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London’s historic Cart Marking ceremony 2014

Aug 18, 2014
The annual Cart Marking ceremony took place at London’s Guildhall Yard on a very sunny 16th of July.


Cart Marking dates back to the 16th century when all carts operating in the City of London were required to have their axles branded with a letter denoting the year – an early form of vehicle licensing.

 

The civic event - which is second only in magnitude to the Lord Mayor’s Show – is attended by hundreds of spectators and dignitaries who gather to witness at first hand a piece of the capital’s rich history.  Guest of honour was Lord Mayor, Fiona Woolfe who after donning special protective gloves, ably assisted Robin Bawtree, OBE, The Master, The Worshipful Company of Carmen, in branding the ‘carts’.

 

Today the event is purely ceremonial and gives owners the opportunity to dazzle the crowds with their cherished historic vehicles. This year the line-up included: a 1980s Honda dispatch motorcycle (known as a maggot by couriers); a WW1 Crossley tender; a state of the art ‘Boris Bus’; and a 1937 Sentinal steam lorry. There were also a number of horse-drawn vehicles including an early Purdey Pantechnicon, resplendent in Michael Gerson’s green livery, and a 1905 Creasey, owned by Sussex removers J&H Friend. Other examples of removals vehicles from the past were a Morris Cowley traveller’s van from Bishop & Sons and a hand cart once used by Evan Cook and still owned by the family.

 

After the ceremony dignitaries, members of The Worshipful Company of Carmen and their guests, including legendary racing driver John Surtees, enjoyed a convivial luncheon in the magnificent Great Hall. A fitting conclusion to an historic and memorable event.

 

Photos - Top: Robin Bawtree, OBE, The Master, The Worshipful Company of Carmen, marks a 1947 Morris Commercial, four cylinder, petrol LC3 van in Michael Gerson livery; Middle: a very rare 1924 Morris Cowley traveller's van painted in Bishops & Sons colours; a series one Honda CX500 from the 1970s and 1980s; a stage road coach, 1880 pulled by Ronny, Reggie, Dancer and Socks; Bottom: Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, The Lord Mayor of the City of London; the first handcart owned by Evan Cook movers of Pekcham; an RFC Crossley Tender, 1917.


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