Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Bag of Bones

For this week's Sepia Saturday photo prompt Alan has given us a WW2 poster of a Rag and Bone man with a dog offering his bone for the collection. Perhaps this is telling us that even the animals were selflessly prepared to make sacrifices  and 'do their bit'. The cheerful bone collector reminds me of Alan, I wonder why. Perhaps he and Amy could re-create the scene for us 2012 style. 


Rag and Bone men, rag-pickers  or bone-grubbers are well known through world history and, sadly in many countries today people still have to scavenge in rubbish tips just to stay alive. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s the call of "Raaaag 'n Bown" was familiar in Nottingham streets. We would rush out with old broken teapots or torn shirts and be given a penny or two, a balloon or a colouring book in exchange. There was no recycling in those days. 

The picture on the right, taken by my daughter just this week in a London street, shows that the tradition is still carried on by 'travellers'. She was focussing on the rather skinny horse and not his cart, but you can see that he seems to have acquired a few pieces of scrap metal to convert to cash.




Whilst flicking through my albums I found this picture of my dog Kim striking the same pose as the one in the poster. He is not offering me anything, but rather 'begging' for some tidbit - perhaps a bone. The picture is nearly fifty years old so it qualifies for a place on Sepia Saturday. That little dog lived for many years and ended his days as the much-loved pet of my parents long after I had left home.

The only other bone related picture I could offer, apart from an x-ray of my wrists which wouldn't be terribly exciting, is this one of my husband at our Hallowe'en party about twenty-five years ago. The sign next to the skeleton on the wall says, "Skeleton staff only tonight...serve yourself or die of thirst!" We thought we were so witty! 






Whilst 'boning up' on this subject I found this little article in this week's Sunday Times newspaper's 'Top Stories From around The World' page. 

Funny Bones

Italy: Staff at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino airport were surprised to discover the outline of a man on their x-ray screens. They soon discovered it was a Norwegian tourist; the unnamed man had arrived to find the check-in desk for his flight empty - and had taken a nap on the luggage conveyor belt.

The belt was started in the morning and he trundled through the system for 15 minutes before being spotted, but was unhurt. An officer said: "There's usually an episode like this once a year."





I'll make no bones about suggesting you go over to Sepia Saturday to see what other contributors have made of the prompt below. If you have a skeleton in your own family cupboard why not join us?



20 comments:

  1. Stories of Rag and Bone men are new to me! But I wish I had thought of the "skeletons in the closet" idea from your sign-off, because I'm sure I have a million.

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  2. Hello Marilyn:
    Sadly, it is still the case that people live on the streets of Budapest and keep body and soul together by what they find in rubbish bins. The authorities simply do not provide sufficiently for them.

    However, on a more positive note, a good idea we think is that every year on a certain day, house owners are invited to turn out any unwanted items on the street. Anyone can then browse and take home whatever they fancy. Recycling at its best we think.

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  3. In Lancaster, around the same time, the ragman's cry was streamlined to "AnyragBONE" which was slighly clearer than the Evening Post seller's glissando call of "uuuUUVVvningpst"

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  4. There was recycling in the old days, just not done by putting the items in a bin by the curb. The rag and bones man recycled them. Oh an x-ray! I wonder where mine is?

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  5. I remember the rag and bone man giving us a donkey stone in exchange for rubbish. My mother used after she had cleaned the stone doorstep to leave a white pristine edge on it.

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  6. As always, your post gets me smiling and gets me remembering. I remember the rag and bones man coming (and until now I have never considered why he might want bones) and I remember the poor goldfish in a plastic bag he used to hand out. As for the prompt photograph - now you have set me a challenge.

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  7. I was surprised that there was still a horse on the street used to collect junk. I think the closest we would have to that is people collecting cans to get money by recycling. Some of them use bicycles.

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  8. I did enjoy your "take" on the theme. I remember the rag & bone man coming round the streets where I lived in Blackpool, Lancashire in the 1950's. And what a cutey your little dog was!

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  9. On the first picture, the thing on the sidewalk, is that a piece of metal to prevent the horse from "an early departure"? Have never seen that before. And indeed, there is a striking resemblance with Alan :) I also liked the "no spirits served" sign in your last photo.

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  10. I remember our rag and bone man, and I shall never forget his call. Nice hallowe'en costume. I'll pop over for more sepia, probably to-marrow!

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  11. When I was a young child a rag man used to come around. My mother sometimes threatened to sell me to him. Of course, he became a scary sort of man to my young mind.

    When we lived in El Salvador many years ago there places where people put "scraps" but the scraps were immediately collected by others less fortunate that the people who threw out the odd bits.

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  12. It's funny you mentioned him reminding you of Alan, because I kind of had that same thought! The rag and ice men back in the day were gone when I was born, but hearing their stories now are so interesting to me. What a beautiful opening into Sepia Saturday this week you offered for us. It reminds me that for new comers stopping by we should explain things just like you did! A great post!

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  13. I grew up in a rural location so we didn't have rag and bone men but I know they had them in the cities and towns. Kim looks very cute :-) Jo

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  14. You made me acquainted with 'rag and bone-man'. Very interesting!

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  15. A neat mix. I wondered if someone would pick this idea. Nothing went to waste in antique times, mainly because so many industries still used "natural" materials in their products. And those industries, tanneries, felt and paper factories, etc. were right there in the city.

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  16. I remember having a collection of tin cans, metal and all kinds of things for the WWII effort. Took our iron doll bed away.
    QMM

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  17. I remember the rag and bone men quite clearly. And then came Steptoe and Son...

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  18. We still have a rag and bone man who visitsthe village quite regularly. Although he shouts "Rag 'n Bone" he is really after scrap metal. No Hercules for him, just a flat bed trailer.

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  19. The horse doesn't look too happy, but you chose some great pictures. American's didn't/don't recycle as much as we could have over the years. Very interesting to learn of the way England handled their "good" waste.

    Kim and your hubby are quite cute!

    Kathy M.

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  20. Kim looked simply adorable there; and I love that Halloween party. So, no spirits served?!? That's no party of mine!!!
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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