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Time Capsule Unearthed at Pendlebury

Contractors carrying out excavation work at the former Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital at Pendlebury have uncovered a time capsule in the grounds at the entrance to the former Zachary Merton building. The date stone on the small lead box was unreadable so no information as to when the capsule was buried or what it might contain was available. The Trust sought the expertise of Irit Narkiss, the Curator of Objects and Access at the Manchester Museum, who recently painstakingly opened the capsule which contains a newspaper from 1805, two newspapers from 12th March1935, annual reports, old coins, and an invitation to the opening of the Zachary Merton Convalescent Home on 13th March 1935 which is when it is thought it was buried Zachary Merton was a businessman with interests in Manchester and in his will, left funds to build convalescent homes around the country. RMCH applied for funds and was given £22,000 to build a home for 40 patients ‘for the sole purpose of restoring the bloom of health to children after illness.’ Alwyn Hughes, Divisional Director of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said: “We were intrigued when we heard that a time capsule had been found at the old Pendlebury hospital and were keen to ensure the preservation of any artefacts found. Although we hoped that the capsule had been buried a long time ago, we were thrilled to discover it contained pieces of history from both the 19th and 20th century.” He added: “We are very grateful to Irit and the Manchester Museum for their help in ensuring the legacy of our children’s hospital continues.”