What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
Saturday 18th September 2021 was the new date (due to COVID restrictions) of this year’s London Cart Marking Parade. Kelly Group was thrilled to be participating in this prestigious historic event while supporting the City of London and The Worshipful Company of Carmen. Celebrating, and maintaining 500+ years of transport heritage and traditions, the 2021 parade took place at Guildhall Yard in the heart of the City of London with over forty modern and vintage vehicles.
Cart Marking Ceremony – The Origin of Vehicle Licensing
Cart Marking is an annual charity event showcasing a unique collection of vehicles dating back from the horse and cart to today’s innovative vehicles. On a beautiful Saturday morning, all participants lined up outside the Guildhall Yard, on London Wall, and entered through the Guildhall Arch where the traditional marking ceremony took place. Each vehicle was introduced by the commentator with a brief insight into its history.
Dressed in traditional robes the Sheriffs, Master Carman, his two Wardens and the Master Glover branded each vehicle with a red-hot iron on the Carman’s wooden licensing board, displaying the year letter and ‘carr’ number. This ritual is known as Cart Marking. Kelly Group’s Bedford van was marked number 517 by Liveryman John Tobin.
This was the earliest form of vehicle licensing. ‘Cart’ owners had to pay for their licence, which permitted trade for standing and plying for hire in the City of London for the forthcoming year. A new mark needed to be branded annually, to allow the trade to continue. In 1838 an earlier legislation was repealed, empowering the Keeper of Guildhall to mark carts for an annual fee of five shillings - equal to 25p today. Five shillings is still paid to the City of London for each vehicle that passes through Guildhall Arch today.
Kelly Group’s 1983 Bedford Van
Kelly Group was proud to enter our Bedford Van to the Cart Marking 2021 parade. The 1983 Bedford CF250 vehicle was first purchased by Mr Warner of Salisbury for £4320. He subsequently sold it to second owner, Tim Kelly (Kelly Group Chairman) who has maintained the vehicle with only a few minor repairs to prevent corrosion.
The relevance of the Bedford CF250 model is quite significant as this was the first vehicle Tim Kelly used to start Kelly Group back in 1985 when the UK began awarding its first cable franchises to local operatives.
Our Bedford Van recently received a full-body wrap showcasing the wide range of services the group provides across the nation. The van is now retired and only used at charity events and parades representing the group’s heritage.
Paddy Donnelly (Senior Project Manager and Business Developer) Said…
“Being a Freeman of the City Cartman Livery, it was my pleasure to introduce Kelly Group to the Worshipful Company of Carman and its historic traditions. I was delighted to see the group’s iconic Bedford van participating in the Cart Marking Event and attending this special occasion with some of my Kelly Group colleagues. I am looking forward to seeing Kelly Group participating in the Lord Mayors Parade this November.”
Kelly House, Fourth Way, Wembley
Middlesex, HA9 0LH
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