What's happened to the good old English roast chestnut? Post readers want to know. Read the letters below and use the links at the bottom of the page to get in touch - we want to hear from you...
Alex Achurch, Handsworth: "Yesterday afternoon I spent a whole hour trawling around the main thoroughfares of Birmingham city centre trying in vain to buy a bag of humble roasted chestnuts. But could I find any? Not a one.
I found hotdogs, underpants, candyfloss and flashing Christmas lights. At the German Market I found bratwurst, liverwurst, gluhwein and chips. So much for the common market.
Whatever happened to those wizzened old men who?d sell you a bag of chestnuts from out of a brazier? I couldn?t even find any raw ones to take home in any of the mini supermarkets and food halls that seem to pepper every street corner in town.
How am I expected to get all Christmassy without chestnuts? It?s a disgrace."
Simon Porter, Lichfield: "Re: Hot Chestnut/Potato Sellers. I, and some of my former colleagues in the city, remember these sellers very well. In the 70's, 80's we would regularly nip out of the office around 4.30pm when he had set up, to collect a bag of either Chestnuts or potatoes.
"It is very sad that he is no longer on the corner by McDonalds for today's youngsters to sample some decent 'fast food'!"
Sam Waller, Birmingham: "If Alex Achurch visits the German Market he will find a hot chestnut stall opposite the Helter-Skelter.
The question remains, however ? what happened to our own?
The last I remember was a coke-fired oven (ie a proper one!) at the top of Stephenson Street, which also did baked potatoes.
I think that this (and maybe others) along with hot dog stalls, were operated by a firm in Curzon Street, who also had ice cream vans.
Maybe Chris Upton could research this vanished aspect of Birmingham street life for a future article in your paper?"
John Yair, Hagley: "You asked people who could remember chestnut and hot potato sellers in Birmingham. This stirred my memory back to back to the early sixties - at that time I was a student at Birmingham College of Arts and Craft in Margaret Street and I supplemented my student grant (#3.00 a week) by working at the Wimpy Bar (early form of Macdonalds) at the top of Snow hill.
Just outside the entrance to Snow Hill Station there used to be a hot chestnut seller, he seemed to be there day and night throughout the season. He was tall and gaunt and always wore a long, grey overcoat almost down to his ankles. He had an old dirty red scarf and gloves with the fingers cut out.
His feet and back were always cold and his front always warm from the oven. The oven itself resembled an old steam train with a "boiler" and a chimney. He used coke to fire it and there was a lovely smell from the chestnuts. Every once in a while he would come over for a cheeseburger and would pay for it in chestnuts!
This also reminded me of the pavement artist who was always in the passageway between Margaret Street and Colmore Row. He used to cover around 20 paving slabs with the most amazing rural landscapes all carried out in coloured chalk.
"I think he had lost his legs in the war. When he had finished the pictures he would sit on a pile of old blankets with his lifelong companion, a little white dog with a black patch over one eye. If the weather was kind to him he might only need to touch up the pictures the next day, but if it had rained he would start again from scratch.
"When he had gone for the night, nobody would ever walk over his pictures."
Michael Jeanes, Birmingham: "The hot potato man I remember best used to be outside Grey's Store in Bull Street. In the 50s, I used to catch the night service bus there to Handsworth and would invariably have a hot potato from him.
If it was a Saturday night, I would also buy an early copy of the Sunday Mercury from the nearby vendor, to read on the journey."
Philip Barnes, Wyld Green: "Why all the laments about the alleged disappearance of hot chestnut sellers in Birmingham? There was one very much in evidence yesterday lunchtime on New Street close by the Corporation Street crossing.
It would appear that some people would rather wallow in a nostalgic whinge than have a proper look around today?s excellent city centre."
Mrs P A Bush, Yardley: "In the 50s when my husband and I were ?courting? there was a hot potato and chestnut oven outside Snow Hill Station.
My bus stopped nearby. I do remember some newer models in more recent years but as we rarely go into the city now I can?t say whether they still exist."
Coun Dierdre Alden, Edgbaston: "A message to Alex Achurch - the hot chestnut seller is situated in New Street, outside the HSBC bank, near the ramp. I passed him this afternoon."
Do you know where Brummies can get their hands on some hot chestnuts? Do you remember the days when chestnut ovens were a common sight on city streets? We want to hear from you - get in touch by email, messageboard or by sending a web letter to the editor.