Friday, 7 October 2011

How about this for a coincidence?

Bloody hell, this blogging milarky doesn't half send some interesting people and scenarios my way, and you'll never believe this one.

I don't know if you remember, but a while ago, I dug up an old glass bottle in the garden of my old London house.

Pic.No.1 It was an old glass Ginger Beer bottle - circa 1900 - with 'IDRIS' embossed on the side

Pic.No.2 And it still had the original cork inside

I had loads of fun doing some research regarding the bottle's history, but things got way more engrossing when a couple of weeks after I had blogged about it, I received an email from a lady in New Zealand who had stumbled over my post:

"Hi  Annie, I think I can tell you about the ginger beer bottle in your garden! First of all do you want to sell it? A bit blunt of me to ask, I know. I live in New Zealand and have been here 20 years, originally from the UK. My great Grandfather was the founder of Idris ginger beer, his name was Thomas Howell William Idris and he was an MP with the Liberal party under Lloyd George. As I have a connection, I think your discovery is really interesting, Regards Sarah"

Sarah and I exchanged some interesting emails (that reminds me, I still haven't sent her the bottle), and then the IDRIS bottle gradually slipped from my mind ........ until this week that is .................

I heard the ping of an email arriving in my inbox, and went to check out what it was. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was from a random chap in South Africa ....................

Hi there

I've been researching the Idris family and I came across your blog. My stepfather comes from the Idris family and his great, or great great (we are still trying to figure out which) Grandfather, was the founder of the Idris company. So it was interesting to encounter Sarah from New Zealand with the same connections. My stepfather's side of the family all live in South Africa now too. Would it be possible for you to put me in contact with Sarah, so that we may compare notes?

Thank you kindly, 

By now I was totally intrigued, so I forwarded Adri's email to Sarah, and asked for an update. And I only bloody got one today.

It only turned out that Sarah from New Zealand, and Adri from South Africa were relatives ... read this ......

Hi Annie

Just to let you know. I have been in touch with Adri after you forwarded me his email about being linked to the Idris family. We have exchanged correspondance, and realised that we are related. I have now established another branch of the family! It was great to have your input, I think you should be an Honorary Member of the Idris family !!

What other treasure have you dug up in your garden ?

We leave NZ on friday, and have a quick visit to the UK then to France, wonderful to see the old country again.

We used to live in a village in Buckinghamshire called Quainton, not far from you I suppose, how bizzare?

Best wishes and thank you so much for your help, something else to put on your Blog


Bloody hell. All this began with me digging up a tatty looking bottle in my back garden, and ended with me accidentally reuniting family members from the opposite sides of the globe. I'm like bloody Oprah Winfrey I am (except not as minted).

So dahlink, has your blog ever thrown anything unexpected your way?


  1. I just added this webpage to my google reader, great stuff. Can not get enough!

  2. Dear Annie,
    that is amazing!
    And for a day at the fire I recommend that you read (again?) E.F.Benson's "Mapp & Lucia" - guess what Lucia finds in her garden? Guess what is written (partly) on a glass fragment? And why the press comes??

  3. Hi
    I found one of these bottles today in the river in Christchurch Dorset. I will Try to attach a pic. Just in the process of cleaning it up. Anyone have an idea of how old it is? Thank you

  4. Hi Laura, thanks for your email. I think this bottle is about turn of the century 1890 -1910 ish. Great find! If you read the other comments you can find some history about about it!


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