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Campaign group's anger over 'low-key' time capsule event

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 11 March 2019

The Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Oulton Broad Primary School pupils at the event. Pictures: Suffolk County Council

The Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Oulton Broad Primary School pupils at the event. Pictures: Suffolk County Council

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Time capsules have been buried at some of Suffolk's historically significant locations.

The Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County CouncilThe Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County Council

However, a group in Lowestoft campaigning against the transfer of the archives from the town’s record office to the £20m heritage centre in Ipswich have hit out at organisers over the time capsule events.

They claimed that there was a “staggering contrast” between the events held in Ipswich and Lowestoft last Thursday, February 28 – with significant coverage and attendance at the Ipswich event, while they felt Lowestoft’s event was “low-key.”

Members of the SORO (Save Our Record Office) group, who are campaigning to prevent the removal of the unique local archives to Ipswich, at the time capsule event in Lowestoft. Picture: SOROMembers of the SORO (Save Our Record Office) group, who are campaigning to prevent the removal of the unique local archives to Ipswich, at the time capsule event in Lowestoft. Picture: SORO

With time capsules being buried in nine locations across the county to mark the 900th anniversary of the oldest document in the Suffolk Record Office collections, and the development of a new National Lottery funded heritage and archives centre for the county, Suffolk County Council said the time capsule project allows people to look back and also look to the future.

With the time capsules capturing a snapshot of Suffolk life in 2019 for when they are dug up in 100 years’ time, letters, stories, small objects, drawings, photographs, history recordings and digital stories all featuring among the contributed materials.

The Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County CouncilThe Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County Council

Paul West, the county council’s cabinet member with responsibility for heritage, said: “The time capsule project allows us to look back and mark the 900th anniversary of the Record Office’s oldest document, whilst also looking to the future.”

With the Lowestoft event held at OrbisEnergy, Bob Collis, chairman of the Save Our Record Office (SORO) campaign group, said: “The thing which strikes me as most extraordinary, is the staggering contrast between the events in Ipswich and Lowestoft that day.

The Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County CouncilThe Lowestoft time capsule burial event. Pictures: Suffolk County Council

“People in Lowestoft could be forgiven for thinking nothing had ever happened there.

“Neither our mayor nor any civic authorities were invited and with the exception of a teacher and four pupils from Oulton Broad Primary School, nobody from the organisations mentioned in their publicity showed up.

“Considering this project was supposed to promote history and heritage ‘in some of the county’s historically significant locations’ it was a pathetically low-key event.

“The only members of the local community who attended were the SORO campaigners!”

However, refuting these claims, a county council spokesman said: “Suffolk Archives invited the local community for the Lowestoft event through Lowestoft Town Council, Waveney District Council, Oulton Broad Primary School, as well as representatives from the Heritage Action Zone, ‘Making Waves Together’ project, CEFAS and Lowestoft Rising.”

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