Britain is finalising its great contribution to the Year 2000, the Millennium Dome. Why did they build it? The Dome is large and very distinctive, thus quite hard to miss. Some of what's inside is based around Time, and life in the Millennium, and its position near the Meridian Line in Greenwich is significant. It is built to attract tourists and to make other countries notice Britain's exploits.
But the Millennium Dome won't be attracting tourists for very long, it is not a permanent fixture. The Eiffel Tower was not supposed to be a permanent monument, but it was built to last. The Dome in London will not last, it wasn't built that way. Of course the Dome may not attract any tourists at all if the transport to get there collapses. The Jubilee Line Extension is not finished, although it might just make it, and the bus service in London is definitely not the best in the world.
The government has spent nearly a billion pounds on the Millennium Dome, and in my opinion the money could have been better spent Yes, Britain should build something to commemorate the Year 2000, but it should be something smaller, and something permanent. The site at Greenwich is suitable, and the idea of Time is a good one. By spending less money on the actual building, Britain could spend more fighting the Millennium Bug and sorting out the country's transport system. The building would attract tourists, and seeing a country with a good transport system and no technological problems with the Millennium would certainly make other countries in the world sit up and take note.
So what could this building have been? Well at the risk of sounding like a Blue Peter presenter, here's something you can do at home. I fear that for those of you who have already spent money on scaled down models of the Dome, or thousands of matches to make your own, I am too late. But, in true Blue Peter style, this won't cost much at all. All you need is a strong metal, airtight box, a spade and a back garden or allotment
Yes, today kids, we are going to make a time capsule. I won't show you the one I made earlier, this is a personal project. What you need is to gather anything that is important to you in the Millennium, and put it, or photos of it, into your metal box. These are things that mean something to you, or things that mark life in the 20th Century. Put all these things in the box and seal it Then, with the aid of a spade, bury it deep in the ground. Hopefully, in a few hundred years time, when future generations decide to raze your house to the ground to build a new skyscraper, they will dig into the ground to lay the foundations and find your time capsule. When they open it, they will get an idea of what life was like for you in the Year 2000.
And my suggestion to Britain, is build a large time capsule, above ground, in a glass box, so people can see what is important to Britain in the year of the new millennium.