Farringdon Time Capsule 30th June 2012

It was a simple idea, to record now for future interest what our home village is like in the Diamond Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II.

How long is the life of a time-capsule?  - - - why not suggest 100 years !

What goes into it?   - - - wait and see what is offered !

After three months contributions had trickled in of imaginative items, starting with a fine colour photo of Paul the Postman and his Royal Mail van and finishing with a puzzle photograph showing the capsule being buried on 30th June under its granite slab, just over the wall by the lychgate, the Millennium tree not being a suitable site.

Chris performed the magic of recording the event and then getting the picture into the (nearly) sealed capsule.   The hole had been dug
to exact dimensions and Karen was there to bless the capsule on its way to 2112.

There was a  fun celebration in the village hall afterwards, with Alan's famous punch, and enlivened by Brian climbing on a dodgy chair to photograph the scene.   Copies of the capsule contents were on display.   Maybe some pieces will be carried in The Flyer later and put on the village website.

Although Farringdon House was not represented on 30th it was delightfully remembered by a  copy of an Alfred Munnings painting
being given for the capsule by Judith and Patrick Robinson.   Judith's mother, Mary Putnam, was a child in 1930s and when the artist visited his friends the Putnams at Farringdon House he caught sight of her on her pony and painted a picture the family treasure.   Judith and Patrick came over to see the capsule buried.

By 2112 what will be made of our people and places?   Karen's letter wonders if handwriting will still be understood. By rolling up
paper and card tightly it is surprising how much can be fitted into a tube, and Farringdon Man/Woman of the future will find a Union Jack and Jubilee items, including a special feature by journalist Anna Tyzack. Peter Freeman's collage of 24 photos sets the local scene well;  there is a report of agriculture here over 40 years, and a record of an amazing 66 varieties of wild birds seen here now (not including emus or peacocks!) and of 16 varieties of bats.     Parish Council report, photos of family groups, a secret garden, and some houses went in,  with business cards of local enterprises, and  of course The Flyer with all its advertisements and articles.   A Met Office climate report of Jan to May this year makes interesting reading, and two people wrote about growing up here and what Farringdon means to them.     A sample of this year's seed corn is there for the 2112 farmer to sow!

Some items cannot be copied, they are special.   There is a summary which records them, and Barbara and Michael say they want to thank everyone who joined in the project.  Open in 2112!


The above article is by Barbara Pentreath and others, and the following is by Christopher Cant...

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the residents of Farringdon decided to bury a Time Capsule. The plaque above it says:
‘Farringdon Encapsulated (Open in 2112)’. It contains contributions from many in the community and a photo of the group that gathered on June 30th for the actual burial. Rev Karen Spray said a prayer of blessing over the capsule and prayed for the people in 100 years time who will be living in Farringdon and will open it.

Barbara Pentreath, the main inspiration behind the project, asked me to write something suitable. What could I write that would convey our concerns and hopes for people in a hundred years time? A daunting task but one not to be missed so here is what I wrote:

To the people of 2112AD...

Looking ahead a hundred years into the future and thinking what will be of interest to you is not easy. The world has changed so much in the past 100 years that it makes us wonder with awe what your world will be like.

Today we live in a beautiful environment with trees all around, birds singing, wild flowers blooming, butterflies flitting in the hedgerows. We drive cars powered by petrol and diesel. We worry about the cost of fuel going up – it has doubled in the last few years but still an unskilled worker can earn enough to buy a litre by working about 14 minutes. When we need to go somewhere we just jump in the car and go even though the petrol costs a huge proportion of our income. There are a few electric cars on the road but the rechargeable batteries cost so much it is not yet a viable alternative.

We worry about climate change and you will know whether our concerns are well founded or vastly underestimate the damage we are doing to the worlds ecosystem. This summer the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached nearly 400 parts per million and if the
present rate of increase goes on for 100 years then you will be living in a world with over 600ppm. We talk a lot about how to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels but all our efforts to limit carbon emissions seem to be futile and we know we will be forced to change if we don’t do it voluntarily. I feel you will wonder why we left the world in such a mess for you!
We are burying this time capsule near to Farringdon Parish Church – a church where worship has continued for at least 800 years. Now in 2012 there is a congregation of about 12 with services twice a month.  The building is maintained entirely by the contributions of the
local people. We wonder how much longer regular church services can be maintained. The building will surely be here for you to see in
100 years time and our prayer is that you will be able to sense God’s love within these walls and in the community of Farringdon. The same God who blesses us with his presence here today will be with you all those years ahead and it is a wonderful thing to know that link with you.

Christopher Cant

Associate Minister of the White Cross Mission Community which includes Aylesbeare, Farringdon, Clyst St Mary, Clyst St George, Exton,
Woodbury and Woodbury Salterton.

      Below is an article that was put in the time capsule - it is by Anna Tyzack about her Farringdon childhood 

Christmas Day 1983. Dressed in a nurse’s outfit, I placed my doll in her pram and pushed her up to the altar in Farringdon Church to be blessed by the vicar, Canon Howard Senar. I was three-and-a-half-years-old at the time, and in my eyes Canon Senar was God.

I’ve always loved going to Farringdon Church: the smell of the hymn books, the roses on the walls (painted by a former vicar’s daughter), the graffiti etched into the pews by miscreant girls from Farringdon House, which used to be a girls’ approved school. Every Sunday
we’d meet the same cast of characters: Elsie Pratt, the organist, her husband Raymond who was a Church Warden, and Beryl Parks who handed out the hymn books and arranged the flowers.

My parents bought our house in 1975. It was built as a lodge for the rectory further down the lane and my mother liked it because it had garden all round it. I don’t think they imagined they’d live there for forever – it’s not an architectural gem ­– but my brother and I have never known another home. It’s been extended about five times and the garden has expanded into the surrounding fields to make space for dogs and horses. 

They did consider moving several times – and found a couple of houses they liked – but when it came to it they could never tear themselves away from Farringdon. I don’t think this is because they’re wedded to our house, more that they’re happy in the village and enjoy being part of the community. To an outsider this probably seems ridiculous: there are plenty of villages in Devon with a church, a village hall, narrow lanes and patchwork fields but for some reason my parents quickly developed an unyielding attachment to Farringdon.

It was only when I had to leave the village myself, the place where I was christened in 1981, learnt to ride a bike and a pony, and celebrated my 21st birthday, that I realised how much the village means to me too. I shed many tears driving through the lanes on the way back to school in Dorset, and to university in Edinburgh and most recently as I waved goodbye to my parents and Will after my wedding last year. Fortunately Christian, my husband, understands my affection for the village (and my family) and didn’t take offence. We returned to Glebe Lodge several weeks after our honeymoon and were back again at Christmas and Easter.

Farringdon might not have a shop or a pub at its centre but it has a heart. Families such as the McGaheys, the Thompsons and the Marshes were important figures in my childhood. I tried Coca Cola for the first time at the Marsh’s tennis tournament in Perkins Village and whenever I think of summer I recall the sound of Rupert Thompson combining his fields at dusk in late August. They’ve helped out at the charity parties we have held by our pond and they were there to support me at my wedding last February, in a marquee on our rather muddy lawn. I know my experiences aren’t unique. Anyone who has grown up in the village or has lived there for a while knows that
Farringdon is special. They also get that wonderful sensation of coming home when they see the sign for Farringdon and drive through those high-hedged lanes. In my opinion the village is at its most beautiful on a June evening when the verges are thick with cow parsley and pink campion and the fields are damp with dew.

I’d like to think that in 100 years time children will still be building dens and riding their bikes through the lanes and singing “Away in a Manger” at the front of the church on Christmas eve. But like many rural communities, Farringdon is under threat from industrialisation – the factories of Hill Barton are creeping across the fields at an alarming pace. We can only hope that in the future the planners will see sense and realise that our village is like a rare bird and it must be protected.

Farringdon has set a high bar. I can only hope that when I have children they will grow up feeling the same kind of bond to their childhood home.  For the time being I take comfort in the fact that my parents still live in the village. At least this way I can introduce my children to Farringdon – perhaps they’ll even be christened in the church…