Scottish plumber finds 135-year-old message hidden in a bottle

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Scottish plumber finds 135-year-old message hidden in a bottle

A Scottish plumber discovered a bottle containing a paper with a 135-year-old message written on it while doing some construction work on a house in Edinburgh, BBC Scotland reported in November.

Peter Allan, 50 years old, made the stunning discovery after cutting a hole in the floorboards. “I was moving a radiator and cut a random hole to find pipework and there it was,” he told the BBC.

“I cut exactly around the bottle without knowing it was there,” he added, “I can’t quite believe it. I took it to the woman downstairs and said, ‘look what I have found under your floor.'”

According to Allan, the room in which the whiskey bottle was found was most likely a maid’s room when the house was initially constructed, he further told BBC Scotland.

What did the 135-year-old note say?

After the homeowner waited for her two children to arrive home from school, Allan attempted to open the bottle and read the secret message. They were forced to break the bottle open after the 19th-century paper began to rip apart when they attempted to pull it out with tweezers.

“I feel absolutely terrible breaking a 135-year-old bottle but it was the only way to reach the note,” the mother, Eilidh Stimpson, told BBC Scotland.

In the end, Stimpson was able to retrieve the lost note, which was signed by two of the construction workers who built the house and dated October 6, 1887. 

The note simply read, “James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky [sic]. Whoever finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.”

Scottish family to frame lost note

Stimpson later said that she plans to frame the note “with a piece of the bottle such as the neck because it’s such an exciting and lovely thing to have.”

She also noted that she kept all of the shattered bottle’s pieces and that her family will put the bottle back in the hole it was found in, with a new message from the family.