Hidden messages

The mystery of the message in the bottle

In the Church magazine for December 1944, Revd Leeke wrote about the mystery of a bottle found embedded in the cement at the base of the weather-vane, which had been found whilst the spire was undergoing repair. The 4 oz glass bottle contained a token coin and a pay-sheet, the writing on which had faded.

Following enquiries, a lady came forward and said that steeplejacks lodged with her grandparents, Mr and Mrs H North, at the Artichokes Inn in 1883, and to please the three children, the bottle was taken to the spire with their names written on a piece of paper: Alfred North, Alice Maud North (later Mrs C R Swallow) and George North, together with their father's name, Harry North.

History recorded in the sleeve of the Vane

On a sheet of paper was written "James Gill of Oxford came to Messrs Rodgers Ironmongers in March 1816"

The weather vane taken down September 29th 1860
Last time of taking it down was August 11th 1818
Made by Messrs Rodgers Ironmongers
Stanley Knight came to Messrs Rodgers November 3rd 1858
S.K. of Hereford
Charles Wilcox came December 1855 of Belton