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Rag and bone man

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Tecwyn Report 30 Apr 2013 20:35

Other street "characters" that I remember from childhood are the elderly man and woman that came along the road with him playing the accordian, and sometimes a violin, while the lady sang. That lady actually had a good voice and sang anything from opera to songs of the day.

Another was the lamplighter, that arrived in the street at dusk on a bicycle, and equipped with a long pole to light the gas lamps. Returning at dawn to extinguish them again.
He also earned a few extra pennies by knocking people up for work.

I also remember a few funny incidences that happened during the time of the smogs of the 50s - but that's another story :-D.



may Report 30 Apr 2013 00:28

Whe had goldfish,balloons and he would give you some money sometimes depending what rags you gave him,e had a rag n bone man with a hand cart then he had a horse n cart.He used to shout rag bone at the top of his steep voice for all to hear.we used to go to the rag market in brum for clothes,i hated it,but we were the best dressed kids in the street most of the time.I dont know how my parents ever managed as we had good meals as well.Does anyone remember the knife sharpener man that used to come round on a bike to sharpen knives,scissors etc?Can anyone remomber the man that used to hang upside down with a straight jacket on?I think that was in the bullring,he hung from a great height and wriggled his way out of the jacket.It was scary.Dont know what the PC brigade would think about that.

Trish Devon

Trish Devon Report 29 Apr 2013 23:53

Oh eck!!!!
That's a memory I had long forgotten,
I was always scared stiff of the rag and bone man,
he was a skinny and dirty looking old man,with not many teeth.
Mum always gave him a piece of cake,she said he always looked hungry.
I had a goldfish too.

Mum used to bank up the fire with potato peelings too,
gosh can't imagine anyone doing that now.

Lovely thread,bringing back long forgotten memories.Happy ones though.
:-) :-)


maggiewinchester Report 29 Apr 2013 23:52

When I first moved here, (25+ years ago) a rag & bone man used to come around. Wish they'd come around again - the council charges £15 per item - that's £30 for a bed & mattress.
Same council that encourages you to use buses (1 an hour) and recycle!
If you don't drive - you're stumped!!


LaGooner Report 29 Apr 2013 23:09

Thanks for that Rollo. No translator needed for me :-D


RolloTheRed Report 29 Apr 2013 22:25

then you will enjoy this:
Some members may need sub titles (not provided) but I guess Lagooner will be ok :-)



LaGooner Report 29 Apr 2013 20:38

My goodness Rollo. that was a blast from the past for me . My late Dad and Uncle used to sing that while playing it on the bones and the spoons. Ah what a happy memory that was for me . Thank you :-D.


RolloTheRed Report 29 Apr 2013 19:18

Just a couple of weeks ago my poor old Uncle Bill,
Went and kicked the bucket and he left me in his will.
( died )
The other night I toddled round to see me Auntie Jane,
She said to me “Your Uncle’s left to you his watch and chain.”
I put it on right across my vest,
Thought I looked a dandy as it dangled on my chest.
Just to flash it off I started walking ’round about,
The kids they all run after me and all began to shout:

Any old iron, any old iron, any, any, any, old iron?
You look neat – talk about a treat,
You look a dapper from your knapper to your feet.
Dressed in style, with a brand new tile,
And your father’s old green tie on,
Oh I wouldn’t give you tuppence for your old watch chain,
Old iron, old iron?

I went up the City just to have a little spree.
The Mayor of London, he was there, that’s who I went to see.
He dashed up in a canter with a carriage and a pair,
( horses)
I shouted “Holler boys” and threw my hat up in the air.
Just then the Mayor he began to smile,
Saw my face and then he shouted “Lumme what a dial!”
( dial = face )
Started a-Lord Mayoring and I though that I should die
When he pointed to my watch and chain he hollered to me “Hi!”

I shan’t forget when I got married to Selina Brown.
The way the people laughed at me, it made me feel a clown.
I began to wonder, when their dials began to crack,
If by mistake I’d got my Sunday trousers front to back.
I put my chain on my darby kell,
( derby kell = belly )
The sun was shining on it , well it made me look a swell.
The organ started playing and the bells began to ring,
My chain began to rattle and the choir began to sing.

Just to have a little bit of fun the other day,
Made up in my watch and chain I went and drew my pay.
Then got out with a lot of other Colonels on the loose,
I got full right up to here in fourp’ny stagger juice.
One of them said “We want a pot of ale
Run him to the rag shop and bung him on the scale.”
I heard the fellow say “What’s in this bundle that you’ve got”
Then whisper to me kindly “Do you want to lose your lot?”


John Report 29 Apr 2013 18:48

Yes I remember the Rag and Bone man, children were drawn to him by the sound of his Bugle you could hear him a couple of streets away. Many a time famillies would lose some garment or other, especially if the adults were not about. As a member of a family of nine we were quite poor and often tempted to sacrifice a jumper or a a pair of trousers for a balloon or a windmill, as long as the garments weren`t our own. I remember my mother hunting the Rag Man down in order to get clothes back.


Harry Report 29 Apr 2013 16:46

Tapped this one out. In my police service i got to know so many of the described 'loveable rogues' - two of them named Ron, hence the references to the sketch.


On the census I'm a scavenger,
Just a hovel to lay my head;
I search by day on rubbish piles,
For scrap or just stale bread -
I know my place.

I look down on grand-dad,
Go house to house all over town;
Armed with a sack and ready eye,
Purloin anything not tied down.

I'm just their younger relative,
On the up and up, and how!
Got myself a hand-cart,
Life's so much easier now -
But I know my place.

Dad's old-fashioned in his ways,
My horse and cart attracts them in;
Goldfish; balloons; and rubbing stones,
For any clothing wearing thin -
But I look up to him.

I'm their modern rag and bone man,
A big motor lorry to fill;
Copper; cable; lead flashing,
Fridges; washers; what you will.

Got a lovely home and garden,
A Bentley I bought with cash;
Tax to me is an ugly word,
An alsatian guards my stash -

You know your place!

thank you for reading Happy days


CupCakes Report 24 Apr 2013 06:59

Catching up on this thread - it is so interesting. Keep the stories coming :-) :-) :-)

Brenda from Wales

Brenda from Wales Report 22 Apr 2013 21:23

Veg peelings on fire wrapped in newspaper and a shovel of slack on top made a good banked up fire that kept the room warm.
Had a metal dustbin that some ashes went in ...after you'd riddled the cinders out.
There wasn't much rubbish in bin for landfill...but they were heavy and the dust men carried them to the cart on their shoulders..


Kay???? Report 22 Apr 2013 21:09

My grandad used the peeling for his pigs if gran hadnt used them for banking the fire up. :-D


Harry Report 22 Apr 2013 20:58

Again thanks for the great replies. Yes, potato peelings to bank up the fire and we also had a rabbit - now i recall - and I think we boiled the peelings up. Thanks to Barbinglos and PP for the reminder.

Lovely ,happy memories described by you good folk.

Happy days


Porkie_Pie Report 22 Apr 2013 20:35

Harry, Barbinsglos, My mum used to use potato peelings to "bank up" the fire before she went to bed it saved her having to light it again in the morning



Suzanne Report 22 Apr 2013 20:33

i remember the little rag and bone man that visited our street in liverpool a few times a year in the 60s.

one day i heard him calling,i really wanted a fish,so mum gave me a lovely coat belonging to my younger sister that no longer fitted her,when i came back with a balloon and no fish she went mad ,and chased him down the street,

i got my fish,but alas,he didnt last for long,because the cat ate him one afternoon when i was in little school, mum said he had passed away and dad had buried him while i was in was yrs before i knew the truth. :-D :-D


Susan10146857 Report 22 Apr 2013 20:29

We must be related Mau...I remember them too just the way you do :-D

unless we are the same person or you have stolen my memories.....orft to ponder the significance ;-)


LaGooner Report 22 Apr 2013 20:20

I remember the rag and bone man well. His horse would always stop at our front gate and wait for his carrot or apple that we fed him every time he was on the round. Us little ones occasionally got the treat of either riding on his back or on the cart.oh happy days how those silly little things caused us to have so much pleasure.


Annx Report 22 Apr 2013 19:44

I remember the rag and bone man in the 50s and 60s. Ours had a horse and cart and I had my first pet, Goldie the goldfish, from ours. I remember excitedly taking some rummage mum had sorted out to give him and think I took a jamjar for the goldfish.

Nowadays round here they collect scrap metal in small lorries and have a tannoy to save shouting!


Barbinsglos Report 22 Apr 2013 19:30

Harry, my mum used to boil up potato peelings for the chickens and she would also bank up the fire before she went to bed.

Loved it when the rag and bone man came round, and had our knives sharpened.

The horse droppings didnt stay out in the road long either.