Treasure hunt at Totnes play park
TOTNES galleon workers are on a treasure hunt.
The team which is installing a new Elizabethan fighting ship at the play park at Steamer Quay have been searching for a missing time capsule buried 24 years ago but with no 'X' to mark the spot.
A spokesman for South Hams District Council, which has a team working on site, said the team had excavated to 45cm — one-and-a-half feet — but with no joy.
He said: "We found hide nor hair of it.
Holiday Home's FOR SALE in Brixham £1000 off New Homes, South...View details
£1000 Off Any New Holiday Home at Southbay Holiday Village. Prices of new starting from only £17,995 Facilities inc Club, Pools, shop etc, Quiet Park, Choice of Homes and Plots which are furnished
Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or with a P/X on park.Come and take a look today and own your own part of South Devon. For allot less than you can imagine!!Beach. Letting permitted
Contact: 01803 220485
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"The plan was that if we found it, it would be placed in a glass case in front of the new boat so people could see it."
The time capsule was buried in the summer of 1988 during the South Hams Armada Festival.
It honours the Totnes merchants who paid to fit out two fighting vessels for Sir Francis Drake's fleet against the Spaniards.
The time capsule coincided with the unveiling of the play galleon, The Harte, a scale model of a boat used against the Spanish fleet in 1588.
The galleon was opened by Walter Raleigh Gilbert, aged five, from Compton Castle, a descendant of adventuring seafarer Humphrey Gilbert — half-brother of explorer Walter Raleigh.
Marion Adams, Totnes deputy mayor, said: "I remember the capsule was filled by children at Bridgetown primary school but I cannot remember exactly where it was.
"I have been asking around but its whereabouts remains a mystery to be uncovered sometime in the future."
The Harte galleon has been taken away after being declared unfit for safety reasons.
Community group Bridgetown Active, with help from Totnes Town Council, secured £50,000 funding for the new play area.
Pride of place will be a replica Elizabethan fighting ship designed and built by Dart boatbuilder Ashley Butler.
Fuse architect Ann Morris lent her expertise to ensure the boat met the approval of the play inspector.
It is due to be brought on site on Monday.
Boatbuilder Ashley Butler said: "I am enjoying being involved in a community project. Both my daughters have played on the galleon, as it was, and my six year old has given me lots of drawings as helpful suggestions."