Sunday, 17 July 2011


Coat of Arms of the Carmen's Company
Each year the Carmen hold a cartmarking ceremony in Guildhall Yard to maintain an ancient tradition that required the Company to licence carts that plied for trade in the City.  This was both to regulate numbers in the crowded streets of the City and to ensure that owners 'heeded the rules of the day.'

One of the cart marking boards that are attached to the vehicles.  This one shows that the vehicle has been recorded at the cartmarking ceremony every year for the last decade or so.  I am indebted for this and the subsequent picture to my fellow Master Marketor blogger.
The cart marking ceremony has now metamorphosed into a parade of vehicles, the majority owned and in some cases operated by Carmen, that are each driven into Guildhall Yard and ceremonially marked on a wooden board with a hot branding iron.  This year the letter was T.

A horse drawn pantechnicon that was designed to travel by rail, the top boards can be folded down for this purpose.  The vehicle is owned by the Gerson family still active in the business, but now operating as ICM Gerson, and on the livery.  Again thanks to the Master Marketor for this picture.
I have been a member of the Company since 1997 but this was only the third cartmarking ceremony I have attended.  It seems to get larger each year and there were 48 entrants ranging from handcarts to large modern tractor units and including horse, diesel, petrol and steam powered vehicles.

It was a most interesting morning with some splendid vehicles on display.

For more details about the Carmen's Company go to

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