Back to the Future

We were delighted to be invited to the burial ceremony for a time capsule containing some of the county’s most important historical artefacts and memoirs.

Taking place at the site of The Hold – Suffolk Record Office’s new premises from spring 2020, as well as playing host to new auditorium and teaching facilities – the burial was one of nine taking place in the county on the morning of 28th February; with Lowestoft, Felixstowe and other towns participating in the ceremonies.

The Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) hosted the morning’s events, where we were able to hear from representatives from each of the organisations that have contributed an item to the capsule. Ipswich Museum spoke about the many wonderful pieces that had passed through the doors of the museum over the years, including the infamous Wool-I-Am woolly mammoth replica – fitting that one of their contributions was a toe bone from the same historical beast.


Ipswich Historic Churches Trust, Ipswich Archaeological Trust and Ipswich Building Preservation Trust discussed their work within the town; looking at the incredible array of centuries-old buildings that grace our streets – photographs of which have been buried in the capsule. Ipswich Maritime Trust, Ipswich Society and Ipswich Arras Association also provided some unusual and interesting anecdotes of local life – both historical and current – with letters, photos and items carefully chosen by each, added to the archive. We were blown away by four confident and eloquent pupils from Cliff Lane and Clifford Road Primary Schools, each lending their voice to speak about the items their schools had chosen to donate to the cause.


Suffolk Record Office spoke passionately about its future at The Hold; with a state-of-the-art strongroom well underway at the site; allowing a further 20 years’ worth of archives to be held in addition to its current nine miles of shelving at its current Gatacre Road premises. Ipswich Vision Board chair Terry Hunt closed the speeches with a fitting summary of both past and modern life in Ipswich, with the frequently cited ‘oldest continuously settled town’s’ constant progression and transformation, moving the area well into line with some of the bigger UK cities.

Following the speakers, we moved outside into the site of The Hold; where a reinforced trench had been dug. The mayor Jane Riley joined the primary school children to commence the burial of the capsule, by shovelling spades of ground back into the trench that will become home for the time capsule for the next 100 years.