Memories sealed away for 25 years in King's Dyke capsule

Time capsule buried beneath rail bridge at King's Dyke, Whittlesey

Time capsule buried beneath rail bridge at King's Dyke, Whittlesey - Credit: Terry Harris

There was a touch of Last of the Summer Wine as councillors lined up to bury a time capsule and some queried how old they would be when it's dug up. 

Alex Miscandlon did the maths- but stopped counting when he got to 100.  

“I’m not sure I will be here to see it lifted,” said the Whittlesey councillor and chair of Fenland District Council.  

“But’s it's good to be here today to see it put into the ground” 

Former councillor Ralph Butcher had special reason to watch the capsule buried beneath King’s Dyke rail crossing.  

He campaigned for the crossing for over 40 years and was keen to add some memorabilia to the capsule.  

“This is a great idea,” he said as he handed some Cambs Times laminated cuttings to be placed inside the capsule.  

Time capsule

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils of Whittlesey schools help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris

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Once complete it will be named the Ralph Butcher Causeway.  

The capsules were idea of Cambridgeshire County Council who described it as “only fitting that a tribute to the landmark project has been left underground for many years to come”. 

The council believes it will “enlighten those who in 25 years will have no recollection of being stuck at the level crossing day after day”. 

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils of Whittlesey school help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris

The time capsule has captured moments through postcards, letters, photos and newspaper cuttings and shares the memories of all those involved.  

Local school children have also included elements of living during a pandemic with letters, a face mask and a lateral flow test kit. 

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils of Whittlesey schools help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris


L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris

Those taking part included representatives from the county council, Fenland District and Whittlesey Town councils and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (which has helped fund the project). 

Former pupils of New Road and Park Lane Primary Schools in Whittlesey added their memories, too. 

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)Former pupils of Par

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former Whittlesey primary school pupils help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a time capsule at the new crossing at King's Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris

County council chair of highways and transport, Peter McDonald, said: “I can’t wait to come back when everything is completed, which remains on course to be by the end of next year.” 

The bridge is part of the £32m King’s Dyke Level Crossing Scheme, which also includes building a new road and the removal of the crossing. 

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)

Preparations begin to bury a time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris


L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11)

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils Whittlesey primary schools help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a Time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. - Credit: Terry Harris

Rhydian Hafal, construction manager at Jones Bros, said: “It’s important to take these moments with the local community to mark key occasions with activities such as a time capsule burial”. 

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