Knife and Scissors Man
Tuesday 25th March 2014.
“Knife and Scissors need sharpening ma’am. Just a penny fur each item.” He would shout with a broad yokel accent.
Just recently I have been researching folk songs and music. This particular style of music has always been a favourite of mine, and while doing so I came across this one. I could not find a recorded song so I have decided to make a normal post out of it rather than a music one that I intended to do. This song and title reminded me of old services that my mother use to use. Many of you might have even experienced or come across the same.
Above is the song, and it brings to mind the days when I was a very young boy, a man, rather scruffy man with his bicycle toured the roads and streets touting for work. He was offering the sharpening of knives and scissors and all sorts of gardening tools, shears, pluming cutters, hoes, virtually anything that was offered to him..
His bicycle was fitted with two circular grinding stones. One large one and one small one, of different grades. Apparently a coarse stone and a fine stone.
He would set his bicycle on a stand and make a few adjustments and somehow got his pedal and chain to connect with a few different cogs that would then enable him to turn the grind stones. Some of theses pedlars would be towing a small cart which would carry other tools and a seat and cogs and connections. He would spend a few minutes setting up his bicycle so he could sit and peddle away turning the stones and sharpening the offerings given him. He was quite popular in our road, many of the neighbours would come out and get a selection of knives or scissors sharpened, including my mother.
This man was just one of a few that use to travel our streets in those days. We use to have a pretend Frenchman selling onions, Another was man selling fresh vegetables and other groceries from his van. My mother used him regularly. Every Friday he turned up about 5pm and he became a friend, his name was Mr Bishop. Also a coal delivery service every week, once and sometimes twice, depending on demand.
We also use to get a lot of other door to door selling, flower sellers, wooden peg sellers, and at Christmas others would appear trying to sell wreaths and log decorations. There are probably others that I cannot remember, but I bet you can think of a few different one.
Today trends have changed so much, health and safety etc, and this no longer happens, or at least to acceptability standards.