A piece of school history made the headlines this week when a time capsule, which had been buried for nearly 40 years at the site of our former junior school, was opened live on BBC Points West in front of thousands of viewers.
After a tip-off from former teachers and pupils, an eagle-eyed demolition contractor successfully extracted the long-hidden time capsule from a cavity wall of the Gloucester Hall building. The opening of the hall in 1977, along with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, was marked by secreting a small time capsule in the fabric of the new building.
The time capsule, well actually a tin box, was discovered by the same contractors who had unearthed a WW2 unexploded bomb on site a few weeks previously. Linking these two intriguing glimpses of bygone times, the BBC invited representatives of the school, past and present, to open the capsule live on regional news.
Hazarding a few guesses as to its contents, our Registrar Lynda Bevan, Jane Millington a Bath High Alumna and our current Finance Officer, and Tilly Kennard from Year 3 all took to the studio sofa with Points West presenters Alex Lovell and David Garmston for the moment of truth…which fortunately did not disappoint!
As well as penning various letters, the girls of 1977 had chosen a scrap of fabric from their summer uniform and a school tie; a model Mini – ‘the form of transport we use every day’; a school prospectus and a commemorative Silver Jubilee coin amongst other things to give future generations a snapshot of their school life in the 1970s.
Media interest in this story has sparked a flurry of nostalgia on social media from Bath High Alumnae, some of whom remembered the capsule, but had little recollection of what was in it. Jessica Saunders, (BHS 1964-78) identified the dilemma we had all faced on discovering it: ‘I find it rather moving. They probably did expect it to be hidden for longer. But 40 years isn’t bad!’
The capsule and its contents will be on display this Saturday at the annual RHS Alumnae reunion. For those coming to the Summer Music Festival feel free to pop into the Hudson Centre in the main school building to take a look.