Photos: Isle of Wight County Press

    Workers on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom were surprised to find a 1957 time capsule during renovations of a 170-year old church this month.  Hannah Griffiths, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Newport Minster church says among the capsule's mementos, they found a fact-filled handwritten note left by four people dating back to October 22,1957.  It reads: "Cigarettes. 20 for 3/11. Beer (much too dear at 1/4 a pint). The first Russian, in fact the first ever satellite was sent off from earth on October 4. It has now circled the earth 258 times, spanning 3,000,000 miles."

     Describing the church as "a Victorian building built on Medieval foundations", Griffiths says she thinks the note was left under the floor of the church by workers rebuilding the church's organ in 1957.  But there's a bit of a mystery to solve surrounding the note.  Griffiths says they've taken to Facebook to try to identify its writers. She says, "We've managed to identify one of them as Mr. Arthur Charles Tosdevin.  His grandaughter actually came in to take a look at it. But we would really like to know whether anyone recognizes the other signatures. We think we have a Heath, a Butler and a Johnson." 

    The note was buried alongside two half penny coins, a 1957 News Chronicle newspaper and some items that couldn't be identified without careful help from archaeologists and restoration experts.  Their work is on-going, but Hannah says they plan to catalog all contents of the copper box and include the most recent copy of the Isle of Wight County Press when they rebury the time capsule.  If you recognize these signatures, you can email






Leave a comment