Missing time capsule unearthed — 25 years after being buried

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A missing time capsule has been unearthed at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy — after the caretaker who buried it 25 years ago came forward thanks to an appeal in the Ilkeston Advertiser.

Brian Aldred went along to an event at the academy after reading an Advertiser story asking for information about the location of the time capsule.

The academy wanted to find the the object, which is packed with memorabilia from more than two decades ago, and replace it with a new one as part of celebrations being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the King George Avenue building on the site.

However, academy staff were left scratching their heads because they had no idea where the time capsule might be buried – until Brian came along.

He told them that he dug the hole for the capsule on land outside the King George gallery on the academy site and showed them the exact spot.

Current caretakers Darren Shaw and Alan Webb then set about finding the capsule – which they did with the help of a metal detector and 45 minutes digging a 4ft -deep hole.

Inside the large metal box were dozens of nostalgic items carefully wrapped in bags and all in pristine condition.

They included notes from staff, letters from pupils and staff, newspapers, sweet and crisp wrappers, a list of the top 40 chart hits, an old 5p, restaurant flyers, details of houses for sale, receipts, train tickets, magazines, a cassette, holiday brochures, bank statements, a stamp and a party invitation.

There was even one of Brian’s old payslips which he remembered putting inside the capsule.

The 77-year-old, of Ilkeston, said: “It was a really enjoyable morning.

“I’m just glad they found it. I was getting a bit worried at one point that it might have been moved.

“I worked here for 19 years and loved it so it’s been great to come back today and see the time capsule being dug up.”

Teacher Kate Le Prevost is organising the centenary celebrations with the students.

She said: “It’s been quite emotional. We knew that a time capsule had been buried on the site but we had no idea where until Brian came along so we are very grateful to him and to the Advertiser.

“I was a bit nervous when the caretakers were digging and was worried that they might not find it but we are so pleased that they did.

“Looking at everything inside the capsule has been amazing and a real trip down memory lane because there are lots of things that remind me of my teenage years.

“We hope to create a display using the items in the future.”

A limited edition book is also being created as part of the centenary celebrations and will include memories of former staff and pupils at the academy, which was formerly known as Ilkeston County Secondary School, Ilkeston Grammar School and Ilkeston School.

Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy was formerly Ilkeston County Secondary School.

Anyone who would like to share their memories and photos of the school is invited to an event being held at the academy on Tuesday March 11.

Kate would also love to hear from anyone who contributed to the time capsule. Send an email to kleprevost@oiea.co.uk or call 0115 9303724.