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Capturing the moment: RAF Museum buries 50th Anniversary time capsule

Published on: 17 October 2022

The Royal Air Force Museum Midlands has marked its 50th anniversary milestone by preserving mementoes in a time capsule, so future visitors can peek into the past.

The time capsule containing memorabilia, messages, and notable objects giving a snapshot of the Museum today, have been buried in the Museum grounds alongside a learning space used by schools. The capsule now lies in wait for its reopening when its contents are unlocked on the Museum’s 100th anniversary in 2072.

The capsule has been built by Museum Apprentices, and contains items from the time of its burial, including a souvenir guide, Museum teddy bear and newspapers. Messages from staff and volunteers adorned on an RAF flag, together with video messages, have also made it into the capsule. With a nod to the Museums 50 year history, items including badges and booklets dating back five decades have been buried, along with concept art and development plans, so those opening the capsule in 50 years’ time can reflect on the Museum’s ambitions in 2022. RAF Cosford also gifted a Station Commanders Challenge Medal for inclusion in the capsule.

Joining RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton, staff, apprentices, and volunteers for the burial event, were students from Burghill Community Academy and Leasowes High School, winners of the Museum’s 50th anniversary art and design competitions. The student’s birthday card design and 3D model of the Museum will be preserved in the capsule, along with a 50th anniversary patchwork created by members of High Flyers adult SEN day centre.

Dierdre Cuss, RAF Museum Access & Learning Assistant said:

‘This is all about the future of the Museum, for the staff, volunteers and the young people who visit us in 2072. When deciding what items to include, we worked with local schools and asked colleagues what they thought would be important to pass on to the next generation, giving a snapshot of the Museum at the time we marked our 50th anniversary. I can’t help but wonder how we’ll feel about these items in the future, and what will go into the next time capsule once these re-emerge. This was a great way of marking the occasion and capturing a moment in time that will spark discovery and debate in the future.’

A plaque will mark the spot where the capsule has been buried.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am, for more information or to pre-book your arrival time online, visit rafmuseum.org.

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