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“Whoile Whoile” Oily Bob, The Paraffin Salesman

Date: Assumed 1976

Artwork Lost

Whoile Whoile Oily Bob the Paraffin Salesman - George Mainwaring – Rochdale Artist

George's Notes

One curious character (a familiar figure to Rochdalians in the early years of this century) was known as Oily Bob, a pleasant stumpy little man who used to come round each week selling lamp oil. With his natty Welsh Cob and two-wheeled spring cart carrying a large drum of paraffin, his cry of “Whoile, Whoile” was heard in most parts of Rochdale at a time when quite a large number of houses were lit by oil lamps. I have recently been told by a very old friend that Bob’s surname was Holt, but I cannot confirm this. One thing I do know is that he had an uncanny attraction for cats and dogs and wherever he stopped, they clustered round him.

George Mainwaring

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