Builders find 103-year-old time capsule in Kettering

The Rev Peter Strong, church secretary Derek Neal and building project chairman Keith Mitchell with the contents of the time capsule

The Rev Peter Strong, church secretary Derek Neal and building project chairman Keith Mitchell with the contents of the time capsule

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Builders carrying out work on a Kettering church discovered a glimpse into the past when they unearthed a 103-year-old time capsule.

The metal capsule was hidden inside the base of a stone marking the date of the opening of Carey Baptist Church, in King Street, by the Rev W H Higgins on November 4, 1911.

Inside were copies of several newspapers, the Baptist times, British Weekly and a copy of the Kettering Leader, as well as a programme from the opening ceremony of the church.

The newspapers showed very little sign that they had been locked away for more than a century.

Chairman of the project to renovate the church Keith Mitchell said: “We had absolutely no idea that something like this was waiting to be found. The contents have been really well preserved.

“We spent quite a lot of time going through them, the newspapers are very interesting.”

Mr Mitchell said he was unsure what church officials and congregation members would want to do with the items.

Among the stories in the Kettering Leader was a court report of a man being fined for neglecting his chickens.

Kevin Wright, of Kettering building firm Lamford West, said his team found the capsule when they were moving the large stone.

He added: “We saw the metal box and thought it looked interesting.

“I’ve heard about other people finding them and there is normally a coin left with the capsule, so you know the year it was left. There wasn’t a coin on this occasion though.”

A copy of the Northamptonshire Telegraph from Monday, November 6, 1911, covered the opening ceremony at the church, although there was no mention of the time capsule.

Carey Baptist Church is currently undergoing a large renovation which will see the inside of the century-old building modernised.