“To all our readers and advertisers ‘Welcome to the new millennium’” - that was how the Herald introduced its Millennium Special Edition on December 31, 1999.

The millennium celebrations were inevitably a world-wide, co-ordinated series of events to celebrate and commemorate the end of 1999 and the start of the year 2000.

There was not much in the way of the anticipated ‘bugs’ and the real ‘millennium’ might well have been a year later. But who cared.

There were many local events organised in homes, religious settings, pubs and clubs in Farnham but the real centre of attention, as watched by millions on television, was London with the spotlight on Big Ben, as well as the opening of the Millennium Dome which the Queen, the Prime minister and many VIP guests attended.

Prime minister, Tony Blair, then just two years in office, afterwards hailed the “optimism and confidence” shown by the country as it welcomed the year 2000.

Hospital maternity units at Frimley Park, Royal Surrey, Basingstoke, Queen Alexandra and beyond saw the birth of millennium babies within minutes of Big Ben’s chiming.

At midday, thousands of church bells pealed in unison as local bellringers joined 2,000 churches across the country to ring in the third millennium.

Many children across the area buried millennium time capsules - and one such capsule, buried next to St Mark’s Church in Hale, was accidentally unearthed just 14 years later during the creation of a community orchard.

“The children were very excited,” said Rev Lesley Crawley at the time. “They thought we’d found buried treasure!”

When they opened the box it turned out to be a time capsule with coins, photos, a Millennium newspaper and a Brownies’ uniform inside.

The capsule was reburied and remains to this day in the St Mark’s orchard for future generations to discover.