The dispensery from Phethean's chemists, Ruddington

The Chemist Shop

Pills and potions

Ruddington’s village pharmacy was situated at number 12 on the High Street and the premises are still used as a chemist today. It was run by three generations of the Phethean family from 1905 until 1993 when it was sold to a larger company.

Back in its day, the pharmacy walls were lined with shelves sporting bottles of coloured liquid while the drawers held numerous interesting dry ingredients. These supplies were used by the Phethean family who industriously produced all manner of potions and medicines in the back room of the shop. It was here that Bronchiline was invented, a supposed remedy for bronchitis, coughs, colds, asthmas, sore throats and various other chest ailments associated with winter weather.

This back room has been reconstructed within the Village Museum and among the collected treasures, such as a pill maker and a hand written prescription book, rests the very last bottle of Bronchiline. What’s more, the bottle is still complete with a label which promises to soothe and cure as well as listing the ingredients used to make the unique concoction.

‘Own brand’ medicines and recipes were often developed at pharmacies and the same chemicals used to make them were used in the production of doctors’ prescriptions. All dispensed prescriptions were entered into the prescription book, which is on display at the museum and makes for a fascinating read.

As well as medicines, pharmacies also stocked nursing equipment such as inhalers and infant feeding bottles. Some such products can be seen on the shelves of the reconstructed shop.