This morning I heard a mans voice calling out for “Rag Bone” and the sound of a horse and cart. In an almost frantic scurry I quickly looked out the window, but I couldn’t see him. Nowadays it’s usually the scrap van that does the rounds, but today hearing a mans voice calling out “Rag Bone” brought back some fond memories of my childhood.
As a young child the moment I heard the rag and bone man shouting out and ringing his loud bell I would run into the street to see him and his horse and soon other kids would be gathered around. I’m not exactly sure what I found so fascinating about him, maybe as a young child I loved to see his horse, or maybe I wondered what treasures he had among those rags. I can also remember my Nan occasionally having a stack of things waiting to give him and she would rush out when she heard his calls, you had to be quick to see the Rag and Bone man. In return for your offerings he would often give out a donkey stone which was used to clean and colour the stone front door steps.
Around the same time in my childhood I can remember maybe once or twice a year an old gypsy lady doing the rounds and knocking on my Nans door, she wore an old style of dress and a bonnet and carried a basket full of ribbons, lace trimmings, threads and pegs for sale. Regardless of the circumstances my nan always bought something from her, even if it wasn’t needed or wanted because Nan positively believed the gypsy lady would put a curse on her house if she didn't and this superstition stayed with me for a very long time.
Its funny what jogs our happy memories sometimes!