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Basildon taxi driver Ralph Morgan is honoured with a blue plaque

14th March 2024
Posted by Aston Avery

A cabbie who spent years campaigning for the rights of his colleagues has been honoured with a blue plaque at the taxi rank where he used to work. 

Ralph Morgan was a well-known taxi driver based in Basildon and the spokesman for the Basildon Hackey Carriage Drivers’ Association (BBHCA) – earning the nickname “Mr Echo” for regularly appearing in the paper due to his campaigning efforts. 

The Echo reports that Mr Morgan, who colleagues say “would do anything for his customers” sadly passed away aged 74 in 2017. 

His fellow cabbies banded together to fund a blue plaque in his honour, to install at the taxi rank in Basildon town centre. 

Now, the plaque has been put in place and will be officially unveiled by the Basildon Heritage Society at 2.30pm on Saturday 16 March. 

Former colleague Mark Waller, treasurer at the BBHCA, paid tribute to his “community-spirited” friend.

He said:

“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.”

It is hoped that by installing the plaque at the taxi rank, it will trigger passengers’ memories “of a good guy”.

Mark added:

“He regularly got involved to help the community.”

Basildon councillor Daniel Lawrence, chair of the taxi licensing committee, is credited with the idea to install a blue plaque in Mr Morgan’s memory and will attend the unveiling.

The father-of-four was born in 1943 and worked “seven days a week”, right up 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 Morgan, along with his children and three grandchildren.

At Mr Morgan’s funeral in 2017, a huge parade of taxis followed the procession, as cabbies wanted to pay tribute to their friend and hard-working representative.

Mrs Morgan described it as an “amazing” tribute.