The Rag and Bone Man


I remember when I was a little girl

And the Rag and Bone man came round

On his cart pulled by a horse

All manner of things could be found

A washing machine with a broken ringer

And a bicycle without a wheel

He used to give my grandma two pence

For a bag of meat bones leftover from a meal

The bones were used for knife handles

And the grease extracted used to make soap

We’d give them to him in a potato sack

Tied around the top with a piece of rope

I remember one day the ragman

Knelt down on the ground

Searching between the paving stones

Where horseshoe nails could be found

Over his tired shoulders

He would carry a small bag

It would contain bones and various metals

Plus numerous pieces of coloured rag

One of the ragmen who came to our street

His name was Henry Moon

If we gave him something for his cart

We were rewarded with a goldfish or a balloon

It was a hard life being a ragman

People now wouldn’t see the sense

In working from early morning till night

For the measly sum of six pence

You still see rag and bone men about

No longer with a horse-drawn cart

Driving around in short wheel-base lorries

They have scrap collecting down to a fine art

They still pick up broken washing machines

And bicycles without a wheel

But some people still prefer to fly-tip

Dumping unwanted items in a field

We live in a throwaway society

No longer reliant on Mr Rag and Bone

It’s easy to get rid of scrap items

We just need to pick up the phone

  • Author: jenny1959 (Offline Offline)
  • Published: March 30th, 2017 16:14
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 176


  • niallprideaux

    Loved it 🙂


    Thanks for sharing JENNY My Parents told me of the RAGGY ccming round on his horse and cart with a bell or a bogle to let people know he was there. There is a vintage UK TV Programme (on DVD) called Steptoe and Son about two Rag & Bone Men. Very interesting Poem thanks for caring & sharing. Please check my poems ~ Thanks BRIAN


    Very interesting idea for a poem....enjoyed

  • Goldfinch60

    Good write and very true. Used to see them in my youth but as you said they now drive around in lorries but still with all manner of things on them.

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