Saturday, 26 February 2011

Rag and Bone Man!

Cornwall never ceases to amaze me!

Today, for the first time in years I heard a Rag and Bone man; ringing a bell and calling out 'any rag and bones?'.

Admittedly he was driving a small truck, but the sound took me back to when I was a young boy and the rag and bone man came around the streets on a horse and cart like this:

Wikipedia says this:
Rag and bone man is a British phrase for a junk dealer. Historically the phrase referred to an individual who would travel the streets of a city with a horsedrawn cart, and would collect old rags (for converting into fabric and paper), bones for makinggluescrap iron and other items, often trading them for other items of limited value.
They would use a distinctive call to alert householders to their presence, and/or ring a hand bell. The call was something similar to "rag-and-bone", delivered in a sing-song fashion. Long usage tended to simplify the words, for instance down to "any raa-boh", even to the point of incomprehensibility, although the locals could easily identify who was making the call.

I looked at the back of his truck as he went passed, he hadn't collected many rags or bones, but had a lot of old bikes, computer bits, office chairs, and filing cabinets! Times have changed.

1 comment:

Jenny Allum said...

I remember those days too.They used to give out goldfish to the kids as well. Many a time I'd sit with Thomas Tanswell(A.M.H. resident) and we used to have a competition, who could do the 'rag bone' call the best.Of course he always won, being an old totter himself. Just love these reminiscence activities Pete. Ha ha