Friday, July 31, 2009

Ascot Taxi Service

When a patron who was leaving London's Savoy Hotel mistakenly thought that lyricist William Gilbert (of famous songwriters Gilbert & Sullivan fame) was a doorman, this is what is said to have unfolded:

"Call me a cab sir"
"Certainly sir, you're a four-wheeler"
"How dare you, sir!"
"Well, you asked me to call you a cab and I certainly couldn't call you hansom."

Boom, boom! :-)

According to the Taxi Council of Queensland, we were still using hansom cabs in Brisbane in 1935, from a rank outside the Supreme Court in George St. The first motorised cab had appeared in 1919, when two motor-mechanics formed Ascot Taxi Service from their garage in Racecourse Rd in the northern suburb of Ascot. The original owners of the business went broke during the depression, but the taxi service was taken over by new owners who,
in 1936, purchased land at 73 Barry Parade, Fortitude Valley, to build the company's new headquarters. This is the building, pictured below in 1937, with some of the modern vehicles from the company's fleet on show.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #65712)


Ascot Taxis had a well-recognised fleet of vehicles, with a livery of black highlighted with a white stripe containing black spots. They went on to become the first cabs in Queensland to operate with two-way radios. The Ascot name disappeared when the firm became Q Cabs in 1992, before eventually being folded into the giant Black & White taxi company.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

The Ascot Taxis former head office building is still standing in Barry Parade in the Valley, as can be seen in my recent photo (above - click for a larger view). Traces of the original name can be seen below the paintwork of the new business occupying the building.

That current business is Valley Radiator Service. As their slogan says - "Where else would you take a leak?"

Boom, boom! :-)

Click here for a Google Map.

tff

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