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Victorian taxis were horse-drawn carriages. Taxi drivers were not allowed to leave their carriage unattended, so when they needed a meal or protection from the weather, they used to head for the pub - often paying a child to look after their horse while they were inside. Members of the Temperance Movement, a Victorian group against excessive alcohool, built these shelters as an alternative to the pub. As they were on busy roads they couldn't take up too much space (they weren't allowed to be bigger than a horse and cart) yet they squeezed in a kitchen and a room for 13 people to sit down. Many are still used for the same purpose today.

 

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