London’s Cabmen’s Shelters

London’s Cabmen’s Shelters

Scattered throughout the streets of London, often overlooked, are small green sheds that have been offering shelter and hot food to the city’s cab drivers since 1875.

In those times, cab drivers rode horse-drawn carriages where the passengers sat inside while the poor cabbie had to sit on the top, exposed to the elements. But the drivers couldn’t just park their cabs by the side of the road and grab a quick drink at a public house, because the law forbade them to leave their carriages unattended. Some cabmen therefore employed young lads whose job was to look after the cab while they were away, as well as help carry the luggage and do other menial jobs.

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A Cabmen’s shelter at Russell Square, London. Photo credit: David Nicholls/Flickr

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