Shropshire Star

Antique bottle show at Bayston Hill

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is set to benefit from another donation from a Shropshire-based antique bottle collecting club.

SHREW COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR STEVE LEATH 07/11/2021..Pics at Bayston Hill Memorial Hall at an event with the Shrewsbury/ Shropshire Bottle Club. Pic of Mike Russell from Church Stretton. He dug up the broken bottle in his garden in Church Stretton and was pleased to find a complete bottle here today to purchase..

Shropshire Antique Bottle Collectors Club held its 24th annual show at Bayston Hill Memorial Hall on Sunday, November 7, with the proceeds being promised to the air ambulance once again.

Club chairman John Thompson said: "Over the years we have raised something like £5,500. Our final tally isn't in yet but we expect it to be a few hundred pounds."

The event was able to run as Covid-19 restrictions have eased, and the turnout was as good as expected.

John added: "We had the normal footfall through the doors, people felt safe in coming and we are very pleased with the outcome.

"A lot of people have gone over the internet to buy and sell - the older people who would have come to fairs might be wary now and if they are computer literate they would move online."

The club is now in its 25th year, and but for the pandemic Sunday's event would have been the milestone 25th event.

Some 25 stallholders, selling antique bottles, pots and other related collectables including advertising memorabilia, enamel signs and postcards, pitched up in Bayston Hill to show their wares and share their stories.

A unique hobby for most, bottle collecting can turn up some interesting finds, and there is a major social aspect to the pursuit too.

John, himself an antique dealer and collector of Shrewsbury ginger beer stoneware bottles, added: "By and large the bottle people - for want of a better word - like to come and show off their finds and talk about any interesting finds they may have made.

"There is absolutely a social aspect to it. The guys in the Shropshire club meet once a month, and ironically we take empty bottles into a pub.

"We sit down and can chat for two hours about empty bottles. Like most fields of collecting, you're never too old to learn, and quite often you'll be talking to another collector and they'll show you something that you didn't know existed. Whether it's a codd bottle with some of interesting marbling in it, or a rare flagon or whatever."

Next year will be the official 25th annual running of the popular event, and plans are being put in place for a special event to mark the occasion.

John added: "We are thinking of doing something like Shropshire's best 25 bottle items as a display.

"We are also hoping to expand a bit into the space we use. A lot of the club members are keen to have a slap-up meal after next year's event too."

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