CURIOUS developers turned detective after discovering a slice of Victorian history within a rundown railway shed.
Builders working on the former Meliden Goods Shed on the Prestatyn to Dyserth walkway got more than they bargained for when they began taking up the old floor. Buried underneath were perfectly preserved old glass drinking bottles.
Keen to know more about their find, charitable housing association Grŵp Cynefin, the organisation working with Meliden Residents Action Group to transform the old shed, showed the bottles to Rhyl History Club.
It was revealed that one of the bottles was 123 years old with the others dating back 85 years. All originated from nearby Rhyl. It is believed the bottles may have been left behind by workers or passengers at the old goods shed which is currently being transformed into a community hub with café, history tunnels, and artisan units.
Mair Edwards, Community Initiatives Manager for Grŵp Cynefin, said:
“Unearthing these bottles is something we really didn’t expect and are rare finds. They are in good condition and some even have the original marble stoppers in place.
“We can only imagine people working on the line, Meliden’s mines or people passing through on the railway had cast them to one side, never imagining we’d go on to find them 100 years or so later.”
It is believed the bottles originated from a mineral water works, which was based in Windsor Street, Rhyl, and known as the ‘pop works.’ One, bearing the name A.B. Jordan is believed to date back to around 1895.
“We knew the bottles were old but, at the time, didn’t realise the link with the neighbouring town of Rhyl. Rhyl History Club was able to provide a lot of background and, after some delving through copies of the local newspaper of the time, the Rhyl Record and Advertiser, more light has been shed on our discovery.
“We now know the mineral water company changed hands in 1896 which would account for the different styles in colour and shape – one is made of brown glass and the others are clear, putting their manufacture at a later date. The bottles are in need of a gentle clean but otherwise, they’re perfectly preserved and a wonderful slice of local history,” added Mair.
It is hoped the bottles will go on display when the transformation of the building — to be called Y Shed — is complete and open to the public.