Winnipeg Cab History / 86: Charles Wedley (1)
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Charles Wedley's driving career as a coachman, chauffeur and cab driver spanned nearly 65 years, from 1902 to 1966.


"He started in the buggy and wound up in the bank," by Steve Melnyk. Winnipeg Tribune, September 10, 1963, p. 5. Clipping in Manitoba Legislative Library, Manitoba History Scrapbook M15, p. 44.

Winnipeg Cab History / 86

Charles Wedley (1)

It seems appropriate to end this survey of Winnipeg cab history with Charles Wedley, whose driving career started in the horse cab era and spanned more than 60 years.

Wedley was a 21-year-old Boer War veteran when he emigrated from England to Winnipeg in 1902. He landed a job driving a carriage for local businessman Ed Cass and then became a chauffeur when Cass bought his first automobile, a 1910 Franklin.

By 1915 Wedley had his own car and was part of the jitney plague that terrorized streetcar companies. Wedley started by scooping customers from streetcar stops at a nickel a head.

"I used to get four passengers in the back seat, four in the front and have a couple standing up," he recalled.

Wedley helped transform Winnipeg jitneys from itinerent scavengers into well-organized cab services. He was the manager of Jitney Despatch, one of two centralized dispatch services created by associations of Winnipeg jitney operators.

When the Winnipeg city council banned jitneys in 1918 Wedley and 35 members of Jitney Despatch reconsitituted themselves as Despatch Taxi.

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