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Stormy day in Liverpool as Carters remembered

2 May 2019 by Sharon

The rain poured and the wind blew – storm Hannah had arrived with a mighty roar. However this didn’t put off around 60 people who came to our ‘Remembering the Liverpool Carters’ event on Saturday 27 April at the Museum of Liverpool.

We started with a tribute to one of our Retired Carters Group, Joe Magee. Joe passed away on Good Friday and will be sadly missed by us all at the Museum. He was a lovely man, full of great tales about the carting days and his love for the working horses.

Joe started work straight from school at 15 and worked for James Addy who did all the Higson’s Brewery work. He then drove off Carter’s Corner (where you picked up casual work) and was 17 when he first drove a team. Another of our original group, Albert Hilton, said to him ‘you’re now a carter Joe, you’re driving a team of horses,’ and he was very proud of this. He worked with horses until 1956 when they were beginning to be phased out but retained his passion for his former profession throughout his life.

Lindsay Gavan from the Merseyside Police Mounted Division then gave a very entertaining and informative talk about the Police horses, how they were selected and trained and how their different personalities suit them for different roles.

Throughout the event we made flowers and admired the amazing models of local carts made by Frank Short.

Following a talk from myself about the history of the carters and the new material that has come into the museum lately we decided we couldn’t go outside to decorate ‘our horse’ – it was far too risky in the wind and rain. We rescheduled until May Day and decorated the Liverpool Working Horse Monument in traditional fashion.

Liverpool carters made an immense contribution to the economy of Liverpool and the monument and events at the museum mean their memory will always live on.

RIP Joe, my lovely friend.

Joe Magee at the Carter’s event in 2018

Remembering the Liverpool carters

14 May 2018 by Sharon

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. Read more…

Liverpool carters remembered

26 April 2018 by Laura

Horse sculpture

Waiting: The monument to the Liverpool working horse by Judy Boyt FRSA

This weekend visitors and staff will be coming together to once again make the paper flower garlands for Waiting, the monument to the Liverpool cart horse. Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.