Malton's Wesley Centre launches time capsule project with local primary schools

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School children in the historic market town of Malton plan to bury a time capsule to mark the restoration of the town’s Grade II* listed Wesley Centre.

The transformation of the Methodist church at the heart of Malton will see it open next spring as a state-of-the-art community hub, featuring a 600-seat auditorium.

It will be largest such space in Ryedale.

The time capsule project aims to capture the essence of the present time by inviting school children to contribute letters, drawings, and objects that encapsulate their thoughts, dreams, and hopes for the future.

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The Wesley CentreThe Wesley Centre
The Wesley Centre

The objects will be sealed and preserved for one hundred years, to be opened by the children of Malton in the future.

Paul Emberley, trustee and Wesley Centre development lead, said: “Whilst working on the restoration of the Wesley Centre, the architects and builders found historic artefacts embedded in floorboards and walls, including a 1902 opera programme. This sparked an idea to engage with the local primary school children to take part in a time capsule project.”

The iconic Malton building was twice put up for sale in the last century and was at risk of permanent closure or demolition after suffering significant structural issues.

Mr Emberley, said: “It’s very special that local schoolchildren are exploring what items and ideas encapsulate the times we live in for the time capsule, and what they want to pass on for the future.

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Paul EmberleyPaul Emberley
Paul Emberley

"Just as with the Wesley Centre, it’s important to preserve what matters, while looking to the future.”

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The new community hub will feature a new entrance lobby, new facilities for the disabled, a concert and events box office, and community café.

Mr Emberley said: “This sympathetic renovation will preserve what makes this historic building special, while making it of use for our community now, and for the future.

The vision for the futureThe vision for the future
The vision for the future

"It will be a vibrant centre for classical music, the arts, and for community recreational use, adding value to those who live and work in Malton, and bringing vital footfall to our market town.”

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The Wesley Centre will provide a specially designed container to ensure the safe preservation of the contributed items.

There will be a public display of the contributions, and a judging panel will choose ten items to enclose in the capsule, alongside a copy of that day’s Malton Gazette and Yorkshire Post.

Mr Emberley said: “This time capsule project is driven by a shared vision of preserving local history and fostering a sense of curiosity in future generations.

"Through their contributions, children will have the opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on the community, ensuring that their voices and perspectives are heard by those who will inhabit the world a century from now.”

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A ceremonial sealing event will be held on November 20 at the Wesley Centre with representatives from the participating schools, alongside community leaders and local dignitaries, to witness the sealing of the time capsule.

The Wesley Centre is also inviting the local community to attend the sealing ceremony and be part of the occasion.

Mr Emberley said: “All will be welcome to come along to celebrate the past, present, and future of Malton.”