Here in darkest, rural, France profonde, we regularly receive these small hardware catalogues that arrive with the post. Inside is everything from chimney cleaning rods, to home welding kits, and fail-proof rat traps. Yesterday morning I visited this particular one to buy a large, heavy duty, tarpaulin, to cover the pool for winter (my old one is in shreds).
And this is what the 'shop' looks like. They park-up somewhere central, open the side doors, and, after a couple of hours, are off to the next town. Many years ago these mobile traders were a life-line to country folk, but now everything is available locally, and they've started to disappear.
When we first arrived in France 40 years ago, similar, but much smaller, traders would call by our house on a regular basis. There were clothes vans, groceries, a butcher, a baker, and an agricultural supplies van. At the time we very pleased to have these people stop by, as it saved us the long trek into town. In fact we used to buy things that we didn't even need, just to keep them coming. Nowadays they are all but gone; even the baker no longer calls. Shame!
How terrific, they no longer go around here either,these days they order by phone and it is me that delivers,although most do get to tow for large things,me pet hate is the wine orders, they now come in 18 bottle cartons and i nearly bust my foffoo trying to carry them for the oldies,and then the saddles are no light weight either.Wasn't life just wonderful,these people probably told all the news as they went along from place to place,very romantic times I think.ReplyDelete
My Outiror catalogue arrived this morning. I could spend a fortune on lots of things I would like but propably never use.ReplyDelete
They come around here too, Sue. But all the catalogues seem to sell the same stuff!ReplyDelete
I knew I'd hit middle age when I could sit and read these catalogues cover to cover.ReplyDelete
I can vaguely remember travelling grocer's vans here in the UK.
Nothing like that truck though.
We used to have a Frenchman turn up at our house in Surrey to sell onions. He was on a bike.ReplyDelete
They're still waiting for him to come back!ReplyDelete
So kind of the door-to-door salesman, but you do the traveling. We haven't seen this in Canada, yet, but I'm sure it will arrive - every other marketing ploy in the book is being used.ReplyDelete
We used to have a peddler who arrived at the farm every month or so, but I'm sure he is long dead, as he was quite elderly 40 years ago.
As the population ages maybe these travelling stores will start going door to door again. So much easier for older folks than endangering themselves and others on the roads to get to the stores. When I was a kid we had the bread man, milk man, ice man, fuller brush man...probably others but, you know, the age thing..ReplyDelete
Maybe shopping habits are turning round again. I can remember the travelling shop. We used to have two little notebooks. I would write the week's food order in one. The grocer would deliver the supplies in his van and notebooks would be swapped over for him to deliver the following week's groceries. Then he was paid by cheque at the end of each month - bit like the internet only they want their cash up front. He was a lot more trustingReplyDelete
O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street...ReplyDelete
Be still my beating heart...if only we had roving trucks...the butcher, the baker the candlestick maker. I did see a small-ish truck in the neighbourhood recently crawling around at 3mph ringing a bell and touting over a fog-horn-sort of thing that he sharpened knives. When we lived in Tokyo, we routinely bought our fish from the back of a van that just showed up randomly in the neighbourhood...three years and the sum of my communication with the fishman was pointing, nodding and smiling!ReplyDelete
It's time the door-to-door salesman came back....ReplyDelete