Today, current Blue Peter presenter Mwaksy Mudenda and former Blue Peter presenter Sarah Greene joined children from Wormholt Park primary school in White City to open a Blue Peter time capsule buried as a record of life in the 1980s and recently rediscovered during construction work at Television Centre.
The Blue Peter time capsule was originally buried in 1981 by Sarah Greene and school children under a new BBC car park being built at Television Centre, with other Blue Peter presenters Simon Groom and Peter Duncan. It was filled with the children’s ideas and drawings of life in the 1980s – including booklets on clothes, dance, games, sweets and aircraft – and also a vinyl record of the Blue Peter theme tune by musician Mike Oldfield, a script from the 1981 Blue Peter episode of the day and a canister including a BBC film made by Blue Peter about the construction of the car park at Television Centre.
Mwaksy Mudenda, Sarah Greene and the school children from White City opened the time capsule today live on ITV’s This Morning at Television Centre and the kids added their own examples of contemporary culture not around in 1981, like an oyster card, COVID test and PPE, an oyster card, ITV script and new Blue Peter badge. The time capsule box was then reburied as part of the redevelopment of Television Centre by developer Stanhope, construction partner Kier and affordable housing partner Peabody in a garden which will be publicly accessible just off Wood Lane, on the site where the original BBC car park once stood and will now be affordable housing as Macfarlane Place. In a complete coincidence, one of the 1981 school children, Andrew Highton, who put his record of 1980s life in the capsule, is now a Senior Project Director at Stanhope.
Jonathan Trout, Property & Commercial Director, Stanhope, said: “Throughout the redevelopment of Television Centre we have paid respect to and integrated the unique history of the site in the work we do and have made some fantastic discoveries along the way. Finding a Blue Peter time capsule during our recent construction work to build new affordable housing gives us another opportunity to connect with the iconic nature of the site and also to continue to engage with local school children and the community.”
David McKenzie, managing director of Kier Construction London, South & Strategic Projects, said: “We are delighted to be part of this bit of history in the making and to provide the new 2022 time capsule box for future generations to discover on this iconic site. In line with our client’s vision and our Building for a Sustainable World framework, we welcome the opportunity to leave lasting sustainable legacies in the communities we serve.”
Ed Major, Senior Development Manager at Peabody said “It is especially meaningful to be burying this time capsule in 2022, which marks the 160th anniversary of Peabody, the centenary of the BBC and of course the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This event brings together the history and heritage of Peabody and the BBC – two organisations who are central to London’s history and London’s future and we are excited to be working alongside Stanhope and Whitewood to bring forward a new neighbourhood allowing a new generation to create their own history at the site, as well as incorporating Blue Peter and BBC history into the development.”