The Rag and Bone Man…Remember him?

So, after a brief visit back to my hometown in the Midlands this past week, I found myself hearing something I haven’t heard since my childhood. The Rag and Bone Man.

As a child , each week , there would be the distant sound of what I can only imagine to be a ‘battered trumpet’ . This would be the ‘call to action’. You would know he was on his way and with each dented ‘blast’ you knew he was getting closer. If there was anything you wanted to leave out for him, you would be doing a quick round up to get it ready outside your house or one of the family would have to keep a look out for him.

Sad to say I don’t think I ever saw him, I only heard him. And I still haven’t seen him!!!!! One thing I do know is the sound of the trumpet still sounds battered but is played on a ‘loop’.

(have just come across this clip with the sound of the trumpet….now you know what I mean by sounding battered!!!!)


My understanding of the Rag and Bone Man was that he would come round to take away any unwanted/old/broken household goods. I assume he would then be able to sell what he could for scrap. Recycling?!!! Of course the other term which comes to mind is ‘one mans rubbish is another mans treasure.’ (I do like that term very much!) Heres an old ‘information film’ for you about the rag and bone man in the fifties….

Of course in TV terms it is easy to automatically think of the great sitcom ‘Steptoe & Son’, a show which would make Norah chuckle as it reminded her of growing up and her Father and brother bickering in the same way as the characters portrayed.Her family also had a horse & cart and I think the horses name was ‘white socks’.


STEPTOE & SON ~ A Great old sitcom.
STEPTOE & SON ~ A Great old sitcom. Click to see on old episode ‘Is that your Horse outside.’

There you go, a little trip down memory lane. Are there any ‘sounds from your childhood’ which you haven’t heard for while?   xxx







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