BottleScrue Times History

A Brief History of the Bottle Scrue Times

The Bottle Scrue Times has become one of the constant and essential threads that bind Addicts together in this organization we call the ICCA.   However, that was not always the case.  The original idea of the group was centered around the second word of the name, “Correspondence.”  During those early years, communication between Addicts was largely by mail which seemed to satisfy the needs of that era.   The minutes of the first meeting on October 1, 1974 at The Toucan Inn, Guinness Brewery, London, England did provide that one of the duties of the Chief Correspondent was “Writing a newsletter (either annually or biannually)”, but that seems to have been largely overlooked.   Probably no newsletters were ever published for the next few years, and if any were created, none seem to have survived.

So it remained until the 9th annual meeting on October 9, 1982 at the Seven Pines Estate in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  It was then that a somewhat more serious attempt was made to resurrect the newsletter idea.  The minutes of that meeting state, “It was further agreed that the Chief Correspondent should send out a regular newsletter and to fund this the Annual Subscription (dues) would be increased to $25 (£15).”  To explain the apparent lapse of producing a newsletter, the minutes went on to note that “The Chief Correspondent emphasized he could only compile a newsletter if members supplied him with enough items.  He also pointed out that the rules of the Correspondence did stipulate a newsletter but until now not enough news has ever been received to warrant a whole newsletter” (emphasis added).  Nonetheless, this discussion provided some impetus, and Warren Rowe, then Chief Correspondent, thereafter published Vol 1, No. 1 during the winter of 1982/1983.  That first issue, which was under the “Bottlescrue Times” masthead, had a report on the 1982 meeting in New Hope, Pennsylvania, four postcards, a couple of jokes, and a couple of miscellaneous items.

The following year,1984, Chief Correspondent, Francis Hutchinson, produced the next BST which was rather short containing some black and white photos of the 1983 AGM, a few pages from an article in Italian, and a couple of short tidbits.  It was at the1984 AGM at the Hotel Univers, Tours, France on October 26th, that the pressure for a regular newsletter finally gathered momentum.  Under the heading “Bottle Scrue Times”, the AGM minutes note that, “the Chief Correspondent needed assistance to produce a magazine for the I.C.C.A and it was proposed that Don Bull be recruited to help produce a regular issue.”  Although a couple of those earlier attempts had been made to produce a newsletter, it was at that time and place that the Bottle Scrue Times as we now know it was born.  While it still appeared the newsletter was a duty of the Chief Correspondent, the editorship had now become a separate function and Don Bull became the first official Editor.  After some delay due to business pressures, Don published his first issue in July, 1985 and in introducing it he noted that “now and with your support and input, hopefully, we can get on with news on a regular basis.” That issue was eight pages, and thereafter Don produced regular issues and some special individualized AGM editions for the next five years. From that meeting forward, AGM minutes almost always reflect some activity relating to the Bottle Scrue Times.

By the 1990 meeting in Venezia, Italy on October 30th,  Don Bull had been the Editor for five years, and the minutes of that meeting reflect that he “would like to relinquish the position.”  It was then that Joe Paradi agreed to take over the editorship and he published the Bottle Scrue Times for the next eight years bringing it into even further prominence as an important factor in the ICCA growth. 

In 1998, and after eight years as steward of the Bottle Scrue Times, Joe decided to step down.  At the 25th meeting on September 17, 1998 at the Rembrandt Hotel, London, England, Frank Ellis agreed to become Editor.  Frank would continue for two years, and on resigning in 2000, Jack Bandy assumed the editorship at the 27th meeting, September 15, 2000 at Hotel Wartburg, Eisenach, Germany.  Jack Bandy edited the Bottle Scrue Times for over 12 years, and during part of that time was assisted by two assistant editors, Nick Hunt and later Josef L’Africain.  Josef assumed the editorship when Jack Bandy retired from the position.

The Bottle Scrue Times has become vitally important to the solidarity of the ICCA.  There have been a number of improvements and major changes over the years, but one critical factor more than any other has fostered this transformation. Whereas the history of the BST suggests there was considerable indifference to a newsletter in early years, that attitude and perception has largely vanished.  In recent years, significant and serious research articles by Addicts have become a staple of every issue, and contributions of other relevant and interesting materials are submitted regularly.  This, of course, explains the growth and success of the Bottle Scrue Times and its importance to the ICCA.  Without the interest, participation and passion of the Addicts in contributing to the Bottle Scrue Times, it would have remained just a useless idea because there would be “not enough news...to warrant a whole newsletter.”

Long live the Bottle Scrue Times!