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Thread: Things I Remember!

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    Newbie Ebby1954's Avatar
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    Default Things I Remember!

    When I visited my gran in Vulcan St, there would be a man with a cart shouting out "rags, bottles and ?????" can't remember what the last word was. Everyone would run out with old coats and bottles and he would give us a few pennies in return. This would be in the 1930's to 1940's.
    Loved the street singers who would come around, usually had an accordian and would sing at the top of their voices. Some of them could really belt out a song. Back then I remember how everyone looked out for each other. Those where the war years and we sure as hell did not have much, as kids, we where seen but not heard, we always showed respect to our elders. We all seemed so happy and stress free. Going to Garston Park or over the Iron Bridge was always an adventure. Loved to play on the landfill (tips) that used to be off Horrocks Ave. Sliding down the hills of rubbish I was as happy as a lark, that would be until I got home and my mam would see how filthy I was.
    Do the street singers still come around? Do neighbour's look out for each other like they used to in the old days?


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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    "When I visited my gran in Vulcan St, there would be a man with a cart shouting out 'rags, bottles and ?????' can't remember what the last word was."

    What you are describing is what used to be known as a "rag and bone man" -- but maybe you know that, eh? So the last word could have been "bones" unless the geezer had his own trademark call naming some other item folk might be willing to dispose of.

    I should doubt if there are any street singers coming round the neighbourhoods such you recall used to happen. Buskers though today still in the city center, begging for a handout. But as for singers going to community to community. . . No, instead of that: loud bass of music thudding out from souped up cars is likely to be the type of thing you would experience now. . . here in the U.S. as well!!! Ugh.

    Chris
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  3. #3
    kat2
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    looking at old photographs the only singers I have come across was the salvation army on their sunday parades. ** the other was steptoe and sons rag and bone, "any ole rag bone",!
    kat

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    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Hey, this could be a great thread! I love hearing people's memories. If I remember rightly, Vulcan Street is near the docks isn't it? That's probably my favourite area of Liverpool, down around the north docks where you can still get an idea of what it was like in it's heyday.

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    Senior Member Ross08's Avatar
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    I can remember the rag and bone man coming around with an open back Transit probably around ten years ago.

    I've only ever seen this once in recent years though when we were working on a house in Wallasey and a fella in a panel van saw us throwing out a load of old metal and asked if he could have it.

    We were only talking about the rag and bone man the other night and how he used to come round shouting 'any old iron?'.

    More recently there was the candyfloss man in the red van. I think it was an old Sherpa or Freight Rover - it had 'Candy Floss' painted on the outside in white gloss. I remember seeing him last about five years ago - he used to come round Moreton (Wirral) and I saw him in Everton as well.

    Then there was the pop man who came once a week with the bottles which had to be returned. Again, this would have only been around ten years ago and we used to get white lemonade, proper cream soda and the all-time favourite dandelion and burdock. The drinks were made by R. Whites.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    He must've been a 'posh' rag n' bone man Ross, having a transit flatbed and all. The one that used to come around our square pushed a cart and would give balloons away instead, a good ploy as the kids would be kept quiet for a few hours (innocent times) so yer ma would say go and give them some of these old clothes (overcoats and macs were kept to go over the bed clothes to keep you warm at night) This was early 1970s and coal fires in the tennies and icicles on the sash windows in winter. Those sheets with millions of coloured lines on them, yellow, blue, pink, green etc repeated over and over again with pillow cases to match. The top sheet, the uppermost one would be a wavy flannelette material. In between - all manner of thick grey sheets in the days before continental quilts 9well, for the working class anyway)

    Our rag n' bone mans yard was situated in William Henry street just around the corner from Soho Street. Louis Caplan's (ex Lord Mayor) tobacconist/sweetshop was on the corner, that's where my mam would buy me the Topper, Dandy, Beano and Cor etc each week then there was Charlie Peppers betting shop. The row of old shops facing are still there and are Morris's - two brothers who originally started trading in the 1960s, further up the street. They've since expanded the premises to a sub post office and off licence to try and keep afloat but when you consider they lost a lot of customers when the four squares tenements were demolished and not even new houses built on its site.
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  7. #7
    chippie
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    A few of my memories of my childhood go back to the ice man coming round to the fish shops with a small flatbed wagon with wooden boxes of ice in them to give to the fishmonger to put round the fish to keep it fresh.

    I remember the aunt sally man coming round in a van selling bottles of aunt sally which was used to clean floors and in the washing.

    Our rag and bone man used to call everyone who let on to him,"Wacker"

    I used to go to the chandlers, a smashing smelling shop, to get coalbricks for the fire. Our chandler used to take coupons out of magazines in payment or part payment for items.

    The lady up the jigger facing our house made toffy apples in the school holidays for the kids to buy.

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    Senior Member Ross08's Avatar
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    If any of you remember The Bradshaws; I think Billy Butler still has it on in the afternoons. Then you might remember the time little Billy got into trouble with his mam and dad for going to the rag and bone man and swapping his school blazer for a bow an' arra.

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    PhilipG
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    Why were they called rag and bone men?
    Yes, I remember them, but why bones?

    Before R. Whites, the lemonade came from Schofields in Dalrymple Street, off Scotland Road.
    A great red-brick building.
    I took some photos - I'll try and dig them out.
    Last edited by PhilipG; 07-10-2007 at 01:02 AM.

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    I had relatives who worked in Schoey's. Full swing was also in Drinkwater Gardens behind the Clock Pub off Richmond Row. It was forever getting 'screwed' by the gangs from the Four Squares on Soho st.

    Sasprilla, yellow lemo and cream soda all round.....
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    Senior Member gorgeous's Avatar
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    I also remember the rag n bone man , I alway's wished for a goldfish , in return for the old clothes , but no matter what bundle of rags i gave to him , i always ended up with a bloody monkey on a stick or a windmill . Does anyone remember a little old man ( & i mean old !) who used to sell fire wood bundles , we kids called him Dickie Woods , never found out if this was his real name though. I also remember every sunday afternoon running out into the street with me mums best dish with instructions to ask the ice cream man to fill the dish , ( i can just imagine asking our kids to do that today ) Mum would put a scoop full of ice cream in a glass ( note not a cup we were posh) & top up with Schoie's cream soda .. mmmmm
    Also remember going to a shop on Lodge la & getting 1,1b of broken biscuits , i swear they tasted better, & on pocket money day i'd be allowed to the sweet shop at the top of the st to buy 1d glass of saspirrella & the Beano or Dandy comic , soon progressed to the Jackie .

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    The rag and bone man who came down our street in Kirkdale, always called "toys for rags" but all you got was a balloon. He never collected many old coats because they were always cut up into strips and made into fireside rugs.
    How was this done? First you had to get someone who worked in a factory
    called Henry`s who made jute sacks to smuggle a few sacks out to you,
    then the women would sit around piercing 2 holes in the sack then feeding
    the strips of old coats in a U shape through them. The closer the holes were the better the pile of the mat. It helped if the coats were different colours
    because they could weave a nice pattern. I spent many a winters night lying on such a mat in front of a big coal fire reading all Charles Dicken`s books
    out of the libary.
    There were many people who made a living going up and down streets then
    nearly all pushing handcarts, I can remember the salt man who had blocks of salt on his cart and would cut off any size you wanted for 1d upwards, then the accumalutor man who exchanged a topped up one for your empty one
    for your wireless. The one who always facinated me was the knife sharpener
    who had a bike which he sat on and pedalled which drove a belt from his
    back wheel to the front of the bike which turned his grindstone.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    Why were they called rag and bone men?
    Yes, I remember them, but why bones?

    Before R. Whites, the lemonade came from Schofields in Dalrymple Street, off Scotland Road.
    A great red-brick building.
    I took some photos - I'll try and dig them out.
    Hi Philip

    I would suggest that the rag-and-bone man probably sold the bones to a knacker, as in "knacker's yard" where old horses were sent, to make glue. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rag_and_bone_man which seems to confirm what I am saying. Also "Final collection", a 2006 Guardian article by Jeremy Kuper on one of the last London "totters" or rag-and-bone men. Kuper quotes Alf Masterson, the last documented London rag-and-bone man, as saying, "If people had roast joints, the rag-and-bone men would collect the leftovers to make glue and soap. Bones were used for oil and soap."

    Chris
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    Cadfael
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    I'm old enough to just about remember the Rag n Bone man in Childwall. You could hear his voice for miles even when you were inside the house with the TV on! Even if you had nothing to give, you still used to wave as he went past!

    They were the days!

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadfael View Post
    I'm old enough to just about remember the Rag n Bone man in Childwall. You could hear his voice for miles even when you were inside the house with the TV on! Even if you had nothing to give, you still used to wave as he went past!

    They were the days!
    Hi Cadfael

    What I remember growing up in Mossley Hill in the 1950's and 1960's was his cry "Any old iron!" more than him crying out about "rags" or "bones" or anything else.

    Chris
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    The ''any old iron'' men still used to walk around the back entries looking for scrap until 1970s , maybe early 80s.
    Or they would have a truck parked in the street and they would knock on doors asking for any old appliances like broken washing machines or old cookers.
    You don't see this happening these days.

  17. #17
    Cadfael
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Cadfael

    What I remember growing up in Mossley Hill in the 1950's and 1960's was his cry "Any old iron!" more than him crying out about "rags" or "bones" or anything else.

    Chris
    I can hear that voice now! Although we used to call him the Rag n Bone man and the name stuck, he really was after 'any old iron' like you say.

    He said it in the way that you knew what he meant, but you had to be told what he was actually saying as a young 'un!

    Imagine someone getting an old cart and dressing up doing that again - it would be a story for Slemen

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    Member Kolchak's Avatar
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    I seem to remember one in Old Swan, by Rock Grove in the early Seventies, I was only a toddler at the time, but I'm sure my old dear used to give me a carrot for the donkey or pony that pulled his cart.

    I also remember an old boy called 'Tex' who used to ride his horse onto the scrap of grassland at the upper end of Goschen and Bibbey (I think) streets.

    The guy would dress as a cowboy, and us kids would rush to feed his horse with carrots, he was a very popular visitor for us kids.

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    During the late 50's early 60's i was growing up in twickenham drive on the Leasowe Estate, and some of the "Characters" i remember are the rag 'n' bone man with his horse, the coal man selling coal by the Cwt, and the noise it made as he dumped it down the coal hole, the clink of the empty bottles as the milk man delivered at 0530, hideing from the council rent man "come out i know your there","LOL".

    The one who always facinated me was the knife sharpener
    who had a bike which he sat on and pedalled which drove a belt from his
    back wheel to the front of the bike which turned his grindstone.
    All the kids use to sit around and watch this guy at work all the sparks, great just like bonnie night.

    used to lay awake listining for me old man, getting in from the pub the oyster catcher, normaly around midnight, he was barman there.

    in summer our gang used to go swimming in the river mersey, or in the river birket,(boy did we live dangerously then), or we'd walk to bidston hill/new brighton, used to leave around 9am haveing packed a 3 course lunchion doorstep sarnie, slice of home made cake and an apple, a bottle of corpie pop (tap water) we were off for a full days exploration, often getting back around 6/7 at night.

    O' for those days again.

    sweets i remember

    Black jacks
    penny joe's
    sherbet dabs
    Licorice whips
    Flying saucers
    penny shrimps
    gob stoppers (that would last all day)
    Wigwams? (full of aniseed balls)
    Last edited by drone_pilot; 12-18-2007 at 06:16 PM.
    multi multa; nemo omnia novit

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