Youngest Woman Cabby

Leeds Mercury March 1927

By Janet Penn

Miss Lilly Brown, aged twentv-two, of Canvey Island (Essex), is believed to be the youngest cabby in England. She has driven a four-wheeler since she was fourteen, and will no t forsake one for a motor-car.   Her pet dog is seen with her.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Youngest Woman Cabby' page
This page was added by Janet Penn on 05/04/2018.
Comments about this page

There is a photo way back in the Archive entitled 'Early Canvey Taxi' and at the time I'd presumed the driver had jumped off to take the picture and left the reins in the hands of a lady passenger. Chauvinism admitted, is it possible that this could be our lady cabbie.

By Graham Stevens
On 05/04/2018

Possibly Graham but didn't that lady have a distinctive uniform? Or was it a bad dress day.

Here is the photo

I would also add I have no record of a Lilly Brown on the island so far. Not in the 1911 census.

By Janet Penn
On 05/04/2018

There were many women taxi cab drivers in and around Canvey in the early 1920s another was Gertrude Lawes who also drove fourteen wheel motor coaches.

By Eddie clarke
On 08/04/2018

Again nothing is showing up so far in our records for Gertrude Lawes.

Two other lady drivers are mentioned in Peter Clark's book 'Canvey Island's Early Buses' they are Beatrice M Cooke and Mabel Brown-Taylor. There was also a member of the Crow family called Maud I think who was a jobmaster. The Crows can be found here.

By Janet Penn
On 08/04/2018

Miss Gertrude Lawes received two licences one for a taxi and one for a motor omnibus from Canvey Council in 1929, She was one of the first licensed women taxi drivers in Essex. Miss Lawes was also a motor mechanic and helped to build her own house.

By Eddie clarke
On 08/04/2018

Thanks Eddie. As I said we had not come across her thus far. She is I am assuming the Gertrude Ellen Lawes of 'Meadeote', in Waarden Rd. As stated in the 1929 Electoral Roll.

By Janet Penn
On 08/04/2018

In 1929 there is a Lilian BROWN living at "Glen Home" Vlordorp Road (South part of Maurice Road).

In 1927 there is an L. BROWN living at "Edouard" in Beach Road (property vacated by 27th Dec 1927)

By Martin Lepley
On 09/04/2018

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