(Designingbuildings.co.uk) “A cabmen’s shelter circa. 1900, stood at the corner of Haven Green Ealing Broadway, it being in a very poor condition was replaced in 2012 by the new structure.”
“Madam,” called the driver of a black cab to me. He was waiting opposite Ealing Broadway Station and had observed me trying to photograph its architecture. “Are you interested in old pictures of the station?”. He offered me special permission to enter the cabmen’s shelter and view their display of vintage photos; I was honoured.
“The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened its pioneering broad gauge tracks through Ealing Broadway between Paddington and Taplow on 6 April 1838, although Ealing Broadway station did not open until 1 December of that year. As the only station in the area when it opened, it was initially named ‘Ealing’, but was renamed Ealing Broadway in 1875.
District Railway (DR, now the District Line) services commenced on 1 July 1879, when the DR opened a branch from Turnham Green on its Richmond line.
Following electrification of the main District line route through Ealing Common to South Harrow in 1903, the section to Ealing Broadway was electrified in 1905, and the first electric trains ran to Ealing Broadway on 1 July 1905. The original brick-built DR station was replaced with a stone-faced building in 1910.”
Michael Russell wrote at myLondon.news on 26.8.11:
“CAB drivers have been fighting council plans to knock down their shelter, a feature of the borough for more than 130 years.
The hut, in Haven Green by Ealing Broadway station, is now merely used for storage space and a phone since a spate of vandalism in the 1960s saw it fall out of use.
But a row about the location of a new cycle hub has focussed minds about the historical feature and taxi drivers are hoping to bring it back into its original use and apply to get it listed by English Heritage.
Karen O’Neil, a 4th generation cab driver who has been taking fares for 19 years, said: “There are only 13 cabman’s shelters across London and ours is unique with more windows and space.
“We’re going to remove the protective cladding and get a carpenter to assess how much can be saved after years of disuse. If it’s possible then we’d like to see it running as a fully-functioning cabman’s shelter again with space for drivers and a cafe which can be used by the public.
“We think there’s a good chance we can get it grade II listed by English Heritage and we’ve collected 500 signatures from the public who want to see it stay.”
The row started about six weeks ago when the council announced plans to demolish the shelter, replacing it with what taxi drivers describe as a “glass cube”, and slash the size of their cab rank, used by about 100 taxis. It meant cutting the 25 spaces by about a fifth and forcing drivers to park on the road which they said would create congestion and cause “havoc”.
But the town hall backed down and are drawing-up new plans to allow drivers to keep a “similar” number of spaces. It still plans to demolish the shelter but promises to built a new wooden one in keeping with the current style.
A council spokeswoman, said: “We’ve been in regular dialogue with Transport for London, the Licenced Taxi Drivers’ Association and taxi-driver representatives from the Haven Green rank to discuss options and assure them that the new cycle hub will allow a similar number of taxis to use the area.
“The current hut is in very poor condition and a new facility would offer many improvements but no decisions have been taken at this stage and any design would be subject to normal planning and conservation processes.” “.