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Rag and Bone Men


Gracii Guns

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We moved to a part of town that's too rough to be described as "up and coming". On Saturday mornings, I'd hear this weird shouting, which I couldn't decipher a syllable of. Since I've been working from home, it turns out that the event repeats every few days. I hadn't heard of it before, but my husband says it was someone collecting scrap metal.

I've searched this new experience on Google, and it turns out that most people haven't seen a "Rag and Bone" man since the '70s.

Am I living in the '70s, or does anyone else get this too? Has anyone gotten any money for their scrap metal?

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What's odd about collecting scrap metal? My dad (he's an electrician) can get a few hundred bucks for a hundred lbs. of scrap copper (it takes a few months to collect that much though). If you have a decent amount of aluminum it's worth a bit, it's not really too uncommon to find people who 'recycle' for a living.

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What's odd about collecting scrap metal? My dad (he's an electrician) can get a few hundred bucks for a hundred lbs. of scrap copper (it takes a few months to collect that much though). If you have a decent amount of aluminum it's worth a bit, it's not really too uncommon to find people who 'recycle' for a living.

I don't find it odd. I know about the scrap metal trade from working in the cycling industry. Nothing is as heartbreaking for a cyclist than the prospect of your bike being melted. I just didn't realise they still used the "horse and cart" way of collecting it until now.

Would prefer it being an ice cream truck though.

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It use to be quite common (or maybe still is) in inner-cities in the U.S. Many crackheads and heroine users will strip the metal out of anything and sell it to buy more drugs. A good account of the phenomenon back in the 90s was written by David Simon in his book "The Corner."

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It reminds me of Ashington, Northumberland which is this town near where I live. Wall to wall red brick terraced housing, like Coronation Street but ten times as big. They still have coal holes at the back, these little doors where you obtained your coal. Some people have bricked them up now but the new bricks are the give away. And the scrap men come around doing that weird cry.

And all the streets are named after British military heroes and Victorian Prime Ministers!

Edited by DieselDaisy
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When i was little they used to come down ringing a bell, asking for old rags and junk and that. Totters they were also called. They never came in a horse and cart like Steptoe though, they'd come in a big open back truck thing. They'd gimme a ride on the open back and drop me off down the bottom of the road where'd run back.

steptoe_and_son_2095776b.jpg

The greatest sitcom ever made :)

Edited by Len B'stard
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They really go around with a horse and cart? :lol:

And a bike being melted down into a new, better bike shouldn't be depressing :P

Not for nothing do i call all these fuckin' northerners yokels y'know, you wanna see what it's like up their way, grim ain't the fuckin' word :lol:

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Our guy actually drives a pickup truck.

My great grandad was a fruit and veg man though, who did have a horse and cart! I'm told he could leave the horse untethered outside the pub, and it would be waiting for him after great grandad had finished his pint!

That story was probably edited for child Gracii's ears, it was probably eight pints, a round of bread and dripping and a good old fashioned Yorkshire punch up, after which all the lads hoisted your Grandad onto the cart and let the horse find its way home :lol:

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