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Occupations - Disappeared

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
Just been writing down forgotten scenes, that I remember.
.
These are some of the activities that have disappeared from day-to-day street scenes during the course of my life:

BARRREL ORGAIN GRINDER: The King of beggars with his upright-piano-like machine. He made quite a pleasant
sound.
BOOTBLACK: In railway stations, city centres. He knelt in front of his customers to produce a highly glossed shoe.

CINEMA COMMISSIONAIRE: Adorned the front of every super-cinema. Resplendent in his gold braided uniform.
CINEMA USHERETTE: Mini torch in hand, led the patrons down the aisle, and lit up a seat for each and everyone.
CINEMA ORGANIST: The Mighty Wurlitzer, played melodiously as it rose from the depths in front of the screen, to
disappear as the lights dimmed for the next film.

INSURANCE COLLECTOR: Collected small amounts from 'door to door'.

KNIFE GRINDER: He sharpened knives, with a wonderful tread mill driven apparatus with a large wheel on top.

LAMPLIGHTER: The system required only a long pole, with a hook on the end. He rode his bike, holding the long
pole on his shoulder.
LIFT ATTENDANT: Either sex. A major employment in shop stores offices and hotels, often calling out the name of
each floor, and the goods available.

PARK KEEPER: The uniformed 'Parkie' was the scourge of all small boys.
PETROL PUMP ATTENDANT: Surely the last to go. Always there, whatever the weather
POINT DUTY POLICEMAN: His white over sleeves could not be missed.

SOLDIER/SAILOR/AIRMAN: Sadly missed. Home on leave, or whatever. The sailor with his 'Bell Bottoms, and ship name on his cap. The soldier, with his regiment markings, and rank, and the airman, with his smart collar and tie, and the R.A.F uniform, so unmistakable.
STREET TRADER: He had a tray in front, suspended by a string around his neck, selling matches or shoe laces.

WATCHMAN: To be seen on every road works or building site, with a canvas type shelter, with his coke brazier on
which he warmed himself, and cooked his supper. He would light the hurricane lamps of an evening to
mark the site.

No doubt there are many more that I have not covered.

Eddie
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The street trader has not yet disappeared, though it is a suitcase rather than a tray containing his wares.
Although boot blacks have disappeared from this country, Thank God. I am not one for bothering much about polished shoes, but even if I was them I wouldn't want someone doing it for me. However my sister sent me this picture taken in Austin in Texas.

 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
The bus conductor has not far off disappeared either!

Come to that, are there any bundy clocks about any more?

Maurice
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
Also long gone are the delivery men, including bread, coal, laundry man who collected dirty laundry and delivered it washed and pressed a few days later. I haven't seen a chimney sweep in many years although I believe a few still exist.
 

csmith604

master brummie
The rag and bone man - we would pester our mom to give us something so we could have a goldfish, we did succeed once
 
B

BernardR

Guest
Also long gone are the delivery men, including bread, coal, laundry man who collected dirty laundry and delivered it washed and pressed a few days later. I haven't seen a chimney sweep in many years although I believe a few still exist.
Chimney sweeps are doing well after a resurgence of solid fuel burning stoves. They even have their own association or guild - The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) formed in 1982 as a professional Trade Association. My Dad would have been surprised.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Sweeps are very busy as you say Bernard. Mine hails from Torquay and always has a waiting list. He took over from his grandfather a few years ago.

As far as buses are concerned the larger companies - which these days - are almost the same wherever you are in the UK - know where there vehicles are. I believe GPS provides the information. Ah! GPS, like most things a two edged sword.
 
B

BernardR

Guest
Good point Michael though they always were pretty quiet. We still have our milk delivered by the way the milk is from farm in Staffordshire.
 

Phil

Gone, but not forgotten.
Not many people have their milk delivered now unless it is part of an online shopping order. When it got to be much too expensive to have milk delivered to your door most people called it a day when it reached almost double the price of the supermarket. I held on as long as I could, but when the milkman started delivering two or three days supply at a time I had to give in and join the rest, because I was paying for fresh produce not two or even three days old.
 
B

BernardR

Guest
Phil we take two deliveries a week but (if the Countryfile programme at the weekend is anything to go by) our milk is still a lot fresher than the supermarkets as it is processed and bottled at the suppliers and it is only stored by us.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Although the road crossing sweeper has gone since the introduction of Tarmac, the street cleaner is alive and well. Saw two today in one street. Viv
 

norfolk brummie

gone but not forgotten
I still see people undertaking street, and roadside clearance, but these days I think it is mostly those given Community Service orders.
Eddie
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Anyone remember the knife sharpener man who used come door-to-door with a grinding wheel? Was it a named occupation? Not seen or heard of one of those for a long, long time. Viv.
 

Ray T

master brummie
The coal man was a sight to behold for me as a boy in 1950s Sparkbrook. He carried the sacks of coal off his lorry, onto his back and down our entry way, then he'd tip the contents into the cellar of our back-to-back house. I well remember his blackened face from the coal dust. I wouldn't have recognised him if I'd seen him not working.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
Our local petrol station in Moseley has an attendant. I wouldn't call that out in the sticks!!
Janice
 
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