The other day I walked past some of the many trees blown over at the weekend, including this one-
As the tree fell, it pulled up some of it’s roots as if in a last clawing attempt to stay upright, and in doing so, it kicked up some soil.
As I walked by, I saw a glint in the soil, and so I stooped and pulled out this bottle-
This little bottle is a window into lots of different stories.
First of all, we know that the fallen tree has to have been planted after 1917 (as the bottle has that date on the bottom.)
Next, the logos on the bottle are a glimpse into the refreshments of another generation. “J A Reid, Chemist, Reid’s Lily Springs, Pure as a Lily, 500 feet deep, Helensburgh.”
Around 1883 J.R.Reid set up as a chemist and aerated water manufacturer with a shop and factory at different addresses on Clyde Street, and several years later he moved manufacture to the Lily Springs in James Street. This was later owned by the well known Garvie lemonade firm, closing in 1957 because of alleged contamination of the water and moving to Milngavie until they closed that factory around 1985.
This is what our parents parents parents were drinking on their picnics. Carbonated, sweetened spring water of questionable purity.
This is what caught me- at some point, around 100 years ago, someone opened up this rather posh looking bottle during a wee holiday trip ‘doon the watter’. They were more adventurous than most, as they were not drawn in by the fleshpots of Dunoon- which during this period was a bit like Blackpool- cinemas, theatres, ice cream parlours and all sorts of amusements. They chose a trip along the coast of the Holy Loch.
Perhaps they were cyclists slaking their thirst.
Or perhaps part of a family group settling down on the grassy shore line whilst the kids played in the water.
We will never know.