WHEN it gets round to it, this week’s Nostalgia feature is all about rubbish and the collection thereof. But it starts with a reference to last week’s piece about fisticuffs, and sometimes booticuffs, in the Angel Place area of Worcester.

In it I mentioned a very colourful local character who, as a lad, felt his Saturday night was not complete without having a fight with someone in Angel Place. His day job was a company boss, much involved with the refuse industry, and, among other things, he ran a rubbish tip a few miles outside Worcester.

One day he received a curt letter from the local council, which was looking for an excuse to shut the operation down, saying it had received a complaint from someone who had seen a rat on his tip and what did he proposed to do about it.

“A RAT!” he shouted at me. “ONE BLEEDIN’ RAT! I told the *****s what to do.” He did as well and sent the council a handwritten note, which was read out at a meeting by the clerk. It read: “Dear Sir, I am sorry Mrs ***** has seen a rat on my tip. You ask me what I am going to do. I will tell you. If I see the little ******* I’ll shoot it. Yours, C*****.” Job done.

Rubbish, refuse, call it what you will, is always a contentious subject. Virtually everyone produces it but few want anything to do with it once it’s left home. At one time the whole lot went straight on to a rubbish tip, but in the last 30 years the concept of recycling has really gained traction and now most households have at least two, if not three coloured bins into which to put their rubbish.

Of course what goes in the black one, what goes in the green one and what goes in the brown one can often be a confusing, especially when you hear that not all plastic is recyclable.

It’s a far cry from the days when the dustman heaved your single bin on to his shoulder, tipped the entire contents into the cart, returned the bin and was off to next door. Mind you, as a lad at primary school in 1950s Worcestershire I do recall collecting the foil tops off the little bottles of milk or orange juice we had at mid-morning break for some reason. But no-one mentioned recycling. To us a cycle was a posh name for a bike.

Dustbins then were those heavy, clanky metal things with large lids that came in handy as shields if you were playing Cavaliers and Roundheads. The bins themselves perpetually stank as there was a build-up of gunge in the bottom thanks to the left-over food mixing with the potato peelings mixing with the old flowers etc etc.

The metal bin was gradually replaced by the lighter plastic bin and then in 2005 the first wheelie bins were introduced in Worcester. They were emptied by being placed into a mechanical lift, which tipped them straight into the cart, saving bad backs.

This led to a Worcester Evening News feature on what to do with your old static bin. Suggestions ranged from a dog kennel and a beer cooler to a container for all the make-up women seem to accumulate.

Unsurprisingly the writer was a man and as he still works here now I won’t name him in case the Sisterhood heave him into their black bin, having declared him household rubbish.

READ MORE: Angel Place's colourful past