The Cottage Smallholder

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Buy new rubber seals for old Kilner jars from Adams traditional ironmongers.


Photo: Kilner Jars pre 1948

Photo: Kilner Jars pre 1948

Years ago there used to be two ironmongers shops in Newmarket. I used to love browsing in them. Then one closed and the last one struggled on and finally closed last year. These were the sort of shops where you could find everything that you needed from dustbins with chimneys for burning garden waste safely to heatproof rope to mend the wood burning stove.

Now we go to Homebase to buy exorbitantly overpriced packs of nails and screws. We often can’t find exactly what we want as the stock is designed to appeal to the majority of shoppers not the ones who have the need for something very rare like a replacement rubber seals for old Kilner jars.

My friend Margaret in Ashley heard about my bottling frenzy.
“Would you like a box of old Kilner jars. They haven’t got seals I’m afraid.”
This was fine as in the past I’d spotted two places where I could buy these on the internet.

The new Kilner jar metal seals (manufactured by Ravenhead and available from Lakeland) do not fit the old jars. The old jars need rubber rings. After an hour of dredging through forums I hit gold on the ACL forum. I found the name and address of Chris Adams – a traditional ironmonger who sells rubber rings for all types of old Kilner jars.

I dialled his number and discovered that Chris has been manufacturing replacement rubber seals for every type of old Kilner jar for 10-15 years. He identified my jars as being the original pre 1948 ones. And his prices were great – £10.90 for 20 rings.
“It’s crazy to be tossing fruit in the freezer and using electricity to store them. When they could be sitting on a shelf in a Kilner jar.”
This means that I can now safely recycle jars that are over 60 years old.

I hadn’t realised that he had a website so we swapped website addresses and within seconds I was touring his shop. Suddenly I had access to a traditional ironmonger’s shop 24/7. Fantastic. This is not a website where you can order on line and it doesn’t list everything that is stocked.

We chatted between customers for a good half an hour. They have started growing their own vegetables and invested in an Eglu and two hens this year. His business ethic is green too – no heating until November. A bike shed for employees. If you are lucky enough to live in Sutton Coldfield he repairs machinery and electrical goods – so rare to find in these days of the throw away culture.

If you want to pop into his shop and find that certain something that seems impossible to get these days push open the door of his virtual shop and give him a buzz on 0121 3544822.

You can also by old style Kilner jars, metal rings and new rubber seals (a bit more expensive) on this website. There are also a lot of useful bits of information for those who have been given jars and are not sure how to use them. As there are instruction leaflets for methods and processing times for the complete range of vintage jars.

  Leave a reply


  1. chris chambers

    is Chris Adams still in business august 2017

    • I just tried the Chris Adams link above but could not find him, so ended up at the second link which worked well.

      • ended up at which looked promising but as I had already ordered from the other company I cannot comment on prices, services, or availablility.

  2. Florence Weston

    The best site I have ever found for missing Kilner bits is: – the guy is wonderfully non-comercial but really will find all the bits you might need. I found him when trying to find new seals for a box of jars found in my father-in-law’s shed and have since been picking up incomplete jars in charity shops safe in the knowledge that I can get all the missing seals and lids I need.

  3. Peter Denyer

    Further to my previous post my website is now

  4. My website mentioned above for Kilner jar spares has moved to Same service

  5. Hi
    i am trying to source extra small kilner style seals for spice jars which have an internal measurement of 1″1/4 and external 2″1/8 – they are lovely old spice jars with wooden lids and the rubber seal has simply perished. I have a set of 20 and they are far too nice to bin! Please help!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Julia

      Try ringing Adams – they are an old fashioned ironmongers and would be pleased to help.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Peter

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving your contact details.

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