MEMORY LANE: Who remembers the rag man?

The rag man with his horse and cart
The rag man with his horse and cart

WHO remembers the rag man? Kenny Surtees has sent us this poem about the commong site of the man and his horse:

ON his way the rag man goes,

He’s totting once again.

Down Murray Street and Brenda Road,

Each day at half-past-ten.

In overcoat and hobnailed boots,

And flat cap on his head.

The rag man and his shire horse,

Have many roads to tread.

He bellows in the wind and rain,

“Rag-bone, rag-bone, rag-bone”

Down cobbled-streets and alley-ways,

There’s no ground he won’t comb.

He finds a rusty bicycle,

A table, chair and lamp.

Then he finds a rocking chair,

That’s frayed and very damp.

He pours himself a cup of tea,

From some old fusty flask.

“Hey Mister, does your horse bite?” All the little children ask.

He hears a woman shout aloud,

Who looks a little sloven.

Calling from her back yard,

“Will you take my old gas oven?”

The rag-and-bone man is content,

He’s had a pleasing day.

He holds the reins and clamours,

“Giddy-up there, on your way”

It’s getting cold as snowflakes fall,

And soon it will be dark.

But come tomorrow he’ll be back,

On streets where stray dogs bark.

Kenny Surtees,

High Street,