I was in Birmingham last weekend, sitting in a garden, when I heard a terrible wailing from the street outside. The people I was with were vaguely irritated, but not at all alarmed. They saw my puzzled face, and explained the noise was the trumpet the rag and bone man blew. He was a regular, and not a popular, visitor. He had a van, not a horse. Maybe that was where he was going wrong.
There was recent article in the Daily Express which extolled the benefits of the resurgent rag and bone man with horse; the horse apparently encouraging people to recycle in France. Maybe someone should give Mr Birmingham Rag-and-Bone a copy of the article. Charm might be the way to go.
Thanks to Rosemary Hall for telling me about this.