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Bottles from Birmingham and the surrounding area.

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some 45 years ago or so, when I was living in Birmingham, a friend and I discovered an old tip that was being excavated prior to the building of houses. It was off Dudley road West at Tividale, tnear Dudley. For several months we investigated the tip and found many interesting bottles, some broken, some not. From details of the botttles and local maps it seems that the dump was used prior to WW1, probably going back to the late 1890s, certainly for rubbish from the very local area, but possibly from Birmingham also. Since I moved to Reading in 1981 they have been wrapped up in boxes in my garage. Have started to investigate the contents of the boxes and thought they might be of interest to others. Will be putting photos of them, with comments, on the forum. The first two are below.

1. R. White pint bottle
Familiar name to even younger people, though now absorbed into a larger organisation. Though running round the bottom of the bottle is R White & Sons, Camberwell & Walford, it would have been bottled and distributed from their depot in Birmingham. they first appear in the 1897 directory at a depot in Saltley Road, at a site previously occupied by The British enamelled Iron Co, and later by the Lingard St Fire Station. Between 1899 and 1900 they hmoved to the later site in Western Road.
The interesting thing about this bottle is that it is dark green glass, which I certainly usually associate with a beer bottle. Indeed one site (https://www.thevintagewall.com/0911DETL28.html ) showsn an identical bottle with stopper and describes it as a beer bottle. Possibly it was ginger beer. Certainly there seems no record of the firm producing real beer. The bottom shows a U within a sort of top of a wineglass shape. This might be the United Glass Co, though this was only formed in 1913 by an amalgamation. Other firms previously used a U in their marks.

2 Showells ½ pint beer bottle
(The following is from MacKenna's book Birmingham Pubs)
Showells called themselves a Birmingham Brewery and their headquarters were at 157 Gt.Charles St., and they later had bottling facilities off the Crescent in Birmingham, but the beer was always brewed outside the city, at first at Simpson St, Oldbury. and later at Crosswell Brewery, Langley. The brewery was taken over by Allsops in 1914 and brewing in the area then ceased, presumably being transferred to Burton.The bottom of the bottle is shown, and on it is "C S & Co Ltd". This is the logo of a bottle making factory - Cannington, Shaw & Co. Limited, St. Helens, who manufactured for several breweries and traded 1875-1913






 

Radiorails

master brummie
Strictly not Birmingham or even the environs, but in 1976 there was a very dry summer. As a result there were many woodland and hedgerow fires. When checking to see that the fires were actually out - a cardinal sin to have to return to a fire which you said was out - I found many old bottles, many with marbles in the neck, plus pottery items that had lain concealed for some while. Unfortunately the heat had shattered many but even so we found enough to adorn a shelf or two.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
really pleased you have started this thread mike...i shall follow it with interest

lyn
 

Katie

master brummie
That's interesting, Mike, my step father was born in Peckham, London and often spoke of R.Whites as he worked there as a young man, in Camberwell.
A blast from the past!!!!!
i am sure this will be an interesting thread, there are a lot of people out there who have collected bottles.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi,

I worked at R.White's in Western Road from 1964 to 1973. It was renamed R. White Lant in 1964,
having just merged with W. Lant of Coventry who also had a branch at St James Mill Road in Northampton.
The 3 depots under the name of R. White Lant formed the midland region of R. White's, with carbonated
drinks being produced at Western Road. All still drinks and squashes were produced at Albany Road Camberwell
or possibly Croydon? and brought to Birmingham for redistribution.

Kind regards

Dave
 

Katie

master brummie
It was Camberwell, Dave, and looking through my archives it would appear that my step father's father also worked there, his profession on a marriage certificate is given as Yard Foreman Mineral Water Manufacturers. And in the District of Camberwell. Wikipedia also state that the first R. White's lemonade was produced in 1845. These bottles are going to tell some stories, I am sure.
 

Old Boy

master brummie
That's interesting, Mike, my step father was born in Peckham, London and often spoke of R.Whites as he worked there as a young man, in Camberwell.
A blast from the past!!!!!
i am sure this will be an interesting thread, there are a lot of people out there who have collected bottles.
Hi All,

I do not collect bottles but I must have drunk the contents of thousands in my time.

Old Boy
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The next is a stone ginger beer bottle marked Jones.






In the period 1890 -1915 I can find only two mineral water/ soda water manufacturers in Kelly s (one of these descriptions , depending on date, is how Kellys describes them).
The first was Albert Jones who worked from back of 76 Gooch St. He is mentioned in the 1895 directory , but not in the 1892 or 1896.
The second was Mrs Susan Jones, who worked from 59 Browning st, Ladywood. She is mentioned in the 1899 & 1900 directories and is listed as living at that address as a ginger beer manufacturer.
In the 1981 , vol 7 no 1edition of Antique bottle collecting there is an article titled "The pride of Birmingham ginger beers" which is basically a number of pictures of these bottles owned by a Steve Burton. It includes a Jones bottle, but in this case it says Jones' rather than Jones's and gives it coming from Browning St, Ladywood. The picture is shown below.



Because of the differences between the two bottles I am tempted to think that the first bottle came from the other manufacturer, Albert Jones from Gooch St
 

Dave89

master brummie
Hi Katie.

Thanks for your reply. I know RW produced Mineral water at Camberwell, but I am not sure about squashes and Fruit Juices.
The fruit juices particularly were not labelled R Whites but HD Rawlings, which was taken over by Whites in the late 1800s.
Was the old HD Rawlings depot perhaps at Croydon? I wonder because I can remember occasional deliveries to Western Road from Croydon,
and I have it in mind that they could have brought Fruit juices.
Incidentally, I remember one of the Camberwell artic drivers called George Thurkell, -
he was always a very interesting chap to have a chat with,

Kind regards

Dave
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Th e next item is broken slightly, but is a large bottle of "The Original Ship Brand Chutney" with the bottle marked Made in Bombay. These bottles, or similar, seem to be available on the internet.
Indeed one (unbroken) is on e-bay at the moment (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/large-vintage-original-ship-brand-chutney-bottle-/301123748787). Many, but not this one, have a ship embossed on the bottle ( https://www.uniquebottles.co.uk/kitchen5.htm0) ). Tthis would indicate to me that this is an earlier bottle. Apparently the firm is still going (https://poonjiaji.com/products/brands/ship-brand/). Also it is stated in the cached version of a webpage not now available (https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1-eFes_wH7AJ:www.ovalpartnership.org.uk/kennington-oval-vauxhall-history/notable-buildings/offley-works/sharwoods-story.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk) that a batch of this chutney was obtained by Sharwoods as recompense for an unpaid debt. It was very successful and led to the introduction of their Green label chutney as an own brand. The exact details seem to vary.


 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Because of markings , it is difficult to read the wording on this Codd bottle from the photograph, but it states M.A.Hadley, Oldbury,, with a symbol marked trade mark in the centre. This would be (Kellys 1888 & 1892) Mrs Mary Ann Hadley, Prince of Wales pub and mineral water manufacturer, Rounds Green. She probably had a connection to William Hadley, ale & porter brewer, Bath Row brewery & beer retailer, 40 Chapel St, Rounds Green, as the Prince of Wales was at the end of Bath Row, Mary Ann had been the wife of Samuel Hadley , who had held the licence from at least 1880. She took over the licence sometime between 1884 and 1888 and went into the mineral water business, and was there till sometime between 1892 and 1896, when William Trueman took over the pub and the mineral water business. A reference on the internet refers to a similar bottle which apparently states W.Trueman, late M.A.Hadley, but the page does not seem still to be available. Hitchmough's Black coun try pubs lists a sale notice from the Smethwick Telephone in Oct 1904, which lists the pub with an "aerated water manufactory" which "an ample and variable supply of spring water ..which has been in constant use for the last 25 years in the manufacture of the well known aerated waters"


 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi folks..was given another old bottle the other day complete with its glass ball inside...its a john william thompson ginger beer one and on it it gives his name and says burlington st aston...thanks to mike for the map and info.. from kellys they were there from 1895 to 1900 so a bit of age to it and i also have a photo of the old place to go with it...in later years it was run by e w smiths and was situated next to burlington st school..you can just see the school railings in my pic..
 

Attachments

gingerjon

master brummie
Lyn this is the other Burlington street school it was a special school for pupils with learning difficulty's at one time.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
nice sauce bottle john...i am always amazed how just how heavy these old bottles were

lyn
 

a.t.dixon

proper brummie kid
Strictly not Birmingham or even the environs, but in 1976 there was a very dry summer. As a result there were many woodland and hedgerow fires. When checking to see that the fires were actually out - a cardinal sin to have to return to a fire which you said was out - I found many old bottles, many with marbles in the neck, plus pottery items that had lain concealed for some while. Unfortunately the heat had shattered many but even so we found enough to adorn a shelf or two.
 

Attachments

Smudger

master brummie
Such a fantastic bottle for plain old ginger beer. Surely some sort of deposit was paid to ensure the bottle was returned? I remember the very dark bottles of M&B ginger beer, lovely stuff. :D
 

mw0njm.

brummie dude
Such a fantastic bottle for plain old ginger beer. Surely some sort of deposit was paid to ensure the bottle was returned? I remember the very dark bottles of M&B ginger beer, lovely stuff. :D
[/QUOTE.....1573659631755.png1573659631755.png“lashings of ginger beer.” loverly stuff. was it in stone bottles once?
 
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