Did you ever come across a tiny wee tin of polish?
'Another salesman was a Pakistani gentleman who my brother Douglas irreverently called 'Sambo'. I have no idea what his real name was but I always admired him because it took guts to do what he did. He wore a traditional trench coat like Humphrey Bogart and carried a large brown suitcase stuffed with all manner of goods.' Liz Blades
As Liz says one of the many itinerant pedlars, hawkers and salesmen who visited The Stair each week was a small Pakistani or Indian travelling salesman. Liz Blades and I recall that the salesman was always dressed the same way, no matter whether it was summer or winter, he wore a fawn coloured raincoat/trench-coat. Mrs Anne Hoffmann seemed to recall that he wore a turban-I don't recall whether he did or not. If he did, the odds are that he was Indian. Perhaps when I see Douglas Blades towards the end of October I can ask him for his memory.As Liz said she admired him-it took a lot of chutzpah to go from household to household trying to peddle wares. He was always impeccably mannered with a ready smile on his face. For me he was like the rag n bone man because of his suitcase full of curiosities. Whereas Liz admired him, I admired the content of his suitcase-when he opened it to tempt his customers I of course was captivated; Mrs Anne Hoffmann was naturally less excited.
The only occasion I recall us getting something from him was a little tin of polish which he recommended to me for cleaning my bicycle. Ironically, I don't think we bought it-instead it was a free sample to thereafter tempt us to purchase the normal size tin. I believe the manufacturers produced these sample tins for that purpose.
I wonder what happened to him and his family over the years and decades? His was such an exotic appearance and visitation that he left an indelible mark on my memory.