Irish to witness historic cart marking at London’s Guildhall

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Danny Lynch with a McGovern vehicle

Members of the Irish community will experience the centuries-old tradition of cart marking at a ceremony headed by the Lord Mayor of London at the Guildhall on July 13.

Danny Lynch, Tony McGovern, Ted Hannon, Paddy McGorman and Tom Ryan will be among those who will witness the presentation and branding of a range of vehicles from a variety of eras.

This will be followed by lunch in the Guildhall, as they celebrate their sixth year of attending the event.

Cart marking is the traditional practice of granting vehicles a license to travel and trade in the City of London.

Each year they would be branded with a letter – a tradition which is maintained at the ceremonies today – and each ‘carr’ would be given an individual number.

Vehicles spanning decades are brought to be marked, though only those which had registered with the Guildhall and received an official board were eligible.

It is common to see red-liveried McGovern trucks at the presentation, just as it around the streets of London.

The Lord Mayor usually takes part in some of the branding though, in keeping with the custom of using a hot iron rod, they are required to wear special safety wear.

Mr Lynch said it is appropriate to be celebrating such an historic practice in the transport industry as Mr McGovern approaches 50 years in the business.

“I think it’s ironic that we will see all these different vehicles, just as Tony would have done throughout his career.

“Transport is certainly different now to what it was back then,” he said.

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