Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Time Capsule from 1913

Conservators working on the restoration of the spire and weathervane have discovered the 'time capsule' placed in the spire in 1913 at its dedication.

We knew of its existence from Henrietta Barnett's The Story of the Growth of the Hampstead Garden Suburb 1907 - 1928 (reprinted by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archives Trust in 2006) which describes it as " a hermetically sealed copper cylinder", and records that "with prayer and thanksgiving" by the first vicar, the Reverend Basil Bourchier, it was placed in the pummel of the spire.

The capsule contains a message ("engrossed on vellum")  from Canon Samuel Barnett on the state of the world in 1913 (“the last thing that Canon Barnett wrote”), and a 'photogravure" of a portrait of the Barnetts by Hubert Herkomer (1849 – 1914) from Toynbee Hall.  There was no record of Henrietta's accompanying text until the disovery of the capsule.

The conservation team also found (on the removal of lead from the orb) a number of signatures on the timber, which are presumably those of the plumber and lead workers.

We hope, after conservation, to add a contemporary note and, again with prayer and thanksgiving, to restore the capsule to the restored spire.

Time Capsule