The Oxford Bottle Club

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The Oxford Bottle Club


The Oxford Bottle Club organised its first dig in 1981. This took place at Jackdaw Lane on the Iffley Road. They did, of course, get permission from Christ Church College before starting! The club had some 60-80 members at the time. Simon Somerscales was on the committee and remembers this dig being the first of many.

The clubs first show was held in Oxford's Town Hall in 1978. The club meets two times a month now, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays.

Simon stated collecting in 1977 while working for Thames Conservancy (now the Environment Agency). He was hand digging under a bridge on the Abingdon Road when he discovered a stoneware bottle from North and Co. This was for ginger beer. This first bottle was what got him started collecting and in those days he recounts lots of dredging taking place.

Simon has said that the club is nowhere near as well supported as it used to be partially due to lack of digging sites. He and others still do a lot of research and sometimes put on displays. His favourite bottles are Tap Jars from Oxford.

The club has its own Facebook site - look for Oxfordshire Antique Bottle Club.


1977 to present


Simon Somerscales


Museum of Oxford


Simon Somerscales


Simon Somerscales

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Image 1: 3 black glass bottles
Image 2: book, 'the Oxfordshire ginger beer collectors guide'

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