Couple with a lotta bottles

6th September 1996 at 01:00
Parents eager to tempt their children to drink more milk don't get much help from Nineties producers who market the drink in plain bottles or dull cartons.

Collectors Mike and Naomi Hull look back to the golden age of the Twenties when drinking milk was fun, thanks to artful packaging.

Their collection of 1,300 bottles includes one depicting a fairy moulded into the glass. She is carrying a tray of milk, and, inscribed into the one-third pint bottle, are the words: "Fanny Fat and Susie Sugar for warmth and energy. Violet Vitamin for life and growth. Minnie Mineral for bones and teeth. Peter Protein for muscle."

The bottle was designed and registered by the National Milk Publicity Council in January 1929. The oldest bottle owned by the Hulls, was made in 1890.

The Hulls, who live in Burleigh, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, store their collection in an old stable. They started taking an interest in bottles in 1974 when they lived in London.

"In London in the 1930s, milk was delivered to more than 1,000 areas so there are lots of milk bottles all over the place," said Mr Hull, a retired weather forecaster.

"I think children should get free milk. The Government ought to take a whole lot of responsibility which it doesn't," he said.

Mr Hull, who has a keen interest in the history of milk, recalls how in the late 1930s distributors were unhappy about the small profit margin on a third of a pint. A row developed which was finally resolved at Cabinet level in the summer of 1940 by increasing the price.

* Mike and Naomi Hull publish Milk Bottle News

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