News

27/07/2022

Time capsule marks new housing development at former church site

Pupils from Ysgol Owen Jones with the time capsule and (L/R) Robert Williams, Quantity Surveyor for Beech Developments; Joanne Jones, Citadel Coordinator, Housing Justice Cymru and Jordan Randles, Site inspector, Wales & West Housing.

 

Schoolchildren marked a new chapter in the history of the site of a former village church as they planted a time capsule to replace one which was discovered during work on a housing development. 

A time capsule containing photographs and documents relating to the former United Reformed Church (URC) in Northop, Flintshire, was found by Wales & West Housing’s contractors Beech Developments as they were demolishing the building to make way for six new eco-homes. 

The former URC church, which opened in 1932, was sold to Wales & West Housing in 2018 as part of Faith in Affordable Housing, an initiative led by Housing Justice Cymru to release surplus land for much-needed affordable housing.

With the old time capsule now being stored in the church’s archives, children from Ysgol Owen Jones primary school in Northop have created a new one.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the time capsule project and the original time capsule without doubt inspired the children to create their own time capsule for the future generations to find.”

Gareth Caughter, Headteacher at Ysgol Owen Jones

Their capsule includes work from a school project about the history of Northop along with photos of the school and events that show what school is like in 2022. 

It was planted outside the new homes on Northop High Street ahead of construction being completed.  

Six new homes are due to be completed at the site this year. They were made possible thanks to part funding from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme. 

Gary Cook, Regional Development Manager for Wales & West Housing, said: “Finding the original time capsule was so unique and unexpected that we were keen to work with the local community to create a new one. 

“Thank you to everyone at Ysgol Owen Jones for their hard work and creativity in putting together the new time capsule which will help to capture another important moment in time of this site in Northop. 

“We’re delighted that with the completion of this development, this former church land will be brought back into use providing affordable homes for the community.”

A time capsule from the 1930s was discovered during construction of the new homes in Northop

 

Gareth Caughter, Headteacher at Ysgol Owen Jones, said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to be involved in the time capsule project and the original time capsule without doubt inspired the children to create their own time capsule for the future generations to find. 

“In the Spring Term each class were set a problem by their class teachers which required them to learn about the history of Northop and how it has evolved over time including the buildings, transport, the school, and important people such as Owen Jones himself.

“They all became experts on the Village of Northop, which was great to see as it is important that they have a good understanding of their local area.

“The children have decided to add in work from their Northop projects along with photos of the school and events that show what school is like in 2022 and so future generations can see how Northop and education in general has evolved over time.”

“We’re delighted that with the completion of this development, this former church land will be brought back into use providing affordable homes for the community.”

Gary Cook, Regional Development Manager, Wales & West Housing

Claire Boot, Property Officer for the URC National Synod of Wales, said: “The discovery of a time capsule behind the foundation stone of the chapel shows that the congregation felt they were doing something significant for their time and the development of affordable housing on the site continues their legacy. 

“We are delighted that the chapel’s time capsule has inspired the local school to create their own version. It is very fitting that the school’s time capsule will be planted at the new housing development on the site of the church, where it will provide an exciting link to the community’s past for future generations to discover and enjoy.” 

Sian Bradley, who heads up Housing Justice Cymru’s Faith in Affordable Housing programme, said: “It is always sad to see a much-loved church close but we are delighted to have supported Wales & West Housing and the United Reformed Church in creating a lasting legacy for this site. 

“The six new homes that have been built will benefit the Northop community and we hope that their innovative low-energy design will inspire the contents of the children’s time capsule.” 

Beech Developments have been constructing the homes for Wales & West Housing and gave the children from Ysgol Owen Jones a tour of the site before the new time capsule was planted. 

Robert Williams, Quantity Surveyor for Beech Developments, said: “It was great to introduce the children to the site and to showcase the future of house building in Wales. We hope that this will help to educate the children and pave the way to see some of the next generation build more sustainable homes for our better future.” 

Andrew Price

andrew.price@wwha.co.uk01352 736316 / 07881 379 098 Andrew is our PR & Marketing Officer for North Wales

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