‘The Bone Man’
A familiar figure at Hereford Market in the mid-20th century was Eddie Drew ‘the bone man’. He farmed near Kington on the Welsh borders and on market day he would hire a room at the market pub, the Wheatsheaf, and tend to people’s injuries. “He’d get them down on the table and straighten their back, legs or arms and charge them half a crown,” recalled auctioneer Graham Baker. “And if we had a problem with an animal in the market we’d pop up and say: ‘Mr Drew can you come and look at this?’”
Eddie Drew came from a long family line of healers and was reputed to be related to ‘Silver’ John Lloyd, the bonesetter of Radnor Forest.
According to folklore, Silver John refused to take money for his bone setting and instead accepted token silver buttons, which his wife sewed into his favourite waistcoat. In the late 18th century, Silver John was making his way home from market at Builth Wells when he was set upon and murdered. Neither his waistcoat nor his murderers were ever found. According to the words of a local song: “Silver John is dead and gone, So they came home a-singing. Radnor boys pulled out his eyes
And set the bells a-ringing.”