Obituary: ‘Taxi Jim’ brought black cabs to Leighton Buzzard

Jim performing one of those folk dance displays in Leighton Buzzard town centre
Jim performing one of those folk dance displays in Leighton Buzzard town centre

The man who brought the first black cabs to Leighton Buzzard has died.

James Coomber, who was known locally as ‘Taxi Jim’ in the 1970s, passed away peacefully on February 3 at the age of 88.

He was born in East Grinstead in Sussex and moved to Leighton Buzzard in 1960 with his wife Hazel and the first two of what would become five children.

Jim started by working as a lorry driver for Marley Tiles, later buying into and running Churchill Taxis, which gave him his well-known nickname. His was the only firm to run London ‘black cabs’ in the area at that time.

Jim was also a leading member of the Linsleighders Folk Dance Club as well as the Grand Union Rapper team, and was often seen doing folk dance displays around town.

He was also involved with Leighton-Linslade Town Twinning.

Jim was married to his wife Hazel for 62 years.

Hazel sadly passed away in March 2017. Jim leaves five children, 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A family spokesman said: “He was always a great family man and will be sadly missed by all.”