Golders Green school-leavers find old chewing gum and money for drink in time capsules

Year 13 pupils open time capsules which they sealed up when they first joined the school. Picture: N

Year 13 pupils open time capsules which they sealed up when they first joined the school. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

School-leavers were whisked back into their past as they opened letters written to themselves when they first joined the school seven years ago.

Year 13 students at King Alfred School in Golders Green celebrated an old school tradition last Wednesday when they opened time capsules they had sealed away when they were in Year 7.

The wooden boxes were made by the school’s design and technology department, and then stored away for seven years, not to be opened until July 1, 2015.

Tears were shed and laughs shared with friends as pupils read letters filled with sometime-embarrassing reminders of old romances, friendship dramas and outdated pop culture references.

Pupils had posed their future selves with questions, such as: “What A-levels did you study?” and “how was the London Olympics?”

The boxes were also filled with mementos, some of which included newspaper cuttings, money for their first legal alcoholic drink, and a rather brittle piece of old chewing gum. For more than 20 years, teachers have led the project to remind students of their progress and achievements since starting their secondary education.

Teacher Stephen deBrett, who founded the tradition, said: “They are telling themselves what they were thinking aged 11, so when they read it at 18, it can be quite a shock but also quite lovely for them. The letters are something they wrote when they first arrived so it has a big impact on them.”

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