Merkinch Welfare Hall Facebook page...
 
 

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Time Capsule

Sam Williamson Primary School Visit

Planning for the Time Capsule

A time capsule will be created and buried in the Merkinch Welfare Hall once restoration is complete. The time capsule will include content generated by local children from Merkinch Primary School. Collecting the material for the time capsule is an opportunity to explain the history and heritage of Merkinch Welfare Hall with school pupils, allowing them to engage with the past by creating the heritage of the future.

Right: Archaeologist Sam Williamson from AOC Archaeology visited Merkinch Primary School (P3a and P3b) to talk about the Torridon's Coire Church Victorian time capsule. Sam described her excitement at finding the time capsule and opening it with members of the Torridon community. The time capsule was interred to commemorate the construction of the church and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. It held coins and various documents, including newspapers, a letter and a locally printed gazette. The contents provide a poignant insight into the general day-to-day lives of the local community and there are plans afoot to provide a similar insight into the lives of 21st century Merkinch.

Merkinch Primary School visiting the Hall

Above: children from Merkinch Primary School visited the Hall before restoration began – and have also been busy researching the area at the Inverness Archive Centre. Janet Baker (Learning and Outreach Officer) said “pupils from Merkinch Primary School P4 were busy studying copies of old maps of Inverness, counting the number of bridges across the River Ness, the number of schools as well as looking for the town gibbet – well, it was shortly after Halloween! They were especially interested in their own area of Inverness, having been out and about previously, looking at local buildings including the Merkinch Welfare Hall. We are always pleased to work with schools throughout the Highlands and can usually provide the archive material required, as we did with copies of maps in this case.”

Pupils from Merkinch Primary School visited Merkinch Welfare Hall in October and November (166 children from P1/2, P2, P3a and b, P4a and b) to see the building before restoration work began. The children will also help to fill a time capsule to be buried on the site – and, in March, the time capsule was officially passed to the school by Monika Maleszka-Ritchie, Learning and Engagement Officer for the Merkinch Welfare Hall: Fit for the Future project. Monika said “every class will host the time capsule for about a week or so to get an idea of its size and to be able to discuss what could be put inside. This will also allow children to get a feeling of ownership of the capsule. So far, their ideas include a teddy, a newspaper, coins and photographs – even an Inverness Caley Thistle football strip!”

Pupils from Merkinch Primary School with Time Capsule Lid of Time Capsule

“The Time Capsule project will be an opportunity to explore the history and heritage of Merkinch with local school pupils, staff and the wider community, allowing people to fully engage though creating their own future heritage. Understanding our past is important in preparing for tomorrow. We want to see this once thriving community hub reclaim its place in the centre of Merkinch and help to ensure this noble building is truly fit for the future.” The Time Capsule will be filled with content suggested by the children of Merkinch Primary School and buried later this year.

Filling the Time Capsule

The Merkinch Welfare Hall: Fit for the Future project’s Time Capsule packing ceremony took place at Merkinch Primary School on the 21st of September. The time capsule created a fun opportunity to explain the history and heritage of the Hall with school pupils, staff and the wider community, allowing people to engage in creating future heritage. Parents and guardians were invited to the ceremony and the party afterwards. The children enjoyed collaborating across their classes and worked really hard on the content. The time capsule contains objects and mementos chosen by children from the school – a school jumper, photographs of the school and stories about Merkinch written by the children (including some in Polish representing the Polish community). The time capsule will be buried in the newly restored Hall on the 28th of October 2016.

Monika Maleszka-Ritchie (Merkinch Welfare Hall Learning and Outreach Officer) said: “the time capsule is a chance to mark the new life breathed into the Hall. Along with children from Merkinch Primary school we have looked back into the history of the Hall and the people who used it – and are looking forward to the future of the Hall and thinking of the people who will use and enjoy it. We thought about what objects and stories would best represent the Merkinch of today – and learned about other time capsules buried and subsequently discovered in the Highlands.”

Small Person looking into the Time Capsule Monika and a School Pupil closing the time capsule lid
School Pupils patiently waiting to add their piece of history to the Time Capsule Three School Pupils enjoying the moment Four School Pupils seizing the moment with thumbs up
A happy Pupil with thumbs up Adding a colourfull peace of Lego to the Time Capsule= Adding School sweatshirt to Time Capsule
Two School Pupils adding their piece of history to the Time Capsule School Pupils contemplate what to have from the buffet table

Burying the Time Capsule

The time capsule has been buried in the nearly completely restored Merkinch Welfare Hall on the 28th of October 2016 with the help of children from Merkinch Primary school and invited guests. The time capsule created a fun opportunity to explain the history and heritage of the Hall with school pupils, staff and the wider community, allowing people to engage in creating future heritage. The children enjoyed collaborating across their classes and worked really hard on the content. The time capsule contains objects and mementos chosen by children from the school – a school jumper, photographs of the school and stories about Merkinch written by the children (including some in Polish representing the Polish community).

Monika Maleszka-Ritchie (Merkinch Welfare Hall Learning and Outreach Officer) said: “the time capsule is a chance to mark the new life breathed into the Hall. Along with children from Merkinch Primary school we have looked back into the history of the Hall and the people who used it – and are looking forward to the future of the Hall and thinking of the people who will use and enjoy it. We thought about what objects and stories would best represent the Merkinch of today – and learned about other time capsules buried and subsequently discovered in the Highlands.”

Merkinch Primary Puplis admiring the craftmaship from a window
Merkinch Pupils taking in the moment Time Capsule being moved to place of burial Glowsticks II (by TC)
A breif History of the Hall and the importance of the Capsule for future generations given to the Pupils by Terry. Primary Pupils anticipating the upcomig event. Adults taking in the new upstairs office space
Pupils taking in the new view The big moment of the Time Capsule being buried Pupils noticing the new and original roof rafters
A Man working on the walls
Roof top tiles and Chimney. New Slate being added to the roof. A Man working on the scaffold near where the Clock will go.
Scaffold between the main building and extension. A roof top walkway plank.. Tiles on rooftop walk way plank.
Heritage Lottery FundHighlands & Islands EnterpriseThe Highlands Council
Inverness City Heritage TrustThe Architectural Heritage FundThe Robertson TrustThe Scottish Government
Merkinch Welfare Hall
Women in Merkinch Welfare Hall
Women in Merkinch Welfare Stairs
Merkinch Welfare Hall Clock
Christmas party in Welfare Hall
Merkinch Welfare Hall
Merkinch Welfare Hall
Merkinch Welfare Hall