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Bottle fair brings in the crowds

Dave Rogers from Finchley in north London with his collection of Victorian bottles and pots.
Dave Rogers from Finchley in north London with his collection of Victorian bottles and pots.

AN antique bottle fair in Stratford-upon-Avon attracted hundreds of visitors and collectors all of whom were keen to spot the bottle bargain of the day at Stratford Racecourse.

The intricate colours and shapes of the bottles is what draws enthusiasts to shows like the one hosted last Sunday which featured bottles from the 19th and early 20th century.

At some auctions the bottles can fetch as much as £7,000 and those who do collect the bottles admit their own hoard is slowly taking over their own homes.

Albert Wilson, joint secretary of Warwickshire Bottle Club got the bug many years ago when he and his friends dug old Victorian pits which were filled with bottles from that era. He’s now 80 and still collecting.

“We used to take some sandwiches and drinks and dig all day. Now I’ve got bottles all over my house,” Albert said.

There are many different types of bottles on the market. Some were designed to hold ginger beers others poison but the latter were shaped differently and coloured cobalt blue or green so people didn’t make the fatal mistake of having a quick swig in the middle of the night because they were dying of thirst.

Some of the more famous brands include Hiram Codds design 1887 which contains a marble within the bottle neck to act as a stop for carbonated drinks. Another popular bottle is the Hamilton which resembles the shape of a fish or a skittle or even a torpedo.

There were 70 stalls at the bottle fair and they weren’t all selling bottles. Coins, stamps, lamps, post cards cigarette cards and street signs were also on sale.

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