While London's halfpenny ice men prayed for sunshine, its mush fakers looked forward to the rain. A mush faker made, sold and repaired umbrellas. "Mush" came from the word mushroom since an umbrella resembles one, and faker was an old cant term meaning to repair or mend. A chaney faker was one who repaired broken china.
The mush faker would walk from house to house, crying "Umbrellas to mend!" When he found an umbrella in need of repair, he would mend it right int he street for others to see his work, hopefully inviting more customers. "Thus he gradually obtains a stock of old umbrellas, and by taking the good bits from one old 'mushroom', and adding it to another, he is able to make, out of two broken and torn umbrellas, a tolerably stout and serviceable gingham." In the evening, once the mush faker had collected and repaired several umbrellas, he would set up shop near a market or a bridge and sell his "brollies".
One son of a mush faker had much respect for the used umbrellas. He explained: "After protecting our heads for years from the pelting rain, the rattling hail, the driving sleet, or the drizzling mist, they are at last thrown into some dirty corner to moulder in unmerited oblivion." (http://www.geriwalton.com/index.php/2014/05/second-hand-umbrella-sellers-and-menders/). The mush faker, however, restored them to their true purpose.
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