A 101 year old Time Capsule was opened on 5th September in Kirkheaton Church, on the edge of Huddersfield. The capsule had been buried under the foundation stone when the extension to the former Church School was erected, June 14th, 1913. The capsule was a Kilner jar, which has local connections, being made at their factory just a little way down the road in Thornhill Lees on the edge of Dewsbury.

In the jar were a copy of the ‘Yorkshire Post’ and ‘Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser’ for that day, a Parish magazine for June 1913 and an Order of service for laying the stone.

The jar was opened with the help and advice of Katina Bill, Curator of the local Tolson Museum (with the help of a little WD40 and the Rector’s Swiss Army knife). Present at the opening were some children from Kirkheaton Primary School, a lady whose father was at the school when the capsule was buried, Vice Chair of Kirkburton Parish Council, members of the Kirkheaton Family History group and other members of the church and community.

“It was great to be able to connect with this part of our past,” said the Revd Richard Steel, Rector of Kirkheaton. “The discovery caused a lot of excitement locally, and the opening has been a really good community event.”

“After a quick look through we’ve discovered that we had a Parish Nurse at that time,” he adds, “which is quite fascinating. I look forward to seeing what more we can learn.”

Some quotes from people who were at the opening:

“It was great to see this, we haven’t seen one in a long while. It is very impressive. The paper is really well preserved, the seal completely intact, no moisture had go in. It even still has that newly printed smell, and no signs of damage.” (Katina Bill, Curator, Tolson Museum)

“What is good for us is trying to imagine what life was like for the children then – and realising that within a year these children would be caught up in WW1” (Sam Gallant, Head Teacher, Kirkheaton Primary School)

and the children –

“Fascinating” – (James Mallinson10)

“exciting to see like what they did in a Time Capsule then” (Oliver Hayton , 10)

“Feel really privileged to see these things opened. The first people to see them in 101 years” (Melissa Waller, 9)

Very fascinating to see all the newspapers from the past – kind of surprised how big the papers are and how small the print is.” (Verity Fountain, 10)

The material will be preserved and go on display in the church.

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