150-year-old historic bottles unearthed in Halton during Mersey Gateway construction works
A collection of historic bottles – some thought to be as much as 150 years old – unearthed in Halton during Mersey Gateway works is being displayed at the project’s visitor centres.
Construction teams made the discovery while excavating near Ditton roundabout in Widnes where workers are building the link roads that will connect the town’s main road network to the new bridge.
It is thought that the 42 bottles found on the Merseylink site span 100 years dating from as early as 1850 to the late 1950s.
They include a Superior Stone Ginger earthenware bottle (pictured above) from mineral water manufacturer Tilley and Kiddie, which operated out of Widnes until 1917, and two dark green glass bottles from the Warrington-based Peter Walker & Son brewery founded in 1864.
According to the labels, the previous contents ranged from HP Sauce, camp coffee, and cough syrup to more unusual medicinal products including Virol bone marrow, ‘The Ideal Food for Children and Invalids’, and Dr Adolf Hommel’s Haematogen. Produced in Switzerland in 1910, the latter was made of cows blood, alcohol, and flavouring as a treatment for anaemia.
Kathryn Ierston, Merseylink’s Environmental Advisor, said: “This is a fascinating find. We know that there are historical landfills in the Ditton area, and working with our archaeologists we discovered that these finds came from a Victorian tip. We’ve donated the collection to the Mersey Gateway visitor centres so that the public can enjoy a glimpse of Halton’s social history.”
The bottle collection is on display at the Mersey Gateway visitor centres, which are based at the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes and in Runcorn Shopping Centre’s town square.
Both visitor centres are free to attend.
The Catalyst visitor centre is open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday, while the Runcorn visitor centre opens from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.