17 The Worshipful Company of Carmen's 2014 Cart Marking at Guildhall Yard

Wednesday 16th July 2014

On one of the hottest day of the year, the Clerk and I sat on Guildhall Yard for almost two hours and watched this fascinating ceremony, obtaining a magnificant sun tan. The Corporation of the City of London has exercised its rights over carts and carriages since the 12th century, as transport is the life blood of commerce. A fellowship of Carmen has existed since 1277 and the City regulated its trade. In 1838 an Act of Common Council vested the power to license and mark carrs and carts, to stand and ply for hire in the City's streets, in the Keeper of the Guildhall with the provision that the owner was a freeman of the City and a member of the fellowship of Carmen.

Once a year Carmen bring their horse-drawn waggons,and carriages, steamers, veteran and vintage lorries, buses and coaches and modern trucks and tractors to be branded with a red hot iron, on a wooden plate, with the year letter (this year was W) and "carr number", as a reminder of centuries of service to the City. It was an amazing display of vehicles, all immaculately polished.

After a reception in the Library, 585 liverymen and guests sat down to luncheon in the Great Hall, grateful for the generous hospitality and to escape the sun!