No paper recycling back then

Portsmouth dustcart, 1939
Portsmouth dustcart, 1939
The telegram received by William Halls mother  still upsetting to read 78 years on.

NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Curse of the telegram: Dear Mrs Hall – your son is dead

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In 1939 there were no such things as separate boxes or wheelie bins for recycling.

If you had waste paper, you were told to burn it, as the notice on the side of this Portsmouth dustcart implored. This was not difficult as everybody had coal fires.

This was another trade in which horses were used and the faithful animal here stands patiently with his master for the photographer while the new City of Portsmouth dustcart is recorded for posterity.

The leather tack and brass buckles have apparently received special attention before the driver set out for his appointment with the photographer.

The dustman himself, wearing a flat cap and leather jerkin and with his trouser legs and sack apron tied up with string, is fairly typical of the working man of the period.

Horses were much used by the corporation and their own stables were an important part of civic operations.