Back to the future as time capsule is opened at Swaffham school

SWAFFHAM JUNIOR ACADEMY
Angela Sharman and Ian Harding begin the task of opening the time capsule ANL-161207-095549001
SWAFFHAM JUNIOR ACADEMY Angela Sharman and Ian Harding begin the task of opening the time capsule ANL-161207-095549001

Swaffham’s Junior Academy school stepped back in time on Saturday at a summer fayre to discover what life was like there 25 years ago.

A time capsule buried under what is now a car park at the then Greenhoe Middle School in 1991, was opened in front of parents, pupils and former pupils.

Its contents included photographs of all the pupils, teacher and governors, a school newsletter, a list of school textbooks, a sample of the national curriculum, a newspaper, an audio tape and statistical data on selected children.

One of the more interesting items may prove to be questionnaires containing predictions of what they thought life would be like in 2016.

These included the possibly embarrassing answers to one question which asked them to write in the name of the boy or girl they thought they would marry.

Former teacher Alan Merrilees, who was at the opening ceremony and has now been retired for 16 years, came up with the idea.

The capsule had been filled by the school’s council members and sealed at a dedication ceremony at morning assembly.

“I then secretly buried it,” he remembered.

The site on an uneven patch of grassland, was marked on two maps, one of which was deposited at the Swaffham branch of Barclays Bank and the other kept at the school.

However, some time later the area was made into a hard-standing car park. The contractors unearthed the clay-pipe capsule and moved it for safe keeping.

The capsule was opened by Angela Sharman, who organised the fair, and Ian Harding.