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Time In A Bottle

Time In A Bottle

Ormskirk’s history is being preserved and displayed by Ormskirk Bygone Times and many of our friends, through a myriad of media and artefacts. One relatively inexpensive, and quite simple way that this is being done is by the collection of discarded bottles, storage jars and other empty vessels, long since emptied of their contents.

Image 1

A selection of glass and earthenware bottles from Ormskirk businesses

Image 1. A selection of glass and earthenware bottles from Ormskirk businesses

The first image is of a group of rescued glass and earthenware bottles and vessels that covers a vast array of manufacturers across the decades, all with links to the town. From left to right:

Richard Taylor, Brewer of the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Burscough Street. Bottles like this were sold through the off license hatch to the side of the old pub way back into the early 1900s.

The Sterling Manufacturing Company of the old factory on Bridge Street produced a range of household cleaning products in the 1940s and 50s, including bleach, distemper and oils.

The partnership of Ellis, Warde & Webster based at Bath Springs brewery on Derby Street, originally built by Philip Forshaw mid 19th C., supplied many pubs across Lancashire and were a huge business in the town.

Woods Dispensing Chemist, 9, Church Street. William Beaconsfield Woods had been an apprentice to his Pharmacist  father who was probably working at the dispensary in Burscough Street in the late 1800s.

Ellis  Warde & Co Ltd. Originally brewed their ales at the Snigs Foot before merging with Daniel Websters Brewery from the Malt House Southport Rd and moving to Derby Street

Hyde’s wine and spirit dealers had a couple of premises along Aughton Street late 1800s into the early 1900s but along with the licensing restrictions on pubs at the start of WW1, retailers of beers and wines were also hit and the Hyde family moved to Liverpool.

Image 2

A pair of bottles from Knowles Brewery, Ormskirk

Image 2. A pair of bottles from Knowles Brewery

Two bottles recently dug up locally, these came from the Knowles Brewery, operating from behind the Snigs Foot, Church Street. Richard Knowles announced his venture into brewing on the front page of the Advertiser in September 1904, when Ellis & Warde moved their operation to Bath Springs.

Image 3

Mineral Water bottles from Mason and Cammack

Image 3. Mineral Water bottles from Mason and Cammack

Mineral Water was big business in the town in the late 19th early 20th century. It was clean, safe drinking water and these two examples are from the firm of Charles Mason of Skelmersdale and George Cammack of Ormskirk & St Helens.

Image 4

Disposable Inkwells found in the fields around Ormskirk

Image 4. Disposable Inkwells found in the fields around Ormskirk

This type of throw away clay inkwell surfaces regularly in the fields around the town. Thrown into middens in Liverpool City in the 19th century and transported out of the city on canal barges buried in the rich natural fertiliser West Lancs built it’s agricultural industry on. Clay pipes have been ploughed up in the fields around Ormskirk for decades and sometimes they are still lit……

Ormskirk Bygone Times would like to say a special thanks to David Pye, our local bottle expert, who regularly attends our displays and spends a lot of time identifying all manner of vessels relating to local businesses.


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