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Jurby time capsule is buried in New Prison 24 January 2007

JURBY community has filled a time capsule to lock in concrete at the New Prison.

Presentation of time capsule at Jurby SchoolChildren at Jurby Community School presented Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK with the container this morning (Wednesday). Then the Minister took it to the New Prison where it was covered with sand in the floor of the ‘street corridor’ in the main prison block. This is the staff link between the sterile yard and the main internal ‘street’ – a two-storey atrium walkway which gives access to the central rotunda and all the prison wings. The hole will soon be sealed with concrete and the time capsule hidden until the prison comes to be demolished.

Mr Quayle said:

‘It is a great honour to take custody of the time capsule and to cast it in concrete at the New Prison, so that perhaps descendants of the people who carefully selected its contents will discover the artefacts it contains many years in the future. If the prison serves the Island for more than one hundred years, as has been the case with the previous jail in Douglas, it’s unlikely any of us involved today will be around when it is knocked down and the time capsule discovered.’

Mr Waft, Minister and Mr Crookall get ready to bury time capThe time capsule contains a photograph of the children of Jurby Community School in Millennium year, booklets produced for parents and pupils, copies of press coverage of the school’s opening 25 years ago, and extracts of the original Jurby School’s opening in 1877. Log books from that period indicate the 12 pupils had ‘shockingly irregular attendance’. In 1888 the log records that ‘between measles and docking turnips, half the above school was absent’.

Jurby Headteacher Carol Beck commented:

‘Attendance is very carefully monitored so we thought it would be interesting to show that in the early days the school’s lack of attendance wasn’t due to any kind of epidemic but harvesting turnips! The photograph in Millennium Year when we had 105 pupils was our biggest roll ever – it’s now 85 but was only 49 when I started in September 1990.

‘I think the time capsule is a lovely idea and it’s just a pity we can’t take a giant step forward to see the kind of people who will unearth it in the future.’

She added:

‘We’re very pleased to have the new prison built at Jurby because we’re going to benefit thanks to the improved infrastructure. Jurby village can develop in a sustainable way and we hope there will be more businesses setting up on the industrial estate which will hopefully bring us more pupils in the future. We may even need an extension on the school!’

Chairwoman of Jurby Commissioners, Grace Garner, revealed what other objects have been included in the time capsule:

‘We thought putting in one of the miniature Jurby Millennium delivery vans would be interesting for those who discover the time capsule. There’s also a list of the current members of the Commissioners, minutes from our recent meetings, our accounts for the year ending March 2004, and other information on the parish, such as how many residents we have – 648 – and how many dwellings – 273. It’s very hard to know what are the best things to include and what relevance they will have when it is discovered in a hundred or 200 years’ time.’

The time capsule is buried in the New Prison corridorThe New Prison at Jurby is being built at a cost of £41.7million. Construction should be completed late this year and the first prisoners transferred there from Douglas early in 2008.

Photo captions

Top: Jurby Commissioners Chairwoman Grace Garner (left), headteacher Carol Beck (right) with children from Jurby Community School present the time capsule to Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK

DHA Members George Waft MLC (left) and Tim Crookall MHK (right) help Minister Martyn Quayle MHK bury the capsule in the prison corridor

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