There are around 200 historic glass bottles that are unique to Warrnambool that can still be found today.
Some of them will be on display and for sale at this weekend’s South West Antique, Collectables and Bottle Fair at the Wannon Rooms in Warrnambool.
South West Bottle and Collectables Club secretary Rex Matthews said people dug for the glass bottles on the Hopkins River and some collectors would be fossicking for them this weekend.
“They go digging, that’s where a lot of the bottles come from,” Mr Matthews said.
“Once a bottle is thrown in the water it basically goes straight down and gets buried in the silt. There’s a lot near the Proudfoots Boathouse. They’ve been dragging bottles out of there for 35 or 40 years and they’re still bringing them out.
“Every time you get heavy rain and it floods and a surge of water comes through it uncovers them and more become accessible. They could be buried in the mud, three, four or five feet in the mud.”
He said the bottles were made or used by businesses and companies in Warrnambool such as Reeves and Warrnambool Cordials which “dated right back” and some people would still have them at home.
Mr Matthews said old bottles from the 1840s and 50s would be displayed at the fair, right through to bottles made in the 1970s and 80s. “Basically we’ve got all the bottles until plastic took over, that’s about as far as it goes," he said.
Collectables also feature heavily in displays and are for sale across the weekend.
"It’s nostalgia that drives people to collect things from their younger days, it’s the same with bottles. They can see a fair range from bottles to old tools and crockery (at the fair). You name it, they’ll see the full range of stuff there."
He said bottle collectors came from across Victoria for the show, with a few enthusiasts making their way from Sydney annually to attend.
It’s on from 9.30am -5pm Saturday ($5 admission) and 8am to 2.30pm Sunday (admission by gold coin donation).
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