John M Carter Ltd

Marquee Hire & PVC/Canvas Manufacturing

01256 324434


150 Years Logo150 years ago the very first traffic signals in the world were used in Parliament Square to allow MP’s to cross the road safely, without getting knocked down by passing horses. That very same year saw the beginnings of John M. Carter Ltd. A company that has gone from strength to strength, and continues to thrive in the marquee hire business, as well as manufacturing of canvas and PVC products. Originally set up to supply local farmers with rope, horse tack, nose bags and reins, it has expanded to it’s present premises of over 30,000 sq. ft., housing an extensive range of marquees, furniture and ancillary stock.
The company is still a family run business, with present Managing Director, Peter Hallows, being the Great-Great Grandson of John Morton Carter, the founder.
A special logo has been created to help celebrate this special milestone and events planned later in the year.

From tipis to modern freestanding marquees, complete with water fountains, dancefloors and in-built bars, its clear that the world of marquees has moved on since the early days. Why is it then that the traditional pole marquee has retained it’s popularity, especially when it comes to weddings? Here at The Wedding Secret we’ve compiled a list of the top reasons behind the enduring popularity of a traditional wedding marquee.

The traditional wedding marquee is a great and convenient way of adding authenticity to a vintage, rustic or woodland themed wedding. The poles inside the marquee can be left bare and unvarnished which give the marquee an unfinished, natural look to help maintain the woodland feel even inside the tent. The sloping white canvas adds a clean elegance to any vintage wedding, and, for a rustic theme, the floor can be carpeted with coconut matting and decorated with hay bales and a wooden dancefloor to give more of a coutry feel.

Interior of Traditional Marquee

Interior of Traditional Marquee

Even if you aren’t planning on having a wedding with one of these themes the pale colour and simple layout of a traditional marquee makes it the perfect blank slate for you to use as you please. Whether you are planning to go relatively simple and just want to match the colours purple and pink, or you’re going to elaborate and plan to create a Sci-Fi extravaganza, a traditional marquee is a wonderful way to go.

There is just something quintessentially British about a traditional marquee. From school and church fetes, the image of a white marquee bedecked in bunting and filled with bustling crowds of your friends, acquaintances and nieghbours, is one that will have filled your childhood. It’s no wonder that people are eager to draw on this sense of nostalgia for their wedding.

If you’re really looking to draw on the nostalgic feeling of a fete, you could always add in games as part of your wedding entertainment. All the old childhood classics; egg and spoon races, cocnut shy and tombola are bound to have your guests laughing and getting into the competitive spirit. Plus, it’a a great way to keep some of the younger guests entertained.

A traditional marquee is also great for any kind of weather – something that is especially convenient, considering the English weather’s irritating habit of ignoring the weather forecast. If the day turns out to be dry, you can arrange to open out the marquee, and let your guests spill out onto the grass. If the inevitable happens and the heavens open, you can just make sure that the marquee walls are back in place, keeping you and your guests snug and dry for the photos.

Wedding Marquee in Hampshire

Wedding Marquee in Hampshire

Even better, a marquee is a good choice no matter what the season. Traditional marquees are typically made of canvas – a breathable material – which is ideal for keeping your marquee naturally air-conditioned in the summer. In winter you can also get a PVC marquee to trap in the heat, and get some heating for the tent. So, whether you are looking for a winter wonderland, a summer blowout, or all the colours of spring, a marquee is a great choice.

While a marquee is not necessarily an automatically cheaper option, there are a lot of ways that you can cut costs with a marquee reception, or ceremony. Without being tied to one venue, you don’t have the risk of having to commit to the venues chosen by the suppliers, and can shop around for ones that suit you and your budget.

Garden Wedding Receptions

Garden Wedding Receptions

If you aren’t looking to rent the grounds of a manor house to pitch your marquee, ther are lots of ways you can save money on renting a lawn as well. Why not check out local town halls or sports fields to see what prices they can offer you? If you or your family members have a big lawn or garden you could even avoid costs altogether by using that.

Another reason for the enduring popularity of the traditional marquee is simply that they are incredibly convenient. The only stipulation is that they need to be pitched on grass. Other than that, they are ideal for any situation. Traditional marquees are made in sections, so they are easy to transpoprt and assemble.

As traditional marquees are so adaptable, they bring together all of the above factors. The smooth white lines of the draped ceilings give an automatic white wedding feel of elegance and tradition, without being overpowering. The white walls and simple style give you the ability to adapt the marquee to your chosen theme. So, regardlesss of whether you’re looking for 7, people or 100, a winter or summer wedding, windows, or al fresco, a traditional marquee can suit your taste.

Ecru Lining In A Traditional Tent

Ecru Lining In A Traditional Tent

To find out more about the kind of things you’ll need to spruce up your marquee wedding, why not head over to The Wedding Secret We have a variety of brilliant florists, decorators and suppliers who can provide everything you may need to transform your marquee into the venue of your dreams.

Ecru Lining In A Traditional Tent

Ecru Lining In A Traditional Tent

Our traditional style pole tents are ever popular for weddings. The versatility that they offer means they can be fabricated to fit any size garden, whilst creating an atmoshere that is hard to replicate. Once the marquee is in place you have a blank canvas to decorate in whatever theme you choose. Our internal linings are a neutral colour and will fit in with any colour scheme. The side walls can easily be removed, weather permitting, to give you an extended area to make use of. Modern ducted warm air heaters will keep your marquee warm all day long, if the weather is not on your side.

We can offer many options for furniture hire, as well as dancefloors and staging. Lighting and is an integral part of any wedding, and can be used to great effect inside a marquee and the grounds surrounding it. Starcloth is particularly effective when suspended above a dancefloor to emulate the night sky.

Whatever your personal preference, we have a dedicated team to advise you, and help plan a very memorable day.

For more details please call 01256 324434 and ask for Phil.

We now have limewash banqueting chairs in stock. Being a neutral colour,these chairs can fit in with whatever colour scheme you choose for your event. They have padded seats to ensure your comfort, and being lightweight they are easily positioned, or removed as required. For further details of these chairs, and all of our other furniture, please contact Phil on 01256 324434.

                                                               Limewash Chairs

When planning to hire a marquee, it is important to consider your total electrical requirements. These will include demand for lighting and catering, as well as sound and entertainment, and it is important to over-estimate demand so your event can run smoothly, without any interruptions. Different size generators are available for hire, and they all meet stringent standards to ensure the safety of you and your guests.

With some creative project management, lighting can be used to produce some dramatic effects inside and outside a marquee. As well as illuminating essential access areas, your gardens and grounds can be shown off to their full potential, and often look better when lit up at night-time. There are many lighting options for inside the marquee, including chandeliers, uplights and the very popular starcloth which adds the beauty of the nightsky to your event.

Marquee Hire

Caterers are used to being asked what their expected electrical useage is, and will be only too willing to help. Likewise, suppliers of mobile toilet units, discos, and PA systems will all have the information that you need to calculate total demand.

If you have the space and are thinking of entertaining this Christmas, have you considered hiring a marquee.

We are taking bookings for all sizes of structures in December and into the new year, along with all of the extras such as heating and furniture. With our indirect deisel heaters there will be no need to fear the cold, as they provide large volumes of warm air which can be easily controlled by a safety thermostat. Furniture options include 6 foot long trestle tables, and round tables ranging from 3 foot to six foot, to seat up to 12 people. We have a new range of chairs in stock to cater specifically for private functions.

Lighting and Interior linings are also available, as is the Starcloth which can add a sparkle to your event. For more information, or help in organising your event, please call us on 01256 324434.

High Peaked Roofs

High Peaked Roofs

Yet another busy season is underway for our tenting crews, with a number of new names to add to our growing list of satisfied customers. Despite the uncertainty of the weather, there is no shortage of excuses to organise outdoor events from big public shows and festivals to smaller private events.

Our stock levels have increased yet again, to cope with demand and we have added to it with some new ideas, such as the double bay high peaked roofs for our 12 metre frame tents, as shown.

At John M. Carter we supply all sizes of Calor and Campingaz gas bottles at very competitive prices. Whether you require butane or propane, for barbecueing, camping, caravaning, cooking or heating we can cater for your needs. We also offer a local gas delivery service which is free of charge for senior citizens.

In line with our commitment to safe working practices, our senior site foremen are today attending a StructureSafe course hosted on by MUTA . This will help them to brush up on their skills before the onset of another hectic tenting season. The course will also help us to fulfill the obligations set out in our Health and Safety Policy, as well re-assuring our customers that we take their safety very seriously.

Winter Fuels

Winter Fuels

For all lovers of real fires in the Basingstoke area we are now stocking a variety of fuels for the winter. The following wood products are all certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being responsibly sourced, and with a commitment to sustainability. 5p from the sale of each bag will also be donated to the Woodland Trust.

Calor Firewood is an a quality firewood, ideal for open fires, log burners, chimineas and multi-fuel stoves. Heat logs are compressed sawdust with a very low moisture content. They are produced without additives and give a superior heat and longer burn time. As an aid to starting fires, we can offer 2kg bags of kindling, and boxes of 24 firelighters.

As well as these we also sell 10kg and 20kg bags of coal pellets and smokeless fuel. Both of these are sourced responsibly in the UK, and the smokeless coal has been approved for use in smoke free zones.

Our shop is open from 8.00am until 5.00pm Monday – Friday and 8.00am until 12.00 noon on Saturdays.

For any further information please call us on 01256 324434