Northamptonshire Advertiser, August 1957
The traveller at Wellingborough station wanted a taxi to Rushden, so he rang a Rushden firm and settled down to wait for the car to arrive. Before he had had time to get properly settled, however, he was greeted with "Your taxi, sir", and theremuch to his amazementwas the car he had asked for.
It was just one instance of the improved service available to the customers of Mr. D. E. Wills, taxi proprietor, Alfred Street, Rushden, since he started a "radio taxi" service just before August Bank Holiday.
In this particular instance one of the cars was on its way from Chelveston to Wellingborough with a fare when the phone call from Wellingborough was received at the office. The message was immediately passed by radio to the car and after dropping his fare the driver went straight to the station.
This kind of thing, added to the fact that the three "radio taxis" can always be located, makes Mr Wills a highly satisfied man. First taxi proprietor in Rushden to adopt this technique, he thinks that the nearest firms with radio taxis are at Northampton and Newmarket.
Already adept at calling up "Rush Victor", "Rush Yoke" and "Rush Zebra"the call signs allocated by the post office to the three carsare Mrs. Wills and Miss Beryl Ireson, who share the duties of operating the transmitting and receiving set in the Alfred Street office. The set, small and easy to work and enclosed in a smart wooden cabinet which matches the desk and filing cabinet, calls up all three cars, whose drivers can hear every message sent out from the office. Sets in the cars only transmit to the office and the drivers cannot, hear each other.
Mr. Wills found that the Bank Holiday rush was reduced to a very orderly affair with the assistance of the radios. It has not been all plain sailing, however. One set was rather weak and has had to receive attention from a representative of the manufacturing firm, and the operators at the office find that when the cars are on their way to Raunds, Chelveston or Bedford reception is weaker than when they are going to Northampton or Kettering.
It has not taken Mr. Wills and his drivers long, however, to find ways and means of overcoming these snags. If they are a long way away from the office or in one or the "weak" areas it pays to stop the car on top of a hill Reception is then quite good.
There is one other snag - television interference. If a driver is transmitting as he passes a house where a television set of a certain frequency is on, the sound on the television cuts out and is replaced by the driver's voice giving his message to "Rush Control". This only affects a limited number of televisions and the break is very short. Rejectors can be fitted to the television to prevent this interference.