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Rag and bone man. I never saw a woman doing it!

(20 Posts)
pensionpat Sat 26-Aug-17 16:11:45

What did you get from the rag and bone man? I think it varied according to where you lived. In Birmingham it was a goldfish that never lasted long. My friend from Manchester says she got a donkey stone. Much more practical.

Smithy Sat 26-Aug-17 18:17:15

What's a donkey stone?
We got balloons in the North East as far as I remember. That's going a looong way back Pensionpat.

Smithy Sat 26-Aug-17 18:18:43

No you're right women didn't
Do they were busy looking after men and kids!

Iam64 Sat 26-Aug-17 18:48:57

Donkey stones, with which the women would donkey stone the front step. This, along with clean windows and curtains would be enough to confirm that this woman kept a clean and decent house. That also meant she was not in the class of women who were 'no better than she ought to be'.

Chewbacca Sat 26-Aug-17 18:59:57

Donkey stones in the area of Manchester that I grew up in too.

Christinefrance Sat 26-Aug-17 19:06:11

Donkey stone the step, polish the brass knocker and letterbox. Net curtains must be whiter than white then you kept a decent house, so right Iam64 West Riding of Yorkshire style.

Chewbacca Sat 26-Aug-17 19:11:21

You can still buy donkey stones from the Portland Basin Industrial Heritage Centre in Ashton-under-Lyne. When the manufacturer of the stones, Eli Whalley, went out of business, the museum bought his machinery and they sell them in the museum shop.

Greyduster Sat 26-Aug-17 20:03:51

My mother used a donkey stone on our steps. I had completely forgotten about them. Another blast from the past!

petra Sat 26-Aug-17 20:31:44

There is a very well know rag & bone family here in Southend and it's a woman who runs one of the lorries.

BlueBelle Sat 26-Aug-17 20:52:34

Never heard of donkey stones and never seen a rag and none man

hildajenniJ Sat 26-Aug-17 20:55:59

We never had a rag and bone man. The Betterware man used to come round the doors though. My mother used to buy polish and dusters from him.

Ana Sat 26-Aug-17 20:57:50

Can't remember whether we got anything, but I do remember my Granny rushing out to shovel up the horse's droppings for her garden!

lemongrove Sat 26-Aug-17 22:58:09

I think I must pay a visit to a well known optician soon as I have just read Ana's post as 'whores droppings' I was shocked and re-read it, oh dear me.
I do wonder who's bright idea putting a yellow line across doorsteps was?
Rags i bones used to be an often heard cry in the streets, but no woman then would ever have done the job.

Chewbacca Sat 26-Aug-17 22:59:03

grin lemongrove

Teetime Sun 27-Aug-17 10:10:29

I remember the Rag and Bone man growing up in the East End of London. He could be heard streets away ringing his bell and hollering something untelligible.
Anyone remember the R & B man in the Good Life who brought the range and a kitten and was going off to his villa in Spain?

Oriel Sun 27-Aug-17 10:24:46

When I read the title I thought it was about the singer!

A question about the donkey stone... what was it? I see that it was used to clean a front step but what was it made of?

TriciaF Sun 27-Aug-17 11:15:51

In the NE they used to shout something like "Any old Ragabo!"
I don't remember them giving a gift, only collecting stuff.
We had a man in a lorry collecting stuff last week (SW France.)
He took some old metal and a flat car battery.
There's a very refined lady in charge of our local 'tip'.

Greyduster Sun 27-Aug-17 11:21:46

It's a mixture of pulverised stone, cement, bleach powder and water, formed into blocks. (And yes, I had to look it up!). My mother used mostly white. It showed up in the dark when you had to cross the yard to the outside lavatory! So, functional as well as decorative grin.

Elegran Sun 27-Aug-17 20:10:40

Never saw a woman rag and bone man, but in South East Circus Place, Stockbridge (Edinburgh) there was, until she died in 1979 aged 92, a basement shop run by an Isabella or Annabella Coutts, who bought and sold second-hand clothes, shoes, jewellery and bric-a-brac, amid a strong aroma of tobacco smoke and cats (she had about a dozen). At one time she had for a while been married to a Monsieur Dofur, and above the door was the name "Madame Doubtfire," and her slogan, "“Madame Doubtfire, cast-off clothing of all description, invites inspection”.

harrigran Tue 29-Aug-17 08:40:59

There was a shop like that in our town in the first half of the twentieth century, run by a lady called Jenny Lee. If we didn't tidy our bedrooms father would say they looked like ' Jenny Lee's tagarine store'. Your description Elegran fits my father's.