CHILDREN at a North-East primary school are planning to bury a new time capsule – after the exciting discovery of a previous one more than 100 years old.

A time capsule, dating back to 1903, was discovered in the outside wall at Corporation Road Primary School, in Darlington, after the theft of the original memorial stone.

No-one knew the glass bottle, filled with documents and old coins, was hidden until the wall was being repaired.

Headteacher Ann Pringleton said: “The discovery of the time capsulte was totally unexpected, but it is an example of something good coming out of something bad.”

The lid of the bottle was sealed tight, so Ann enlisted the help of Darlington Railway Museum to reveal its contents.

Inside, were copies of The Northern Echo, The Darlington & Stockton Times, and The North Star newspapers, from July 1903. There was also a copy of the ‘Order of Proceedings’ for the laying of the memorial stone, a document about the building of the school, and old coins from the time, including a sixpence, an old penny, a ha’penny, a shilling, a farthing, and a florin.

Now, the school is planning to bury a new time capsule, reflecting modern times, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Ann said: “The most surprising thing about the old time capsule was that there was no evidence of the children, or what they were involved in at that time. A case of them being ‘seen but not heard’ in those days.

“But things are different now, so we are planning to install a new time capsule that will reflect the lives of our children – including how Covid-19 is affecting them.

“As well as the children’s contributions, we will be replicating some of the contents found in the old capsule, with current newspapers and documents.”

Both capsules will be buried together back in the school wall, behind the new memorial plaque, with a ceremony being planned for July 2021, to coincide with the burial date of the original capsule.

Corporation Road Primary is part of Lingfield Education Trust, and chief executive Nick Blackburn said: “We’re really excited that the school is putting back the original capsule, and also adding to it. It’s been a great opportunity for the children to learn about the history of the school.”

The school was originally established as three separate schools in 1896, but it wasn’t until six years later that a memorial stone was laid. They were physically joined together to become one school in 2002.