27 03 24 | Community

Vernon Building Society buries Time Capsule to mark 100 years of Stockport’s much respected institution

Vernon Building Society buries Time Capsule to mark 100 years of Stockport’s much respected institution

Stockport mutual, Vernon Building Society, celebrates centenary with burial of time capsule – containing a snapshot of all that is great in the area in 2024 – at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

Stockport mutual, Vernon Building Society, has buried a time capsule with help from pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School to mark its 100-year anniversary on Wednesday 27 March 2024. The time capsule is to remain buried in the school’s peace garden for 100 years, giving school children in 2124 a fascinating historic cache of what life was like in Greater Manchester.

The time capsule is made from composite material, measures 62cm x 25cm and weighs 7kg, making it durable enough to withstand 100 years of corrosion. It captures all that is great from the region and what’s hot in popular and sporting culture in 2024 such as a vinyl single from Stockport band The Blossoms, a Stockport County scarf and some rare items including a coin made with graphene, a new material discovered twenty years ago by the University of Manchester. Many of the items were selected by the school children, including a pop bubble fidget toy and a St Joseph’s school tie.

Other special additions to the capsule were a copy of the original minutes from the Vernon’s first board meeting on 27 March 1924 and a page copied from an early ledger book, showing the first mortgage advance of £200 to Christopher and Myfanwy Stevens on 6 September 1924. Research by historian, Karen Averby, showed that the property at 15 Islington Road, Stockport, remained the couple’s home for the rest of their days.

Stockport Mayor, Councillor Graham Greenhalgh and head teacher Ann Reeh and children from St Joseph’s school council joined the Vernon’s CEO, Steve Fletcher, for the burial.

Kimberly, ten-year-old pupil at St Joseph’s Primary School, said: 

“When the capsule is opened, the children will think that it’s from one thousand years ago because they will have floating cars and lots of things that we would never expect, as technology can improve things very quickly and fast. They probably won’t have to eat anything, they will just tap something to get what they need.”

Aarna, aged seven said:

In 100 years time “life will be really fun, as parents will say yes to everything!”

When the Vernon was founded 100 years ago to this exact day there were 12 building societies in Stockport, but as of 1983 the Vernon is the only one to have withstood the challenges of the last century.

To further celebrate its centenary milestone, the society has awarded its first four grants from the recently announced Vernon Charitable Foundation, which has more than £100,000 in the fund to support local charities doing great work in Greater Manchester and Cheshire:

  • Stockport Lads Club has received £3,045,
  • Café Unity in Heald Green were awarded £4,855, and
  • Cheadle Heath Community and Stockport Canal Boat received £5,000 each from the charitable foundation.

Vernon Building Society Chief Executive, Steve Fletcher says:

“We’re hoping that in 100 years’ time, people will be excited to open our time capsule and that some of our employees and Members will be there to enjoy the occasion. We’re proud to be thriving on the high street and continuing to put our Members front and centre of everything we do, having withstood wars, financial crises and a pandemic over the last century. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved – we fully intend to keep the Vernon’s flame burning bright for the next 100 years.”

The full list of items in the time capsule include:

  1. A copy of the first minutes from The Vernon Building Society on March 27 1924
  2. A graphene coin, a piece of Concretene (graphene enhanced concrete) and a GIM Concrete coaster donated by the GEIC (Graphene Innovations Manchester and Concretene) and partners part of Graphene@Manchester (please see notes to editors)
  3. 2024 Royal Mint UK Brilliant Uncirculated Definitive 8 coin King Charles set
  4. March 27 2024 edition of the Manchester Evening News
  5. Miniature hat donated by Stockport’s Hat Works Museum
  6. Manchester worker bee pin badge
  7. Coronation Street keyring
  8. Stockport Council Freesheet, ‘Stockport Change Here’ which celebrates Stockport being the Town of Culture in 2023/4
  9. Vernon Building Society’s Vernon Bear soft toy
  10. A Blossoms 7” vinyl
  11. Stockport County scarf
  12. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School unform tie and some examples of HT rewards, which are given to children for outstanding work or behaviour
  13. News article revealing Stockport has been named the best place to live in the North West by The Sunday Times from March 2024
  14. ‘It’s a No-Money Day’ children’s book by Kate Milner exploring a family’s trip to a foodbank and living below the poverty line
  15. Pop Bubble Fidget Toy
  16. Letter to the people of Stockport from Stockport Mayor, Councillor Graham Greenhalgh
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