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Committee of the Friends of SPRI

The Committee of the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute comprises the following members:

Nick Lambert (Chairman)

  • Elected to Committee: April 2010
  • Elected as Chairman: 2010
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2014

Rear Admiral Nick Lambert joined the Royal Navy as a seaman in March 1977. He gained an honours degree in Geography at the University of Durham in 1983.

He has spent much time at sea on HM Ships including Birmingham, Ark Royal, Cardiff and has commanded HMS Brazen and HMS Endurance.

He commanded the ice patrol ship HMS ENDURANCE from 2005-2007, deploying for two fascinating and deeply rewarding seasons in Antarctica.Promoted in February 2007, he commanded Task Force 158 in the North Arabian Gulf, tasked with the protection of Iraq's economically vital offshore oil infrastructure. Thereafter he was Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training from 2008 to 2009 before assuming the role of Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Capability Integration in November 2009 in the Navy Command Headquarters. Promoted to Rear Admiral, he became the UK National Hydrographer on 19 August 2010.

Nick Lambert married Beverly in 1989; they have two children and live in Somerset. Apart from family and an as yet unfulfilled ambition to manage the construction of his own house, his interests include gliding, cookery, gardening and sailing.

Judy Skelton (Treasurer)

Judy Skelton
  • Elected December 2010 to continue as treasurer
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2015
  • Previously served on the Committee from 2002-2005 and 2007-2010

Judy's educational background is in the sciences and social sciences and most of her career has been in international development, including living and working in some very low latitudes. Having all her life known vaguely about her grandfather's involvement with Scott's Discovery Expedition (Reginald Skelton was its Chief Engineer and official photographer), suddenly in 1997 she was seized with the need to find out all about it in detail. Since then she has spent a great deal of time at SPRI, reading in the archives, and this has led to the production of two books: The first with David Wilson in November 2001, Discovery Illustrated: Pictures from Captain Scott's First Antarctic Expedition; and the second in November 2004, The Antarctic Journals of Reginald Skelton: "Another Little Job for the Tinker".

Judy volunteers in the SPRI archives and is currently transcribing the Discovery journals of Michael Barne onto computer.

Ellen Bazeley-White

Ellen Bazeley-White
  • Elected to Committee: November 2010
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2014
  • Previously served on committee as British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Rep

Ellen has supported science research by providing data and information management facilities to NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) funded scientists since 1997. She provided data management and web services to science projects at the NERC Centre for Population Biology (Imperial College London) until 2004. She then worked in the Antarctic Environmental Data Centre at BAS for two years coordinating data surveys and managed the BAS Archives Service for six years before becoming the Scientific Data Manager for BAS marine data in 2013. This role includes supported marine biologists and physical oceanographers during their research season and Ellen works away for several months each year on the BAS Research Ship RRS James Clark Ross.

Ellen has also worked at a hands-on science centre and been a media fellow at the BBC. Ellen is particularly interested in the linking of polar archival and data collections and encouraging the re-use of data and information.

Ellen maintains the Friends of SPRI web pages.

Bill Redway

Bill Redway
  • Elected June 2011
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2015

Bill joins the committee as Media and Marketing coordinator, after a career in film making.

I rediscovered the great stories of the Heroic Age of exploration driving around the Sussex countryside listening to Ranulph Fiennes reciting his book about Captain Scott on the CD player. This inspired the purchase of numerous books and films about Scott, Shackleton, Crean, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Amundsen, Perry and Franklin (not forgetting the North and the two ships lost which lent their names to the great Antarctic mountains, Erebus and Terror) and an increasing fascination with Polar exploration. A visit a few years ago to the museum at SPRI was a marvellous experience, and seeing artifacts and possessions of these great men was no less than entrancing. I also discovered that I live close to Cherry's home in Hertfordshire, and often walked the same paths trod by Apsley on visits to his friend George Bernard Shaw while writing The Worst Journey in the World.

As a documentary film producer for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel, with a perpetual eye for a subject and a story, and a habitual traveller to wild places in many parts of the world, I have a particular interest in being involved with the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute. In television I have specialised in science education and working with SPRI's outreach department I have been able to use my experience to develop a series of programmes for BBC Schools which focus on the current research of young Polar scientists. While not yet committed to it the BBC are taking a strong interest in this project.

It is a privilege to serve on the Committee and I look forward to being actively involved over the coming months to further the work and aims of the Institute.

Angie Butler

Angie Butler

  • Elected to Committee: November 2012
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2016

Angie was born and brought up in South Africa and came to England in the early 1970's to attend art school in London where she achieved a diploma in Fine Art. She remained in England, married the sculptor James Butler, inherited a daughter and went on to produce four more daughters! She became a cycling journalist before moving into broader journalism, particularly travel.

Her fascination for adventure and exploration led her to write 'Ice Tracks, Today's Heroic Age of Polar Adventure' and more recently 'The Quest for Frank Wild', allowing her to spend many glorious days in SPRI researching the great man. Four year ago she set up Ice Tracks Expeditions with Carolina Mantella - a flourishing adventure voyaging company taking people to the Arctic and Antarctica. Two years ago she discovered the long lost remains of Frank Wild in Johannesburg and with six of his descendants finally returned his ashes to South Georgia to be interred next to Sir Ernest Shackleton. Her passion for all things polar continues with another book in the pipeline and organising the Friends' Shackleton Centenary voyage in 2014.

Tina Balchin

  • Elected to Committee: November 2012
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2016

Katie Walter (Student Rep)

Katie Walter

  • Retirement from committee due: December 2014

Katie joined the committee in 2013 as the first student rep.

Leona Murphy

Leona Murphy

  • Elected to Committee: November 2013
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2017

Leona (Gaine) Murphy is originally from County Kerry in Ireland - birth and resting place of Tom Crean - the great local Antarctic hero. Her trips to the South Pole Inn, set up by Crean on his return from the many expeditions with Scott and Shackleton, sparked over a decade of Polar enthusiasm. As well as reading and travelling she has collected some interesting items from the Nimrod and Discovery expeditions - a particular biscuit being one that has generated its own modern day stories!

She holds an honours degree in International Marketing and Languages (French and German) and currently studies German (European Level C2.3) at the Goethe Institute, London (opposite the Royal Geographical Society- so she can indulge both interests at once) .

Leona has worked at the forefront of marketing and event management for several top technology and telecoms companies running Europe, Middle East and Africa. She is highly experienced in running complex muti-cultural national & international marketing campaigns. She enjoys ensuring the articulation of an organisations desired brand image and position in a given market to attain real recognition and delight customers. These roles required both imagination and creativity.

A particular career highlight was running marketing for Symantec (Norton) in the UK and Scandanavia- Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland and travelling extensively in those regions as well as organising many exciting events within the Arctic Circle. She has also organised campaigns and events in Morocco , Mauritius and many London locations, like Kensington Palace and also at the Cartier Polo in Windsor.

Leona now lives in Chelsea in London with her husband Dermot and their two young daughters- also budding Polar enthusiasts. They even got engaged in Ushuaia, Argentina after several weeks glacier trekking and adventuring.

Leona is now delighted to start a new adventure with the Friends of the SPRI. She has a particular interest in South Georgia and hopes to contribute her creative expertise to the aims and events to come.

Richard Ralph

  • Elected to Committee: November 2013
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2017

Ex-Officio Members of the Committee

Julian Dowdeswell

Julian Dowdeswell
  • Appointed to Committee: October 2002.
  • Ex-Officio, as Director of Institute

Julian's full biography is available.

Heather Lane

Heather Lane
  • Appointed to Committee: November 2004.
  • Ex-Officio, as Librarian and Keeper of Collections at the Institute

Heather's full biography is available.

Naomi Boneham

Naomi Boneham

  • Appointed to Committee: December 2010
  • Ex-Officio as Archivist of the Institute
  • Naomi is the Minutes Secretary

Naomi's full biography is available.

Celene Pickard (Executive Secretary of the Friends & Membership Secretary)

Celene Pickard
  • Appointed as PA: March 2007
  • Appointed at Membership Secretaty: 2013
  • Previously served on the committee 2006-2009

Celene's early education in geography fuelled her passion for travel and all things 'polar'. She became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and travelled extensively in-between her career in the electronics industry. After having a family, she changed careers into the travel industry and has worked for many years as part of the 'operations team' at London Luton Airport.

As researcher to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Celene spent 3 years of intensive polar and historical research, culminating in the publication of his book, "Captain Scott". This book proved to be a huge success; 'I feel deeply honoured to have been associated with such a highly acclaimed book, which has finally set the record straight in terms of Scott's reputation and good name', she says. In order to carry out the research, Celene looked to SPRI for resources, expertise, knowledge, and unlimited access to the archives - 'all of which were unfailingly offered'. In appreciation to all at SPRI, Celene hopes that as a Friends' Committee member she can now 'repay' the support and friendship that was so readily extended to her, as well as maintaining and developing her interests in the polar world.

Co-opted Members of the Committee

Grattan MacGiffin

Grattan McGiffin

  • Elected to Committee: November 2010 (Vice Chair) & Co-opted November 2013 (Vice Chair)
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2014

A Friends' sledger in 2007, Grattan has been coming back to the Institute ever since and is a particular fan of the Polar Museum. Working as a carbon offsets trader, Grattan has a keen understanding of climate change and the potential for irreversible destruction of the Polar Regions.

Grattan enjoys mountain trekking, real ale and following rugby and would love to retrace Shackleton's South Georgia traverse one day. As well as being a Friend, he is also a Fellow of the RGS which allows him to indulge his interest in far flung places and modern day explorers.

Jim McNeill

  • Elected to Committee: November 2010 & Co-opted November 2013
  • Retirement from committee due: December 2014