A Goldfish, A Horse, A Bugle and A Washing Machine.

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.
steptoe and sonAs 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.
rubbish tipCouncil 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.
bugleBringing 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!



About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in film/tv/book, Just a thought, Memories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Goldfish, A Horse, A Bugle and A Washing Machine.

  1. Capt Jill says:

    that’s nice about the goldfish! I remember going to the scrapyard with my dad when I was a kid, there was so much neat stuff there, I loved it! Too bad about losing those kinds of people now, most of what people throw away could probably be given a 2nd life for somebody who can’t afford new

  2. Tara R. says:

    I have never heard of Rag and Bone men. That is fascinating. Fortunately, where I live, if we have white goods we want to dispose of, we call the public works office at City Hall, and a truck comes by to pick up the old appliances.

    • I haven’t seen one as such for years, but I’m sure there is a modern equivalent. The old fashioned ‘junk shops’ from the 60s are more than likely under the guise of salvage yards now.

  3. Pingback: The Sound of Clopping | pensitivity101

Comments are closed.