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Back in time with capsule discovered at Shirley Baptist Church

A TIME capsule has been discovered at Shirley Baptist Church on Stratford Road.

A TIME capsule has been discovered at Shirley Baptist Church on Stratford Road.

Dating back to 1910, it was found by carpenter Gary Flowers, who was taking out a stained glass window when he discovered the capsule buried beneath.

"As I was taking the brickwork out, the actual lead casket was wedged between two bricks," said Mr Flowers. "What a surprise for me - it is the first time I have come across anything like this, and it's wonderful."

The capsule was protected by a layer of lead and is believed to hold newspaper extracts with a hand written list detailing its contents.

The Deacon of the church Bill Gladstone, who coincidently shares his surname with the Chairman of the Solihull Rural District in 1910, John Gladstone said: "We will probably open the capsule at a Sunday service when the church refurbishment is completed and it is re-opened." The church itself is 212 years old, and it is believed churchgoers at the time may have buried the capsule.

The centre is currently being renovated and the pews have been removed whilst the new flooring is laid.

As the church is not expected to reopen until October, there will be quite some wait for those eager to find out what the capsule contains.

The year of the capsule's burial was an eventful one which saw the death of King Edward VII and great political controversy in the area - there were two elections in the year due to Lloyd George and his 'people's budget'.

The Conservative party had a stronghold of Birmingham, where Lloyd George nearly got lynched on a visit.

The area of Shirley itself was still very rural at the time and was known as Shirley Street. When construction on The Shirley Baptist Centre is completed later in the year, the Deacon plans to invite the community round for an official opening.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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