Thursday, 12 July 2012

Vehicle Licencing of Old


The parade through Guildhall Yard was very different to the usual, comprising as it did of vehicles old and new. Ranging from a simple handcart through to horse drawn carriages, charabancs, steam driven vehicles and even the new London bus, the occasion was the annual symbolic branding or "cart marking" which dates back over 500 years and was then a means of licencing the carts and carriers plying their trade in the City of London. This time it was a sample 47 vehicles.

For me the best exhibits were those drawn by the magnificent horses and which included everything from a Mourners Coach, dating from 1887, to an Omnibus and an Ambulance to a Greengrocers Cart. Others were more impressed with the motor driven variety which dated back to 1905 and took us up to the present day with a Toyoto Prius. All of this, together with the reception and lunch which followed, was arranged by the Worshipful Company of Carmen with the Glovers providing protection for the branders, including the Lord Mayor, who handled the red hot branding irons.

Next was a dash to a Marketors review meeting, then a Master & Wardens meeting at Plaisterers, and finally home and on to the theatre for the press night of Mack and Mabel at the Southwark Playhouse. So another busy day.  

John Flynn
Master Marketor

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