For the best part of last week I was in Glasgow staying with friends and making the most of my time in the city.
I had stopped off at Lake Ulleswater in Cumbria on my way up to Scotland to take advantage of the good weather and take some photographs of the wonderful scenery. I even bumped into a couple of Americans (from Florida) who were on a cycling holiday around the Lake District before moving on to the Yorkshire Dales. I suggested that if they thought the Lake District was impressive, they should be prepared for the stunning beauty of the north Yorkshire countryside.
On previous visits to Glasgow I had never really spent any time at the Kelvingrove Museum, so on a wet Thursday morning I took myself off to visit Scotland’s premier museum, which is situated just next to the very impressive Glasgow University.
As I approached the museum I suddenly heard the sound of numerous car horns being sounded and then there appeared a wagon train of taxis with balloons attached, stuffed animals on top and music playing heading to the front of the museum.
I wondered what the hell was happening so headed for the place where the taxis had pulled up. There I found about sixty taxis parked up along with various buses and the street thronged with children and adults, many of whom were in fancy dress costume. Particularly impressive was a rather overweight Scooby Doo (and two very small Scooby Dooets), Spiderman, what looked like the cast from “Carry on Cowboy” along with many others dressed as comic characters.
I asked a local what the occasion was and he told me it was the annual outing for children (many of whom were severely disabled or had learning difficulties) which the Glasgow taxi drivers paid for, gave up their time and provided the vehicles to transport the children, this was the seventy first occasion that it had taken place.
Many of the kids were running around, having their photos taken and getting all excited at the impending day trip to the coastal resort of Troon. Even the wet weather couldn’t dampen their spirits. Parents, relatives or carers who had also entered into the spirit of the occasion by coming in fancy dress accompanied many of the children with disabilities.
It was impossible to ignore the obvious love and care shown towards all the children by parents, carers and the taxi drivers as they mingled together in the road.
Food had been laid on and every so often a group of “waiters” walked down the middle of the road handing out “bacon butties” to anyone who put a hand out. I was tempted to pass myself off as an “official photographer” and grab one of the butties but my conscience got the better of me.
Just before the taxis were due to leave we were treated to the sight of the Police Scotland pipe band (in full dress uniform and kilt) marching down the centre of the road to give the “wagon train” an official send off.
So, as the taxis began to leave I slowly made my way to the museum. It then occurred to me that despite all the ills of the world, killings, bombings, starvation and cruelty, it is little things like the taxi drivers outing that restore ones faith in humanity. For those kids involved it would be a very memorable day, for the parents and carers a change to the daily routine, and for the taxi drivers a feeling that they had put something back into the community.
It is quite refreshing to see how kind and considerate people can be towards each other in what has become a very much “me, me, me” world. Step forward the Glasgow taxi drivers and take a big bow.
Photos (C) kindadukish (please contact if you would like a copy, usually I do not charge a fee)