Most people imagine a message in a bottle bobbing on the ocean waves when they think of finding one. Messages can be placed in bottles and hidden almost anywhere, including under the floorboards of an old house. That’s exactly what happened in Scotland when plumber Peter Allen was working on some heating pipes and discovered an antique bottle. According to Edinburgh Live, he found it beneath the floorboards and gave it to the home’s resident, Eilidh Stimpson, who then opened it.
They had no idea that the note inside the bottle had been hidden beneath the floor since 1887. It had been there the entire time they walked back and forth over the area, just waiting to be discovered. “The room is 10ft by 15ft and I have cut exactly around the bottle without knowing it was there,” Allan told the BBC. I still can’t believe it. I was moving a radiator and cut a random hole to look for pipework, and there it was, I’m not sure what happened. I took it downstairs and told her, ‘Look what I found under your floor.'”
Twitter user @edinnews shared photos of the discovery, which you can see below: Stimpson and her husband own the home in Edinburg. They also have children who live with them. When the bottle was discovered, they wanted the kids to be surprised, so they waited until they got home from school and then opened it together. They attempted to remove the paper from the bottle with tweezers at first, but the paper was so fragile that it became damaged. They eventually decided to break the bottle to get the note, but they kept the pieces.
“We were all crowding around and pointing torches at it and trying to read it, it was so exciting,” Stimpson said. They discovered that the note had been written by two workers who were constructing the floor. The room appears to have been designed for a maid. The note was written by James Ritchie and John Grieve, who lived just a few miles away from the house where the bottle was discovered. That was, of course, in the late 1800s.
“James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky,” according to the note. The date was October 6, 1887. Whoever finds this bottle may believe that our dust is blowing down the road.” The note will be kept in an acid-free pocket and will be preserved for many years. They plan to frame the note with a piece of the glass bottle they broke to commemorate the moment it was discovered.