Remembering the Liverpool carters

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horse statue with garlands of paper flowers draped around it Monument to the working horse decorated with paper flowers Every year at the Museum of Liverpool we hold an afternoon of events and activities to celebrate the work of the Liverpool carters and their horses, linked to the traditional carters' May Day celebrations. Our 2018 event took place under a lovely blue sky. Our talks on 'Animals in the First World War' and 'Liverpool Parades and Shows' were well attended and everyone enjoyed making colourful paper flowers for our memorial ceremony. Frank Short has supported the event every year with his display of magnificent model carts. With a family background in carting Frank has always been fascinated by both horses and carts and spends many, many hours on his models. This year he has expanded into modelling clay figures to accompany the carts - with impressive results. man with models and horse brasses on display on the table in front of him Frank Short with some of his models One of our visitors, Mr John Shea arrived for the event with some horse brasses that belonged to his father Johnny Shea, who was a Liverpool Carter. Along with the brasses, which he has donated to the museum, John also brought two poems he had written in memory of his father and the carter’s way of life. They are very moving and a nostalgic look back at a lost way of life. Thanks John for bringing them along. The Carter’s Lament Never will we see again The mighty shires take the strain To haul and pull their heavy loads To see and hear their hooves sparking On setts and cobbles now that are car parking And famous names that are no more Crutchley’s, Harper’s, Davie’s, Rimmers And others by the score Gentle giants, mighty horses Have given way to modern forces So never will we see again The mighty shires take the strain model of a carter with his horse and cartThe Days End The sun’s last rays of light are sinking As the mighty horse stops drinking With a snort and a shake of its mighty head Away to his stall he is gently led With curry comb and dandy brush Young stable lad waits to earn his crust Whoa now, whoa now, steady steady. The carter’s voice gently calms The mighty horse who looks alarmed Good boy, good boy, as he strokes its withers And as if by magic it stops and shivers Snorting gently away its led Back to its stall to be groomed and fed The echo of its iron shod hooves seem to say This is the end of another busy day. What a great day and a great way to remember the carters and horses and the outstanding contribution they made to the development of our wonderful city. Look out for next year's event! If you can't wait until then, you can always see Waiting: The monument to the Liverpool working horse on the quayside by the Museum of Liverpool and fnd out more about the Liverpool carters in The Great Port gallery.