My Dad The Rag Man

A Memory of Birstall

My dad was born in Howden Clough but he had a rag warehouse at the Smithies cross roads opposite the Grey hound pub. He used to buy old clothing and rags from people known as 'totters' or from householders who took them to him. The 'totters' used many types of transport to collect and move their old clothing on. Some used horses and carts and others used vans. One man and his mother used an old pram and could be seen walking through Birstall on a daily basis collecting their rags.

I wondered if any people remember seeing totters queuing up in the early afternoon to await dad weighing their goods in to the warehouse? In this day and age of recycling it would be easy to forget that the Heavy Woollen district area of West Yorkshire, which Batley and Birstall were very much a part. Were recycling textiles over a hundred and fifty years ago.

Let me know if you remember the warehouse or dad. Peter Armitage.

A memory shared by Peter Armitage , on Jun 4th, 2014.

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