Remember When – Time capsules to mark centenary of war's end
By Lyndsay Oxley - Reporter
SCHOOLCHILDREN are being asked fill time capsules to help mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The project is being led by West Auckland Parish Council after it was granted listed building consent by Durham County Council to place a number of uPVC sealed time capsules inside the village pant.
Later this year, four capsules will be placed inside a void in the grade II-listed stone building on the village green.
Youngsters from Copeland Road Primary School and Oakley Cross Primary School are being asked to come up with their own projects.
Both schools will then fill a capsule with their work. Following a majority vote by councillors, it was also decided that St Helen Auckland Community Primary School would be asked to take part despite not being located within the parish boundaries. Parish councillors will fill the fourth capsule.
Built in 1848, the pant was originally installed on the village green to provide residents and their animals with fresh drinking water. It is believed that this will have been piped from the River Gaunless nearby.
Following the opening of the Waskerley Reservoir in 1877, which saw water begin to be pumped directly into village homes and businesses, the stone structure was re-dedicated in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and a carved stone plaque was installed.
However, it did continue to provide water to passing travellers.
In 1972, the structure became listed as a building of national historic and architectural importance.
A small area of stone paving was extended around the structure in 2010. Today it forms part of the village’s war memorial.
As part of the current project, the original Victorian cast iron drinking fountain will be re-positioned onto the east side of the pant, having being kept in safe storage for a number of years.
However, no water supply will be connected.
A rectangular coloured cast aluminium information plaque will be fixed on the south side of the structure, which will include details of the pant’s original function and later developments.
Cllr Martin Roberts said: “It has been confirmed that the plans have been given consent. I think the next step is to approach county councillor Rob Yorke who said he would do the plaque.”