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Acle time capsule secrets revealed

PUBLISHED: 10:19 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 30 June 2010

It was the year Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, Victor Kiam loved his electric razor so much he bought the company that made it and Bright Eyes stormed the charts.

It was the year Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, Victor Kiam loved his electric razor so much he bought the company that made it and Bright Eyes stormed the charts.

And now the sights and sounds of 1979 are back to the fore in a Norfolk village thanks to a long lost time capsule.

Thirty one years ago children at Acle's former primary school filled a container with what they thought represented a snap shot of life in the late 1970s.

And four decades later the time capsule was opened by their young successors after it resurfaced after being missing for more than two decades.

Youngsters at Acle St Edmund Primary School excitedly gathered around the capsule on last Thursday as the capsule revealed its contents.

Items that had remained hidden for 31 years included photographs of pupils in their playground, a cassette recording of their voices, pens, rubbers and a Pluto toy.

The capsule also contained essays by the 1979 pupils on Minis, Abba and the latest fashions.

And it seems as if the pupils were avid EDP readers as two copies of the paper from May 1977 and November 1978 were included.

The papers' front pages featured stories on Concorde's first flight to the US, a riot in Tehran and a national dispute over pay.

Headteacher Paul Henery said the capsule would help his pupil hone their research skills as they delved into the history of 1979

He said: “It is interesting to see what the children in 1979 thought would be important to put in the time capsule.

“They all clearly had put a lot of thought into it.”

Thursday's opening of the capsule had also solved a puzzle over what had happened to the capsule.

Acle's old primary school in the Street was knocked down in 1980s to make way for homes.

At the time the capsule had been found under a toilet block by workman and had then languished on the shelves of contractors Parnell Brothers until earlier this year.

The capsule was given to the school by Peter Crook, of South Walsham and whose daughter is the partner of Michael Parnell, of Parnell Brothers.

Mr Crook said: “I immediately recognised the educational value of the capsule had to the school and was delighted to help reunite the capsule to the school.”

The discovery of the capsule has also caught the interest of Brian Grint from the Acle Archive Group.

Mr Grint said the only other reminder of the old primary school was its clock which is now a part of the main bus stop in the village.

1979 factfile

On May 4 1979 Margaret Thatcher became the country's first female prime minister after her conservative party secured a majority of 43 seats.

1979 was a good year for music fans of all tastes with the release of Ian Dury and the Blockheads' Hit my with your rhythm stick, Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel, Gary Numan's Cars, Sunday Girl by Blondie and Cliff Richard's We don't talk any more.

And music fans could soon listen to their favourite acts on the latest invention to sweep the world - the Sony Walkman which was launched in Japan. Cinema goers were also leaping out of their seats when a monster jumped out of John Hurt's chest in Alien.

But tears were also flowed as the rabbits in the animated version of Watership Down faced a series of deadly perils.

1979 also saw the launch of the Remington Shaver which was famously advertised by Victor Kiam.

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