Nicholas Paul Codd bottle, re-used by YABC

A 6 oz Codd bottle, made for the mineral water manufacturer Nicholas Paul & Co, of London. It is embossed with the name of N. Paul’s firm on both sides. On one side, a blue and white oval label is stuck over the name, which identifies the contents as ‘YABC Lemonade’. This is the acronym of Yarmouth Aerated Beverages Company, run by Mr Alfred Stanger, who set up the company in November or December 1896, and took out his first advert (on the front page of the Yarmouth Independent) on 5 December 1896. (Personal communication: Michael Craske.) On 26 March 1898, there was a meeting of the creditors of YABC in the Star Hotel, Yarmouth. By May 1898, the firm was in liquidation, and in July it was purchased by Idris & Co. Stanger sold his beverages in his own bottles, embossed YABC. As he ran into financial difficulties, he may have illegally acquired a batch of Paul’s bottles, since several were found in this deposit. Paul’s had their outlet at St Pancras, the western terminus of the Great Eastern Railway line between London and Great Yarmouth. Tourists heading to Yarmouth would have purchased Paul’s drinks and left large numbers of empty bottles on the trains, which Stanger may have been able to acquire and use for certain customers without the London firm’s knowledge. Mineral water companies were careful not to let other firms use their bottles, not only for fear of inferior products being passed off as their own, but because it amounted to providing bottles for their competitors. Stanger and Paul’s, alternatively, may have come to some arrangement whereby Stanger, for a fee, was allowed to use the bottles in Yarmouth, provided he re-label them.

P1020545 P1020546 P1020548

A number of bottles from this site have the labels preserved because of the favourable soil conditions.


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Posted on

May 13, 2018


  1. Peter Radcliffe


    With regard to the YABC illegally reusing the bottles of Nicholas Paul. You may be interested to know that Paul’s were also acquired by Idris & Co in the early years of the twentieth century, so the bottles and the labels illustrated are in all probability the property of Idris and will date to after the takeover of YABC.
    Idris seem to have acquired a number of companies around this time and continued to trade under the name of the acquired companies – for a time at least.

    • Tom Licence

      Thanks for this Peter. These bottles, however, were found on a site that was sealed in 1897, so they must date before the takeover of Idris. Paul’s may have had an agreement with YABC allowing them to use bottles brought to Yarmouth on the trains by tourists, since Paul’s had an outlet at St Pancras, which was a London terminus for the Yarmouth line.


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