Tyne Taxis were a substantial company which originated in Newcastle upon Tyne. The main office and garages were located at Dinsdale Place, Shieldfield and they had a smaller ‘branch office’ in Gateshead with the other one being situated at 33 Front Street, Monkseaton. This office was nothing more than a room which was once shared with Deakin Printers, in the former Village Farmhouse.
Their early fleet of three Austin FX3 diesel cabs were painted in a very distinguishing khaki brown colour and were well known throughout the area. The drivers even wore a brown uniform with a matching peaked cap.
Perhaps the most well known of these drivers was a well known character called Percy Harding, a loyal and long serving driver with Tyne Taxis, who was often nicknamed ‘Humpy Percy’. Percy was given this unfortunate name because of his pronounced stoop and rounded back.
The Tyne Taxis fleet of brown FX3 cabs was eventually replaced in the 1960s with three modern black Austin Cambridge saloon cars, all of which were serviced from their main premises in Dinsdale Place, Newcastle.
The call-taker and dispatcher at the Monkseaton office for many years was a Bob Storey, who lived in Cullercoats. The foreman and lead driver was a Sid Cartwright and, apart from Percy Harding, the other driver was Ronnie Jenkinson of Wellfield.
Their advertising was always very simple and basic. An illustrated pictorial advertisement in the Whitley Bay Guardian and Seaside Chronicle dated 8th July 1949 stated nothing more than: ‘Take a Tyne Taxi – Ring Whitley Bay 2200’.
Even by 1957, the advertising tag-line remained unchanged. The only difference was an alteration to the telephone number which was now shown as Whitley Bay 22200 and, in 1975, a half page advert in the local telephone directory remained exactly the same: ‘Take a Tyne Taxi’.
The Monkseaton branch of Tyne Taxis was bought out in 1975 by Mr Doug Boyd and taken under the wing of his company, A1 Taxis, which was situated on Park Avenue, Whitley Bay. The Monkseaton office was subsequently closed following the takeover.
by Charlie Steel © 2013
His published books include ‘Monkseaton Village’ Vols 1 & 2, and ‘North Shields Public Houses, Inns & Taverns Part 1’, all of which are available from most local booksellers.