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The RAF Museum is burying a time capsule this week. What does it contain?

To celebrate 50 years of learning, the RAF museum in Cosford is giving itself a gift - but they'll have to wait another half-century to open it.

Conservation apprentices, Sam Roberts and Jack Early, with the time capsule they made, and items that are to be buried inside it
Conservation apprentices, Sam Roberts and Jack Early, with the time capsule they made, and items that are to be buried inside it

The team at The Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford are today celebrating the 50th birthday of RAF museums by burying a time capsule.

The access and learning team at the aviation museum have been putting together the box which houses an array of items from the past, present and plans for the future.

The box, itself created by Michael Beetham Conservation Centre apprentices Sam Roberts and Jack Early, also contains gifts from schools around the Midlands.

The RAF flag, signed by the 2022 staff of the Cosford museum

Pupils at Burghill Community Academy in Hereford designed the birthday card, an elaborate Union Jack design complete with camo-covered planes.

Pupils at Leasowes High School in Halesowen created a 3D design of the site as it stands in 2022.

Wolverhampton community group High Flyers donated a patchwork flag to the box, which accompanied a Royal Air Force flag signed by everyone who currently works at the Cosford site.

Pupils at Leasowes High School in Halesowen created a 3D design of the site as it stands today

Letters from the museum's CEO Maggie Appleton, and chair of trustees, Sir Stephen Hiller, were penned to the museum of 2072 and boxed alongside plans for the museum's future.

Writing, Sir Hiller said: "I am delighted to be able to write this letter to the RAF Museum of 2072, on the occasion of your centenary celebrations.

"In doing so, my only regret is, of course, that I am not around to join you in those celebrations!"

Volunteer, Roy Martin, donated a collection of memorabilia spanning his 50 years of membership.

Queen Elizabeth II is also commemorated by the capsule, with a copy of the Express & Star's memorial issue.

The late Queen opened the first museum at the London site on November 15, 1972.

Donations from volunteer Roy Martin, who has been a member of the museum for almost half a decade

On May 1, 1979, the Midlands site was opened at RAF Cosford, one of the RAF stations which had been used to store the London museum's collection of aircraft when not on display to the public.

In 1998, four additional galleries were opened at the site providing a space for temporary exhibitions and art.

2002 saw the relocation of the RAF Museum Conservation Centre from Bedfordshire to Cosford. Renamed the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre, it still operates out of the site ensuring the care, conservation and restoration of the museum's collection along with the movement or suspension of aircraft and exhibits.

The birthday card, designed by pupils at Burghill Community Academy

Today, the Cosford site welcomes almost half a million visitors every year, providing hundreds of thousands of visitors with free access to some of the world's greatest feats of engineering.

As a favourite for field trips, the museum also provides a valuable education space for the county's school pupils.

Just two weeks ago, the museum hosted over 1,100 students in a day for a large-scale STEM event full of workshops, demonstrations and activities.

The capsule will be buried on Friday, October 14th at 10.30am at the museum, visitors are welcome to attend.

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