Former Sunderland chairman buries time capsule under new Beacon of Light building

Sir Bob Murray buries a time capsule underneath the Beacon of Light alongside pupils from Southwick Community Primary School.
Sir Bob Murray buries a time capsule underneath the Beacon of Light alongside pupils from Southwick Community Primary School.

Former Black Cats chairman Sir Bob Murray buried items underneath a new education centre which is nearing completion.

Sir Bob was joined by children from Southwick Community Primary School as they performed a special ceremony to bury a time capsule at the Foundation of Light's new Beacon of Light development, close to the Stadium of Light.

Sir Bob Murray buries a time capsule underneath the Beacon of Light alongside pupils from Southwick Community Primary School.

Sir Bob Murray buries a time capsule underneath the Beacon of Light alongside pupils from Southwick Community Primary School.

“The last time I buried a time-capsule it was under the centre of spot of the pitch during the building of the Stadium of Light, but this one is just as special and important for the future of the region,” explained Sir Bob, who is the foundation's chairman.

“I’m not sure who will be digging this one up in some 100 years or more, but I hope the Foundation of Light will have transformed hundreds and thousands of lives for the better by then.

“The Beacon is unique and will be the first building of its kind in the country.

"It will contain four imaginative and fun zones for young and old, including education, employment and skills training, health and well-being alongside world-class facilities for 12 sports.

“It is not a centre for elite sports men and women, it has been designed for ordinary people from the region.

"We believe by combining all these facilities in one place we will inspire even more people to learn more, do more and be more.”

The specially designed commemorative time capsule contained a range of items to reflect the work of the Foundation of Light and building of the Beacon, history of the site, links to SAFC and life in 2017.

The items inside were suggested by Foundation staff and school children and include: a SAFC fidget spinner; an illuminated Beacon wristband; a new £10 note; a Foundation of Light yearbook and other books including - 20 year History of the Stadium, History of Monkwearmouth Colliery and a Mackem dictionary; a copy of the Sunderland Echo; a pledge signed by Sir Bob Murray and Foundation CEO Lesley Spuhler OBE; a USB stick with famous people talking about Beacon as well as architecture and building plans from Faulkner Browns and Tolent Construction and some school memorabilia from Southwick Primary School including a poem written by pupils.

Headteacher Christian Robson said: “Our school has a long history of taking part in a number of excellent sport and education-based programs run by the Foundation of Light.

“It is a privilege to be asked to support a momentous occasion to mark such a fantastic community resource."

Pupils representing every year at the school took part in the ceremony and they were accompanied by community manager Pauline Walmsley.