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A Thank You To The NHS

The date is the 5th July 1948, the location is the Park Hospital in Manchester.  A man named Aneurin Bevan often known as Nye Bevan launches the NHS. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, from a variety of figures, all working towards revolutionising what they believed to be an insufficient healthcare system.   Motivated to make healthcare accessible to the masses and not just exclusively to those who could afford it, the idea of a national Health service can be traced back to the early 1900’s. Socialist Beatrice Webb argued that to expect those in poverty to be entirely accountable for themselves was a narrow-minded approach from those in charge.

But it would take the cataclysmic effects of the second world war to really pave the way for a massive change to the healthcare system, and it was a momentous achievement.  The war had spurred massive innovations such as Ultrasound technology and a flood of new drugs from the pharmaceutical industry. Antibiotics and improved anaesthetics have been developed as well as medication for the treatment of schizophrenia and depression.  

However, for the first 10 years of its existence, the NHS struggled with a government inexperienced at running a healthcare system, let alone one expanding exponentially.  After the war there was a housing crisis, so homes and schools were prioritised and hospitals simply had less claim on building materials. The distribution of services was also localised to major cities or centres of population leaving rural areas with inadequate healthcare.  However, it was a glimpse into a better future.

The following years saw vaccines becoming available, treatments for certain cancers developed and a different outlook on mental health. Local practices were also established and ever since the NHS has become the stable institute that the UK is proud to have achieved and sustained in our times of need.  Never has the population been so unified in its appreciation of this establishment and never has the NHS been under so much pressure to deliver. The recent corona-virus (COVID-19) crisis has led to feats unimaginable. In just 9 days East London’s ExCel exhibition centre was converted into NHS Nightingale, a hospital providing 4000 intensive care beds over 87,328 square metres.  In total there are approximately 1.5 million people employed by the NHS across the UK, from nurses and physicians to hospital porters and maintenance staff. All right now are classed as key workers in the UK. All of whom are putting themselves on the frontline to help with the increasing numbers of people needing hospital care during these turbulent times.

Thank you NHS

Various campaigns and projects have been initiated over the past few weeks aimed at supporting and honoring our key workers, particularly those in the health and care sectors.  The most memorable being rainbows appearing in the windows of households up and down the country, all designed by individuals and families to help ease the anguish some may suffer whilst finding themselves in isolation.  Others included the UK’s #lightitblue campaign that was adopted globally and saw major landmarks lit up in a vibrant electric blue in honour of our essential workers.  

With a dramatic drop in public transport, our key workers have found it increasingly difficult to travel and have become more and more reliant on ABC Taxis. We are doing everything we can to help support our NHS heroes, and have also received many customer enquiries wanting to help. Our ‘gofundme’ initiative was set up to facilitate public donations that go toward providing our NHS heroes with a free journey.   The page has already raised over £2,500 from just over 70 donors which have subsequently provided over 250 lifts for NHS staff traveling to and from work in Norwich. Our thanks and gratitude goes to every individual who has made a donation so far and if you wish to support your local NHS workers during the pandemic, please visit our gofundme page and make your own donation however much or little, it all helps. Thank you from all of us here at ABC Taxis Norwich for your ongoing support and incredible generosity! 

Please refer to the government guidelines if you are unsure about what to do during the Covid-19 crisis; 

Clarification of the symptoms and further information from the NHS related to Covid-19 can be found on the NHS Advice for everyone page.

STAY HOME | SAVE LIVES | PROTECT THE NHS

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6 Great Breweries To Visit In Norfolk

East Anglia is known for being home to of some of the best breweries in Europe. Brewers here have long maintained the tradition amidst fields upon fields of the world’s best malting barley. These days, with the help of refined technology and the rising popularity of craft beer, the independent brewing scene is thriving. Beer is not only a beverage, but a whole field which is simultaneously an artistic endeavour, a culinary speciality, and a branch of science. 

Breweries are a point of pride for Norfolk, so if you have an interest in the art of brewing or you just like to drink beer, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the best local breweries. We have compiled a list of some of our favourites for your next birthday, office party, or family day out. Of course, you can always rely on ABC Taxis to get you there and back. 

Redwell Brewery

The Arches, Norwich, NR1 2EF

redwell brewery taproom bar
The opening of the taproom bar at Redwell Brewery, via Norwich Evening News

Founded in 2013, Redwell is one of the first craft breweries in the UK to offer an entirely vegan and gluten-free range. Situated just outside of Norwich city centre near Whitlingham Country Park, the brewery boasts one of Norwich’s biggest beer gardens, making it an especially perfect destination in warmer months. 

A summertime shot of the beer garden at Redwell Brewery, via Twitter

Redwell is all about the vibes, and they organise monthly brewery tours that you can join, as well as numerous other beer, music, and craft events. They also offer tours and tasting sessions with their head brewer, which can be booked for private groups. 

As for their beer, their popular range includes a crisp pilsner, a fruity extra pale ale, and a super-hopped west coast PA, but they also experiment with hybrid brews such as their Steam lager and White IPA. 

Woodforde’s Brewery

Slad Lane, Woodbastwick, NR13 6SW

woodforde's brewery pub the fur and feather
Woodforde’s Brewery Tap, the Fur and Feather, via TripAdvisor

If you have been to the pub in Norfolk, you will undoubtedly have heard of Woodforde’s Brewery. The company was born back in the 60’s, when a pair of good friends with a passion for homebrewing and authentic flavours began handcrafting their own beers. In 1990, the brewery won CAMRA’s ‘New Breweries Champion Beer of Britain’ award with its Wherry – a beer it is still famous for today. Since then, the brewery has won over 130 awards for its delicious creations. 

The brewery in Woodbastwick (about 20 minutes from Norwich by cab) welcomes visitors to book a brewery tour online for just £15. Of course, you can also pop in for a pint or book a table at their very own country pub, which is called Fur and Feather. 

The Wolf Brewery

Norwich Road, Besthorpe, NR17 2LA

 the wolf brewery attleborough sainsburys contract
The Wolf Brewery team upon securing a contract with Sainsbury’s in 2012, via Diss Mercury

The Wolf Brewery is another well-established Norfolk brewery. Founder Wolfe Witham was well known in Norwich during the 1980s as the man behind the Reindeer brewpub, which was very popular at the time. The brewery first opened in 1995 on the former Gaymers Cider site in Attleborough, but outgrew those premises and invested in a new brew plant in 2006. They have now also installed their own bottling plant so that their prize-winning ales can be enjoyed further afield. 

The Wolf Brewery is a member of the East Anglian Brewers’ Co-Operative, which is working with local farmers towards ‘full traceability’ – meaning the beers they brew can be traced all the way from grain to glass. Among the brewery’s prize-winning beers are Straw Dog (wheat beer), Coyote (‘a well balanced hoppy ale’), and Golden Jackal (‘a hoppy thirst-quenching golden session bitter’).

You need to contact the brewery in order to book a tour, but it also has a shop where you can buy their beers as well as other bits and pieces. (You can also order beer from the Wolf online!) 

Lacons Brewery – The Honingham Buck

The Street, Honingham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 5BL

Located in Great Yarmouth, Lacons is a well-established Norfolk brewery that has been around since the mid-18th century, and moved into its current premises in 2013. But Lacons does more than just beer, distributing over 2,000 product lines including beer, wine, spirits, and soft drinks. 

Lacons Brewery is well-known for Lacons Encore, an award-winning amber ale, as well as the rest of its multi-award winning core range. This is complemented by their seasonal beers, including small batches of heritage ales and keg beers which include Quell, a cult favourite, and the hoppy Steam Craft Lager. 

Honingham Buck Outdoor
The Lacons Brewery public house – the Honingham Buck, via The Honingham Buck website

Unfortunately, the brewery does not advertise tours. However, since 2015, Lacons has operated a public house in the village of Honingham. There, they showcase their multi-award-winning ales complemented by a locally-sourced contemporary menu. The public house also has 8 luxury en-suite rooms available, making it the perfect place for a weekend getaway. 

Humpty Dumpty Brewery

Church Road, Reedham, NR13 3TZ

humpty dumpty brewery reedham
Humpty Dumpty Brewery, via Broads National Park

Humpty Dumpty Brewery is known for creating delicious real ales since 1998. Based in Reedham at the heart of the Norfolk broads, the 18-barrel microbrewery’s playful name comes from a type of steam locomotive which operated on the Norwich-Lowestoft line in the early 20th century. These were-front heavy, and looked as though they might fall off the line, which led to the nickname Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpty Brewery is great to visit for its on-site shop (open daily from Easter to November), which sells a full range of their bottled beer and branded merch as well as other local produce including cider, wine, and soap among others. You can also arrange a brewery tour and tasting which can include a fish and chip supper. Do note that there is a minimum number of guests, and availability depends on working schedules. 

Chalk Hill Brewery

Rosary Road, Norwich, NR1 4DA

Chalk Hill Brewery is the longest-running independent brewery in Norwich. The custom-built, 15 barrel brew plant was developed simultaneously with the Coach and Horses next door, starting in 1993. The founders were Bill Thomas, Tiny Little, and David Blake, a group of friends with mutual interests in sailing and beer. When the pub opened in July ‘93, it served some of Chalk Hill’s first real ales, including Chalk Hill Best. This bitter has been refined over the years into the brewery’s best, and remains a favourite for many. 

They now brew a range of seven real ales, which they continue to supply the Coach and Horses, as well as the Alexandra Tavern on Stafford Street. They were first featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide in 2018. The brewery offers free tours on request. These are led by head brewer Robbie, and last about 45 minutes, finishing with a tasting session. 

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An In-Depth Look At Our Eco Fleet

At ABC Taxis, we prioritise efficiency as well as the comfort of our drivers and passengers alike. As a company, we are conscious of the effects of road transportation on the environment. That is why our eco fleet of taxis consists entirely of top-of-the-range hybrid cars and efficient minivans. Curious about our eco vehicles? Join us on an in-depth tour of their key specifications and highlights to find out what makes them comfortable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. 

(Please note that all of the below vehicles are available with a variety of options, and we have selected particular ones to give you an idea of their specifications. The below specifications do not apply to all of our cars.)

Toyota Auris Estate

toyota auris estate
The Toyota Auris Estate, via Auto Trader

The Toyota Auris Touring Sports (aka estate) hybrid is well-known as a reliable and competent vehicle. The more recent revival of the Corolla in hybrid form (which also features in our fleet), has largely replaced the Auris as Toyota’s go-to hybrid car. However, the Auris still has many admirable features, including its unfussy, functional design and spacious interior. 

The Auris hybrid is often complimented for how relaxing it is to drive thanks to its supple suspension and minimal noise both inside and out. It also has a spacious boot which makes it perfect for taking passengers to the airport or train station. 

Specifications (1.8L VVT-i Hybrid):

Power 134bhp / 100 kW
Battery capacity6.5 Ah
Top Speed112 mph
0-60 mph11 secs
CO293 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 5
Fuel consumption70 mpg
Luggage Capacity507 L

Because the Auris has been around since 2009, it is not the most efficient of the hybrid vehicles available today. However, Toyota is a trailblazer in the world of electric cars, having released the first hybrid Prius in 1997. The Japanese manufacturer has proven time and time again that they are committed to constant innovation, and this can be seen in the newer hybrid Corollas. 

Toyota Corolla Estate 

toyota corolla estate landscape
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid, via Carbuyer

Named Car of the Year 2020: Hybrid Winner by WhatCar?, the Toyota Corolla Estate Hybrid is an undeniable industry leader. The especially efficient and smooth-driving new models have taken the Hyundai Ioniq’s place at the top of the ranks. Unsurprisingly, the car has excellent reviews, with frequently mentioned pros including its efficiency, super smooth handling, seamless transitions between electric petrol and electric power, spacious interior, and roomy boot. 

Specifications (1.8L VVT-i Hybrid):

Power 120 bhp
Battery capacity3.6 Ah
Top Speed111 mph
0-60 mph8.5 secs
CO276 to 83 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6 AM
Fuel consumption55.4 to 65.9 mpg 
Luggage Capacity598 L

Hyundai Ioniq

Many of our cabs at ABC taxis are Hyundai IONIQ Hybrids

The Hyundai Ioniq is also a leader in its field and a muti-award-winning one at that. The best thing about this hybrid vehicle is its ability to drive on electric power only, and therefore to travel decent distances (up to 39 miles for the Plug-In Hybrid) with zero emissions. In many ways, it is similar to the Kia Niro – both cars are sold in three electrified forms: a hybrid model (petrol engine + electric motor), a plug-in hybrid (with a bigger battery that can be charged externally for more range), and a pure electric vehicle (EV). 

Unlike many hybrids, which are fitted with CVT, single-speed gearboxes, both versions of the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid have a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, making it much smoother and quieter than the average CVT. The interior design of the Ioniq furthers the car’s exceptional efficiency, with lightweight materials selected specially to reduce the vehicle’s weight and fuel consumption. The car also has great aerodynamics, with a class-leading drag coefficient of only 0.24. 

Specifications (Hybrid 1.6 GDI):

Power 141 bhp
Battery capacity1.56 kWh
Top Speed115 mph
0-60 mph10.8 secs
CO284 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6d-Temp
Fuel consumption78.5 mpg 
Luggage Capacity443 L

Toyota Prius

A Prius+ hybrid car, via Toyota

As we have already mentioned, the hybrid Prius has been around for over 20 years, and it has evolved significantly over that time. Named Green Car of the Year 2016 by Auto Express, the Prius can drive at up to 36mph on electricity alone when sufficiently charged (if you’re gentle on the accelerator), meaning it is exceptionally quiet and relaxed for driving in the city. 

At motorway speeds, the petrol engine kicks in for additional power, but drivers say this is unobtrusive and still relatively quiet, emitting little more than a faint drone during steady driving. If you floor the accelerator, however, the CVT gearbox will send the revs shooting up and cause some engine boom. The Prius Hybrid is popular for its low servicing costs and excellent fuel economy, even when set to four-wheel drive. The Prius is also the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid. 

Specifications (1.8L Petrol Hybrid Automatic):

Power 122 bhp
Battery capacity7.2 Ah
Top Speed112 mph
0-62 mph10.8 secs
CO275 – 84 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6DG
Fuel consumption59.6 – 67.3mpg 
Luggage Capacity502 L

Mercedes-Benz Vito 

The Mercedes Vito Panel Van, via Motor1

The Mercedes Vito is a popular minivan among taxi firms, as it is designed to be ideal for urban operations and frequent recurring trips in terms of its efficiency. There are many options to choose from in the Mercedes Vito range, including diesel engines, the fully electric eVito, panel, crew, and tourer vans, and even the black cab edition. 

The Vito Tourer van offers comfortable seating for up to 9 people, as well as plenty of room for luggage. It’s available in various options, including three vehicle lengths and two trim lines, meaning the van is customisable and versatile. Many of these models include BlueEFFICIENCY packages as standard, meaning they come with smart eco features such as ECO start/stop which turns of the engine when stationary, a smart alternator which recharges the battery when coasting or braking, and rolling-resistance optimised tyres.  

Specifications (114 Tourer Pro L2 Auto):

Power 102 bhp
Battery capacity N/A
Top Speed120 mph
0-60 mph11.8 secs
CO2171 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro E6
Fuel consumption44 mpg 
Luggage Capacity550 L

KIA Niro 

Kia Niro

When talking about efficient cars and especially top-of-the-range hybrids, the KIA Niro is another one that is sure to be mentioned. Thanks to its SUV-like design, the Niro has a comfortable, spacious interior that allows for a natural seating position in the front and the back, as well as an excellent view of the road. 

The Niro Plug-In Hybrid, like most EVs, is practically silent in electric mode, and even its fuel engine is very quiet, making it very pleasant to drive. The regular hybrid, too, is often praised for the seamless (and nearly imperceptible) way the petrol engine and electric motor work together via its six-speed automatic gearbox. Like most hybrids, it also has a regenerative braking system to recover energy. 

Specifications (1.6 GTI Hybrid 3):

Power 139 bhp
Battery capacity8.9 to 15.6 kWh
Top Speed101 mph
0-60 mph11.1 secs
CO2100 g/km 
Emissions standardEuro 6
Fuel consumption65.7 mpg 
Luggage Capacity382 L

Summary

By riding with ABC Taxis, you can rest assured that the utmost care has been taken to ensure efficiency and comfort. We care not only about customer satisfaction, but we are also committed to doing our part to reduce non-renewable energy consumption, harmful emissions, and even noise pollution thanks to our expertly selected fleet of eco-cars.

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