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Back in the old days, which maybe don’t seem like all that long ago, when it was relatively rare for people to have mobile phones and just as rare for people to have computers or laptops that cost £2000 pounds a piece, let’s call this era the ‘giddy early years of the millennium’, if you didn’t have many friends and were subjected to useless family members, it’s very likely that you’d have looked for a tradesmen, a builder, electrician, plumber or plasterer, in the Yellow pages, you may have even been inclined to delve into a Thompson Local, and you’d swiftly peruse the lists of ‘AAAAAAA J Electrical’, ‘AAAAAA JP Fast Emergency plumber’ and other such spammy business names looking for someone to visit your home and, hopefully, give you a free quote.

Blah blah, blah blah blah

Let’s face it, to be honest, you probably hoped a lot of different things also, after all, how much could anybody deduce from two lines of text in a big yellow book, crammed with thousands of ads, that weighed as much as a small child.

You also used to get free newspapers, back in the days when they were actually worth the paper they were printed on. If you lived in Birmingham you’d be familiar with the Chronicle operated by the Express and Star. A reasonably popular free weekly newspaper that had an experts section in the back where tradesmen would advertise. I say HAD but technically it’s still alive and kicking, although it would seem the circulation has drastically reduced as more and more people head online to consume their local and national news. Similar to the yellow pages, the ads were usually quite tiny and you couldn’t get much of a feel for anything other than this is a boiler fitter and that’s his number there, in black and white.

Leafleting became more and more popular. Flyers got bigger and more colorful, they looked less like scraps of dirty paper full of dull, uninspiring blocks of text and horrid looking imagery. Instead we were treated to long articles carefully crated by copywriters designed to make you just want to race to your land line and dial them up sharpish, so you may also have found a plethora of local service providers thanks to junk m