You might hear a cry of "old clo, clo, observe the quality" before you see him. Named Soloman at birth, those that know him call him Solly.

Solly works in the clothes trade like most Jewish people living in the East End of London. Born to Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents, who also work in the rag trade, his earliest memories are of running around the markets selling all sorts, from pastries in the new exchange clothes market, Houndsditch, to nuts in Petticoat Lane market.


It was always his destiny to sell clothes. Unfortunately, without the regular customers he would like, he struggles. If he had his regulars, he could specialise in a particular garment. As it is, he sells whatever he can. This also means approaching anyone that he doesn't recognise to try and make a sale, never missing an opportunity!


Work usually means going to the clothes market buying a bale of clothes and hoping some of it is suitable to sell down Petticoat Lane or as he wanders the streets of London.  Occasionally, he acquires items which might be cheaper than you would expect, however he doesn't query where these clothes come from.

To buy these clothes, a loan of £1, from normally a neighbour or publican on a Monday morning is made. Ensuring this is fully repaid on a Friday evening, even if that means having to sell the coat on his back.


When he does make some money, this might be gambled away just for the love of speculation. This is usually on cards or dominoes, not wasted on drink! Food is usually the last thing on his mind. Not normally eating before work, as he is eager to get out on the streets to make money.


Be sure to look out for Solly, you never know when he's got a good bit of schmutter!