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In Profile: Samuel Reilly

Sam Reilly, formerly from Dennistoun, has published his personal account of his time as a collector salesman in Glasgow. After many years of disappointment trying to publish his story in the traditional manner, he has finally achieved his ambition to recount those times for the amusement of others by publishing online with the help of his son Graham and the medium of the Internet.

Sam's eBook Can You Come Back Next Week? looks back on his life as a collector salesman in Glasgow during the 1950s and 60s and how families coped with their situation at that time. For those too young to know, a collector salesman sold goods such as clothing and shoes door-to-door to people on tick (credit). The buyer, usually the mother of four or more children trying to make ends meet, would then pay back an agreed weekly amount and the collector would "tick off" the payment received. A job since made redundant with the advent of the provi cheque, hire purchase and credit cards.

Sam says in his book synopsis, "The book I hope will stir up memories of people who brought up families in those days and depended on credit to enable them to survive. It is in the main a humorous attempt to recall those days although it is not all funny, but has its share of sadness too."

Excerpt from Chapter: The Lucky Middens!

Most of our 'equipment' came from these lucky Middens, so called because the Middens in question belonged to the 'toffs', who lived in sandstone houses opposite the park in Alexandra Parade. They were all Dentists, Lawyers or Accountants, all professional people. To explain for those who don't know what a Midden is, they were brick built structures, which housed the bins, for the respective closes, and could house up to about eight bins, with some storage space for larger items. Our Middens contained simple household garbage, not these Middens! There you could get bikes, prams, toys, old lamps (No genies I'm afraid), and an assortment of stuff. Not in perfect condition, but usable or convertible to 'guides' or 'coal wagons', I suppose you could say this was forties car boot stuff.

Available from Amazon

Jun 14, 2013


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