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  • In the March issue of Best of British…
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Best of British is the UK’s premier nostalgia magazine covering every aspect of life from the 1930s to today.

Each issue encourages you to:

  • Explore readers’ own recollections and memories in our Yesterday Remembered section
  • Discover more about days gone past with stories on everything from vintage transport to great Britons and from Christmas traditions to great days out
  • Enjoy regular reader favourites such as Treasures in the Attic, 1940s Post, Postcard from… and of course our Puzzle Page and Crossword

We hope you like reading our magazine as much as we love compiling it. In the meantime here is this month’s letter from our Editor, Simon Stabler

Give Piece (and Quiet) a Chance

On a recent radio show, contributor was reminiscing about his childhood. “We hardly ever had chance to sit down,” was the gist of his tale, “as there was always someone knocking at the door, trying to sell us something.”

A similar thing happens these days. There’ll be a knock on the door from one religion or another, or a collector from a charity I’ve never heard of. And just when I think it’s safe, a courier bashes on the door to ask if I’d take a parcel in for No 43. No: they wouldn’t for us, why should I?

Peace and quiet reigns briefly before the rag and bone man, or more accurately, scrap metal merchant, comes a-calling. No longer on a horse and cart (though, as you’ll find elsewhere in this issue, there are exceptions) yelling out his profession in an abbreviated form that makes
newspaper vendors envious, he’s in a flat-bed van; supported by a ropey public address system, he barks: “Scrap metal collection, scrap metal collection!” Then he bawls: “Washing machines, cookers, fridges, old bikes, microwaves,” just so you get the point.

As a matter of fact, I do have a microwave that needs to go and it would save me a trip to the tip. Then I think about the rising price of scrap metal and realise what a winner he’s on to. He doesn’t give you anything in return, not even a lonely goldfish in a bag.

Why couldn’t I get a visit from the Ringtons’ tea man once in a while? A delivery of loose-leaf tea and a pack of Milk Chocolate Mallows would be just the ticket. I’d even welcome the pop man, providing his bottles of cherryade were the proper stuff (ie not sugar free, which
has never felt right to me).

Do you have fond memories of the knife-sharpener and his pedal-powered grindstone, or nightmares about having to follow the rag and bone man, armed with a bucket and shovel? Why not write in and let us know?