Sidmouth beer bottle adds to Coronation Ale story

PUBLISHED: 14:59 19 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 June 2010

A GLASS beer bottle has been given to former Vallance s Brewery worker Doug Nichol out of the blue nearly a year after he solved the mystery of its Coronation Ale.

A GLASS beer bottle has been given to former Vallance's Brewery worker Doug Nichol "out of the blue" nearly a year after he solved the mystery of its Coronation Ale.

"Out of the blue this chap came round on Saturday morning who used to drive a lorry for Vallance's a long time ago," said Doug, 78, "and asked if they were any good to me.

"His name is Ray something. He said 'you used to work for the brewery didn't you?' and I said 'a long time ago' and he thought I would be interested in having the bottle and some beer labels."

The labels, which used to be date-stamped as they were glued and fixed to the full bottles, are of the Coronation Ale, Nut Brown Ale and Oatmeal Stout brewed by the Sidmouth brewery, as well as ones from Beamish Irish Stout, Guinness Extra Stout, Bass & Co Pale Ale - "which people used to put in their cars as tax discs" - and Worthington's India Pale Ale.

A year ago David Taylor, chairman of the Association of British Brewery Collectables asked the Herald for help in tracing Vallance's Coronation Ale bottles.

"I have an idea this bottle only had lemonade in it, but I will give it and a set of the labels to Mr Taylor," said Doug, who used to work in the brewery's bottling plant before becoming general foreman.

Last year Doug solved the mystery of rumours that the Sidmouth brewery had produced a Coronation Ale.

He remembers having a bottle of the Coronation brew, but he drank it while at the scout Coronation jamboree in Torquay.

Mr Taylor was not at home to learn about the new developments over the Coronation Ale labels and bottle, but he is sure to be delighted to add them to his collection.

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