An early start today for another visit to Shrewsbury's Gay Meadow tip. The last time we were here, in July last year, the machine dig was still ongoing, and blue minerals were coming out of certain parts of the site, as well as green Murphy codds and horse pictorial Favourite gingers. Our last visit proved to be somewhat sparse, but we had high hopes this time.
Leaving Caernarfon at 6:15 a.m. we were picking up our mate Tony at Porthmadog at ten to seven. It was a horrendous journey through torrential rain, made worse by the fact that we were travelling across country through Bala, but we still made it on site by just after nine. When we arrived there were two diggers already onsite, Stuart and his missus, who were merrily digging away. Apparently Barratt Homes staff had already visited the site to make sure that nobody was on their patch.
The thick clay capping took a while to get through, but we were soon shifting nice dry ash. It was a feature of this site that it was so dry that labels on bottles had survived well. A lot of common junk still had labels on which made identification of their contents easy. First hit was for Stephen with a 6oz. Ensor codd. It wasn't the best of days for quality finds, and we ended up with a handful of codds, a ginger, and a few beers and other assorted bulk. Saddest find of the day went to Angus with a necked green Murphy's codd.
Late in the day an excited throng gathered around one hole when the star find of the day was found. Manchester diggers Jay and his father Tom were the centre of attention, together with their fantastic Daniel O'Connell Reform Flask. A superb find, and one which was totally unexpected taking into account that the flask was years older than the tip. It just goes to show that you never know what will come out of these later tips. I must say it was a privilege to have been present when the Reform Flask was dug, the only thing that would have been better was to have actually seen it pulled out of the ground. What a brilliant result.
Other good finds included Paul T. cornering the market in display Bovrils, and a lovely stoneware Lion mask sash window prop???
Stephen beavering away:
A few of the diggers on site:
.....and missus. First on site that day:
Angus with the necked green Murphy's codd:
A few of our bits:
Part of Paul's Bovril hoard:
Too much Bovril fumes can do funny things to a man:
The Lion "thing." It was decided on the day that it was a sash window prop???:
The proud finders of the reform flask:
and a close-up: