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100-year-old time capsule discovered during Carrick Academy demolition works

Carrick Academy Time Capsule

South Ayrshire Council's contractors discovered a time capsule that is almost 100 years old during the demolition of the former Carrick Academy building.

The capsule, which dates back to 1925 - the year the school was constructed, was transferred to our Ayrshire Archives centre in Ayr for opening and inspection by our expert staff.

Archive staff opened the glass time capsule and found numerous archival records including coins, newspapers, Education Authority documents and some business cards of local contractors who presumably worked on the project nearly a century ago.

Unfortunately, water penetrated the time capsule over the years and as a consequence, the records were damp and damaged. However, some parts of the items are still legible, including front pages of local newspapers and an envelope which the team managed to clean enough to transcribe.  It reads, 'Who find may keep. Present day coins of the Realm. William Reid Master of Works Ayrshire Education Authority'.

The contents of the capsule underwent a process in the Archive centre workroom that allowed the records to dry out, then everything was cleaned using smoke sponges.  All of the documents that were recovered from the capsule have since been placed in melinex, an acid free clear sheeting that's used to store archive records.  All items are now in the archives store, where the temperature and humidity is monitored to ensure the long-term preservation of records, so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.

While the items that were inside the time capsule are too fragile to be out on permanent display, plans are underway to create large vinyls that show images of the capsule and its contents. These will be installed inside the new Maybole Community Campus so pupils, staff and visitors can enjoy a trip back in time!

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Education, Councillor Stephen Ferry, said: "The time capsule is a fantastic discovery, and a lasting legacy of the former Carrick Academy. It's important that we do all we can to preserve precious finds like this and the Ayrshire Archives team have done just that in this instance. It's also great that we've found a way to ensure the items can be on permanent display at the new Maybole Campus and I'll look forward to seeing the new vinyls in situ."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Buildings, Housing and Environment, Councillor Martin Kilbride, said: "It was a brilliant surprise when our contractors made us aware that they'd come across a time capsule during the demolition of the Carrick Academy building.  I'm pleased that we've been able to recover all items from the glass capsule and our Archives team have done a wonderful job in cleaning and preserving these.  Thanks to their specialist skills, the contents of the capsule will be around for many more years to come!"