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Workers renovating a former hospital in South Wales have discovered a time capsule buried in the foundations more than 120 years ago. The capsule, which contained coils and newspapers from the time is now on display at the Blaenau Gwent town museum.

The former site was a hospital that opened in 1904, before the introduction of the National Health Service. At the time, it was paid for by local iron and coal workers, who would donate money from their wages, as part of an insurance scheme where workers would pool their wages to cover the costs of healthcare for them and their families. At the time, health care was not free at the point of care. There were similar schemes around the UK, with the model used in Tredegar the largest of its kind.

The capsule was uncovered after a tip off from historians, who led workers digging foundations to the capsule. It was opened by the conservator at Cardiff University, who discovered newly minted coins for Edward VII, as well as older coins from Queen Victoria’s reign. There were also editions of local newspapers, including the Tredegar Argus, Western Mail, South Wales Daily News and the Merthyr Express. The site is being renovated into a new health centre which will be named after Aneurin Bevan. Bevan was local to Tredegar and is credited with creating the National Health Service, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary on 5th July.




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