What is a 'Bag Man'?
Duration 1 minute 57 seconds
Q: Can you talk at all about the hosiery industry at the end of the last Century, you talked about sort of 'bag men' and your grandfather and grandmother's workshops in Ruddington?
A: Yes, er my grandmother's father was in fact er I believe the biggest 'bag man' in the district, most of his properties, his hand frame knitting shops and warehouses still exist in the village although they are now used for different purposes, part of it is a public house now, but er he was in just a fair way a fair way of business was Mr. Beeson, er and employed quite a few people, not only in this village but in neighbouring villages, Barton, Thrumpton and Gotham, er with his hand frames as a cottage industry.
Q: Could you tell me at all what being a bag man actually involved?
A: Yes a bag man acted as an agent, he was...er the merchants in the city of Nottingham er provided the materials to produce er the work on the hand frames, the bag man was his agent, self-employed and er bought his yarn from the merchants in Nottingham produced the articles that were required and er returned them to the merchant in Nottingham, er what the re-imbursement was I don't know and I've never known, er but er being employers of local labour they were not always the most popular people in the village er in the locality, er they were particularly hard task masters and er whilst it wouldn't be true to mek a general rule that they were not liked, a good many of them in fact were not liked, but er I believe it was a very lucrative business within the standards of those, those days.
Source: Nottingham Central Library Local History Section (Recording A17/a-c/1)