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Pig Bin Days

I remember the large heavy duty pig bins that were distributed throughout all the districts in the roads. In Sladedale Rd they were situated at regular intervals along the path, our nearest one was next to the lamp post, top of the 'ollow, opposite Goldsmid Street and Dicken's corner shop.

As a small kid it was my job to take any scraps over to it. I hated having to struggle with the very heavy duty lid before putting in the scraps.

The powerful sickly smell during the summer heat was another unwelcome reason for not wanting to go near the bin. All too often the lid would be left half on, or completely off, which resulted in clouds of buzzing flies and worse still was the wasps.

Approaching the bin after a long hot spell was the worst.
Knowing, with every nearing step, what was going to assail my eyes and nose when I lifted that heavy galvanized lid!

A terrible stomach turning slush of slimy food scraps, churning and writhing with fat maggots would greet you, followed immediately by a breath taking blast of the foulest stinking smell from hell. Holding my breath I would quickly scrape the plate of scraps into this hell hole. Then, finally, after replacing the lid, and red faced, I could then take a great gulp of fresh air!

These pig bins were emptied by the council bin men, tipped into small round shaped side loading lorries with sliding shutters. Foul smelling water used to run dripping on to the road from these smelly lorries.

The pig bins was the Governments solution of recycling valuable food scraps for pig food during the very lean years in Britain following the second world war.

Then, suddenly, one day, the dreaded bins disappeared! My mother said that the bins were taken away after they were blamed for causing a large outbreak of diphtheria. I blamed them for a lot of other unmentionable things!

But it was sure good not have to endure them any more.

Colin Weightman



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