News

Bottle tops mystery lifts lid on McMahon's soft drinks

RARE FIND: Choices Flooring owner Steve Mallet and Peter McMahon, whose family owned McMahon’s Soft Drinks, marvel at the unusual discovery of McMahon’s bottle caps found in the store’s ceiling.
RARE FIND: Choices Flooring owner Steve Mallet and Peter McMahon, whose family owned McMahon’s Soft Drinks, marvel at the unusual discovery of McMahon’s bottle caps found in the store’s ceiling. David Nielsen

RENOVATING an historic Ipswich building has uncovered a link to the city's proud past and posed a fascinating history mystery.

Top of Town businessman Steve Mallet and his wife Jaye recently bought the floor above his Choices Flooring business on Brisbane St.

When the ceiling in the back left-hand corner was lifted up, it revealed hundreds of McMahon's soft drink bottle tops scattered across the beam.

Mr Mallet was quick to tell Peter McMahon, whose family owned the famous soft drink business in Ipswich for many years.

McMahon's soft drinks operated from 1934 and Frank McMahon ran the original plant at Martin St, Woodend, where Peter McMahon's Swim Factory now stands.

"My wife Jaye and I have a lot of Ipswich pride and I just love to know where things came from and where they go to," Mr Mallet said.

"We also found two left hand boots. Someone mentioned to me it could have been a sign of good luck.

"But the bottle caps is what we're a bit confused about; what they mean."

The building was owned by the Faulkner family who ran a motor garage there before starting a car yard on the block where the medical centre opposite Ipswich Hospital is now.

Before Steve Mallett started his carpet business 10 years ago, it was a TAB agency with a gym upstairs that closed several years back.

He's now looking for a business to rent upstairs once it's renovated - and after the bottle top whodunit is solved.

"We would love to talk to former employees of Faulkners to see if they could shine a light on it," Mr Mallet said.

The soft drink bottle tops are as much a mystery to Peter McMahon but it set off a torrent of sentiment.

"We had vending machines where we sold the drinks. I don't remember with Faulkners; they might have had a refrigerator and they bought drinks off us," Mr McMahon said.

"There would have been the small, seven-ounce bottles.

"We called them nip bottles.

"And the variety of flavours there; my heart cries because they've got horehound and other items that were part of my father's life - and part of mine too.

"This would have to be early 70s, so more than 40 years ago.

"It was when crown seals were a way of life.

"Later on we went to a more generic cap with, like, sarsaparilla on the cap and McMahon's on the label.

"There was no such thing as plastic bottles and things like that or screw tops.

"It was all returnables."

The advent of shopping centres was the beginning of the end for McMahon's and soft drinks in other towns.

"There was also the Coca-Cola people and they also had their own brews but once people started shopping centres it changed our way of selling and buying," he said.

"It was the decline of our world.

"The brand of McMahon's ended in about 1989."



New speed camera trailers about to lower tolerance

An allegedly speeding motorist is captured on the new trailer-mounted cameras.

Almost 650 speedsters caught in first three weeks

Old Ipswich courthouse to face the wrecking ball

The old Ipswich Courthouse has been set for a facelift for more then two years.

Developers consider knocking down $3.3 million 'ugly' building

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Local Partners

Gatton family claims game show success

A GATTON family walked away with more than $11,000 after an exciting three-night run on game show Family Feud.


How cyclists could peddle funds into community

BIGGER AND BETTER: Bicycle Queensland has partnered with Somerset Regional Council.

BIKE riders set to flock to the region later this year.

Big flicks could soon be seen at major shopping centre

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: The Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre have lodged an application with the Brisbane City Council to build a new cinema and entertainment precinct.

New entertainment and dining options have residents excited.

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Why Emma Watson turned down Cinderella

Emma Watson in a scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast.

HARRY Potter star has standards when it comes to Disney princesses.

Wonder Woman a ‘disjointed disaster’, says DC insider

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

INSIDER says the much-hyped blockbuster will disappoint.

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

NEW: ALDI confirms opening date of seventh Ipswich store

NEW STORE: Aldi will soon open its seventh store in Ipswich.

Aldi is preparing to open its seventh store in Ipswich

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!