by John Sparks
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All photographs and articles copyright John Sparks 2020
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Each year the Carmen witness a formal cart hiring ceremony, when the newly installed Master hands a 'fee' to the driver of a, usually old, sometimes horsed, commercial vehicle, thus hiring it from a carroom, or standing in the City.
This celebrates the very origins of the Company.
Similarly, each summer, the Company gathers in Guildhall Yard to watch the Cart Marking ceremony.
With the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor in attendance, and supervised by the Keeper of Guildhall, some 40 vehicles, ranging from hand carts through horsed carriages to steam wagons, old cabs, buses and trucks to modern artics, come for marking.
They are branded with the year letter, and carry a vehicle number and City and Carmen arms.
After the marking, there is a drive-past, and an informal reception and lunch. The occasion is commemorated in a prestigious souvenir programme.
This years Cart Marking will take place on Wednesday 17th July 2019
Guildhall, Gresham Street,
City of London
Tel : 020 7606 3030
The event begins at 10-30am with the Lord Mayor arriving at approx 11:00.