On 23rd June 1863, Christchurch got its first cab stand. It was situated outside the City Hotel on the intersection of Colombo and High Streets, the northern side of the Triangle Centre (pictured showing waiting Cabs). This section of road – with Hereford Street so close by – was also known as Bottleneck Junction.
Although there were honest and reliable cabbies out there, they are mostly remembered as the most colourful characters on the city’s earliest streets. Infamous for their speeding, bad language, the keeping of bad company and frequent intoxication, they also disturbed the peace with fighting with omnibus drivers (who weren’t much better) over accused stolen fares. This was why the C.C.C. introduced these cab stands to hopefully keep these drivers separated as much as possible.
By 1878, there were 109 licensed cabmen and 77 cab stands. The most popular stands were located at the railway station, Cathedral Square and outside the Supreme Courts.
*Image courtesy of E. Wheeler & Sons*