Prompted by the Events Calendar on IanVisits website, I went along to the annual ‘cart marking ceremony’ in the City of London today.
The Worshipful Company of Carmen has its origins in the 13th century – a fraternity of cart-owners who were responsible for moving all the goods, refuse and effluent around the City of London. All carts and carriages had to be licensed, and the livery company’s long-standing tradition continues today in the form of an annual ‘cart marking ceremony’ in the Guildhall Yard, where the Lord Mayor of London or his apointee brands vehicles with a hot iron to signify that they are licensed to operate within the City limits. While the Company is still made up of hauliers, these days they dedicate themselves to charitable work – today the end of the cart making ceremony was marked by the presentation of two new minibuses to the Lords Taverners, who provide sporting opportunities to young people, particularly those with learning disabilities.
On show today were a whole host of old and new vehicles – horse-drawn waggons and carriages, a Model T Ford, several haulage vehicles and even rarities such as General Montgomery’s gleaming Rolls Royce staff car and the oldest lorry still working in London, a Leyland with the name of ‘Nobby The Grab’! London Transport also got in on the act with a Routemaster on the 23 route (the journey which this vehicle actually took until it was taken out of service) and Boris’s new bus, the Routemaster’s modern replacement which can currently be found on the 38 route from Clapton Pond to Victoria. Feast your eyes on the rest of the colourful array of vehicles being branded today in the photo album here.