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SPRI Public Lectures - Michaelmas term 2004

SPRI Public Lectures - Michaelmas term 2004

The lectures are in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge (telephone 01223 336540). They are open to all who are interested. Seats will be reserved, on request, for members of the 'Friends of the Institute'. Please arrive in time because most lectures involve use of slides, or other projectors, which require the theatre to be dimmed. The Institute opens half an hour before lectures begin. For safety reasons (as well as for the benefit of the lecturer and audience) anyone arriving after the lecture has begun may not be admitted. The Friends of the Institute usually serve light refreshments after the Saturday night lectures.

Lectures in the Lent Term of 2005 will be on 29 January, 12 and 26 February, and 12 March.

Archaeological reconstruction of the mid-nineteenth century Enderby Settlement at the Auckland Islands.

Paul Dingwall (Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand)

Friday 24 September 2004 at 19:00 (doors open 18:30)

This illustrated talk will present the results of an archaeological survey of the vanished British colonial settlement established in Port Ross, Auckland Islands in the period 1849-52. The Enderby Settlement, named for Charles Enderby its Lieutenant Governor, was intended as a provisioning station for the Southern Whale Fishery Co. in the South Pacific region. Following collapse of the whaling enterprise some thirty buildings, housing several hundred settlers including Maori, were dismantled and removed. Archaeological investigation, revealing evidence of industrial, administration and residential buildings, including the Governor's house, outlying farmhouses, a wharf, pathways and cemetery, provides a record of one of the most remote and short-lived British colonies.

France and the Antarctic

David Walton (British Antarctic Survey)

Saturday 16 October 2004 at 20:00 (doors open at 19:30)

David Walton visited the stations maintained in the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises on the peri-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian Ocean (Iles Crozet, Iles Kerguelen, and Ile Amsterdam) aboard the French supply vessel Marion Dufresne. He will give an account of the stations, research, and logistics of the French equivalent of the British Antarctic Survey. The islands are rarely visited by persons not working for TAAF and have a combination of magnificent scenery, fascinating biology, and intriguing history.

A Century of South Georgia

Robert Headland (Scott Polar Research Institute)

Saturday 30 October 2004 at 20:00 (doors open at 19:30)

On 16 November 1904 Captain Carl Anton Larsen arrived in King Edward Cove, South Georgia, with a first fleet of Louise, Rolf, and Fortuna. There he founded Grytviken, the first Antarctic whaling station, and from that date the island has been permanently occupied. It became, in Shackleton's words, 'the gateway to Antarctica'. Bob Headland will review the century during which whalers and sealers, meteorologists and other scientists, expeditions, surveyors, administrators and the armed services have been on the island. The lecture is arranged jointly with the South Georgia Association.

Another Little Job for the Tinker

Judy Skelton (Granddaughter of Reginald Skelton of the Discovery Expedition)

Saturday 13 November 2004 at 17:00 (doors open at 16:30)

The diaries of Reginald Skelton, the Chief Engineer and Official Photographer of Captain Scott's first Antarctic expedition aboard Discovery (1901-04), are held in the archives of the Scott Polar Research Institute. The majority of his photographs are in the picture collection. Judy Skelton has prepared these for publication and will describe her grandfather's time with the expedition. He was a member of the western exploration party which first reached the polar plateau and discovered the high frozen interior of Antarctica. Illustrations include a selection of his photographs and other Discovery expedition images. Judy hopes to have copies of her book available at the lecture. This lecture will be followed by the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Institute and a reception.

"Great Scott!": The rise, fall and rise of a national icon

Saturday 27 November 2004 at 20:00 (doors open at 19:30)

While many authors have told the story of Scott's life, no one until now has examined the impact of his death. This lecture will consider the extraordinary outpouring of public grief following the announcement of the Antarctic disaster in 1913, and the ways in which Scott and his companions were raised as national heroes. The lecture will trace Scott's changing reputation over the last ninety years, from his veneration during the Great War and after, to his debunking by Roland Huntford. The lecture will conclude by reflecting on Scott's recent rehabilitation in the writings of Susan Solomon and Ranulph Fiennes, and the significance of his story in the twenty-first century.

Formerly a Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Christ's College, Cambridge, Max Jones is Programme Director of the MA in Modern British History at the University of Manchester. His first book, The Last Great Quest: Captain Scott's Antarctic Sacrifice was published by Oxford University Press in 2003.