Visitors to London will attest that the city is not just about history, flashy buildings and amazing night life. London also has a deep cultural aspect which presents itself in a variety of ways. In the case of one paying a visit to London in the month of July, he or she will be able to fully witness the event and would likely be enthused to an extent which warrants delving deeper into the history and tradition behind it.
For the many who may not be aware of the cart marking ceremony, it is a ritual which dates back four and a half centuries to the years around 1667. The official name of the event is Cart Marking Under the Worshipful Company of Carmen. The Worshipful Company of Carmen was founded in 1517 as a Livery Company in the City of London; making it similar to the Bakers’ Guild. Cart marking is the annual ceremony which pertains to the marking ofthe carr or cart to renew its right to ply for hire the roads of the City for the year ahead.
The Cartmen were those who transported goods from one place to another. The city controlled the number of transport cars and the Worshipful Company of Carmen were responsible for the licensing process. Even in its form today, the Worshipful Company of Carmen is the oldest transportation organisation in the world.
The Cartmarking Ceremony is one of those entirely spontaneous activities which one can do during his or her time in London; making it one of the cool events in London that do not require planning.
While the monopoly exerted by the Carmen has seen its time end many years ago, among the benefits of being in attendance at the cart marking ceremony, which lasts two hours, is that in its avatar today, a fundraiser for charity. In addition to this, there is also an opportunity to see vintage vehicles,in all the glory of a bygone era, as well as their contemporary counterparts, which are fitted with hydrogen cell power trains. Quite aptly included as one of the London city break deals!
By its virtue of being a Livery Company, in fact, the seventy seventh livery company in the City of London, the Worshipful Company of Carmen is duly accorded rights to dress in eye catching livery which is worn at the ceremony. All in all, quite a comprehensive package!