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Previous events

Previous events

(Listed most recent first.)

FoSpri Logo

AGM and lecture November 2019


Paul Cox, Director UK Shark Trust

Friends logo

Summer Buffet Lunch and Talks June 2019

John Ash picture

Exploring Arctic Frontiers in a Changed Climate

SPRI Lecture Theatre

Lt Cdr John Ash PhD Royal Navy (ret.)

Wednesday 29th May

This lecture addressed the question: "What is the purpose of Arctic exploration in the 21stCentury?" It examines the nature of exploration and why people explore, before considering climate change in the Arctic, its consequences, and the role of exploration in addressing climate driven phenomena. The term 'exploration' conjures images of expeditions travelling to uncharted territories in heroic ventures of geographic conquest. The motivation behind exploration has long been a matter of debate, and modern science has subjected the psychology of expedition members to increasingly penetrating scrutiny. However, the Anthropocene Era brings not only a changing, and therefore new Arctic environment to explore; but a series of consequences for which exploration becomes not merely a matter of territorial acquisition or academic interest, but a means of mitigating existential risks to humanity.

Michael Palin

Michael Palin Talk

Wednesday 28th November 7:00pm

This sell-out event featured the former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globe trotter bringing to life the world and voyages of HMS EREBUS.​

South Georgia Association

FoSPRI Talk and AGM

Saturday 10th November 10:45 - 5:00pm

SPRI Lecture Theatre

This was a very successful all day event of talks by the South Georgia Association, followed by the Friends AGM.


Friends Lecture

When Your Life Depends on It

Brad Borkan

Thursday 11th October2018

The book describes the harrowing, real, life-and-death decisions made by early Antarctic explorers. It also reveals lessons from their situations to help us make better decisions in our modern-day lives.


Friends of SPRI Signature Voyage
Greenland & Baffin Island

September 2018

The Friends of SPRI and members of the SPRI facultywent on this exciting trip and we hope to have more details later about their adventures

Nick Romeril

Polar Encounters: 200 years of contemporary and historical polar art

Polar Museum exhibition

30 July - 17 August
Bonhams, New Bond Street, London

"You can't comprehend the sheer scale of the icebergs and blue bergs out there"

- Nicholas Romeril, 2017-18 Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Annual Polar Tribute Lecture pays tribute to Dr Charles Swithinbank
Sir Ranulph Fiennes

This exciting evening was held on 11 July 2018 at the Royal Geographical Society and featured a talk by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. During the evening there were tributes to polar pioneer and scientist Dr Charles Swithinbank, who passed away in 2014.


Visit to the Gilbert White & The Oates Collection

The galleries at Shelbourne tell the story of Oates's early life and most of the space in the gallery is devoted to the story of the Scott Expedition of 1910-12.

May 2018


Ursula Rack on Cold cases in Antarctic history

Some events of the Heroic era are not well known or almost forgotten. This presentation introduced the second German expedition in 1911–12 and the conflict between an Austrian Antarctic explorer and Ernest Shackleton.

April 2018


Michael Smith on Ireland's Antarctic Explorers

Michael Smith, the only writer to recount Ireland's significant role in Antarctic exploration, commemorated St Patrick's Day by recalling some fascinating and unfamiliar stories about the unique Irish link to Antarctica.

19th March 2018


Geological Society event

19th January 2017

A fundraiser for the Annual tribute lecture

agm crozier

AGM and lecture

11th November 2017

The 2017 AGM took place at SPRI.

It was followed by a talk by award-winning journalist Michael Smith on 19th century Polar explorer Captain Francis Crozier.


AGM and lecture

19th November 2016

In association with the Antarctic Club Bob Headland provided a unique view of the discoveries of the Heroic Age and reveal the history of the Antarctic Club.

artists at bonhams

Exhibition - Bonhams London

August 2016

The work of the Friends Artists in residence was on display in London alongside items from the Institute's collections.


Lecture - Charles Mosley author of 'Latitude North'

24th May 2016

Charles shared his experiences and the unique culture, literature and environment from the Viking settlements of Greenland and Vinland to the ice-bound islands of the far north.


Special event - Shackleton Service Westminster Abbey

20th May 2016

Many Friends attended the Centenary Service of Thanksgiving in honour of SirErnest Shackleton and his men.

hqs welly

Summer lunch on HQS Wellington

20th May 2016

160 guests followed up the service with lunch on the Thames.


AGM Event

7th November 2015

At our Friends Talk and Buffet Fundraiser, multi awardwinning professional wildlife photographer Andy Rouse took us on an inspirational journey through his favourite wildlife experiences of his illustrious career.

We also heard from Darren Rees, who has been painting for over twenty years and is one of our most decorated and highly respected wildlife artists and was the Artist in Residence for FoSPRI.

Friends' Summer Lunch

Summer lunch and lecture

20th June 2015

Comittee member Richard Ralph, a retired member of HM Diplomatic Service discussed his three and a half years as Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in 1996-99.

Ice Tracks

The Friends' Shackleton Centenary Voyage

21st November 2014 to 10th December 2014

Ice Tracks Expeditions in conjunction with the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) organised a Friends of SPRI Shackleton Centenary Voyage.

See images and read about this important fund-raiser for the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute. The voyage took in the Falklands, South Georgia, Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Honouring Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men was at the very heart of this unique voyage. Organised by Ice Tracks for the centenary year of the Endurance Expedition.


Friends' AGM 2014

8th Nov 2014

The AGM followed the Shackleton's Legacy Study Day

South Georgia Association logo

Shackleton's Legacy - Study Day joint with the South Georgia Association

8th Nov 2014

Held at the Institute this study day looked beyond the extraordinary rescue of the crew of Endurance from the Weddell Sea which has been told many times. "Shackleton's Legacy" examined, instead, the achievements of Shackleton and his men, and demonstrated the subsequent development in leadership skills, Antarctic science and expedition techniques.

The full programme for the day was sent to members with Polar Bytes 72.

Sponsored by Ice Tracks Expeditions

Ice Tracks Logo

Presentation evenings for 2015 fundraising Arctic and Antarctic Voyages

29th Sep 2014 - 6:30pm - Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge
1st Oct 2014 - 7pm - Academicians's Room, Royal Academy, Picadilly, London

These voyages are an important fundraiser for the Friends of SPRI and a big part of Ice tracks Giving Back Programme.

Trinity House

Trinity House Shackleton Centenary Dinner

Sat 27th Sep 2014

A dinner held for those going on the Shackleton Centenary Voyage and Friends of SPRI members. Attendees shared the same menu as the magnificent farewell dinner given by the London Devonian
Association for Shackleton in 1914.

The evening featured a presentation by Tim Jarvis on the Shackleton re-enactment voyage and a fundraising auction.

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Weekend event - Chatham Historic Dockyard

7th and 8th June 2014

A varied programme was arranged that included visits to all the sights, guided tours, an inspirational lecture by Tim Jarvis on the recent highly successful Shackleton re-enactment voyage, evening drinks, a buffet supper and a talk by the Head of Conservation.

Discoveries poster

Exhibition - Discoveries at Two Temple Place: Art, Science and Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums

31st January – 27th April 2014 - Two Temple Place, London

This exhibition presented singular objects and unearthed little-known treasures in the extraordinary interiors of Two Temple Place on London's Embankment, Discoveries was the first major exhibition to bring together the fascinating collections from all eight University of Cambridge Museums.

Two Temple Place website

Sledge hauling

Friends special event - 'Discovery' In Canterbury

17th Nov 2013

Philippa Davies hosted a fund-raising afternoon event at her home in Canterbury to view the model of Scott's Discovery, which Philippa recently commissioned from expert model-maker Will Mowll. Both Will and Ann Shirley Savours gave presentations about the ship.


AGM and Shackleton lecture

9th November 2013

The AGM day started with a lecture at 4pm in the SPRI Lecture Theatre by Robert Burton titled "What if Shackleton had landed: would he have got across Antarctica?".

2014 is the centenary of the departure of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The rescue of the crew of Endurance from the Weddell Sea ice has been told and retold, but the objective of the Expedition - to cross Antarctica - gets overlooked. If Shackleton had been able to get ashore at Vahsel Bay, at the head of the Weddell Sea, and set off to cross the continent, would he have been successful and return to glory? Or would his party have disappeared into the white wilderness and never have been heard of again? The likely outcome is assessed from three perspectives: Shackleton's plans; his equipment (motor sledges, dogs, rations etc); and the experience of Sir Vivian Fuchs' Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition which successfully traced the route in the 1950s.

Robert Burton first visited Shackleton's grave on South Georgia in 1964 and now visits it annually as the history lecturer on cruise ships. Following a short stint as Director of the South Georgia Museum in the 1990s he has developed an interest in the history of both the island and the Endurance expedition.

The lecture was followed by the AGM and then by a meal.

Scott Statue at Portsmouth

Friends' Summer Event and Gala Dinner

13th July 2013

Visit to the Historic Dockyard Portsmouth and Gala Dinner on board HMS Victory

A service was held at the statue of Scott followed by a buffet lunch and access to the museums, ships and exhibitions in the historic dockyard. The evening offered an opportunity to dine on the main gun deck amongst the guns on board Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory.

The Scott Memorial Service Friends on HMS Victory
BAS Fossil

Friends' Special Event - British Antarctic Survey: Behind the Scenes Tour

20th April 2013

The visit included a presentation about the history of the British Antarctic Survey and the current science programmes undertaken in the polar regions.

The afternoon also featured tours of the building including visits to see ice cores, the herbarium, aquarium, fossil collection and the Mapping and Geographic Information Centre.

Terra Nova Wreck Video

The afternoon also featured a presentation showing video footage of the discovery of Scott's ship Terra Nova, by guest lecturer Nathan Cunningham from the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

All funds raised have gone to the Friends of SPRI.

Friends visiting the BAS Aquarium BAS Aquarium

Elizabeth White talk at AGM

AGM and Buffet 2012

10th November 2012

The AGM took place at the Institute annd was preceeded by a lecture on the making of the TV series 'Frozen Planet' and followed by a buffet.

Summer lunch

Friends' Summer Lunch 2012

14th July 2012

The summer lunch took place the Institute and was followed by Lt Col. Edwards lecture: In the spirit of Scott. Edwars was the leader of the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012

Cambridge Sledge Pull

A sledge pull in Cambridge!

25th March 2012

A SPRI team and various committee members had a go at 'man-hauling' a sledge around Cambridge commons.

Visit the Scott Centenary Sledge Pull website to find out more.


Friends of SPRI Centenary Fundraising Dinner at Trinity House, London

10th March 2012

A special gala evening, with a drinks reception, black tie dinner and lecture by Frozen Planet cameraman, David Baillie.Image Properties


Friends of SPRI AGM and Fundraising Dinner

12th November 2011

The AGM was held in the Queen's Building Theatre, Emmanuel College and followed by a fundraising dinner in the Old Library at Emmanuel College.

D Wilson

5th July 2011 - Worst Journey in the World - Reception and talk by Dr David Wilson

Dr. Edward Wilson was the instigator and leader of what has become known as the Worst Journey in the World, a six week trip in the depths of the Antactic winter which set out to investigate the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds. When Captain Scott started planning his 1911-1913 Expedition to Antarctica aboard Terra Nova he asked Wilson to accompany him as his Chief of Scientific Staff.

In January 2012, on the Centenary of the Terra Nova expedition, Orion Expedition Cruises will be returning to Ross Island to give her guests the opportunity of visiting the amazing site of the explorers' hut, preserved as it was when Scott, Dr Wilson and the rest of the team were based there.

In addition to David's talk there was a canapé reception and Orion Expedition Cruises Representative Natalie Read provided information about their cruises. Over £1000 was raised.

Friends' AGM

Friends Summer Lunch HQS WELLINGTON

18th June 2011

The Friends Summer Buffet Lunch took place at HQS WELLINGTON on the Thames Embankment (opposite Temple underground station) in London.

The afternoon included lunch and two guest speakers.

Jennifer Murray talked about her marathon runs in support of the Friends and also the helicopter journeys she has made around the world including the polar regions.

David Mearns talked on "Discovering Deepwater Shipwrecks – From HMAS Sydney to Shackleton's Endurance", this covered what it takes to locate and film shipwrecks lost in very deep waters. David presented the exhaustive research involved to determine where to search and discussed the operations of finding a shipwreck using some recent examples.

Friends' AGM

The Great White Silence

13th November 2010

Lecture and preview screening of Ponting's iconic film, digitally restored.

Friends' AGM

AGM, Buffet and Auction

13th November 2010

Friends Annual General Meeting, held at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

The auction raised £750 for the Friends.

Summer Lunch

Friends Summer Lunch Event -

10th July 2010

The Summer Lunch gave Friends the chance for a tour of the recently re-opened Polar Museum, plus a behind the scenes view of the refurbished stores area.

Pen Hadow

Pen Hadow: Extreme Endeavour - Extreme Science

Saturday 14th November 2009

A lecture in aid of the Friends of SPRI.

Summer Lunch

2009 AGM and Friends' Buffet

Saturday 14th November 2009

Friends Annual General Meeting.

HMS Scott

HMS Scott visit - Plymouth, Friday 16 October

16th October 2009

More than 20 members of the Friends were received on board by Lt. Commander Philip Harper and his officers and crew shortly before HMS Scott sailed to the Southern Ocean.

A report on our visit

Serene - painting for auction

Gallery Event: "Arctic in Danger"

8th September 2009

There was a Friends Event at a Gallery in London in early September 2009.

Summer Lunch

Friends Summer Lunch

6th June 2009

The Friends Summer Buffet Lunch this year took the form of a visit to British Antarctic Survey offices at High Cross, Madingley Rd, Cambridge.

Ross image

Performance of 'Captain Ross' (1833)

8th November 2008

Tickets 10 Guineas (£10.50) from the SPRI Box Office
To follow the Friends' AGM at 7:30pm

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

8th November 2008

The Friends Annual General Meeting held at the Institute on the second Saturday in November

Friends' Summer Lunch

The Friends' Summer Lunch

7th June 2008

The Friends' Summer Lunch was held in the Institute on first Saturday in June.

Mike Stroud

Mike Stroud presents 'From Ice to Dust - Travels to Extremes'

17th May 2008

Mike Stroud is best known for his record-breaking undertakings with Sir Ranulph Fiennes. In 1992/93 they succeeded in completing the first unaided walk across the continent from coast to coast. Elsewhere, Mike completed the first unsupported, non-stop run across the Qatar desert, covering 200 km in just 3 days. Most recently, he and Sir Ranulph completed 7 marathons, in 7 days, on 7 different continents for charity.

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM -

11nd November 2007

The Friends Annual General Meeting.

Diamond Jubilee Prize Draw

Tony Soper presents 'The Discovery and Exploitation of Polar Wildlife'

Saturday 11th November 2007

Tony Soper discusses the history of the exploitation of the northern and southern seas since the 16th century.

Friends' Summer Lunch

The Friends' Summer Lunch -

2nd June 2007

The Friends' Summer Lunch will be held in the Institute on Saturday 2nd June 2007.

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

11th November 2006

The Friends Annual General Meeting.

Special lecture

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt. OBE presents 'Living dangerously: my life as an explorer'

11th November 2006

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been at the forefront of many expeditions. Described as the "World's Greatest Living Explorer" by the Guinness Book of Records in 1984, his exploits around the world have pushed the limits of human knowledge and endurance.

Diamond Jubilee Prize Draw

Friends Diamond Jubilee Prize Draw

11th November 2006

The winners have now been announced. Thanks to all who entered.

Special lecture

The Hon. Edward Broke Evans VRD presents 'South With Scott!'

30th September 2006

A rare opportunity to experience a classic polar lecture by Lieutenant E.R.G.R. Evans, 2nd in Command, British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913.

Visit to HMS Endurance in Portsmouth

Friends Visit to HMS Endurance in Portsmouth

22nd July 2006

A visit and unique tour of HMS Endurance for the Friends. Photos from the 2005 visit are available.

Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer; photograph © Futoshi Sakauchi

Actor Aidan Dooley presents: Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer

3rd June 2006

A Diamond Jubilee performance to benefit the work of the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute, in support of the polar scientific and heritage work of the Institute.

Friends' Summer Lunch

The Friends' Summer Lunch and Polar Book Den

3rd June 2006

The Friends' Summer Lunch and Polar Book Den will be held in the Institute on Saturday 3rd June 2006.

Jubilee Birthday Tea

Friends Diamond Jubilee Birthday Tea

29th April 2006

This celebratory tea party was held for all members of the Friends and Institute staff, to celebrate 60 years of the Friends.

An Evening with Kari Herbert

An Evening with Kari Herbert

29th April 2006

Kari is a popular lecturer and this evening was a special treat as she weaved her famous spell of native myth, family memoir and personal adventure, against the backdrop of the Arctic wilderness.

Visit to HMS Endurance in Portsmouth

Friends Visit to HMS Endurance in Portsmouth

23rd July 2005

A visit and unique tour of HMS Endurance for the Friends. Photos from this event are avaiable.

Polar Book Den

Summer Lunch and Polar Book Den

4th June 2005

Our annual Summer Lunch was followed by the Polar Book Den.

Many Friends have unwanted polar books sitting upon their shelves, and many Friends are seeking to buy polar books. Friends attended the Polar Book Den on Saturday 4th June to buy and sell books

The Songs of the 'Morning': A musical sketch

The Songs of the "Morning": A musical sketch

4th June 2005

This was a rare chance to hear a live performance of the famous songs and poetry from the S.Y "Morning", the relief ship to Captain Scott's 1901-1904 'Discovery' expedition.

An evening with Peter Hillary

An evening with Peter Hillary

20th April, 2005

The Friends were treated to a talk by Peter Hillary, who has climbed Everest twice, survived K2, skied a new route to the South Pole, summited Antarctica's Mt Vinson and even touched down at the geographic North Pole with his father, Ed Hillary, and Neil Armstrong!

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

Friends Autumn Buffet and AGM

12th November 2005

The Friends Annual General Meeting.