LOCAL history is being preserved in Darlington town centre.

A time capsule was sealed at Darlington Fire Station on Friday January 7.

The capsule contained photographs, editions of Action Stations magazines and a copy of Friday’s Northern Echo.

The sealing of the capsule coincided with crew manager, Michael Robertson’s last shift before retirement.

The Northern Echo: Some of the contents of the time capsuleSome of the contents of the time capsule

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The capsule was sealed in a breathing apparatus cylinder which had been cut in half.

Mr Robertson said: “I originally had the idea last year.

“The reason behind it was to celebrate the opening of the new fire station. We moved into it in February 2021.

“The capsule has been delayed because I was waiting for an official opening ceremony, but Covid has, unfortunately, scuppered this.

“Further to this, I've selected January 7 because it is my last working shift, I will retire at midnight. I just thought it was an apt way to leave the service after 33 and a half years.I put in some historic cap badges, name tallies, a whistle and some old helmets too,” said Michael.

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A brass plaque was made from brass to indicate the capsule should be opened in 25 years’ time, on January 7 2047, and was unveiled by chief fire officer, Stuart Errington.

Mr Robertson said he thought best not to bury the capsule because he thought it would get lost and never be found.

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“I’m sure Bishop Auckland Fire Station buried one (a time capsule) about 10 years ago and nobody knows where it is now, and I didn’t want that happening here.

“I thought, we'll say 25 years so that some of the younger crew will still be working here and it's also for their families, for their kids, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do,” said Michael.

With his last shift finishing at midnight on Friday, Michael didn’t get away without one last emergency call-out at 11:30pm, to put out a small fire.


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