What do the above have in common?
The former two are reminiscent to my childhood and the latter pair more of the present.
Our most famous Rag and Bone men have to be Steptoe and Son, a popular TV comedy series which ran from 1962 to 1974 starring Harry H Corbett and Wilfred Bramble.
It wasn’t always my cup of tea, but there were some funny episodes, especially the one about the water bed.
As a kid, the Rag and Bone man would come along our street with his horse and cart every couple of months or so.
He was nothing like either of the TV characters thank goodness, and if we gave him a bag of old clothes, we got a goldfish in exchange. My sister and I had several which lived for years, much longer than anything we ever won at the fair.
As far as I recall, money didn’t change hands, but today things are very different.
Council tips are awash with unwanted or broken white goods. In some areas, a charge is made to take such items and proof of local residence required. Commercial vehicles or traders are normally not permitted to use council tips.
Not all that long ago, any ‘good stuff’ was put to one side for sale, but that has now been stopped and so perfectly good merchandise, kids bikes or toys can end up in the crusher when they could be sold or given to a charity.
There are no tips, council or otherwise, anywhere near where MOH lives, so when we replaced his washing machine, disposing of his old one was a problem. Together, he and Hubby loaded it into the back of our Partner and took it to a scrap merchant who dealt mostly with motor vehicles!
In Lincolnshire, it wasn’t unusual to see household items offered for sale outside a private residence. We did so ourselves when downsizing and managed to sell a few of our smaller pieces of furniture.
People would also leave washing machines, cookers, fridges and microwaves by their gates as a Scrappie guy would eventually pass by and take it away. This saved the owner having the inconvenience of going to the tip.
We hadn’t been here very long and I was walking the dog when I heard the Tally Ho call of a bugle.
Bringing Maggie to heel, I waited anxiously for the horses to come round the corner, but it didn’t happen. Thinking logically about it later it didn’t make sense that they should!
I’d noticed a variety of metal stuff outside people’s gates on our walk that morning, and the bugle call was the announcement that the Scrappie was doing his rounds in his van.
Having only heard him, I have no idea if any payment was made in goldfish!