Neil’s not bottling out of vintage collection challenge

Neil Reid stone bottle collector
Neil Reid stone bottle collector

He may not be a few cans short of a six pack, but one local man has nevertheless discovered he is a few bottles short of a very interesting collection and is appealing to the people of Banbridge for help.

Neil Reid has been collecting Victorian era stone stout and ginger beer bottles for several years now, and with a goal of gathering one from every county in Ireland he is disappointed he still has not managed to source one from Banbridge.

Bann mineral water bottle

Bann mineral water bottle

Neil now lives in Kildare but is originally from Banbridge and said: “I am keen to collect a few local bottles from my hometown.

“The Banbridge bottle is one which I would love to get.

“I understand that two different varieties were produced in Banbridge with one of them being the Bann Mineral Water Co.

“Other local towns such as Gilford, Lurgan and Newry also produced bottles.”

Neil’s interest in the stoneware began after he picked up a few of the bottles at various antique markets.

This, together with a keen interest in antiques and local history, sparked the notion from which the vintage collection began.

“I set out with the intention of gathering one from every county in Ireland,” he said.

“I have amassed a collection of approximately 50 bottles so far, from various corners of the country stretching from Cork to Donegal and most of Northern Ireland.

“I haven’t quite managed to hit all the counties so far,” he added.

Neil, a chartered civil engineer, is quite taken with the uniqueness of each bottle and is urging people to have a rummage around sheds or attics or anywhere where one of these bottles may be lying discarded.

“The stoneware bottles were produced approximately 100-130 years ago and were all hand made,” he said.

“No two bottles are the same due to the processes involved, but the minor flaws are what add to their charm.

“Historically stone bottles were gradually replaced by mass produced glass bottles, the result of which is that many of these were buried in landfill sites or dumped in rivers and canals and can be difficult to locate.”

“I would appreciate any help in gathering any local bottles, so if any readers have any, please get in touch through one of the channels below,” added Neil. He guarantees that good prices will be paid for any Banbridge bottles.

If you think you can help Neil get in touch with him by email at - neilreid76@gmail.com, find him on Facebook - www.facebook.com/roosterreid or telephone - 00353 866006622.