Perfectly preserved time capsule from 1893 on show after being unearthed at Gainsborough chapel

The contents of the time capsule
The contents of the time capsule

The Gainsborough Heritage Centre is currently showcasing a fascinating time capsule that was squirrelled away at Morton Methodist Chapel in 1893.

The perfectly preserved time capsule was discovered in a column to the left of the chapel entrance by Lee Brockleback at Brockleback Remains, a hand disposal company, last year.

Items inside the capsule included a handwritten parchment dated May 21st 1893

Items inside the capsule included a handwritten parchment dated May 21st 1893

It was officially opened at the centre by archives officer Rosemary Speck with other members of staff in attendance, amazed by what they might uncover.

Lee said: “The time capsule was an incredible find and I was astonished to see that it was in such good condition.

“I wanted to open it and inspect its contents, but I felt it should be handled carefully.”

Rosemary said: “To be one of the first people to handle and see these old documents in 122 years was an experience I will never forget. It was both exciting and nerve-wracking.”

To be one the first people to handle these documents in 122 years was an experience I will never forget

Rosemary Speck, archives officer at Gainsborough Heritage Centre

The time capsule was thought to be in an early Kilner Jar and would have been placed in the building at the time the foundation stone was laid.

Inside the jar contained items which were found rolled up together. These included a handwritten parchment dated May 21 1893 which gave the names of the patrons, donors and ministers of the chapel.

There was also a ‘Preacher’s Directory’ from 1893 which was a printed sheet containing information for the Ministers of the Gainsborough Methodist Circuit and a Methodist magazine called ‘The Messenger’ also from this same period.

A poster from the ‘foundation ceremony’ from Whit-Monday May 22 1893 stated that the stone was to be laid by Mrs Chas Clixby.

Lee added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Gainsborough Heritage Centre for their assistance and for displaying the capsule.

“I feel it’s important that the people of Gainsborough are able to share in our discovery and get a rare glimpse into their ancestors past.

“I’m always keen to preserve all items of historic interest, and thankfully hand demolition makes this more likely than when heavy machinery is used.”

Learn more about this fantastic piece of history at the centre which re-opens on Saturday, January 9 and is based on North Street. The exhibition entry fee is £1.50.

Further details can be found at www.gainsboroughheritage.com or call by calling 01427 610526.

Captions

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 1: A poster from the ‘foundating ceremony’ was also found in the capsule

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 2: The time capsule was discovered hidden at Morton Methodist Chapel last year

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 3: The contents of the time capsule

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 4: Archives officer Rosemary Speck (middle) investigates the time capsule with members of heritage centre staff

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 5: The time capsule is currently on display at Gainsborough Heritage Centre, based on North Street

NGAS-07-01-15 time capsule 6: Items inside the time capsule include a handwritten parchment dating back to May 22nd, 1983