We can trace our history back to when a gentleman by the name of Monkhouse “Yorkie” Graham began operating a horse-drawn Hackney Carriage in Sunderland.
The business had prospered to such an extent that Mr Graham was able to purchase his first motor vehicle, a Model “T” Ford, to operate alongside his horse-drawn carriages around Sunderland. At this point, it was decided to name the company “Sunderland Carriage and Motor Company”.
The last of the horse-drawn carriages were taken out of service.
The taxis were kept very busy serving customers at what was known as the north end of Sunderland Railway Station in High Street West.
Following the retirement of “Yorkie” Graham, his son Edward continued running the business until his death in 1970. Edward was succeeded by his daughter Monty Atkinson, the company becoming more commonly known as Graham’s Taxis.
Meanwhile, another small group of independent taxi drivers joined together to form Sunderland Owner Drivers Association, using the trading name of Station Taxis. They set up business in Athenaeum Street outside the “south end” of the railway station. The aim of this association was to accept bookings from customers and share the available work amongst all members
The group prospered, and membership grew until the railway station in High Street West was closed for redevelopment and Sunderland Carriage and Motor Company were forced to move their operation to the “south end” of the station. The two companies then worked side by side sharing a small wooden shelter which had been donated to the taxi drivers of the town by a grateful customer many years previously
After working alongside each other for some years, the two companies decided to merge.
The company continued to expand and purchased Park Lane Taxis who were at the time the main rivals in the city. Soon after, Station Taxis moved all operations to a much larger building purchased in Riverside Road, Southwick.
Station Taxis was awarded ‘Business of the Year’ at the Sun FM Business Awards, ‘Service Provider of the Year’ at Sunderland Retail Awards, and ‘Overall Business of the Year’ at the Sunderland Portfolio Awards.
Artificial technology in the form of a chatbot for Messenger was installed, allowing customers to book a taxi via Facebook. The existing in-vehicle data systems were replaced by mobile technology so that drivers could accept jobs via a mobile phone.