National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009



Type Sculpture

     Oak sculpture of Vimto bottles surrounded by fruits (raspberries, blackcurrants) and other ingredients used in making the drink. The bottle and ingredients rest on a circular stone tray.
     This sculpture was prompted by the research undertaken by Sue Nicols into the history of the soft drink, Vimto. She discovered that Noel Nichols, the wholesale druggist responsible for making and marketing the health tonic drink, had been located in Granby Row, Manchester when the drink had been invented, not, as had been generally assumed, in Salford. The firm's original building, however, had not survived, the site having become part of a lawned area on the campus of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. The company responded enthusiastically to the idea of a sculpture to mark the site where the first batch had been concocted. It was an idea that UMIST, which had already begun installing sculpture in prominent outdoor spaces, also found exciting. A competition was organised for a £15,000 sculpture relating to Vimto, the work to placed on the site of the original premises. The competition was restricted to sculptors and artists working in the North West. Six entries were short-listed and the sculptors - Jon Biddulph, Jon Cattan, Lorna Greene?, Andrew Holmes, Kerry Morrison and Richard Thornton - were asked to produce a more detailed model and drawings. These were exhibited at the Manchester City Art Gallery where comments from the public were invited. Grip, UMIST's student newspaper, also sought reactions to the six models. In February 1992 Kerry Morrison's entry - a sculpture depicting a Vimto bottle surrounded by fruits and spices, ingredients in the drink's secret recipe, on a platter - was selected as the winner. The bottle and tray were based on a 1930's advert. Not all the details of Morrison's model were to be included in the final sculpture. The work of sawing and carving the oak wood was carried out at the company's distribution premises in Haydock. The sculpture was unveiled by the television actress, Barbara Kox, better known as Rita Sullivan, the owner of Coronation Street's corner shop, in July 1992.
     Commemorates the birth place of the soft drink, sited where the first batch of vimto was made.


On bottle: INVIGORATING/VIMTO/THE/IDEAL BEVERAGE/ On plaque in front of sculpture: A MONUMENT TO VIMTO/by/Kerry Morrison/1992/Stained Oak taken froma managed forest/John Noel Nichols mixed his first batch of VIMTO at/49 Granby Row in 1908. This sculpture on the site of the/building wascommissioned at J. N. Nichols (Vimto) plc.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Morrison, Kerry Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Sculpture Stained oak 461cm high x 461cm wide x 461cm long
Base Granite/Brick 350cm across approx

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Abrasions, cracks, splits
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Altrincham Street
Precise location Grass area between viaduct and UMIST building
A-Z ref p.163 B8
OS ref SJ846976
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1992
Unveiling details July 1992
Commissioned by J. M. Nichols Plc
Duty of care J. N. Nichols Plc/UMIST
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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