14 Jun 23
Heysham 1 & 2

Lancashire pupils play time detectives at Heysham

Pupils from four local schools visited the Heysham Nature Reserve today [14 June] to take part in the recovery of a time capsule buried almost 30 years ago. 

Children from Overton St. Helen’s C.E, St. Patrick’s R.C, St Peter’s C.E. and Trumacar County Primary Schools buried the capsule in July 1996 to mark the opening of the nature reserve. 

At the time, they placed items like floppy disks, VHS tapes and newspapers inside. They also made predictions of what the year 2020 would be like. 

While some of the predictions, like rocket-powered football boots, failed to come true, others were on the mark with one of the pupils forecasting solar panels on houses and battery-powered cars. 

Around 150 pupils from the four original schools came along to see the contents of the original capsule at the event organised by the Heysham power stations. They also took part in a Time Detective activity and placed new materials in the capsule so it could be re-buried for pupils to discover in the future. 

Francesca Grimmitt, Heysham’s Visitor Centre Coordinator, said: “We have been delighted to welcome the children to the nature reserve for this event. It has been fascinating to see what the pupils of 1996 thought our world would be like now and today’s pupils have had some great ideas about what the future will be like. 

“Since re-opening the Visitor Centre after Covid we have welcomed more than 1700 people through the doors to find out more about the station and have spoken to over 700 people at educational outreach events, but this is the largest single community event we have held for a long time. It has been a great day.” 

Each school was asked to think about what the world will be like in 2053 and produce posters, to be placed in the capsule, outlining the scientific, technology, environmental and engineering advances we are likely to see over the next 30 years. 

Items placed in the new capsule included a badge commemorating the coronation of King Charles III, a Prime bottle and a Covid mask and hand sanitiser. One school included a carrier bag in the hope they will not be used in the future and coins were also placed in with some children predicting a cashless society by 2053. 

Hannah Owens, teacher at St Peter’s C.E primary said: “The event was fabulously set up. I think it’s great for the children to be able to see how much things have changed in a short period of time and it’s nice to see them excited for the future as well and think about how we can change the future.” 

Sophie Cooper from Overton St Helen’s C.E. School said: “It’s been fun today. We liked coming up with different ideas for the posters. Some people think there will be less greenery in the future and there will be flying cars.” 

The time capsule has been recovered and replaced as part of Heysham 1 power station’s 40th and Heysham 2’s 35th birthday celebrations. Since the stations started generating zero-carbon electricity they have made enough electricity to power every home in Lancashire for more than 200 years and have avoided more than 183m tonnes of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere, which is like taking almost 88m cars off the road for a year.  

For further information contact Fiona McCall (Senior External Affairs Manager) fiona.mccall@edf-energy.com