Burying the past as lockdown ends

A time capsule cataloguing the history of the pandemic for future generations has been buried as lockdown restrictions ease.

Children from Rowlands Gill Primary School wanted to highlight how young people had been effected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Filled with significant items such as hand sanitiser, face coverings and posters about covid safety – as well as video footage and photographs of activities undertaken in school – the children worked with developer Vistry Partnerships North East on the project.

Vistry donated the capsule and materials for the creation of a large collage – inspired by the Bayeuex Tapestry – and which allowed pupils of all ages to share their experiences of the pandemic. It also agreed to bury the capsule at Gibside Chase, where it is constructing new homes for sale under the Linden Homes brand.

“Within Rowlands Gill Primary School, it is our priority to recognise the impact Covid may have had on our children,” said Year Two teacher, Rhonda Winskill. “Working on the project has allowed us to celebrate life returning to something more normal whilst reflecting on the children’s personal experiences during this time.”

The school’s Head Girl said, “We have spent the last year of school working in bubbles and not mixing with children in other classes or year groups. Seeing our time capsule ‘tapestry’ was really nice as we saw lots of the younger children’s work alongside our own.”

The Head Boy added: “I think our finished work looks really good. I have really enjoyed being part of the project,”

Vistry Partnerships North East Operations Director, Dave Brown, added: “As lockdown restrictions ease and the end of the school year approaches, this seems like a fitting way to mark the end of this chapter in all of our lives – but in a way that remembers the sacrifices and challenges that we have faced.

“The children have worked so hard on this project and when the capsule is opened in many years time, I’m sure it will offer an incredible insight to what this unprecedented period was like for young people and how they came through it.”

Vistry Partnerships North East is currently active on 14 construction sites around the region with a gross development value of just under £360 million and is working with seven Housing Associations and five local authorities.