CABBIE Day is set to return in July after being cancelled last year.

Maldon residents were left shocked and disappointed last summer when the famous East London Cabbies Outing was cancelled due to lack of volunteers.

The outing sees London taxi drivers give up a day’s work to take children with learning difficulties on a trip from London to Maldon.

The historic event, which has taken place since 1952, sees the decorated black cabs parade through Maldon before visiting Plume Academy for activities for the children.

The lack of taxi drivers available last year meant it could not go ahead.

However, Tony Warren, treasurer and one of the organisers of the event, confirmed plans are in place for it to return this year in July.

He said: “All things being well, we certainly plan to have Cabbie Day back this year.

“Last year was a big disappointment for a lot of people. The reason being that during the week it was planned several other events were going on in Essex, including a 100 year anniversary event in Southend that many drivers were asked to go to.

“This was the day before Cabbie Day was due to happen.

“As a result, we lost many drivers to them, and we only had 35 confirmed when we usually have 75.

“We all desperately wanted to push ahead, but we had to think with our heads over our hearts, and we had to realise that it just couldn’t happen.”

Meetings are set to take place this week regarding this year’s plans, with Tony confident that with new partners the event will be back to full strength for 2018.

He added: “We’ve had new partners on board, including the Maldon and Tiptree Football Club, and meetings are happening this month.

“At the moment, we’re full steam ahead for the event to be held in the first week of July.”

Plume headteacher Carl Wakefield said: “Organiser Jean Ingram, like myself and the rest of the Plume family, were hugely disappointed when the event was cancelled last year but we are delighted that plans are in place this year.

“It must also be noted that our friends and colleagues from the David Randall Foundation have been heavily involved in the planning of this year’s event, especially Neil Foster, one of our parents.

“This tremendous charity have added their time, input, funding and experience to the planning of this year’s event.”