A Blue Peter time capsule – buried more than 40 years ago – has been opened on the site of Television Centre in White City with the help of pupils from Wormholt Park primary school.
Sarah Greene, a former mainstay on the long-running BBC children’s TV show, was joined by current presenter Mwaksy Mudenda, to open the old capsule. They also buried a new one to be dug up some time in the future.
The original time capsule was buried in 1981 under the concrete of a BBC car park, as a record of life at the time. Sarah Greene helped do the original honours with co-presenters Simon Groom and Peter Duncan.
Inside the sealed container were children’s drawings of life in the 1980s, booklets on clothes, dance, games, sweets and aircraft, and a vinyl record of the Blue Peter theme tune by musician Mike Oldfield.
There was also a script from the 1981 Blue Peter episode of the day, and a canister including a BBC film made about the construction of the car park at Television Centre.
Mwaksy Mudenda, Sarah Greene and the school children from White City opened the capsule on ITV’s This Morning programme at Television Centre, with the young students from Wormholt primary adding their own examples of contemporary culture including an Oyster card, a Covid test, a fresh script and a new Blue Peter badge.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed making the projects for the Blue Peter time capsule,” said Anika Hargie, Wormholt Park primary headteacher.
“They were so excited to be part of this historical event and to see the previous box, even though it had completely corroded!”
While Year 6 pupil Charley remarked that it was “an experience of a lifetime!”
The time capsule was then reburied alongside the new Macfarlane Place building in a garden which will be publicly accessible off Wood Lane, on the site of the original BBC car park.
In a strange coincidence, one of the 1981 schoolchildren, Andrew Highton – who put his record of 1980s life in the capsule – is now a project director at Stanhope, the company that’s renovating and redeveloping the former BBC Television Centre site.
“Finding a Blue Peter time capsule during our recent construction work gives us another opportunity to connect with the site and engage with local schoolchildren,” said Jonathan Trout, Property & Commercial Director at Stanhope.
In other White City news, one of the largest fashion companies in the world is coming to Wood Lane.
Phillips-Van Heusen Corp (PVH) is the parent company to fashion brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. The fashion giant will be moving into a brand-new office space at White City’s new-look Television Centre in early 2023.
Driven by the H&F Council’s pioneering Industrial Strategy, White City is fast turning into a global hotspot not only for creative heads, but for makers and entrepreneurs in science, tech and medicine alike.
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