Published: 27/04/2018 13:54 - Updated: 27/04/2018 14:03

Mystery of missing Sutherland time capsule


The extract about the time capsule from the archive copy of the Northern Times.
The extract about the time capsule from the archive copy of the Northern Times.


MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of a time capsule secreted away in Sutherland some 25 years ago.

The time capsule was apparently put together in 1993 to mark the formation of Caithness and Sutherland NHS Trust,

But NHS Highland officials now say they know nothing about it and are keen to track it down.

An appeal has gone out to anyone who might have been working in the health service at the time and may have information to get in touch.

The existence of the time capsule emerged after Northern Times editor Alison Cameron recently read about it in the April 2, 1993 edition of the paper – stored in our archives.

The article stated that a time capsule containing mementos was being put together to mark the launch of Caithness and Sutherland NHS Trust.

A copy of the April 2, 1993 Northern Times was put inside the capsule along with photographs and letters about the Northern Unit’s successful application for Trust status."

But there was no mention of where the time capsule was going to be hidden, only that it would be opened in the year 2000,

However Miss Cameron, who in 1993 was the advertising manager on the paper but has no recollection of the capsule, believes this date to be a mistake by the author of the article.

She said: "It doesn’t seem likely to me that a time capsule would be hidden in 1993 for opening just seven years later. Unless it had something to do with the millennium.

"I think this must have been a mistake. It seems much more credible that it would be opened 25 years later – in 2018 or even later."

Intrigued, she contacted NHS Highland to ask where the time capsule had been stored and when it was intended to break into it, or whether it had already been unearthed.

But after making enquiries, an NHS Highland spokesman responded that there was no knowledge of any capsule and that managers had been intrigued to learn about it and were very keen to track it down.

However, he cautioned against anyone walking over the grounds of the Lawson Memorial Hospital with a metal detector.

The 1993 article reveals that the transfer of management from Highland Health Board’s northern unit to the trust had happened on April 1 and had been marked with a series of events attended by trust chairman George Bruce – Mr Bruce died in April, 2009.

The events included visits to Migdale and the Lawson hospitals.

And throughout the day, Trust board members presented flowers to each inpatient area at every hospital.

Caithness and Sutherland NHS Trust later became defunct.

Anyone with any information, is asked to email:

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