outing in May 1965. Picture: TSPL

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THE streets of the Capital were filled with brightly decorated taxis as the annual Taxi Trade Children’s Outing made its way through the city.

Taxis festooned with balloons were escorted by police – who had also decorated their vehicles for the big day – as the 68th annual outing saw children with special needs, life-limiting conditions and terminal illnesses given a special day out at the beach, courtesy of the Capital’s generous cab drivers.

And the day out continues a long tradition of helping provide a special memory for poorly youngsters. Back in 1965, 250 children from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital were given sweets and treats as they enjoyed the special outing.

Fancy dress has always been an integral part of the day, and in 1987 Lord Provost Dr John McKay was on hand to present the prizes – with Keith “Popeye” Gaffney winning best-dressed driver and Gordon McVinnie and his Smurfmobile winning best-designed cab.

And back in 1961, the drivers’ costumes included gladiators, firemen and even the French Foreign Legion.

And while the drivers always make an effort with their own costumes, it is the decoration on the taxi convoy that often grabs the attention – in 1979 Princes Street was brought to a virtual standstill by the impressive line of taxis decorated almost entirely in balloons, while one chose a Snow White theme.

Amidst the costumes and decorations though, the day is all about the children and in 1970 youngsters were thrilled to be in Drummond Gardens as they prepared to set off on their big adventure.