From handcarts and horse-drawn carriages to steam-driven vehicles and London busses; today saw a wonderful parade of vehicles as they are marked with a red hot iron.
Once a year, Carmen bring their horse-drawn wagons and carriages, steamers, veteran and vintage lorries, buses and coaches, and modern trucks and tractor units, to be branded (or marked) with a red-hot iron on a wooden plate, with the year letter and the car number as a reminder of centuries of service to the City and to maintain their ancient tradition.
The event takes place in Guildhall Yard, with each vehicle brought for the Master’s inspection, then branded by the Keeper of Guildhall. The duties of the Keeper are shared with the Lord Mayor, and also the Master Carman.
Afterwards the Lord Mayor, Sheriff, Master Carman and Wardens doff their caps as each vehicle passes the rostrum, and then Carmen, partners and guests join in fellowship for lunch in the Great Hall – a great spectacle of vehicles and if you missed it I have some photos here to give you a feel of the day....