Nostalgic memories of 1981 as Clanfield time capsule opened

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DUSTING off a rusty ammunition box that was buried as a time capsule decades ago, they had no idea what would be found.

To everyone’s surprise, a big colourful poster of Prince Charles and Diana was sitting at the top of the box.

It didn’t take people long to work out that the box was buried in 1981 – the year of the famous royal wedding.

The box had been buried near Clanfield Memorial Hall for future generations to find.

The gardens of the hall have recently been the focus of a project to create a new war memorial garden for Clanfield, but the time capsule only came to light because of a tip-off from an old man in the village.

After being found using a metal detector, the box was opened yesterday.

It featured dozens of photographs of local families from 1981, a copy of ‘The Citizen’s Guide’ of The News, the police’s ‘beat book’ and a copy of The Sun with the headlines ‘Maggie’s Monday’.

The finds stirred memories for Suzanne Ahern, 50, of Nickleby Road, Clanfield.

She said: ‘I watched the Royal wedding on a black and white television in a caravan at Selsey Bill where I had been allowed to go away for the first time without my parents.’

Josephine Williams, 11, found a picture of Diana Larkin and her family taken on August 27, 1981.

Mrs Larkin is now one of her teaching assistants at Clanfield Junior School.

Josephine said: ‘It’s quite interesting. It’s really good looking at all the old stuff.’

Julia Summerfield, headteacher at Horndean Technology College, which has played a big part in creating the memorial garden, said: ‘It’s fascinating to think we have the challenge of putting all this together and creating a picture of what it was like to live in Clanfield at that point in time, particularly as it was the year of the Royal wedding.’

Justin Prince, 38, who found the box with a metal detector, said: ‘It took me about an hour to find it. I was pretty happy.’

The contents of the box will go on display in the hall when the new garden is unveiled from 10.30am on June 28.