With a license to move waste, Sussex Transport make regular collections of old batteries, cables, lead, pipes and other scrap metal bound for scrap dealers up and down the UK.
Many years ago, it would be the ‘Rag and Bone’ man who would collect unwanted materials such as old clothes, scrap metal, old appliances etc.
Ringing a bell to announce his presence, usually with a horse drawn cart, shouting something indistinguishable at the top of his voice, he would collect scrap door to door.
It was in the days when most house-holders grew their own vegetables – so there was always a race for the manure left behind by the horse! In return for your scrap – the Rag and Bone man would offer a ‘donkey stone’; these were made from a mixture of pulverised stone, cement, bleach powder and water and were used for cleaning your front step!!
These days with the increased demand and price of scrap metal, this sort of service is resurfacing – although the horse and cart tradition has generally been replaced with a man in a van and you will be rewarded with cash rather than a donkey stone! However – there are some towns where you can still see the traditional sight of a rag and bone man complete with horse and cart
In 2008 a 2,500-year-old gold cup sold for £50,000 at auction. The cup was given to a man who is now in his 70’s by his rag-and-bone man grandfather, who acquired it in the 1930s. The man said he remembered the cup as a small boy and had kept it in shoe box beneath his bed for 60 years! Experts from the University of Oxford and Harwell Scientifics dated the gold cup from the 3rd or 4th Century BC in Persia (from what is now Iran to Libya.)
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