How times have changed…


When I was a child, I was always very excited to hear the sound of a handbell, and the cry ‘Rag and Bone! Rag and Bone!’ – I would dash out to the street to pet the Rag and Bone man’s horse, Dolly. For those of you too young to remember, this is what I’m talking about (except our Rag and Bone man was a lot older and wore an old black suit and Dolly was a brown (bay, for those of you who know horsey stuff) Rag_&_Bone_Man

Today, I heard a handbell ringing, and looked out of the window to see a flatbed truck driving slowly up our street, with a little boy running alongside it on the pavement, shouting ‘Rag and Bone! Rag and Bone!’

Call me old-fashioned, but I think I prefer our old Rag and Bone man and Dolly… but it’s nice that some traditions live on, even if they have been updated. Tell me your Rag and Bone man stories!

2 thoughts on “How times have changed…

  1. In the Fall, my parents would take myself and my brother to New York City. We stayed at the Plaza Hotel, and there was a line of horse carriages outside the hotel and below our window. I would fall asleep to their clop- clop.
    I didn’t have the blessing of good health and my father would treat me to a carriage ride when I was low. We would go slowly around the stillness of Central Park. It reminded me of Theodore Roosevelt and his father, Theodore Sr., whom the son called Greatheart. When Theodore Jr. was struck with asthma, his father would bundle him to into a carriage and bid the driver go fast through the streets to get air into the boy’s lungs.
    To this day, I love the sound of horses in a city, an increasingly rare sound.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Charles – your words conjured up marvellous pictures in my mind’s eye! I have always been drawn to horses, ever since reading Anna Sewell’s ‘Black Beauty’ as a child. I would draw and paint them everywhere and anywhere I could, and couldn’t wait to leave school -leaving behind a formal education – in order to train as a ‘girl groom’. Sadly it wasn’t to be the career for me; I was a mediocre and timid rider at best, although I enjoyed the country life, so different to my upbringing… But I had a wonderful three years finding out that it wasn’t for me, and am glad that I took that path – otherwise I might still be wondering today… Where I grew up, in Aldershot -the home of the British Army – we also had Mounted Military Police, alas no more. But the sound of the horses and the sight of the MPs in their smart uniforms is another treasured memory.

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