Great photograph, but you failed to mention the window cleaner. His barrows there and the ground floor ladders there, the pointed one, but the he’s missing. Drinking Tae at the Green Grocers?
They say the invention of the wheel changed everyone’s life, it could certainly be a move upwards, Think about it, with a bike, you could be a Lamp Lighter, you could be the one riding around twice a day, a bamboo pole with a hook on the end, turning the gas on and off
Two wheels and a box and there’s no limit to your horizon, a bucket and a chamois and you’re a Window Cleaner with your own round, “Mek sure yo gerr in the corners”. Or with a set of brushes, two hessian tater sacks and you’re a chimney sweep. “Leave the soot I can use it on the roses.”
Two wheels, a set of handlebars and you move up the social scale. You could be the Clubman, though you had to have the regulation gabardine Mac and trilby plus bicycle clips. Sixpence a week with the Liverpool and Victoria Assurance Company and Granny was assured of a burial befitting her status. Top of the ladder, the Rent Man. How many time were you told to stand behind the door and don’t make a noise, “We ae gorrit this week.”
Move up again; add two more wheels and a horse, some goldfish and you would be a rag and bone man, a 1940’s Del Boy. Perhaps a mobile Green Grocer, a set of scales on the back of the cart and you were in business. Like to get your hands dirty, sell coal, you didn’t need a yard, go down to the “cut”, fill up the cart, straight off the barge and at the end of the day you tie the horse to the end of the bed and you were on the way to your first million.
If you couldn’t afford wheels, a coke brazier, to sit in front of, a night watchman, guarding a hole in the road. Must have worked, I never heard of one being stolen, although really you were there to see the Council Paraffin Lamps never went out.
The Apprentice? They haven’t got a clue.