Snapshot of village life is sealed up for half a century
By Lyndsay Oxley - Reporter
SCHOOL children in West Auckland have helped create a piece of village history by filling time capsules that will be opened in 50 years’ time.
Pupils from Copeland Road Primary School, Oakley Cross Primary School and St Helen Auckland Community Primary School filled three capsules that have now been placed inside the village pant.
The project has been led by West Auckland Parish Council to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Cllr Billy Robinson suggested the idea during a parish meeting earlier this year and members agreed to make it happen.
The time capsules were lowered into the pant last week as members of the community, staff, pupils and parish councillors gathered on the village green.
Copeland Road Primary School headteacher Robin Nodding said: “The children have looked at life now and put things inside about school life. They have put in writing and pictures. They have really enjoyed doing it. We are all part of history now.”
Oakley Cross Primary School’s acting deputy headteacher, Craig Robinson, said: “The children have made predictions about what West Auckland will be like in 50 years’ time. We thought it was a really good project which got the children interested.”
St Helen Auckland Community Primary School’s acting headteacher Janet Elms added: “The children are really excited about coming back in 50 years to open it. They have done some writing about what they like to do now and what life is like in school now. They have also made some predictions about what life might be like. They have great imaginations.”
Cllr George Smith had the job of placing the capsules inside the void in the grade II-listed stone building.
A fourth capsule, filled by the parish council, is also due to be placed inside.
Speaking at the event, parish chairman Cllr Colin Mairs said: “I would like to thank the schools and all of the children for their work and the research that they have done to make this a success.
“When you all get older you will have to remember that it will be opened in 2068. You will be able to say, I was there that day.”
Built in 1848, the pant was originally installed on the village green to provide residents and their animals with fresh drinking water. As part of the current project, the original Victorian cast iron drinking fountain was re-positioned onto the east side of the pant. However, no water supply will be connected. Today the structure forms part of the village’s war memorial.
The capsules have been sealed behind a new plaque which states that it is not to be removed before 2068.