Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cabmen's Shelters

The life of the driver of a hansom or Hackney cab could be quite grim in London in the late 19th century. Open to the elements they found it difficult to leave their cabs to obtain hot meals or some shelter. The Cabmen's Shelter Fund was set up in 1875 by the Earl of Shaftesbury and built a network of Cabmen's Shelters across London[1].

These offered hot meals and non-alcoholic drinks and were also a safe place for cab drivers to meet and socialise. Sixty one shelters were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thirteen still exist still operated by the Cabmen's Shelter Fund (for the use of cab drivers only of course!) and are all listed buildings[2].
Cabmen's Shelter at Warwick Avenue

[1] "Call Me A Cabbie", London Transport Museum Friends News Issue 121 (Spring 2015) p. 11
[2] A history of green cab shelters <>