GLASGOW'S West End was turned into a rainbow of colour as hundreds of children gathered for an annual trip to the seaside.

Around 300 youngsters with disabilities were joined by their parents, carers and teachers at Kelvin Way to prepare for a Glasgow Taxis outing to Troon.

Now in its 71st year, the outing is the calendar event of the year for many young people from across the city.

Taxi drivers had customised their cabs, turning them into police cars, ghost-busting vehicles and western wagons.

One cabbie had spent more than a week transforming his taxi into a ninja-turtle themed extravaganza which blasted out the cartoon theme song along the leafy thoroughfare.

Local eatery the Butchershop laid on an array of breakfast rolls and juice for onlookers and those taking part.

Ayesha Ali from Pollokshields was joined by her mum Shazia on the trip and was all smiles as she got ready to set off.

Ayesha, 8, has Down's Syndrome and this year's outing is the first she has attended.


Shazia, a mum-of-four and part-time shop worker, said: "Ayesha enjoys seeing everybody. The amount these people do for the kids is incredible.

"It sometimes feels as though they've been put aside but when you see something like this it makes you realise they do care about them and understand them.

"They are so happy when they come out, knowing that they've done this for us."

Mum and daughter team Valerie and Rachael Benney, both pupil support workers at Hazelwood school, were dressed up as angels for the outing.

They were joining pupil Cody Gallagher, 12, who has a number of complex problems including epilepsy, chronic lung disease and is also blind.

Rachael, 23, from Milngavie, said: "This is the first year we've got to go on the trip and it's allowed us to bring more kids out for the day.

"Although Cody can't see, he still loves all the noises and the music, it's a really fun day for him."

Mikey Hobbs, 16, from Barrhead was full of excitement as he ran to greet his friends before heading off in a taxi with mum Lynne.

Mikey, a pupil from Hazelwood school, has Down's Syndrome and a visual impairment called nystagmus and has been on the trip for the last four years.

Lynne said: "Just look how happy he is. It's a safe environment and he looks forward to it every year.

"He gets the chance to do things everyone else does - go to the beach, go on rides.

"It's incredible."

Cabbies from across Glasgow gave up a day's wages to take part and some spent more than a week preparing their taxis.

William Patterson and son Craig, from Neilston, had taken the day off work to participate in the outing and had dressed up as superhero legends Batman and Robin.

William, 57, has been going on the taxi run for 33 years, and has worked as a cabbie since 1983.

He said: "It's fabulous. It's quite emotional. For the first 10 years I used to cry when I went home, I do still a bit now.

"It's fantastic day for the kids and they love to see all their heroes."

Taxi bosses Stephen Flynn and Jim Buchanan joined Celtic legend Tom Boyd to wave off the parade as they honked their horns and let off balloons to mark the start of the journey.


Tom said: "I'm proud to be involved in a football club which supports this. You go and see all the smiles and faces of the kids.

"Celtic once again donated £7,000 this year and have donated over £140,000 to this Glasgow taxi outing. Celtic has a close association with it and I'm just proud to be part of a football club that can help so many good causes."

Jim Buchanan, chairman of Glasgow Taxi Outing Fund, said: "It's important to the kids and the drivers to do this. We work hard to get things sorted for this one day.

"The kids get a lot of enjoyment from this, a lot of excitement, sweeties and food throughout the day."