by JENNY MONROE
Paul Duggan, Glebe warden, and Canon Sam Wright, rector of Lisburn Cathedral, with lost coins from the steeple which have been found again. US4011-518cd
THE contents of a time capsule hidden in the weather vane at the top of Lisburn Cathedral for over 80 years, which were thought to have been stolen, have turned up.
Last year, during the £1m refurbishment works at the Cathedral, a time capsule which had been placed in a weather vane created by Thomas I Hanna, a blacksmith in Graham Gardens, when the last major works were done on the spire was opened.
It seemed set to give a glimpse of life in the city in the early part of the 20th century.
But when, amid great excitement, the capsule was unearthed it appeared it had been tampered with and the contents removed, leaving only the container and some chisel marks.
The mystery was how anyone could have got to the top of the building to steal the contents.
However, there is no point looking for the culprit as it seems the theory of the contents being stolen is incorrect after a piece of lead that was found in the capsule, and was thought to be a piece of soldering, has revealed the answer. The chunk of lead was put to one side and disregarded but just last week a builder inspected it closely and decided to break it open.
To his amazement he found the missing coins which had been engraved by local jeweller, Frank Pettigrew, then located on Bow Street.
Canon Sam Wright of Lisburn Cathedral said he is delighted the coins have been found.
"This puts an end to the speculation that a thief tampered with the weather vane and while the coins are not of great value it is good to have them.
"It certainly has been an interesting story but now the mystery is no more" he said.