What are the seemingly abandoned green sheds on the roads of London

You could very easily not notice them, dismissing them as closed food vendors, but scattered around the capital are green sheds with very important work.

First built in the late 19th century, they are actually taxi shelters – a place exclusively for London taxi drivers to stop for a break and a cup of tea.

Back in the days when taxis were actually open carriages, there was a slight problem – drivers were very exposed to the elements.

One day in January 1875, during a snowstorm, a man found he was unable to take a cab because all the drivers had taken refuge in a nearby pub – and they certainly weren’t sober enough to drive.

It was then that a charity was formed, the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund, and 61 small green huts, no larger than a horse and cart, were built on the streets of London.

Today there are 13 still standing, all Grade II listed buildings, and are open only to those who own The Knowledge – however, the public can purchase food and drink at an outdoor counter.

Shelters sell breakfast and coffee for a quid, and have small kitchens for drivers to prepare their own food, but gambling, drinking, and swearing are strictly prohibited.

Where are they?

  • Chelsea Embankment, SW3 – near the branch to Albert Bridge, London

  • Embankment Place, WC2 – near the Playhouse Theater

  • Grosvenor Gardens, SW1 – west side of North Gardens

  • Hanover Square, W1 – north side of Central Gardens

  • Kensington Park Road, W11 – exterior numbers 8-10

A refuge in 1877

  • Kensington Road, W8 – near junction of Queen’s Gate SW7

  • Pont Street, SW1 – near junction of Sloane Street

  • Russell Square, WC1 – west corner (moved from Leicester Square)

  • Place Saint-Georges, Pimlico, SW1 – on the north side

  • Temple Place, WC2 – near junction to Surrey Street

Queues in Woolworths, Hounslow

We created a Facebook group for people who want to share their memories of London.

Whether it’s old schools, sorely missed shops, or nightclubs you wish you could have a nightcap in, you can post your nostalgic photos to this group to see who else will remember.

You can also share your North, South, East, West and Central London trivia and connect with other people.

Join the My Olde London Facebook group here.

  • Thurloe Place, SW7 – in the middle of the road opposite the Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Warwick Avenue, W9 – center of the road, near Warwick Avenue tube station

  • Wellington Place, NW8 – near Lord’s Cricket Ground

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