YOUNGSTERS are jumping at the chance to record their favourite things about Portsmouth in a time capsule celebrating Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday.
The children are filling up ‘time traveller’ passports created by local artist Deborah Dodsworth with pictures and information about themselves as well as what they like best about the city as part of Portsmouth City Museum’s Dickens Community Archive Project – A Tale of One City.
Boys and girls are designing postcards of their favourite spots in Portsmouth and drawing pictures of how they will look when the capsule is opened in 2031.
Lily Yeoman, six, a pupil at St Swithun’s Primary in Southsea, said: ‘I’ve had a lot of fun filling in my passport and I can’t wait to read it back when I am grown up and living in a cottage with my two children.
‘My favourite part of Portsmouth is Southsea beach.
‘I go there a lot with my family to paddle in the water and play.
‘I also love Gunwharf because of the cinema and shopping.
‘At school I have lots of friends and I’ve written about them and my favourite teachers.
‘There are so many wonderful things in our city and I’m happy I can talk about them and be a part of history.’
Deborah’s daughter Caitlin Dodsworth, seven, a pupil at St Swithun’s, said: ‘I feel so proud to be a part of the time capsule.
‘My favourite subject at school is history and it is so important to keep a record of what life was like in 2011.
‘Portsmouth is a great place and I love my school, my friends, my family and all the things in it.
‘In my passport I wrote about a Victorian Day we had at school where I dressed as the only rich child in the classroom and we got to eat an old-fashioned packed lunch and write on slates.
‘I drew a picture of the Spinnaker Tower on my postcard because I’ve been up it and I think it is amazing.
‘In 20 years when the time capsule is opened I think I’ll have seven children and live in a mansion or a flat.’
Mrs Dodsworth said she felt honoured to lead the time capsule project – supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund – which will feature in the museum’s exhibition of Dickens’ bicentenary next year.
She said: ‘There will be few projects as important for the children of Portsmouth as this one.
‘I’ve been really surprised at what they’ve come up with so far – many have chosen the Farlington Marshes nature reserve as their favourite place.
‘I hope as many families as possible contribute to the time capsule.
‘Personally I’m looking forward to seeing if I fulfil my ambition of writing a children’s book 20 years from now.’
Two time capsule sessions for young families at Portsmouth City Museum will take place tomorrow and on August 24 from midday until 2pm.
The completed time capsule is to be stored in the city museum’s archives.