26 August 2016

Look what we’ve dug up

More clinks, clanks, and clunks as work continues at The Bell! While renovation is usually long days and heavy-lifting, it can be refreshing to take the time and look back at some of The Bell’s rich history – this time, in the form of bottles. Between bouts of shoveling and troweling, we unearthed two ‘relics.’

One of our builders, Jay, found this bottle at the bottom of the garden.


He heard the distinctive rattle as he picked it up and recognised it as a Codd-neck. The thick-necked bottle, named after its Suffolk-based inventor, was initially designed as an answer to the pointy-ended Hamilton variety that had a tendency to roll off the shelves (which wasn’t ideal).

The defining feature of the Codd bottle is the marble in its neck – which stopped carbonated drinks (like precious beer) from going flat. The little glass ball meant the bottle could be resealed after opening, although this did making cleaning it out a bit more challenging.


This particular bottle was used by Blomsfield, an ‘old established manufactory’ operating approximately between the 1870s and 1930s. It is considered a rare find – since children would often smash them to get the marble inside.

We also discovered this ‘Camp Coffee and Chicory’ bottle.


The Paterson company was famous for producing the first instant coffee back in the 1880s. The company would eventually merge into Schwartz, and the product is still available to buy in supermarkets today.

camp coffee

The bottle we found seems to predate their well-known label which is remembered by many as a wartime favourite.

What should we do with these bottles? Maybe we could display them in the pub, or perhaps they might make a lovely prize in a competition. Let us know what you think.

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