Stirchley Time Capsule Revisited

Sue Ford looking in the Time Capsule for the first time since it was buried in 1989.
Sue Ford looking in the Time Capsule for the first time since it was buried in 1989.

On Thursday 2nd July I met with Sue Ford from St Andrews. St Andrew’s is a Methodist Church on the corner of Pershore Road & Cartland Road. The present building is early 1980s, but there has been a Methodist Church on this site for much longer, which locals affectionately called the old ‘tin taberbacle’.

Methodism has a history of taking action for social justice, advocating on behalf of the most vulnerable in society. The people of St Andrew’s are very actively involved in this, with many working in caring professions – including nursing, teaching, children’s services, environmental and community-focused work.  The church also supports organisations like Citizens UK Birmingham, B30 Foodbank and charities such as Action for Children.

Running for almost twenty years, St Andrew’s Community Project worked with Stirchley residents to set up amongst others: a community newspaper called Snooze, developed Stirchley Carnival, campaigned for the building of the old community centre, ran toddlers group and summer holiday playschemes. In 1989 in recognition of the opening of the Community Centre St Andrews created the Time Capsule!


Sue Ford was instrumental in those early years of Stirchley Community Centre. Sue has lived in Stirchley for most of her life. Her parents married during the Second World War and she and her siblings grew up at 1227 Pershore Road; above what was then her uncle’s tailor shop. She remembers the Co-op Christmas grotto as the best in Birmingham. For our meeting Sue brought along the newspaper cutting of when the 1989 time capsule was created.

Sue ran the first play group at what was then the new Community Centre. She also ran Stirchley Opportunity Group, which was made up of at least 50% of children who had a disability- the first of its kind in the city. The Stay and Play toddler group is currently back at St Andrews, awaiting the opening of Stirchley Baths community centre.

Do you recognise anyone?
Do you recognise anyone?
The back of the Playscheme photograph.
The back of the Playscheme photograph.

Sue was delighted to revisit all the objects St Andrews gathered for the 1989 time capsule, including newspapers commemorating Birmingham’s centenary, a red nose from only the second ever Comic Relief and photos of St Andrews members. One such photograph shows children from St Andrews Playscheme. We would like to recreate this photograph for the new time capsule for Stirchley Baths. If you are in the photo or know those who are please get in touch.


Another Sue who is also a member of St Andrews is Sue Ball. She was the first ever Community Worker and editor of ‘Snooze’. There is a copy of ‘Snooze’ in the 1989 time capsule and you can view the digital archive here.

St Andrews have recently joined twitter and look forward to connecting with local people on-line @standrewsb30

Both the 1989 and 2015 time capsule will be placed under the pool and will be visible through a Perspex window.

If you would like to suggest an item to go into the new 2015 time capsule pop into Stirchley Library between 10am & 1pm on Saturday 11th July. Alternatively email

One comment

  1. Revd David Butterworth says:

    Great to see the stories of the past and how they inform the present and indeed the future with a continuance of challenging injustices that affect everyone from everywhere and supporting the whole community. Memories, dreams and visions of communities working together liberate humanity in so many different ways.

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