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Time capsule opened after 51 years

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 01 July 2010

Arthur Parry helps Lord Iveagh open the Guinness time capsule with different tools

Arthur Parry helps Lord Iveagh open the Guinness time capsule with different tools

It was the year Fidel Castro was sworn in as Cuban Prime Minister, Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash and the first Barbie doll was produced.

It was the year Fidel Castro was sworn in as Cuban Prime Minister, Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash and the first Barbie doll was produced.

But for one prominent Norfolk family, 1959 was also the year which would be suspended in time until the opening of a special time capsule.

Some 51 years later and that history came alive for head of the Guinness family, Arthur Guinness, the current and fourth Earl of Iveagh who owns and manages the Elveden Estate in Suffolk, off the A11, when he opened a box containing artefacts from the era - albeit after a brief struggle with the rusty lock.

The bronze box was buried by Lord Iveagh's great grandfather, second Earl of Iveagh, Rupert Guinness, under the foundation stone of the former brewery in Park Royal in London in 1959 to celebrate 200 years of the black stuff, but brought to the Elveden Estate three years ago when the building was demolished.

Since then it has sat on a shelf in the office of the current Lord Iveagh until yesterday .

“I knew my great grandfather was very passionate about time and he had a very scientific mind. It was he who encouraged the bicentenary and all the events,” he said. “It could have gone largely unnoticed if it wasn't for him.”

Anticipation was rife amongst guests, the public and members of staff who gathered around as the wax seal was chiselled off in the estate courtyard, only to find the lock rusted over.

After a few minutes of drilling however, and a healthy dollop of force, the box was found to hold perfectly preserved copies of The Times and Irish Times, both dated October 8, 1959, a summer 1959 edition of the Guinness Times, a May - June 1959 edition of the Guinness Harp magazine, a third edition of the Guinness Book of Records, and two commemorative stamps dedicated to founder of the Guinness brewery, Arthur Guinness who established the business in 1759.

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