sad demise of an old bottle tip

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With a little bit of homework and determination , bottle tip hunting can be very rewarding although it is now becoming much harder with Towns and even Villages expanding and the old boundary tips are gradually built over . I do enjoy the research , checking old maps especially the old ordnance survey versions and any sign of what could possibly be a Victorian tip , some are found on the edge of villages or old estates and farms are also likely contenders . It is hard work though with a lot of legwork and lots of disappointment , private access is one major footfall and just like metal detecting , seeking permission is a bit of a battle . Even finding out who the actual landowner is can be a task in itself but I have had more success at gaining permission for digging bottles than I have with metal detecting . both hobbies have received equal amounts of enthusiasm but the bottle side of things appears to be more successful for me .
Finding what may be a tip and digging away only to be totally barren is commonplace or it is full to the brim with late bottles and tons of scrap iron , these are not fun and the ones I have dug in the past end up being too much trouble for what they are worth .

The Environment Agency used to have a link on their site where you could access information on old tips and they were dated and marked in red , it was a great source giving the would be bottle hunter an advantage with their research on potential tips . The vast majority were late tips and by this were are talking 1930s onwards . However despite the late date they usually were tipped on top of Victorian rubbish so they were always worth checking out . The EA ceased this service more likely to discourage would be bottle hunters trespassing and of course health and safety reasons , our compensation culture leaves then guarded through fear of a court case through injury yet the vast majority of bottle diggers accept this as part of the hazards involved but therein always going to be one who will take advantage despite the fault laying at ones feet !

Victorian tips were never recorded and the only source of information was to scan old newspapers in the library and look through the various meetings with local councils to see where rubbish was being dumped and these were usually called Middens . Some of the land where rubbish was dumped was farm land and as always a back hander to Farmer Palmer and job done and for a pit to be dug on a bit of old scrubby field ends up being tomorrows treasures .
One such tip was one I found after a lot of research and a bit of detective work and it is one example of how easy it is to locate tips and one other reason why they are jealously guarded through fear of being ransacked by other diggers , no honour amongst thieves !
I had bought some vintage shovels from a stall holder and noticed he had boxes of bottles , they were late with screw tips so about 1940s era and not my thing . We got chatting and he remarked that he picked them up in an old pit outside his village . In cases such as this I chose not to ask exactly where , its likely he would not say as it was part of his income for his stall . I left it at that but upon talking to a very good friend it turned out that he and the stall holder knew each other . I asked if he lived locally and was then told the name of his village and this was enough information required .
A quick scan over the map and I could see a very promising location for a village tip and the victorian map gave way for the site of an old Quarry , a typical place for dumping rubbish when the quarry ceased trading which it did in 1880 . The modern map still showed the old track and the quarry had now become an old woodland so one on the check list to have a look . It proved to be a good one and after a half hour drive I arrived at the location and had a quick look around . I had never seen so many bottles strewn all over the place , mostly screw top sauce and jars etc and all of them resembled the stall holders bottles so I knew I had the right spot . Unfortunately its quite a late tip but still worth a go as there were some flagons which although busted , was a good enough sign of earlier items in amongst the late stuff .
We had a dig in there but this was about two years ago and soon realised that it would be a major task , it seemed to just go down further in depth and was rammed with screw top bottles although the odd blue ribbed poisons would pop out amongst the rubbish . We found out that kids played in there quite regularly and the odd dog walker and the local householders and villagers were still dumping their rubbish judging by the the amount of old clothes lines , car tyres and all manner of modern day trash . We eventually abandoned it and decided to pop it on the back burner as we had other tips to contend with and and such was the time lapse since my last visit , I got lost trying to relocate the tip when I took a late evening trip out last night to have another look .
Lots can happen over a two year period and upon arrival I could see the tell tale signs of security signs and then even further clearing of the top shelf of the quarry by mechanical diggers , it was a bit of a blow but seeing as I was here I may just as well have a look to see what had been unearthed . It was an eye opener , there area which once was thick with bramble bushes was now flattened and in amongst the rubble were hundreds of bottles and sadly three broken early stoneware flagons . The construction company had been busy and I can only assume that the flattened out area was to be made into a car park or for farm vehicle turning . However all is not lost , where therein muck therein brass and despite the sickeners of broken gems , in amongst the debris I managed to extract a few bottles .
seltzer and broken flagon.jpg
To the right of the photo you can see a huge shard from a broken flagon , that would have stood at least 2 feet tall and would have been quite an early one , such a shame that history was crushed in a matter of moments . The time period was interesting , despite the vast majority of bottle being 40 s era there is always plenty of earlier stuff and I was pleasantly surprised to see the bottom of a green bottle wedged in the soil and stones and after extracting it with a bit of boot kicking out came a real gem for me , a small size dumpy seltzer circa 1890 with the fountain of youth design embossed on the side , maker Schweppes London . An early bottle and one I have never dug before so I was well chuffed .
Seltzer dumpy cleaned.jpg
Last but not least yet another leaf pattern design bottle , possibly a lemonade , 1920s era , it was so clean I had to take it purely for the design .
I will keep an eye on what is going on with the place but I fear yet another tip gone for good . I have a contact number off the security Sogn so I am going to give them a call and ask if its possible they will save any of the flagons should they dig any up , its always worth an ask and with the temptation of some cash they may oblige , if you don't ask you don't get .
leaf pattern bottle.jpg
Dave The Slave
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All that History going to be lost or buried over.
At least you managed to save a few bottles.
You may get lucky with a call to the company.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
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Shame you didn't get there just a little earlier. You may have found more and saved them from destruction.
Gutted for you! Well found on the other bottles. I have one of those ribbed poison bottles, later I know but I like mine! :thumbsup:
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