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Time capsule will give a flashback to 2013

JUST as workmen at The Witham Hall are getting flashbacks to the past by discovering long-forgotten items, preparations are under way to give future generations the same experience.
A miniature archive of day-to-day life in Barnard Castle is being put together so it can be buried under The Witham Hall, which is undergoing a £3million revamp. 
Laura Brown, heritage officer at The Witham, says she hopes the time capsule will show people what life was like in Teesdale in 2013. The capsule is due to be opened again in 2063.
She said: “During the building and restoration work which has been taking place on The Witham, we have discovered lots of objects which tell us about the history of the building including an 1860s penny, soft drinks bottles and Woodbine cigarette packets, and an envelope dating back to the period when The Witham was used as the local Food Control Office and Labour Exchange during the Second World War.
“We think it is important to make a record of The Witham’s history, so we are going to bury a time capsule to preserve these and a number of other important objects. Together, these items will tell the story of The Witham and the people who have used it, and will show future generations how we live in Barnard Castle today.”
The cylindrical capsule is water and air tight, and is made from material that will not rust. It will be buried under the paved area outside the new Link Building, which will become a new entrance for visitors to The Witham buildings from the public car park.
“Recording the location of The Witham time capsule will be very important, as many capsules have been lost due to poor record keeping and are only unearthed if and when future building work takes place,” said Ms Brown.
Information about it will be stored by the International Time Capsule Society in Atlanta, US, for safekeeping.
Inside will be documents, photographs, newspaper cuttings from the Teesdale Mercury and possibly a letter giving a prediction of what the future will be when the capsule is opened.
The Witham Hall is to reopen this summer and will be a centre for arts, community events, entertainment, business and heritage. Among other things, there will be a gallery, shop and tourist information centre, creative business studios, events hall and cinema, meeting rooms, outdoor space and heritage activities programme.
People in Teesdale are being asked to contribute items to the time capsule. If you have ideas on what should be buried inside or if you want to nominate an item, contact Laura Brown on 01833 631107 or email heritage@thewitham.org.uk


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