Repairing Market Cart Wheels

A typical set of wheels in for repair

As a wheelwright I repair lots of wheels, which include Traditional Market Cart Wheels, and Costermonger cart wheels. All wheels come with their own challenges but market cart wheels come with added extra.

Under restoration reusing all the parts we can

When Markets carts were an everyday sight at markets the stall holder would rent the cart for the day, from a local carriage master. Each market would have a local firm usually a family whose business it was building, maintaining, and hiring out market carts to their market. To differentiate their carts from their competitors in the next market, they would carve the name of their firm on the wheels, usually in a very distinctive script.

J Tapper a firm who supplied the Carts for Lambeth Market

When we are restoring Market Cart wheels, the felloes ( the wooden rim sections) are usually the first to rot and therefore need replacing which means they need the name carved back on them in the same distinctive script

Felloes replaced with new carving
Ready to go back to the customer

In the case of the wheels shown I was asked to retain parts where I can and replace where necessary  sufficient to allow the market cart to be used again. Two of the hubs were replaced, all of the felloes and a couple of spokes, and then they are returned to the customer for painting.

If you have wheels that need repairing do get in touch, if you would like to see examples of some of the new carts I build have a look here 

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