Lifestyles LIFESTYLES

Rag and Bone Man

The Rag and Bone man (epitomised by Steptoe and Son) used to venture once a week or fortnight into housing schemes with their horse and cart. They also blew a horn to tell you they were there!

The Rag and Bone man collected everything you put outside the front door from couches, beds, TVs to radios and tables etc. When I was small used to feed the horse an apple!!


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Do You Remember Rag and Bone Man?

Do You Remember Rag and Bone Man?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    Yes I do remember a rag and bone man coming round our area in the late 1950s early 60s! He had the 'steptoe' style cart with a lovely horse pulling it. My friends and I would be walking home for our dinners (lunch!) and get very excited to see him and would try to get apples for the horse to eat, sometimes he would give children little free gifts in exchange for bits of household junk I think it was one of those seaside windmill things that blow round in the breeze! Hardly any cars parked anwhere around, memories of a quieter way of life...
  • Anonymous user
    on
    They haven't entirely disappeared - in North Manchester there was a chap who still collected scrap, with horse and cart, up to 1995 (and he wasn't very old). His successors still come round once a week, but nowadays use a flatback Transit. It's a one-way transaction now, though, you give them scrap and get nothing in return. In earlier times, you at least got a couple of Donkey stones - how many people remember those? (If you're wondering, they were small sandstone blocks for cleaning/whitening your doorsteps!)
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Ours had a horse & cart too- he was called Mr.Hicken, nice old chap and completely honest. We used to save our vegetable peelings for his horse-can't remember the animal's name now, my Mum might though. They used to work the streets of Harborne in Birmingham where we were living at the time. He retired when I was about 6 and his son took over the buisness, upgrading to a flatbed Bedford van that was in turn replaced by a Commer. He stopped doing his rounds in '85- not sure if that's around when most rag & bone men started to bow out. I wonder what killed off the trade- a drop in scrap metal value, maybe?
  • Anonymous user
    on
    In the late 60's when I was about 2 or 3 the 'bone man' as I called him used to scare the living daylights out of me. I could hear him shouting 'rags' several streets away and I became quite hysterical so mum had to turn the radio up so I couldn't hear him!!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    i remember the rag and bone man coming round the streets in the 70s, he used to shout rag an booooooone! and you used to get a balloon in exchange for a bag of old clothes. think he used to come round in a van.
  • Aura
    on
    I bet he rushes home to Ebay with the stuff after you see him, har har!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    My towns Rag and Bone man is still going strong, in fact he's been past today!I love to see him, i remember him from my childhood in the 70s with fascination. He looks exactly the same. A local character. still with the horse and cart but occasionaly in his truck.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Everytime I heard the Rag & Bone Man`s bell I used to run and hide! My mum used to yell "He`s coming... have you been good or I`ll swap you for a balloon" I nearly died of fright one day when we were out and his cart turned the corner... I had nowhere to hide. To this day it`s still a running joke in our family when anyone here`s a bell sound outside. A`int so funny when I`m in my 30`s!
  • judebabe
    on
    Our rag and bone man used to come round with his horse and cart. We gave him our old stuff that was no good and he gave us balloons goldfish crockery and knives and forks.
  • Action Man
    on
    I used to rush to the window to watch him drive slowly past in some old truck, hanging his arm out the window ringing a hand bell. He always called out something, but I've no idea what he was supposed to be saying but it sounded something like "wheeeenahub"