Children capture memories of the pandemic in a time capsule at Alphabet

Posted 19/07/2022

To mark the forthcoming completion of Higgins’ Alphabet development in Chippenham Gardens, Kilburn, a time capsule full of memories of the pandemic has been buried by children from St Augustine’s Primary School.

Working with the pupils during 2021, the children captured items and pictures that represented their journey during the pandemic. It includes face masks, plastic gloves, once hard to get necessities like toilet rolls, newspaper articles and photos and drawings of their memories of this unforgettable time.

Amy Ross, Head of Social Value at Higgins Partnerships comments, “Last year we worked with the children from St Augustine’s to get them to explore what memories they will keep from the Covid-19 pandemic which could be passed on to future generations when the time capsule is eventually dug up.

“We have been really impressed with what they have given us, and it’s been really interesting to see how things changed for them during the duration of the pandemic. Now we are completing our development at Alphabet it’s been great to have the children back to finally bury the capsule.”

Alphabet features 55 high quality new homes with 30 private one, two and three bedroom apartments, which are being sold through Higgins Homes and 22 much needed affordable homes for Brent Council which will be for existing South Kilburn council tenants. The development forms a fundamental and key part of phase 3a of the South Kilburn regeneration programme. 

The car free development also features a new enhanced public square, which will contain vibrant planting, bespoke street furniture and new lighting columns to improve overall visibility and create a place of tranquillity and enjoyment.

Designed by award winning PRP Architects and wider multi-disciplinary design team, the project underwent an extensive and inclusive consultation process with existing residents and wider stakeholders.

Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet member for housing, homelessness and renter security at Brent Council, said: "This time capsule will bear testament to the lived experience of local young people during one of the most challenging periods in our history.

"Communities in some parts of Brent were the hardest hit in the country by the pandemic, and poor-quality housing was a key driver of this.

"That's why we're working hard to ensure every family has a safe and secure place to call home with one of the most ambitious council house building programmes in London.

"We're working towards making 1,700 new council homes available to families by 2028 and this development at Chippenham Gardens is a leap in the right direction."

As part of Higgins’ commitment to working closely with the local community, the company also provided a unique and exciting opportunity for South Kilburn residents to share their favourite recipe and narrative that represents their cultural heritage. Successful dishes feature in a creative and distinctive South Kilburn Community Cookbook.

In addition, a stunning piece of artwork was also commissioned which featured on the site hoarding. Created by London based artist Frankie Strand, the unique mural celebrated the greenery and wildlife found at Chippenham Gardens in the past, present and future and features British plants and wildlife throughout the different seasons.