Laundry Monday is the customary day for doing laundry or “dobby”, as washing is sometimes referred to in the merchant navy. Cloth rags are used for general cleaning and maintenance of boats. Cast off bed linen, shirts and sundry other things can be made into cleaning rags; used especially by cleaners ~ a pivotal, but often disregarded cog in the operating machinery of industry.
With rags, well known local characterful rag and bone men (the original recyclers) spring to mind. The rag and scrap trade is wonderfully captured by Messrs Simpson and Galton, where the domestic antics of Steptoe and Son were shown on screen, radio and stage plays.
I was often told by the elders about Mr “Raggy” Myers, the legendary gentleman merchant of Skipton~in~Craven, Yorkshire, for much of the 20th century. In truth, the kindly and enterprising Mr Myers and his family bought and sold many commodities, including wool (a staple of the Dales) and antiques. One of the attractive golden sandstone buildings where the Myers' originally operated, remains at Albert Street, between Coach Street, the canal and the High Street; albeit presented today in a smarter guise, with restaurants, bars and shops.