The Mini Bottle Club was formed in 1979 by a dozen or so collectors, with the aim of furthering the hobby by the sharing of information and the swapping of miniatures. Back then, the internet did not exist, so “snail mail” or the telephone was the order of the day when it came to communicating with each other.
The first meeting was held at an off-license in Plaistow in London, and from this meeting a committee was elected. Sadly, on 21st August 2014, the last of the original members, David Maund, passed away, which heralded the end of an era.
The first newsletters were produced on an old typewriter, with just a few pages held together with a staple at one corner. At around that time, the first Mini Bottle Club logo was created. It survived until 2003 when the current logo was adopted.
When the AGM was first held at the Queen’s Hotel in Blackpool in 1988, it started a love affair with the seaside town, and subsequently 19 meetings were held there until 2007. For the next few years, AGM’s were hosted at various distilleries and whisky centres in Scotland, all of which proved to be particularly popular, and also at several locations in England. There have also been numerous happy and popular meetings held in Stirling, Eastleigh, Burradon, Strathpeffer, Dunoon and Duetinchem, to name but a few.
Many miniature bottles and ceramic decanters have been produced through the years to commemorate the AGM’s and other events. Since the first bottling in 1981, well over fifty miniatures have been produced, all of which have proved to be highly desirable amongst collectors. In 2004, a commemorative book was published in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the club.
Club members receive six very informative newsletters each year, and they are entitled to place free adverts in them, whether they’re selling off their surplus bottles or searching for items from their “wants” list; they also have the right to bid or sell in members’ only auctions. Members have the opportunity to purchase limited edition MBC miniatures, and to attend all club meetings, where they can have an input into how their club is run, and where they will meet up with old friends and make new ones.
by Dave Allen (Newsletter Editor & Ceramics Officer)