Toby Brett, the current owner of Holcombe Farmshop and Kitchen in Radstock, Somerset, said the discovery of the time capsule—which included a 1971 price list, coins, stamps, a 1 pound (approx. US$1.40) an hour wage slip, a collection of ha’pennies (halfpennies), old beer mats, and car tax discs—was a “pleasant surprise.”
One scrawled note, dated July 13, 1973, reads: “To the present owner from a past owner, good luck,” and is signed by an E. Pockson—who included some of his own ID cards in the collection.
Meanwhile, a longer letter explains that Pockson had carried out his own “major alterations” to the pub in July 1973, with the help of now-defunct property developers Oakhill Brewery Development.
Brett, who has owned the pub for 11 years, said there was a lot of “interesting stuff there.” Additionally, he mentioned that he found it funny to find a price list from 1971 for Wadworth Brewery, which is a brewery they still use today. However, a lot has changed since then.
Revealing more about the contents of the time capsule, Brett said there was a couple of pounds worth of ha’pennies in there, and the previous landlord had a note, stating: “Sorry it’s only ha’pennies.”
“I like that he had clearly given some thought as to it being found in the future, and who might find it. It’s nice that someone had the foresight to do that,” Brett added.
Brett has now displayed the historic collection on a mounted board in the pub and farm shop, for customers to see when they visit. Additionally, he has embedded some of the ha’penny coins in see-through resin and placed them within the floor so that customers can literally walk over them.
The building was recently renovated, extending on the existing village pub to incorporate a new farm shop and deli, where people can buy local produce.
“I felt there was a demand for us to sell other things rather than just alcohol and pub food,” Brett said. “It was important to me to keep the village pub as the hub of the community—but I also wanted to offer something to other locals, too.”
With the change in the whole look and feel of the place, the pub has an open cafe space, with offerings from local butchers and other local produce, according to Brett.
Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.