Hundred-year-old Herts Ad found in Museum of St Albans time capsule

PUBLISHED: 09:02 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 09 November 2017

The St Albans Museum time capsule.

The St Albans Museum time capsule.

Archant

An old copy of the Herts Ad dating back more than a century has been found in a time capsule at the site of the old Museum of St Albans.

The St Albans Museum time capsule. The St Albans Museum time capsule.

Building workers, who were demolishing parts of the Hatfield Road structure during its redevelopment into homes, found the glass container behind a stone plaque commemorating the construction of the building in 1898.

The capsule includes an edition of the Herts Advertiser and St Albans Times published on Saturday, July 16, 1898, along with a Victorian half-penny.

A handwritten note explains that the glass bottle was put there during the ceremonial laying of ‘the Foundation Stone of Hertfordshire County Museum by Dame Maria Millington Evans’, who was the wife of Sir John Evans, one of the museum’s founders.

Another copy of the Herts Ad, dating from 1960, was discovered along with stamps and coins and is believed to have been placed there when the stone was moved from its original position.

The St Albans Museum time capsule. The St Albans Museum time capsule.

The 1898 paper appears to feature stories about St Albans Grammar School and cattle market, while the 1963 edition features a firm and driver fined on 43 summonses.

The contents have been examined and will go on display at the Verulamium Museum from Saturday, November 18 until Christmas. They will then be reburied at the old museum site, along with new items, for future generations to discover.

The old museum site is being turned into 10 homes by Morgan Sindall, on behalf of St Albans council. The new development has been named Oak Tree Gardens and the homes are due to go on sale next summer.

Councillor Annie Brewster, portfolio holder for sport and leisure, said: “This is a high-profile project and we have been very keen to keep residents up to date with all that is happening.

The St Albans Museum time capsule. The St Albans Museum time capsule.

“The discovery of the time capsule shows how proud people back in the 19th century were about creating a new museum.

“We hope to produce something just as special in the 21st century with a new museum and art gallery that will be able to hold exhibitions of national importance.

“As a bonus, we are also creating a high-quality residential development on the old museum site to help fund the new one. It is great news that both projects are on schedule.”

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