A MESSAGE in a bottle which was buried more than 105 years ago has been unearthed.
The time capsule, which is packed with newspapers dated April 28 1905, was uncovered by builders who have been demolishing Wesley Methodist Church, which stood on the corner of Hoxton Road and Columbus Ravine.
Lynne Reed, who was church steward and secretary at Wesley Methodist Church, told the builders to look out for the time capsule after learning that the church’s founders left the gift for future generations.
“It’s amazing to think that someone put it there more than a century ago,” she said.
“I knew they had put a time capsule in, but I couldn’t find anything else out about it. We knew it had been put under the first foundation stone but we had no real indication of where that was.
“I was hoping they would find it but I wasn’t really expecting it. I was delighted when they said it had been discovered.”
Included within the capsule is a copy of The Times and a religious newspaper. The newspapers are so tightly packed that it has so far been impossible to see what other newspapers or notes were left.
The bottle was shown to the congregation at Westborough Methodist Church, where many former Wesley Methodist Church members now worship, last Sunday.
Rev Mark Haynes said: “I was confident they would find it because it was well-documented that it was there. People have been very interested, especially those who are into local history.
“We still don’t know exactly what is in there - I’m not sure we want to disturb it. We need some expert advice from someone who knows about the preservation of news print.”
Rev Haynes added that the time capsule may be stored in a room at Westborough Methodist Church dedicated to the history of Wesley Methodist Church.
Wesley Church was built in 1905 after the congregation at a church in Nelson Street outgrew the premises.
A report in the Scarborough Mercury, dated April 28 1905, said: “For over 30 years the building known as the Nelson Street Wesleyan Chapel has done duty for the Wesleyans of that district, a district that has grown considerably of late, and still steadily increases.
“For a long time now the accommodation has not been sufficient and there has been a growing need for a more spacious building in which to worship.”
However, the church closed its doors in 2006 after membership dropped to just 31 members.