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SPRI Review 2010: Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

The year opened with excitement growing at progress on the refurbishment plans and with anticipation of museum reopening in June. The Friends’ first event in the new museum was linked to our Summer Lunch held on 10th July. Our lecture series in the Michaelmas Term returned to its normal routine in the Institute lecture theatre and we were delighted to welcome Friends and guests alike.

Of particular note during the year was the commencement of the Friends ‘Artist in Residence’ programme aboard HMS Scott. Rowan Huntley, a landscape artist based in Cardiff, joined HMS Scott in January 2010 for its cruise in Antarctic waters. Her work has attracted much favourable comment and was displayed aboard the ship during her brief visit to Cardiff in June 2010.

2010 has marked the beginning of the centennial period leading up to Amundsen’s 1911 attainment of the South Pole and the tragic deaths of Scott and his companions on their return journey in 1912. There are many events planned around the world to commemorate these events which began with the departure from Cardiff of the Terra Nova in June 1910. The centenary was marked by the presence of HMS Scott on an official visit to Cardiff in June when Friends enjoyed a private tour and lunch on board in the company of the Captain, Commander Gary Hesling RN and his officers. The ship also hosted a display of selected iconic photographs from the Ponting collection.

My term as Chairman came to an end in December and Rear Admiral Nicholas Lambert was elected to the role. At the same time, other members of the committee have retired or resigned under the pressure of other commitments and I am indebted for their support to Wendy Driver (Vice Chair), Cathy Cooper (Dog-sledging), Judy Skelton, Duncan Lawie and Alison Jolley. David Wilson, co-opted member, stood down from his role as liaison with the Centenary Events programme in December. The 2010 appetite for sledging activities was again somewhat muted but Adam Janikowski raised more than £2000 for the Friends whilst a former sledger and new member of our committee, Grattan MacGiffin, went trekking for the Friends in the Atlas Mountains.

Finally, I must record the Friends’ thanks to the Staff at the Institute who, despite coping with the building and museum modifications have been unfailingly helpful, and to Ann Bean and Celene Pickard, the Friends Membership and Executive Secretaries, without whom the work of the Friends could not be carried on. I wish the new Chairman and his committee every success in the future.

Robin Back (Chair, Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute)

Descendants of those aboard Scott’s Terra Nova assemble 100 years on at the Institute

Descendants of those aboard Scott’s Terra Nova assemble 100 years on at the Institute