THE history of bottles has become a fascination for a Lochgelly man.

And Cowdenbeath and District Probus Club heard, at their last meeting of 2023, from Derek Johnstone, how the local area had produced many quality bottles, some of which were very valuable to collectors.

Derek, who founded the Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath Past and Present Facebook pages, told the Probus members that it was five decades ago that he found out about how important bottles were to every day life.

“It was when I was at primary school that one of my teachers brought in some bottles that he had found while investigating a dump in Townhill, and from that point I was fascinated,” he said. “His information showed us how important bottles were in every day life, but also how unusual these old-style types were.

“After that I started putting together my own collection and I found a great many interesting items from local dumps.”

Among the bottles made in this district he discovered were examples of Bethune’s, in Lochgelly, and Watson’s, of Cowdenbeath.

Derek added: “In those days the bottles were very sturdily made, and they normally had interesting carvings which made them very interesting specimens and worth a lot to collectors.

“I still search for bottles from the past but it is not so easy to find them as it used to be, through old tips being much fewer in numbers these days.”

Derek underlined that he is still a bottle enthusiast though, and makes digs when he gets a tip off.