Frankie Shag, bric-a-brac seller, circa 1940s

Frankie Ballard, known as ‘Frankie Shag’, lived in Sandy Lane, Shanklin. The ‘Shag’ suffix came from his father, Stanley Ballard, who was familiarly (or otherwise) known as ‘Shagger Ballard’. He lived at 7, Percy Road Sandown, registered as such in Kelly’s Directories of both 1935-6 and 1951.

Frankie worked originally for Carpenters, builders in Shanklin. However, he suffered injury after a fall from scaffolding and was never quite right in the head again, so his father claimed. This is where the seller of bric-a-brac and a variety of useful household wares came into being. Itinerant salesmen of this kind were common on British streets after the Depression of the inter-war years, and likewise during the austerity years after the war.

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