Vintage Hieatt Bottles found on the allotment

Northfield Allotments has a wealth of secrets hidden within its boundaries. In 1832 when it was created the allotment was called “Ealing Dean Common allotments” and that name continued for over 150 years until around the 1990’s.

In November 2016 Simon Coleman started cleaning up an area of bare ground along the perimeter of the allotment. He realised that there were layers of rubbish dating back to the 1960’s.  He decided to dig deeper in the hope he would find older artefacts, enlisting the help of two other plot holders, Dominic Small and Nick Cash. They found over 20 bottles during these digs, two bottle fragments were found which appeared particularly intriguing and research began in order to understand where these bottles came from.  Both bottle fragments had similar embossed initials: one had “H. E”  “EALING” and the other “H . . . EALING” and on the reverse side  “.ieatt”.  With a little help from Dr. Jonathan Oates from Ealing Libraries, it was realised that the bottles were from a local grocer Walter Hieatt.

Hieatt’s grocers shop was located at 2 Promenade, West Ealing, now 176 Uxbridge Road.

In the image below photographed in 1881 Hieatt's grocer shop is the last of the three shops after the chapel, on the corner with Kirchen Road. 

Hieatt’s Grocers Shop at 2 Promenade, 1881.

Walter Brydon Hieatt was born in 1843 in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. In 1871 he was listed in the census as living at 8 Esplanade, Ealing and was a grocer.  On Feb 17th 1876, aged 32, he married Clara Fox who was 25 and he was described in the marriage record as a grocer and wine merchant of Ealing. His father was John Hieatt a builder and his father-in-law William Fox a farmer.

In 1881, he had two grocery stores one in Broadway Ealing and the other at 2 Promenade, West Ealing.

The West ealing branch was located opposite what is now Dean Gardens, but then Ealing Dean Common allotments.

He was listed in the 1889 Kelly’s directory as a Family Grocer, cheese-monger, wine, spirit and beer merchant.

Walter Hieatt died on 29th June 1902, at Sunnyside, 23 Haven Green, described then as a Provision Merchant.  Probate was granted to his son Charles Hieatt and Charles Walker Gregory Grocer’s,  with his estate was re-sworn in April 1903 at £35,757-12-5d, a significant sum at that time. His son Charles continued the family grocer business together with Charles Gregory and they were listed in the Kelly’s directory for 1914 having two shops at 176 (a renumbering of 2 The Promenade) and 127 Uxbridge Road, and were listed as “Hieatt & Gregory Family Grocer”.

Glass Bottle fragments found on the allotment

We know that W. B. Hieatt was a Family Grocer, cheese-monger, wine, spirit and beer merchant from around 1871-1902. We have found glass bottle fragments with his name embossed on them. In January 2017 two further Hieatt artefacts were found, a top of a beer bottle with a Moulded “Hieatt Ealing” vulcanite stopper and another separate “Hieatt Ealing” stopper.

Hieatt Bottle 1

We believe that HB1 bottle fragment was a mineral water bottle. This is because it has a “Dan Rylands Safe groove 4” trade mark, which was a type of Codd style bottle with a marble inside the top to keep the carbonated gas from escaping. Dan Rylands produced bottles with a “safe groove 4” from around 1888 to 1897. There is the word “PURITY” on the front of the bottom suggesting that this was for mineral water. The front of the bottle has a capital H logo which has been seen on other bottles sold by different merchants. We can conclude that Dan Rylands may have used various template logos adding a merchants initials, in this case “H. E” for Hieatt Ealing. The H logo also appears again on the bottom of the bottle.

Hieatt Bottle 2

HB2 is another glass bottle made by Dan Rylands Barnsley. It does not have the “Safe Groove” trade mark so we can assume it has a different type of stopper. The embossed lettering is also different from HB1. The front has a word starting “H” most likely Hieatt and lower has “EALING” embossed on the lower front section. On the back there are the letter “ieatt” written in a different font. We will assume this is Hieatt and has the words TRADE MARK above and below the name.


Hieatt Bottle stopper

Another Hieatt bottle fragment was found on another dig in Jan 2017. This bottle was green /brown in colour and may have been a beer or wine bottle. There was a vulcanite stopper with the embossed name HIEATT EALING. Another Hieatt stopper was found in the same location.





Dan Rylands Glass Manufacturer.

Dan Rylands (1849-1910) succeeded his father as partner at the Hope Glass Works in Stairfoot, Barnsley in 1881. His business partner, Hiram Codd, had famously invented the Codd bottle in 1872, causing a revolution in the industry by allowing fizzy drinks to be contained using a glass marble to seal the bottle neck. In 1893 Rylands ran into money trouble and tried to take his own life when declared bankrupt. His sympathetic workforce raised £300 so his family could hang onto their possessions. Rylands then moved to London to work as a mineral water firm but struggled with mental health problems and died in 1910.

He produced bottles with a “safe groove 4” a version of the Codd bottle seal from around 1888 to 1897.