A time capsule from 1990 has been found during works to improve walking and cycling from the east of Portsmouth to the city centre.

Colas, working for Portsmouth City Council discovered the buried time capsule while developing the East West Active Corridor, which is aimed at creating safer routes for people walking and cycling to or from the city centre.

The time capsule appears to have been buried by children from Ranvilles Infant School in Fareham in April 1990, when the original subway in the area was filled in. The 34-year-old package was sadly damaged over time, but items including a Lego tub, a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles drawing and a clipping from The News reviewing a New Kids On The Block gig are among the items found.

The city’s library service has taken the time capsule for further investigation and is looking into why a school in Fareham buried it in Portsmouth instead of schools closer to the area. The team continue to work on improvements and will keep a keen eye out for any other buried time capsules.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader of the council and Children, Families & Education, said: “It’s always a pleasure to see items from the past appear when making improvements to an area, as it’s illuminating to see what children thought special enough for future generations to discover. As work continues to improve cycling and walking routes in Portsmouth, I hope to see more discoveries being made.”

This phase of work is planned for completion by April 2024 and includes enhancements to the shared cycle path along Aldwell Street. There is also an upgraded crossing on Somers Road South, alongside work to make the area safer and greener, like tree planting, CCTV cameras and improved lighting.

As part of the ongoing works, any trees removed will be replaced by the planting of 13 new trees, ultimately resulting in expanded and diverse green spaces. This initiative aims to reintegrate nature into the city while introducing more sensitive surface treatments for tree roots.

More details about the East West Active Travel route can be found at https://travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/cycling/east-west-active-travel-route/

Image collage showing workers discovering the time capsule, contents including drawings and a newspaper clipping and a photo of the storage containers buried underground