Back in the 1970's my father and I began to collect antique bottles when I was still a teenager. It was quite a popular hobby at the time. Old bottles are really very fascinating. They record so much of the history of a country, an area and it's people. The endless shapes, sizes, colours and amazing embossings are endlessly intriguing.
I spent many hours in our "bottle shed" as it was known washing and cleaning the bottles, carefully arranging the bottles, pondering the bottles. Most weekends we would go out for a "dig", perhaps on top of some old rubbish dump which the landowner was kindly letting us excavate. Sometimes people very generously gave us their old bottles to add to the collection. There would be days when I was crawling under old houses, having been given permission from the owner to take whatever old bottles I could recover. All these excursions seemed to me like great adventures.
I loved the old jam jars. Some of them came in beautiful blue, lilac and purple colours - sometimes because they were made with uranium! The "football" bottles and marble bottles - those sealed with marbles - were also favourites. I adored the medicine bottles with their outrageous claims - cures for nearly everything! They were often filled with alcohol and therefore - unsurprisingly - a great favourite with the public.
One day the reporter from the Ellesmere Guardian came to write a story about our collection and below are the photographs he took of Dad, Mum, ,my sister Shirley and me with some of our collection. There's also some photos below of our other beloved "old bottles" starting with the Warner's medicinal "Safe Cure".
Below : Dad and me. My mother knitted that jersey and made that blouse I am wearing.