Families at the Autumn Fair in Newton Abbot were encouraged to think about the wishes they’d like to come true by 2023.
The date echoes the time it will have taken the Newton’s Place team to deliver the town’s new museum and community project from the 2016 purchase of the former St Leonard’s Church to the opening in 2020.
Youngsters attending the Autumn Fair were encouraged to record their secret hopes on paper slips which were rolled and placed into miniature bottles. Each then had a tag attached on which was written the child’s name and the words: ‘Open on September 7 2023,’ exactly four years on from the day.
The initiative proved incredibly popular with hardly a let-up in the five-and-a-half hours that the Newton’s Place stall was running.
"Families loved the wishes-in-a-bottle idea as they did the other free creative activities we were offering," said Nigel Canham who ran the event.
"A major aspect of Newton’s Place is about creating a museum so we were encouraging children to think why it is we like to treasure evidence of the past, that and the fact that we make own our little bits of history every day. I hope that in four years’ time the bottles will be opened and memories of Saturday September 7 2019 come flooding back. It would be great too if everyone’s wishes have come true."
Among those taking part were the Spencer family from Kingsteignton. Mum Carol said: "Placing wishes in a bottle is a lovely idea, it’s making memories isn’t it? I’ve taken a photo now of my three with their bottles and I’ll probably take another when we open them and think oh my goodness, that was four years ago!"
The photo shows Carol Spencer with children (left – right) Sophia (2), Harry (6) and Jake (4) and their bottles.