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Fitting tribute to campaigning cabbie

google image street view of basildon taxi rank

Taxi drivers are part of a close-knit group and take great pride in being part of the communities they serve.

They are often people who regularly get involved to help make a difference, whether it is campaigning about safer issues in towns and cities, or giving seriously ill children a fantastic day trip out. They also look after each other and form life-long friendships.

One taxi driver who really made a difference was popular Basildon cabbie Ralph Morgan, who was not only well known in the area, but worked seven days a week until his death seven years ago.

Now colleagues and the community he was such a big part of have paid tribute to the cabbie who was committed to fighting for their rights.


Mr Morgan was spokesman for the Basildon Hackey Carriage Drivers’ Association (BBHCA) and, as the Basildon Echo reports, had earned the nickname “Mr Echo” for his regular appearances in the newspaper.

Father-of-four Mr Morgan was well known in the area and “would do anything for his customers”.

Since his death at the age of 74 in 2017, his former colleagues wanted to create a lasting tribute to him and have raised money to pay for a blue plaque at Basildon’s town centre taxi rank, in memory of him.

Unveiled at a special ceremony last month, the inscription reads: “A true gentleman and a long-serving member of the taxi trade and the Basildon Borough Community”.

Among those leading the tributes were former colleague Mark Waller, treasurer at the BBHCA. He told the Echo: “He was nicknamed ‘Mr Echo’ because he was always in the paper, campaigning about local issues.

“Ralph was more than just a taxi driver. He would do anything to look after his customers. He was a man of the people.

“He regularly got involved to help the community.”

Fellow cabbies hope the blue plaque will remind passengers “of a good guy”.

Dedicated to the job he loved, Mr Morgan had been working until he was admitted to hospital and died following a short illness in July 2017.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Angie, along with his children and three grandchildren, who were touched by the huge parade of taxis that followed his funeral procession in 2017.

The idea for a blue plaque in Mr Morgan’s memory came from Basildon councillor Daniel Lawrence, chairman of the taxi licensing committee.

People such as Mr Morgan become taxi drivers because they care and want to contribute to the communities they serve.

The blue plaque is a fitting tribute that will evoke memories for both fellow cabbies and passengers whenever they see it, reminding them of not only the friend they have lost, but also what he stood for.

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