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

Posted by: Communications on 08 May 2024 15:12

Take a trip back in time with us as we unveil the contents of a 100-year-old time capsule found in Maybole


Earlier this year (2024), contractors who were working on the demolition of the former Carrick Academy building in Maybole, discovered a time capsule that is almost 100 years old. 

The capsule dates back to the year the school was constructed - 1925, only 6 years since the end of the First World War. 

The time capsule, which is made of glass, was transferred to our Ayrshire Archives centre in South Harbour Street, Ayr for opening and inspection by our expert archives staff.  

When the team opened the capsule, they found numerous archival records.  These included coins, with the official effigy of King George V who was sovereign at the time; newspapers; Education Authority documents; and some business cards of local contractors who presumably worked on the building project nearly a century ago. 

Unfortunately, water had penetrated the time capsule over the years and as a consequence, the records became damp and damaged. However, some parts of the items were 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.  Once this stage was complete Archives staff cleaned all items 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 Ayrshire Archives store, where the temperature and humidity are monitored to ensure the long-term preservation of records, so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come. 

A member of the Ayrshire Archives team said: "As the official archive service for East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, we were incredibility excited when the time capsule was transferred to Ayrshire Archives for opening and inspection. While the records were damaged by water, we were able to successfully recover all the records. The collection is now safely located in our archive store."  

On inspection, the Archives team decided that the items found inside the time capsule were too fragile to be out on permanent display.  However, plans are underway to work with our Communications team to create large vinyls that depict images of the capsule and its contents. These will be installed inside the new Maybole Community Campus, creating a lasting legacy that pupils, staff and visitors can all enjoy for many more generations to come. 

Last modified: 08 May 2024 15:16