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Does the Rag and Bone/Scrap Metal Man call in your area?


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Old 28-01-2009, 12:35
Liquorice Queen
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We still call them the rag and bone man, but really all they're interested in is your unwanted scrap metal. I've noticed that they seem to be calling more frequently in this area. It used to be once a week or fortnight, but we've had three in the space of two days. They always seem to have a truck full of washers, dryers, fridges, freezers etc. And certainly no 'horse and cart' anymore.

The last time one collected something from my house, a broken down washer outside the garage. He actually knocked on the door first and asked if it was ok for him to take! Where as previous ones just grab whatever is there whether you want it collecting or not!! He wasn't the usual gypsy/traveller (we see plenty of those around here ).

What are your views on them, do they do the area a service, taking unwanted items? Our local council will only collect three bulky items a year from each address. Plus you have to wait weeks for the council to actually collect them. A lot of electrical retailers charge a fee to take away your old white goods when buying a replacement. Fridges have to be properly disposed of.

How can we be sure that they don't just sort out the stuff of value and dump the rest somewhere?!.(We probably can't!)

Is this a sign of the times, someone out of work just trying to make a few honest bob? Or do you see them as non-tax paying scroungers who should register with the taxman?
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:37
cowandmonkey
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Yes, every bloody sunday at 9am, beeping his horn and ranting some rubbish
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:46
creamola foam
 
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I haven't seen one for yonks (30 yrs+). It used to be high excitement when he appeared and we'd all follow him. He took jam jars and rags, wonder how that worked and you got a balloon if you gave him something.

I'm sure he had a horse but maybe I've made that up.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:05
Murraymar
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I'm 35 and I have never ever seen one.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:05
PamelaL
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Yep, pretty much every second weekend. We gave him an old dryer once.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:07
incognito1979
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Not seen them for a good 20 years. Things changed with the implementation of recycling laws which put most of them out of business since they technically werent allowed to collect it.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:10
trinity2002
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Funnily enough I've just opened the back door to have a ciggie, to be faced with a bloke asking for scrap metal over the fence.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:11
squibble
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We get one every week.

Little boy about 8 knocks the door and asks for scrap and his old man shouts 'rag and bone'.

He's took an old metal bunk bed and a knackered washing machine.

Saves my back, gets rid of my crap and he can make a couple of quid.
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:12
FearFactor
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Weekly in my part of Essex (and my Mum's), ringing the bell and hollering.

They do provide a service, and it earns them a bit of money too so I don't have a problem with it. They are mostly old gypsies/didicoys, rather than the traveller types we get round here (they just go on the rob at Lakeside!).

I love it when I see one, and sometimes I call my OH so he can hear the bell ringing (weird I know, but we've got a thing about scrap and rag and bone men!!)

fF
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:19
Liquorice Queen
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Weekly in my part of Essex (and my Mum's), ringing the bell and hollering.

They do provide a service, and it earns them a bit of money too so I don't have a problem with it. They are mostly old gypsies/didicoys, rather than the traveller types we get round here (they just go on the rob at Lakeside!).

I love it when I see one, and sometimes I call my OH so he can hear the bell ringing (weird I know, but we've got a thing about scrap and rag and bone men!!)

fF
I've never heard of a didicoy.


I'm surprised how rare they seem to be in some parts of the UK. West Yorkshire is overun with them!
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:36
FearFactor
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I've never heard of a didicoy.


I'm surprised how rare they seem to be in some parts of the UK. West Yorkshire is overun with them!

I think it's just another word for gypsy really, but here there is a definite distinction between "proper" gypsies (often work as rag & bone men, sharpeners, farriers etc) and travellers (often lay dodgy driveways, theive from Lakeside!)
The "old" type seem to cause no real trouble, the travellers pull on land, camp there for weeks, leave it knee deep in crap, rob shops, houses and people locally and then just pull off again as the evicition notice is about to hit. Buggers!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didicoy

As you say, can't believe that some people never see them coming round!

fF

Last edited by FearFactor : 28-01-2009 at 13:37. Reason: spelling
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:02
Rugby Rose
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We have them round here about once a week now and they don't just take metal, they'll take all sorts, electrical equipment even if broken, furniture, bulky kids toys etc... and they are really helpful and nice folk. They come in really handy and I do think they provide a service because they will take all sorts and lots of us have used them for things that the council would have charged us to remove, or saved us a trip to the tip.

When they used to come about once a month, you'd hear the 'old iron' and then see everyone doing a mad dash to quickly get their broken stuff piled up on the kerb to be collected.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:08
lemoncurd
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Not for a while. I remember the one that came round the local back streets in Bolton, he was quite a character and had the most lovely horse to pull his trailor. He stopped in the late 80s/early 90s, which was a shame, as you then had to take your big items of junk to the council tip on the other side of town. He never actually shouted "Rag & Bone", it was more of an incoherent slur...sort of "RrrraaaaAAAAber".

Apparently, Headingly still has one:
http://www.danjohnson.org.uk/Any%20old%20iron.html
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:33
Studmuffin
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We have one once a week. It's the same guy every time and he yells out something totally incomprehensible (which I never think to ask about if he picks some stuff up from us).
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:36
lemoncurd
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Apparently the incomprehensible slur is not uncommon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rag_and_bone_man

It was the same with the people who sold the Bolton Evening News in the town centre. What they were selling you wasn't the "Bolton Evening News", apparently, but the "BuuuUURnu!".
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:38
Rugby Rose
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I know ours shouts 'Old Iron' but it actually sounds like Ohhhhh irerrrrrr.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:41
Studmuffin
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Apparently the incomprehensible slur is not uncommon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rag_and_bone_man

It was the same with the people who sold the Bolton Evening News in the town centre. What they were selling you wasn't the "Bolton Evening News", apparently, but the "BuuuUURnu!".
Fabulous, thank you.

Had to lol at this bit
"In the North East of England the rag and bone man's horse often had balloons fastened to it. If a child gave what the rag and bone man considered a reasonable amount of rags for example, then they would be given a balloon as a reward. This was forbidden by the Public Health Act 1925, due to fear that the practice contributed to the spread of disease."

Last edited by Studmuffin : 28-01-2009 at 14:42. Reason: tidying up
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:42
lemoncurd
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Fabulous, thank you.

Had to lol at this bit "
In the North East of England the rag and bone man's horse often had balloons fastened to it. If a child gave what the rag and bone man considered a reasonable amount of rags for example, then they would be given a balloon as a reward. This was forbidden by the Public Health Act 1925, due to fear that the practice contributed to the spread of disease."

Headline:
"It's Health & Safety gorn maad!"
(c) Daily Mail, 1925
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:43
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I haven't seen one where I live at the moment. But if you leave a washing machine in the back yard for long enough, someone will soon come round and ask if they can have it.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:43
Liquorice Queen
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Not for a while. I remember the one that came round the local back streets in Bolton, he was quite a character and had the most lovely horse to pull his trailor. He stopped in the late 80s/early 90s, which was a shame, as you then had to take your big items of junk to the council tip on the other side of town. He never actually shouted "Rag & Bone", it was more of an incoherent slur...sort of "RrrraaaaAAAAber".

Apparently, Headingly still has one:
http://www.danjohnson.org.uk/Any%20old%20iron.html

It's a shame we don't see characters like the one in your link anymore. The Steptoe & Son types.




Apparantly the 'bones' were used for making glue.

Last edited by Liquorice Queen : 28-01-2009 at 14:46. Reason: Took out a link as someone bet me to it.....drat!
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:52
Starwise82
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I know ours shouts 'Old Iron' but it actually sounds like Ohhhhh irerrrrrr.
We have one that comes round our street occasionally, and he shouts something, but I have yet to understand what it is lol. Just some random noise that he shouts... I presume it started out as "Rag and Bone" though lol.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:56
laura:)
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Yeah, he took our bath last week.
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Old 28-01-2009, 14:57
Midiboy
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I haven't seen one since the early 1970s when I lived in Glasgow. I've certainly never seen one during the past 17 years of living in London.
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Old 28-01-2009, 15:06
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Didn't realise they still existed!
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Old 28-01-2009, 15:09
Mrscee
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I'm 37 and don't ever remember seeing one..my husband at 42 does remember..our local council picks up 'white goods' for free
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